Amherst College 1821 Award. Purple Holyoke Range background with sun rays.

The 1821 Award

What is it?

The 1821 Awards recognize individual staff member achievements and efforts in five areas supporting the aspirational culture of the College, as determined by the Recognition Awards Committee (including members of senior staff, faculty, supervisors and staff appointed biennially). The five categories include: Above and Beyond, Collaboration, Diversity and Inclusion, Everyday Leadership, and Exceptional Service. (See Annual Award Categories below.)

Who can receive it?

All staff members, including casuals, who have completed a minimum of one (1) year of service by the time of the nomination and who are active at the time of the awards presentation may be nominated, provided they sufficiently demonstrate actions in the defined categories. (See Annual Award Categories for more detail.) No staff member may receive awards across multiple categories in the same year, nor win an 1821 Award more than once in a five-year period.

What is the timing?

Nominations may be submitted through Friday, April 29, 2022.

What does the recipient get?

In honor of the year Amherst College was founded, awardees will each receive $1,821. In addition, recipients will be featured in a range of other internal communications and announcements unless they opt out of public recognition. To opt out of public recognition for any components of this program, a staff member may contact the Office of Human Resources at (413) 542–2372 or


The full list of categories for recognition include Above and Beyond, Collaboration, Diversity and Inclusion, Everyday Leadership, and Exceptional Service.  One award will be given each year in each of these categories, which are described in more details in the Annual Award Categories section below. 


Staff members who engage in activities and exhibit behaviors in any of the areas outlined should be nominated by staff, faculty, students, alumni and/or trustees. Here’s how the process works:

  1. A member of the Amherst community completes a nomination form.
  2. The Recognition Awards Committee (including members of senior staff, faculty, supervisors and staff appointed biennially) reviews all nominations, follows up with any questions that may arise about the nominee, solicits input from supervisors/chairs and selects the award recipients.
    • The members of the Recognition Awards Committee for 2022 are:
      • Jon Doyle, Technical Director/Production Coordinator
      • Susan Kimball, Head of Access Services
      • Sarah Mattison Buhl, Science Center Programs Coordinator
      • Matt McGann, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid
      • Karen Sanchez-Eppler, L. Stanton Williams 1941 Professor of American Studies and English
      • Emily Tareila, Assistant Director for Internship Programs
      • Rocky Wood, Assistant Director of Workforce Equity and Inclusive Leadership
  3. Awardees are formally announced and are celebrated.

Annual Award Categories for The 1821 Award


Following are the categories for The 1821 Awards. Note that this award applies to individuals and not teams.  One winner will be chosen for each category.

What are the criteria?

  1. Above and Beyond Award:
    • Makes sustained exceptional contributions that consistently exceed day-to-day responsibilities, goals, and expectations.
    • Takes initiative to solve problems, improve work situations, and invest in the future of Amherst College.
    • Demonstrates hard work, perseverance, and commitment in carrying out responsibilities.
    • Assists others consistently and in unexpected ways.

  2. Collaboration Award:
    • Exhibits commitment to cooperative teamwork across departments and divisions.
    • Reaches across traditional boundaries to partner with diverse groups and drives collaborative contributions that achieve departmental, divisional or College-wide goals, objectives, and initiatives.
    • Allows all voices to be heard while working within a team or group of campus community partners.
    • Proactively shares resources and knowledge with others whenever possible.
    • Establishes positive relationships and partnerships throughout the College and works to break down barriers where possible within the College community.

  3. Diversity and Inclusion Award:
    • Embraces the values of a culture of inclusion on a daily basis.
    • Fosters an environment that encourages collaboration, trust, and respect.
    • Welcomes new ideas and input from others and demonstrably values, supports, and promotes diverse perspectives and opinions.
    • Exhibits an attitude and actions in day-to-day work that contribute to a positive and inclusive work environment.
    • Raises awareness and actively participates in diversity and inclusion efforts within the College.
    • Displays a commitment to continual development in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  4. Everyday Leadership Award:
    • Provides a clear sense of direction, purpose, and vision for staff through demonstrable actions and well-defined expectations.
    • Develops a culture of trust and provides open communication.
    • Helps to build a positive and uplifting culture that focuses on transparency, appreciation, and respect.
    • Actively solicits my suggestions and ideas of others.
    • Demonstrates accountability for both their own actions and those of others in the department or division.
    • Supports others by sponsoring and promoting personal and professional development.

  5. Exceptional Service Award:
    • Strives to improve the lives of others and the campus community.
    • Maintains a consistent commitment to ensure that the needs of students, faculty, staff, alumni and/or visitors are met at the highest level and those within the campus community are welcomed.
    • Anticipates needs, explores potential solutions, and serves as a trusted partner and role model to others in the community.
    • Demonstrates an investment to the future of Amherst College with proactive commitment to improving the College community as a place to live, learn, and work beyond day-to-day responsibilities and expectations through participation in College initiatives, committees, events, and activities.
    • May also show a commitment to sustainability and in promoting conservation or minimizing the environmental footprint and impact of the College.