Individual and Program Recognition Awards

Award of Honour

Life Membership

CACUSS Leaders in Learning Award

New & Emerging Professionals Award

CACUSS Innovation Award

CACUSS Student Leadership Award

Nancy Torbit Memorial Award


Award of Honour  (maximum 2 awards per year)


Established 1996, the CACUSS Award of Honour is the highest honour given to a member of CACUSS. The award will be given on the basis of merit and presented at the annual CACUSS conference. Normally, no more than two awards will be given in any one year.


The Award of Honour is presented in recognition of the following:

  • Significant achievement and distinguished contribution to the development and promotion of student services
  • Active participation within CACUSS, committees, or communities of practice. Active participation includes long-standing involvement with the association through participation at annual CACUSS conferences, workshop facilitation, presentations, undertaking research, mentoring, leadership or advocacy on a national issue, distinguished service on the CACUSS Board of Directors and/or significant leadership in a Community of Practice or committee.
  • Award of Honour recipients are well-respected contributors to Student Affairs in Canada, and have also made significant contribution to their campus communities.


Award Details:

Award recipients shall receive an etched glass plaque/trophy and a certificate. The awarding of the certificate and acknowledgement of the honoree will occur at the Annual CACUSS Conference and award winners will be profiled in a significant way through CACUSS communication channels. A letter of acknowledgement will be sent to the recipient’s institution.


How to apply:

Submit online application/nomination

A minimum of two letters of support detailing the extent to which the candidate has met the criteria for consideration, outlining their contributions and service to the profession, their campus, and CACUSS.


Criteria for Consideration.

  • Long-standing membership in CACUSS (suggested a minimum of 7 years)
  • Letters of support (minimum 2) should clearly outline:
    • how the nominee has demonstrated significant and distinguished contribution over a number of years advancing student affairs and services on their campus and nationally.  
    • Ways in which the individual has actively participated in CACUSS
    • Other contributions (national initiatives, advocacy, mentoring, research etc.) that have impacted the profession regionally or nationally.
  • Award of Honour nominees will be reviewed using the above criteria and names of nominees will be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval.


Life Membership

CACUSS members who have retired or are retiring from their position in Student Affairs in a post-secondary institution may be eligible for Life Membership in CACUSS. Life Membership recognizes the career and milestone of retirement of an individual whose impact on their campus or to CACUSS is to be acknowledged and celebrated.

Communities of Practice, CACUSS members, and Directors may nominate individuals who have retired from their position in a post-secondary institution for the Life Membership in CACUSS.


Award Details:

Life Members are exempt from payment of dues to the Association but retain all rights and privileges of dues paying members, except for holding office or voting.

Life Members are awarded a certificate at the Annual Conference.



The nominee must have been a member of CACUSS in the last 5 years, and had active membership over the course of their career.

The nominee is retiring in the year prior to the conference or between May 1 and April 30 of the current year.

Nominees for Life Membership are approved by the CACUSS Board of Directors.


How to nominate:

An online application should be submitted nominating the individual. The individual may also be recommended in writing to the CACUSS Board of Directors prior to May 1.


CACUSS Leaders in Learning Award

The Leaders in Learning Award is named to acknowledge the CACUSS Identity Project launched in 2012-2014, and the resulting organizational change which enhanced our membership structure through the creation of Communities of Practice and Networks.

This award recognizes outstanding individual contributions to professional development activities (e.g., publications, contributions to knowledge creation and dissemination, online courses/webinars, conference presentation, workshops, etc.) It also recognizes outstanding service and leadership to CACUSS and/or a Community of Practice as a chair or participant in a Community or Committee. Nominations for this award may come from any CACUSS member or CACUSS staff person.


Award Details:

Recipients will receive a framed certificate and a letter to their immediate supervisor and VP or President of their home institution.

Recipients will be acknowledged at the Annual Conference.


How to nominate:

Submit online application. Additional letters of support are optional but recommended.


