Spirit of POD Award

Each year, the Spirit of POD Award subcommittee has the option of presenting a “Bob Pierleoni Spirit of POD Award” to one of our members. The Spirit of POD Award is one significant way that POD can recognize members who have made selfless contributions through their long-time professional service to the organization and the field of educational development.

Nominate Someone (deadline: by 11:59PM (MST) on Monday, September 24, 2018)


So who was Bob and why is this award named after him? Bob Pierleoni became a member of the POD Network in Higher Education when the organization was in its infancy. He contributed actively to its conferences, served on the Core Committee, and co-chaired the 1985 Lake Lawn Wisconsin conference, the initial joint meeting with sister organization NCSPOD.

Bob was a person who always gave effort far beyond expectation to any endeavor he undertook. But he brought more than expertise and organizational skills to POD. His spirit pervaded the organization. His gentle humor, personal warmth, caring helpfulness, and commitment to sharing ideas naturally attracted people to him. He was a focal point for collegial networking; his room at conferences often became the locus of committee meetings, small group gatherings, and late evening socializing.

Everyone in POD was saddened to learn of Bob’s sudden and untimely death soon after the 1990 Granlibakken conference. We lost a wonderful colleague and a generous spirit. A year later, the Core Committee established the Bob Pierleoni Spirit of POD Award to recognize his enduring unseen presence and to honor those exceptional members who exemplified Bob’s long-time contributions and dedication to the organization. This award is the highest honor that POD bestows on a member. See the list of past recipients below.

The award consists of a block of walnut on which is mounted a piece of Celestite, a sky-blue crystalline mineral (Strontium Sulfate, SrSO4), symbolizing the spirit and sparkle that recipients have brought to the POD Network and its members.


Nominees for the Spirit of POD Award should reflect some combination of the attributes listed below:

  1. Has an established history of serving the organization and its members through sustained participation in POD above and beyond routine ways, including:
    a. Sharing knowledge, experience, materials ideas and support freely with other POD members;
    b. Exercising innovative leadership in the organization;
  2. Contributes substantially to the profession of faculty, instructional and organizational development;
  3. Exemplifies the philosophy, principles, and practices of POD, such as generosity of spirit, kindness, compassion, sincerity, and civility;
  4. Has been actively involved in POD for at least 10 years.

Effective nominations in the past have included the following:

  • Support from more than one individual from more than one institution/organization;
  • Narratives and quotes – rather than a series of bullet points – woven into the nomination that explain and illustrate the nominee’s contributions;
  • Examples of attributes that address as many criteria above as possible (although not all required).

In short, the SPOD subcommittee members will identify recipients for the award who are recognized as having exemplary records of contributing to POD while embodying the spirit of the organization. Nominators should note that POD’s President, Past President, President-Elect and members of the Spirit of POD subcommittee are not eligible to receive this award, and SPOD subcommittee members are also not eligible to serve as nominators. Please contact the SPOD subcommittee Chair if you are unsure who is serving in these roles. Nominations are due at midnight (MST) on Monday, September 25, 2017.

Please direct any questions to the SPOD subcommittee Chair at:


Or to:

Dr. Mathew L. Ouellett
Executive Director
Center for Teaching Innovation
118 CCC Building, Cornell University
235 Garden Avenue
Ithaca, New York   14853
T:(607) 255 – 7482


Past Recipients

2017   No award given

2016   No award given

2015   Michele DiPietro and Phyllis Worthy Dawkins

2014   No award given

2013   Laura Border and Connie Cook

2012   Mathew Ouellett

2011   Mike Theall

2010   Wayne Jacobson and Lynn Sorensen

2009   Sally Kuhlenschmidt

2008   No award given

2007   No award given

2006   Mary Dean Sorcinelli

2005   No award given

2004   Christine Stanley

2003   Peter Frederick and Delivee Wright

2002   * Don Wulff

2001   Kay Herr Gillespie

2000   Joan North

1999   Linc. Fisch

1998   Nancy Chism

1997   Karron G. Lewis and Dan Wheeler

1996   No award given

1995   * Bob Diamond

1994   Marilla D. Svinicki

* Deceased