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Awards and Scholarships

Awards and scholarships are given annually to students for their academic and leadership accomplishments.  Many academic departments also honor students for their high level of achievement in their disciplines. Consult with individual departments for details.

This is a representative list of the recognitions given to undergraduate students at the annual Gallaudet University Undergraduate Awards Ceremony, which is held every Spring.

Agatha T. Hanson Service Award:  The Agatha Tiegel Hanson Award is presented annually to a first year student who has shown good standing in academics, exhibits excellent personality traits, and demonstrates unselfish leadership.

Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award: Given to a student who has demonstrated a high degree of spiritual qualities, which he or she has applied in daily life on the campus, thereby aiding others and making Gallaudet a better place.

Alice M. Teegarden Memorial Award: Presented by the Department of Communication Studies to two outstanding junior and senior majors in the department who have demonstrated high academic achievement, effective interpersonal skills, and leadership.

Alpha Sigma Pi Fraternity Scholarships: Awarded to deserving undergraduate students for scholastic standing, leadership, and demonstrated financial need. The funds for these scholarships are raised through endeavors such as the annual ASP carnival.

Alumni Athletic Awards: Winners of the Alumni Athletic Awards are selected by members of the Gallaudet University Alumni Association. Recipients must be seniors who have made outstanding contributions to the sports program while at Gallaudet. The awards consist of gold (first), silver (second), and bronze (third) medallions.

Art Department Awards: The Joseph L. Mattivi Memorial Scholarship Fund awards graphic design students for excellence in their field. Additionally, the Art Department presents awards for outstanding achievement to students majoring or minoring in the specialized areas offered by the department.

Athlete-Scholar Award: This award, a $25 government bond, is given to a senior who excels in both athletics and academic work. This award was established by Gallaudet's graduating class of 1966.

Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion: Awarded to a Religion student who exhibits outstanding aptitude for understanding the nuances and complexities of Religious Studies and who shows commitment to open and constructive dialogue about Religion in the classroom and beyond.

Buff and Blue Merit Key Awards: Awarded for services to and outstanding support of essential matters pertaining to the success of the Buff and Blue.

Career Center Hall of Fame: This appointment is based on the student's motivation, attitude, professional growth, and achievement during his or her co-op internship through Academic Advising and Career Center. Awardees' names will be engraved on a plaque displayed in the Career Center.

Charles R. Ely Chemistry Award: A monetary award presented to a senior for excellence in chemistry.

Charles R. Ely Scholarship Award for Women: An annual monetary prize established by the family of Charles R. Ely given for general scholarship.

Chi Alpha Sigma National Collegiate Honor Society: This award recognizes college student-athletes who earn a varsity letter in at least one sport while maintaining a 3.4 or higher cumulative GPA throughout their junior and senior years and achieved junior academic standing by the end of their fifth semester and demonstrate good moral character.

Daughters of Union Veterans of Civil War History Essay Award:  Made in recognition of excellent work on an original paper written by a Gallaudet student on any topic related to American history.

Delta Epsilon Sorority Ideal Student Awards: Designed to give recognition to two serious students whom the members of the sorority have found to exemplify the ideal balance between academic pursuit and service to fellow students.

Department of ASL and Deaf Studies Award: The Marie J. Philip Award: To an undergraduate student majoring in Deaf Studies with 3.0 or better GPA, who exhibits leadership potential and contributes to Departmental activities. 

Department of Business Award: Given annually to the most outstanding business major who is graduating. It recognizes the student's achievements in school, at work, and in the campus community.

Department of Business: The Joe Mattivi Scholarship Award: Award for juniors who excel academically and have financial needs to continue their education with a GPA of 3.0 or above.

Department of Business Academic Excellence Award: Award for outstanding graduating seniors in each Program.

Department of Government & Public Affairs: Outstanding Graduating Government Major Award: This annual award is given to a graduating senior from the Government Program who demonstrates high academic achievement, strong involvement in the campus community and exemplary attitude and behavior. The winner is selected by Program Faculty.

Department of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Sociology: History-Outstanding Graduating Senior Award: To one or two graduating senior History majors who have excelled academically, particularly in History courses, as demonstrated by their GPA in the major and other academic course work, and who have demonstrated a commitment to the department and the community through participation in department activities, community service, internships, volunteer work, or similar activities. (Chosen by vote of the History faculty.)

Department of Linguistics: Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award: The Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award is given annually to the graduating Linguistics Minor who has maintained the highest GPA in Linguistics courses.

Dorothy Hamberg Memorial Award: Presented by the Department of Physical Education and Recreation to the outstanding student in the department who demonstrates high levels of academic achievement and provides professional services to the community while exemplifying the qualities of Dorothy Hamberg, former professor of physical education.

