Awards and Accolades

We are proud of our standing as national leaders in delivering innovative programs and services that are regarded as best practices in the field of Student Affairs. Our staff team is also committed to sharing their professional expertise on campus and beyond, volunteering their time on various boards, helping local political candidates, supporting grassroots organizations and delivering workshops, leading training activities, and facilitating retreats and discussions.

Several of our programs and our staff have received awards, including:


Aboriginal Resource Centre

The Aboriginal Resource Centre was awarded the 2014 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) - Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community’s award for Outstanding Student Support Program. Highlights from the nomination letters include:

“I consider their commitment to learning, remarkable teaching ability, enthusiasm and warm-heartedness to be contributing factors in my ability to achieve academically and grow in my knowledge of Aboriginal traditions and culture heightening my spiritual growth in my life journey.” [Current Aboriginal student]

“[…] I travel frequently to other universities across the country. This affords me the opportunity to see similar Centres and services for Aboriginal peoples and campus communities. In these environments, I often find myself enthusiastically talking about some of the models and practices of the ARC, because I believe what they have done is exemplary and has been transformational for students, the campus community and the off-campus community in Guelph.” [Guelph Alumna, Member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Initiatives]


University InRoads is an Orientation Week program that won the NODA Region VII Innovation Program Award in 2014. This program creates small groups of students, who share a common program or major, and helps prepare them for their first day and year of studies. It takes every classroom, and approximately 120 volunteers supported by five students and two professional staff to implement this program on an annual basis between the Sunday of the Labour Day weekend and the last day before classes start.


The LEAD@guelph certificate series was awarded the 2011-12 CACEE (Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers) Excellence in Innovation Award in the Leadership Development category. The award was presented in recognition of the LEAD@guelph program's contributions toward developing leadership experience and/or skills in post-secondary students/recent graduates.

Our Peer Helper Program has served as the blueprint for several successful paraprofessional helping programs, including those at McMaster and Memorial University. Our staff are regularly consulted due to their expertise in experiential learning pedagogy, community-engaged learning, and leadership education.

Recipient of the 2001 Program of the Year award from the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS). Lauded for its cutting-edge approach to engaging students in the civic life of their community, this program has involved over 6000 students and contributed more than 30,000 volunteer hours since its inception.

Since its inception, Project Serve has spawned two highly regarded programs that extend our reach beyond the local: Project Serve Canada and Project Serve International. Grounded in community-engaged learning principles, these programs provide opportunities for students to address real needs identified by community partners, and to deepen their learning. To date, universities such as the University of Calgary and Wilfrid Laurier University have developed civic engagement programs drawn from our cluster of Project Serve programs. When the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration visited the campus in the Winter of 2009, Project Serve was highlighted as a best practice that promotes voluntarism, civic engagement, and a life-long commitment to the public good (see The Ontarion article).


Student Leaders Interacting and Collaborating annual conference - recipient of the 1999 Program of the Year award from the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS). This conference has provided hundreds of newly elected and appointed student representatives with leadership training, role-specific support, and opportunities to network with administrators, alumni and students since it was established in 1995.

Launched in 2002, this virtual pre-arrival orientation program paved the way for similar programs at Canadian universities. Designed to introduce newly admitted students to the Guelph campus community prior to arrival, to expose them to the range of resources and supports available to them, and to facilitate important connections between and among new students, this program continues to play a pivotal role in supporting the transition of new students at the University of Guelph.

What Can you Do?

Poster series - recipient of a 2002 CACUSS Innovation grant, this series of thought-provoking posters was designed to encourage students to serve the greater good - as citizens and as learners - and to extend their civic commitment beyond our borders and their undergraduate careers.


Student Life Staff Team

In Fall 2011, we were awarded the United Way Spirit Award for exceeding our departmental fundraising goal, achieving a minimum five-per-cent increase in participation, and demonstrating enthusiasm and creativity in our fundraising efforts.