Leading Light

The Leading Light Award is presented annually to a NACADA member in recognition of significant contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion within NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising.

Diversity, as defined by the NACADA Board of Directors, includes ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disabilities, and sexual orientation as well as diversity in regard to institutional type, size, and employment position. Examples of contributions are innovations to encourage advisors from underrepresented populations to join and remain in NACADA, outreach to specific underrepresented populations, service to NACADA on behalf of an underrepresented population, etc.


Submit a Nomination


Plaque presented at the Annual Conference in the fall and recognition during the Global Awards Ceremony.

Submission Procedures:

Nominations must contain adequate factual or descriptive material for the Selection Committee to evaluate the nomination. Please be sure to review the Submission Instructions page before beginning your nomination.


The current NACADA Council members in place at the time of the review period read and score the nominations in this category. The NACADA Vice President makes the final award selections based on the reviews completed by the Council members.

  • Nominee must be a current member of NACADA and must also have a history of involvement and membership in the organization.
  • Previous winners are not eligible.
  • Exhibit visionary and insightful leadership to promote positive interactions and a commitment to the inclusion of persons of marginalized groups within the academic advising profession. and ensure diversity within and among NACADA members
  • Provide leadership in the advocacy for the fair and equitable treatment of all people to development of best practices that support the diversity goals of NACADA.
  • Current members of the Board of Directors or Council are not eligible for consideration for this award. After the member's term, s/he may then be eligible for consideration.
    1. A completed Nomination Submission.
    2. A supporting letter from the nominator, providing evidence that the candidate has made significant contributions to NACADA in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion. Contributions include innovations to encourage advisers from underrepresented populations to join and be contributing members, outreach to specific underrepresented populations and/or service to NACADA on behalf of an underrepresented population. Contributions may be at any level of the association.
    3. Letters of support from other NACADA members (6 letters maximum). 
    4. Additional materials that support the candidate's nomination. The online system will allow you to submit more than one attachment for the appendices but the total number of pages if printed should be no more than 40.