NIRSA’s highest recognition is the Honor Award. The Honor Award is presented each year at the NIRSA Annual Conference. This year, NIRSA Annual Conference attendees will see the award presented earlier during the conference so that our members have the entire conference to meet and congratulate our deserving recipient. We want you to be actively engaged in this special presentation by nominating a colleague, writing a letter of support for a colleague, or submitting an updated letter of support for a colleague for whom you’ve submitted support letter(s) previously. Keeping someone’s file current is as important as nominating someone new.

We aim to honor a colleague who exemplifies the dedication and passion that our profession is noted for. While October 7 seems too early to think about a November 1 deadline, we all know how quickly time passes. As you think about nominating someone for this prestigious award, we want you to take the time to provide the most complete nomination possible. Don’t put it off! The process usually takes a little longer than you would think.

As you identify that person who has shown outstanding achievement in the profession and exemplary service to the Association, consider who else might provide insight to this nomination process. Encourage others to provide letters of support or update a previous letter for the nominee. Each of us have difference experiences to share with regard to a colleague/mentor. Put your heads together and let’s honor one of our colleagues in this most meaningful manner.

Please don’t assume that your colleague/mentor has been nominated. Nomination letters stay active for five years and there are several colleagues who have been nominated; however, there are many other colleagues who have not been nominated. If you know of someone who has been nominated, your role may be to submit a letter of support for that nominee. If you’re not sure if someone has been nominated, please contact Leadership Programs Coordinator Chelsea Hansson at NIRSA Headquarters and she will be able to provide confirmation regarding those nominated.

On behalf of the Honor Award Committee, I encourage you to support this award by actively engaging in the nomination process. On the NIRSA website is complete information about the writing process and a guide as well as tips for formatting and content. We challenge the NIRSA membership to make our task in selecting a member who is most deserving to be the 2020 Honor Award recipient as difficult as possible.

As chair of this year’s committee, I’m available to answer any questions or provide observations and thoughts as you consider submitting a nomination. Any member can submit a nomination letter. You do not need to be invited to do so by a colleague who might be coordinating an effort on behalf of a specific person. Please consider this your invitation to write a nomination.

Thank you for your active engagement. The Honor Award Committee looks forward to hearing from you by the Friday, November 1 deadline!


Associate Director for Recreation Programming and Staff Development at University of Nebraska | NIRSA Profile

Vicki Highstreet is currently the Associate Director for Recreation Programming and Staff Development at the University of Nebraska. She is a NIRSA Past President, recipient of the NIRSA Honor Award (2018), and is the current chair of the NIRSA Honor Award Committee. Vicki can be reached at