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Award Description

Cougar Spirit Award (Any Student Staff Member)

The Cougar Spirit Award recognizes the student staff member who best exemplifies what it means to be a “UH Coog”. The individual’s school pride is demonstrated through a positive attitude, acts of University loyalty, engagement, and participation in the campus community. They take pride in being a member of the University of Houston, and encourage others to be engaged in the UH Community as well.

Commitment to The Ethic of Care Award (Any Student Staff Member)

This staff member makes people feel heard, valued, and cared about. They take proactive measures to ensure that the community is safe and welcoming. They react quickly and appropriately to issues and concerns that community members express. They are an excellent source of referral to campus partners, and follow up with residents after concerns have been raised. 

Commitment to Student Success (Any Student Staff Member)

This student staff member ensures that residents feel good about their SHRL housing experience.  They work to create an environment where a student feels comfortable and successful. They help students to understand the benefits of living on campus, provide resources for scholastic achievement, and assist residents to accomplish their goals for graduation and after their time at UH and with SHRL.

Commitment to Diversity (Any Student Staff Member)

This student staff member or program advocates for and supports members of communities based on diverse identities. They seek to educate students about various identities and histories. They have engaged students on relevant topics, reached out to campus partners or other experts, and have made respect and inclusion a priority amongst the community and its members.

Commitment to Community Development (Any Student Staff Member)

This person sought to bring community members together to take collective action and build a sense of togetherness within a hall. This person implemented programs that were thorough and purposeful through its planning, implementation, and follow-through.  Nominees of this award should address ways they enhanced program attendance, utilized creative marketing campaigns, implemented new ways to engage the community, innovatively used technology for information sharing, and/or discovered ways to save resources.

Tier 1 Customer Service (Any Student Staff Member)

This staff member shows exemplary customer service and is an excellent representative of the University and the SHRL Department. They are knowledgeable about their community and the other services the University and SHRL have to offer. They consistently take any extra steps and are dedicated to being helpful to their peers, supervisors, and residents.

Desk Assistant of the Year

This award is given to a Desk Assistant, who consistently exceeds the minimum job requirements, has a positive attitude, supports their team, develops a strong sense of community, supports Departmental goals, and provides tier-one customer service.

Senior Desk Assistant of the Year:

This award is given to a Senior Desk Assistant, who consistently exceeds the minimum job requirements, has a positive attitude, supports their team, develops a strong sense of community, supports Departmental goals, and provides tier-one customer service.

Resident Advisor of the Year

Each nominee for the RA of the Year award was nominated by a consensus of their Resident Advisor peers and supervisor. From the nominations provided by each building team, there is an overall RA of the Year.

This award is given to a Resident Advisor, who consistently exceeds the minimum job requirements, has a positive attitude, supports their team, develops a strong sense of community, and supports Departmental goals.  They are concerned with the whole development of a residential community and resident. They challenge residents while supporting their whole-person success.

Cub Of The Year (First Year Resident Advisor)

This new staff member has completed less than 2 semesters in their current role with SHRL. They have demonstrated an ability to learn, grow, and take initiative in their first year. This staff member has been acknowledged by their teammates and supervisor to be hardworking, persistent, and has shown consistent growth throughout their first year in their role. As a first-year staff member, their performance is outstanding.

Distinguished Cougar Award (Returning Desk Assistant & Resident Advisors)

This returning staff member has completed more than 3 semesters in their current position with SHRL. They have made positive contributions to residents, their peers, and the SHRL department. They take an active role in helping other staff members to succeed in their position during Training times and throughout the year. They are seen as a mentor to other student leaders, are resourceful, and reliable.

Community Mentor of the Year:

The recipient of this award excels at balancing student intervention meetings while utilizing the Mapworks software; as well as serving as an adviser to the Hall Council. This award is given to a Community Mentor, who consistently exceeds the minimum job requirements, has a positive attitude, supports their team, develops a strong sense of community, and supports the entire Departmental goals.

Commitment to Relationship Building (Any Student Staff Team)

This award is given to a staff team that exhibits excellence in bringing people together in their community, contributing to a sense of membership and mattering. This team works to make meaningful connections with and between students, faculty, and staff. They have gone above and beyond the minimum requirements, excel as a team, show enthusiasm, are innovative, act as role models, and foster a strong sense of community. This can be a team of RA’s, or DA’s.

Faculty-In-Residence Program of the Year:

The Faculty-in-Residence (FIR) program is comprised of University of Houston faculty members from various different academic disciplines, who are committed to student learning beyond the traditional classroom environment. FIR’s host programs regularly to engage students in learning opportunities directly inside of the Residence Halls. The FIR programs are designed to impact residents to create learning outside of the classroom. The FIR Program of the year award is given to an FIR’s program that encompassed at least one of the five tenants of the SHRL Mission Statement: Community Development, Student Success and Satisfaction, Whole Person Development, Relationship Building or Ethic of Care. The outstanding effort put forth by the FIR Program of the Year resulted in community building, creativity, involvement from residents, and learning from outside of the classroom.

Social Program of the Year:

This award recognizes the program which fostered tremendous levels of purposeful student and community connection. This program should have engaged residents in efforts to promote social interaction outside of their previously established relationships. This program must demonstrate how to create a positive environment and connect residents outside of their pre-defined friend groups in an intentional manner. By attending this program residents should have not only connected with others but also learned methods to empower them to connect to peers in the future without needing staff assistance.

Diversity Program of the Year:

This award recognizes an educational and/or entertainment-based program that focuses on the topic of diversity. This program advocates for and supports members of communities based on diverse identities. The program’s purpose is to educate students about various identities and histories. The program was dedicated to building positive interaction amongst cultures; promoted awareness of cultures and global issues through student engagement; and provided opportunities for students to learn about the importance of diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism.

Academic Program of the Year:

This award recognizes the program that most clearly engaged residents in a specific educational focus area. This program should accomplish more than one learning outcome and have a clearly defined measure of student learning. This program may feature FIR or campus partner collaboration, but the community’s staff must also have been engaged in both the content planning efforts as well as the execution. This program should have pushed residents within their healthy boundaries of learning comfort zone and challenged them to think in ways in which they may not have been accustomed to thinking prior to the event. Holistic learning outside of the classroom is a key focus of this award.

Community of the Year:

This award is given to the on-campus residential community who most clearly embodies the department’s focus on the educational success, holistic development of residents and leading with an ethic of care. This community should excel in creating a safe and secure environment in which residents feel comfortable in spaces outside of their assigned rooms. The community has engaged residents in holistic education, pushing residents in social, emotional, and physical learning opportunities in addition to supporting their academic studies. This staff should understand and embrace the concept of accountability, utilizing it as a learning tool to reach their highest potential. The community of the year has gone above and beyond to make the residential experience memorable for the residents. The community of the year has created a meaningful environment which connects faculty, staff, and students to the residence halls; provides healthy challenge and support opportunities for the residents living within that community. They should be active in recounting the on-campus living experience in a positive manner, all the while helping to build a special affinity for the community in which residents are an integral part of.