Call for Nominations:
2012 Distinguished Service Learner Awards Ceremony

Nominations are being accepted; final deadline: April 11th, 2012

We hope you will join us once again in recognizing the outstanding work of our service learning students at the Annual Distinguished Service Learner Awards Ceremony. This ceremony is a chance for those students who have contributed to the mission of our community partner organizations through their service-learning assignment in an exemplary manner to be recognized by their community partner sites and faculty.

Community partners and faculty members, instructors and teaching assistants may nominate up to two students per semester for this prestigious award.

Who should I nominate?

We ask that you nominate students who stood out over the course of the academic year Fall 2011-Spring 2012. Nominees should have had a positive impact on the community, or through their service learning experiences, really came to understand the impact and connections between their academic studies and community issues and conditions. If you worked with anyone like this, you probably already know who they are.

How are nominees recognized?

All students nominated will receive an award. They are encouraged to invite their friends and family to the ceremony to share in the celebration.

Students nominated for the award will receive a certificate of recognition, and a letter of recognition from you or your organization. These letters will also be read aloud at the ceremony, and we hope that you (as the nominator) will be able to attend and present your awards in person.

What is my part as a nominator?

As an award nominator, we ask that you fill out the form below, including a letter of recognition for the award (200 words or less please).

You can nominate up to two students from each semester, fall 2011 and spring 2012.

We ask that you attend the ceremony or send a representative to present the award to the student and share your letter with the assembled guests.

Nomination Form

Please complete this form. The final deadline for nomination is April 11th.

Please frame your nomination as a letter of recommendation for this award (no longer than 300 words, please) . These letters will be presented by you or a representative in the form of a certificate during the award ceremony.

Example Letters

Letter from a community partner:

To whom it may concern,

On behalf of [Community Partner Organization], I would like to recommend [Student] for nomination for the Distinguished Service Learner Award.

[Student] is a nursing major at UWM and as a sophomore volunteered through service learning to help high school students enrolled in our High School Connection program learn the necessary skills to succeed. Her class requirement was to come once a week. She came twice. As part of her service, she was asked to engage students in academic readiness and discussions about their professional and personal paths. She went beyond that and "really" connected with our teens. They trusted her and always knew they could count of her to listen and be honest.

Now, [Student] is back for a second year and helping our students engage in positive academic and personal opportunities that help them stay off the streets and on track to high school graduation.

At [Community Partner Organization], we provide the highest quality service to our youth and that is possible thanks to the help and support of our volunteers. Our High School Connection is a better program due to the commitment and passion of [Student].

I highly recommend [Student Name] receive your distinguished award for service. She is a true leader who represents our agency, this city and UWM with the highest of integrity.

~[Name of coordinator, Name of Organization]

Letter from a professor:

To whom it may concern,

As professor of [Class Name and Number], I would like to recommend [Student Name] for nomination for the Distinguished Service Learner Award.

Throughout the course of the semester, I have witnessed [Student] challenge her comfort zone, increase her level of confidence and ability to establish and build relationships with others of different ages, socio-economic statuses, ethnic backgrounds, and gender identities, while working with the community members at the [Community Partner Organization]. [Student] was by far my best student this semester, and her course work and service learning journal entry assignments raised the bar for my standards of academic excellence. [Student] clearly demonstrates her knowledge and understanding of the [Community Partner Organization’s] mission statement, roles in the community, and the societal issues that have an impact in the lives of the community members the agency serves.

[Student’s] writing assignments and journal entries reveal an acute awareness of how major themes addressed in the course, such as societal inadequacies and injustices, white privilege, and the root causes of prejudice and discrimination impact the lives and life chances of the community members she was working with at the [Community Partner Organization]. Lastly, [Student’s] writings reveal a passion for civic engagement and community empowerment that I have seldom seen in college freshmen. [Student] is able to identify and address issues that affect the lives of the individuals she was working with, and suggest ways in which individual and collective actions can directly address a problem, and envision collaborations with others in a community to help solve the problems the community members are encountering.

~[Professor, Class Name and Number]

Thank you for submitting a nomination for the 2012 Distinguished Service Learner Award.