Department of Leadership and American Studies

Awards, Honors and Opportunities

Each academic year, we present three different awards to students: the Colvin Prize, the Hatten Award and the Perkins Award. The winners of these awards are chosen by faculty in the spring semester. Each award is unique. For more information, questions, or submissions, email

The Colvin Prize for Best Essay on Leadership aims to foster and encourage student excellence in leadership scholarship. The prize is named for Dr. Robert E. Colvin, vice provost for undergraduate education and founding chair of the Department of Leadership and American Studies. To be eligible, papers must:

  • Creatively apply leadership/followership theory to a particular case, individual, literary or artistic work (including film), historical figure or event, activity, or industry; papers may also creatively develop or compare leadership/followership theories and/or analyze key aspects of leadership and leadership styles of civic or other leaders
  • Be at least 1,500 words in length, including references
  • Be well-written and edited
  • Have a clear and coherent argument/thesis
  • Use American Psychological Association (APA) citation and reference format

Each faculty member in the Department of Leadership and American Studies may nominate two papers submitted to them during the calendar year for the contest. Faculty may provide helpful feedback and suggestions for how to improve the paper (although they do not rewrite any portion of the paper). The adjudication committee consists of the members of the Leadership Awards Committee; one representative of the President's Leadership Program; and any other leadership faculty member who volunteers to serve as an adjudicator.

The prize winner must meet the above criteria and essays are ranked according to overall quality, relevance to leadership studies, depth of research and thinking (analytical/synthetic/critical), use of evidence, originality, clarity and coherence of argument, editing and writing style.

This award is named for Robert R. Hatten, Esq., whose generous donation to the Leadership and American Studies department established it. Hatten is a partner of the law firm Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamondstein, the largest law firm in Newport News, and is a nationally recognized leader in the field of asbestos litigation. He is also currently a member of the Board of Visitors. Hatten holds a JD from Washington & Lee University Law School and has served as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Email for more information.

The Perkins Award is named in honor of Dr. Anne Perkins, professor emerita of leadership studies. Following a successful tenure at the University of Richmond, culminating in her service as associate dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, Perkins began work at CNU in 2001. Along with serving as vice provost, she was also an integral figure in the early development of the President's Leadership Program and designed much of CNU's original leadership studies curriculum. Upon concluding those administrative assignments, Perkins continued her CNU service as a full-time instructional faculty member before retiring in 2010. She holds a BA and MA from the University of Richmond and an EdS and EdD from the College of William & Mary.

Email for more information.

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