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Awards and Student Support

2015 Rail Splitter Public Service Award Recipient:  Kathryn Harris
Kathryn Harris has spent her entire career in public service. Her interest surfaced at a young age, when growing up in Carbondale she dreamed of being an interpreter for the U.N. Her interest ultimately turned to library science, and she has worked in one or another library in the Springfield area over the past 40 years, building an exemplary career. Most recently, and prior to her retirement, Kathryn Harris served as Director of Library Service for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and the Illinois State Historical Library, becoming known as "Illinois' First Lady of History." 


Previous Public Service Awards
1989    Robert Mandeville
1990    Robert Cronson
1992    Sam Gove
1993    Naomi Lynn
1994    James Nowlan
1995    Richard Moy
1996    Paul Simon
1997    Mike Lawrence
1998    Jim Edgar
1999    Jesse White
2001    Naomi Lynn
2011    William Holland
2012    John Stremsterfer
2013    Norm Sims
2014     Joan Walters
2015     Kathryn Harris

Rail-Splitter Public Service Award

The Central Illinois Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration has established the Public Service Award to pay tribute to public servants (government and nonprofit) whose careers exhibit the highest standard of excellence, dedication, and accomplishment.

This award is presented annually to individuals who have spent a primary part of their careers working in public service; made outstanding contributions on a sustained basis rather than having performed a single exceptional deed; and accomplished or caused to be accomplished significant programs or projects within their areas of responsibility to the ultimate benefit of the general public.

Nominations are solicited from the entire public service community and are not limited to ASPA members. Awards will be presented at the Chapter's Annual Awards Meeting.

ASPA Public Service Student Award

This award is presented to an outstanding undergraduate or graduate student who has shown interest in public and nonprofit administration beyond their classroom work and has performed exceptionally well academically. Members and non-members of ASPA are eligible for this award.

Student ASPA Conference Support

The ASPA chapter will provide supportive funding for from one to three students (depending on the strength of the applications) to attend the ASPA national conference.  Funding will come from the ASPA chapter and also from the Department of Public Administration.

Students may apply to the awards committee of the ASPA chapter.  To apply, applicants will need a two page essay describing their career goals and how attendance at the ASPA conference will enhance those goals.  Applications for support are due one week prior to the close of early registration for the ASPA conference.

Decisions for support funding will depend on the applicant’s essay as well as attendance and support for ASPA chapter meetings.

The available funds will be divided equally among the successful applicants.  The university portion of the funds will come as reimbursement for legitimate conference expenses.

Students are encouraged to apply to other university and possible ASPA national  support as well.