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Opportunities to be recognized, given awards 

Pittsburg State University hosts various events, activities, and gatherings annually. At some of these events, students have the opportunity to be presented with awards that acknowledge their hard work, effort, and success academically, socially, and professionally.  

The Golden Gorilla award is given on Apple Day to recognize juniors and non-graduating seniors who have made exemplary contributions in community service, academic excellence, and campus involvement. Applicants are nominated by faculty, staff, and student organization presidents. Upon nomination, students will submit a resume, a co-curricular transcript from Gorilla Engage, and an essay.  

Community service includes volunteer activities/philanthropy that benefits PSU’s campus (i.e. Career Clothes drives, food pantry contributions, campus beautification, etc.) and volunteer activities in the community or with civic/professional organizations outside of PSU. Academically, to qualify for the Golden Gorilla awards students need to make progressive improvements and independent research efforts or other intellectual endeavors related to their field of study, relevant honors, internships, practicums, and publications. Additionally, to be considered, students need to have been participating in on-campus activities with an emphasis on any leadership roles, including intercollegiate athletics, or other campus overseen entities such as student ambassadors, P.E.E.R.S., and band.  

The Outstanding Senior Award is given to graduating seniors who have maintained academic excellence. Students are nominated by faculty, staff, and student organization presidents. After being nominated, students complete an application process that details their academic accomplishments, involvement in on-campus organizations, leadership positions within PSU organizations, honors and scholarships, community service, and employment. Additionally, nominees are asked to write statements about their achievements as a student leader, their contributions to PSU, and their plans after graduating from PSU.  

Students employees are recognized with the Student Employee of the Year Award. This award is given to students who demonstrate a set of specific characteristics including critical thinking/problem solving, oral/written communication, teamwork/collaboration, leadership, professionalism/work ethics, career management, and global/intercultural fluency. Those eligible for this award include any undergraduate or graduate student who is on student employee payroll and who serves in an official student employee position (graduate assistants excluded). These students must have worked a minimum of six months part-time or three months full-time before they can be eligible.  

The Honorary Family Award is sponsored by Advancement Ambassadors & the PSU Foundation, Inc. and is given annually on Family Day. Recipients of this award are based on a student-submitted nomination which includes a written essay about the student’s family involvement and school spirit. The family is recognized during the Family Day football game at a pre-game reception and during halftime.  

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