UNI Student Leadership Awards

Each spring the University of Northern Iowa recognizes outstanding student leadership through a series of awards presented to students and student organizations. 


The 2023 Student Leadership Awards

Dean of Students Awards

For all Dean of Students Awards: Nominations for the Lux Service Award, Outstanding Student Leader Award, and Servant Leadership Award will be open from February 1st through February 15th. Nominees will be contacted on February 16th to complete their application by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28th. 

Lux Service Award

The Lux Service Award is the most prestigious award given to graduating senior students each academic year to acknowledge the culmination of their overall involvement. Recipients consistently go above and beyond, leaving a lasting legacy upon graduation.

Outstanding Student Leader Award

The Outstanding Student Leader Award is designed to recognize graduating seniors who have demonstrated dedication and leadership through their involvement in one or more campus activities.

Servant Leadership Award

The Servant Leadership Award recognizes those who have worked for the common good while putting the needs of others first.

Diversity Matters Award

The Diversity Matters Award is presented in recognition of dedication and service to the University of Northern Iowa in advancement of its diversity-related goals.

UNI C.A.R.E. Award

(Creating a Responsible Environment)

Awards are intended for UNI students, faculty, staff, organizations or programs that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to create a positive impact through sustainability at UNI or in the local community.

Northern Iowa Student Government Above and Beyond Awards

These awards are given by students to recognize faculty and staff for their commitment to student development and success. Two awards will be given out, one focusing on student learning and the other on student success.

Student Learning Award

The Student Learning Award is given to faculty members who exhibit a passion for teaching and student learning. These are individuals who challenge students to dig deeper and go further, while offering opportunities to apply their knowledge outside of the class room.

Student Success Award

The Student Success Award recognizes staff who demonstrate a clear passion for and commitment to the well-being and success of students. Recipients of this award go above and beyond their job requirements in a selfless and meaningful manner, demonstrating deep care and support for students.

Student Organization Awards 

For all Student Organization Awards: All nominations should reflect accomplishments between , March 11, 2022, and March 10, 2023. Eligible individuals and organizations must be in good standing with the university, and organizations must be recognized through NISG.

The deadline for all Student Organization Awards is March 3rd.

Student Organization Advisor of the Year

This award is designed to recognize a student organization advisor who has excelled and exemplified outstanding service, dedication, and leadership to the organization they advise.

Most Promising New Leader in a Student Organization

This award is designed to recognize a member in a student organization that has demonstrated emerging leadership in the organization, a commitment to developing their leadership ability, and has exceeded the expectations of the membership of the organization.

Outstanding Officer in a Student Organization

This award recognizes a student organization officer who provides exemplary service, commitment, and strong leadership to their student organization and UNI.

Outstanding President in a Student Organization

This award recognizes a student organization president who has played a major role in the development and execution of their student organization.

Greek 360 Awards

This award is intended to recognize a member of the UNI Fraternity & Sorority Life community who also is an outstanding member of other student organizations on campus.

Program of Distinction Awards

This award is designed to recognize significant achievements by student organizations in the planning and implementation of programs, either a one-time event or a series of events marketed as a single program.

Most Promising New Student Organization

This award is designed to recognize a new student organization that has demonstrated significant motivation, creativity, innovation, and perseverance.

Student Organization of the Year

This award is designed to recognize a student organization that has exemplified excellence among its peers by contributing to the UNI community and fulfilling the mission of the organization.

Mental Health Ally Award

The UNI Counseling Center, with the support of the Northern Iowa Student Government, is seeking nominations for the Mental Health Ally Award. We encourage you to nominate individuals, programs, organizations or departments that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to mental health advocacy.

Additional Awards Recognized at the Student Leadership Awards

Drake Martin Gold Star Awards

The Drake Martin Gold Star Award is the highest individual student honor in the residence system at the University of Northern Iowa. It is named in memory of Drake Martin. Drake worked at the University of Northern Iowa for 31 years. Drake brought creativity, compassion and enthusiasm to projects and initiatives that had a positive impact on students. His greatest influence over time was through individual interactions that challenged, affirmed and encouraged others. In all he did, Drake exemplified the qualities of those who are recognized with the Gold Star Award. Contact the Department of Residence for more information: uni.edu/dor

Dr. Charlotte West Scholar-Athlete Award

The Missouri Valley Conference will present the Dr. Charlotte West Award annually, to one female and one male student-athlete who have completed intercollegiate eligibility in their primary sport, to recognize outstanding achievement in academics, athletics, service and leadership. Nominees from UNI will be recognized at the Student Leadership Awards.

Dr. Sue Follon Scholarship

This scholarship recognizes students for their leadership contributions during their tenure at UNI and potential to model leadership for women. To apply, students must use the common online scholarship application at finaid.uni.edu. Specific information is available online.

Emerging Philanthropist Award

The Emerging Philanthropist Award recognizes a student who is dedicated to giving their time, talent, and treasure to the university, their community or cause(s) of their choice and shows promise as a future philanthropic leader.

Nominations for 2023 are due Friday, march 3 by 11:50 p.pm. Awards will be presented at the Student Leadership Awards on April 11. 

Promising Young Alumni Award

The Promising Young Alumni Award recognizes one or more seniors who demonstrate qualities desired of engaged alumni. A Promising Young Alumnus demonstrates their potential as a future alumni leader for the UNI community through their commitment to service, leadership, and pride while enrolled.

Nominations for 2023 are due Friday, March 3 by 11:59 p.m. Awards will be presented at the Student Leadership Awards on April 11. 

Boots to Books Scholarship

Boots to Books is a program designed to help veterans transition to civilian life and the college environment. Although many military and veteran students are eligible for G.I. benefits, more than half of them are still in need of financial assistance. In an effort to support the educational endeavors of our military and veteran students, the Boots to Books scholarship was created by Military and Veterans Student Services.

Panther Pantry Volunteer Award

This award is presented to individuals, organizations or campus and community partners who go above and beyond in supporting the Panther Pantry. For more information about the Pantry, visit pantherpantry.uni.edu.

Campus Compact's Newman Civic Fellowship

The Newman Civic Fellowship is awarded to an inspiring group of community-committed students who are already making an impact in communities where they live, learn, and serve. One University of Northern Iowa student is selected to represent the institution among the 290 community-committed students representing Campus Compact member colleges and universities.

Rising Global Star Leader Award

The Rising Global Star Leader Award is for students in any stage of their education and has made significant contributions to their department, unit, institution, organization, community, and the field of international education. The Rising Star will have demonstrated a commitment to internationalization and ingenuity of thought that has the potential to have a substantial and lasting influence on global education. 

Award for Excellence in International Engagement

This can be awarded to UNI Students, Faculty, Staff, or Cedar Valley Community members. The nominees should be committed to promoting global understanding, research, and advocating for international exchange locally and globally. They should be an active participant with international students/scholars/dependents in the UNI community. All criteria and nomination form found here