Make Your Hallmark Awards Entry a Winner

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Many factors determine the success of a Hallmark Awards entry, which is why it’s important to get an early start when preparing submissions. The upcoming winter break is a golden opportunity for your chapter officers and members to get started on submitting entries, putting your chapter in a good place for meeting the deadline of January 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm CST.

Chapter advisors are urged to set up collaboration teams online for each award category the chapter will enter before the winter break so members will have access to the entries. The chapter president must set up the collaboration team for Advisor Awards.

Below you’ll find the judging rubrics for Honors in Action Projects and College Projects. These guides are the standards by which all entries are judged and show the criteria for Hallmark Awards entries.

An exemplary Honors in Action project should include the following elements:

Academic Rigor of Research: • Use at least eight wide-ranging academic publications and/or expert sources that include different points of view on the chapter’s selected theme of the Honors Study Topic. • Development of critical thinking skills for project participants. • Choose research that provides substantial material to consider when determining a project to implement.

Resourcefulness: • Ambition and perseverance in pursuit of the required substantial research and inspired resourcefulness to implement the project effectively.

The Exercise of Leadership and Leadership Development: • Substantive opportunities for chapter members to exercise and advance leadership skills. • Effective planning and teamwork. • Effective, intentional and thoughtful educational and training activities and opportunities that improved the exercise of leadership.

Persistence: • Demonstration of a strong commitment to overcome obstacles or challenges. • Response to challenges with flexibility and creativity to keep the project on track.

Action/Service/Advocacy: • Clear project objectives that emphasized the importance of taking action or serving. • Heightened awareness of self and community in relation to global issues on the part of project participants. • Increased appreciation for the value of informed action and service as a lifelong endeavor. • Action clearly developed from research conclusions.

Cooperative Effort/Outreach: • Collaboration with a wide variety of audiences, including ALL of the following: the college, community and others in OR beyond the region. • Effective and efficient communication among the participating individuals and/or organizations.

Impact: • Contribution of the project to the improvement of an issue with significant short-term impact and potential for long-term impact. • Exceptional quantitative and qualitative outcomes. • Assessment by the chapter about what they learned and how they grew as scholars and servant leaders. • Identification of what opportunities remain to have a further impact on the issue.

Read excerpts from award-winning Honors in Action Project entries.

Winning College Project entries should contain the following criteria:

Preparation: • The chapter met with appropriate administrators and participated fully by being active listeners and brainstorming ideas. • Everyone gave careful consideration to what type of project would be most beneficial to the college to help fulfill its mission.

Leadership Development: • There was exceptional planning and teamwork. • Members used this opportunity to exercise and advance their leadership skills.

Cooperative Effort/Communications: • Chapter members demonstrated a strong commitment to working with college administrators before, during and after the project. • Members responded to any challenges with flexibility and creativity to keep the project on track.

Impact: • The project’s outcomes were exceptional and included both quantitative and qualitative elements. • The chapter assessed what they learned and how they grew as scholars and servant leaders. • The chapter identified what opportunities remain to either improve the project or to enhance the relationship with the college administration.

Read excerpts from outstanding College Project entries.

For both entries, write in a way that walks judges through the process of developing your projects. When you have completed your first drafts, edit, edit, edit! Check and double-check spelling and grammar for the best presentation possible.