Dorothy P. Polakoff Award for Academic Excellence: Awarded to the senior social work major with the highest academic achievement as measured by GPA in social work courses and performance in the social work internship.

Dr. Frank B. Sullivan "Excellence in Business" Award: The award recognizes the most outstanding graduating senior.

Drama Awards: Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Most Versatile Performer, Most Promising Actress, Most Promising Actor, Technical Assistant, Outstanding Crew Member, Outstanding Contributor.  Includes the Bruce Hlibok Playwriting Award.

First Year General Chemistry Award: Given to the outstanding first-year chemistry student in recognition of excellence and promise in the field.

Foreign Study Scholarships: The awarding of the scholarships for travel is based on grades and a personal interview with the selection committee.

Gallaudet University Alumni Association Buff and Blue Awards: Established to encourage interest in the field of writing. The awards cover several categories: poetry, short stories, essays, and journalistic articles.

Institutional Diversity and Equity Champion: For programs and persons who identify with and are active in promoting diversity and inclusion on campus. 

James E. Haynes Award for Excellence in the Study of Philosophy: Awarded to a Philosophy student who exhibits an outstanding aptitude for understanding the nuances and complexities of philosophy, including a philosophical temperament of critical reflection and who shows commitment to philosophy and philosophical discourse in the classroom and beyond.

John and Betty Galvan Psychology Leadership Award: This award is given to an undergraduate psychology major with a GPA of at least 3.0, who has demonstrated exemplary leadership as a student in the psychology major and who shows potential for making lasting contributions to the field of psychology within the Deaf community.

Joseph L. Mattivi Memorial Scholarship Fund (Joe Fund):  Awarded to Career Center interns who most exemplify the spirit of life and work of Joe Mattivi, a former Experiential Programs Off Campus (EPOC) internship counselor at Gallaudet University, who passed away at the early age of 34. Awardees are chosen, by Career Center Internship Advisors, from any Gallaudet major and exemplify excellence in scholarship and work, embracing challenge as a learning experience, and demonstrating a joy for life and a love for humanity.

Kappa Gamma International Scholarships: The Kappa Gamma International Scholarships are awarded annually to four male students--one freshman, one sophomore, one junior, and one senior--who have at least a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and who are involved in Gallaudet University through extracurricular activities.

Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society, Iota Nu Chapter: Inductees into the Iota Nu chapter of the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society must meet stringent requirements for membership. Some of the requirements are: excellent academic standing, represent the upper 35% of their graduating class and demonstrate commitment to the field of communication.

Langenberg Memorial Scholarship: The Ernest G. '24 and Fern L. '27 Langenberg Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 2008 by Dr. Donald N. Langenberg a physicist, professor, and former Chancellor of the University System of Maryland. Ernest and Fern Langenberg, both graduates of Gallaudet University, were Dr. Langenberg's parents.

The purpose of the Langenberg Memorial Scholarship is to provide an award to outstanding undergraduate students who demonstrate success both in and outside the classroom. Langenberg scholars should hold a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or above, as well as demonstrated success in one or more of the following areas: athletics, arts, leadership in student organizations, or involvement in community programs, civic programs and causes.

Leon Auerbach Freshman Mathematics Award: Awarded annually for the best work done in this subject.

Lillian Gourley Rakow Creative Writing Award: Established in 1982 with a gift from the estate of Jules Pierre Rakow in memory of his wife, Lillian. The fund provides an annual award to a sophomore, junior, and senior with demonstrated creative writing ability. Winners are selected on the basis of a portfolio submitted to the English Department and evaluated by a special committee.

MacDougall Creative Writing Award: This award, established in 1979 by Nanette Fabray MacDougall in honor of her husband, Randy, is open to any full-time, deaf undergraduate student at Gallaudet. Gallaudet students compete for prizes by submitting a portfolio of creative writing to the English Department. The writing is then judged by a committee of professional writers and teachers. The purpose of the award is to recognize "promising deaf writers at Gallaudet and to encourage them to seek careers using their writing skills."

Male and Female Athlete of the Year: Winners of these prestigious awards are selected by the Athletics Department's head coaches. The recipients must have had an outstanding season in one or more sports in the current academic year; have earned at least a team award, conference honor, or NCAA honor; have been good role models on and off the field; and be in good academic standing.

Multicultural Student Academic Excellence Award: For qualifying students maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or above.

National Science Foundation S-STEM Scholarship: The S-STEM scholarships are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and are awarded to majors in biology, chemistry or mathematics who demonstrate financial need, academic potential, motivation and tenacity. S-STEM scholars must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher. These scholarships are funded through an NSF grant awarded to the Department of Science, Technology, & Mathematics at Gallaudet.

Olof Hanson Service Award: Conferred annually upon the man in the senior class who during the year showed the greatest promise of high character and leadership.

