21st Century Leaders Award - Call for Nominations

UMass Amherst Commencement 21st Century Leaders21st Century Leaders Matthew Sparks, Abdifatah S. Omar, Michael Joseph Nicholson, Soun H. Lee, and Ritika Kumar are honored for their exemplary standards of achievement, initiative, and social awareness.
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The UMass Amherst College of Social & Behavioral Sciences (SBS) naturally creates leaders. If you think you are a candidate for the 21st Century Leader Award, who will be honored at Commencement, we encourage you to apply. The application is below.

Nominations are due on or before December 20, 2017.

This award recognizes the strong academic record and exemplary achievement of undergraduate students who further distinguished their intellectual accomplishments, and enhanced the reputation of the University by contributing to the campus community in one or more of the following ways:

  • Demonstrating strong leadership qualities, characterized by the ability to unite and inspire others toward positive action
  • Expanding the intellectual climate of their academic area through noteworthy original research
  • Markedly improving the quality of life for others through community service, either internal to the University or beyond the borders of our campus
  • Advancing the teaching mission of the University as an exceptional undergraduate teaching assistant whose efforts continually motivate others to learn
  • Exemplifying perseverance and courage by overcoming extraordinary personal obstacles through resolve and a determination to excel
  • Participating in the demands of public presentations, either by exhibiting a truly inspiring caliber of artistic talent, through creation or performance, or by excelling in the competitive demands of athleticism


Nominations are due on or before December 20, 2017 to the Office of External Relations and University Events in 305 Whitmore Administration Building or erue@umass.edu.  Successful nominees will be characterized by their determination to fulfill their academic potential and achieve personal goals. They will be exemplars within the undergraduate community, having demonstrated intelligence, integrity, discipline, courage, compassion, and a sense of humor.  They will be recognized for this high academic performance, and for the prestige and honor they bring to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, both as undergraduates and as alumni joining the larger community.


Up to ten students will be awarded the 21st Century Leaders Award at the 2018 Commencement Ceremony. Recipients will receive a plaque and an award of $1,000 from the UMass Amherst Alumni Association.


If you have questions, please contact the Office of External Relations and University Events, which coordinates this award, at 413-577-1101 or erue@umass.edu.

Nomination Forms

Download the 21st Century Leaders Award Nomination Form

Download the 21st Century Leaders Award Personal Statement Form