As the University Honors College marked its 25th anniversary in 2012, it inaugurated the G. Alec Stewart Student Achievement Awards to honor its founding Dean who provided the vision for the College and guided its influence at the University during its first 23 years. These Awards recognize students in their junior year* who are judged to best symbolize the values of the UHC and of the University generally. Up to four students will be selected annually for this Award, each to receive a prize of $1,000. (*For the 2017 competition, you are considered to be in your junior year if you will complete the undergraduate degree(s) you are presently pursuing and graduate either at the December 2017 or the April 2018 graduation.)
Candidates for one of these Awards are expected to have benefitted in some direct way by their participation in one or more of the great variety of UHC activities, such as taking honors courses, living in an honors residence hall or otherwise contributing to the honors community, receiving honors advising, participating in the Brackenridge Research Program or in one of the UHC reading groups, or pursuing the Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil) degree. Since the UHC is not a membership organization (that is, no student is a member of the UHC), the competition for these Awards is open to full-time students enrolled in any of the eleven schools of the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland that offer undergraduate degree programs.
Two aspects of each applicant's credentials will be given primary consideration in the selection of the awardees because they were especially valued by Dean Stewart and have been promoted by the UHC since its founding. One is high academic attainment, which implies more than a high Grade Point Average; these Awards intend to recognize students whose academic pursuits also reflect unusual depth and breadth. Depth might be demonstrated not only by the completion of advanced courses in the student's major subject area but also by participation in research that further advances knowledge in the field. Breadth might be reflected in the pursuit of multiple majors or a major plus one or more minors and/or certificates, indicating a broad scope of academic interests. The second aspect these Awards intend to recognize is intellectual curiosity, as shown by students whose quest for education is characterized by an impassioned inquisitiveness and a determination to learn, leading to deep understanding.
But high academic attainment and intellectual curiosity, however central, are not the only values that the UHC promotes among the undergraduate students at the University of Pittsburgh. Their own achievements and scholarship should be accompanied by an awareness of and concern for those around them. In a narrow sense this could mean interacting with a group of other students interested in the same subject matter, or it might be described more broadly as a willingness to help others succeed, on campus, in the city, or elsewhere. The Stewart Awards encourage that sense of citizenship as one of the goals of the education provided by this University.
Students who want to be considered for one of these Awards should complete the application form (PDF), print it out, and submit it along with an up-to-date resume and official transcript to:
G. Alec Stewart Award
University Honors College
3600 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
They should also request letters of recommendation from two faculty members, providing them with the Faculty Letter Submission Sheets that are printed out with the completed application form. At least one of these letters should be written by a faculty member in an area closely related to the applicant’s major area of study in college. The faculty recommenders should send their letters directly to the address given above.
All application materials must be received by 5:00 pm on Monday, November 14, 2016.
For any questions, please contact Karen Billingsley at (412) 624-6880 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All complete applications from eligible students received by the deadline will be evaluated by a Selection Committee composed of four faculty members, two UHC alumni, and one UHC staff member. We anticipate that by mid-January 2017 the Selection Committee will have identified a total of 10-12 finalists from among the applicants; these students will be invited for individual interviews with the Selection Committee. Following the conclusion of all interviews up to four G. Alec Stewart Student Achievement Award winners for 2017 will be selected and announced at the time of the University’s Honors Convocation in late February 2017.