Breaking Down the Hallmark Awards

Phi Theta Kappa’s Hallmark Awards exist to recognize the hard work, growth and development of chapters over the course of the year as members engage in Society programs and initiatives. They also serve to recognize the support and dedication of advisors and college administrators.

The Hallmark Awards entry is the one thing that will determine which projects, chapters, advisors, members, officers, administrators and teams will be recognized for their excellence on the international level.

“We understand how hard our chapters and members work during the year,” said Susan Edwards, Phi Theta Kappa’s Dean of Academic Affairs and Honors Programs. “The projects they undertake as part of the Honors in Action program are amazing, and they deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.

“The Hallmark Awards program allows us to do that, but we know how involved the submissions can be. We aim to make that as easy as possible.”

Phi Theta Kappa provides questions and rubrics as a guide to completing these entries, in addition to feedback from your previous year’s entries. These questions and rubrics are updated every year based on feedback from the Association of Chapter Advisors officers and Headquarters staff members.

When nominating advisors for awards, for example, there are a few things chapter officers and members will want to consider.

  • In what ways did the advisor support and encourage chapter development?
  • How did they assist members in developing leadership, personal and professional skills?
  • How did they encourage participation in Phi Theta Kappa programming, both within the chapter and on the regional or international levels?

“It’s important to consider each of these things comprehensively,” Edwards said. “For instance, some rubrics and questions ask how an advisor contributed to the Honors in Action Project specifically. While not all advisors work directly with that project, work done in other areas – chapter officer training, project planning, goal setting – relates to Honors in Action.

“So, while there may not be a direct connection between an advisor’s responsibilities and the Hallmark Award category, looking at the work they do elsewhere with the chapter, such as officer training that has an impact on chapter members being able to complete their Honors in Action project, would qualify them for an award.”

Nominating an administrator is a bit more straightforward. Still, it’s important to consider all the ways these questions might apply to your nominee.

  • How has your administrator built a solid foundation for the chapter?
  • How has your administrator developed scholarship opportunities?
  • How has your administrator funded chapter operations and events?
  • How has your administrator supported Phi Theta Kappa programs?
  • How has your administrator increased visibility of Phi Theta Kappa as a student success partner with the college?

The rubrics for all awards are very comprehensive; your evaluation of your nominee should be similar. Don’t take what they do at face value; rather, consider more indirect ways their work and support impact the chapter and its projects.

The deadline to submit Administrator Hallmark Award entries is 5 pm CST December 10. Individual Hallmark Awards – including Advisor Awards – are due January 14, 2015, and Chapter Awards are due January 28, 2015. Find questions, rubrics and more information here.

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