Leadership and Service Awards

For additional information on each award, including nomination criteria, you can review the awards descriptions. Nominations are now open. The form closes on Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 11:59 pm. Nominate a student or student group using the nomination form.

Join us on May 7, 2021 to celebrate our award recipients via social media channels.

Individual Awards

Student Leadership and Service Award

Honors students who have consistently given their time, energy, and talents to promote positive change and growth in the Mount Holyoke community, and in so doing have motivated others to do the same. These students will have demonstrated dedication and depth of experiences.

This commitment will be measured based on the following criteria:

  • They are a motivating leader on campus.

  • They have consistent campus service and commitment.

  • They go above and beyond in what is expected of them in their roles.

  • Dedication and depth of experiences demonstrates leadership:
    (1) participates in community building
    (2) mentors fellow students
    (3) creates opportunities for engagement and involvement

Maurice Rabbino Award

This award was established in 1978 by Irma L. Rabbino ’53 to honor her father by recognizing a student who has made a significant contribution to the life of Mount Holyoke College.

This commitment will be measured based on the following criteria:

  • Their contribution has had significant impact on the campus. For example they created something new, they were involved in a project that made significant change, etc.

  • Their involvement enriched the College.

The Helen Warren Smith Award

Established in 1979 by Helen Warren Smith, class of 1908, this award honors a senior student whose interest, involvement, and service to the Mount Holyoke College community have been outstanding.

This commitment will be measured based on the following criteria:

  • Enduring commitment to interest, involvement, and service.
  • Always participating in campus  activities; “frequent face”.
  • Provides allyship to other communities in order to build up their causes.

The Kelly Sottile Community Service Award

This award honors students who demonstrate a high level of personal commitment to the community beyond the campus.

This commitment will be measured based on the following criteria:

  • They are actively engaged with community beyond the College.
  • They have made significant contributions outside of the College.
  • They are sensitive to human need.
  • They have demonstrated a consistent commitment to the community beyond a singular occasion.
  • Community is defined as outside Mount Holyoke. This can be international, in the student's hometown and such.

The Frances Harriet Williams Award

Established by the family of Frances H. Williams ’19 in 1981, this award is presented to a student who passionately pursues their goal of academic excellence, social justice, or service to others.

This commitment will be measured based on the following criteria:

  • The nominee belongs to an underrepresented group on campus such as: African American, Latinx or Native American.
  • They demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence, sensitivity to the needs of others.
  • They have demonstrated a passion to inspire others.

McCulloch Center: Global Engagement Award

This award recognizes students who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to raising awareness on campus of critical global issues.

The Anna C. Edwards Prize for Excellence in Debate

The Anna C. Edwards Prize for Excellence in Debate was founded in 1915 by the 1890 class of Mount Holyoke College.

The definition of “excellence in debate” was adopted by the class of 1890, and the conditions under which the prize is to be awarded:

“Excellence in Debate depends upon skill in analyzing the question, ability and industry in gathering and classifying evidence, readiness in seeing the weak point of the opposing argument and power in attacking it, and such effectiveness in presenting the material that its full value will be felt by the audience.” In 1943, the notion of excellence was broadened to include “skill in argumentative and persuasive discussion and in debating” and “public discussions of controversial questions.”

We are looking to award the prize to a Mount Holyoke student who has a demonstrated commitment to promoting debate on campus, with these sentiments in mind. Those who are designated as sophomore, junior or senior in their academic standing are eligible to submit. The Anna C. Edwards Prize for Excellence in Debate provides a $500 cash prize and a listing in the commencement program.

Emerging Leader Award

This award honors two students in their first or second year of the College who show leadership promise through their contributions to student life and community building.

This commitment will be measured based on the following criteria:

  • They have made a significant contribution to the College community.
  • They have exceeded the expectations of their respective leadership positions.
  • They seek opportunities and actively attempt to improve the College by creating positive change.
  • They show promise as a continued leader for the College.
  • They are a great role model.
  • They impact the lives of those they are in contact with, and demonstrate a great deal of leadership potential.

Golden Lyon Award

This award recognizes students who have positively influenced a program or organization from behind the scenes with a positive attitude, a willingness to help in whatever capacity necessary, and a commitment to excellence.

This commitment will be measured based on the following criteria:

  • They contributed behind the scenes with their skill, time, and effort towards furthering the vision, mission and strategy of the College and community.
  • They went above and beyond without expecting something in return.

Group Awards

MoZone Community Builders Award

This award recognizes a student group (organization, committee, cultural center, living-learning community) who has done extraordinary work creating a diverse and inclusive community; presented by the MoZone Social Justice Peer Education program. The award honors a recognized student group who has demonstrated a significant commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout the academic year.

This commitment will be measured based on the following criteria:

  • Programmatic partnerships with organizations that reflects diversity
  • Programs that teach, support, or practice a commitment to diversity, underrepresented communities, diversity training and/or social justice
  • Support for national cultural heritage celebrations on campus
  • A demonstrated want to explore and appreciate the many cultures of MHC through their actions, deeds, membership and service choices in their contribution to MHC.

Distinguished Student Group Award

This award honors recognized student groups and their distinguished level of contribution to the MHC community through planned events and programs on campus. Student groups which receive this award are recognized by their exceptional success in motivating and organizing fellow students to enhance campus life; and by their collaborative efforts with other groups or departments to achieve objectives to improve student life. In addition to enriching the campus life, they have co-sponsored with other groups in order to bring together different facets of campus, and which served to build and strengthen the campus community.

This commitment will be measured based on the following criteria:

  • The group enriches the campus life.
  • They seek co-sponsorship with other groups in order to bring together different facets of campus.
  • They serve to build and strengthen the campus community.
  • They are exceptional in motivating and organizing fellow students to enhance campus life.
  • They are successful in collaborative efforts with other groups or departments to achieve objectives to improve student life.
  • They exceed the expectations inherent in their stated purpose and function.
  • The group’s activities and projects have had the most significant positive influence on the College and the surrounding community.

Excellence in Programming Award

This award recognizes a student group or committee, for its exceptional creativity, planning, and execution of a campus-wide program. Criteria upon which decisions are based include appeal to a broad cross-section of the College community, originality, and participation by members of the organization during all phases of the effort. The program must have been administered and managed by an organization where students are significantly, if not completely, involved with the decision making, planning, implementation and presentation of the program. Note: Faculty or administrative personnel may be involved in an advisory capacity.

This commitment will be measured based on the following criteria:

  • The organization demonstrates innovative and creative programming in a single event or on an ongoing basis.
  • The group has shown achievements in planning, delegation, execution, promotion, and presentation of programs.
  • The programming appeals to a broad cross- section of the College community.
  • There is originality of programming
  • Effective use of available resources, promotion and marketing efforts, and considered the diverse population of student audiences.