We gather each spring to recognize outstanding students, advisors, and organizations for their work and efforts over the past year.

The Hawkeye Excellence Awards nominations and applications are available each year to the over 500 organizations on campus. A team of volunteers read and judge all nominations.

Nomination forms:

Award recipients

  • IGNITE UI, Most Promising Student Organization
  • Men's Water Polo Club, Most Improved Student Organization
  • Jacob Hansen, Unsung Hero
  • Hallie Lartius, Outstanding Sustainability Leader
  • Food Pantry at Iowa, Outstanding Philanthropic Contribution
  • Device Advice Student Organization, Outstanding Community Contribution
  • HACAP, Outstanding Community Partner
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers - Virtual Diversity Networking Event, Outstanding Diversity Awareness Program
  • Eta Sigma Phi - The Little Things, Outstanding Program
  • The Doctor Is In, Outstanding Student Organization Collaboration
  • Bridget Joers, Leadership Legacy Award
  • Lindsey Meyer, Outstanding Student Organization Advisor
  • Summer Choi, Outstanding Student Organization Leader
  • Society of Women Engineers, Outstanding Student Organization
  • Iowa Hillel, Outstanding Sustainability Integration

Award descriptions and criteria

Most Promising New Student Organization

Most Promising New Student Organization goes to a student organization that has demonstrated significant motivation, creativity, innovation, and perseverance within its first year on campus. 

The student organization has demonstrated its promise by:

  • Recruiting members
  • Creating new, interesting, and well-attended programs and events
  • Providing new opportunities for students to participate in the community
  • Collaborating with other student organizations or University departments
  • Establishing a plan to transition future leaders to ensure continued organizational growth

Most Improved Student Organization

The successful organization for Most Improved Student Organization award has displayed significant effort for the improvement of the organization and therefore exhibited considerable progress in the development of the group. 

The winner of this award has demonstrated excellence in the following:

  • Revitalized membership (by improving recruitment and retention of new and diverse members)
  • Improved focus on the organization’s mission and internal operation
  • Created or improved program(s)/event(s)
  • Intentionally collaborated with other student organizations or University departments
  • Established a plan to ensure continued organizational growth and sustainability of the organization

Unsung Hero

The Unsung Hero award was created in 2009 to recognize the efforts of student leaders who may not necessarily be in a leadership position within an organization, but whose behind the scenes efforts are greatly needed and appreciated. These leaders may be quiet, but they are also some of the hardest workers.

Outstanding Community Contribution by a Student Leader

Student leaders nominated for this award have displayed significant effort for the improvement of the greater community outside of the University of Iowa campus.

The student has demonstrated their outstanding commitment and contribution to community:

  • Displaying outstanding academic achievement by inspiring and motivating others to act through service, and exemplified integrity in words and actions.
  • Providing exemplary service, commitment, and strong leadership to the greater community (outside of the University of Iowa campus) and was committed to working with and for others.
  • Making a meaningful contribution to students and the surrounding communities through service.
  • Identifying an existing problem and demonstrated initiative by seeking ways to address that problem through service.
  • Demonstrating on-going flexibility, creativity, and perseverance in efforts.

Outstanding Contribution to the Greater Community by a Student Organization

Outstanding Contribution to the Great Community by a Student Organization award is given to a student organization that has made a meaningful contribution to the surrounding communities through programs, events, and/or on-going mutually beneficial relationships. The organization may have implemented this through the following:

  • Identified an existing problem and inspired and motivated others to act.
  • Committed to working with and for others in making an impact outside of the University of Iowa campus.
  • Demonstrated initiative, creativity, and perseverance in seeking ways to challenge the present and enrich the future.

Outstanding Philanthropic Contribution to the UI Campus by a Student Organization

The UI Center for Advancement (UICA) is committed to highlighting the good work student organizations do while helping shed light on commendable philanthropic endeavors. As part of this work, UICA sponsors the Outstanding Philanthropic Contribution to the UI Campus by a Student Organization, bringing awareness to the great philanthropic efforts being made by student organizations every year.

