Recognize an ally with the Eychaner Award

The Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (PCSOGI) and Prism seek nominations every spring for the Eychaner Award, which is presented to recognize individuals affiliated with NIU who have made outstanding contributions that enhance the lives of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer spectrum (LGBTQ+). The award is presented in two categories, one recognizing the contributions made by a student and one recognizing the contributions made by a faculty or staff member or an NIU alumnus/a.

The presentation of the Eychaner Award serves as an opportunity to:

  • recognize and encourage the leadership, dedication, and commitment of individuals who have made positive contributions to social justice and equality on behalf of people identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer spectrum;
  • honor and celebrate the goal of creating a society which accepts and values people who are LGBTQ+;
  • make individuals’ positive contributions to the LGBTQ+ community visible to the wider community;
  • recognize achievements and contributions which might otherwise go unnoticed.

To be eligible for the award, nominees must be affiliated with Northern Illinois University for 2 or more years. Individuals nominated should have distinguished themselves by making significant contributions for the betterment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer spectrum community, either locally, regionally, or nationally. Nominations for co-recipients within a category will be considered only when the nominees’ contributions were made as part of a collaborative or team effort, indicating that the nominees jointly accomplished the achievement for which they are nominated.

Nominations for this award must be made by a member of the operating staff, supportive professional staff, faculty, student body, or alumni. A complete nomination must include the nomination form, a letter of nomination and one additional letter of support. The letter of support does not have to be written by individuals affiliated with NIU.

Leadership and service considered for nomination may be in the form of, but not limited to:

  • serving in leadership positions in organizations serving the LGBTQ+ community;
  • initiating and/or implementing cultural or educational programming, or workshops, trainings, or seminars;
  • serving as an advocate on issues of importance to the LGBTQ+ community;
  • performing outreach activities to heterosexual/cisgender allies on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community;
  • serving as a mentor or advisor to LGBTQ+ or heterosexual/cisgender ally students, peers, or colleagues;
  • publishing literary or scholarly works on topics related to sexual orientation or gender identity;
  • developing courses or teaching in a manner inclusive of LGBTQ+ history and experience.

A list of past recipients is available on the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center’s website and a printable nomination form is available online. Nominations are due by Monday, March 18, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. and can be emailed to gsrc@niu.edu

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