Award Program Guidelines

The Keystone State Chapter Annual Awards Program focuses on the achievements of our ASPA chapter members and public administration students. 

Each year, the chapter requests submission of nominations for five regular award categories. Any chapter member may submit a Chapter Award Nomination Form. Multiple recipients may be selected for each award category.  The option for multiple recipients provides the opportunity for the chapter to highlight the good work of members and students from the variety of organizations and locations served by our statewide ASPA chapter.  

In addition, the Board of Directors may identify additional public administration accomplishments that warrant recognition in a special award.


Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award   Outstanding Student Award
Chapter Leadership Award  Student Paper Award 
Distinguished Public Service Award Special Awards


Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award 

1.   Must be a Keystone State Chapter member with at least 25 years of public service experience in a government agency (local, state, or federal), a nonprofit organization, an institute of higher education or a health administration entity in Pennsylvania.

2.   Demonstrated conspicuous leadership and achievement throughout their career in public administration. 

3.   Made a significant contribution to advancing the mission and vision of ASPA through state chapter membership.

Chapter Leadership Award 

1.   Must be an active member of the Keystone State Chapter.

2.   Demonstrated leadership of an activity or project that advanced the mission and vision of ASPA by improving or expanding state chapter operations.   

Distinguished Public Service Award

1.   Must be a graduate student at or recent alumnus (not more than 10 years from the date of degree) from an institute of higher education in Pennsylvania who is currently employed full time in a government agency (local, state, or federal), a nonprofit organization, an institute of higher education or a health administration entity.

2.   Demonstrates a commitment to scholarship and public service that promotes the achievement of innovative solutions to the challenges of governance in the public administration profession. 

3.   This individual is NOT required to be an ASPA member. 

Outstanding Student Award 

1.   Must be an undergraduate or graduate student who has achieved high academic standing at an institute of higher education in Pennsylvania.

2.   Must be enrolled in a public administration, health administration, public policy political science or similar area of study at the time of nomination.

3.   Demonstrates an extraordinary understanding of and a strong commitment to a career in the practice or teaching of public administration. 

4.   This individual is NOT required to be an ASPA member. 

Student Paper Award 

1.   Must be a graduate student who has been enrolled at an institute of higher education in Pennsylvania within the 12 months preceding the time of nomination. 

2.   Papers may be written on any topic relating to public or nonprofit organizations and should address a current subject of interest to practitioners and/or scholars.  (Paper topics may include, but are not limited to: policy analysis; organization and management studies; human resources; finance and budgeting; program and performance evaluation; ethics; strategic management; and public sector partnerships.)

3.   Papers must represent the original, nonpartisan work of the author with appropriate citations and valid data.

4.   Must be sponsored by an ASPA member who is engaged in teaching courses related to the field of public administration and who determines that the author’s work represents the highest standards of their academic institution.

5.   This individual is NOT required to be an ASPA member. 

Special Awards 

A special award may be created by the Board of Directors if it identifies an outstanding public administration accomplishment that is not covered by the five ongoing award categories. For example, Innovative Public Service Partnership Awards were granted in 2020 to recognize multiple organization community engagement collaborations in which Keystone State Chapter members participated.