The Fellow Award Is Back! Who Will You Nominate?

(Fellow Award winners from left to right: Antonio Alcalá, Sam Shelton, Pat Taylor, Ethel Kessler, Rodney Williams and Beth Singer. Photo by Jeremy Meek.)

It’s been a while since we gave out a Fellow Award — since 2011, in fact. This year, we’re taking the opportunity to reclaim the award and build in room for more of your participation in the process of nominating a recipient. Because the award has been dormant for a couple of years, we aren’t limiting ourselves to one winner. Instead, we plan to celebrate up to three members of our community!

Soon, we’ll ask you to nominate the creative leaders who inspire you. In the meantime, here’s a quick refresher about the award and the nomination process.

What is the Fellow Award?
The Fellow Award is a means of recognizing those who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within the DC area design community and in AIGA DC. The areas of education, writing, leadership and reputation, as well as the practice of design, are given equal consideration in measuring significant contribution. As a chapter, together we decide who is worthy of this honor.

To date, AIGA DC has given out fourteen awards. See the past winners. Other chapters also have a Fellow Award. See the list of all AIGA Fellows across the country.

How does it work? How do I nominate someone?
The nomination process is open to you, our DC area creative community, until June 9th. To nominate someone, please read the criteria below and then fill out this brief Typeform.

After the nomination period closes, the AIGA DC Fellow Award Committee will convene to review and pare down the list of potential recipients to a final slate. Then, the Committee will make final recommendations to the full AIGA DC Board of Directors, who will vote to determine the Fellow Award recipients.

Once a decision has been made, you’ll be notified and invited to a celebration that we’ll host in honor of our new Fellow Award winners.

What are the criteria for nominees?
AIGA DC Fellow Award nominees must be:

  • A current or former resident of the DC metro area for 10 years or more.
  • An exemplary professional in a design-related field, e.g., a writer, director, creative business owner, illustrator, creative director, educator, etc.
  • A contributor to the DC area design community beyond what’s required in their roles, e.g., mentoring outside of work hours, supporting AIGA or AIGA DC, and planning extracurricular events to encourage growth.
  • A professional with at least 15 years of experience.
  • An AIGA member in good standing — or renew membership before consideration.
  • An individual, rather than a company.
  • An inspiration to you, the person who is nominating them.

Nominees may also be:

  • Under-recognized for their efforts — an unsung hero.
  • Someone you encountered in person on at least one occasion.
  • Significant contributors to the AIGA DC Design Continuum Fund (monetary or otherwise).
  • Nominated posthumously.

Who serves on the AIGA DC Fellow Award Committee?
The AIGA DC Fellow Award Committee is a temporary body of individuals comprising former Fellow Award winner Antonio Alcalá, Advisory Board Member Jill Spaeth, past AIGA DC President Liz Ott, past AIGA DC Board Member Nathan Hill, Member-at-Large Richard Bentham and Fellow Award Chair Maeg Keane. Committee members are not allowed to submit themselves for consideration.

Can you help spread the word?
Help us share the news on Twitter that the Fellow Award is back. You can tweet:

.@aigadc is bringing back the #FellowAward! Read the guidelines & think about who you’ll nominate:

Still have questions?
Please don’t hesitate to email Fellow Award Chair Maeg Keane at with any questions you may have.

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By aiga
Published May 9, 2017