Outstanding Undergraduate Community Engagement Awards

Call for Nominations

The Office of Civic Engagement & Service-Learning and the Provost Committee for Service-Learning invites nominations for this year’s Outstanding Undergraduate Community Engagement Awards. These awards recognize sustained community engagement on the part of undergraduate students who value community knowledge creation and center collaborative partnerships. At UMass Amherst, community engagement is central to the University’s mission of cooperative and collaborative work which benefits not only UMass students but also the community at large.

Nominees for these awards may be involved in service-learning classes, research projects for non-profits, internships, public policy work, local community service, and other community partnerships. Award winners will be honored at Civic Engagement & Service-Learning’s annual CESLebration and presented with a certificate of recognition. 


Outstanding Undergraduate Community Engagement Awards

These awards are given yearly to undergraduate students that have shown deep commitment to community engagement. These exemplary students are recognized as emerging leaders on campus and in their community. Often, they are deeply committed to community and civic engagement and play integral roles in various programs, courses, and/or activities, and they serve as role models for other undergraduate students. 

There are two categories of this award: 

  • Individual community engagement award: This award recognizes an outstanding individual student who has demonstrated over the course of their time at UMass a commitment to lifelong learning, reciprocal community engagement, and working towards equity and social justice.
  • Group community engagement award: This award recognizes a team-based project (where the team can be a class or a group, for example) that engages a specific civic issue/community need for the mutual benefit of learners and a community partner. 


Submission & Timeline

  • Combine all components of the nomination packet (detailed below) into a single PDF file following this naming convention based on award type:
    • IndividualAward_LastName_FirstName. 
    • GroupAward_ProjectName.
  • Submit the nomination packet as a single file via email to: Candice Travis, ctravis@umass.edu, no later than 5:00 pm on April 8, 2022. 
  • Applicants will be notified of decisions in late April 2022, and will be recognized at Civic Engagement & Service-Learning’s annual CESLebration on May 5, 2022. 



All UMass students currently enrolled, either part-time or full-time, are eligible to be nominated. Undergraduate students who have completed engaged work during their time at UMass or are currently engaged in on-going work can be nominated. Nominations can be either for an individual or a group (team, class, research group), but please note the difference in nomination packet requirements, detailed below. 

Any member of the UMass community or the community at large can submit a nomination on behalf of an undergraduate student, and self-nominations are permitted



Nominations should consist of the following (please note the difference in materials for individual and group awards):

  • A cover letter (no more than 2 pages) from the person making the nomination. This letter should be addressed to the Committee and should describe the record of accomplishment in community-engaged activities of the nominee, addressing the review criteria detailed below. 
  • For individual awards: A resume/short biography (no more than 2 pages; the committee suggests a single page resume paired with a single page biography) which highlights the student’s engagement and contribution to the community. 
  • For group awards: A short description (no more than 1 page) of the group’s work highlighting how the project impacts the community as well as a list of group members involved in the project. The list of group members should include a 1 sentence biography of each individual on the project. 
  • A single letter of support from a community partner organization, faculty, or staff member (no more than 2 pages). 
  • OPTIONAL: Additional support material (no more than 4 pages) can be included, such as additional letters of support, project abstracts, poster presentations, links to multimedia materials, blog posts, etc. 


Award Criteria 

Nominations will be evaluated using the following selection criteria, which are adapted from the campus’ extended definition of community engagement. 

For both individual and group awards, nominations should address the following criteria: 

  • Helps to promote the civic/community engagement goals of the University
  • Serves as a role model for other students
  • Addresses concrete social or community needs
  • Enriches the lives and promotes the well-being of individuals, families, and communities
  • Represents an on-going and sustainable effort
  • Displays/suggests a trajectory of engaged community work

Number of awards is at the discretion of the Awards Committee.


Please direct any questions about this award program or the nomination process to Candice Travis, ctravis@umass.edu