Helge Center

Virtues of Vocation Faculty and Staff Award

Call for Nominations

The Institute for Leadership and Service is soliciting nominations from all faculty and staff for the Virtues of Vocation award. Up to three cash-prize awards of  $1000 each will be granted to Valpo faculty and staff members whose work exemplifies the virtues of vocation in their scholarship and mentorship at the University. 

The community organizer Ernesto Cortes Jr. once said that the main challenge of institutions with roots in a faith tradition is to “understand that our moral universe cannot include only those who look like us, talk like us, or live like us.” When our institutions are at their best, “they help people get inside one another’s moral universe by sharing stories and experiences—and by so doing, beginning to develop political friendships.”

This year’s award is framed around the following questions: What sorts of relationships should we be cultivating in a surrounding culture that is increasingly diverse and often polarized? What would it look like at Valparaiso University to build a “moral universe” in which those who do not look like us, talk like us, or live like us are our friends? What sorts of shared stories or experiences (in the classroom, research, or throughout campus) have changed the way we approach the world? And what kind of person am I called to be in relation to those who are so very different from who I am?


  • Only full-time Valpo faculty and staff are eligible for nomination
  • All Valpo faculty and staff may submit nominations 
  • No self-nominations are permitted

**Those nominated last year are eligible to be nominated. Those who received the award last year are not eligible.**


We recognize that everyone comes from a different mindset concerning vocation or calling. The nomination should address how a faculty or staff member’s scholarship and mentorship reflects the themes of calling, character, and diverse relationships. 

To help nominators find a common understanding of vocation/calling, please consider these resources:

  1. The university’s mission statement
  2. Ann Lutterman-Aguilar’s “Ecumenical and Interfaith Understandings of Vocation” 
  3. Howard Thurman’s “The Sound of the Genuine”
  4. Kedron Bardwell’s “Questions for Vocational Reflection”

Please submit your nomination, via email to Rachel MacDonald (rachel.macdonald@valpo.edu), ILAS Program Coordinator, no later than April 8, 2022, 5:00 p.m.


The nomination is to include your name, your Valpo I.D. #, a current mailing address, Valpo email address and telephone number. 

The nomination must follow these guidelines:

A minimum word count of 100; the page(s) should be numbered; double-spaced with 1” margins, 12 pt. Calibri or Times New Roman font, and submitted in .docx or .pdf format. 

Finalist stage:

After nominations have been received, ILAS will inform nominees, who will be asked to submit a statement of 250-500 words on the following question: “What sorts of virtues do you aim to embody in your academic vocation?” This statement should also indicate some indication of engagement with the nomination questions above. This statement is to be submitted via email to Rachel MacDonald, Program Coordinator, Institute for Leadership and Service, by April 25th, 2022, at 12:00pm.

A committee of Valpo faculty and staff will judge the finalists and award the prizes. 

All winners will be notified by their Valpo email.  The winning nominations will also be announced via the institute’s social media accounts and featured on the Institute for Leadership and Services’ web page. 

For additional information or questions, contact Rachel MacDonald at rachel.macdonald@valpo.edu or 219.464.6914.