ACT Awards and Honors

The APAGS Advocacy Coordinating Team (ACT) gives out 28 awards each year to honor individuals and groups that advance our mission of bringing graduate student voices to bear on the important issues affecting our discipline and the public health through education, training and advocacy.

Campus Reps.

Excellence in Campus Leadership (ECL)

Details
  • Twelve per year; six awards per semester, one in each ACT region.
  • Fall awards selected on/around Jan. 30 for period September-December.
  • Spring awards selected on/around May 30 for period January-April.
Eligibility

Highest point earners for the period in each region. ACT chair confirms choices and breaks ties.

Prize
  • Certificate.
  • Book selection.
  • Recognition on APAGS website and APAGSREP email list.

Campus Leader of the Year (CLY)

Details

One per year; selected on/around Aug. 30 for previous period August-July.

Eligibility

Selected by the ACT committee from a pool of 12 most recent ECL winners along with any wildcards endorsed by state advocacy coordinators (SACs) based on the following criteria: 

  • Points.
  • Assessment of campus representatives’ overall impact and presence.
  • Demonstration of qualities of enthusiasm/creativity.
  • Potential to continue serving as an ACT leader.

ACT chair confirms choices and breaks ties.

Prize
  • Framed certificate.
  • Recognition on APAGS website, APAGREP email list, gradPSYCH magazine and blog.
  • Email to department chair.
  • Choice of items up to $100 retail from the APA bookstore.
State Advocacy Coords.

Excellence in State Leadership (ESL)

Details
  • Eleven monthly awards are selected on/around last day of said month.
  • Combined August/September award (two months) selected on/around end of September.
Eligibility

Up to one State Advocacy Coordinator (SAC) per month, selected by ACT committee, via nominations made by campus representatives (CRs) and regional advocacy coordinators (RACs). Each month, the category for recognition will be different, and the award given based on prolonged championing of a given tenet. ACT chair confirms choices and breaks ties.

  • August/September — Recruitment
    Recruit and successfully transition a high rate of CRs for next academic year.
  • October — Training
    Train CRs on an advocacy skill or topic, or seek out the same personally.
  • November — Communication
    Send emails consistently, complete SAC reports, be timely/thorough.
  • December — Empowerment
    Demonstrate leadership in communicating with team of CRs.
  • January — Organizational knowledge
    Demonstrate competency when it comes to knowing APA structure and helping others locate what they need from APA.
  • February — Teamwork
    Attend/participate actively in regional conference calls or email threads with other SACs.
  • March — Diversity
    Advocate for an issue that affects diverse or underrepresented populations.
  • April — Creativity and flexibility
    Add to "good ideas bank" and promote inventive ways of advocating.
  • May — Mobilization
    Successfully execute a planned project with CR team.
  • June — State, provincial or territorial psychological association (SPTA) involvement
    Collaborate successfully with state, provincial or territorial psychological association.
  • July — Professional development
    Educate the general public or campus community about APAGS membership and opportunities in ACT.
Prize
  • Certificate.
  • Book selection.
  • Recognition on APAGS website and APAGSREP email list.

State Leader of the Year (SLY)

Details

One award per year; selected on/around Aug. 30 for previous period August-July.

Eligibility

Selected by the ACT committee from a pool of 12 most recent ECL winners along with any wild cards nominated by RACs based on the following criteria: 

  • RAC comments.
  • SAC reports.
  • Demonstration of qualities of enthusiasm/creativity.
  • Potential to continue serving as an ACT leader. 

ACT chair confirms choices and breaks ties.

Prize
  • Framed certificate.
  • Recognition on APAGS website, APAGREP email list, gradPSYCH magazine and blog.
  • Email to department chair.
  • Choice of items up to $100 retail from the APA bookstore.
All ACT Members

Best Grassroots Project (BGP)

Details

One award per year; selected on/around Aug. 30 for previous period August-July.

Eligibility

Winner: Submitter/completer of a completed high-quality advocacy project, chosen among those submitted and completed in the past year (August-July) to the Good Ideas Bank in the ACT portal, based on meeting or having the potential to meet some of the following outcomes as suggested in A guide to measuring advocacy and policy (PDF, 255KB) (Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2007):

  • Strengthened organizational capacity.
  • Strengthened alliances.
  • Strengthened base of support.
  • Improved policies.
  • Impacted change or well-being.
  • Shifted social norms.
Prize
Mentors

Guardian of Psychology Award (GPA)

Details

One award per year; selected on/around Aug. 30 for previous period August-July.

Eligibility

A graduate program and/or individual (SPTA member, faculty or staff member) who communicates the importance of student advocacy in psychology, nominated by a member of ACT through the APAGS grants and awards portal by Aug. 15 at 11:59pm ET each year.

To apply
  • Please submit a cover letter (two pages maximum/double spaced) that includes (a) the name of the award for which you are applying; (b) a detailed summary of the nominated person’s/department’s accomplishments and efforts as they relate to advancing advocacy for graduate students though opportunities such as training, events, education and so forth; (c) and your relationship to and experience with the nominee. Please save and upload your cover letter as a PDF. 
  • Optional: Upload any supporting materials, such as articles, syllabi, letters, flyers and so forth to illustrate the accomplishments of the nominee. Supporting materials, if provided, should be combined, saved and uploaded as one PDF no larger than 2MB in size.  
  • No letters of recommendation are required. 
  • The APAGS grants and awards portal will open for this award approximately two months before the due date (find “Guardian of Psychology” in the drop down menu) and will close at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the day of the deadline. All application materials must be submitted at that time. Late and postal mail submissions will not be accepted. You will receive notification of your award decisions approximately one month after the due date.
Prize
SPTAs

APAGS/CAPP/Division 31 SPTA of the Year Award

Details

One award per year; selected prior to State Leadership Conference (SLC) each March.

Eligibility
  • A state, provincial or territorial psychological association (SPTA) must demonstrate superior performance in promoting graduate student development, involvement and joint APAGS/SPTA membership.
  • To be considered for this award, an SPTA must have an active doctoral student membership from regionally accredited universities.
  • Preference given to those that have not won this award previously.
  • Details and deadline.
Prize
  • $1500 check to the SPTA.
  • Plaque presentation at SLC.
  • Recognition on APAGS website, APAGREP email list, gradPSYCH magazine and blog.
Previous Awardees

List available on the Div. 31 award page.

Past Winners
Excellence in Campus Leadership
  • 2014: Chinmay Aradhye (Michigan), Maria Andrea Arellano (Washington), Matt Hiatt (Utah), Hannah Combs (Kentucky), Krista Kovatch (Florida), Jackson Tolins (California), Natasha Torkelson (Massachusetts).
  • 2013: Liliana Almeida (California), Kelsey Bonfils (Indiana), Samantha Chu (New Jersey), Karla Moore (West Virginia), Seema Pandya (Texas), Whitney Rebholz (Kentucky).
Campus Leader of the Year
  • 2014: To be announced in September.
Excellence in State Leadership
  • 2014: Alyssa Adkins-Frye (Diversity; West Virginia), Kristen Laib (Organizational Knowledge; Nebraska), Alyssa Milot (Teamwork; Massachusetts), Alana Russaw (Mobilization; California). 
  • 2013: Sheila Modir (Communication; California), Andrew Sherrill (Teamwork; Illinois), Bethany Webb (Empowerment; Oregon), Holly Wohlers (Training; Wisconsin). 
State Leader of the Year
  • 2014: To be announced in September.
Best Grassroots Project
  • 2014:  To be announced in September.
Guardian of Psychology
  • 2014:  To be announced in September.