Academic Affairs

The Distinguished Scholarly Engagement and Public Service Awards

Nature of Award and Recognition: The Junior and Senior Distinguished Scholarly Engagement and Public Service Awards are offered to recognize excellence in addressing crucial local, regional, national, or global issues through scholarly activity directed towards persons and groups outside UNCW. This activity engages aspects of the public and private sectors with faculty to improve the community in areas such as cultural arts, economic development, education, health, social services and sustainability.

The university will confer one junior and one senior award each year. The recipients will receive a medallion to wear at official ceremonies (University Convocations and Commencements), and the senior award recipient will be the UNCW nominee for the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Public Service. Announcement and presentation of the awards will be made at the Fall Faculty Meeting, and the recipients’ names will be engraved on a plaque. 


I. Criteria for Nomination and Selection: The following criteria are intended to encompass various aspects of scholarly engagement and public service at undergraduate and graduate levels across the university.  

  1. Research, artistic, or humanistic efforts and activities related to engagement and publicly recognized as significantly improving the lives of people in the community.
  2. Grants awarded and applied for (including dates and status) related to engagement.
  3. Funded outreach, such as funding to public school and STEM involvement.
  4. Technology transfer and patents.
  5. Collaborative efforts with the community resulting in recognized benefits for the public good.
  6. Reviewed publications resulting from work in the community.

The senior award recognizes an individual with a sustained record of accomplishment in several of these areas, while the junior award highlights an individual with promising accomplishments in at least one of them.

II. Procedures for Nomination and Selection for the Distinguished Scholarly Engagement and Public Service Award:

A. The Provost's office will initiate the recommendation process based on the following requirements:

  1. The nominees must be full-time members of the UNCW faculty, nominated by their respective department chairs/school directors.  Only faculty who hold the rank of assistant professor or lecturer and have been a UNCW employee for five years or less are eligible for the junior award. 
  2. All nominees shall currently be teaching not less than half of the "normal teaching load" at UNCW. The Dean of each college/school shall determine and define "normal teaching loads" for that college/school.
  3. Faculty can receive the junior award only once, and the senior award only once within a seven year period.
  4. Materials submitted by a nominee will be valid for consideration during the year submitted and the following year (extending eligibility to two award cycles).

B. The Provost's office shall notify department chairs/school directors about the criteria and procedures for nomination and the required supporting materials that must be submitted for evaluation during the fall semester of each year.

C. All chairpersons/directors are encouraged to nominate faculty members, provided they have met the requirements of II.A above, in letters stating the basis for the nomination. Nominations should be submitted to the Provost's office.

D. Nominated faculty members who wish to be considered must forward an electronic portfolio of their scholarly engagement and public service activities to the Provost's office no later than the stated deadline. All nominations will be for a two-year period. Nominees not selected for the award the first year will be automatically included in the pool of candidates for the award the following year and be afforded the opportunity to update their portfolios.

E. The Rewards and Recognitions subcommittee of the Office of Community Engagement Advisory Board will be responsible for selecting the award recipients. They may appoint additional members who are past recipients of the award as needed to review these submissions. After review of the nominations, this committee may solicit additional information about the nominees. The committee will recommend candidates in rank order to the Provost.

III. Supporting Materials: Nominees who choose to be considered must submit an electronic portfolio of their material for review by the selection committee. The portfolio should encompass, but is not limited to, material relevant to the "Criteria for Nomination and Selection." To facilitate the review process, the material must be presented in electronic form, in the following order, and include:

  • A copy of the nominee's resume or curriculum vitae.
  • A description of the significant record of accomplishment that reflects the application of scholarly, creative or pedagogical activities for the public good, directed towards persons and groups outside UNCW. The description should include evidence of successful outcomes; an explanation of how these activities contribute to the mission of the nominee's department; documentation of extramural funding, if awarded; a description of collaborations with community partners; and other evidence of scholarly excellence, e.g. peer-reviewed publications generated by the faculty member's community-focused work or teaching evaluations if nominated on the basis of community-focused teaching pedagogy.
  • Endorsement of the nominee's scholarly community work by community partners and the dean.
  • Optional material that documents the nominee's activities, e.g. pamphlets, brochures, and newspaper articles.
  • Any other supporting material deemed relevant by the nominee.


IV. Future Revisions in Criteria and Procedures: After selecting the candidates for the Distinguished Scholarly Engagement and Public Service Award, the Rewards and Recognitions subcommittee and a member of the Provost's office will discuss the need for any changes in, or improvement of, the criteria and procedures. The results of this discussion will be included in the written report of the selection committee that will be presented to the Provost's office before the end of the academic year.

View the past recipients.