Best of the Bearkats

Drum roll, please.

Although hundreds of nominations are expected, only a few faculty, staff and students will be selected to take home the towers of crystal signifying achievement at Sam Houston State University’s 15th Annual Sammy Awards on Wednesday, April 15 at 6 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center ballroom.

The Sammy Awards are Sam Houston State University’s official student award ceremony.

“It is just a way for the university to recognize its outstanding students and the amazing contributions they make to the institution,” Brandon Cooper, event manager for Student Activities, said. “It is our way to say thank you and recognize all the great things they have done.”

Any student, faculty or staff member can be nominated for the Sammy Awards, but must meet the grade point average and classification requirements.

“Students must have a 2.5 [GPA] to be nominated for the majority of the Sammy Awards,” Cooper said. “There is a special section of the Sammy Awards called the ‘Excellence and Service Awards,’ which are based through each of the individual colleges, and for those particular five awards you must have a 3.0.”

Nomination forms are due Friday, Feb. 13, 2009 and can be found on the Student Activities’ website.

“You can go to the Students Activities website and you will see the nomination form there. At the bottom it says you can fax, mail or bring [the nomination form] into our office suite in the Lowman Student Center,” Cooper said.

Once all the nominees are in, Student Activities sends the information forms to all those who have been nominated. Cooper said the nominees’ information is then sent back to Student Activities, where it is compiled and decoded so that all the names are taken off, hiding any indication of identity.

“Their information is what the Sammy’s committee reviews to determine who wins,” he said.

The Sammy’s committee is comprised of 12 individuals, including representatives from the President’s Office, the Provost’s Office, the Vice President for Student Services’ Office, the five deans and two faculty representatives. Two Student Activities’ representatives serve as non-voting members.

All attendees and participants are expected to dress to impress.

“It generally is an evening business attire; it’s a little nicer [occasion],” Cooper said. “For guys: slacks, dress shirt — some wear suits and ties. Ladies usually wear cocktail dresses and heels, some of them wear formals but usually it is just cocktail dresses.”

The Department of Student Services and SHSU as a whole hosts the awards ceremony.

The actual trophy awarded to the Sammy winners is a unique creation made of crystal, several of which are in a custom Bearkat design.

“Most are clear towers; the ‘Excellence in Service’ Awards are orange crystal awards,” Cooper said. “The McDermett and Creager Memorial Awards are two custom-made solid crystal awards, about a foot tall, in the shape of a Bearkat. We have them especially made and that is the most prestigious award. They sit in a black granite base.”

Cooper said he and the staff at Student Activities are excited to show off the outstanding Bearkat leadership at Sam Houston State.

We are very excited,” Cooper said. “We really love for the SHSU community to send in nominations because it really gives us a chance to see all the different types of student leaders that we have across campus; it is really a great opportunity for them to recognize the students, faculty and staff that they work with.”

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