STAR Program

The Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) Program provides an opportunity for our community to acknowledge and express gratitude to colleagues who show a commitment to innovation, leadership, and citizenship.

How to Nominate:

Please complete the Nomination Form online within the review period.  


All full-time and part-time administrative employees[1] who have completed at least one year of service and are in active status are eligible to be nominated.

Review Periods:

Three (3) employees will be recognized during each review period.  The review periods are as follows:

April 1 – July 31 (August Recognition)

August 1 – November 30 (December Recognition)

December 1 – March 31 (April Recognition)

Award amount:

$2,000[2] will be awarded to each STAR employee.

Award Criteria:

Nominators will be asked to describe why and how the nominee meets the criteria to be recognized as a Columbia Law School STAR.


An innovative staff member shows outstanding creativity when confronted with challenging issues, always striving for a need or desire for improvement.  One might approach their work in the following ways:

  • Actively seeks ways to advance beyond the status quo;
  • Proactively identifies novel, creative ways to improve upon processes or service delivery;
  • Implements change in a positive manner and strives to ensure its success;
  • Approaches problem-solving with a solution orientation.


A strong leader demonstrates a unique ability to guide and inspire others, which in turn contributes to the effective and efficient functioning of the School.  Both managers and non-managers may possess, and make evident, strong leadership in the following ways:

  • Inspires and encourages personal and professional development in others;
  • Builds strong relationships that support a high level of trust and credibility;
  • Mentors and cultivates employees, creating a culture of respect that fosters an atmosphere conducive to achievement;
  • Contributes to the success of an initiative that benefits those outside their own department and/or places emphasis on collaboration within and among departments.


A deeply committed staff member demonstrates a dedication to their work, which in turn contributes to the vibrancy of the Columbia Law School community.  This quality manifests itself when an employee:

  • Demonstrates an intense commitment to provide excellent service to co-workers, students and faculty;
  • Shares enthusiasm for the School with others;
  • Maintains perseverance in the face of adversity;
  • Is known in the community as a reliable “go-to” person, willing volunteer or good citizen who enriches the School.

Review Committee:

Each calendar year, five (5) employees will serve on the review committee.  Each committee member may only serve for one year, and must have a break of at least two (2) years before being eligible to serve again.  Individuals interested in serving as committee members should submit their names for consideration to

[1] Employees serving actively on the STAR Program review committee are not eligible to be nominated for a STAR award.

[2] Less applicable taxes

View past recipients: