Awards

Women Leaders in College Sports is committed to recognizing the achievements and successes of women working in athletics. Celebrating these accomplishments is an integral piece of advancing women in athletics. Women Leaders in College Sports currently supports nine awards:

  • Rising Star Award (nominations are closed for 2017)
  • Commitment Award (nominations are closed for 2017)
  • Administrator of the Year Award (nominations are OPEN!)
  • The Nell Jackson Administrator of the Year Award (nominations are OPEN! )
  • Lifetime Achievement Award (nominations are OPEN! )
  • Honor Award 
  • Dr. Claire Van Ummersen Presidential Leadership Award
  • Legacy Award
  • Award of Distinction

THE RISING STAR AWARD

Formerly known as the Administrator of Tomorrow Award, the newly renamed Rising Star Award recognizes junior or senior undergraduate students, graduate students, interns or volunteers who aspire to a career in intercollegiate athletics. Recognizing involvement and/or a leadership role on campus, in a conference office, an organization and in the community, this award is presented to individuals from any division [NCAA Division I, FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA/NJCAA/Community College or Conference/Organization].

All individuals who meet the below criteria are eligible. Please note, all nominations are welcome and accepted; however, non-Women Leaders in College Sports members must team up with a Women Leaders member to support the nomination.

  • Nominee must demonstrate leadership involvement on a campus, conference office, or organization (events, captain, SAAC, etc.) and in the community (specific examples should be provided);
  • If attending school, the nominee should be in good academic standing;
  • Women Leaders in College Sports membership of the nominee is a requirement.

Up to three national honorees will be selected and presented with their award on their campus/office/organization or at a select event of choice. To extend our appreciation and gratitude for their efforts, the recipient of this award will receive a registration fee waiver, complimentary lodging, and recognition at the Women Leaders in College Sports National Convention in the year awarded.

CLICK HERE to see a list of past Rising Star Award honorees.

COMMITMENT AWARD

The Commitment Award recognizes an athletics administrator below the senior ranking level (3-5 years administrative experience) who is committed to providing high-level leadership and guidance within intercollegiate athletics, goes beyond the call of duty, and provides outstanding service to their department, conference office, or organization.

Senior-ranking athletics administrators are encouraged to nominate outstanding athletic administrators that meet the below requirements. Please note, all nominations are welcome and accepted; however, non-Women Leaders in College Sports members must team up with a Women Leaders member to support the nomination.

  • Be a full-time employee with 3-5 years athletics administrative duties/responsibilities at an institution, conference or national governance organization;
  • Demonstrate a commitment in providing the best student-athlete experiences;
  • Demonstrate support of diversity and gender equity;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to professional development;
  • Serve as a positive role model and mentor;
  • Demonstrate a high-level commitment to the mission of the institution, conference office or organization and to intercollegiate athletics;
  • Women Leaders in College Sports membership of the nominee is a requirement.

One honoree will be selected and presented with the Commitment Award on their campus/office at a select event of choice. To extend our appreciation and gratitude for their efforts, the recipient of this award will receive a registration fee waiver, complimentary lodging, and recognition at the Women Leaders in College Sports National Convention in the year awarded.

CLICK HERE to see a list of past Commitment Award honorees.

THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD

The Administrator of the Year Award, sponsored by Learfield, is presented to Women Leaders in College Sports members for significant contributions made as an administrator of intercollegiate athletics. This award, recognizing administrative excellence, is presented annually to members in each NCAA division [Division I, FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA/NJCAA or Conference/Organization].

All individuals who meet the below criteria are eligible. Please note, all nominations are welcome and accepted; however, non-Women Leaders in College Sports members must team up with a Women Leaders  member to support the nomination.

  • Be an active member of Women Leaders in College Sports;
  • Be employed as a full-time athletics administrator at the institution, national governing organization or conference listed at the time of nomination;
  • Be committed to diversity and gender equity;
  • Demonstrate commitment, cooperation, and allegiance in promoting excellence in intercollegiate athletics;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to professional development and mentoring of athletics administrative staff;
  • Serve as a positive role model;
  • Demonstrate leadership and vision in promoting women’s athletics;
  • Be committed to the education and welfare of student-athletes;
  • Attend the National Convention.

Administrator of the Year honorees are recognized at the Women Leaders in College Sports National Convention in the year awarded where they are honored during the Administrator of the Year Lunch.

CLICK HERE to see a list of past Administrator of the Year honorees.

Nominate someone now!

THE NELL JACKSON ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD

The Nell Jackson Administrator of the Year Award, presented to Women Leaders in College Sports members, is bestowed annually to an athletics administrator who exemplifies the personal qualities and professional accomplishments of Dr. Nell Jackson. This award is given to an individual who demonstrates qualities such as courage, conviction and perseverance, and who is an advocate for gender equity and diversity. This award honors athletics administrators who are NCAA/Women Leaders in College Sports Institute for Administrative Advancement (formerly NACWAA/HERS) graduates, and demonstrate vision and outstanding leadership.

All individuals who meet the below criteria are eligible. Please note, all nominations are welcome, but emphasis will be placed on the achievement of minority women. Anyone is eligible to submit a nomination; however, non-Women Leaders in College Sports members must team up with a current Women Leaders member to support the nomination.