To be eligible for this award, the student organization must provide philanthropic leadership to campus by giving of their time, talent, and resources. The winning organization will receive a $250 award from the UI Center for Advancement.

For the purpose of this award, “philanthropy” is defined as the contribution of time, talent, treasure, or ties. Time: volunteer hours, days of service Talent: using one’s expertise or skill set to benefit a cause Treasure: financial contributions (big or small) donated for charitable work Time: using one’s social capital or social network

Outstanding Sustainability Leader

The successful student leader for this award will have displayed a significant effort in helping the University of Iowa be more sustainable and in achieving the UI's 2020 Vision/Sustainability Targets.

The student may have demonstrated that they have met the criteria through the following:

  • Helped their organization be more operationally and educationally sustainable; valued diversity; motivated and inspired others to be sustainable
  • Consistently and persistently advocated for sustainable initiatives on campus, and actively supported environmental student organizations' initiatives
  • Collaborated with other organizations and departments to come up with innovative sustainability solutions
  • Demonstrated initiative by seeking ways to get closer to the UI's 2020 Vision/Sustainability Targets

Sustainability Integration

Organizations nominated for this award have integrated sustainability initiatives via the operation of an event(s)/project(s), providing a meaningful contribution to the UI's 2020 Vision/Sustainability Targets and an environmentally conscious campus community.

The student organization could demonstrate that they have met the criteria through the following:

  • Collaborated with the Office of Sustainability and the UISG Sustainability Committee.
  • Utilized UISG's Green Initiatives Fund and/or made environmentally ethical/responsible purchases.
  • Provided waste diversion-recycling and composting at events.
  • Communicated educational messaging and awareness of sustainability initiatives.

*Student organizations with an Environmental or Sustainability purpose are NOT eligible for this award.

Outstanding Community Partner

Community partners nominated for this award have displayed significant effort, made a meaningful contribution, and have supported the University of Iowa students.

For the purpose of this award, a community partner is defined as a department, organization, or agency, either on-campus or off-campus, that assists in the success of a student organization. 

The community partner could demonstrate that they have met the criteria through the following:

  • Working in collaboration with a student organization to enhance its mission, vision, or goals.
  • Providing support in programming or event planning.
  • Providing human (volunteers) or financial resources to develop successful programming.

*Student organizations are NOT eligible for this award.

Outstanding Diversity Awareness Program

Programs and/or events nominated for this award have focused on campus diversity or diversity issues, and encouraged acceptance and respect.

The program/event could demonstrate that they have met the criteria through the following:

  • Provided the University of Iowa community with an educational or entertaining program/event focused on diverse views, backgrounds, or experiences, or increased the awareness of diversity issues.
  • Promoted and reflected the values of social justice, multiculturalism, and/or diversity.
  • Coordinated and managed a fiscally sound, well-planned diversity awareness program open to all University students.

Outstanding Program

The opportunities for the University of Iowa students to engage in meaningful and diverse programs are endless. This award seeks to highlight and celebrate programming done throughout the year as recognition for the hard work and dedication invested by many great student organizations. Programs/events nominated for this award have made a meaningful contribution to the University of Iowa community.

The program/event could demonstrate that they have met the criteria through the following:

  • Enhanced the University of Iowa community and institutional values of diversity, integrity, and initiative by utilizing a creative and unique approach.
  • Explored and fostered innovative and efficient ways of reaching and involving diverse student audiences.
  • Coordinated and managed a fiscally sound, well-planned program open to all University students.

Dinette L. Myers’ Outstanding Student Organization Collaboration

The Dinette L. Myers’ Outstanding Student Organization Collaboration award recognizes successful collaborations among multiple student organizations and agencies.

