Awards and Honors: Why Are They Important?

By Oliver, Priscilla | Journal of Environmental Health, December 2019 | Go to article overview

Awards and Honors: Why Are They Important?


Oliver, Priscilla, Journal of Environmental Health


As youth, we are introduced to awards and honors early. Perfect attendance, the honor roll, the spelling bee, athletics, May Day, the science fair, music recitals, the bands, art displays, etc. get us ready for expressing our talents, excellence, competition, and obtaining rewards. Please get the youth to get involved and continue with this busy work for it builds character and helps us on our way to become productive adults. The socialization is important and it is the beginning of good working relationships in school, work, the profession, church, family, and in our communities. I thank my mother and teachers for making sure that I was involved in all of these activities as I grew up and developed. I also thank my coworkers and colleagues for continually working with and supporting me over the years.

All professions have some system of awards and honors that reward its members. "It is a poor dog that does not wag its own tail," said Little Richard. We, too, in environmental health have to wag our tail. Thus, there is a need for awards and they are important. It was Peter Drucker, "the founder of modern management," who wrote that the following motivates people: achievement, responsibility, and recognition. I submit that one feeds the other and keeps the cycle of work going. People need to have work, to achieve, be responsible, and be recognized in order to thrive and be pleased with work.

Nationally, the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is no different. We have a system of awards that are presented at our Annual Educational Conference (AEC) & Exhibition and at the annual affiliate meetings. It has been a pleasure to travel to affiliate meetings, speak and assist with recognizing award winners, and learn about the works and the honors that exist among our professionals. The list of awards and scholarships are expansive and growing. Thanks to all of the leaders, contributors, awardees, and supporters for the inspiration that you provide in this process. Yes, may it never end.

We need the awards and honors in our profession to motivate and inspire others. Awards help us to grow and improve the field of environmental health. It is good that we make these announcements in large meetings so others can see what is being achieved. Our individual self-worth is improved and we feel good about our work and the work of others. Individuals become very proud and passionate about the marketing in the field of environmental health. Awards and honors are history making activities. They allow us to be remembered through the perils of time and from generation to generation. The plaques and scrolls of winners are popular. Role models are made and mentoring and networking begin among award winners and the want to be award winners. A road map to success is provided in the lives and accomplishments of award winners. Good and long-lasting professional relationships may continue through time. Such activities can perk up the workday, boost confidences, provide sparks for the career, and lead to greater works and greatness.

The benefits of obtaining an award or honor are that you get the publicity from winning. …

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