In recognition of the contribution that service activities provide toward the attainment of institutional excellence, Siena College created this award in honor of Father Matthew T. Conlin, O.F.M., who served as a faculty member in the English Department and as the sixth President of Siena College.  The award is given annually to the faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in service beyond what is normally expected of faculty at Siena College.

Selection Criteria

The Matthew T. Conlin, O.F.M. Distinguished Service Award is intended to recognize members of the Siena College faculty who have given consistent and outstanding service to the College community.  Above all, the faculty member’s service should have consistently exceeded the normal requirements and ordinary expectations of faculty at Siena College.

There are many activities which can be considered service (Faculty Handbook, Sect. III A.1.c&d, and Sect. III B.2.e.):

  • Utilization of professional skills for departmental, school, and college initiatives
  • Committee work (e.g. ad hoc; departmental, school, and college wide committees)
  • Assistance to student organizations (e.g. faculty advisor)
  • Administrative tasks (e.g. department head)
  • Service activities as defined in the nominee’s department’s standards for tenure and promotion.

There must be evidence of leadership or extraordinary achievement in the venues in which service is carried out.  Service must extend over multiple years and involve the substantial commitment of time and effort.  Essentially, the nominee’s professional life will have been characterized by a sustained commitment to service activities as opposed to a one-time major involvement in an activity.   Further, service activities that have involved Siena College students, a desired outcome consistent with the mission of Siena College, will receive weighted consideration.  The Selection Committee may recognize the following: service and in the larger community which exemplifies the Franciscan Tradition.

The nominee’s service should have had a significant positive impact on the College.  The Selection Committee shall consider uncompensated service activities that occur while the faculty member is serving as a full-time member of the Siena College faculty.  Although compensated, time spent as an academic department head shall be considered as part of the service portfolio and included in the review and selection process. Any other compensated activities may be included in the dossier and may be considered at the discretion of the Selection Committee. 

The Service Award Selection Committee

The Matthew T. Conlin, O.F.M. Distinguished Service Award Selection Committee will be comprised of two tenured faculty representatives from each School and one from the Library, for a total of seven committee members. Faculty representatives will be elected to three-year terms under the auspices of the Faculty Committee, with nomination from the School and election by the faculty as a whole. Each committee member must be from a different department. The Service Award Selection Committee will, each year, elect one of its members to serve as Chair. Members of the committee will recuse themselves if a nominee comes from their department or in case of any other perceived or possible conflict of interest.

Award Eligibility

Eligible candidates  are faculty members, including librarians, who have been full-time faculty at Siena College for at least six years and who have had a teaching load of at least six hours per semester (or the equivalent for librarians) for five of the previous seven semesters. Visiting faculty and previous honorees are not eligible. 

Nomination and Selection Procedures

Please see the timeline provided at the end of the page.

A call for nominations will be issued by the Faculty Committee and the Alumni Office.  Faculty, administrators, students, and alumni may nominate faculty for the award by providing a statement of support for the candidate to the Faculty Support Office.

  1. Nominations must come from single individuals, not groups or departments
  2. Each nominator will submit the name of only one faculty member.
  3. Each nominator should submit (a) the name of a member of the faculty, and (b) a notification that the individual has agreed to the nomination.  No letter of nomination is required.
  4. Self-nomination is not permissible.
  5. Selection Committee members may neither nominate nor be nominated for the award.
  6. Previous honorees are not eligible for nomination.
  7. The Selection Committee will confirm the eligibility status of all nominees.
  8. Once the nominee list has been finalized, the Provost and Senior Vice President will send an announcement to the entire faculty identifying and congratulating the nominees.
  9. Nominees will be asked to submit to the Faculty Support Office (1) an electronic copy of their updated PDR or their Sedona report and (2) a two-page description of their service activities (statements that go beyond the maximum will be returned to the nominees and not seen by the committee).
  10. The Selection Committee will announce up to 6 finalists; and, the finalists will ask three people to submit brief letters of support addressed to the Committee, via the Faculty Support Office.  Any letter beyond the third one received will be returned to the sender. 
  11. The Selection Committee will review all materials and select the honoree.
  12. The Chair of the Faculty will then contact the honoree and the other nominees to inform them of the committee’s decision.


The Honoree and the other Finalists of The Matthew T. Conlin, O.F.M. Distinguished Service Award will be recognized at the annual Faculty and Administrator Reception and Awards Ceremony.  The Honoree will be acknowledged at Commencement, and will be invited to sit with the platform party.  The Honoree will also be invited to address students, faculty, and other guests at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Induction Breakfast, prior to the Awards Ceremony in May. 

Timeline for Nominations, Selection, and Announcement

Fourth Friday in October: A call for nominations will be issued by the Faculty Committee and Alumni Office.

First Friday in December: Deadline for nominations. Nominations are sent to Faculty Support Office. Nominees will be notified and reminded of the December submission date.

Third Friday in December:  Nominees submit electronic version of PDR or Sedona and a brief (two page maximum) description of service activities 

First Monday in February:  Selection Committee announces up to six finalists. Finalists should immediately ask no more than three references to send a brief (2 page maximum) letter of support to the Faculty Support Office (Letters must be submitted by March 1).

First Monday in March:  Committee begins final deliberations.

First Friday in April: Committee submits its selection to the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Late April / early May: The Honoree is announced at the Faculty-Administrator Dinner.