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Graduate Associate Performance Award (GAPA)

The Graduate Associate Performance Award (GAPA) is Ohio State’s recognition of the exceptional performance of graduate students while providing caregiving for children and others. With recent extraordinary COVID-19 pandemic stressors, ranging from home schooling to having no childcare, are still able to perform, progress and for some, go the extra mile in taking on leadership responsibilities and/or serving as a graduate assistant in the areas of teaching or research.

Although the pandemic has impacted all graduate students, it has created even more stress for those that are parents. In many ways, there were additional challenges for those displaced from campus housing to sheltering at home or finding other housing and facing food insecurity, not only for themselves, but for their child(ren), to those living in cramped spaces with their child(ren), or those that had to engage in childcare and home schooling while juggling their graduate education. Some hoped that childcare would be back in place and schools would have reopened for fall term but for some this has not happened. They struggle with planning for the future as there is much uncertainty, which has created additional stress in an already stressful situation and has been amplified by the pandemic stressors. These are just some examples of what graduate students who are also parents have had to manage while working on their continuing progress toward degree completion. Graduate students who managed to progress despite juggling the responsibilities of a graduate student, while also being a parent or other caregiver. The COVID-19 pandemic presents extraordinary challenges for those that kept on advancing and making progress toward their degree while juggling family/parenting responsibilities. It is these graduate students that we want to acknowledge and recognize, those who have demonstrated the ability to perform and progress, while being parents or caregivers dealing with the unique challenges of COVID-19 in addition to taking on other responsibilities, such as leadership or concurrently holding a graduate assistantship.

 

GAPA Deadlines

Nominations Open

January 30, 2021

 

 

College GAPA Award Nominations

March 3rd

Awards Given - Graduate School Awards Ceremony

April 23rd, 2021

Nomination Criteria

Approximately 11,000 graduate students are presently enrolled at OSU, and graduate programs have been challenged with the COVID-19 pandemic stressors. Even though some classes are back on campus and research labs are open, the campus has strict guidelines about mask wearing, physical distancing, personal hygiene, and handwashing. However, there are still many graduate students sheltering at home, and those graduate students who are also parents have been dealing with additional challenges, such as child care issues, home schooling, and for some, needing to share their technology devices to do their homework, yet still progressing with their graduate education, and for some serving in a leadership role and/or holding a graduate assistantship. These graduate students who progress in their graduate studies while being parents or caregivers and despite pandemic stressors demonstrating progress toward a degree should be recognized. Therefore, the Graduate Student Performance Award (GAPA) was developed, which will serve to recognize and assist graduate students who have demonstrated the ability to perform and progress while also being parents, and/or have taken on a leadership role, and/or serve in a graduate assistantship despite serious COVID-19 pandemic stressors.

 

Recipients of this new award will be selected and awarded $500 each to help them address some of the parenting stressors, and to recognize their performance during these difficult times. Students (master’s or doctoral) can self-nominate or are nominated by the department/college. All nominations must be reviewed by the college and final selection will be made by the Graduate School. The colleges are encouraged to work collaboratively with graduate students on the selection criteria, allowing different colleges to have different criteria for the best fit for their graduate students.

The college will notify the Graduate School of their selection. The students will then be notified by the Graduate School as having been selected to be the recipient of the GAPA.

Eligible Nominees

  • Must have been nominated by their graduate program or do a self-nomination and must have been identified as having demonstrated the ability to perform and progress while also being a parent, and have been serving in a leadership role, and/or hold a graduate assistantship during the pandemic.
  • Must be a current 1st year or higher graduate student (master’s or doctoral) and concurrently be a parent or caregiver 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.
  • All nominees must complete the attached College/Self Nomination Form
  • IMPORTANT: GAPA award winners will be eligible for future GAPA awards.

Selection Criteria

The GAPA awards are determined by each graduate program/college based on the standards set determination of which graduate students with children or who are caregivers have demonstrated the ability to perform to progress despite serious COVID-19 pandemic stressors, specifically around childcare issues, home schooling, caregiving, etc. Graduate students can be asked by their college (faculty, Chair, etc.) to submit a nomination form for the college to review. Graduate students may also self-nominations and submit a nomination form for the college to review as part of the Spring and Fall review process. The college will review the College/Self-Nomination Forms, based on the criteria’s that have been established for this award, focusing specifically on pandemic stressors as a parent in graduate school (see description above above but might extend beyond those listed). It will be the decision of the graduate program/college to determine which of their graduate students (college/self-nominations) should receive the GAPA.

The graduate program/college will forward the recipients’ names to the Graduate School by completing the GAPA Recipient Form.

GAPA COLLEGE/SELF NOMINATION FORM

Please find attached the GAPA College/Self-nomination Form. This form must be completed by each nominee and be submitted electronically to the college

 

GAPA RECIPIENT FORM FOR COLLEGES

Please find attached the GAPA Recipient Form for Colleges. This form must be completed by the college and submitted electronically (see deadlines above). Funding for the GAPA will be provided by the Graduate School and the amount of funding provided will be college specific, based on the number of graduate students in the college.

 

Consultations

If you have any questions regarding eligibility for the GAPA or how the graduate program/college might need to inform the Graduate School of their selection of award recipients, please contact: Karin Jordan

Award Process

The colleges will receive a designated number of awards and will need to work collaboratively with their graduate programs to determine which of their graduate students, who are also parents or caregivers, are most deserving of the GAPA and the associate funding of $500 per student. After the GAPA recipient(s) have been identified by the college, the college will complete the GAPA Recipient Form for Colleges and submit it to the Graduate School. The Graduate School, in collaboration with the college, will notify the graduate students of being a GAPA award recipient.

Award Eligibility

An eligible nominee:
  • Must have been nominated by their graduate program and selected by the college as a GAPA recipient.

  • Must have been identified as having demonstrated the ability to perform and progress while also being a parent, and have been serving in a leadership role, and/or hold a graduate assistantship during the pandemic.

  • Must be a current 1st year or higher graduate student (master’s or doctoral) and concurrently be a parent when nominated and when the award is granted.

  • Must be a current graduate student at Ohio State University when nominated and when the award is granted.

  • 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.

Each College will work with their graduate programs to determine the selection criteria for the GAPA beyond the established criteria of the graduate School.