The Sherman/Barsanti Inspiration Award | College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

The Sherman/Barsanti Inspiration Award

Full nomination packages for the 2017 Sherman/Barsanti Inspiration Award are due by 5:00pm, Friday, March 10, 2017. Apply at

Projects submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Once all projects are evaluated, semi-finalists will be notified no later than Friday, March 17, 2017. Please see the timeline below for more details.

For more information about submitting projects or about the judging process, please contact Steve Cobb, Associate Dean @ or Emma Carnes, Event Coordinator @

About the Award

UNT has always attracted talented and enterprising students. The Sherman/Barsanti Inspiration Award seeks to reward students who exhibit extraordinary originality and dedication to the creative pursuits and who have a marked capacity for self-direction.

The Sherman/Barsanti Inspiration Awards are intended to encourage students of outstanding talent to pursue their creative, intellectual and professional inclinations. Award recipients may be aspiring writers, scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers or entrepreneurs. Students studying in any discipline may be considered. Any original project, application, invention, musical or literary composition or artwork (any media) may apply for consideration. The Inspiration Awards are intended to help students advance their expertise and engage in bold new work.

The awards are made possible thanks to $350,000 in support from Bob & Bette Sherman (

Any current UNT student may submit a nomination packet for the Sherman/Barsanti Inspiration Award. Faculty and staff members that know of deserving students should encourage them to apply.


  1. First prize - $10,000
  2. Second prize - $3,000
  3. Third prize - $1,000


All undergraduate and graduate students enrolled full time and earning a UNT cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher are eligible.

All eligible nominees will be informed of their nomination status by email. The selection committee will identify up to 10 semi-finalists for the Inspiration Awards. Semi-finalists will be notified by email regarding their selection. If a semi-finalist's notification is returned as undeliverable, the student will be disqualified and an alternate finalists will be selected.

The semi-finalists must be available to appear in person for the 2017 Sherman/Barsanti Inspiration Award presentations for the judges in late March.


Student submissions are due by 5:00 pm March 10, 2017.

A Complete Submission packet must include:

  • A full and complete application form
  • An essay not to exceed 1,000 words that clearly states why the student's work is inspiring
  • An example of the student's work being submitted for consideration

Selection Criteria

Any original creative and/or unique project, application, invention, musical or literary composition, art or media work is eligible. Judges will determine the finalists and winners according to the following criteria:


The submitted work demonstrates excellence, showcases ingenuity and reveals the applicant's creativity, passion and unique perspective.

Intrinsic Value and Community Benefit

The submitted work demonstrates meaningful and useful benefits to the community; elicits positive emotions; motivates further actions and inspires community partnership.


The submitted work demonstrates a new and unique concept; showcases a new techniques; pioneers an innovative approach to problem solving; or improves an existing process or environment in an unprecedented way.

Contemporary Relevance

The submitted work demonstrates a visionary or futuristic perspective; addresses the future needs of the community; or speaks to contemporary social issues.

**Finalists will also be evaluated on the clarity with which they are able to articulate the creativity displayed in their work and showcase the value of their work to the judges.

Timeline for the 2017 Sherman/Barsanti Award Selection Process

  • March 10, 2017 - Deadline for submission of completed application packet by students
  • March 17, 2017 - Student semi-finalists notified * This has been extended due to large number of applications.
  • March 31, 2017 - Finalists make presentations to judges
  • April 5, 2017 - Inspiration award winners announced at reception

Panel of Judges

The Sherman/Barsanti Inspiration Awards will be given annually by the University of North Texas with entries judged by a 5 member panel.

The 2017 Sherman/Barsanti Inspiration Award judges are:

  • UNT president
  • Dean of UNT's College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Dean from another UNT school or college as selected by the UNT president
  • Two CEO's from the business community as selected by the UNT president

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