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Student Leadership and Community Engagement Awards

The purpose of the Student Leadership and Community Engagement Awards is to recognize the distinguished undergraduate, graduate students, student organizations, faculty, and staff for their promotion of leadership, community, and quality of student life at Mills College. This space serves to highlight leadership through the practice of community, solidarity, and social justice. You can find a list of last year’s award recipients here.

Any Mills College student, faculty, or staff member may nominate a Mills College student, faculty member, or staff member for the Student Leadership and Community Engagement Awards. Please review the criteria and eligibility below for more information. To submit a nomination, complete the online nomination form during the nomination period. Nominations will be accepted online. Nominations will not be accepted after 9:00 am on Tuesday, March 29.

Please click here to submit your nomination. Late submissions will not be considered. Selections will be made by a committee of students, staff, and faculty and announced at the Student Leadership and Community Engagement Awards Ceremony 4:00-6:00 pm, Wednesday, April 20 in the Student Union.

The Student Leadership and Community Engagement Awards are given to current Mills College students, faculty, and staff who have had an extraordinary and positive impact on the College community, including achievements within the College at large and the larger community. Successful nominations should demonstrate that the individual or organization has made a significant and positive contribution to the College in one or more of the following ways:

  • Building community
  • Enhancing wellness
  • Promoting social justice and advocacy
  • Demonstrating civic responsibility
  • Actively volunteering
  • Creating innovative and new projects or activities
  • Innovating and enhancing existing College programs or services
  • Exhibiting outstanding leadership with an organization or project

The following are eligibility requirements that must be met by each nominee.

  • Student nominees must be in good academic standing.
  • Student nominees must be registered during the semester the award will be given, or have graduated the previous December.
  • Nominations should be based on achievements that date from March of the previous year; for the 2016 awards, nominations should be based on achievements between April 2015 and April 2016, unless otherwise noted.
  • Nominated organizations must be currently registered with the Office of Student Activities or with an academic department.
  • Typically, work done as part of a compensated role is not considered, however extra-ordinary achievement by a student who goes above and beyond the normal expectations of work will be considered. Please indicate in your nomination if this is the case.
  • Current Mills College faculty, staff, and students are eligible to nominate a student for the Student Leadership and Mills of Color Awards. Self-nominations are also accepted.

Awards and Descriptions

Student Leadership Awards

  • Outstanding Senior: Graduating senior recognized for involvement in and contribution to the Mills community.
  • Helen Carroll Award: Faculty, staff or student recognized for dedication to securing equal rights and combating discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
  • Peg Dean Leadership Award: Established by Alumna Edyth Chan to recognize an Asian American student for demonstrated leadership on campus.
  • Coleen Gragen Award: Faculty, staff or student recognized for dedication and advocacy for women.
  • Christine LaFia Award: Senior with outstanding service to the College over their entire time at Mills.
  • Shirley Weishaar Award: Outstanding service to the Division of Student Life over their entire time at Mills.
  • Palladium: Honor society recognizing juniors and seniors who combine academic excellence with service to the College over their entire time at Mills. Palladium requires a 3.0 GPA.
  • Leadership in Campus Sustainability: Student recognized for outstanding leadership in furthering environmental and social sustainability into the campus culture.
  • Student Organization of the Year: Presented to an organization that has demonstrated through their events and activities, outstanding collaboration and dedication to educating the Mills and broader community in support of the College’s and the ASMC’s mission.
  • Student Organization Advisor of the Year: Recognizes a campus advisor who dedicates time and resources to the advancement of a club or organization. The nominee offers support to students through mentorship, guidance, and advocacy.

Community Engagement Awards (CEA)

Established in 2004 in order to distinguish the accomplishments and contributions of people of color both as individual leaders and to the greater Mills community. This space served to highlight leadership through the practice of community, solidarity, and social justice.

In Spring 2006, the MoCA awards were combined with the campus Student Leadership Awards in order to centrally highlight the achievements of all students, while honoring the legacy of these important community based awards.

In 2016, the Mills Of Color Awards were transformed into the Community Engagement Awards. This shift acknowledges both the growing diversity of Mills and the equity in which students of color are acknowledged for their leadership throughout the College.  

The Community Engagement Awards criteria are:

    • Demonstrated leadership in working towards racial justice and intersecting causes ​
    • Exhibited involvement working for freedom, solidarity, and/ or dignity for all people.
  • CEA Student Organization of the Year
  • CEA Athlete of the Year
  • CEA Artist of the Year
  • CEA Community Service Leader of the Year
  • CEA Community Activism of the Year
  • CEA Staff Member of the Year
  • CEA Faculty Member of the Year
  • CEA Graduate Leader of the Year
  • CEA Emerging Leader of the Year
  • CEA Junior Leader of the Year
  • CEA Senior Leader of the Year


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Contact Information

Center for Student Leadership, Equity, and Excellence
Rothwell Center

P: 510.430.2184
F: 510.430.3235

Last Updated: 3/22/16