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Investing in Staff Fearlessly Forward Awards

The Terrapin Innovation & MVP Impact Awards Logo

The Terrapin Innovation & MVP Impact Awards

The University of Maryland wants to acknowledge the amazing ideas and service of our staff through two new awards. The Terrapin Innovation Awards and the MVP Impact Awards recognize staff members who exemplify a Fearlessly Forward attitude and devote their skills and suggestions to make the workplace a better place. Whether you nominate a co-worker, someone from another part of campus, or yourself, we hope you will help us celebrate colleagues whose contributions to UMD deserve recognition.

Up to 25 awards will be given in this annual process, each with a cash prize of $1000! Winners will be selected from nominees in two categories: the Terrapin Innovation Award and the MVP Impact Award.

Two female students sitting along ODK Fountain with McKeldin Library in the background.

The Terrapin Innovation Award

Recognizes staff members for new ideas–either implemented or still in the “idea” stage–that capture the spirit of moving Fearlessly Forward with innovative and creative thinking that benefits their unit, department, or the university. For example:

  • Provides a creative solution to a problem or workplace challenge
  • Suggests new ways to improve the quality of services or programming  
  • Promotes productivity and/or enhances the workplace 

Full or part-time staff who are classified as C1, C2, non-exempt, or exempt are eligible for this award, regardless of length of service.

The Terrapin Innovation Award
A view of the Sundial on the Mall with student activity on an unseasonably warm winter day.

The MVP Impact Award

Recognizes staff members who, over the past year, have demonstrated a Fearlessly Forward attitude of excellence, amazing service and outstanding contributions that benefited their unit, department or the university. For example: 

  • Contributes a significant positive impact on the team  
  • Demonstrates commitment to the team and university
  • Builds a community within the department  
  • Embodies the core values of the university 
  • Provides quality work, sometimes behind the scenes, that contributes to the success of operations, programs or projects  
  • Performs distinguished work that makes everything go smoothly for everyone else 

Full or part-time staff who are classified as C1, C2, non-exempt, or exempt, with at least three years of service, are eligible for this award.

The MVP Impact Award

Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to submit nominations of staff no later than October 30, 2023, with the awardees to be announced in December. 

Click below to learn more and submit nominations. 

You will need to provide the name, email, department, and position of the person you are nominating as well as information (500-word limit) supporting the nomination. Staff meeting eligibility requirements are encouraged to self-nominate.

For nominators who work on multilingual teams, do not have access to the online process, or prefer paper, and for those who want to support potential nominators, these tools might be helpful:


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, all members of our campus community may nominate a deserving staff member.

Yes! We want to celebrate our nominators for taking time to recognize and value colleagues; however, any comments supporting your nomination will be kept confidential.

Sure! We recognize that our staff is multi-talented.

A selection committee will review all nominations and determine awardees based on the criteria for each award.

Up to 25 total awards will be made.

The awardees will be announced in early December and invited to a recognition reception in the spring.

Yes, your prize will be included in your paycheck and deductions will be based on your current tax status.

Please send an email to or call 301-405-5252.

Terrapin Innovation Award nominations can be made for full or part-time staff who are classified as C1, C2, non-exempt or exempt, regardless of length of service.
MVP Impact Award nominations can be made for full or part-time staff who are classified as C1, C2, non-exempt or exempt with at least 3 years of service.

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