Tips to strengthen award nominations

Being nominated for an Extension Superior Service Award is truly an honor from your peers. But being selected for the award depends strictly on the merits of a written nomination. So…ATTENTION all nominators: follow these tips to make your entry as competitive as possible.

First, rest assured, it’s not at all unusual for a nomination to be submitted repeatedly before being selected. Its competitiveness will vary from year-to-year, depending on the pool of nominations. The key is making an entry as strong as possible to begin with and updating resubmissions with more than just a new date.

Key points from the Superior Service guidelines: except for Distinguished Career, all the award categories are intended to recognize outcome programming or organizational initiatives from which significant impacts have occurred during the last 2 to 5 years. Planning and implementation may have started before that, but the evidence of impacts should include a recent track record.

On page 5 of the guidelines, you’ll see the “Criteria for Assessing a Nomination,” which are followed by the Extension Honor Awards Review Committee. Bottom line, it’s best to document a major programming effort and to minimize descriptions of the nominee’s overall responsibilities and how well the nominee fulfills typical roles.

In that context, try to convey the programmatic goal for which the nominee’s events and activities served as methodology. As far as writing the nomination…

—do collaborate with the nominee.

—give clear attribution; use active voice to say what the nominee initiated, organized, led, acquired, implemented, achieved, etc., versus “The program was implemented…”

—include quotes and supporting letters that, rather than being a character reference, corroborate the benefits and impacts of a program, preferably from a clientele or stakeholder perspective.


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