Awards and Honors - Department of Leadership and American Studies - Christopher Newport University

Department of Leadership and American Studies

Awards and Honors

Presented in the spring semester, the Department of Leadership and American Studies faculty grant two unique awards each year.

The Colvin Prize for Best Essay on Leadership

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, Interim Chief of Staff 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.

Perkins Leadership Achievement Award

The Perkins Leadership Achievement Award is bestowed upon the graduating student who epitomizes the ideal of the scholar-leader--one whose pursuit of scholarship enriches the lives of others and contributes to the vibrancy of the University both inside and outside of the classroom. The award was created in honor of Dr. Anne Perkins. Throughout her career at CNU, Dr. Perkins contributed immensely to the advancement of scholarship. Her leadership in this endeavor fostered the growth of the President’s Leadership Program, the establishment of the Department of Leadership Studies, and the creation of the Undergraduate Leadership Review. The award is based on nominations from and a vote of the Leadership and American Studies faculty.

For more information, questions, or submissions, email

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