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Graduate Associate Leadership Award

The Graduate Associate Leadership Award (GALA) is Ohio State’s recognition of the exceptional leadership provided by graduate students as leaders (on and off campus) while being an OSU graduate (master’s or doctoral) student.

Although there are many definitions of “leadership” in the literature, for the purpose of the GALA, leadership is defined as:

Leading others through passion and vision, produced by conviction. Having strong communication and listening skills. Assuring that team members have the skills and abilities to do their jobs and rise to their full potential. Giving feedback, coaching and training. Motivating and inspiring others to work toward achieving common goals and innovations.

Nomination and Applicant Deadlines

The 2020-21 GALA Award Season is closed. Please look for corresponding dates for the 2021-22 season coming soon.

2020-21 GALA Award Dates

Nominations open September 4, 2020

Nominations due November 13, 2020

Applications due February 19, 2021

 

Importance of Graduate Assistant Leadership Recognition

Approximately 1,100 graduate students are presently enrolled at OSU. Today, graduate programs have the dual task of teaching core academic knowledge and helping students develop overarching skills and competencies, known as soft skills. These skills and competencies are important to helping graduate students become career ready and employable. Leadership is one of the overarching skills and competencies that contribute to the students’ employability. This is why the Graduate Associate Leadership Award (GALA) was developed and will serve to recognize graduate students who have taken on leadership roles (on or off campus) while being graduate students at Ohio State.

Recipients will be selected and awarded $1000 each. Students (master’s or doctoral level) must be nominated by a graduate faculty member to be eligible for this award. Any Ohio State graduate student who is identified as active/enrolled may be nominated.

OSU graduate student nominees are notified by the Graduate School. Those who wish to compete must prepare a GALA application form for review by the GALA selection committee.

The selection committee for this 2nd round of the GALA is comprised of four representatives of the Graduate School Leadership Team and one Council of Graduate Students representative (non-voting member). The committee reviews all submissions and selects up to 5 GALA winners.

Eligibility Nominees

  • Must have been nominated by an Ohio State University graduate faculty member and must have functioned in a leadership role (e.g. with peers, at the program, department, college or university levels, or off-campus as part of their graduate education) for at least one full semester while a graduate student at OSU (leadership experiences at previous institutions will not be considered for this award or be included in the nomination or application).
  • Must be a current graduate (master’s or doctoral) student when nominated and when the award is granted.
  • Can be from any graduate program or department at OSU.
  • Must be in good academic standing (the Graduate School requires a minimum GPA of 3.0) at the time of nomination and when receiving the award.
  • IMPORTANT: GALA award winners will not be eligible for future GALA awards.

Award Process

Nominations for the GALA are solicited from Ohio State University graduate faculty.

Eligible graduate (master’s and doctoral) students are then notified and invited to submit an application. Eligible nominees who wish to compete must prepare a GALA application for review by the GALA selection committee.

The selection committee for this first round of nominations for the GALA is comprised of four leaders in the Graduate School. In addition, one Council of Graduate Students representative (non-voting) will be part of the committee. The committee reviews all submissions and will select up to 5 award recipients.

Selection Criteria

The GALA awards committee recognizes that the range of responsibilities and activities undertaken by graduate students as leaders might vary greatly by degree and program. Leadership (see definition above) is dependent upon the context in which the student functions as leader. No one leadership context is valued over another.

The GALA selection committee reviews each nomination application to evaluate the nominee's engagement, effective leadership and desire to seek out additional leadership opportunities in the future, to continuously grow in this important professional development skill. In addition, the selection committee will take into consideration (1) student’s degree and major, (2) previous training through formal leadership course(s) or sections of a course (please specify if the course/section of a course were required for the degree), as well as (3) previous history of leadership experiences.

The committee looks for evidence that the nominee has taken on a leadership role with fellow students on the OSU campus, or in another capacity as part of their graduate education on or off campus, through such skills as:

  • Leading the implementation of ideas and initiatives
  • Motivate and mentor others
  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong listening skills
  • Gives feedback
  • Coaches and trains
  • Leads others through inspiration, passion, vision
  • Helps others raise to their full potential

Application Materials

The components of the GALA application are a brief description of your leadership experience and a description of the skills you have used, along with an example. Leadership experience and leadership skills you describe in your application may be similar to what you might be asked during a future job interview. Applicants who have previously written about their leadership experience and activities (while they attended OSU as a graduate student) are encouraged to revise the write-up for the purposes of the GALA competition. You may, but do not have to, identify your leadership style. If you do not identify your leadership style, you will need to identify why you lead the way you do. Please also identify (1) what degree (master’s or doctoral degree) and major you are pursuing, (2) list all previous training through formal leadership course(s) or sections of a course you have been engaged in (specify if the course/section of a course requird as part of your degree), and (3) previous leadership experiences (role, place/location and duration).

