Student, Faculty and Staff Awards


Division of Student Affairs presents six awards each year at it’s April Divisional Meeting to staff, students, and faculty. Award criteria are described below. To nominate a student, staff or faculty member, please complete the online nomination form and submit the following information about the nominee:

  • Which award(s) they should be considered for
  • Name and affiliation
  • Brief bio or list of accomplishments
  • General involvement with Student Affairs units or programs
  • How they meet the particular criteria for the award

For the Ted Maakestad Distinguished Service Award, please include one letter of nomination describing the individual to be considered for the award. If there are multiple nominators, please combine your comments and submit one letter of support for your candidate. You may nominate more than one person in your department for this award. The letter should be as comprehensive as possible, citing reasons and examples for nomination.

Please use the online application to submit your nominations. For more information, please contact: or 515/294.0322.


Ted Maakestad Distinguished Service Award
This award is in honor of Ted Maakestad, who touched many lives while he was employed in the Office of Student Financial Aid from July, 1991, until his retirement in January, 2008. Ted was a humble and kind man, who served as an outstanding mentor to both students and co-workers. He was often the first to arrive in the office and the last to leave, and demonstrated daily that his work at ISU was not just a job to him. Ted never met a stranger and enjoyed interviewing a wide range of people. He was most happy when working with students and families, and students often returned to Ted for advice. Ted lost his battle with cancer on July 7, 2011, but will remain forever in our hearts.

Any staff member from the Division of Student Affairs is eligible to be nominated. The intent of this award is to honor Ted’s memory as well as those individuals who typify Ted’s upbeat attitude, genuine caring nature and exemplary service to all.

Wilbur L. Layton Faculty Recognition Award
Faculty members who have collaborated with us to serve students and who have been strong supporters of student success. Typically this award is given to faculty members who have had a sustained relationship with the division. The award is named for Iowa State University’s first Vice President for Student Affairs, Wilbur Layton, who served from 1967-1976.

Thomas B. Thielen Award
The Thomas B. Thielen Award, first awarded in 1998, is named for the man who served as Iowa State University’s Vice President for Student Affairs from 1977-1997. Under the twenty years of Dr. Thielen’s leadership, the Division of Student Affairs enjoyed national prominence, and ISU students thrived in a tradition of involvement in campus events, issues, and organizations. This award is the highest honor the division gives to a faculty or staff member outside the division who has been a strong supporter of student success.

Unsung Hero
The Unsung Hero Award was created to recognize a student who has worked behind the scenes, assisted others, achieved his or her personal best or overcome obstacles. An unsung hero displays dedication, integrity, initiative, perseverance, generosity and character.

Above and Beyond
This award recognizes any student who has achieved unusual accomplishments demonstrating their commitment to excellence in academics, leadership and/or service.

Outstanding Challenger
The Outstanding Challenger Award recognizes a student or faculty member who has consistently challenged and inspired others.