Gala Awards

Committee: Awards 

Chair: Lan Jiang (lan.jiang@uky.edu)

Nominations Open: Friday, April 2, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EST 

Nominations Close: Friday, April 16, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST 

Nomination Form: https://uky.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2adhYnfkR9TwEfQ

The purpose of the Gala Awards is to acknowledge and honor those individuals who went above-and-beyond in helping the Graduate Student Congress (GSC) pursue its mission and achieve its goals during the academic year. The GSC is a 100% volunteer-run organization, and fewer than a handful are unpaid volunteers. The GSC – including all the advocacy, initiatives, programs, and events the organization currently offers – would not and could not exist without the kindness and support of hundreds of graduate and professional students, postdocs, faculty, and staff at the University of Kentucky (UK). The GSC will forever be indebted to these individuals and only wishes it could do more to thank everyone for their time and dedication. This year, the GSC will be bestowing three (3) Named Awards and four (4) Pillar Awards. 

Nomination Guidelines 

  • Self- and other nominations are accepted by all GSC Congressional Body members (includes Executive Board, Leadership Team, Representatives, and volunteers), as well as affiliated UK faculty and staff. 
  • Award recipients will be selected by majority vote of the GSC Awards Committee. 
  • A formal notification and announcement will be made at the annual End-of-the-Year Gala/Dinner with the President. 

Awards Categories 

Named Awards 

Dr. Morris Grubbs Outstanding Dedication to the GSC Award 

This award is named for Dr. Morris Grubbs, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies and Director of the Office of Graduate Student Professional Development (GSPE). This award recognizes an individual faculty or staff member for their dedication and service to the Graduate Student Congress (GSC), as well as their support of the GSC’s mission, operations, and leadership. The nomination must include a brief description of the nominee’s work and its impact on the Graduate Student Congress (GSC) and its mission. The award winner will receive a plaque. 

Eligibility: All regular, full-time faculty and staff working with the Graduate Student Congress (GSC) are eligible for nomination. This includes faculty with administrative appointments, such as Director, Department Chair, or Associate Dean. 

The Gabriela Jiskrova Outstanding Service Award 

This award is named for Gabriela Jiskrova, the 10th Graduate Student Congress (GSC) President and a dedicated member of the organization. This award recognizes a member of the Graduate Student Congress who has shown exemplary leadership and support of the graduate and professional student population, thereby creating a legacy of excellence. The nomination must include a brief description of the nominee’s work and its impact on the Graduate Student Congress (GSC) and its mission. The award winner will receive a plaque and $500. 

Eligibility: All current graduate and professional students and postdocs currently identified as GSC Congressional Body members are eligible for nomination. This includes Executive Board members, Leadership Team members, Representatives “In Good Standing,” and volunteers. 

Nathan Vanderford Award for Excellence in Research on Graduate and Professional Students 

This award is named for Dr. Nathan Vanderford, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology in the College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky. This award recognizes an individual researcher for their contributions to research on graduate and professional students. The nomination must include a brief description of the nominee’s work and its impact on the Graduate Student Congress (GSC) and its mission. The award winner will receive a plaque. 

Eligibility: All levels of researchers conducting research on graduate students, professional students, and/or postdocs eligible for nomination. This includes students, faculty, and practitioners. 

Pillar Awards 

Belonging & Engagement 

This award is named for one of UK’s Four Pillars of Academic Excellence – Belongingness and Engagement. This award recognizes those members of the Graduate Student Congress (GSC) who have contributed significantly toward creating a sense of community for graduate and professional students by supporting their growth, challenging viewpoints, and building lasting relationships. The nomination must include a brief description of the nominee’s work and its impact on the Graduate Student Congress (GSC), and graduate and professional students’ feelings of belongingness and engagement. The award winners will receive a certificate. 

Eligibility: All current graduate and professional students and postdocs currently identified as GSC Congressional Body members are eligible for nomination. This includes Executive Board members, Leadership Team members, Representatives “In Good Standing,” and volunteers. 

Student Health & Wellness 

This award is named for one of UK’s Four Pillars of Academic Excellence – Student Health and Wellness. This award recognizes those members of the Graduate Student Congress who have contributed significantly toward protecting and/or improving graduate and professional students’ emotional, financial, intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual well-being. The nomination must include a brief description of the nominee’s work and its impact on the Graduate Student Congress (GSC), and graduate and professional students’ well-being. The award winners will receive a certificate. 

Eligibility: All current graduate and professional students and postdocs currently identified as GSC Congressional Body members are eligible for nomination. This includes Executive Board members, Leadership Team members, Representatives “In Good Standing,” and volunteers. 

Academic Success 

This award is named for one of UK’s Four Pillars of Academic Excellence – Academic Success. This award recognizes those members of the Graduate Student Congress (GSC) who have contributed significantly toward graduate and professional students’ academic success by providing support and resources to enhance their intellectual, emotional, social, and ethical development. The nomination must include a brief description of the nominee’s work and its impact on the Graduate Student Congress (GSC), and graduate and professional students’ academic success. The award winners will receive a certificate. 

Eligibility: All current graduate and professional students and postdocs currently identified as GSC Congressional Body members are eligible for nomination. This includes Executive Board members, Leadership Team members, Representatives “In Good Standing,” and volunteers. 

Financial Stability 

This award is named for one of UK’s Four Pillars of Academic Excellence – Financial Stability. This award recognizes those members of the Graduate Student Congress (GSC) who have contributed significantly toward graduate and professional students’ financial stability by engaging them in financial literacy programs and providing funding opportunities for travel, research, and professional development. The nomination must include a brief description of the nominee’s work and its impact on the Graduate Student Congress (GSC), and graduate and professional students’ financial stability. The award winners will receive a certificate. 

Eligibility: All current graduate and professional students and postdocs currently identified as GSC Congressional Body members are eligible for nomination. This includes Executive Board members, Leadership Team members, Representatives “In Good Standing,” and volunteers.