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Founder’s Awards

In 1995 the Founders Awards were established in honor of those who first chartered the Midwest Regional Section of USITT. The Board of Directors chooses to honor them by annually recognizing both a student and a regular member for their service to our Section or for their hard work and enthusiasm in pursuing a career in Technical Theatre. There are two
award categories: Student and Section Member. In 2003 the Section began offering separate awards for High School and Undergraduate students. In 2019 the Midwest Section Board voted to retitle the student award to THE MIKE NIELSEN STUDENT AWARD to honor the memory of Mike Nielsen; a lifelong member of the Section, one of the earliest recipients of the award, and a friend and mentor to generations of young people.

USITT Midwest Section Founders Awards Nomination Process


Active Section members may nominate students to receive a monetary award of not less than $300.00 and a one-year membership in the Section. Students may be either High School Seniors or College Undergraduates.

The criteria for nomination are:

  • active in a High School or College Technical Theatre program
  • intent to pursue a career in Technical Theatre or related field
  • students who are nominated need not be a current member of the Section Student nominees will be expected to:
  • provide the Founders Award Committee with a current resume
  • submit a brief statement of their goals in Technical Theatre How to Nominate:
  • Follow the link to the google form
  • After completing form hit SUBMIT, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address
  • The committee will contact the student nominee requesting the criteria information listed SECTION MEMBER AWARD

Active Section members may nominate one of their fellows for this award. The award consists of a plaque briefly detailing the member’s contributions to the Midwest Regional Section and a Lifetime membership in the Section. Nominations must be made and seconded by current active members.

Criteria for nomination are:

  • an active member of the Section
  • outstanding contributions to the Section in the form of participation, growth of the Section, service to the Section and assistance in the achievement of Section

How to Nominate:

  • Secure a second to your
  • Follow the link to the google form
  • After completing form hit SUBMIT, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address
  • Multiple nominations for the same Section member will be considered as NOMINATION DEADLINE

All nominations must be received by January 17, 2021. Submission of supporting materials by student

(current resume and a brief statement of goals) due by FEBRUARY 7, 2021. Awards will be presented at the Midwest Section meeting at the annual USITT Convention, but recipients are not required to be there.

You may also request a PDF nomination form by contacting Tom Korder at