2019 Diversity Awards Criteria


The Mississippi State University President's Commission of the Status of Minorities (PCSM) is pleased to announce a call for nominations for the MSU Diversity Awards. This year’s nominations will be accepted in four categories: (1) Faculty, (2) Staff, (3) Student, and (4) Team/Organization. Specific criteria for the awards are listed below.

Diversity Award recipients receive a $1,000 stipend, recognition at a formal awards ceremony, and free registration to the 2021 Diversity Conference.

Faculty and Staff Award Criteria

To be considered for the Faculty or Staff award, individuals should have a commitment to diversity initiatives that go beyond normal job responsibilities, as well as support from their supervisor. Specifically, diversity-related job responsibilities for which the individual is evaluated on during annual performance evaluations will not necessarily warrant consideration from the PCSM Awards Committee. Individuals who have won in prior years may submit only if there are new diversity initiatives beyond those that were previously awarded.

The ideal Faculty and Staff candidates should demonstrate:

  • A commitment to the spirit of diversity through participation in extra-curricular activities and/or formal or informal initiatives at the institutional, community, state, regional, or national level, that go above and beyond their job requirements
  • Inclusion through positive interactions with people of different backgrounds
  • Outstanding efforts to promote an environment that enhances diversity, respect, and inclusivity

Student Award Criteria
Applicants for the Student award can come from either the undergraduate or graduate student body. To be considered for the Student award, individuals should demonstrate:

  • A commitment to the spirit of diversity through participation in extra-curricular activities and/or formal or informal initiatives at the institutional or community level
  • How diversity is an integral part of their life
  • Leadership on formal or informal diversity initiatives in the community, and/or on the Mississippi State University campus

Team/Organization Award Criteria
This award was designed to recognize groups for their commitment to diversity initiatives on the MSU Campus or community, such as MSU departments, student organizations, or community initiatives. To warrant consideration from the PSCM Awards Committee, nominees would likely have either:

  • Developed and received grant funding to further the diversity of students and/or staff in specific fields of study that lack individuals of traditionally under-represented groups
    or
  • Developed formal or informal programs that enhances diversity, respect, and inclusivity in the MSU community.

Nomination Packets
For each Individual Nominee or Team/Organization Nominee (applicants can self-nominate), nominators should prepare a packet that is 10-25 pages and includes the following:

  1. MSU Diversity Award Nomination Form for the respective category. If nomination is for a TEAM, then a nomination form needs to be completed for each member of the team.

    Faculty Nomination Form
    Staff Nomination Form
    Student Nomination Form
    Team/Department Nomination Form
    2019 Award Criteria

  2. Cover letter from the nominator summarizing how the individual or team nominee(s) has demonstrated the specified criteria for the respective category. This cover letter should reference included supporting letters and materials, and clearly state how the Nominee or Team demonstrates a commitment to the spirit of diversity through activities related to the promotion of diversity at Mississippi State or the surrounding community:

a.   Cite specific examples of Nominee or Team's commitment, leadership, positive interactions, and behavior that show innovative and creative initiatives or actions to effectively remove barriers to inclusion
b. Describe how the University has benefited from Nominee or Team's work
c. Cite any civic and community involvement of the Nominee or Team outside of MSU
d. Cite any professional diversity-related memberships of the Nominee or Team members
e. Cite diversity-related publications or programs of the Nominee or Team members

  1. A minimum of 3 supporting letters from peers, colleagues, or supervisors, not including the cover letter and/or personal statement.
  2. A one page personal statement from the nominee explaining why he/she deserves the MSU Diversity Award.
  3. Additional information including pictures, newspaper articles, magazine articles, diversity-related publication, and/or diversity program materials produced by the nominee that would further support the nomination.

Nomination Process
One (1) Adobe portable document file (pdf) of the entire packet must be submitted to diversityawards@msstate.edu by 11:59 p.m. on February 15, 2019. Winners will be notified on or before March 1, 2019. Award recipients will be expected to attend the MSU Diversity Awards Ceremony & Reception. The ceremony will be held on Tuesday, March 19 at 2 p.m.