Student Leadership Awards

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. Do you know of students, organizations or advisers that are deserving of recognition? Nominate them for the following awards: (We also encourage you to self-nominate).

2020 Student Leadership Awards will be held on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

Applications/nominations will open on January 21, 2020 and will close February 14, 2020.

Student Leadership Awards Recipients 2016
Student Leadership Awards Recipients 2017
Student Leadership Awards Recipients 2018
Student Leadership Awards Recipients 2019

UNI CARE 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.

Dean of Students Awards

For all Dean of Students Awards: Nominations will close on February 14, 2020. Students will have from January 21 until 5:00 p.m. on February 14 to submit their application for the Lux Service Award, Outstanding Student Leader Award, and/or Servant Leadership Award.

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 students 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.

Student Organization Awards

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 his/her leadership ability, and has exceeded the expectations of the membership of the organization. 

Program of Distinction Award

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.

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.

Most Promising New Student Organization

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

Greek 360 Award

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.

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:

Dr. Sue Follon Scholarship for Women in Leadership

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 Contact the Office of the Dean of Students for more information:

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, services and leadership. Nominees from UNI will be recognized at the Student Leadership Awards.