  • Be an active member of Women Leaders in College Sports;
  • Be employed as a full-time athletics administrator at the institution, national governing organization or conference listed at the time of nomination;
  • Be a NCAA/Women Leaders in College Sports Institute for Administrative Advancement (formerly NACWAA/HERS) graduate;
  • Demonstrate the following qualities: leadership, courage, compassion, conviction, tenacity, and vision;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity and gender equity;
  • Serve as a positive role model;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the pursuit of excellence;
  • Attend the Women Leaders in College Sports National Rally. 

The Nell Jackson Administrator of the Year honoree will receive a discounted registration fee to the Women Leaders in College Sports National Convention in the year awarded where they will be recognized during the Jostens Administrator of the Year Lunch.

CLICK HERE to see a list of past Nell Jackson Administrator of the Year honorees.

Nominate someone now!

THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Nike, is bestowed annually to administrators and professionals who have dedicated their professional careers to advancing women in sport. Because of their tireless efforts, girls and women participating in sport can enjoy competitive athletics and/or athletic career opportunities. This award is given to individuals who have rendered meritorious service and have retired from or are no longer directly involved in the profession.

All individuals who meet the below criteria are eligible. Please note, all nominations are welcome and accepted; however, non-Women Leaders in College Sports members must team up with a current Women Leaders member to support the nomination. Meritorious service is defined as leadership over and above normal duties as expected of an administrator of professional, highlighted by the following:

  • Active participation and leadership in national organizations (e.g., AIAW, NCAA, NJCAA, NAIA);
  • Active participation and leadership in professional organizations such as Women Leaders in College Sports, NACDA, or other professional organizations deemed appropriate by the selection committee;
  • Enhancement of the athletics program at the individual’s institution;
  • Enhancement of the relationship between the athletics department and the administration of the individual’s institution;
  • Demonstration of a professional and caring attitude in offering the individual’s professional and personal expertise and assistance to mentoring other athletics administrators, coaches and student-athletes. 

Up to four Lifetime Achievement honorees will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Women Leaders in College Sports National Convention in the year selected, where they are presented with their award during the Nike Lifetime Achievement Awards Luncheon.

CLICK HERE to see a list of past Lifetime Achievement Award honorees.

Nominate someone now!

THE HONOR AWARD

The Honor Award recognizes individuals and/or entities that have exemplified outstanding support of women in athletics and their success.

Honor Award candidates are nominated and selected by the Women Leaders in College Sports Board of Directors. The general membership of Women Leaders in College Sports can put forward a name to a member of the Women Leaders Board of Directors for them to put forward to the full board. This award is not necessarily presented annually, but rather in years in which an individual or entity is deserving of such recognition.

The Honor Award recipient is invited to attend the Women Leaders in College Sports National Convention where they are presented with the award during the Administrator of the Year Lunch, or other time deemed appropriate during convention.

CLICK HERE to see a list of past Honor Award honorees.

DR. CLAIRE VAN UMMERSEN PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP AWARD

The Dr. Claire Van Ummersen (CVU) Presidential Leadership Award is named for Dr. Claire Van Ummersen, Vice President of the American Council of Education’s (ACE) Center for Effective Leadership, and a passionate advocate for the leadership enhancement for women in athletics and higher education.

Sponsored by Women Leaders in College Sports and the NCAA, this award honors a university or college president/chancellor, vice president or provost, male or female, who has demonstrated leadership and promotion of women's opportunities in athletics administration or coaching. Nomination includes an essay of 500 words or less stating why the nominee is deserving of this award, citing specific examples of how he/she has promoted women’s opportunities in athletics or coaching.

CLICK HERE to see a list of past CVU Presidential Leadership Award honorees.

THE LEGACY AWARD

The Legacy Award is presented to a Women Leaders in College Sports member who has made significant contributions on a national level for the betterment of intercollegiate athletics.

This award will be presented based upon a nomination by a member of the Women Leaders in College Sports Board of Directors and a vote of the entire board. The general membership of Women Leaders in College Sports can put forward a name to a Women Leaders in College Sports board member for them to put forward to the full board. Nominees must be dedicated to:

  • Diversity and gender equity;
  • The Women Leaders in College Sports Foundation;
  • Women Leaders in College Sports’s educational and professional development programs.

The recipient of the Legacy Award is invited to attend the Women Leaders in College Sports National Convention in the year selected, where they are presented with their award during the Nike Lifetime Achievement Awards Luncheon, or other time as deemed appropriate by the convention planning committee.

CLICK HERE to see a list of past Legacy Award honorees.

THE AWARD OF DISTINCTION

The Award of Distinction is presented as a special recognition to a male or female who has distinguished him/herself with any or all of the following: unique professional contributions, extraordinary service or professional accomplishments, and/or personal courage. This is an opportunity to honor and recognize a male or female who has served as an inspiration to others while providing unique contributions under special circumstances which he/she has conducted his/her professional work or career.

The award will be presented based upon a nomination by a member of the Women Leaders in College Sports Board of Directors and a vote of the entire board. The general membership of Women Leaders in College Sports can put forward a name to a Women Leaders board member for them to put forward to the full board. This award allows the Women Leaders in College Sports Board of Directors the opportunity and flexibility to present a special award to a deserving male or female who may be outside the parameters of the currently established award recognition programs. This award is not necessarily presented annually, but rather in years in which a male or female is deserving of such recognition.

The recipient of the Award of Distinction is invited to attend the Women Leaders in College Sports National Convention in the year selected, where they are presented with their award during the Nike Lifetime Achievement Awards Luncheon, or other time as deemed appropriate by the convention planning committee.

CLICK HERE to see a list of past Award of Distinction honorees.