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Home » The Harriet Lewis Team Award for Service Excellence

The Harriet Lewis Team Award for Service Excellence

Established in honour of former University Secretary and General Counsel Harriet Lewis, the Harriet Lewis Team Award for Service Excellence recognizes excellence in service and support to students, faculty, staff and/or other service users. One award will be given annually.

The award consists of a $2000 purse, funded by the Office of the President, to be used for professional development for all members of the team, and a framed certificate for each member of the team. The team's name will also be engraved on an annual plaque that will be displayed in the team's home department, or in the department responsible for the team project, for one year.


  • Offers the highest level of service excellence to students, faculty, staff and/or other service users, which exceeds what is normally expected in their day-to-day work
  • Promotes a work environment that is respectful, supportive, collegial and inclusive
  • Works collaboratively and respectfully with other teams and units by encouraging openness in sharing ideas, responsibility and finding appropriate solutions to challenges
  • Promotes the York spirit in terms of imagination, creativity, innovation and redefining the possible in service to York's community (internal or external)
  • Team’s efforts have had a significant impact on the operation of the University


  • At least 75% of the team members are full-time, continuing staff at York that have been continuously employed for at least 2 years as of December 31, 2023
  • Members of a non-academic (CUPE 1356, CPM, YUSA or IOUE) staff group
  • A team of a minimum of three staff members and a maximum of fifteen staff members
  • Team members do not all need to belong to one department (teams who are working on a time-limited project are also eligible for this award)

Nomination Package 

The Chief Nominator is responsible for putting together a nomination file that consists of:

  • A nomination letter (maximum of 3 pages in length) from the chief nominator
  • A minimum of 2 supporting nominators (must be people who have received service from the entire team, not individuals)
  • A maximum of three (3) letters in total (one (1) nomination letter and two (2) letters of support).
  • A list of the team members, with a brief description of the role each person plays on the team (download and use this file to track team members and upload it to the online form when submitting your nomination package)

Please feel free to download this checklist to help you compile the nomination file and ensure that you have met all of the requirements before completing the online nomination form. NOTE: This checklist does not need to be uploaded with the nomination form and is for your reference only

Nomination File Requirements

  • Each letter of support must not exceed a total of three (3) pages.
  • The total number of pages of ALL three letters combined does not exceed 9 pages.
  • One of the letters of support OR the nomination letter must be from the team's
    current direct manager or sponsor
  • The chief nominator and one supporting nominator OR at least 2 of the supporting nominators must be people who have received support from the entire team, not individuals
  • Using specific examples, describe how the nominee contributes to the University's goals/objectives, to the team's office/division and to the broader York Community
  • Illustrate with examples of how the team meets or exceeds the criteria for the award
  • Quotations from other persons are not permitted and letters can only have one author (multiple authors on a letter are not permitted)
  • Do not include any references or confidential documents, such as employee performance ratings or evaluations
  • Do not use acronyms in the letters
  • Self-nominations are not permitted

Excellence is everywhere at York. We encourage you to consider nominating a team from outside your home department.

Applications for the 2023 President's Staff Recognition Awards will open on February 29, 2024 and close on April 17, 2024.