Dinette L. Myers started her career at the University of Iowa in 1986 working in a number of capacities during her time at UI. Dinette has always been best known by students and campus partners for her thoughtful collaborations over the years. She was a willing resource in helping students make new connections - often serving on committees, as great teammate for countless events and programs. She has been a valued colleague across the Division of Student Life and University. This award honors her spirit and commitment to thoughtful collaborations between organizations, leaders, and community partners. We are grateful for the many student leaders and nominees who have helped extend this lesson and legacy Dinette modeled for us so well.

The recipient of this award should have made meaningful contributions to the University of Iowa community through collaborative efforts (either throughout the year or a single successful program).

The nominees have:

  • Demonstrated a collaborative spirit through work with numerous organizations or a one-time collaborative effort between two or more organizations.
  • Engaged in programming that enhanced the University of Iowa community and institutional values of collaboration and initiative by utilizing a creative and unique approach.
  • Explored and fostered innovative and efficient ways of reaching and involving diverse student audiences, while integrating the purpose of all organizations involved.
  • Strived to collaborate, coordinate, and manage fiscally-sound, well-planned programs.

Outstanding Student Organization Advisor

Advisors are critical parts of successful and vibrant student organizations. Advisors spend time not only investing in the organization but more importantly into its student leaders and members. Advisors from across the campus community display significant effort for the improvement of the organization and therefore exhibited considerable progress in the development of the group. This award celebrates those commitments and highlights exemplary investments by members of our community. 

The advisor could demonstrate that they have met the criteria through the following:

  • Allowed students to take responsibility for their own learning and understanding of the organization while providing advice, encouragement, and support to all University students.
  • Conveyed values of integrity and respect. Related well to individual students. They made himself/herself available to others and was approachable and open to new ideas. Valued initiative and student input.
  • Utilized different and creative approaches to educating and assisting members. Served as a positive role model.
  • Helped organizations reach their goals.

Leadership Legacy

The greatest leaders are not remembered only for what they have done, but also for how they have made a lasting, significant contribution to their organization and/or the University of Iowa community. This award celebrates leaders who have committed not only to their own success but invested in the success of others by creating a pathway for future success. 

The student could demonstrate that they have met the criteria through the following:

  • Significant contribution to the success of the organization through providing a lasting impact on the organization in the implementation of a new and successful program/event, strengthening and improving of an existing program(s)/event(s), and/or execution of new initiatives.
  • Collaboration with others in the successful implementation of programs, events, initiatives, etc. that will leave a lasting impact on the organization and/or the University of Iowa community.
  • Exemplary leadership and commitment to the organization and/or the University

Outstanding Student Organization Leader

Student Organizations are made up of resilient, committed, and passionate student leaders. These leaders are at the center of a vibrant and engaging campus community, who provides life and opportunities for others. This award celebrates leaders who have made a significant effort, investment, and commitment to advancing the mission of their student organization.

The student leader could demonstrate that they have met the criteria through the following:

  • Displayed outstanding academic achievement, valued diversity, motivated and inspired others and exemplified integrity in all words and actions.
  • Provided exemplary service, commitment, and strong leadership to the University of Iowa community and demonstrated on-going flexibility, creativity, and perseverance in efforts.
  • Made meaningful contribution to students, University, and surrounding communities while working with and for others (ex. included other organizations/departments in planning and implementing events).
  • Addressed existing problems and valued feedback from others. Made themselves available to group members and brought out the strengths and talents of individual group members.
  • Demonstrated initiative by seeking ways to enrich the future.

Outstanding Student Organization

Student organizations nominated for this award have displayed significant effort and have made a meaningful contribution to the University of Iowa students.

The student organization could demonstrate its met the criteria through the following:

  • Participated in development opportunities (i.e. LeaderShape Iowa, Student Org. and/or Leadership Development Series, My Iowa, Student Org Development Day, etc.)
  • Offered development programming to members on a consistent basis.
  • Demonstrated consistent flexibility, initiative, creativity, and perseverance.
  • Attracted members from different backgrounds, life experiences, and diverse perspectives.
  • Worked in collaboration with other organizations to enhance the organization’s goals.
  • Exemplified integrity in all areas of the organization.
  • Developed a responsible transition plan for the continued success of the organization.