The Harriet Lewis Team Award for Service Excellence


Established in honour of former University Secretary and General Counsel Harriet Lewis, the Harriet Lewis Team Award for Service Excellence recognizes excellence in service and support to students, faculty, staff and/or other service users. One award will be given annually.

The award consists of a $2000 purse to be used for professional development for all members of the team, generously funded by the Office of the President and a framed certificate for each member of the team. In addition, the winning team will be eligible for an additional purse for professional development. This additional purse has been generously funded by a donor and will be made available to the winning team who receives this award between 2016-2018. The 2018 purse will be $1000. The team's name will also be engraved on an annual plaque and displayed in the team's home department or in the department responsible for team project, for one year.


Nomination Package Checklist

Please feel free to download this checklist to help you compile the nomination file and to ensure you have met all of the requirements before completing the online nomination form. NOTE: This checklist does not need to be uploaded on the nomination form, and is for your reference only.


    Do your nominees:

  • Demonstrate the provision of the highest level of service excellence to students/faculty/staff and/or other service users that exceeds what is normally expected in their position?
  • Promote a work environment that is respectful, supportive, collegial and inclusive?
  • Work collaboratively and respectfully with other teams/unit by encouraging openness in sharing ideas, responsibility and finding appropriate solutions to challenges?
  • Promote the York spirit in terms of imagination, creativity, innovation and redefining the possible in service to York's community (internal or external)?
  • Team’s efforts have had a significant impact on the operation of the University.

If yes, then the The Harriet Lewis Team Award for Service Excellence is the award you’re looking for!


  • Are at least 75% of the team members are full -time, continuing staff member at York that have been continuously employed for at least 2 years as of December 31, 2019?
  • Members of a non-academic (CUPE 1356, CPM, YUSA or IOUE) staff group
  • A team is considered a minimum of three staff members and a maximum of twenty-five staff members.
  • Team members do not need to belong to one department as teams who are working on a time limited project are also eligible for this award.

If yes, then the team you've got in mind is eligible for nomination!

Nomination File Requirements

The Chief Nominator is responsible for putting together a nomination file that consists of:

  • A nomination letter (maximum of 3 pages in length)
  • A minimum of 2 supporting nominators must be people who have received service from the entire team, not individuals
  • A list of the team members with a brief description of the role each person plays on the team.
  • Self-nominations are not permitted.

Nominations & supporting letter requirements:

  • A minimum of 3 letters total (1 nomination letter and min. 2 letters of support)
  • A maximum of 4 letters (1 nomination letter and max. 3 letters of support)
  • Each letter of support must not exceed a total of 3 pages
  • One of the letters of support, OR the nomination letter must be from the team's
    current direct manager or sponsor
  • The chief nominator and one supporting nominator, OR at least 2 of the supporting nominators must be people who have received support from the entire team, not individuals
  • The total number of pages of ALL letters combined does not exceed 12 pages
  • Using quantitative and/or qualitative examples, describe how the nominee contributes to the goals/objectives, to the office/division and/or the broad York Community
  • Please illustrate with examples of how the nominee meets or exceeds the criteria for the award.
  • Quotations from other persons are not permitted and letters can only have one author. Multiple authors on a letter are not permitted.
  • Please do not include any references or confidential documents such as employee performance ratings or evaluations.
  • Self-nominations are not permitted.
  • Please do not use acronyms in the letter.
  • A completed "Team members list" with a brief description of the role each person plays on the team - please download this file and be ready to upload to the online form.

Excellence is everywhere at York! We urge you to consider nominating someone from outside your home department.

Nomination Forms

Nominations can be submitted using our online application until January 20, 2020 at 4:30 PM EST.

Online Form

Please note that extensions for submission cannot be considered.

Selection Committee

The Harriet Lewis Team Award for Service Excellence Committee consists of six members, and is chaired by Neville McGuire, Chief of Staff, Office of the President.  Committee members are appointed by the President, and serve for up to 3 years.

Members of the Selection Committee may not initiate nominations or write a supporting letter for the Harriet Lewis Team Award for Service Excellence.  If a member of the Selection Committee is nominated for the award, they shall resign from the committee