Frequently Asked Questions of the Committee on Honors
Who decides the recipients of ASHA's awards and how is that done?
Who: The Honors Committee administers the nominations and selection of awards from the association. The Committee is comprised of nine ASHA members who must be ASHA Fellows.
How: In 2009 the Honors Committee moved from paper nomination to an online nomination form. The link to the online nomination form is accessible via the ASHA Web site during the nomination period.
Upon the close of the nomination period, the ASHA National Office staff review the nominations for administrative details (e.g. nominees and sponsors/co-sponsors are ASHA members, sponsors/co-sponsors meet the required nomination components, etc.).
In late May or early June the Honors Committee meets for two days to review each nomination and discuss the quality of the documentation and how well it meets the required nomination components. After discussion and deliberation, awardees are selected and announced in an issue of The ASHA Leader.
When: January of each year a call for nominations is announced in The ASHA Leader and on the Web site. The nomination period typically closes between mid-March and early April.
What is meant by "supporting documentation?"
Lack of supporting documentation is the most frequent reason that the Committee on Honors does not act favorably upon a nomination. Supporting documentation is evidence that someone is truly outstanding in a particular area, not just performing the regular duties of their job.
Example: If you nominate someone in the area of "teaching," include summary results of past teaching evaluations, workshop evaluations or comments, peer review, list of teaching awards, etc. The same is true of clinical service. If that is the category chosen, list special programs the nominee has created, client letters of support, clinical achievement awards they have won, clinical grants or funds they have raised, etc. Just writing that the nominee is outstanding is not enough. Having a well known person nominate someone is not enough. There must be supporting documentation that the nominee's performance has been beyond the regular duties expected of a good employee
What are some items found in nominations that have not been effective or that could be improved?
Some common mistakes made by nominators include:
Not providing supporting documentation for award categories. Failing to describe the outstanding work of the nominee and the importance to the professions, and instead assuming that the Committee on Honors will be familiar with the individual's work. The committee is instructed to make its decision solely on information provided, and not information a member of the Committee may have from another context. This instruction is designed to ensure that all nominees are considered equally by all members of the committee: those who do and do not know the nominee.
Exceeding the page limit of nominations. ASHA staff is required by Committee guidelines to remove any pages beyond the limit.
Poor nomination organization. It is recommended that the nominator not force the committee to find the important parts of the nomination. Use headings and subheadings to organize the nomination materials. If a vitae or resume format is used, mark the sections on the vitae related to the required nomination components for that award. The Committee is aware that some activities of a nominee could fit into more than one category; the nominator must decide where to use that information (publication, presentation, clinical activity, etc.). In addition, assembling the nomination materials at the last minute may result in missing parts, duplication of parts, or obvious evidence that the primary and secondary nominators have not communicated well on "who does what."
Helpful Tip: The nomination materials appear much more organized if the primary nominator takes responsibility for organization and does so well in advance of the deadline.
For Fellows nominations, why do two of the three nominators have to be ASHA members who have not worked with the nominee in the past 10 years and why do they have to be Fellows?
These requirements were set by a Legislative Council resolution. The discussion at the time was that the nominee deserving of Fellow should be known or supported by ASHA members outside of the work setting. The award of Fellow is for someone in the professions who has achieved beyond the local work setting and has made a contribution statewide, nationally or internationally. In addition it was also discussed that an ASHA Fellow, who is someone who has already been recognized beyond the local level, would recognize these qualities in another professional.
How do I document that a nominee for Honors is well known, deserving, etc.?
Successful nominators in the past have often gathered statements from other ASHA members who know the work of the nominee. These statements have been put together, along with other supporting documentation, to provide evidence of the effect this individual has had on the professions. In some cases, when the individual has made a contribution within and beyond our professions, the nominator has documentation and statements from national and international leaders in other professions.
How do I organize the information for the "brief vitae?"
The Committee recognizes that nominees typically have a much lengthier vitae than requested; however, for the nomination materials it is requested that the nominator organize the important areas of the vitae to fit in the categories that have been chosen. Many successful nominations insert headings within the vitae to match the categories of the nomination. Again, some of the activities on the vitae of a nominee could fit in several different categories, but the nominator must decide where and organize accordingly.
Why are some awards not given some years?
In some years, there may be no nominees for a particular award, or no nominees that the committee determines meets the criteria for an award or rises to the level to be selected.
Still Have Questions?
Contact Andrea Falzarano at email@example.com.