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2021 Don Clifton Strengths for Students Award Winners

This award recognizes colleges, universities and districts that enable students to learn what they naturally do best and apply their strengths to thrive in school and all areas of their lives.

By making strengths a way of life, these exceptional institutions help students turn their talents into strengths and foster greater academic achievement, engagement and wellbeing -- setting them up to succeed far beyond the classroom.

Meet the Winners

Georgia State University Logo

Georgia State University

With seven campuses throughout metro Atlanta, Georgia State University provides its world-class faculty and more than 54,000 students with unsurpassed connections to the opportunities available in one of the 21st century's great global cities. A national leader in graduating students from diverse backgrounds, Georgia State provides a rich experience for students, including making CliftonStrengths for Students part of campus life. Focused on student success, Georgia State University makes CliftonStrengths for Students accessible to both students and faculty. One of the most notable changes on campus is a growing shared language and mutual understanding around strengths. The partnership between Georgia State and Gallup has increased intentionality toward getting key student leaders educated in strengths (including orientation leaders, resident assistants, first-year mentors, fraternity and sorority life leaders, and student organization leaders) as well as providing strengths-based training to university staff (such as academic advisers, student support programs, the dean of students and staff from recreational services, career services, leadership, the multicultural center and university housing). This widespread access has created a shared language and goals that allow for ease of communication as well as an opportunity to guide the advising of students and the navigation of leadership challenges.

Villanova University Logo

Villanova University

Villanova University was founded in 1842 by the Order of Saint Augustine. To this day, Villanova's Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition is the cornerstone of an academic community where students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. Villanova prepares students to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. It serves over 11,000 students and has been using CliftonStrengths for Students as part of its Ignite Your Strengths Initiative since 2018. A key tenet of the initiative is for students to develop their strengths to help them thrive and overcome challenges, choosing a growth mindset where they seek to develop. Recently, Villanova has connected with alumni to offer strengths development and coaching to further embed strengths into the Villanova community. Having high expectations for its student experience, Villanova wanted to provide a common language to continue increasing wellbeing and community support across campus. Strengths provided a lens through which students, faculty and staff could share their values and better understand their talents to help them succeed on campus and beyond. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, strengths has been an important tool to increase the wellbeing of students, faculty and staff. Villanova asked several key faculty and staff how they were using their strengths to maintain wellbeing during times of crisis and found that in working to increase their own wellbeing, they were better able to provide support and service through mentoring and coaching students.

We're celebrating organizations that are making a difference in people's lives.

From work to education, Gallup's Exceptional Workplace Awards recognize organizations doing exceptional work transforming culture, improving engagement and putting strengths first.