Staff Recognition Awards

There are four staff recognition awards, including: innovation, inspirational leadership, continued excellence, and spirit.

Staff who have been in the College of Engineering for more than two years are eligible for these staff awards.

Awards & Criteria

The basis for each award selection will be determined by meeting most or all of the criteria for each award. The following awards and criteria descriptions are offered as guidelines for nominations.


Innovation is a core component of the College of Engineering’s mission and this award recognizes an individual who embodies this spirit of innovation. Possible criteria include an individual who:

  • Developed an effective solution to a difficult problem in a productive manner or improved a solution’s overall effectiveness through a new method or approach
  • Developed and implemented a plan that benefits the community
  • Generated valuable ideas that have helped to develop new or improved processes, methods, systems, programs, or services for their team, department, or the college

Inspirational Leadership

This award recognizes an individual who inspires others. They influence without authority, often putting the interests of others ahead of their own, and serve as “a champion for staff.” Possible criteria include an individual who:

  • Fosters an atmosphere of collaboration and creativity, which contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of productivity
  • Demonstrates leadership qualities by effectively managing their staff, service, system or work
  • Leads changes or improvements for the benefit of their peers
  • Inspires and motivates others to take advantage of opportunities that enhance their professional or personal lives
  • Empowers others to achieve results in support of their organization or college’s goals

Continuous Excellence

This award recognizes an individual who continuously seeks excellence in practice. They often “take it to the next level.” Possible criteria include an individual who:

  • Displays initiative and excellence in performing core job requirements
  • Demonstrates professional behavior through their willingness to cooperate, work, and communicate with others in the workplace
  • Successfully exceeds the goals of the organization through dedication to their organization and the college


This award recognizes an individual who has selflessly improved the lives of others either in the College of Engineering or within the greater community. Possible criteria include an individual who:

  • Demonstrates exceptional service to the college and/or community at large (e.g. voluntary participation in community groups, boards, or charitable organizations)
  • Goes above and beyond in their work in order to help others and does so with a high degree of excellence, professionalism, and integrity; thus, contributing significantly to improving the overall College of Engineering environment and experience
Eligibility notes
  • Part-time staff members are those who work a sufficient number of hours to receive Carnegie Mellon benefits or who have joint appointments, spending at least 50% of their time working for the College of Engineering.
  • Staff who have served in the College of Engineering for six months to two years as of November 1 of the nomination year are recognized separately through the Rookie Award.


The Staff Recognition Awards are open to full- or part-time College of Engineering staff members who have been with the College of Engineering more than two years as of November 1 of the nomination year.

The following are not eligible:

  • Current Staff Awards Committee members
  • Staff members who have received a Staff Recognition Award in the last three years
  • College of Engineering faculty members, including special faculty
  • Group nominations; awards are given to individuals only

If you are unsure if a potential nominee fits the criteria, check the list of eligible staff.

Nomination requirements

Any Carnegie Mellon staff member, faculty member, graduate student, or undergraduate student may submit a nomination. Packets should include the following:

  • A letter of two pages or less justifying your position that the nominee satisfies the criteria detailed within
  • One letter of reference not exceeding two pages from another Carnegie Mellon staff, faculty, or student; this may include letters from outside the department and can be submitted by an individual or group to support the nomination.
  • For any nomination packages that either do not meet the award criteria, or are not in compliance with the procedures listed above, the awards committee may reject the package or ask for a resubmission of the nomination package. Once requested, the nominator (or a designee) will have 48 hours to resubmit or the package will be rejected.