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2017 Spirit of Emerson Awards Call for Nominations

The Spirit of Emerson Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Spirit of Emerson Award. This will be the fourth edition of the annual awards, which honor members of the Emerson community “who have exemplified the Spirit of Emerson College.”

“Spirit of Emerson” is “that which increases the radiance, reputation, pro-social organizations, and/or creative, positive expression of Emerson College.” Anyone connected to Emerson can nominate themselves or other Emerson community members, including students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni, parents, Trustees, and Overseers who have helped in “advancing Emerson’s mission, including President Pelton’s five strategic objectives” among others.

The Spirit of Emerson was founded by Visual and Media Arts Professor Tom Cooper after he felt that people at Emerson were not being acknowledged for making a real difference with their leadership, positivity, inclusiveness, and their hard work for the betterment of the community.

“I suggested to the president that we should start a Spirit of Emerson program which acknowledges people who are inspiring, radiant, transformative, and are doing their very best to make Emerson a better place. Fortunately, the president liked this idea,” said Cooper, who is also an ex-officio member of the selection committee.

Cooper said with the outcome of the elections and other issues dividing the country, the Spirit of Emerson Award is an opportunity to ensure that everyone continues to be an agent of hope and change.

The recipients will be chosen by an eight-member committee that includes Institute Professor Eiki Satake, chair of the committee; the previous year’s awardee(s); along with representatives from the graduate student body, undergraduate student body, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Student Life, and the President’s Office and/or Communications and Marketing.

The recipient(s) should lead in at least three of the ten criteria that have been set by the committee. In 2016, Jaqi Holland, MA ’04, assistant director of academic support at the Lacerte Family Writing and Academic Resource Center, and Jade Zaroff ’17, creator and producer of the annual Emerson Green Gala, were the recipients of this prestigious award.

On average, the committee receives 30 to 40 nominations each year.

Lucie McCormick ‘17, who is representing undergraduate students on the committee, said that the award actively acknowledges those who have amplified the spirit of Emerson.

“I think that what makes this award special is that it is not just about achievement in a specific area, but it is about the person as a whole—how they interact with their community, the work that they do, their involvement inside and outside of our school, and obviously, their spirit,” McCormick said.

The winner(s) of the 2017 Spirit of Emerson Award will be announced in the spring. The nominations are open till January 30, 2017. More details about eligibility and criteria can be accessed at

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