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.

Bob was an early member of the POD Network in Higher Education. He contributed actively to its conferences, served on the Core Committee, and co-chaired the 1985 POD Conference located in Lake Lawn Wisconsin conference.

Bob always contributed meaningfully 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 helped make collegial networking a key element of the POD Network.

2021 deadline: Friday, October 15
Invitation for nominations

The “Bob Pierleoni Spirit of POD Award” is POD’s highest honor. It recognizes members who:

  • Exemplify the philosophy, principles, and practices of POD, such as generosity of spirit, kindness, compassion, sincerity, inclusiveness, and civility.
  • Have served the organization and its members for at least five years in more than routine ways, such as: sharing knowledge, experience, materials, ideas, and support freely with other POD members; mentoring or helping colleagues enter the field and engage in the work; and/or exercising innovative or equity-minded leadership in the organization.
  • Contribute to the profession of faculty, instructional, and organizational development in ways that help the POD Network enact its mission and values.
  • As recently affirmed in the strategic plan, key values include collaboration, equity, and evidence.
What is the process for nominating someone?
  • Reflect on your experiences with the POD Network. Has someone made a significant difference for you personally or professionally, as well as to our organization?
  • Review the nomination form and fill it out if you’d like to make a nomination.
  • Encourage others to fill out a nomination form for this POD member to offer additional examples to support the nomination.
What makes a nomination successful?

Successful nominations are typically 1000–1,500 words, and directly address the SPOD award criteria and speak to the ways this person embodies the ‘spirit of POD’. They address both the interpersonal and the professional contributions of the nominee to educational development. Successful nominations also include concrete examples to help the selection committee understand the ways the nominee has demonstrated the award criteria. This award is about quality more than quantity so be sure to emphasize the depth of the nominee’s contributions and ‘spirit’, rather than simply listing formal roles and years in POD.

*Nominees often do not receive the award the first time they are nominated, so nominators should not be discouraged if their initial attempt is unsuccessful.

Would you consider nominating a POD member who has made a significant difference for you personally or professionally, as well as to our organization?

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 sub-committee members are not eligible to serve as nominators. Please contact the SPOD sub-committee Chair if you are unsure who is serving in these roles.

Please direct any questions to the SPOD sub-committee Chair at

2021 deadline: Friday, October 15

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.