Arts Awards

Row of glass sculptures with orange swirl in each

About the Arts Awards

Established in 2012 by Dean Doug Peers, the Arts Awards for Service, Teaching and Research recognize exceptional contributions made by faculty, staff and students in the Faculty of Arts. Award recipients are presented with a custom-made glass sculpture at the annual Celebration of Arts reception. Although paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, this special community event celebrates the many ways in which students, staff and faculty contribute to Arts success.  

Nomination process

Nominations are the responsibility of department chairs, school directors, and staff supervisors (plus some specified others) for the Teaching and Service Awards. Faculty, staff, and students in Arts are encouraged to submit the names of potential nominees using the Arts Awards Suggestion Box, and these suggestions will be directed in confidence to the appropriate nominator for consideration. 

The 2021 Arts Award Nominee Suggestion Box form closed February 22, 2021. If you'd like to make a nominee suggestion, please contact that person's supervisor directly. Thank you

2021 Arts Award Nomination form - submit by March 15, 2021

Criteria and nominations

Service award | Teaching award | Research award


Arts Award for Excellence in Service

For faculty, staff, and students

In recognition of exceptional service, the Faculty of Arts presents up to four Arts Service Awards each year. The adjudication committee will seek to ensure that the full range of service provided by members of the Arts community is recognized in its selections. 

For faculty and staff, the candidate’s Chair/Director or supervisor is responsible for preparing and submitting nominations (or co-signing and submitting worthy nominations originating from another party). For students, the nominator will normally be the Undergraduate or Graduate Officer for the student’s major, the ASU or GSA president, or another significant faculty or staff contact. A nomination package will include the candidate’s full CV (for tenured and tenure-track faculty only) and a letter of nomination (of no more than 750 words) incorporating evidence of:

  • a specific, high-impact project or initiative, or impact that goes substantially beyond the usual standard of excellent client services and that benefits the individual’s unit or peers, the Faculty of Arts, or the broader university community; and/or
  • an exceptional level of commitment and impact, sustained over a significant period of time.

Nominators are encouraged to keep nominations confidential. Best practice will be for Chairs/Directors to solicit updated CVs from all faculty members on an annual cycle rather than individually soliciting nominee CVs.

Nominations for the Arts Teaching, Service, and Research Awards may be submitted by Chairs, Directors, and staff supervisors (as well as some specified others for the Service and Teaching Awards) based in Faculty of Arts units on the main University of Waterloo campus and at UW Arts satellite operations. These awards are adjudicated by the multi-disciplinary Arts Honours & Awards Committee. Sitting members of this committee are ineligible for these awards. While holding their administrative positions, Chairs/Directors, Associate Deans, and the Dean are also ineligible.

The nomination deadline for all Arts Awards is in March, and the announcement/celebration of these awards takes place in the spring of each year. Specific dates are established by the committee on an ongoing basis.


Arts Award for Excellence in Teaching

For faculty, sessional instructors, and graduate students

In recognition of exceptional teaching, the Faculty of Arts presents up to four Arts Teaching Awards each year to faculty members (tenured and tenure-track professors, staff instructors, and definite term or continuing lecturers), sessional instructors, and/or graduate student instructors, including TAs.  The adjudication committee will seek to ensure that the full range of Arts instructors is recognized in its selections.

Chairs/Directors are responsible for preparing and submitting nominations (or co-signing and submitting worthy nominations originating from another party). A nomination package will include the candidate’s full CV (for tenured and tenure-track faculty only) and a letter of nomination (of no more than 750 words) outlining the candidate’s teaching effectiveness, demonstrated by appropriately contextualized information from course evaluations and/or other relevant indicators. Where appropriate, and depending on the nature of the teaching appointment, nomination letters may also address the following:

  • Proven consistency in teaching excellence over time, and between different levels and course sizes;
  • Implementation of new and varied approaches related to course development; structure and delivery; and/or
  • Mentoring of colleagues and graduate students for the purpose of promoting better teaching.

Nominators are encouraged to keep nominations confidential. Best practice will be for Chairs/Directors to solicit updated CVs from all faculty members on an annual cycle rather than individually soliciting nominee CVs.

Nominations for the Arts Teaching, Service, and Research Awards may be submitted by Chairs, Directors, and staff supervisors (as well as some specified others for the Service and Teaching Awards) based in Faculty of Arts units on the main University of Waterloo campus and at UW Arts satellite operations. These awards are adjudicated by the multi-disciplinary Arts Honours & Awards Committee. Sitting members of this committee are ineligible for these awards. While holding their administrative positions, Chairs/Directors, Associate Deans, and the Dean are also ineligible.

The nomination deadline for all Arts Awards is in March, and the announcement/celebration of these awards takes place in the spring of each year. Specific dates are established by the committee on an ongoing basis.


Arts Award for Excellence in Research

For faculty

In recognition of exceptional research achievement, the Faculty of Arts presents up to four Arts Research Awards each year. Awards will be presented to regular faculty members (tenured or tenure-track) only.  The adjudication committee will seek to ensure that the full spectrum of Arts research (social sciences, humanities, languages, culture/research-creation, interdisciplinary) is recognized in its selections.  Nominations may be submitted for junior researchers, mid-career researchers, and/or senior researchers (and candidates’ achievement will be assessed in relation to their peers at the same career stage).

Chairs/Directors are responsible for preparing and submitting nominations (or co-signing and submitting worthy nominations originating from other parties). A nomination package will include the candidate’s full CV and a letter of nomination (of no more than 750 words) indicating a) the candidate’s career stage (junior, mid-career, or senior), b) the type of research they conduct (e.g., social sciences, humanities, culture/research-creation, etc.), and, as appropriate, c) discussion of evidence related to areas such as

  • Research achievement in comparison to peers at the same career stage;
  • Quantity and quality of research contributions in the context of the candidate’s discipline;
  • Success in securing research grants, awards, and/or prizes;
  • Disciplinary or interdisciplinary impact;
  • Leadership in research teams, networks, and/or centres; and/or
  • Research impact and success in communicating research findings to audiences outside of academia.

Nominators are encouraged to keep nominations confidential. Best practice will be for Chairs/Directors to solicit updated CVs from all faculty members on an annual cycle rather than individually soliciting nominee CVs.

Nominations for the Arts Teaching, Service, and Research Awards may be submitted by Chairs, Directors, and staff supervisors (as well as some specified others for the Service and Teaching Awards) based in Faculty of Arts units on the main University of Waterloo campus and at UW Arts satellite operations. These awards are adjudicated by the multi-disciplinary Arts Honours & Awards Committee. Sitting members of this committee are ineligible for these awards. While holding their administrative positions, Chairs/Directors, Associate Deans, and the Dean are also ineligible.

The nomination deadline for all Arts Awards is in March, and the announcement/celebration of these awards takes place in the spring of each year. Specific dates are established by the committee on an ongoing basis.

2020 award recipients

Excellence in Service

  • Gerry Boychuk, Political Science
  • Andrea Charette, Dean of Arts Office
  • Kiera McMaster, Stratford School
  • Susan Roy, History

Excellence in Teaching

  • Christopher Bennett, Political Science
  • George Lamont, English Language & Literature
  • Seda Oz, Accounting & Finance

Excellence in Research

  • Tim Bauer, Accounting & Finance
  • Suzan Ilcan, Sociology & Legal Studies
  • Elise Lepage, French Studies 
  • Heather Whiteside, Political Science