Tips on developing a winning nomination dossier
The Teaching Awards Committee offers these useful suggestions gathered over twenty years’ experience reading nominations:
- Think ahead.
In order to create a compelling nomination by the early February deadline, begin the process of choosing your nominee and preparing the dossier as early as possible.
Anyone, faculty or student, may nominate a colleague, but all nominations should be communicated to the dean or department chair as appropriate. The dean or chair (as appropriate) confirms the value of the nomination(s) and signs the executive summary. The most useful executive summary does more than list the contents and reiterate the letters. In its own words, the summary illustrates why the Teaching Awards Committee should give an award to the nominee. Thus it makes a clear, persuasive case for the nominee. For example, the executive summary might identify the main reasons for the nomination and/or refer directly to the nominee’s strengths and talents.
- Prioritize and strategize.
These awards are offered every year. Rarely does the Committee choose winners from the same department or professional school in the same year. Thus, except in extraordinary circumstances, we recommend that you nominate only:
- One associate or full professor per year in the Open Awards category (Cavaliers’’ Distinguished Professorship, Alumni Distinguished Professor and All-University Award)
- One tenure-track assistant professor for the Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award.
- One colleague for each of the Specialized Awards (Excellence in Education Abroad, Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award, SCHEV Award, U.S. Professor of the Year Award).
- Divide up the work.
The colleague nominated for an award should not be asked to put their own nomination packet together. Nominees should only provide a reflective teaching statement and names of students and colleagues best qualified to write letters. Several faculty members may work together to nominate a colleague, for instance:
- One solicits letters from students, asking for at least six and choosing the best three. Letters from students showing originality and spontaneity, as well as critical thought, are most welcome!
- One solicits letters from colleagues and the chair.
- One summarizes the comments and quantitative data from student evaluations.
- One oversees the process, gets the nominee’s CV and reflective statement, and solicits the executive summary.
- Adhere strictly to the dossier format and requirements (Open Awards, Excellence in Education Abroad, Faculty Mentoring Award).
Extra pages, non-formatted pages, or late dossiers will not be accepted. Samples of award-winning faculty and dossiers are available for consultation at the Teaching Resource Center, Hotel D, 24 East Range (982-2815; firstname.lastname@example.org). Questions about the awards process or dossier materials should be addressed to the committee chair, Marva Barnett (mab7b), 982-2816, or to any Committee member:
Marva Barnett, Chair; Teaching Resource Center & French
Anne Coughlin, Law
Giorgio Carta, Chemical Engineering
Mary Margaret Frank, Darden
Stefano Grazioli, Commerce
Pamela Kulbok, Nursing
Dr. Mark Mendelsohn, Medicine
Trenton Merricks, A&S, Philosophy
John Quale, Architecture
Deborah Roach, A&S, Biology
Stephanie D. Van Hover, Education