Criteria for Consideration

  • Must be a current member of CACUSS.
  • The individual must have contributed in a significant way to either leading their Community or to the development of an initiative that has a direct benefit to other CACUSS members (such as a course, event, or publication).
  • The contribution and the extent of its impact must be demonstrated in the nomination or supporting materials.


New & Emerging Professionals Award (maximum 3 awards per year)

The New & Emerging Professionals Award recognizes leadership, growth, and outstanding potential of a professional working in any area of student affairs and services for 5 years or less.


Award Details:

The recipient will receive an etched glass award/plaque.

The Award will be presented at the Annual Conference.


How to nominate:

Submit nomination application online. A minimum of one letter of support from the individual’s supervisor, or colleague(s) should be submitted.

Criteria for Consideration:

  • The nomination and support letter(s) clearly outline the ways in which the nominee has made an impact and gone beyond their role on their campus. Ways in which their commitment to excellence and improving student services should be demonstrated.
  • The extent to which the individual will contribute to the field and the profession.
  • Specific examples of the nominees service and leadership should be provided.


CACUSS Innovation Award

The CACUSS Innovation Award recognizes a new or innovative program or service that has been developed with participation or leadership by a CACUSS member institution or individual. The program or service exemplifies innovation and excellence, and could serve as a model or example of promising practice for other CACUSS member institutions. The program or service may be something that impacts a campus/community, a community of practice, regional group, or has widely impacted the student affairs community in Canada.


Award Details:

The recipient program/recipient institution will receive an etched glass award/plaque recognizing the name of the program and if applicable, the institution(s).

The Award will be presented at the Annual Conference.


How to apply/How to nominate:

Submit award application online. Applications may be submitted by the individual responsible for the program, but it must have the support (2nd nomination) from a supervisor or colleague familiar with the program. It must be clearly articulated in the application

                The name of the Program/Service that is being nominated

                The department and individuals involved in its development/execution and success.

It is recommended that supporting documentation (letters of support and/or additional materials) but submitted with the nomination/application.

Criteria for Consideration:

Must be a current member of CACUSS.

The nomination/application must clearly outline how the program or service is innovative. Results and metrics which have demonstrated the success or innovation of the program, and the impact that the innovation has had on students, faculty, staff, and/or the campus community. Description of how the program is unique, new, or innovative within Canada, within the region, or institution should be clearly described. Testimonials or assessment data on the program will strengthen the application and should be summarized in the supporting documents.


CACUSS Student Leadership Award (up to 2 awards given annually)

The Student Leadership Award is designed to encourage participation and engagement by a student leader in the annual conference. The Award celebrates significant accomplishments to a campus community, and encourages student leaders to consider Student Affairs as a career option beyond graduation.


Award Details:

The Award is the value of a conference registration bursary. The student will receive a framed certificate to be presented at the Annual Conference.  Institutions nominating students for the Student Leader Award should be prepared to support the student to attend the annual conference (travel & accommodations).


How to nominate:

Submit award nomination online.

Nominations for the Student Leadership Award must come from a current CACUSS member. Letters of support should be included.


Criteria for Consideration:

  • The extent to which the student has made significant contributions to their campus community.
  • The level of enthusiasm and support for the student as expressed in the nomination letter(s) of support.
  • The potential and/or interest of the student in considering a career/future working in student affairs or other post-secondary role.
  • A description of how the student will participate and/or benefit from participation in the Annual Conference.
  • Nominations which recognize contributions of racialized students, Indigenous students, and students with disabilities are strongly encouraged. Additional consideration will be given to nominations of underrepresented student leaders.


Nancy Torbit Memorial Award

This award will be presented in recognition of significant achievement and distinguished contribution to the development and promotion of health and wellness. This annual recipient will be an active member of health & wellness community of practice (formerly COUCH) whose accomplishments may include (but are not limited to): attendance at and participation in the CACUSS conference, facilitation of workshops and presentations, & service on the community of practice’s executive.


Submit application online

Eligibility: all members of CACUSS

Award: Certificate

Selection: Award winner will be selected by the Student Health Community of Practice.