Phi Alpha Pi Award Phi Alpha Pi is the scholastic honor society of the University. See the section entitled "Honor Societies," in the Campus Programs and Services section.

Phi Kappa Zeta Alumni Scholarship: Presented to sophomore, junior, and senior sorority members with high scholastic standing by the national chapter of Phi Kappa Zeta.

Phi Kappa Zeta Catherine Bronson Higgins Memorial Scholarship Award: A member in good standing of Phi Kappa Zeta; full-time undergraduate student at Gallaudet University; financial need as a criteria for the award if two or more individuals are declared to be equally worthy in all other aspects of selection; and shall remain eligible to retain the scholarship during the time that individual remains a full-time student and maintains other standards as required from time to time by the Phi Kappa Zeta Sorority and Gallaudet University.

Phi Kappa Zeta Leonard M. Elstad Scholarship Award: The Leonard M. Elstad Scholarship Award is presented annually for total performance, showing excellence in academic standing, fellowship, and leadership throughout the college years.

Pre-law Program, Department of Government & Public Affairs: Pre-Law Writing Award: This annual award is presented to the the best paper written about law for a Gallaudet class in the last 4 semesters by a current Gallaudet student. They can be about any topic related to law and can be for a graduate or undergraduate class. Papers are judged based upon strength of research, clarity, use of citations, originality and writing skill.

President's Council Award: Presented to the student with the highest academic achievement.

Professional Development Award: Awarded to the senior social work major who demonstrates exceptional professional growth during the major as measured by degree of personal identification, growth, and maturity as reflected in performance in social work courses and internship.

Psychology Department Award: Outstanding Psychology Major Award: Given to a graduating psychology major(s) who has demonstrated exemplary scholarship, outstanding professional growth as a student, and promise for making significant contributions in the field of psychology.

Psychology Department Award: Psi Chi International Honor Society: The student must have completed a minimum of 3 semesters (or 5 quarters) of college courses, 9 semester hours (or 14 quarter hours) of Psychology courses, be in the top 35% of their class in general scholarship, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or better in both Psychology courses and cumulative grades.

Sociology Department Award: The Sociology Department Annual Award is given to an exemplary graduating senior who has a consistently high GPA in all Sociology courses, as well as outstanding work in their internship, research, and/or leadership.

Student Affairs and Academic Support Student of the Year Award: The Student Affairs and Academic Support Student of the Year Award is presented to an undergraduate or graduate student who has been a positive role model for their peers, and/or shown outstanding leadership qualities, or contributed and participated in departmental programs having an impact on the betterment of programs, services, and quality of life on behalf of all students.

Student Body Government Service Awards and Honorable Mention: Awarded to members of the SBG who have given their time and effort to the improvement of the organization.

Student Success Award: This is given to a 1st year student from JumpStart ASL who has demonstrated strong academic and leadership skills. Student also shows a strong desire to learn ASL.

Student Success: Outstanding Student Service Award: This is given to a paraprofessional within Student Success who has shown dedication and commitment to working. This person has also contributed his ideas towards peer mentoring as well as been a great student ambassador for Gallaudet.

The Dr. Rachel Hartig Award for Research Excellence: Dr. Rachel Hartig established this award in order to provide scholarship award/s and program support each year for a member of Gallaudet University's Faculty, Staff, Administration, or Graduate Student Body who has conducted research in the field of International Deaf Cultural Studies.

Thomas S. Marr Awards: Through the bequest of Thomas S. Marr, the income from the Thomas S. Marr Fund is awarded to juniors or seniors with the highest cumulative grade point averages.

Undergraduate Education Award: For Exemplary commitment to and achievement in teaching and learning given to the student chosen by the Department of Education faculty to be an outstanding Undergraduate Education Major.

Walter Krug Award: The Walter Krug Award is given annually to a senior who has majored in biology. This award is based on GPA, motivation and tenacity, as well as initiative. The award is named for Walter J. Krug (1905-1962), Class of 1927, who was a faculty member in biology, a coach, and dean of men at Gallaudet University. This award is given by the Biology Program, Department of Science, Technology, & Mathematics.

Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities: Included in this publication are the names of juniors and seniors in recognition of their outstanding leadership, scholastic achievement, character, and service to the University

World Language and Cultures Department: Earl Higgins Memorial Scholarship: The award honors Earl Higgins, an outstanding individual whose work was with Deaf and Hard of Hearing people and whose personal interests focussed on areas of international study. The scholarship was establish to broaden undergraduate students' educational experiences through participation in foreign study. Students were chosen based on proven academic excellence. The award will support their internship projects abroad this summer.

World Language and Cultures Department: Career Center stipends for International Study: The Career Center awarded these stipends to support the students' work with Deaf communities abroad. The students were selected by the World Languages and Cultures department based on their academic excellence and the quality of their international internship projects.

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