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2024 Outstanding Public Service Award nominations

Deadline: Friday, Dec. 29, 2023

Do you know of a faculty or staff member who has made exemplary contributions to the common good through public service? If so, consider nominating that person for the 2023 Outstanding Public Service Award.

This award, initiated in 1980, recognizes faculty and staff efforts to improve the quality of life locally, nationally or internationally. It is presented at the Awards of Excellence event each June and includes a $5,000 award. The selection committee, composed of faculty and staff, considers the nature and extent of the public service activity, the amount of time and effort involved, and its lasting impact.

The basis for the nomination may be social, cultural, civic, education-related, or health-related achievements for work performed without compensation. It may be uncompensated consulting work within one’s area of expertise, or volunteer work in other areas. The committee will consider whether the work benefits large numbers of people, significantly impacts the welfare of a few, or influences major issues.

Who may be nominated

The Outstanding Public Service Award is presented to one UW employee per year. It can include faculty, other academic appointees, and staff.

Who can nominate

Nominations may be made by faculty or staff, or by a member of an organization that has benefited from the public service activity. Self-nominations are not accepted for this award.

What you will need

  • Contact information for the nominee (legal and preferred name, pronouns, title, department, email, mobile phone number, and mailing address).
  • A main nomination letter that is 750 to 1,500 words in length.
  • Optional: Up to three additional letters of support that are 400 to 750 words in length.

Nomination tips

Gather details about your nominee’s uncompensated volunteer activities —description, dates of service, and impact. Ideally, ask your nominee to provide this to you in advance.

Make sure your nominee stands out to the award selection committee by following these tips.

  • Highlight how your nominee has made exemplary contributions to the common good through public service.
  • Provide a clear, specific description of the nature, extent, level of effort and time period of the service.
  • Fully explain the impact of service—whether it benefits large numbers of people, significantly impacts the welfare of a few, or influences major issues.
  • This award is for uncompensated work, so check to be sure the nominee received no compensation for the activity that would disqualify them. If relevant, clarify in your submission how the activity was separate and distinct from similar paid work.
  • Submit nominations and letters of support composed from a variety of supporters.
  • Acquire multiple supporting letters and submit the best three with your nomination.

How to submit

  • Save your nomination and up to three letters of support as a single Adobe PDF document.
  • Send via email attachment to by 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 29, 2023.

Past Outstanding Public Service Award recipients

  • 2022, Ann Spangler, Administrative Assistant, William H. Gates Public Service Law Program
  • 2021, Zahra Ali, Registered Nurse, Critical Care, UW Medical Center
  • 2019, Dr. Theresa Cheng, clinical assistant professor, Periodontics
  • 2018, Elizabeth Dawson-Hahn, acting assistant professor, Pediatrics
  • 2017, Helen Teresa “Trez” Buckland, clinical assistant professor, Nursing
  • 2016, Augustine McCaffery, senior administrative specialist, Graduate School
  • 2014, Angelina Snodgrass Godoy, professor, Law, Societies and Justice
  • 2013, Katherine Beckett, professor, Sociology
  • 2012, Jacqueline McMurtrie, associate professor, Law
  • 2011, Tracy Harachi, associate professor, Social Work
  • 2010, Terrie Klinger, associate professor, Marine Affairs
  • 2009, Richard Ladner, professor, Computer Science and Engineering
  • 2008, Nancy Amidei, senior lecturer, Social Work
  • 2007, Erasmo Gamboa, associate professor, American Ethnic Studies
  • 2006, Sinclair Yee, professor, Electrical Engineering
  • 2005, Bruce Psaty, professor, Medicine and Epidemiology
  • 2004, Millie Russell, assistant to the vice president, Minority Affairs
  • 2003, Dena Brownstein, associate professor, Pediatrics
  • 2002, Anita Ramasastry, professor, Law
  • 2001, Charles Mock, assistant professor, Surgery
  • 2000, Eugene Edgar, professor, Education
  • 1999, Albert Black, senior lecturer, Sociology
  • 1998, Edward D. Lazowska, professor, Computer Science and Engineering
  • 1997, Ann Streissguth, professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • 1996, Diana Wilke, Nursing
  • 1995, Peter Domoto, Dentistry
  • 1994, Philip Bereano, professor, Technical Communications; adjunct professor, Women Studies and American Ethnic Studies
  • 1993, Hubert Locke, professor, Public Affairs
  • 1992, Robert W. Deisher, professor emeritus, Pediatrics
  • 1991, Betty Jane Narver, director, Institute for Public Policy and Management; Graduate School of Public Affairs
  • 1990, Roy Prosterman, professor, Law
  • 1989, Abraham B. Bergman, director, Pediatrics
  • 1988, Marci Catanzaro, assistant professor, Physiological Nursing
  • 1987, W.T. Edmundson, professor emeritus, Zoology
  • 1986, Robert Aldrich, professor, Pediatrics
  • 1985, Victor Steinbrueck, professor emeritus, Architecture (awarded posthumously)
  • 1984, Brewster C. Denny, professor, Public Affairs
  • 1983, Solomon Katz, university historian and professor emeritus, History
  • 1982, Joseph A. Witt, research associate professor, Center for Urban Horticulture
  • 1981, Michael K. Copass, associate professor, Nephrology
  • 1980, Howard Nostrand, professor, Romance Languages