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The College of Education Alumni Society supports awards in seven categories. These are presented each year to graduates and student teachers who have distinguished themselves in their profession. Please scroll down to view a list of awards and criteria.

To submit a nomination:

Alumni Award Nomination Form

Send completed nominations to:

Wanda Wasilko [email protected] 

Subject line: Alumni Society Awards Program

Nominations are accepted throughout the year. Nomination deadline is January 31st. Award recipients are announced at the Alumni Society Board meeting in March. Award recipients are honored in the Fall. 

General Guidelines for all Awards

Complete nominations shall consist of:

  • Completed Alumni Award Nomination Form
  • Resume or Vita
  • Letters of Support to include: 
    • 1 from Nominator
    • 2 additional letters of support

Nominations remain active for two selection periods. Selections are made by Alumni Society committees. 

For more information about the awards program, please contact the office of Alumni and Development at 814-863-2216.

Alumni Society Awards

Alumni Excellence Award (formerly the Excellence in Education Award-revised 2014)

The Alumni Excellence Award is the highest honor bestowed upon alumni of the College of Education. It recognizes career-long, sustained excellence of contributions and achievement in the nominee's chosen profession.

Specific criteria:

  1. Nominees will be evaluated for significant contributions to their chosen profession (in or out of the field of education) over the span of their career, for a period of 15 years or more;

  2. The nomination should include clear, compelling, and documented evidence of excellence through contributions to the nominees chosen field as exemplified in leadership, innovation, commitment, and/or service;

  3. Nominee must be a graduate of the College of Education (certification, baccalaureate, or advanced degree).

Link to Alumni Excellence and Excellence in Education Award recipients

This award recognizes alumni who showcase exemplary insight and fortitude in the area of workplace and/or community diversity. Selection is made on the basis of: fostering an environment in which diversity is understood, valued, and promoted; meeting the needs of employees and/or community members of traditionally underrepresented groups and/or diverse populations; collaborating with others who have shared goals around justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion; and creating diversity programs and/or initiatives that positively affect the nominee’s organization and/or community.

Specific criteria:

1. Nominee has been a catalyst for change regarding workplace diversity and inclusion and/or has impacted change within an industry, organization, and/or local community.

2. Nominee must be a graduate of the College of Education (certification, baccalaureate, or advanced degree).

The Leadership and Service Award recognizes those alumni who have distinguished themselves in their chosen profession, in or out of the field of education. Selection is made on the basis of leadership and service within a career, a community or to society in general.

Specific criteria:

  1. Achievement in a chosen field, in a community, or in society;

  2. Nominee must be a graduate of the College of Education (certification, baccalaureate, or advanced degree).

Link to previous Leadership and Service Award recipients

The Outstanding New Graduate Award recognizes recent graduates who have distinguished themselves in their new careers. Selection is made on the basis of the individual's advancement and excellence in a new job, in or out of the field of education.

Specific criteria:

  1. Outstanding contributions to and achievements in a new job;
  2. Nominees must be graduates from any program and of any degree level within the College of Education within five years of the date of nomination.

List of previous Outstanding New Graduate Award honorees

This award recognizes up to four outstanding student teachers every academic year. (Note: Nominations for this award are solicited through the College of Education’s Office of Curriculum & Instruction Field Experiences.)

list of previous Outstanding Student Teacher Award recipients

This Outstanding Teaching Award recognizes an exemplary individual in a full-time teaching capacity in the education profession. Selection is made on the basis of overall excellence in teaching methodologies, knowledge of the subject matter and the ability to inspire students.

Specific criteria:

  1. Nominee must be employed full-time in the teaching profession (traditional or non-traditional setting);
  2. Nominee must be a graduate of the College of Education (certification, baccalaureate, or advanced degree).

Link to previous Outstanding Teaching Award recipients

The Service to Penn State Award (new in 2014), recognizes those alumni and friends who have made significant contributions of time and talent to the College and/or the University.

Specific Criteria:

  1. Nominee will be evaluated on the basis of demonstrated commitment and dedication to enhancing the objectives of the College and/or the University.

list of previous Service to Penn State Award honorees