Two-week celebration of excellence planned

Julia Spears

Julia Spears

University officials are working to organize a two-week “celebration of excellence” to highlight accomplishments of NIU students, faculty and staff during the academic year.

“Each spring, we do a good job of honoring the accomplishments of the campus community, but those events are scattered across several weeks and each promoted individually,” said Julia Spears, director of the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning.

“Our goal is to pull all of those things under one umbrella to make sure that no program gets overlooked and all honorees get the recognition they deserve.”

The goal is to create a concentrated calendar of events between April 14 and April 28, 2013. Qualifying events included within that range of dates will be featured on a university website and highlighted in a publication.

Plans are to conclude the two-week observance with a lecture by a high-profile speaker.

“We believe that will better shine a light on the amazing breadth and quality of work going on around campus – by faculty, students and staff – when it is presented in a concentrated, focused manner,” Spears said.

Currently, 13 events are already been penciled in on the calendar, including the Faculty Awards Ceremony (April 18), Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day (April 23), Graduate Student Research Association Conference (April 27) and the Outstanding Women Awards.

Other events are eligible for inclusion, but must meet a few criteria. To be included, an event must:

  • Reward, honor or recognize excellence in science, artistry or service on campus;
  • Highlight university-wide award or multi-disciplinary awards (that is to say, awards presented by colleges or departments for which only individuals from those areas are eligible, would not be eligible), at least multi-disciplinary; and
  • Honor contributions to the academic excellence of the institution.

Organizations that wish to include their events within the framework of this effort should contact either Vice Provost Anne Birberick or Dean of the Graduate School Bradley Bond to determine if it qualifies.

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