Rules for the Thunderbird Awards
Eligibility Requirements for Award Nominations
- No student may be considered a nominee for more than one  award, and, therefore, may not be a finalist for more than one  award. Students receiving nominations in multiple categories will be contacted prior to the first round of selection to: (1) notify them of all awards for which they have been nominated, and (2) ask them to choose one  award for which they would like to compete.
- A students nomination will only be considered if the following threshold requirements have been met by the nominee:
- The individual is enrolled at Southern Utah University as a student during the semester in which they were nominated [spring].
- The student has earned a minimum cumulative grade point average [GPA] of 2.5. In determining the cumulative GPA, graded hours from other institutions [transfer credit] will be considered. The exceptions to this threshold are the GPA requirements for the R. Kenneth Benson Award, the Elaine C. Southwick Award, and the Scholar of the Year Award.
- The student does not have any pending or unresolved misconduct cases at Southern Utah University.
- Nominees for the Sterling R. Church Student Involvement Award, the R. Kenneth Benson Award, the Elaine C. Southwick Award, and Scholar of the Year must also satisfy additional requirements to be considered for those awards.
- Incomplete and paper-copy nominations will not be accepted or considered.
- To be considered as a nominee for the Sterling R. Church Student Involvement Award, a student must not be an elected or appointed officer in the Southern Utah University Student Association [SUUSA].
- To be considered a nominee for the Elaine C. Southwick Award or the R. Kenneth Benson Award, a student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average [GPA] of 3.6.
- Any student who has won an award before may not be considered a nominee for the same award already won. This provision does not apply to Advisor of the Year or Organization of the Year.
- Only student clubs and organizations recognized by the Southern Utah University Student Association may be considered nominees for the Organization of the Year Award. An organization may not win the Organization of the Year Award in consecutive years.
- The finalists for Athlete of Year are selected by the coaches and staff of the Athletic Department. Each head coach nominates his or her most successful athlete and the Athletic Department staff narrows this field of nominees down to five men and five women finalists. These finalists are then interviewed and evaluated like every other category’s finalists.
- The finalists for Scholar of the Year are determined by identifying the highest achieving graduating senior in each of the University’s six colleges or schools. Achievement is defined by cumulative grade point average. Because a student has been selected as a Valedictorian will not prohibit them from being recognized as a finalist for this award.
Rules Governing the Acceptance of Nominations & Document Submission
- All individuals desiring to accept a nomination must submit a two-page resume and a two-page questionnaire within the time permitted by the Student Activities Board or Thunderbird Awards Committee. This is a one-time submission so prepare attractive, well-written materials that can be displayed in public.
- All materials necessary to accept a nomination (two-page resume & two-page questionnaire) must be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word format. Adobe PDF documents will not be accepted.
- All submissions that exceed the required page length – two pages for a resume and two pages for the questionnaire – will be rejected without further notice. FACULTY MEMBERS SHOULD NOT SUBMIT THEIR CVs.
- Time extensions will not be given.
Rules Governing the Selection/Judging Process
Round 1 – Selection of Finalists
- There are 11 categories for which nominations in those respective categories are judged: (1) Female Contributor, (2) Male Contributor, (3) Sterling R. Church, (4) Organization, (5) Advisor, (6) Professor, (7) Personality, (8) Performer, (9) Commitment to Excellence, (10) Benson and (11) Southwick.
- Selection panels will be made up of: (1) one faculty member, (2) one community member, (3) one staff member, (4) one male student, and (5) one female student. Some exceptions may be necessary based on judge availability or in an effort to create an unbiased panel.
- No student will be permitted to judge if he or she is an elected or appointed officer in the Southern Utah University Student Association or a member of the Thunderbird Awards Committee.
- Each selection panel will be asked to evaluate the nominations in no more than two  categories. Category dyads are as follows: (1) Male & Female Contributor of the Year, (2) Organization & Advisor of the Year, (3) Sterling R. Church & Commitment to Excellence, (4) R. Kenneth Benson & Elaine C. Southwick, (5) Personality and Performer of the Year and (6) Professor of the Year. The finalists Scholar of the Year and Athletes of the Year will be determined by the Dean’s Council and the Athletic Department respectively.
