Dean's Excellence Awards

Applications for Dean’s Excellence Awards

Previously, UTM had only one decanally administered and adjudicated award for undergraduate academic excellence: the Dean’s Essay Prize.  The Dean struck a committee in 2009 to explore possibilities for other awards to recognize the range of academic projects and avenues that our students can pursue as part of their coursework and identified the following four awards.  Please note that, in each case, nominations must be reviewed by the department Chair/Director who will decide which will be submitted to the Dean.

General Requirements and Guidelines

In each category, the department may nominate up to one (1) piece of work per academic year.

A particular piece of work may only be submitted in one category – the work will be disqualified if submitted to more than one award category.

Nominations for the Research, Writing and Creative Activity awards should focus on one specific piece of work by the student, rather than a range or assortment of pieces of work. (The Experiential Learning award, in contrast, requires the consideration of a range of work.)

Multi-stage projects within a single class are not recommended for submission in separate categories; for example, a paper and a video by the same student on the same topic for the same class is not recommended for submission to both the Writing and Creative Activity awards.

The deadline for submissions of nominations to the Dean’s Office for all awards will be TBA-Spring 2023. Submissions may come from courses or experiences occurring in Summer 2022, Fall 2022 and/or Winter 2023 terms.

Departments are advised to set their own internal deadlines at least a week before the Dean’s Office deadline, to choose between multiple nominations within award categories from their unit. This may also provide an opportunity for departments to consider their own internal awards of similar type. Notification of the awards will be sent prior to Graduation award ceremonies. Award winners will each receive a prize of $500.

Writing Excellence Award

To be awarded to a student on the basis of writing excellence in a course. Papers of 2000 words or more on any subject are eligible, including, but not limited to critical essays, research papers, and theses. Creative writing is not eligible but will be considered for a separate award (see below). Students will be nominated by their instructors, with a rationale speaking to the criteria for the award.

The nomination package should include:

  • A statement from the instructor outlining their rationale for the nomination and the context of the piece of work
  • The piece of work produced by the student

Award for Excellence in Creative Activity

To be awarded to a student who has exhibited excellence in creative activities in their programs, including, but not limited to the production of first-rate visual or digital art or media, high achievement in the dramatic arts (i.e. directing, acting), and creative writing.

  • A statement from the instructor outlining their rationale for the nomination and the context of the piece of work
  • The piece of work produced by the student. For dynamic work, i.e. performances or digital media, a sample of the work of not more than 10 minutes should be submitted. Presentations should be submitted as performances of this kind, not as slide sets or scripts.

Award for Research Excellence

For students who were registered in Research-Intensive courses (i.e. the Research Opportunity Program; Senior Project Classes; Independent Research Courses, Advanced Laboratory Courses, etc.)

Nominations will be reviewed on the basis of: independence, rigour, creativity, overall performance of the student, intellectual/professional growth, contribution to the field, research methods/outcomes, etc., as best suits each type of research work.

The nomination package should include:

  • A statement from the instructor outlining their rationale for the nomination and the context of the piece of work
  • The piece of work produced by the student, which may include but is not limited to: papers/research journals, research and practical papers, website creation, photographic journaling, documented visual displays.

Excellence in Experiential Learning Award

For students who were registered in Experiential Learning opportunities/courses (i.e. Academic Internships, Community Engaged Service Learning, Practica, Work-Integrated Learning, Field Courses, and other unique course experiences).

Nominations will be reviewed on the basis of: independence, rigour, creativity, overall performance of the student, intellectual/professional growth, distinguished contribution to the community or placement site, reflection on activities, research methods/outcomes, etc.
The nomination package should include:

  • A statement from the instructor outlining their rationale for the nomination and the context of the piece of work
  • A statement of excellence of work produced by the student
  • Pertinent information including papers written by the student and/or a chronicle of his/her activities
  • If the student was placed with the community:
    • The package should include a statement from the community partner and/or placement supervisor
    • Reflection piece
    • Any other records that capture how the performance of the student was exceptional