Over the years, members of the Council of Fellows jury have shared their insights into what leads to successful nominations. Here are some tips for preparing the best nominations possible:
Keep it simple and follow the directions.
Don’t be afraid—you can do this. The nominations process has been simplified and streamlined. There are templates and sample nominations. Staff is available to answer questions and give advice.
Focus on the category criteria.
The best way to draw the jury's attention is by providing a clear look at the nominee’s best, most significant achievements in relation to the category in which he/she has been nominated. Resist the temptation to include things that don’t apply to the category criteria. As Mies said, less is more.
Use action verbs that show the nominee’s leadership: directed, organized, led, advocated, managed, accomplished, achieved, succeeded, attained, mentored, investigated, demonstrated, and so on. Becoming a Fellow is one of the highest honors a landscape architecture professional may achieve; use adjectives that communicate how special the nominee is.
Use brief testimonial statements to underscore recognition of the nominee’s achievements. Do not limit testimonials to ASLA members; seek statements from clients, allied professionals, and public officials to demonstrate the nominee’s influence beyond the profession.
Use the required template.
A required template has been provided this year based on
jury recommendations for nomination presentations. Write the body of the
nomination, starting with a strong opening statement that summarizes the
accomplishments of the individual in relation to the category of nomination.
Compile the lists (honors and awards, professional leadership activities,
publications/research, etc.) on the left
hand column and place them in order of importance according to the nomination category,
(e.g. for the works category, place honors/awards towards the beginning of the
form) Fit the content into the form after all the parts are assembled.
Neatness counts. And so does grammar.
Run spell-check and grammar-check, because typos reflect poorly on the nominee and distract the jury. Have a third party read the nomination (and photo captions for Works nominations) before it’s submitted, just in case.
In general, do not
capitalize the words “landscape architect” or “landscape architecture” unless
they are in a headline.
Works category: images are key.
The best narrative in the world can't make up for poor photography/images in the Works category. Make sure the images are clear and well organized and identified to support the nomination.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
If the nomination isn't successful this year, don't give up—review the jury comments, make the suggested revisions, and resubmit it next year. Many Fellows will tell you that they weren’t selected on their first nomination. Keep a copy of the nomination so that you don't have to re-create work you have already produced.