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By Connie Lee, Feb. 21, 2022

Cal Poly Pomona’s Golden Leaves Author Awards is calling for nominations until its deadline of March 1. The award ceremony will recognize Cal Poly Pomona students, faculty, staff, alumni or retirees who have authored or edited a book of at least 49 pages.

The Golden Leaves Awards began in 1986 and are held annually during the second week of April on National Library Week. The event is funded by the University Library along with the support of the Wilson Family Memorial Golden Leaves Endowment. The purpose of this award ceremony is to celebrate authors that are associated with the CPP community.

It is not a competition, but more of a gratification of honoring the effort of authors who published books, according to Kimberley Erickson.

Golden Leaves awardees at a previous ceremony are recognized at the University Library (Courtesy of Kris Zoleta)

“The purpose of a university is to encourage the finding of knowledge and research and so this is to celebrate authors that are associated with the Cal Poly Pomona community however they are associated with it,” said Jéanne Brooks, senior director of library operations and development at CPP. “Since the library also fills that role, it is a great thing for us to be associated with.”

Over the years, CPP has added an honorable mentions category to award authors who have written a chapter, portion of the book or the table of contents but were not the author or editor of the entire work. The number of nominees varies throughout the years. In 2020, there were 21 honorees and two honorable mentions, and in 2021, there was an increase to 23 honorees and three honorable mentions.

Due to COVID-19, the honorees who were acknowledged in the months of April 2019–March 2020 and April 2020–March 2021 were unable to be recognized through a face-to-face celebration, instead they received thank you cards, gifts and acknowledgments from the dean of the library to recognize them for their hard work.

“We are hoping to have this in a new way which is through Zoom and a virtual format,” explained Monique Leyva, dean’s office assistant for the University Library. “By doing it this way, we keep everyone safe at the same time and allow for additional family and friends to join. We will have a total of three years of honorees and honorable mentions attending this year.”

The honorees receive a glass keepsake award embedded with CPP’s logo that is unique every year to recognize their accomplishment and work ethic as reflected upon their publication.

Past keepsakes provided to authors. (Courtesy of Kris Zoleta)

The authors are asked to recite a short five-minute speech reflecting upon the process and dedication of writing their publication.

The authors nominate themselves by submitting a form online that is published on social media, sent through emails, meetings and advertised on the CPP website. The publication is required to be a printed book or electronic book, not a blog, and must be published within the last year. Prior to submitting their book for the award nomination, they must verify that they met all the requirements needed.

The University Library aims to attract more student involvement in the Golden Leaves Author Award ceremony. It offers opportunities to those who are current students and alumni who published a book to participate in the university event.

“One of the good things about the Golden Leaves is that a lot of the authors come from all across campus,” said Kimberley Erickson, library services specialist in special collections at CPP. “We had a few alums coming in, retirees, with all very different subjects and different focuses to the book, but they all had one commonality of having published a book.”

Past topics recognized by the Golden Leaves Awards range from animal anatomy, architecture, mathematics and statistics to kinesiology and psychology.

Over the years, authors that have been recognized evolved from having only printed books to now submitting electronic publications. The authors publication of their book must reflect upon their affiliation with CPP.

The ceremony will be held on April 8 from 11 a.m. to noon via Zoom. To attend the ceremony, visit the CPP website on the University Library’s page.

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