Each year, the Graduate & Professional Student Association recognizes a variety of individuals from across disciplines and classifications at the University for their contributions to the development and continued growth of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (PT).

Nominate an individual through the application portal. Descriptions of the five GPSA Awards and eligibility requirements are available below.

GPSA Awards for UNLV Students, Faculty, and Staff

Outstanding Mentor Award

GPSA acknowledges two UNLV academic faculty members who show compassion for graduate and professional student professional development. A mentee’s success reflects their mentor. We are seeking advisors and mentors who support, understand, and guide the aspirations of their students. These mentors are people who have demonstrated continued success in preparing graduate-level students for their academic or professional careers.  

Eligibility

UNLV academic faculty.

Award

GPSA will present the winner with an accolade commemorating their service at the Annual Graduate & Professional Student Research Forum Awards Ceremony. This year’s Awards Ceremony will take place in a synchronous hybrid format on April 2, 2022, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Distinguished Contribution Award

GPSA will recognize one individual who is behind the scenes. This individual handles the “miscellaneous jobs” that connect faculty and students together. They find solutions for graduate and professional student issues and go above and beyond providing assistance. The contribution of this individual reduces student stress and helps them achieve success. This award was enacted to bestow formal recognition upon devoted supporters of graduate and professional students who have made contributions that better the life of graduate and professional students.

Eligibility

UNLV classified staff and administrative faculty.

Award

GPSA will present the winner with an accolade commemorating their service at the Annual Graduate & Professional Student Research Forum Awards Ceremony. This year’s Awards Ceremony will take place in a synchronous hybrid format on April 2, 2022, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Winners are encouraged to attend the Awards Ceremony in person.

Southern Nevada Community Impact Award

GPSA is looking for a graduate or professional student who is making a tangible impact on the community in Southern Nevada. This individual is not thinking about improving their life alone, but how to improve the lives of their neighbors. The recipient of this award represents creativity, resourcefulness, and potential. The Southern Nevada community is grateful for having such an incredible individual. Whether through professional or volunteer service, they make a significant and positive impact on the lives of others and embody the values represented in the university’s vision. Successful candidates for this award may be one or more of the following:

  • Advocating for and effecting change within a specific area of the community
  • Addressing critical social, economic, health, or environmental needs throughout our society
  • Pursuing passion projects that benefit the greater good
  • Driving change through significant philanthropy

Eligibility

UNLV graduate and professional students. Individuals can self-nominate.

Award

$300 monetary award and recognition at the Annual Graduate & Professional Student Research Forum Awards Ceremony. This year’s Awards Ceremony will take place in a synchronous hybrid format on April 2, 2022, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Winners are encouraged to attend the Awards Ceremony in person.

Expanding the Knowledge Frontier Award

The purpose of this award is to acknowledge two graduate and professional students who have proven to be outstanding scholars in their field. GPSA aims to recognize those who are innovatively advancing their discipline and exploring pioneering research topics. Nominees will have demonstrated academic or professional qualities that set them apart within their academic program. Selection criteria could include, but are not limited to:

  • Involvement or leadership within their college or department
  • Originality in research
  • Conference papers, proceedings, presentations, or poster sessions
  • Publications
  • Thesis or dissertation quality
  • Grant money
  • Teamwork
  • Professionalism
  • Student ratings of instruction
  • Work Ethic

Eligibility

UNLV graduate and professional students. Individuals can self-nominate.

Award

$300 monetary award and recognition at the Annual Graduate & Professional Student Research Forum Awards Ceremony. This year’s Awards Ceremony will take place in a synchronous hybrid format on April 2, 2022, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Winners are encouraged to attend the Awards Ceremony in person.

The “Best” of UNLV Award

As a minority-serving institution rich with diversity and committed to equity, we strive to improve the lives of our students and transform our communities.” – UNLV Top Tier 2.0

GPSA seeks to recognize an individual who represents UNLV in the best way possible. This person supports UNLV’s Vision and Mission and deepens the university’s culture of philanthropy and alumni connection. Nominees will have demonstrated academic or professional qualities that may include, but are not limited to:

  • Student Achievement
  • Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity
  • Healthcare
  • Socio-Economic Development
  • Community Engagement
  • Social Justice, Equity, and Inclusion

UNLV Vision and Mission

Our mission is for UNLV’s diverse faculty, students, staff, and alumni to promote community well-being and individual achievement through education, research, scholarship, creative activities, and clinical services. We stimulate economic development and diversification, foster a climate of innovation, promote health, and enrich the cultural vitality of the communities that we serve. Our vision is that by 2025, UNLV will be recognized as a top tier public university in research, education, and community impact.

Eligibility

UNLV graduate and professional students. Individuals can self-nominate.

Award

$500 monetary award and recognition at the Annual Graduate & Professional Student Research Forum Awards Ceremony. This year’s Awards Ceremony will take place in a synchronous hybrid format on April 2, 2022, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Winners are encouraged to attend the Awards Ceremony in person.

General Information and Timeline

  • General Information and Timeline
    • Nominations for all GPSA Awards are accepted throughout the academic year. The nominations portal will open on September 1st and remain open through March 1st.
    • Awards are open to all UNLV graduate and professional students, academic faculty, administrative faculty and classified staff.
    • Nominations must include the nominee's name, position (e.g. student/faculty/staff), department, and UNLV email as well as the contact information of the nominator (including self-nominations). Supplemental materials may strengthen the nomination and are encouraged.
    • Student Awards: Recipients must remain in good standing with their degree program and the Graduate College. The student must be enrolled in a minimum of one (1) graduate credit hour the semester they are to receive the award.
  • Selection Timeline (All GPSA Awards)
    • Nominations will be evaluated by the Office of Sponsored Funding and the GPSA Advisor in March.
      • In cases where the nominee is from the same department as a reviewer, the nomination will be referred to another member of the Office of Sponsored Funding.
      • Award recipients will be notified two weeks prior to the Awards Ceremony.
      • Award recipients will be recognized at the Annual Graduate & Professional Student Research Forum Award Ceremony. Recipients are encouraged to attend the Awards Ceremony in person.

Research Forum

The winners of the GPSA Awards will be announced at the Awards Ceremony which concludes the Annual Graduate and Professional Student Research Forum. This year's Forum will be hosted on Saturday, April 15, 2023, by the Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA) and the Graduate College. The Awards Ceremony will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom and will also be streamed live. All are welcome to attend either in person or virtually. If you plan to attend in person, please RSVP for the Awards Ceremony. This event is open to all. Please use the check-in desk upon arrival.

The Annual Graduate and Professional Student Research Forum offers students the opportunity to present their progress on their graduate-level work at the end of the academic year. The GPSA budgets $175,000 annually to sponsor student projects and creative expressions, which are on display at the Forum.