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Student Award Criteria & Nomination Process

A group of TMU employees at the Alan Shepard Awards Celebration

The Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Student Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of a student or a team of students in the TMU community who advance equity, diversity and inclusion.

Award recipients have an outstanding track record of providing services for diverse populations, fostering an inclusive environment in and/or out of the classroom, and/or addressing equity. 

The recipient of an individual award will receive a certificate and monetary award of $1,000. If a team is selected, a monetary award of $2,000 will be awarded and shared equally among team members.

The Office of the Vice-President Equity and Community Inclusion (OVPECI) provides the strategic leadership, advocacy, education and coordination needed to address equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the entire university community and to foster an inclusive, welcoming environment for students, faculty and staff. It is in this spirit that the Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award was created.

Awards are presented at the annual Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Awards Ceremony.

Eligibility criteria 

The student or team of students must:

  • Be currently enrolled as a full-time or part-time student at TMU.
  • Agree to be nominated. 
  • Provide evidence to nominators to support their nomination.

Award criteria

The award will celebrate employees who advanced equity, diversity and inclusion at TMU in one or more of the following areas:

  • Champion and demonstrate behaviours reflecting equity, diversity and inclusion:
    • Serves on departmental, faculty, and/or university committees and champions EDI.
    • Demonstrates inclusive leadership.
    • Promotes the importance of EDI.
  • Identify and address systemic barriers to full participation in university life:
    • Develops, supports, and/or implements administrative and organizational structures to coordinate and monitor EDI progress.
    • Institutionalizes systemic processes that minimize and/or eliminate barriers to EDI.
    • Champions policies and/or practices to make the learning environment more inclusive, equitable and accessible.
  • Develop innovative programs that enhance TMU’s ability to facilitate full participation:
    • Infused EDI into the curriculum and promoted pedagogical strategies that encourage student involvement and facilitate respect for diverse perspectives.
    • Provided professional development activities and educational programs that assist all members of the TMU community in the understanding of their own and other cultures.
  • Serve and provide access and opportunities to underrepresented populations (among students, faculty and/or staff populations):
    • Serves diverse demographic populations to increase access and participation in related programs.
    • Creates and/or implements programs and activities to foster an inclusive campus environment.

Supporting evidence requirements

Evidence in support of the criteria must include some of the following:

  • A clear description of the specific initiatives, demonstrated qualities or actions taken by the nominee as they relate to the award criteria.
  • Direct and indirect evidence of the impact of their work on the student experience or in the communities being served.
  • Samples of reflections from the nominee and from other participants on the goals, objectives and results of a specific initiative related to the nomination.
  • Description and samples of work to demonstrate the relevant area of excellence.
  • Any additional evidence addressing a focus on the relevant criteria.

The range and diversity of support for the nominee (e.g. from students, alumni, colleagues, administrators, external communities, etc.) will be reviewed as well as the range and complexity of contributions.


  • TMU students, faculty and staff can nominate a student or team of students. 
  • Nominations are only valid for the year in which they are submitted and must be based on achievements within the past year.
  • No individual can be nominated for more than one award in any given year. However, the awards selection committee may choose to reassign a nomination to a different award category, based on the best fit with the evidence, with the nominee’s agreement.

In order to nominate a student or student team for the Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Student Award, nominators must:

  • Obtain the nominee’s permission.
  • Prepare, in collaboration with the nominee, a nomination package of their accomplishments and contributions that meet the award criteria and eligibility.
  • Submit the nomination package by the specified deadline for consideration by the selection committee.
  • If the nominator is a student, they are encouraged to contact the Dean or Senior Director’s Office for assistance in the compilation of the nomination package, in order to ensure that the submission reflects a full range of the nominee’s contributions of which a student nominator may not be fully aware.

There is no limit on the number of nominations for the Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Student Award from any given individual. All submitted nomination files will be reviewed by the selection committee. The committee’s mandate is to ensure that high-quality candidates are identified and to ensure an appropriate match exists between the candidates’ achievements and the criteria for the award.

The completed nomination package must not exceed a total of 10 pages. The nomination file should clearly address the award criteria.

The required components of the award nomination package are:

  • Nomination brief or supporting letter (no more than one to two pages) prepared and signed by the nominator that clearly addresses the nominee’s achievements according to the award’s criteria. This should function as a summary, including specific examples, and reference to specific details included in the package.
  • Citation (no more than 150 words) suitable for public release. Should the nominee be selected as the recipient, the citation will be included in related university communication materials.
  • Minimum three letters of support (no more than one page in length each) that provide specific examples of why the nominee should be considered for the Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Student Award. Letters should be written by individuals who know the nominee and familiar with their work. The letters, as much as possible, should reflect a broad spectrum of the TMU community (students, faculty and staff) as well as the external community being served.

The selection committee’s mandate is to help advance TMU’s values of equity, diversity and inclusion by ensuring that high-quality candidates, whose achievements meet or exceed the awards criteria, are selected for the recognition awards available to students. The selection committee will be broadly representative of the TMU community, including faculty, staff, and students. The Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion will serve as chair and identify members to serve on the committee. All nominations are considered. Awards will not be given if there is no suitable candidate nominated that clearly demonstrates the criteria in the opinion of the selection committee.


If you have any questions about the Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Awards, please contact the OVPECI at or 416-979-5379.