Lead Awards

LEAD Awards, Leadership and Engagement Achievements of Distinction, recognize students involved in the Division of Student Affairs. This collaborative awards ceremony  showcases leadership, service, followership, collaboration, and more. LEAD Awards if geared towards celebrating the efforts from outstanding students across campus. LEAD Awards are given to Cal Poly students or student organizations based on four categories – leadership in action, collaborationprograms and events of distinction, and allyship.  Individuals can nominate themselves, someone else, or a student organization(s) for these awards. The only award open to Cal Poly staff and faculty is the allyship award - the other three are for Cal Poly students. 


We recognize some of these awards are not the "typical" awards (for example President of the Year) students may be used to seeing or nominating others for. We are asking that nominators think critically about why someone or an organization is deserving of distinction based off of leadership in action, collaboration, or a program and event and to share that with us. If you cannot see someone or an organization fitting within one or multiple of these categories please reach out to us at leadership@calpoly.edu and we would be happy to talk with you.


While we will be giving awards to students for their performance, this event is meant to celebrate all of the great work our students do everyday on and off campus. We hope that students can come together to celebrate the year with each other and learn about the great work students do across campus. Attendees are invited to enjoy refreshments, and a recognition of a suite of student achievements at Cal Poly.

The LEAD Awards committee for 2019 - 2020 is chaired by Heather Domonoske (Lead Coordinator of the Center for Leadership). Committee members are - . Students from various student affairs departments are invovled in the selection process for the award winners. 



Leadership in Action Award

Leadership is action – listening, facilitating, making decisions, asking questions, navigating ambiguity, engaging with others, being vulnerable, and more. This award will be given to Cal Poly students or student organizations who have exemplified leadership in action during the academic year. Leaders do not have to have formalized positions and often those who do are leaders because they lead through their actions and not through their title.  

Collaboration Award

Engaging with others takes leadership, persistence, patience, empathy, and more. This award will be given to Cal Poly students or student organizations who have exemplified effective and impactful collaboration with another Cal Poly member or organization or a local community group.  

Program or Event of Distinction Award

Programs and events are gifts to the Cal Poly community that take hard work, leadership, followership, time, energy, and more. This award will be given to Cal Poly students or student organizations who implemented a high impact program or event during the academic year. These programs may have been done with support from Cal Poly departments or faculty; however, they should be student planned and implemented.  

Allyship Award

Allyship is a verb – it requires action, intentionality, impact that is meaningful and supportive or validating, and more. There are Cal Poly staff and faculty across campus who are allies for student events, leaders, organizations, and beyond. This award will be given to Cal Poly staff and faculty or community member (for example a student organization advisor) who have been allies for student organizations.  

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