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Illuminator Award

About the Award

How do YOU invent the future? Are you a glowing example of the brand at Virginia Tech? Do you invent the future with what you’re doing or have done in the past year? Then, we want to hear about it!

You probably know them. They’re your co-worker, a faculty member, an outstanding student – or even yourself, of course. They are what makes “Invent the Future” at Virginia Tech ring true. They are a glowing example of how to work to improve tomorrow … and it's obvious in their accomplishments, their daily work, and their ideas for the future.

If you, or someone you know, outshines others with their accomplishments, inventions, creativity, or leadership in the service of the university or for others, please put their name in lights by nominating them for a prestigious “Illuminator” award. We’ll choose one person in each category (Faculty, Staff, Student, or Graduate Student).

This award is given once per semester to highlight persons having outstanding abilities, ideas to fuel the future, leadership that shines, or service that makes a difference. We want to hear your suggestions for who is deserving of this award at Virginia Tech!

Who is Eligible?

Faculty, staff, wage employees, and students are all eligible for the Illuminator Award. Students are allowed to nominate fellow students and faculty members. Just the same, faculty and staff members are allowed to nominate students, co-workers, and fellow Virginia Tech colleagues.

Award Criteria

  • Potential award recipient must be a current full-time faculty, staff, student, or graduate student of Virginia Tech.
  • Self-nominations are encouraged.
  • Nominating person(s) must be a current full-time faculty, staff, or student at Virginia Tech or can be an entire college, department, or unit of the university nominating an individual.
  • Examples of criteria must have occurred within one calendar year from the nomination submission date.

Nominees are people who show their individual excellence in one or more of the following ways:

“Illuminators” must be a role model for the Virginia Tech brand by:

  • Demonstrating what it means to “invent the future” by creating, researching, or developing a new/better idea that will help cure/create/improve in the future.
  • Demonstrating what it means to “invent the future” by going above and beyond the call of duty in one’s job description for the betterment of the university involving a new idea or stellar customer service and hence, inventing the future.
  • Demonstrating what it means to “invent the future” by involving/leading others in a group effort for the betterment of the future of society or a charitable cause.

Other helpful criteria:

  • Having an outstanding dissemination record including published work, presentations, lectures, etc.
  • Showing evidence of actions which significantly benefit and impact the Virginia Tech community
  • Exemplifying the Virginia Tech motto, “Ut Prosim”, through extensive volunteering and service
  • Showing ambition for inventing the future in all aspects of work and embodies the spirit of the university brand
  • Engages in leadership positions that encourage innovation, ambition, and empowerment
  • Having received outstanding feedback from fellow students and/or fellow co-workers in their given field
  • Supporting and influencing fellow colleagues/peers for the selfless benefit of the greater good

Selection Process

The selection committee is comprised of a small group of faculty and staff who will review each nomination that is submitted. The selection committee is looking for the nominee that is an outstanding example of how inventing the future of oneself can positively impact the future of their community and their world.


The acceptance of nominations will begin in early March. The deadline for submitting nominations is April 6, 2015. Awards will be presented in early June 2015. 

Video: Illuminator Award nominations

    Illuminator Award

The Illuminator Award team is now accepting nominations for a university-wide award for faculty, staff, and students. The deadline is April 6, 2015.