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Jenny Baker
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Consider Being Awarded! The SIOP Awards, Scholarships, and Grants Program

Joseph A. Allen, Awards Committee Chair

It was truly a pleasure this year to serve as the SIOP Awards Committee Chair. I worked very closely with the amazing John Kello, associate chair, and the exceptional Gena Cox, chair-in-training. Additionally, this year Cindy McCauley joined the Awards Committee and led on assisting with and revising operations to ensure a smooth and meaningful experience for all the nominees from among SIOP’s members. In total, 31 different awards, grants, scholarships, and fellowships comprise the awards program for SIOP. A total of $265,000 was available this awards cycle, and a large team of 29 Awards Subcommittee chairs and 179 subcommittee members volunteered thousands of hours reviewing the 172 nominations we received and identifying the 37 winners. Please check out the details about this year’s winners’ during the virtual conference opening session, the opening plenary, the SIOP Salutes booklet, and on the SIOP website.

None of these outcomes would happen without a massive amount of effort on the part of the Administrative Office at SIOP, the generous donations from members, the leadership of the SIOP Foundation, and countless hours from our many volunteers. I am truly humbled to be the latest in a long line of wonderful SIOP Awards Committee Chairs, and I look forward to John and Gena leading awards into the future.

Recently, there was a groundswell of interest in improving the SIOP Awards Committee operations. Specifically, it was realized that in 2001 there were only eight awards being offered by SIOP. In the next cycle, with the addition of the Wayne Cascio Scientist–Practitioner Award, 32 awards will be available for members. However, the structure of the Awards Committee has essentially remained the same, with a trio of chairs, many subcommittee chairs (one for each award), and numerous volunteers. The workload for the chairs became, over time, more than is reasonable to ask of volunteers, and the operations started to be impacted by this workload.

Therefore, with the unparalleled support of Membership Portfolio Officer Tiffany Poeppelman, Operations and Strategy Subcommittee Chair John Scott, and our esteemed SIOP President Steven Rogelberg, the Awards Committee proposed a major change to the structure and process of the awards program. Essentially, we are adding leadership positions within the awards program to assist with the management of the awards. Perhaps more importantly, the 32 awards are being split into two functional groups: (a) recognition awards and (b) scholarships and grants. The idea is that the recognition awards are those awards that acknowledge the outstanding work of members, whereas scholarships and grants are to assist with the education and groundbreaking research being performed. In other words, one is reflecting on achievements, and the other is building our membership into the future.

With these changes, members can expect more opportunities to serve as well as new awards, scholarships, and grants coming available in the near future. The professional manner of administering the awards will continue and will be better than ever. Most importantly, we will see great opportunity for all members at all stages of their careers to be awarded, be supported, and perhaps give back as well through meaningful donations of time and resources.

Now, with all the enthusiasm I can muster, I encourage all SIOP members to consider nominating themselves or others for awards. Also, consider applying for a grant or scholarship. To win an award or receive a scholarship/grant, the application materials must be excellent and in accordance with the criteria for the given award. Even still, many excellent submissions do not win every year because most awards can only have one winner. The best predictor of winning is persistence. That is, if you do not win the award or receive the scholarship/grant the first time, try again the next year, so long as you are eligible.

No, I cannot guarantee that you will win, even with multiple attempts. However, I can promise that the Awards Committee will give your nomination a fair, professional, diligent review. Further, the Awards Committee always follows a rigorous process for removing any conflicts of interest among our subcommittee members. The policy, available in the Awards Committee Operational Procedures on the Governance of SIOP website, is strictly enforced so as to ensure all nominations and applications are appropriately reviewed and bias is minimized.

It is my hope that as you review this year’s award winners, you will do three things. First, congratulate the winners when you see them. Let them know how happy we all are at their successes (recognition awards) or their future success (scholarships and grants). Second, pick at least one award, scholarship, or grant to apply or be nominated for and proceed to do it. We need more nominees in nearly every award, so please consider this path! Third, think of those in your network and consider nominating them or encouraging them to apply for an award, scholarship, or grant. Too often, really great people go unrewarded and unheralded because they are also humble (and busy doing their amazing work). For more information, feel free to contact me or visit the awards section of the SIOP website.

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