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Walden University Awards:
Academic Leadership Award

Walden celebrates the accomplishments of the university community—students, new graduates and those who supported them, alumni, and faculty—through a number of annual awards.

The Academic Leadership Award is presented annually recognizing outstanding Walden University Academic Coordinators and Associate Deans (Academic Program Directors) who exemplify the university’s core values of quality, integrity, and student-centeredness.


Nominations open: Year-Round

Recipient announced: 2023 Board of Directors Honors and Awards Ceremony

Nominees: College Faculty and Academic Leaders

Nominators: Faculty and Academic Leaders

Eligibility and Criteria

Eligible nominees for the award must be current program coordinators whose primary role is not teaching, or program directors. Nominees must have Associate Dean or Coordinator in their title and must report up through one of the following: 

  • College of Allied Health
  • College of Health Sciences and Public Policy
  • College of Management and Human Potential
  • Richard W. Riley College of Education and Human Sciences
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Psychology and Community Services
  • College of Social and Behavioral Health
  • School of Interdisciplinary and Undergraduate Studies

The nominated program coordinator or associate dean (program director) must have a minimum of two years of leadership service to Walden University.

Additionally, nominees must have demonstrated the following:

  • Leadership: Demonstrates integrity, instills trust, exhibits resiliency, empowers others. 

  • Communication: Shows respect for others, gives quality feedback, exhibits empathy, effective listening skills, and is responsive to the feelings of others. 

  • Advocacy: Demonstrates a commitment to fairness and equity, exhibits strong analytical and research skills, is able to persevere and use good judgment in decision-making. 

  • Collaboration: Shares credit for success, gives and receives feedback for continuous improvement, exhibits strong listening skills, and is reliable and trustworthy. 

  • Integrates the college mission and vision and university commitment to positive social change. 

  • Demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement. 

  • Demonstrates a commitment to academic excellence. 

  • Contributes to a positive work environment – instills trust, takes initiative, engages in positive and professional interactions, displays a sense of humor, compassion and respect for others, is flexible and enthusiastic in working with colleagues. 

  • Innovation and Creativity.  

Previous recipients of the Faculty Excellence Award are eligible for this award. 

Submit a Nomination

Previous Recipients

Winter 2022

The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership:

M. Laurel Walsh


M. Laurel Walsh, MFA, EDD (Presidential Award for Academic Leadership Excellence)



Winter 2022

  • The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership: M. Laurel Walsh, MFA, EDD 

Winter 2021

  • College of Management and Technology: Holly Rick, PhD
  • College of Nursing: Judi Kuric, EdD
  • College of Social and Behavioral Sciences: Maranda Griffin, PhD
  • The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership: Laura Siaya, PhD

Winter 2020

  • College of Health Professions: Shana Morrell, PhD
  • College of Management and Technology: Jack McDonald, DBA
  • College of Social and Behavioral Sciences: Sreeroopa Sarkar, PhD
  • The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership: Tiffany Hamilton, EdD