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Principles of Community Award

Virginia Tech’s Presidential Principles of Community Awards are now open! (January 30 to February 24)

Nominations extended thru Friday, March 10th!

The Presidential Principles of Community Awards were established in 2014 and recognizes members of the Virginia Tech community who exemplify the Principles of Community and have demonstrated an active commitment to Inclusion and Diversity at Virginia Tech. This year, the university will present four awards:

  • Individual Award for long term contributions
  • Individual Award for recent contributions
  • Group Award for initiatives, programs, or events
  • Department or Unit Award for contributions

Nominations may be submitted by alumni, undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff members, and community members.

Nominations are reviewed and selected by members of the awards committee which includes representatives from the Office for Inclusion and Diversity and the Commission on Equal Opportunity and Diversity (CEOD). Award recipients will be celebrated via a video presentation that will be posted online on May 10, 2023. Each award recipient will receive a monetary gift and an invitation to a reception hosted by the President of Virginia Tech.  All award winners will be featured in a community announcement.

Contact Stacey Wilkerson for additional information at

  • Nominations for the award may come from alumni, students, faculty, staff and community members.
  • Tenure-track, research, administrative/professional faculty, instructors, staff, departments, and teams are eligible.
  • Nominations must be submitted online

All components of the nomination must be submitted online through the Google Form.  The nominator should collect all components of the application before final submission.  A completed nomination includes the following components submitted online:

  • A complete nomination form
  • 2 Letters describing the nominee’s commitment to the Principles of Community through their contributions to diversity and inclusion at Virginia Tech.
    • A personal letter from the nominator (not to exceed 2 pages)
    • An personal letter from a student, faculty, staff, alumni, or community member (not to exceed 2 pages)
  •  Any additional documentation as needed to support the nomination (not to exceed 4 pages).  This could include, but is not limited to: a CV or resume, news articles, certificates, (descriptions of) presentations or speaking engagements.

Suggested points the letters of support should cover:

  • Programs and/or activities and how these address inclusion and diversity needs and interests at Virginia Tech.
  • Expertise and contributions related to inclusion and diversity.
  • Evidence of communication and networking with diverse communities.
  • Leadership experience.
  • Professional or scholarly activities.
  • Examples of commitments outside of work-related activities.

The candidate(s) will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Provides evidence of a strong commitment to inclusion and diversity in order to foster a welcoming climate.
  • Promotes and facilitates equitable education and social engagement with and between people of varying ethnic or religious backgrounds, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, physical and mental capabilities, etc.
  • Conducts research or implements work practices to create a new and progressive initiative that helps to enrich the lives of all Virginia Tech stakeholders.
  • Exhibits visionary and insightful leadership to confront and resolve inequities through strategic decision-making, collaborations, allocation of resources, or inclusive teaching practices.
  • Demonstrates a strong commitment to the Principles of Community that goes beyond the call of duty.
  • 2014 - Jean Elliott
  • 2015 - Karen DePauw
  • 2016 (Faculty award) - Bev Watford
  • 2016 (Staff award)  - Linda Greene
  • 2017 (Faculty award) - Randy Grayson
  • 2017 (Staff award) - Betty Watts
  • 2018 (Teaching/Research Faculty award) -  María del Carmen Caña Jiménez
  • 2018 (Teaching/Research Faculty award) -  Amanda Morris
  • 2018 (AP Faculty and Staff award) -  Latanya Walker
  • 2018 (AP Faculty and Staff award) -  John Gray Williams
  • 2019 (Recent Individual award) - Chris Tysor
  • 2019 (Long term Individual award) - Sam Cook
  • 2019 (Department award) - Department of Religion and Culture
  • 2019 (Group award) - Virginia Dares Team
  • 2020 (Recent Individual Award) - Mae Hey
  • 2020 (Long Term Individual Award) - Carlos Evia
  • 2020 (Group Award) - Latin Link
  • 2021 (Recent Individual Award) - Edward Polanco
  • 2021 (Long Term Individual Award) - Brandy Faulkner
  • 2021 (Group Award) - Graduate Student Success in Multicultural Environments (GSSME)
  • 2021 (Department Award) - Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health Graduate Program
  • 2022 (Group Award) - Black Caucus
  • 2022 (Long Term Individual Award) - Tamara Smith
  • 2022 (Recent Individual Award) - Eric Glenn
  • 2022 (Recent Individual Award) - Melissa Faircloth