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James P. Etter Creativity and Innovation Award


Established in 2004, this award is presented annually by the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees during the commencement ceremony to a member of the American Public University System (APUS) community (student, alumni, faculty, administrator, or partner in learning) in recognition of an innovative or creative contribution that has made a significant impact on their community, their industry, or the world around us. James P. Etter, the first recipient and founder of APUS, had the vision and determination to create the university system. His contribution has made, and continues to make, a difference in the lives of students, alumni, and faculty throughout the world.

This award recognizes outstanding members of the APUS community for innovative and dedicated work that has inspired the APUS community. The recipient of the James P. Etter Creativity and Innovation Award will be recognized for their contribution to the community as a:

  • catalyst for organizational growth and development that benefits others
  • creator/writer/designer of a paper or creative idea which has resulted in technology, learning and development, innovation, entrepreneurship, etc.
  • change agent for performance improvements and outcomes

Awardees will be selected on the basis of demonstrated innovation, effectiveness, positive change, personal commitment, entrepreneurship, and excellence.

Nomination Process

Nominations are currently being accepted and are due on Friday, February 5, 2016. For more information, please contact

Students, alumni, faculty, and staff may nominate themselves.  Nominations may also be made by colleagues, students, and those familiar with the nominee’s work.  All self-nominations should include at least one letter of recommendation by another member of the APUS community.

Nomination Packets Must Include:

  • Name of nominee
  • Nominee contact information
  • Relationship of nominee to APUS (faculty, student, alumni, community member, staff, etc.)
  • Description of innovation and creativity
  • Reason for nomination/impact on the APUS community
  • Name of nominator and contact information (if not self-nominated)

If you have questions about the James P. Etter Creativity and Innovation Award, please email the Office of Student Affairs at

Past Award Recipients Include:

  • 2004: Mr. James P. Etter
  • 2005: BG Thomas L. Conant
  • 2006: Lt. Col. Laura M. Ryan
  • 2007: Mr. Steve Greer
  • 2008: Dr. Fred Stielow
  • 2009: Mr. Wayne Odachowski
  • 2010: Mr. Wesley Holmes
  • 2011: Dr. Larry Flegle
  • 2012: Mr. Daniel S. Hahn
  • 2013: Dr. Phil Ice
  • 2014: Dr. Suzanne Minarcine and Mr. Thomas Rasbach
  • 2015: Mr. Mark Bond

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