Awards and Recognition

Each spring, we host the Student Leadership & Honors Awards Ceremony. At this event, we celebrate and recognize our student leaders, organizations and advisors for their contributions to the Kent State community during the current academic year. As part of the evening's celebration, the newly elected directors and senators of the Undergraduate Student Government take the Oath of Office and the incoming USG president delivers their inaugural address.


The nomination process is hosted online. Faculty, staff and students simply submit a nomination using an online form. When the submission period ends, all nominees will be contacted and asked to submit a resume and rationale for each award they were nominated to receive. Nominees will have a window of time to submit their resume and rationale. All nominees will receive a Leadership Excellence Certificate.

Any student, faculty, or staff member at the university is able to submit an awards nomination for any of the categories listed below. Only registered student organizations are eligible for the Student Organization Awards. Only students currently registered and in good standing are eligible for the Senior and Leadership awards.  


Outstanding Senior Leader Award

This cumulative award is presented to a senior who has displayed outstanding leadership and a sustained commitment to academic excellence, community involvement and service to the University and Kent community throughout their college career. The candidate will have demonstrated evidence of good scholarship and exceptional campus participation in both breadth and depth. This candidate must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5. The Nancy and John Scott Leadership Award is selected from the nine awarded student leaders

Outstanding Emerging Leader Award

This award is presented to a freshman or sophomore student who has shown tremendous growth and leadership promise through their campus involvement and contributions to student life and maintained a continuity of leadership. The candidate will have demonstrated progress towards fulfilling their leadership potential.

Purposeful Leader Award

This award is presented to a student who has demonstrated a strong sense of personal awareness and development and acted in alignment with their values. The candidate will have shown a commitment to personal and university values and engaging others to actively reflect on their own values. Emphasis will be placed on how the candidate’s values and philosophy of leadership are articulated through their actions.

Servant Leadership Award

This award will be presented to a student who has exemplified leadership through their service and investment in the growth and development of others. Emphasis will be placed on candidates who empower their peers and whose motivation to lead is derived from a desire to serve others.

Peer Mentorship Award

This award will be presented to a student who has played a significant role as a mentor or peer educator to their fellow students, team members, or classmates. Emphasis will be placed on candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to sharing their knowledge, abilities, and experiences to help develop the capacities of others and maintaining the productivity and legacy of their club and/or organization.

Unsung Hero Award

This award is presented to a student who has shown that leadership can be enacted from anywhere within a group. The candidate will have demonstrated a commitment to excellence with the ability to positively influence a program or organization from behind the scenes with a willingness to help in whatever capacity necessary.

Kent State Impact Award

This award is presented to a student whose contribution of leadership and citizenship has had far-reaching impact on the university. Special consideration is given to candidates who have displayed innovation in addressing a university need and whose leadership has created a positive campus environment and enhanced the quality of student life.

Flash Humanitarian Award

This award will be presented to a student who has exemplified integrity, service, and social responsibility, with a demonstrated commitment to the welfare of the greater community and its members. Emphasis will be placed on candidates who model a commitment and engagement to projects and initiatives that positively contributes to their communities.

Vanguard for Change Award

This award will be presented to a student who has demonstrated leadership through an unwavering commitment to the values of diversity, inclusion, justice, equity, and service for the greater benefit of the university and/or local community. Emphasis will be placed on candidates who have implemented programs, projects, or initiatives that address social inequities.


Advisor Excellence Award

This award will be given to an advisor(s) of a registered student organization who has been recognized by his or her organization as having done an outstanding job.

Organization Excellence Award

This award is given to registered student organizations for outstanding contributions to its members and the student body as a whole. The recipient will be an organization whose members have demonstrated a strong ability to promote its ideals, have used innovative methods in reaching goals, and whose members have made significant contributions to Kent State University.

Service Excellence Award

This award recognizes the commitment of student organizations to community service. Each group recognized shall have made a meaningful contribution through the completion of community service projects.

Rookie of the Year Award

This award recognizes registered student organizations that have been in existence for less than three years. These organizations have demonstrated the potential to provide strong leadership on campus and the ability to make a positive impact on Kent State University.

Most Impactful Program Award

This award will be given to student organizations that implemented a program throughout the school year that made a substantive and positive impact on campus and beyond through its innovation and distinctiveness.