- The selection panels will evaluate each nominee’s resume and questionnaire using award-specific criteria and corresponding point scale. These materials will be provided to each judge by the Student Activities Board/Thunderbird Awards Committee. Each individual judge will produce a total point score for each nominee. The Thunderbird Awards Committee will then add together each judges total point score and generate a grand total for each candidate within a respective category. The five  nominees garnering the highest grand total will be selected as finalists. The judges will not know which nominees were selected as finalists.
- In the event of a tie, where in multiple nominees have an identical grand total, the Student Activities Board/Thunderbird Awards Committee will use cumulative GPAs to break the tie. Thus, of all nominees who are tied, the nominee with the higher cumulative GPA will become a finalist. In the rare event, that multiple candidates have the same grand total and the same cumulative GPA, the Student Activities Board/Thunderbird Awards Committee will then look at total hours earned to break the tie. If the tie persists, a coin will be flipped.
- All nominees will be assigned a number and will be anonymous to judges. All personal identifying information on materials submitted (resume & questionnaire) will be redacted.
- Round 1 of selection will result in ONLY five  finalists being selected for each category except for Scholar of the Year which automatically has six . No exceptions will be made.
Round 2 – Interviewing Finalists & Selecting an Award Winner
- The same selection panels used during Round 1 will also be used as interview panels during Round 2. However, they will not interview the same category dyad that they evaluated in Round 1. The interview panel will have a new category dyad.
- With the exception of the Professor of the Year and Scholar of the Year interview panels will be made up of: (1) one faculty member, (2) one community member, (3) one staff member, (4) one male student, and (5) one female student.
- The interview panel for the Professor the Year and Scholar of the Year will be comprised of: (1) The Provost or Associate/Assistant Provost, (2) the Executive Director of the Academic and Career Development Center or one academic advisor, (3) one community member, (4) one male student, and (5) one female student.
- With the exception for Performer of the Year, all interviews will be 15 minutes in length.
- A member of the Thunderbird Awards Committee or Student Activities Board [STAB] will serve as a host for each interview panel, and will be available to ensure that the interviews comply with the rules and are fair to each candidate.
- Interview panels will be required to ask each candidate a series of similar questions, with allowances for follow-up questions and questions based on information contained in the finalist’s resume and questionnaire. The questions will be generated by judges on the panel, but should consistently be asked to each finalist.
- All judges will need to complete an interview score sheet with award-specific criteria and corresponding point scale. These score sheets will be placed in a sealed envelope and tabulated by the Thunderbird Awards Committee at a later time (for details refer to the previous section). The finalist with the highest, combined interview point total will be recognized as the Award Winner. Ties will be broken in the same manner as in Round 1. (See previous section Rule 6)
- All judges shall keep their scores confidential, and any discourse between judges on a panel should be kept absolutely confidential and not leave the interview room.
- Performer of the Year is a unique category and has some special requirements and provisions that govern its interviewing process.
- Finalists for performer of the year will need to complete a performance no longer than four  minutes for the selection panel, prior to beginning his or her 15 minute interview. In total, the interview cannot exceed 20 minutes.
- Prior to their interview, finalists must submit the following information to the Awards Committee regarding the material they will draw from for their performance: (1) author/artist, (2) music, (3) source of the piece (play, film, etc.), (4) technical requirements for their performance.
- All of the finalists for Performer of the Year may be invited to give their performance at the Thunderbird Awards Ceremony, BUT IT MUST BE THE SAME PERFORMANCE GIVEN BEFORE THE SELECTION PANEL.
- The material selected for the interview performance should be chosen with the Ceremony’s audience in mind and must be acceptable for an audience of all ages and maturity levels keeping in mind community standards espoused by a majority of Cedar City residents. Finalists for the award will judged on their ability to select a performance piece that has wide audience appeal.
- Finalists are not required to perform at the Ceremony and may decline the invitation to perform without affecting their interview.
- All finalists who accept an invitation to perform at the Ceremony must agree to participate in a dress rehearsal.
- Only one  winner will be selected for each award category.