Women Leaders in College Sports 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

The Rising Star Award recognizes students (undergraduate and graduate), interns, or volunteers who have made a significant contribution early in their career and show potential to make a leadership impact in the future.  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].

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

COMMITMENT AWARD

The Commitment Award recognizes a mid-level athletics administrator below the senior ranking level (5-10 years of administrative experience) who is committed to providing leadership and guidance within intercollegiate athletics, goes beyond the call of duty, and provides outstanding service to one's department, conference office, or organization. 

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

PROMISING PROFESSIONAL AWARD

The Promising Professional Award recognizes a full-time athletics administrator (0-4 years of experience) who has made an exemplary impact in their current role. This award calls attention to an individual with outstanding commitment to excellence.

CLICK HERE to see a list of past Promising Professional Award honorees.

THE NIKE EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR AWARD

The Executive of the Year Award 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/Community College or Conference/Organization].  

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

NELL JACKSON NIKE EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR AWARD

The Nell Jackson Executive 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. 

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

THE NIKE 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.

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

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; however, any current Women Leaders member can submit a recommendation to a current board member. The Board of Directors will then consider all recommendations for review and selection. This award is not necessarily presented annually, but rather in years in which an individual or entity is deserving of such recognition.

 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.

Legacy Award candidates are nominated and selected by Women Leaders in College Sports Board of Directors; however, any current Women Leaders member can submit a recommendation to a current board member. The Board of Directors will then consider all recommendations for review and selection. Nominees must be dedicated to:

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

Award of Distinction candidates are nominated and selected by Women Leaders in College Sports Board of Directors; however, any current Women Leaders member can submit a recommendation to a current board member. The Board of Directors will then consider all recommendations for review and selection. This award is not necessarily presented annually, but rather in years in which a male or female is deserving of such recognition. 

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