Nomination Information

Sponsored by the Office of the President, the Presidential Awards for Faculty Excellence were created to recognize, promote, and honor outstanding members of our community for excellence in teaching, research, social impact, and diversity & inclusion. Award recipients will be announced and recognized in Spring 2022.

For 2021-22 there will be an important change in the awards program. In three of the four award categories—Research, Teaching, and Diversity and Inclusive Excellence—there will be separate awards for recipients at different stages of their careers.

Nomination Process
To nominate a faculty member, please write a letter explaining why the person is competitive for the award that directly responds to the relevant award criteria, and submit it to The letter should be no more than 1400 words.  Below are the criteria for each award, as well as links to the rubrics the committee will use when evaluating nominees. For the three award categories in which there will be multiple recipients, nomination letters should specify the nominee’s stage of career.

Nominees must be Instructional/Research faculty.  Please note that self-nominations are not permitted, and no individual will be considered for more than one award in any given year. Questions about the nomination process should be addressed to Brian Platt  or Kimberly Eby

The deadline for submitting nominations has been extended to Wednesday, March 2.

Evaluation Criteria

Excellence in Teaching Award

Outstanding teaching is an integral part of Mason’s mission and is deserving of significant recognition. The care and rigor that our best teachers bring to each lesson fosters enthusiasm that will launch a lifetime of critical thinking. This begins in our classrooms, labs, and studios, where faculty work closely with students, and extends beyond classrooms into the work that faculty do designing curriculum, mentoring students, and supporting teaching excellence in their departments and academic communities. The John Toups Medals for Excellence in Teaching will be presented annually to faculty members whose teaching inspires and stimulates students in the finest tradition of higher education.   

Submissions will be evaluated in light of evidence in the following areas: 

  • Growth and development as an educator 
  • Student and learner engagement 
  • Assessment of student learning and teaching effectiveness 
  • Evidence of transformative impact 

Excellence in Research Award

Outstanding research that is robust and consequential is an integral part of Mason’s mission and is deserving of significant recognition. The accomplishments of Mason’s most esteemed and respected faculty advance knowledge and extend frontiers of understanding consistent with our university’s mission as a comprehensive public research university.

The Beck Family Medal for Excellence in Research recognizes extraordinary contributions by members of the Mason faculty to consequential research of high impact. The award is presented annually to a Mason faculty member whose research represents groundbreaking advances in their field.

Submissions will be evaluated in light of evidence in the following areas:

  • Evidence of consequential research of high impact,
  • Evidence of the dissemination and communication of the research findings and their application, and
  • Evidence that the research will have meaningful consequences for society.

Excellence in Social Impact Award

Outstanding impact in society is an integral part of Mason’s mission – the university aspires to be not the best university in the world, but the best university for the world. Consistent with the ideals of the Carnegie Foundation, this award recognizes outstanding efforts in contributing to “the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.” The Earle C. Williams Medal for Excellence in Social Impact is presented annually to a faculty member in any discipline whose commitment to community service and impact inspires students, improves the quality of life in our region, and serves as a model to the entire Mason Nation. 

Submissions will be evaluated in light of evidence in the following areas: 

  • Commitment to the social, geographic, economic, cultural, and/or environmental betterment of the community 
  • Engagement in reciprocal, collaborative activities with community stakeholders, such as volunteerism, service-learning, community-based research, and/or other educational programming 
  • Visible, lasting, and sustainable impact on the community 

Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award

Diversity and inclusion represent core values of George Mason University, where we aspire to respect differences and include and embrace a multitude of people and ideas in everything we do. The United Bank Medal for Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion was created by the Office of the President to recognize extraordinary contributions in research – defined to include research, scholarship and creative works– teaching, and/or service that directly advance diversity and inclusion within and outside of the Mason community.  

Submissions will be evaluated in light of evidence in the following areas: 

  • The infusion of diversity and inclusion in curriculum and/or instructional approaches 
  • Intentional support for the academic success and well-being of diverse students 
  • Research, scholarship, and/or creative work that promote diversity and inclusion 
  • Efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion locally, nationally, and/or internationally 

Composition of Review Team 

A team of faculty representatives and senior leaders from relevant areas (Office of Compliance, Diversity and Ethics; Research Council; Social Impact, Entrepreneurship and Innovation; and prior Award Recipients), led by the Presidential Fellow and Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Development, will comprise the Presidential Awards committee and will solicit nominations annually.