Rising Star Award

About the Award

The EDUCAUSE Rising Star award is intended to recognize an emerging leader in higher education IT whose record reflects ongoing and exceptional growth in contribution to the profession and increased levels of leadership, responsibility, and sphere of impact. Successful candidates will have not yet reached a senior-or chief-level position, but their track-record should reflect a strong career trajectory with the possibility of forward advancement and potential for appointment at the highest levels of the profession.

Awards will be made at the discretion of the EDUCAUSE Recognition Committee, which may choose to grant one award, no award, or multiple awards in any one year.

Nomination Requirements

Nominations for the Rising Star Award should be submitted with the candidate's permission. Self-nominations will not be accepted. It is the responsibility of the nominator to summarize the nominee's achievements and growth in professional stature and accomplishments in sufficient detail to document why this individual should be recognized as a "rising star" in the profession. All nominations must contain sufficient information to inform the selection process without additional research. Each nomination submitted must adhere to the following outline.

The nomination must include:

  1. Curriculum Vitae or Resume (upload).
    Include with the nomination the candidate's vitae or professional resume to provide the selection committee with a more comprehensive overview of the candidate’s accomplishments and experiences. Please note the CV or resume is not a substitute for any of the required information listed in the items below.
  2. Description of how the candidate fulfills the criteria described under the "Guidelines and Eligibility" section for this award (upload).  (750-1200 words/2-4 pages)
  3. Each nomination submitted must adhere to the following outline and page counts. Please note: After reviewing the initial nomination submissions, the Recognition Committee may ask for and require three additional reference letters to assist in the evaluation of the candidates under consideration. For Rising Star candidates selected to advance, one of the reference letters must be from the CIO, CTO, or equivalent institution executive.

Guidelines and Eligibility

  • Candidates must be an early- to mid-stage career information technology professional working in higher education. “Early- to mid-stage” could be anywhere from 5 to 15 years in the profession, though there may be exceptions to this general rule; for instance, a candidate may have come to higher education after being in a different profession.
  • Candidates may not have attained the rank of Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or an equivalent chief-level position, or other terminal/executive position such as Vice-President or Provost at an institution.
  • Candidates must have demonstrated exceptional and ongoing achievements and have made significant and demonstrable contributions to their institution(s) and to the profession.
  • Candidates may not be currently serving on the EDUCAUSE Board, staff, or Recognition Committee.
  • Candidates will be judged on three primary factors:
    • Description of the individual role played by the candidate and the resulting positive outcomes in projects, publications, activities, or initiatives that in total demonstrate exceptional early and ongoing achievement.
    • Evidence that the contributions of the candidate are having a sustained and positive impact on his or her institution and/or the profession as a whole.
    • Evidence that the candidate's portfolio of work and resulting successes points to increasing levels of responsibility, both internal and external to the institution.
  • In addition, the Committee will also look for evidence that supports:
    • Significant innovation, given the campus context.
    • Uniqueness and impact of the candidate's contributions.

Are you unsure if the candidate you would like to nominate qualifies for an award?

Please reach out to us at [email protected] and we will be happy to answer questions about the nominations process, guidelines, or eligibility.


The next call for award nominations will open in February 2022.


Award recipients are recognized at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference and receive complimentary registration, travel, and housing for the conference. Recipients are also given a session at the annual conference. Highlights of their accomplishments are added to the award gallery on the EDUCAUSE website.

Recipients will also earn an EDUCAUSE microcredential as a way to digitally document and display their achievement.


See previous Rising Star Award recipients.