Overall Commission Awards


Overall Commission Awards recognize exemplary leaders, commissions, and directorate members. These awards are announced during the ACPA Awards Ceremony at the ACPA Convention.

Deadline to nominate is 30 November 2021
​Overall Commision Awards are coordinated by Tara Milliken, Assembly Coordinator for Commissions Elect​. 

Excellent Contribution to the ACPA Strategic Priorities

ACPA has identified 6 strategic goals: Career Development, Professional Development; Leadership in Higher Education, Social Justice, Research and Scholarship and Association Performance and Excellence. In addition, ACPA has had more recently focused on racial justice and decolonization, hoping to specifically target efforts toward reducing the oppression of communities of color at the intersections of their identities, knowing that all oppressions are linked and that the work is ongoing.  The purpose of the Excellence in Contributions to the ACPA Strategic Priorities is to highlight the work done by an entity in furthering one goal in a substantial way or affording time and attention to multiple initiatives focusing on multiple strategic goals.

Excellence in Research and Scholarship

Research and scholarship have long been the life-blood of ACPA.  This award focuses specifically on the efforts made by a commission to engage in specific research and or scholarship that furthers the knowledge used by practitioners in service to students, to staff, or to the academy.  Submissions might highlight white-papers, research projects, journal articles, and or books, just to name a few possibilities.

Distinguished Commission Directorate Member

This award presents a commissions with the opportunity to recognize an individual who consistently goes above and beyond to provide leadership within the group. An outstanding directorate member is one who contributes something sustainable and lasting for the group; or rises to the level of being a leader among leaders, pulling a group together in a substantive way.

Distinguished Commission Chair

This award recognizes excellence in leadership of a commission.  Excellence can come in a variety of forms. The following list is designed to assist nominators in identifying what distinguishes their chair.  It is not exhaustive. Distinguished chairs may: 1) provide strong administrative leadership to the group that allows the group to understand the tasks before the group and work both independently as well as collaboratively to accomplish tasks; 2) be visionary, looking to what could be, not what is, and rallying the commission membership to work toward the goal; 3) provide strong mentorship of members within the commission and or within ACPA; and 4) strategic in their efforts, guiding commission members to accomplish efforts designed to stabilize or grow the commission.

Excellence in Programming and Professional Development

This award recognizes efforts of an entity to foster programs and developmental opportunities that enrich the professional experiences of ACPA members and or invited student affairs and other academic participants.  Activities that might be highlighted include, but are not limited to:

  • Hosting regional, web-based, national pre-conference, or national series programs in an area pertinent to the professional lives of participants.
  • Engaging in initiatives that foster an understanding or highlight the importance of an issue or topic
  • Serving as a thought leadership team regarding a facet of student affairs practice or process.

Overall Distinguished Commission

Commissions come in a variety of sizes, are varied in longevity and have different resource bases.  A distinguished commission is one that can work with the resources it has at its disposal and demonstrates distinguished leadership by providing balanced, innovative, and sustainable products, projects and or services within or across the commissions and to ACPA.  

Excellence in Innovation

The award for Excellence in Innovation recognizes a singular effort that is innovative in terms of process, product or service within student affairs.  

Individual Commission Awards

Thank you for your interest in nominating a colleague or initiative for an award presented by one of our commission!

  • Commission Awards are due 1 November 2021 via Jotform
  • Questions about Commission Awards can be directed to Assembly Coordinator for Commissions Brian Arao barao@ucsc.edu

To find out more about the individual awards ACPA Commissions offer, you can either explore awards by category (e.g., new professional, program/imitative) or by Commission.

Awards by Category

You can search awards by category by accessing this spreadsheet

Commissions give out awards in the following categories:

  1. Individual Awards by Professional Level:
    1. Undergraduate & Graduate Student Awards
    2. New Professional Awards
    3. Mid-Level Professional Awards
    4. Experienced/Senior Level Professional Awards and Lifetime Awards
  2. Program/Initiative Awards
  3. Research, Publication, Contribution to Knowledge and other Scholarship-related Awards
  4. Research and Writing Grants (funding associated with the award)
  5. Service Awards (including Service to a Community/Profession/Field, Service to a Commission, Mentoring Awards)
  6. Travel Awards (funding associated with the award)
  7. Social Justice, Sustainability, Collaboration, & Institutional Change Awards
  8. Specialty Awards (e.g., Technology-related Awards, Trailblazer Awards)

The following Commissions give out awards:
Click on the Commission name to be redirected to the Commission's Award page with detailed descriptions and requirements for each of their awards.

Academic Affairs

Academic Support in Higher Education

Administrative Leadership
(on hiatus)

Admissions, Orientation, and First-Year Experience

Campus Safety & Emergency Preparedness

Career Services

Commuter Students & Adult Learners

Counseling & Psychological Services

Global Dimensions of Student Development

Graduate & Professional Student Affairs

Housing & Residential Life

Professional Preparation

Recreation, Athletics, & Wellness

Social Justice Education

Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Meaning (on hiatus)

Student Conduct & Legal Issues

Student Involvement

Two-Year Colleges

Past Recipients