Contemplative in Action Leadership Award Selection Process

Contemplative in Action Leadership Award and Emerging Leader Awards

Recipients are selected by individual departments within Student Affairs and Campus Ministry.

Put simply, departments select the students they want receive Emerging Leader or Contemplative in Action Leadership Awards. While there is no cap for the number of students from each department who can receive Emerging Leader or Contemplative in Action Awards, departments should be discerning in their selection.

If you are considering a student employee for an award, reflect on why you feel an award is warranted.  Award recipients who are also student employees in your area should go above and beyond the requirements of their paid role. If the student’s contributions have essentially been expectations and/or duties of their job, they may be a good employee, period. However, if the student has done things in addition to job requirements—such as continually volunteering to take on certain “other duties as assigned,” coaching/mentoring fellow team members, finding opportunities to be more equitable and inclusive in their roles, or demonstrating leadership in other roles outside of their employment (e.g. in an organization), you might consider them for an award.  One who shows up for their job on time and completes the daily tasks doesn’t necessarily make them a leader. Ultimately the choice is the department’s, and we offer these insights as suggestion.

Magis Awards

Recipients are nominated by departments. These nominees should be recipients of an Emerging Leader Award or Contemplative in Action Leadership Award who have demonstrated the concept of Magis in some way (i.e. doing more for Christ, doing more for others, “the more universal good”). Magis should be thought of as depth and not necessarily quantity of engagements. A student who receives a Magis award is someone who has demonstrated exceptional leadership, excellence, dedication and commitment above and beyond the requirements of a paid or appointed role. Departments can nominate up to one student from each class (one first-year student, one sophomore, one junior, and one senior) but are not required to nominate students from each class. (Again, use your discretion. If you feel that the student has really excelled, that they stand out significantly from other students, then nominate them.)

Thon Award for Leadership

Departments can also nominate seniors only for this award. This award goes to one senior (who will also need to be selected for a Contemplative in Action Award) who has demonstrated both depth and breadth of leadership over the course of their 4-5 years as a student.

The Magis and Thon Awards are selected by a committee comprised of staff across Student Affairs and Campus Ministry and announced at the Awards Program on Friday, April 5, 2024 (Time TBD). This means students do not know they have been nominated or are receiving a Magis or Thon award. They are a surprise.

NOTE: If departments are nominating students for the Magis or Thon awards, students must also be selected for either an Emerging Leader or Contemplatives in Action Awards. A letter of nomination is also required.

Once departments have made decisions on recipients, their names should be submitted online. Note: you will need to submit each recipient’s name separately via this form. Selections and nominations are due Thursday, February 29, 2024.

Please refer to the Leadership Award Rubric to assist with the selection process.

Selection Form

Award Criteria

  • Recipients are full-time undergraduate students who, through their leadership, have made outstanding contributions to the university or Milwaukee community over the duration of their time at Marquette.
  • Students are not recognized solely on the basis of their employment or office or position held, but for the breadth and depth of their leadership.
  • Eligibility for nomination is based on scholarship, leadership and service. Award recipients must be in good academic and disciplinary standing and demonstrate a balance of academic and co-curricular excellence. 
  • All full-time undergraduate students regardless of class-standing are eligible for awards (except where noted).

Frequently Asked Questions

Do students know they are getting awards?

Yes. All CIA and Emerging Leader Award recipients are notified of their award prior to the award program. This is how we get a head count of who is coming as well as get consent to notify their families and get additional information about them for the program.

What if I select or nominate students that another person has?

We ask that departments internally discuss who they are selecting and/or nominating so that no two people from the same unit are submitting the same student names. Collaborate on the verbiage of the selection and/or nomination letter.

However, if for example Rec Sports and Student development select and/or nominate the same student for an award, this does not matter. The student will receive their CIA or Emerging Leader award regardless.  If this is a case of nominating the same student for a Magis or Thon Award, the additional info on the student is welcome!

What if I want to nominate someone for a Magis or Thon Award but don’t want them to get a CIA award?

Because the Magis and Thon awards are announced as a surprise, students must also be selected for a CIA award. Students who are selected for CIA awards are notified in advance and asked to give us some additional information for the program. This is also how we include their voice as part of the Magis and Thon selection process. We ask all selectees about their leadership/involvement.

What is the difference between the student leadership awards and the student employment awards or awards in my department?

Marquette Student Employment hosts Student Employee Appreciate week in April to shine light on student employees writ large and appreciate them for their work throughout the year. As part of this, the also give out the Student Employee of the Year Award.  This process might be better suited to those student employees who are really good at their job and who exhibit any or all the eight National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) competencies in their position. If you would like to nominate someone, for Student Employee of the year, please submit your Student Employee of the Year nomination letters to by end of day February 10. The Student Employee of the Year Committee will then review the nominations and select a winner. 

While we cannot speak to individual departmental awards (e.g. AMU awards or ORL awards) because we don’t know the criteria for those, we want to emphasize that the Contemplatives In Action Student Leadership Awards align with our Leadership Development Model and at heart are about living Marquette’s Mission. To be sure, departmental awards might have similar alignments. You can refer to the rubric to help make your decisions and/or review past programs to get a sense of students who have received leadership awards. Ultimately, we leave the decision to departments and trust your decisions.