UWT celebrates 20 years of OSCARS honors

The Outstanding Student Ceremony for Awards and Recognition is May 19, 2023.

Photo by UW Tacoma | Some of the participants and winners of 2022 OSCARs.

The UWT OSCARS, an annual celebration that promotes student, staff, faculty and RSO achievement through a public awards ceremony, will be hosted by the UWT Office for Student Involvement on Friday, May 19, 2023.

The ceremony began in 2003 to celebrate student achievement, staff and faculty honors and acknowledge the accomplishments of registered student organizations. A play on the nationally recognized awards show, the UWT OSCARS name stands for “Outstanding Student Ceremony for Awards and Recognition”. 

Conor Leary, Interim Director of Student Involvement & Leadership at UWT, says involvement, engagement and student leadership are categories that the nominations are based on. Of the 27 award categories, students, staff and faculty nominate individuals for seven of the awards. These awards include Outstanding Student, Outstanding Faculty, Outstanding Staff and Campus Impact.  

Leary says a committee of staff members determines the winners for the remaining three categories, which are RSO of the Year, RSO Advisor of the Year, and Top Dawg. Leary explains the Top Dawg award is a student-centered honor that celebrates a UWT student who has exhibited a demonstrated and sustained connection to campus through leadership, involvement, and service. 

Voting for these categories opened on April 24, and will run until May 5.

“We honor the Huskies who make it a part of their experience at UW Tacoma to go beyond the classroom, to practice the skills they are learning in the classroom and to provide more information about what they’re learning to a greater community. We also celebrate the means by which students learn to manage and balance priorities outside their academics, such as organizations, leadership programs, student employment positions and more. Our nominees emphasize the recognition that their learning experience at UW Tacoma extends beyond their academic curriculum,” Leary said.

Historically the UWT OSCARS have celebrated student, staff and faculty leaders from all over campus who have been nominated by their peers and other UWT community members. Nominations are submitted online, and the voting takes place approximately three weeks prior to the live event. Once voting has closed, the votes are tallied and the winners determined. Nominees of each category are invited to attend the ceremony in person, though the winners are not announced until the live event in May. 

The UWT OSCARS is an event of pomp and circumstance, held in high regard to honor the hard work and leadership of the UWT community. Attendees are welcome to dress as they are comfortable, though many attendees come dressed to impress in semi-formal and formal attire. Speeches of the night are made prior to each category being announced. Though they do not present acceptance speeches, award winners often enjoy showing off their best dressed outfits when accepting their award.

“It is an exceptional program where our campus gets to honor the amazing achievements of our students, staff, faculty and events from so many different departments and services. It is truly a wonderful way to wrap up another year of successful initiatives and celebrate how UW Tacoma has grown into an exciting community to be a part of,” Leary said.

The UWT OSCARS will take place on Friday, May 19 at the University YMCA in rooms 303 and 304. For those who are not able to attend in person, the event will be live streamed on the UW Tacoma Extended YouTube Channel. After the live event has commenced, a recording of the ceremony will be posted on the website for the Center for Student Involvement.

The 2023 ceremony will provide light refreshments and two photo booths, one being a 360 degree camera, for attendees to enjoy. 

For a look at past events and award winners from prior years, visit: