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Eychaner Awards

2013-2014 Nomination Deadline:


A printer-friendly copy of the information below can be found on the Eychaner Award Information Sheet.


The Eychaner Award is sponsored by the Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Prism, and is presented annually to recognize individuals affiliated with NIU who have made outstanding contributions that enhance the lives of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT).

The award is presented in two categories, one recognizing the contributions made by an NIU student and one recognizing the contributions of a faculty or staff member or an NIU alumnus/a.

The presentation of the Eychaner Award serves as an opportunity to:

  • recognize and encourage the leadership, dedication, and commitment of individuals who have made outstanding contributions to social justice and equality on behalf of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender;
  • honor and celebrate the goal of creating a society which accepts and values people who are LGBT;
  • make individuals' positive contributions to the LGBT community visible to the wider community;
  • recognize achievements and contributions which might otherwise go unnoticed.


  • Persons who have been affiliated with Northern Illinois University for 2 or more years, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni, are eligible for nomination in the appropriate category.
  • Individuals nominated should have distinguished themselves by making significant contributions for the betterment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community, either locally, regionally, or nationally.
  • Nominations for co-recipients within a category will be considered only when the nominees’ contributions were made as part of a collaborative or team effort, indicating that the nominees jointly accomplished the achievement for which they are nominated.

Nomination Guidelines

Nominations for this award must be made by a member of the operating staff, supportive professional staff, faculty, student body, or alumni. A complete nomination must include:

  1. the nomination form;
  2. a letter of nomination; and
  3. two additional letters of support (only two letters will be considered; these letters do not have to be written by individuals affiliated with NIU)

Leadership and service considered for nomination may be in the form of, but not limited to, areas such as:

  • serving in leadership positions in organizations serving the LGBT community;
  • initiating and/or implementing cultural or educational programming, or workshops, trainings, or seminars;
  • serving as an advocate on issues of importance to the LGBT community;
  • performing outreach activities to heterosexual allies on behalf of the LGBT community;
  • serving as a mentor or advisor to LGBT or heterosexual ally students, peers, or colleagues;
  • publishing literary or scholarly works on topics related to sexual orientation or gender identity;
  • developing courses or teaching in a manner inclusive of LGBT history and experience.

Selection Criteria and Process

A selection committee drawn from the membership of PCSOGI and Prism will review nominations. Dependent on the number and quality of nominations, it is the intention of PCSOGI and Prism to present two awards each year: one award recognizing the contributions of an NIU student and one award recognizing the contributions of an NIU faculty or staff member or an NIU alumnus/a.

Selection will be made on the basis of the following criteria:

  • demonstrated leadership and service on behalf of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or heterosexual allies, either locally, regionally, or nationally;
  • leadership and service over a period of time;
  • efforts beyond expectations and work responsibilities;
  • achieving results and effecting positive change on behalf of people who are LGBT.

Presentation of the Award

The Eychaner Award is presented annually at the Pride Awards Dinner during LGBT Awareness Month in April. Please see the Calendar of Events for the exact date and time of the Pride Awards Dinner.