NIRSA Awards

How to Write an Outstanding Nomination

We all get our start as students in collegiate recreation somewhere; many of us have been fortunate enough to have the path to student success clearly defined by an exceptional NIRSA mentor.

Their encouragement, support, and commitment to excellence have made our educational pursuits exciting and rewarding. The Horace Moody Awards are given to one NIRSA professional member from each of the seven NIRSA regions to recognize their contributions to student development.

Honor an outstanding professional who has made significant contributions to your student development by nominating them for a NIRSA Horace Moody Award. Awards will be conferred on individuals who have made a lasting difference in mentoring students and guiding students in their professional development.

Each year award recipients are recognized through a variety of mediums, including press releases, social media, and various digital displays and announcements at conferences throughout the year.

Why should you submit a nomination?

Recognize outstanding contributions of NIRSA members who are transforming campus recreation through:

  • Exceptional leadership
  • Innovative ideas
  • Effective administration of events and services on campus
  • Leverage the work of campus recreation at an institutional level

How to submit a nomination?

  • Online nominations via Google Forms
  • Example of review rubrics can be found on specific awards pages
  • Selection committee reviews

The How To on How To Write a Nomination:

The key to a well-written nomination is providing evaluators with specific information illustrating how the individual’s or group’s achievements have made a positive impact on. The number of examples is not as important as ensuring that the nominee’s (or nominees’) contributions match the specific award criteria, and that there are measurable results.

The selection committee relies on your words and examples to “see” your nominee’s attributes and contributions. They may not know anything about your nominee’s job, so detailed information is essential.

Before you write your nomination, carefully review the award nomination criteria to determine the most appropriate individual(s) or group’s you would like to nominate. Ensure the individual or group meets the nomination criteria before you begin. The best nomination are those that provide concrete details of the work of the individual or group.

Answer the “What” and “How”

  • What did the nominee do?
    • Projects and/or activities they did above and beyond normal expectations
    • specific examples
  • How did they do it?
    • Initiative and/or leadership
    • Teamwork
    • Behaviors and/or attitudes
  • What were the results and/or impacts?
    • What did the nominee accomplish
    • Are there specific benefits because of their work

Show the “Above and Beyond”

It’s one thing to report what a person did, but the committee would like to know if those accomplishments were the normal part of the person’s responsibilities or something more.

Don’t just say your nominee is outstanding – prove it!

It’s important to use specific and concrete examples to illustrate how your nominee meets each of the eligibility and award criteria. Provide examples of how your nominee has demonstrated outstanding character and is a deserving candidate. Avoid generalities and provide details wherever possible.

Samples to nomination questions

  • Weak
    • They were a great committee Chair.
    • They are well-respected in their community.
  • Stronger
    • They were a great Chair of ______ committee because they did (X, Y, Z).
    • They have earned the respect of their community by doing (X, Y, Z).

Closing Statement

Describe how others regard the nominee (e.g., recognized expert, progressive leader, or exceptionally innovative program). Consider mentioning major non-NIRSA awards and/or the nominee’s other education, community efforts, etc.

Gather input from others

Gather input from other colleagues or peers on your nominee’s achievements before you write the nomination. Have other colleagues or peers review the nomination for thoroughness and accuracy prior to submitting it.

For More Info

For additional questions for please contact NIRSA Leadership Programs Coordinator, Chelsea Hansson.