Staff in the College of Arts & Letters serve key roles in the functions of the College. In service to this, the College of Arts & Letters has established a number of awards to recognize the work done by our staff members. This resource is available for easy access to award details and nomination forms and requirements.

The 2024 CAL Staff Award nominations are due May 15, 2024 and are submitted electronically through the links below.

Flying Under the Radar Award

Inaugurated in 2024, the Flying Under the Radar Award is dedicated to acknowledging the contributions of support staff members who shine in their roles quietly but with remarkable efficacy, without the desire for recognition. This award is designed to celebrate those essential individuals who, through their steadfast commitment, exemplary performance, and cooperative spirit, make significant impacts behind the scenes. It serves to honor the quiet achievers within our the College of Arts & Letters — those whose efforts, though not always visible, are fundamental to our collective success. The Flying Under the Radar Award stands as a tribute to these unsung heroes, reminding us that valuable contributions are made in many ways and that every position, executed with discretion, is vital to our shared progress. 

Submit a Nomination



Power of Collaboration Award

Created in 2024, the Power of Collaboration Award honors outstanding partnerships in the College of Arts & Letters. This award celebrates two or three support staff whose combined efforts have resulted in significant innovations, solutions, and advancements, demonstrating the power of collaboration. By evaluating achievements, innovation, synergy, resilience, ethics, and communication, the award spotlights pairs who embody exceptional teamwork and impact. The Power of Collaboration Award recognizes those who blend their strengths to achieve remarkable outcomes, serving as an inspiration for collaborative excellence. It’s a tribute to the unity, creativity, and integrity that fuel progress, highlighting the essence of collective success. 

Submit a Nomination



Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Award

Established in 2018, this award recognizes a member of the support staff who demonstrates adept skills in engaging across differences among the communities in which they work. It honors efforts to actively work to make Michigan State University a more accessible and welcoming place by understanding the complex, intersectional nature of identity, and employing such knowledge to improve the student, faculty, academic staff, and support staff experience.

The recipient of this award should be someone who makes it a practice to seek an understanding of differing perspectives and is sensitive to the value diversity brings. While actively employing inclusive practices, they are passionate about making the College of Arts & Letters accessible to people of all abilities, and they demonstrate a genuine commitment to welcoming all students, faculty, and staff and offering a sense of belonging to minoritized/marginalized individuals and groups.  

Exceptional Service Award

Established in 2016, this award celebrates a support staff member who exemplifies a culture of service. The award recipient should be someone who consistently demonstrates a commitment to delivering exceptional service and promotes productive relationships across the College and the University while demonstrating diplomacy and responsiveness. They regularly anticipate the needs of the unit(s) and are proactive and forward-thinking in addressing those needs. The recipient is someone who is dependable and models for others what exemplary customer service looks like.

Outstanding Leadership Award

Established in 2018, this award recognizes a member of the support staff who embodies exceptional leadership by building community, nurturing a culture of care and support, exhibiting strong stewardship of institutional resources (time, talent, financial, etc.), and developing a shared vision of institutional excellence that allows everyone to feel they have a purpose in the organization. Their strength as a leader can be demonstrated through participation on committees, as part of project teams, or through peer training and mentorship. The outstanding leader should be someone who consistently seeks to improve operations while focusing on the experience of students, staff, faculty, and College friends. Demonstrating emotional intelligence, integrity, resilience, and flexibility, the award winner actively works to provide an environment that values diversity, equity, and inclusion by fostering a sense of belonging for all members of the CAL and MSU communities. Nominees do not need to be in a supervisory position.

Rising Star Award

Established in 2016, this award recognizes support staff members who have worked for MSU’s College of Arts & Letters for six months to three years and have shown promise early in their CAL careers with a potential for growth and advancement. It honors those staff members who have exhibited exemplary dedication to the mission of the College and Michigan State University while consistently demonstrating outstanding performance in fulfillment of their job responsibilities. The award recipient should be someone who anticipates problems and is solution oriented. Further, this resourceful team player takes initiative and is willing to reach outside of their personal network to achieve their objective.

Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh Award

The award is named in honor of Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh, who served the College of Arts & Letters for more than 25 years in various staff positions. You now have the opportunity to nominate a staff member within the College of Arts & Letters who exemplifies the qualities displayed by Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh, and whose attainment of excellence deserves this special recognition.

While serving as a support staff member for the College of Arts & Letters, Jo-Ann modeled the culture of care, treating all students, staff, and faculty with dignity, respect, and integrity. She valued collaboration and was known for her dedication to the College community and her exemplary work performance.