  • Online Application

    LINK TO ONLINE WEBFORM

  • Leadership Statement

    A description in 1-3 pages of your leadership experience and the skills you have used. Leadership experience and leadership skills you describe in your application may be similar to what you might be asked during a future job interview. Applicants who have previously written about their leadership experience and activities are encouraged to revise such statements for the purposes of the GALA. You may, but do not have to, identify your leadership style. If you do not identify your leadership style, you will need to identify why you lead the way you do. Please also identify

    1. what degree and major you are pursuing
    2. list all previous training through formal leadership courses (specify if the course/section of a course was required as part of your degree)
    3. previous leadership experiences (role, place/location, and duration)

    See below format specifications for the Leadership Statement

  • Two GALA Recommendation Forms

    Two recommendations (using only GALA Recommendation Forms) to be completed by a faculty member/mentor and/or community member/mentor who have witnessed or served as a mentor while you functioned as a leader. GALA Recommendation Forms may be uploaded with the rest of the application or submitted separately via email to jordan.1193@osu.edu or via mail to Graduate School, c/o Karin Jordan, 250 University Hall, 230 North Oval Mall, Columbus Ohio 43202. All materials (Leadership Application and 2 GALA Recommendation Forms) must be received by the application deadline. If we receive more than two GALA Recommendation Forms from faculty member/mentor and/or community member, only the first 2 GALA Recommendation Forms received will be included in the award committee’s packet.

    LINK TO GALA REFERENCE FORM

Format Specifications

The leadership statement must conform to the following guidelines:

  • 8.5″ × 11″
  • 1″ margins (all sides)
  • Single- or double-spaced (body)
  • 10-12 point Arial, Times New Roman, or suitable text font (for body)
  • Right-justified header with your last name (all pages)

Consultations

If you have not already articulated your leadership experience and leadership skills in writing, you have an opportunity in the GALA application to identify your leadership style and describe your leadership experience, and what leadership skills you utilized as part of the experience. If you need help identifying your leadership style (Transformational Leadership, Democratic Leadership, Laissez-fair Leadership, Autocratic Leadership, Servant Leadership, Visionary Leadership, Coaching Leadership, Transactional Leadership), the Graduate School can serve as a resource.

The Graduate School can also offer more in-depth one-on-one consultation and would be happy to clarify things in the application as well as the application process.

Leadership Application

A statement that articulates your leadership experience while you have been enrolled as a graduate student or post doc at OSU, either on or off campus. Please specify if you sought out the leadership experience(s) or if it was part of your program requirements. Please describe your leadership experience while having been a graduate student or post doc at OSU. What is your leadership style? (optional) or Why do you lead the way you do? What specific leadership skills have you used (please provide an example for each leadership skill you have used) in your role as a leader? What are your goals/hopes for future leadership opportunities?

Please also identify: (1) what degree you are pursuing, (2) list all previous training through formal leadership course(s) or sections of a course you have been engaged in, and (3) previous leadership experiences (role, place/location and duration).

 

REQUIRED: Two recommendations (using only GALA Recommendation Forms) to be completed by a faculty member/mentor and/or community member/mentor who have witnessed or served as a mentor while you functioned as a leader. GALA Recommendation Forms may be uploaded with the rest of the application or submitted separately via email to jordan.1193@osu.edu or via mail to Graduate School, c/o Karin Jordan, 250 University Hall, 230 North Oval Mall, Columbus Ohio 43202.

All materials (Leadership Application and 2 GALA Recommendation Forms) must be received by the application deadline. If we receive more than two GALA Recommendation Forms from faculty member/mentor and/or community member, only the first 2 GALA Recommendation Forms received will be included in the award committee’s packet.

still have questions?
Karin Jordan,
jordan.1193@osu.edu