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.

All ACT Members

Best Grassroots Project (BGP)

Details

One award per year; selected in June.

Eligibility

Winner: Submitter/completer of a completed high-quality advocacy project, chosen among those submitted and completed in the past year (June-May) 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
Campus Reps.

Excellence in Campus Leadership (ECL)

Details
  • Twelve per year; six awards per semester, one in each ACT region.
  • Fall awards selected in January for period September-December.
  • Spring awards selected in June for period January-April.
Eligibility

Highest point earners for the period in each region, as determined by reported submitted via the ACT portal. ACT chair confirms selections 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 in August for previous academic year.

Eligibility

Selected by the ACT committee from a pool of 12 most recent ECL winners along with any wildcard nominations received by campus representatives (self-nomination), state advocacy coordinators and/or regional advocacy coordinators, based on the following criteria: 

  • Points, as determined by reports submitted via the ACT portal.
  • 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.
  • Choice of one book up to $100 retail from the APA bookstore.
  • Recognition on APAGS website, APAGREP email list and gradPSYCH magazine and/or blog.
  • Email to department chair.
State Advocacy Coords.

Excellence in State Leadership (ESL)

Details
  • Six per year; three awards per semester.
  • Fall awards selected in January.
  • Spring awards selected in June.
Eligibility

Up to three state advocacy coordinators (SACs) per semester, selected by the ACT committee via nominations made by campus representatives (CRs), regional advocacy coordinators (RACs) and self-nominations by individual SACs. There are three unique awards per semester as described below. Awards are given based on prolonged championing of a given tenet. ACT chair confirms selection and breaks ties.

Fall Awards
  1. Recruitment and retention: Excellence in recruiting and retaining new CRs; developing the ACT network.
  2. Training and leadership: Excellence in seeking out, developing and/or sharing training opportunities with other students and ACT members on advocacy-related issues; possessing knowledge of the ACT process and an ability to train others well on issue related to ACT and APAGS.
  3. Communication and engagement: Excellence in maintaining consistent contact with CRs; completing SAC reports in a timely/thorough manner; providing feedback to CRs about their reports; demonstrating leadership with one's team of CRs; collaborating and communicating with RACs. 
Spring Awards
  1. Diversity and outreach: Excellence in advocating for a diversity issue; training others on a topic that affects diverse or underrepresented populations; promoting and supporting the professional  development of a diverse graduate student population; collaborating with other groups that support diversity (e.g., joint programming with an ethnic minority psychology association).
  2. Professional development: Excellence in educating the general public and/or campus community about APAGS membership and/or opportunities in ACT; advocating for professional psychology issues; conducting outreach to undergraduates and prospective graduate students (e.g., Psi Chi chapter, psychology club, psychology departments) regarding graduate training in psychology. 
  3. Grassroots mobilization: Excellence in successfully developing, building upon and/or executing a planned project with a CR team; collaborating successfully on initiatives with a state, provincial or territorial psychological association. 
Prize
  • Certificate.
  • Book selection.
  • Recognition on APAGS website and APAGSREP email list.

State Leader of the Year (SLY)

Details

One award per year; selected in August for previous academic year.

Eligibility

Selected by the ACT committee from a pool of six most recent ESL winners along with additional nominations submitted by SACs (self-nomination) or by RACs based on the following criteria:

  • Supporting details provided in nominee(s) letter(s).
  • RAC comments.
  • SAC reports.
  • Demonstration of qualities of enthusiasm/creativity.
  • Potential to continue serving as an ACT leader. 
Prize
  • Framed certificate.
  • Choice of one book up to $100 retail from the APA bookstore.
  • Recognition on APAGS website, APAGREP email list and gradPSYCH magazine and/or blog.
  • Email to department chair.
Mentors

Guardian of Psychology Award (GPA)

Details

One award per year; selected in June.

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 current member of ACT through the APAGS grants and awards portal by May 30 at 11:59 p.m. 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; and (c) 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 requested or required. 
  • The APAGS grants and awards portal will open for this award approximately three weeks 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.