SAA Excellence in Public Education

A ‘Call for Nominations’ for the SAA Excellence in Public Education Award is published each year in the Fall issue of the SAA Archaeological Record. Announcements are also posted at that time on the SAA web page and on multiple email list serves. Self-nominations for this award are accepted. Some nominations are submitted by others as a surprise for the nominee.

Prospective nominators are encouraged to contact the Award Committee Chair when they begin the nomination process. Working with the Chair, nominators begin preparing a nomination package that is submitted at the first of the year. (This lead-time ensures that materials required to support the nomination can be gathered.)

Public Education Award Committee Chair:

Linda Derry
Old Cahawba
719 Tremont St.
Selma, AL 36701
Tel: (334) 875-2529


The following information is designed to assist nominators in producing their submission packets. These guidelines help ensure that the Award Committee receives materials that are useful and adequate for proper evaluation of the nominee.

Required Nomination Materials:

  • Nomination Form (Name, address, phone, etc. for nominee and nominator.
  • Letter of nomination
  • A Rationale Statement supporting the nomination (i.e., a statement of the actions that form the basis of the nomination)
  • A copy (or samples) of the specific achievement (i.e., examples of the public education offering)
  • Documentation of Impact*

  1. Please provide supporting materials including summations or evidence of the achievement. This material should demonstrate (not merely assert) the nominee’s qualifications. In other words, these materials should support the case being made in the nomination letter, demonstrating its assertions. It should illustrate the extent or depth of impact and the breadth of impact of the undertaking*. Such materials might include:
    • detailed program descriptions (providing information on program implementation including who, what, when, where, why, and proof of how (types of events, how many (participants), and how often
    • external and/or internal evaluations of the public archaeology undertaking (Assessment or evaluation of the undertakings success in public education)
    Any absence of the above documenting evidence should be explained in writing.
  2. The nominee’s accomplishments should be contextualized (i.e., put into perspective):
    • What is the significance of the undertaking (how does it fit within the practice of public education and archaeology?
    • What is the impact of the nominee’s undertaking on the field? Describe the impact on relevant publics beyond the discipline: On Students? On the general public? On other disciplines?
  3. Also welcomed:
    • Endorsements from secondary nominators (attesting to the excellence of the public education undertaking).
    • Any additional information that will assist the committee in determining the creativity, impact, and ethics of the nominee:
    • news articles
    • previous awards
    • descriptions
    • testimonies from participants
    • evaluation records
    *Supporting information that demonstrates how your candidate meets the award criteria is helpful for the reviewers who may not be familiar with your nominee’s achievements (and who need to see evidentiary proof).

    Prior nomination does not exclude consideration of a nominee in subsequent years.

Nomination Packet Check Off List:

Please also complete this information and attach it as a cover for your nomination packet:

Nominee's name:
Nominee's address:
Nominee's phone number:
Nominee's email:
Nominator's name:
Nominator's address:
Nominator's phone number:
Nominator's email:
Letter of nomination enclosed
 Y / N
Curriculum vitae enclosed, if required
 Y / N
Supporting materials enclosed
 Y / N


Nomination materials are evaluated by a committee and each committee member needs the same quality and quantity of material for evaluation. **No received materials will be reproduced by the Committee. (The SAA provides no funding for reproduction of nomination materials for use by this Committee.) Nomination packages not meeting the 6 copy requirement will be divided and sent out to the reviewers. This will hamper a complete understanding of the nominee’s full efforts.

Materials submitted for nomination will NOT be returned.


Members of the SAA Excellence in Public Education Award Committee evaluate the
submitted nomination materials and select the award recipient using established award


The recipient of the SAA Excellence in Public Education Award is announced each spring. A plaque is presented to the recipient and a citation is read by the SAA President at the Awards Ceremony held during the SAA annual conference. A citation is also published in the May issue of the SAA Archaeological Record.