Nominations Open for UConn Spirit Awards

An example of a UConn Spirit Award, a replica of the Husky dog, from 2015. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)
The Spirit Award program is open to staff in all job classifications and faculty at the Storrs and regional campuses. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

For the third year, the UConn Spirit Awards will celebrate individuals and teams who exceed expectations and contribute positively to the workplace and the University. Nominations are due Feb. 1 and a ceremony will be held in March.

The recognition program was developed based on a recommendation contained in the 2013 report of the Workplace Civility Climate Survey that was conducted by the Something’s Happening Committee, a University-wide group of administrators, faculty, and staff, including representatives from the three employee bargaining units.

The report’s specific recommendation was to “establish a tradition of an annual, campus-wide event hosted and promoted by the President that focuses on employee appreciation and promoting civility.”

The program is open to staff in all classifications and faculty at the Storrs and regional campuses. UConn Health already has its own awards program for Farmington-based staff as a result of an earlier campus climate survey there.

Staff can be nominated for awards established in four different categories:

The Rising Star Award will be for a staff member who has contributed significantly to his or her department and the University community, with enthusiasm, a strong work ethic, superior leadership (if applicable), and reliability in a short time working at UConn. In order to be considered for the award, nominees must have held their current position within the same department for a minimum of six months and less than two years at the time of nomination.

The Unsung Hero Award will be presented to a staff member who consistently goes above and beyond, without fanfare or public recognition. This individual fills in when and wherever needed and always performs at a high level; takes initiative to solve problems and improve work situations without being prompted; demonstrates reliability, perseverance, and focus on results; and helps others by sharing knowledge of the institution’s practices and job-related skills. This person is continually both a real benefit to coworkers and a stable, dependable resource for the entire University.

The Team Award is an honor for a department, group, or team (two or more individuals) whose collaboration has demonstrated success and made an overall contribution to the University. If an entire department is nominated, the nomination cannot be submitted by a member of the department. If a group within a department is nominated, the nomination can be submitted by a non-group team member.

The Outstanding Peer Award provides an opportunity for employees to recognize a peer for outstanding service in the workplace. This award exemplifies excellence in peer-to-peer assistance. The award recipient should be a faculty or staff member who motivates co-workers to continually improve, who has made a professional impact on a peer, and who shares knowledge to help peers be successful. The recipient acts as a role model, an inspiration, and a source of support in the workplace and demonstrates a dedicated interest in helping peers and/or co-workers. Note: This category is not meant for submissions by a supervisor about a subordinate employee, or by an employee about their supervisor.

To nominate someone for a UConn Spirit Award, use the online nomination form.