ESC Awards Program

Awards for Excellence in Engaged Scholarship

The Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC) supports and encourages excellence in engaged scholarship through its annual ESC Awards Program. The annual Awards Program recognizes higher education institutions and their exemplary contributions to scholarship and the practice of engaged scholarship. The 2021 ESC Awards of Excellence in Engaged Scholarship will recognize exemplary institutional programs in the following four categories: Student, Faculty, Staff, and Community Partner.

In addition, ESC provides recognitions for exemplary Institutional Leadership as well as the Distinguished Engaged Scholar. The Distinguished Engaged Scholar Award is named the Hiram E. Fitzgerald Distinguished Engaged Scholars Award in honor of Hiram “Hi” Fitzgerald, University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University, who served as president of ESC. The 2021 Institutional Leadership Award is named the Ryan, Moser, Reilly Award recognizing leaders from Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State University, and University of Wisconsin - Extension for their significant contributions to the inaugural meeting of the National Outreach Scholarship Conference.

Please note: The 2021 Institutional Leadership Award will be presented to Pennsylvania State University. ESC will begin accepting nominations for these two categories (Institutional Leadership and Distinguished Engaged Scholar) in 2022.

All higher education institutions (2- and 4-year, public and private) are eligible to submit nominations. Institutional award recipients will receive a cash award (up to $3,000), acrylic award, and two registration fee waivers for the 2021 ESC Annual Conference (Virtual).

In 2021 ESC will hold its Awards and Recognition Ceremony virtually during the Annual Conference (virtual September 13 - 15, 2021). In addition to participation in the Awards and Recognition program, category winners will be invited to share their exemplary program experiences during an Award Recipients Panel presentation.

Nomination Procedures and Process

Nominations will be reviewed by members of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium. The deadline for electronic submissions is March 26, 2021. Award recipients will be notified by May 14, 2021. Nominations will include:

  • Program description (how does the program/project reflect a collaborative team effort by the community partner, higher education institutional leaders, and students?)
  • Participating partners (please list and describe the involvement of community partner(s), students [undergraduate, graduate, and/or professional], and college/university units and departments)
  • The importance of the project in the community (why has the project been identified as an exemplar?)
  • Overall relevance
  • Program outcomes and next steps (describe broader impacts)
  • Lessons learned

In addition to the narratives listed above, nominations will include one letter of support describing program outcomes, university/community collaboration, and scholarship contributions.

Note: To submit a nomination, click the "Apply" button. If you are a new user to the system, you must register to create a new account. Select "Register" at the bottom of the screen and follow the instructions.

Questions related to the ESC Awards Program may be directed to Melissa Maybury Lubin, Dean, Professional and Continuing Education, James Madison University ( or Susan E. Short, Associate Vice President for Engagement, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (

In case of technical difficulties, contact Grant Gerlich at or call (806) 834-8933.

Nomination Portal: