The “Bob Pierleoni Spirit of POD Award” is the highest honor that POD bestows on a member. It recognizes long-standing members who have made selfless contributions through their service to the organization and to the field of educational development. The award is presented at the Annual Conference.

Nominate a Colleague

2020 deadline: TBD

The award is named for Bob Pierleoni, a member of the POD Network in Higher Education from its earliest days. Bob was a person who always gave effort far beyond expectation to any endeavor he undertook. His spirit of gentle humor, personal warmth, caring helpfulness, and commitment to collaboration pervaded the organization.

The Bob Pierleoni Spirit of POD Award was established after he passed away in 1990, in recognition of his enduring influence and to honor POD members who exemplify Bob’s long-time contributions and dedication to the organization.

We invite POD Network members to nominate colleagues for the Spirit of POD Award.

Nominees should reflect some combination of the following attributes:

  1. 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. Substantial contributions to the profession of faculty, instructional and organizational development
  3. Exemplifying the philosophy, principles, and practices of POD, such as generosity of spirit, kindness, compassion, sincerity, and civility
  4. Actively involved in POD for at least 10 years

Effective nominations in the past have included:

  • Examples that demonstrate as many criteria (above) as possible, though not necessarily all of them, illustrating ways that the nominee’s life and work embody these traits.
  • Support from more than one individual and more than one institution/organization, exemplifying the nominee’s contributions to the broader field in addition to the work they do at their own institution
  • Narrative description and quotes – rather than a series of bullet points – telling the story of the nominee’s contributions

Nominators should note that POD’s President, immediate Past President, President-Elect, and members of the Spirit of POD subcommittee are not eligible to receive this award.  SPOD subcommittee members are not eligible to serve as nominators. Please contact the SPOD subcommittee Chair if you are unsure who is serving in these roles.

Please direct any questions to the SPOD subcommittee Chair at or to:

Suzanne Tapp
Executive Director, Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center
Texas Tech University
(806) 742-0133


2019   Deandra Little

2018   Peter Felten, Allison Pingree, Kathryn Plank, and Laurel Willingham-McLain

(Summary of 2018 SPOD Recipient Peer Nomination Statements)

2015   Michele DiPietro and Phyllis Worthy Dawkins

2013   Laura Border and Connie Cook

2012   Mathew Ouellett

2011   Mike Theall

2010   Wayne Jacobson and Lynn Sorensen

2009   Sally Kuhlenschmidt

2006   Mary Dean Sorcinelli

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

1995   Bob Diamond

1994   Marilla D. Svinicki

* The award is not necessarily presented every year.