I am writing to request your assistance in developing a new NACTA award recognizing a faculty member for outstanding contributions and accomplishments primarily through involvement the NACTA Judging Conference. One of my goals as an executive officer in NACTA has been to develop a better connection between the NACTA Judging Conference and the parent NACTA organization. I think this would be an excellent step in that direction. As a friend of the NACTA Judging Conference, I hope that you will be able to join in this effort.
Through my involvement in the NACTA Judging Conference for the past 25 years, I have met some outstanding educators who have made significant contributions to student learning through their dedication to coaching judging teams and other student service activities. One of the primary roles of NACTA is recognition of excellence in teaching, but no current NACTA awards are focused primarily on contributions to student services and the learning that occurs when faculty work with students outside of the classroom.
In order for NACTA to create a new award to be supported with a modest stipend, an endowment of $10,000 is required. Although this is a lofty goal, I am confident that through a combination of personal, business, and institutional contributions, it will be attainable. If additional contributions can provide at least half ($5,000), I will pledge up to $5,000 for the balance.
Once the award is funded, we will ask for a committee to develop detailed selection criteria.
However, I would envision the format for nomination to be similar to that for current NACTA teaching awards and will include self evaluation and philosophy statements by the nominee, as well as letters of support from students, alumni, administrators, and faculty peers. Evaluation and selection will be made annually through the standard procedures used for other NACTA teaching awards. The recipient will be recognized both at the NACTA Judging Conference in the spring, and at the professional NACTA Conference each summer.
I hope that you will join me in this effort, and please let me know an amount that you would be willing to pledge or be able to raise from other sources. Please share my request with any others who you think may be interested in assisting or provide me with information so I can contact them. If you have any other leads for possible support, please let me know.
If you can help, contributions should be made to the NACTA Foundation. You may send them to the NACTA Secretary/Treasurer, Marilyn Parker, 151 West 100 South, Rupert, ID 83350. Indicate the funds are for the NACTA Judging Conference Award.
[signed] Kevin J. Donnelly
NACTA Past President
Kansas State University
Department of Agronomy