CAES Awards for Excellence Guidelines

Staff Awards

The Staff Awards for Excellence in Administrative/Professional, Technical Support, and Skilled Trades were established in 2002 in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. These awards are made possible through the generosity of Gold Kist Inc. As other corporate sponsors are identified, the number and scope of the awards shall be expanded to provide added recognition of the Athens-based staff. The categories of awards discussed in this paragraph (and defined below) are restricted to the Athens campus. The Northeast Cooperative Extension District office shall be considered a part of the Athens-based campus.


The purpose of the award(s) is to foster staff development by recognizing exceptional workplace creativity and sustained excellence in support of academic, administrative, or support functions in CAES. The impact of the staff employee’s achievement should be readily measurable and affirmable by a large segment in the respective department or unit. These awards are not intended to provide a means for correcting past salary inequities or to recognize longevity. The main criteria for choosing the award recipient in each category will be the contribution that the employee has made to the success of the program. What we seek to recognize are those employees who have used their talents to make extraordinary contributions to the organization, campus, or a program. Our objective is to encourage outstanding performance and reward excellence in staff achievements.

Categories of Awards

  • Administrative/Professional – This category of classified employees includes administrative staff, accounting personnel, staff advisors as well as other professional or administrative positions that are not represented in the technical support or skilled trades categories, in any department or unit.
  • Technical Support – This category of classified employees includes field or laboratory technicians and computer personnel in any department or unit.
  • Skilled Trades – This category of classified employees includes farm laborers, carpenters, custodians, electricians, etc.

Number of Awards

Based upon currently available resources, one award will be made annually in each category. Each award recipient will receive a plaque and a $1,000 (after taxes) cash award.


Eligibility for awards shall be limited to full-time staff employees on the Athens campus with a minimum of three (3) years of continuous CAES employment as of the date of nomination. Past recipients of the award are not eligible for renomination.

Selection Committee

The Dean and Director shall appoint one non-voting Chairperson to guide the process. A selection subcommittee will include a minimum of three classified staff members to represent each category. The previous winners of each category will serve on the respective committee for a three-year term. There will also be one representative from the remaining departments/units to serve on the whole committee. A combined number of faculty and/or administrators will not make a majority of voting members on any one committee.


There shall be a maximum of one nomination per category from each department/unit. Each department/unit is encouraged to nominate a staff member for each category. In addition, the department/unit will determine how the nominee is selected. It is encouraged that each department/unit develop a set of well-publicized procedures for identifying the nominee, which includes the active participation of faculty and staff in the unit. Eligible CAES staff include regularly employed administrative classified personnel as well as non-administrative classified personnel based on the Athens Campus. This does not include partial year, temporary, or student employees. For information regarding staff eligibility, contact the CAES Business Office.

Each nomination must be accompanied by:

  1. A one-page impact statement (use a 12-point font and one-inch margin)
  2. A maximum of two one-page letters of support (letters from campus staff and external sources are of equal importance).

The candidate may not prepare the impact statement but may be asked to provide information. The transmittal form and the documentation should be available to the candidate. The support letters may remain confidential. The impact statement should be clear and concise in addressing the extraordinary achievements of the nominee in advancing the success of the program, organization, or College.  The Awards Committee will not review any nomination that does not follow these specifications.

Submit a nomination. Nominations are due in the Office of the Dean and Director by November 11 or the following workday should this be a weekend or holiday. Subsequently, the Office of the Dean and Director will submit the packets to the Chairperson for distribution within five days.


Awards will be presented at the Athens Campus Holiday Luncheon by the Dean. A very brief announcement of the winner’s accomplishments should be included during the presentation. A brief write up regarding the award recipient should be available on the CAES website and via electronic communications from the Office of the Dean and Director.


Diversity Awards


The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Office of Diversity Relations - Diversity Awards recognizes outstanding accomplishments of individuals, groups, or teams who have contributed to diversity and inclusion efforts at the University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Awards of up to $1,000 to further support initiatives in the current academic year will be granted, with one award given in each of the following categories:

  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Student or Student Groups
  • Departments/Units

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences recognizes diversity contributions that go beyond the nominee's assigned duties. CAES award recipients will be announced at the Holiday Luncheon.


Nominees can represent academic or administrative units (or teams within a unit), campus organizations, student groups, faculty or staff who have implemented policies, procedures, and/or programs to enhance diversity. Diversity includes age, race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, language, religion, creed, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and disability.


Submit a letter of nomination (not exceeding four pages) that addresses how the nominee has demonstrated a significant commitment to enhancing diversity through one or more of the following:

  • Description of accomplishments, leadership, and service in support of diversity enhancements
  • Description of achievement in creating a supporting environment that promotes diversity and inclusion
  • Description of achievement in recruiting and retaining diverse groups to faculty, staff, and administrative positions
  • Description of achievement in recruiting, retaining, and graduating diverse groups of students

The nominating letter should cite specific accomplishments and services of the nominee in relationship to any or all of the above four criteria. Specifically, address the following:

  • What is the purpose and scope of the effort or event (is it targeted at faculty, staff or students)?
  • Discuss the sustainability of the effort or event (is this an on-going effort or a one-time event)?
  • What activities does the effort or event include?
  • Why does the group or individual deserve recognition for the program, curriculum, training, etc.?
  • What obstacles had to be overcome to execute the effort?
  • How is this initiative innovative?
  • What impact has the effort had?
  • How has the effort supported organizational change?
  • Discuss how the effort conveyed cultural inclusivity and appreciation for diversity.


Nominations can be made by any CAES employee who is familiar with the nominee's commitment to diversity. Special attention should be given to recognize efforts that have the potential to be sustained over time or can be replicated in comparable situations.

Due Date and Selection Process

Nominations, including letter of nomination, must be received by November 11 or the following workday should this be a weekend or holiday.  The committee will review the nominations and select the recipients.  The selected awardees will be recognized at the Holiday Luncheon. Submit a nomination.


CAES Outstanding Professional Advisor Award


To recognize excellence in student advising in our college. Outstanding advisors go the extra mile to provide students with information, support and out-of-class learning experiences. An Outstanding Professional Advisor Award will be presented annually. Award recipients will receive a certificate, a permanent salary increase of $500 and be recognized at an appropriate awards ceremony.


The Outstanding Professional Advisor Award is open to CAES staff members with assigned undergraduate advising responsibilities. Previous award winners must wait three years before being reconsidered for the Award.
Criteria to be used in judging nominees:
1. Innovation and leadership in advising.
2. Accessible to students and exhibits a caring attitude.
3. Builds strong relationships with students.
4. Engages in developmental and support activities.
5. Impacts students beyond the classroom.
6. Contributes to college-wide excellence in student advising.


Each CAES department or academic unit may forward to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, one nomination per year.
The nomination packet must include:
1. A completed nomination form
2. A one-page cover letter of support from the department head
3. A one-page biographical sketch of the nominee
4. A copy of the nominee’s personal statement on mentoring
5. Current letters of support from students, alumni and/or knowledgeable peers. Letters from current students and recent graduates provide the strongest support.
Items 2-5 above should not total more than eight pages. Nominating materials must address this award specifically.

Nomination Deadline

All nominations should be forwarded by the last day of final exams for Fall Semester.
Submit an original and an electronic copy to:
Office of Academic Affairs - 102 Conner Hall - Michele Matthews (

Award Review Committee

Selection of the CAES Outstanding Professional Advisors Award will be made the College’s Undergraduate Affairs Committee.