From 1995 through 2006, Resources for Disabled Students created the "Outstanding Effort Award" to give public notice of the efforts of individuals and departments who worked to an exceptional and noticeable level on behalf of students with disabilities. The staff of Resources for Disabled Students recognized that we could not do what we do without the cooperation, time and energy of others who were apparently "doing their job." This award gaves us a chance to publicly give our thanks to the many individuals and departments who joined with us in making this a better environment, especially for students with disabilities.
Nominations were solicited from students and other individuals on campus as well as from office staff members at the beginning of each Spring semester. The staff of RDS reviewed and then selected the individuals and department they felt had demonstrated outstanding effort. All nominees were notified and were often presented the award at a particular event. Winners were also recognized by the university at the annual Celebrate CSU event held during the Spring semester.
There were 4 on campus categories of nominees: Outstanding Department, Outstanding Faculty member, Outstanding Staff member, and Outstanding Student. There were also 3 types of Outstanding Volunteers: those from the community at large, those who are students, and those who are CSU community. Each of these types of volunteers were unique in terms of how much they give to us and to students with disabilities.
The individual categories of outstanding effort had, and still have, special meaning for us because without each of these distinct areas of support, Resources for Disabled Students would not be able fulfill its own mission to the university and to students with disabilities.
In recognizing an individual department on campus, we acknowledge efforts that supported students in a variety of ways but with the emphasis that students with disabilities are the university's students and that Resources for Disabled Students does not have the sole responsibility for what they need as students.
Faculty, the most influential factor affecting a student's education, are often as challenged by students with disabilities as the students are challenged by course material. Without faculty patience, understanding and cooperation, many students would not be as successful as they have been or will be in the future.
The Staff of the university are an essential element to the way this system runs and are often "overlooked" simply because they appear to be doing their "job." However, we do not forget them and realize how much harder our work would be without them.
Students play a major part in changing the environment by advocating not only for their own needs but for their fellow students who have disabilities. They are great role models in the present and their potential to contribute to the world only starts at CSU. We are hopeful leaving the future in their hands.
Volunteers can be essential to the overall operations of the office. Without them we would not be able to accomplish as much as we do. Their efforts are often unknown to the rest of the campus but these individuals play a vital role in individual student lives. It is recognized and greatly appreciated that each volunteer gives his or her time in addition to leading very full and active lives as community members, as students, and as CSU employees.
All nominees over the years deserve recognition for their individual efforts and it was always a very difficult decision for the office to select only one from each category. Many individuals and departments were repeatedly re-nominated. Each and every one of the nominees helped us fulfill our mission and we publicly extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude for their support. By honoring one, we hopefully were able to honor all.
The full list of nominees and winners can be viewed at: Outstanding Effort Award Winners.
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