Karl E. Gardner Outstanding Undergraduate Adviser Award

The Karl E. Gardner Outstanding Undergraduate Adviser Award recognizes demonstrated excellence in undergraduate advising and counseling by faculty both tenure track and specialized of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. This award was established in 1988 by the late George R. Bunn and Arthur H. Bunn of the Bunn-O-Matic Corporation of Springfield, Illinois, to honor Karl E. Gardner for his dedication, service, and concern for undergraduate students. The late Dr. Gardner was a faculty member, teacher, and adviser of students in the Department of Dairy Science and later was associate dean and director of resident instruction for the college from 1959 until his retirement in 1977.

The Award

Each year the College presents two Karl E. Gardner Outstanding Undergraduate Adviser Awards in recognition of excellence in advising undergraduate students. The award includes a $2,000 unrestricted personal award and a certificate of recognition.


Nominees must be a faculty member in either a tenure track or tenured position, or specialized faculty who advises undergraduate students and holds a paid appointment in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Individuals on disability, sabbatical leave, and leave without pay are also eligible. Members of the faculty who are full-time administrators are not eligible for the award. 

A faculty member may receive each award only once. If an issue arises concerning the eligibility for an award, the issue will be decided by the appropriate associate dean and policy committee chair, depending upon the award for which the nomination has been made.


The nominee must be declared eligible by the unit head. Each department may only nominate one nominee per award. The nomination must be submitted electronically by the department contact before the nomination deadline.

Nomination packets must include all materials described below in a single PDF and should be formatted in at least 11-point Calibri or equivalent font; single-spaced; and 1-inch margins. Please follow this outline when submitting a nomination:

1. Nomination cover sheet(you must download the form from Box to complete it). The cover sheet includes biographical and statistical information including education, employment record, and relevant affiliations.

2. Letter of nomination: The letter of nomination must be co-signed by the nominator and the unit head. The letter should include contributions to undergraduate student advising. Contributions to unit and college goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion should be noted (six page maximum).

3. Letters of support: No more than three letters of support from individuals other than the nominator, such as past or present colleagues or collaborators. One letter must be from a current ACES faculty/staff member (two page maximum).


Nominees will be evaluated, and award recipients selected by the appropriate college-level advisory/policy committee. The chair of the selection committee, in consultation with its members, shall develop guidelines for its operation. The committee will consider the achievements and contributions of the nominee for excellence in education through public service.

The selection committee may decide against granting an award if no meritorious candidate has been nominated. The selection committee shall submit its recommendations for a recipient to the dean. The dean shall notify the recipient, the appropriate associate dean, and unit head.