Early Achievement in Teaching Award

Objective: To recognize a faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding teaching performance early in their professional career.

Early Achievement: Tenure-track, tenured, or term faculty who has less than 5 years teaching experience since the start of their independent academic career and has completed a minimum of one academic year of appointment in Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences. An independent academic career is defined as the start of a full-time faculty position (See provost teaching award page for more information). Recipients must be Iowa State employees at the time of the College of Human Sciences Awards Ceremony.

Amount of award: $500

Number of awards: One per year, although the College of Human Sciences Honors and Awards Committee reserves the right to not select any recipient in a given year.

Criteria: Evidence of outstanding performance as a teacher, as documented by students and peers.


  1. Submissions must be in .pdf form and submitted via email to chsaward-submit@iastate.edu by 11:59pm on the first Tuesday in February. Please name your PDF file “Award title, Last name of nominee” before submitting it (ex: Early Achievement in Teaching, Lee).
  2. Complete the nomination form.
  3. All letters should be on relevant letterhead, addressed to the College of Human Sciences Faculty and Staff Awards Committee, and signed by letter writer. Letters should be written specifically for the nomination.
  4. Nominating letter: A nominating letter of no more than three pages, signed by an individual with a reputation for outstanding teaching, describing why this person deserves this award. Indicate the range of teaching responsibilities which have been performed, describe the aspects of the teaching performance which distinguish the nominee, and provide specific evidence of meritorious performance.
  5. Nominee statement: Include a two-page statement of teaching philosophy prepared by the nominee.
  6. Student and colleague letters: Six letters maximum. This section should be prefaced with a list of the names and positions of the letter writers and an indication of their relevance to the nomination. Letters should come from current and former students. Letters from colleagues should come from those who have strong reputations for teaching excellence; are in a position to comment on the nominee’s teaching; and reflect team teaching experiences, observations, or other firsthand knowledge of teaching performance.
  7. Student evaluation data: Student evaluation information should be displayed in summary form, including an appropriate range of courses or offerings and reflecting especially the most recent years. Student evaluations should be displayed in the context of college or department norms with a clear explanation of the characteristics being evaluated and the rating scale being used.
  8. Curriculum vitae: An abbreviated vita of no more than four pages, which is current and includes all information related to the teaching award.
  9. Optional appendix: Any additional documentation of pedagogical innovation or scholarship, classroom performance, vita information, letters or testimonials may be added as an appendix. Nominees are not served well in the evaluation process by the submission of a large body of undigested material.