Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, UConn faculty and staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty to preserve the mission of the University, lessen the disruptive effects of the pandemic on students, and create innovative solutions to problems no one had imagined prior to 2020.
Now, to recognize those outstanding efforts, President Thomas C. Katsouleas has established the President’s COVID Recognition Awards, which will pay tribute to the individual and collective achievements of faculty and staff members since March.
“While the awards themselves will be given to specific faculty and staff members, the purpose of this initiative is to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of the entire UConn community in the face of unprecedented challenges,” Katsouleas says.
Specifically, the awards will honor individuals or teams within the University in the categories of Community, Online, Valor, Innovation, and Diversity and Inclusion:
- Community: This category honors those who have demonstrated a commitment to UConn’s role in bettering and serving its community. Community may include faculty, staff, and students, in areas in which our campuses are located and around the state.
- Online: This is a word that will forever be associated with the necessary pivot to remote instruction, student services and operations in response to the pandemic. The Online category seeks to identify and celebrate all facets of the University’s move to a virtual environment.
- Valor: This category recognizes leadership in its many forms. Individual employees or teams that approach their work selflessly, thinking beyond themselves, and embodying courage, determination, and bravery.
- Innovation: The pandemic has required the extensive modification of existing resources, as well as prompting the creation of new initiatives. The Innovation category seeks to recognize an individual or team that inspired or created something new in response to the pandemic.
- Diversity and Inclusion: This category seeks to recognize an individual or team that has supported the creation of a welcoming and supportive environment at UConn with efforts to counter disparities resulting from COVID-19.
Nominations for the awards are now open, with a virtual celebration scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 28, from noon to 1 p.m.
“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, countless individuals and departments at UConn were forced to work together as never before, at a rapid and exhaustive pace,” Katsouleas says. “This is one of the most significant tests in our 139-year history, and our community has showed truly remarkable determination and creativity in response. These awards are a tangible way of recognizing that perseverance and adaptability that together represent the best of the Husky spirit.”