• awards

Each year we bring our campus together to recognize the achievements and accomplishments of our outstanding student leaders.  This celebration awards students, clubs, organizations, and advisors in recognition of their outstanding campus leadership, contributions, and service to our community.

This year’s Student Life Awards will take place on Thursday, April 27th 2023 at 6pm in the Grand Maple Ballroom.


We rely heavily on our campus colleagues (student leaders, staff, faculty, etc) to let us know about their amazing student leaders.  If you would like to see which best suits the recognition of your student leader, below are the types of awards and its descriptions.

Senior Awards

The Outstanding Student Leader Awards are among the most prestigious awards presented by the University of Vermont. The students recognized are nominated by fellow members of the campus community—including students, faculty and staff—for their leadership, scholarship and service to the University. Unlike the Student Life Awards, the Senior Awards will be presented at commencement. You can learn more about each senior award (and nominate an awesome senior you know!) below:

Nominate for Senior Awards Here!

The Mary Jean Simpson Award

Identifies the senior who best exemplifies the qualities of character, leadership, and scholarship. The award is named for Mary Jean Simpson, Dean of Women from 1937 - 1954, who displayed her commitment to students, their education, and the community. Nominate here!

The Kidder Medal

Identifies the senior ranking first in leadership, scholarship, and character. It is named in honor of Fred T. Kidder, an 1880 graduate who received his M.D. degree in 1883 and later served on the University of Vermont Board of Trustees. Nominate here!

The Class of '67 Award

Recognizes a senior student who has satisfied two of the three: (1) active membership in three recognized student activities; (2) University recognition in a varsity athletic sport; and/or (3) election to an office in a recognized student activity. The recipient must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, be respected by their peers, and be of high moral character. Nominate here!

The Keith M. Miser Leadership Award

Recognizes the student who has been successful in campus leadership endeavors. Keith M. Miser was affiliated with UVM from 1971 until 1988. He began his career here as the Director of Residential Life and was promoted to Dean of Students in 1975. He was what one might call "the student's dean". This award honors Keith's idea of student involvement and recognizes a student who has contributed to the campus through their leadership on campus. Nominate here!

The Elmer Nicholson Achievement Prize

Recognizes a student for whom "emergence" is an overriding characteristic. The Nicholson Achievement Prize recognizes the greatness of the student's total UVM experience and, based on that greatness, there is an expectation that the student will make a major contribution in their field of interest. Elmer Nicholson, Class of 1939, received the Wasson Athletic Prize in his senior year. Nominate here!

Katherine Anne Kelly Award

This award recognizes a graduating senior who best exemplifies Kate’s ability to bravely battle very serious medical challenges while still graduating and engaging in UVM student life with passion, energy, and a smile. This award honors Katherine Anne Kelly, Class of 2000, who passed away in 2014 following a heroic battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Nominate here!


Awards for First Year, Sophomore & Junior Students

Outstanding Achievement Award

This award is presented to a student from each class year (FR, SO, JR) who, through their achievements, have made a valuable contribution and lasting impact on the UVM campus and/or surrounding community. Each nominee has demonstrated commitment, responsibility, and enthusiasm in their involvement and is valued and respected by those with whom they work. Nominate for Outstanding Achievement Award


Awards for All Class Years

Activism & Commitment to Justice Award

This award will be presented to a student who has demonstrated a commitment to justice and/or has been and activist, trying to create positive change for the campus, the Burlington community and/or the world. The individual should have strong leadership, passion, and dedication to a particular issue or collection of issues. Nominate for Activism & Commitment to Justice Award

Environmental Citizen Award (Co-sponsored by: UVM Eco-Reps and the Office of Sustainability)

The Environmental Citizen Award recognizes a UVM student who demonstrates outstanding commitment to the environment. Nominations are open to undergraduate students whose behavior set an example and inspire others to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. The award will go to the nominee that shows the most commitment, creativity, and leadership in their efforts to conserve and protect our natural resources. Nominate for Environmental Citizen Award

Patrick M. Brown Leadership Award

This award is presented to one student who has been involved in a variety of activities but has not necessarily held formal leadership positions. It recognizes a person who rarely receives recognition for their work "behind the scenes." Nominees have demonstrated great dedication and dependability, and have earned the respect of others. Nominate for Patrick M. Brown Leadership Award

The Spirit of Service Award

Honors a student who has participated in community service with vigor, devotion, and an unshakable positive attitude. This student serves with an inspirational and infectious optimism and leads the way for others through their actions and involvement. Nominate for The Spirit of Service Award

The Sustained Commitment Award

Recognizes a student who has truly been in it for the long haul. This student is someone who has actively and enduringly devoted time and energy to their program area throughout their tenure at UVM. Nominate for The Sustained Commitment Award

Outdoor Leadership Award

The Outdoor Leadership Award is presented to a student who exemplifies superb leadership abilities in the outdoors. This student shows a commitment to not only furthering their own technical skills and abilities in the context of outdoor adventure activities, but also is focused on teaching others these skills. This individual recognizes that the outdoors is an incredible tool to foster connections: connections between people and place; connections between members of a group; and connections in our own thoughts and spirits as we engage in the outdoors. This person is committed to making outdoor adventure accessible, sustainable, and, of course, fun for their fellow students. Nominate for the Outdoor Leadership Award


SGA Awards

President's Award for Outstanding Organization

Any student organization (club, team, honorary group, Greek chapter, etc.) is eligible to receive this award. The award is based on the organization's leadership, active members, growth over the past year, programmatic efforts, collaborative efforts with other groups, and contributions the organization has made to UVM and/or the surrounding community. Nominate for the President's Award for Outstanding Organization

Outstanding Advisor Award

Any advisor/coach to a student organization may receive this award. The award is given to an advisor who has fulfilled a strong educational role and has helped students learn through their involvement. They demonstrate dedication, availability, and energy in their involvement with their students. They are valued and respected by those students with whom they work and have a strong understanding of the organization's needs and goals. Nominate for the Outstanding Advisor Award


Career Center Awards

The Career Champion Award

Recognizes one staff and one faculty member annually who have gone above and beyond in encouraging the career exploration, readiness, and success of UVM students. These individuals are not Career Counselors per se, but dedicate a portion of their time to supporting the career development of students, consistently empowering them to seek meaningful work with confidence, courage, and curiosity. Learn more about The Career Champion Award, and Nominate for The Career Champion Award.



If you have any questions about the nomination or selection process, please feel free to call us in the Department of Student Life at (802) 656-2060.

2023 Timeline

  • Mid-March
    Call for Nominations Sent
  • April 7th at 4:30pm
    Student Life Award Nominations Due
  • April 14th at 4:30pm
    Senior Award Nominations Due
  • Mid April
    Student Life Award Nominees Notified
  • April 27th
    Student Life Leadership Awards


To submit a nomination, please follow the links below.  We will be accepting nominations for Student Life Awards through April 7th, and Senior Awards through April 14th.

Student Life Awards: 

(Includes the following): Activist & Commitment to Justice Award; Patrick M. Brown Leadership Award; Think.Care.Act Award; Outstanding Achievement Award (First, Second, & Third Year); Sustained Commitment in Service Award; Sprit of Service Award; Environmental Citizen Award.

Senior Awards:

Nominate Here!
(Includes the following): The Mary Jean Simpson Award; The Kidder Medal; The Class of '67 Award; The Keith M. Miser Leadership Award; The Elmer Nicholson Achievement Prize; Katherine Anne Kelly Award.

Career Services Career Champion Award:


SGA Outstanding Organization & Declan Connolly Outstanding Advisor Award: