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

The 1821 Award

What is it?

The 1821 Award recognizes staff who have made substantial achievements and/or have done an exceptional job throughout the year, as determined by the Recognition Awards Committee (including members of senior staff, faculty, supervisors and staff appointed biennially). Staff members will be cited in one of the five categories that reflect the values, priorities and desired culture of the College. (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 Staff and Faculty Picnic 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 May 3, 2019. The 1821 Awardees will be publicly announced once a year, at the Staff and Faculty Picnic.

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 and, along with it, submits two additional testimonials by May 3, 2019.
  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.
    • Members of the Recognition Awards Committee for 2019 are:
      • Nusrat Chowdhury, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
      • Laura Clampitt, Regional Programs Assistant
      • Luis Hernandez, Associate Chief Information Officer for IT Services & Outreach
      • Karu Kozuma, Chief Student Affairs Officer
      • Greg Wardlaw, Manager Dining Services & Catering
  3. Awardees are formally announced at the annual Staff and Faculty Picnic in the summer and are celebrated via other mechanisms (see “What does the recipient get?” section).

Annual Award Categories for The 1821 Award


Following are the categories for The 1821 Award. Note that this award applies to individuals and not teams.

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 and improve work situations. Demonstrates hard work, perseverance and commitment in carrying out responsibilities. Assists others consistently and in unexpected ways.
  2. Collaboration Award: Exhibits commitment to teamwork and collaboration 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 and objectives. 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 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. Develops a culture of trust and provides open communication. Helps to build a positive and uplifting culture that focuses on transparency, appreciation and respect. 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: Models the values of Amherst College through interactions with students, faculty, staff, alumni and/or visitors by representing the College in a positive way and works 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. Anticipates needs, explores potential solutions and serves as a trusted partner and role model to others in the community. Demonstrates a proactive commitment to improving the Amherst 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.