Student Leadership & Community Engagement Awards

Purpose

The purpose of the Student Leadership and Community Engagement Awards is to recognize the distinguished undergraduate, graduate students, student organizations, faculty, and staff for their promotion of leadership, community, and quality of student life at Mills College. This space serves to highlight leadership through the practice of community, solidarity, and social justice. 

Nominations

Any Mills College student, faculty, or staff member may nominate a Mills College student, faculty member, or staff member for the Student Leadership and Community Engagement Awards. Please review the criteria and eligibility below for more information. To submit a nomination, complete the online nomination form during the nomination period. Nominations will be accepted online. Nominations will not be accepted after 9:00 am on Thursday, March 14.

Please click here to submit your nomination. Late submissions will not be considered. Selections will be made by a committee of students, staff, and faculty and announced at the Student Leadership and Community Engagement Awards Ceremony 7:00-9:00 pm, Thursday, April 18, in Lisser Hall.

Guidelines

The Student Leadership and Community Engagement Awards are given to current Mills College students, faculty, and staff who have had an extraordinary and positive impact on the College community, including achievements within the College at large and the larger community. Successful nominations should demonstrate that the individual or organization has made a significant and positive contribution to the College in one or more of the following ways:

  • Building community
  • Enhancing wellness
  • Promoting social justice and advocacy
  • Demonstrating civic responsibility
  • Actively volunteering
  • Creating innovative and new projects or activities
  • Innovating and enhancing existing College programs or services
  • Exhibiting outstanding leadership with an organization or project

Eligibility

The following are eligibility requirements that must be met by each nominee.

  • Student nominees must be in good academic standing.
  • Student nominees must be registered during the semester the award will be given, or have graduated the previous December.
  • Nominations should be based on achievements that date from March of the previous year; for the 2019 awards, nominations should be based on achievements between April 2018 and April 2019, unless otherwise noted.
  • Nominated organizations must be currently registered with the Office of Student Activities or with an academic department.
  • Typically, work done as part of a compensated role is not considered, however extraordinary achievement by a student who goes above and beyond the normal expectations of work will be considered. Please indicate in your nomination if this is the case.
  • Current Mills College faculty, staff, and students are eligible to nominate a student for the Student Leadership and Community Engagement Awards. Self-nominations are also accepted.

Awards and Descriptions

Student Leadership Awards

Class Standing Based Awards

  • Senior Award in Honor of Christine LaFia: Senior with outstanding service to the College over their entire time at Mills

  • Outstanding Junior of the Year: Recognizes a junior student has demonstrated leadership in working towards racial and gender justice and intersecting causes and exhibited involvement working for freedom, solidarity, and/or dignity for all people.

  • Emerging Leader of the Year: Recognizes a first-year, sophomore, or new transfer who has demonstrated leadership in working towards racial justice, gender justice, and intersecting causes and exhibited involvement working for freedom, solidarity, and/or dignity for all people.

  • Graduate Leader of the Year: Recognizes a graduate student who has demonstrated leadership in working towards racial justice, gender justice, and intersecting causes and exhibited involvement working for freedom, solidarity, and/or dignity for all people.

Service to Identity/Affinity Community Awards

  • Helen Carroll Award: Recognizes a student, or a faculty or staff member for their dedication to securing equal rights and combating discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

  • Asian Leadership Award in Honor of Peg Dean: Established by Alumna Edyth Chan to recognize an Asian American student for demonstrated leadership on campus.

  • Black Leadership Award: Recognizes a student who demonstrates social justice advocacy in service to the Black community.

  • Latinx Leadership AwardRecognizes a student who demonstrates social justice advocacy in service to the Latinx community.

  • Global Citizens Leadership AwardRecognizes a student who demonstrates social justice advocacy in service to international issues and global justice

  • Diversity in LeadershipAward:Recognizes a student who advocates for the awareness and engagement of multiracial and/or multiethnic identities as part of the Mills Community.  

  • Indigenous Leadership Award: Recognizes a student who demonstrates social justice advocacy in service to Indigenous communities.

  • Coleen Gragen Award: Recognizes a student or a faculty or staff member for their dedication and advocacy for women.

  • Outstanding Leadership in Spiritual and Religious Life Award:Recognizes a student who is innovative in their approach to leadership at the intersections of spirituality, religion, and social change within the Mills campus community.

  • Eco-Justice Leadership Award: Recognizes a student who has demonstrated leadership and social justice advocacy in furthering environmental and social sustainability into the campus culture.

Campus Service Awards

  • Shirley Weishaar Award: Recognizes a student for outstanding service to the Division of Student Life over their entire time at Mills.

  • Palladium Society: Recognizes juniors and seniors who combine academic excellence with service to the College over their entire time at Mills. Palladium requires a 3.0 GPA.

  • Student Organization Advisor of the Year: Recognizes a campus advisor who dedicates time and resources to the advancement of a club or organization. The nominee offers support to students through mentorship, guidance, and advocacy. The nominees are nominated by their student organization members.

  • Student Organization of the Year: Recognizes a club/organization that has demonstrated leadership in working towards racial justice, gender justice, and intersecting causes and exhibited involvement working for freedom, solidarity, and/or dignity for all people. Presented to an organization that has demonstrated through their events and activities, outstanding collaboration and dedication to educating the Mills and broader community in support of the College’s and the ASMC mission.

  • Athlete of the Year: Recognizes a student who has participated in sports at Mills and has exhibited involvement working for freedom, solidarity, and/or dignity for all people.

  • Artist of the Year: Recognizes a student who has exhibited excellence in the arts and/or effectively used art as a medium for social change.

Community Engagement Awards 

Mills established awards in 2004 to distinguish the accomplishments and contributions of people of color both as individual leaders and to the greater Mills community. This space served to highlight leadership through the practice of community, solidarity, and social justice.

In spring 2006, the Mills of Color Awards (MoCA) were combined with the campus Student Leadership Awards in order to centrally highlight the achievements of all students, while honoring the legacy of these important community-based awards.

In 2016, the Mills of Color Awards were transformed into the Community Engagement Awards (CEA). This shift acknowledges both the growing diversity of Mills and the equity in which students of color are acknowledged for their leadership throughout the College.

The Community Engagement Awards criteria are:

  • Demonstrated leadership in working towards racial justice and intersecting causes 
  • Exhibited involvement working for freedom, solidarity, and/or dignity for all people.

Awards are given to:

  • CEA Student Organization of the Year
  • CEA Athlete of the Year
  • CEA Artist of the Year
  • CEA Community Service Leader of the Year
  • CEA Community Activism of the Year
  • CEA Staff Member of the Year
  • CEA Faculty Member of the Year
  • CEA Graduate Leader of the Year
  • CEA Emerging Leader of the Year
  • CEA Junior Leader of the Year
  • CEA Senior Leader of the Year