Student designs invited for the Distinguished Teacher 2020–21 medal and past DTA medals

Posted on February 19, 2020

All Pratt students are invited to submit designs for the Pratt Institute Distinguished Teacher Award (DTA) Medal by March 24th April 10, 2020. The winner will be awarded $350 and the design will be featured on the DTA website.

This year we are also asking for medal design submissions for past Distinguished Teacher winners, including:

Please submit design proposals to  by 11:59 PM on March 24, 2020 April 10, 2020.. You may submit your design(s) for a particular distinguished teacher (upcoming or past), or generally for any DTA.

The DTA celebrates exceptional teaching and recognizes the recipient’s commitment to Pratt’s students and mission. The goal for the Medal design is to reflect the making culture and diverse talents of the Institute. The winning Medal from this annual student competition will be fabricated and awarded to the 2020–21 DTA recipient at Commencement 2020. The Pratt Institute Academic Senate is sponsoring the competition; submissions will be reviewed by a jury of Pratt faculty and staff.

Details about the competition, including design specifications and procedures can be found below. Please contact DTA Committee Chair Maggie Portis ( with questions.

Eligibility to Compete

This competition is open to Pratt Institute students from all undergraduate and graduate departments. Faculty and staff who serve as advisors will be credited accordingly. We encourage collaborative and cross-disciplinary teams.

Medal Specifications

Physical Requirements:

  1. The Medal design can be of any form/shape that fits within a maximum 3.5 inch diameter. Its thickness may vary as long it does not exceed 3/8 inch. For previous examples, please see our web archive of winning medals. Non-traditional medal designs are also encouraged, such as the medal designed for President Frances Bronet during her inauguration.
  2. The fabrication of the medal will be based on 3D printing.  Therefore a 3D file will be required. You may use any software available in the Pratt labs provided the file can be saved as an STL or OBJ format.
  3. Provide a way to secure a 1-inch wide ribbon so that the medal may be hung from the recipient’s neck.
  4. All surfaces of the medal may be used: front, back and edges.
  5. A simple clasp for the ribbon should be considered by the designer and presented as part of the final design submission, but is not essential.
  6. Please consult Shapeways’ design guidelines to ensure your design can be fabricated:

Text/Graphics Specifications

Placement of all text will be part of the design and at the discretion of the designer(s), within competition rules. The following text must be included:

  1. Name of the DTA recipient(s) and their school (actual name will be added to the winning design)
  2. Name/signature of Medal designer(s)
  3. 2020–2021 (academic year of award)
  4. Pratt Institute
  5. Distinguished Teacher Award
  6. President Frances Bronet (name of the Institute President)
  7. Provost Kirk E. Pillow (name of the Provost) 

Recognition of Medal Winner(s)

  1. Honorarium of $350.00 to the medal design winner(s)
  2. Inclusion in web archive of winning medals, which includes images of Medal and fabrication process

Deliverables and Schedule

  1. Entries should include a minimum 1 image each of the front and back of your design. All images should be in JPG or PDF format and not exceed 1MB each. A maximum of 4 images may be submitted. Images may be combined into a single PDF File. Filenames should be in the following format: yourname_DTA_01, yourname_DTA_02 etc.
  2. Include entrant’s name, email address, department, year, and name of any faculty advisor.
  3. Submit by email to by 11:59 pm, March 24, 2020 April 10, 2020.
  4. Winner(s) shall be notified the last week of March mid-April.
  5. Any revision to the design shall be due promptly upon request.

Medal Selection Criteria

Medal selection will be based on the integrity of the design and the ability for it to be fabricated within specified budget and schedule. Please consult the Medal Specifications section.

Medal Design Jury

Patricia Madeja, Fine Arts Jewelry Professor and Coordinator
Chamille Thayer, Industrial Design Professor
Chris Sula, Senate President & Information School Professor
Maggie Portis, DTA Committee Chair & Art & Architecture Librarian
Members of the DTA Committee

Design Ownership and Use

By participating in the DTA Medal Competition, entrants agree to grant the Sponsor the right to print, publish, broadcast, and use the Medal design in all media.

The DTA Medal Design Jury reserves the right to require modifications to the winning medal design to ensure compliance with fabrication and budgetary constraints. If the design cannot be modified, the Jury can then select another design from the original pool of applicants.

About Pratt Institute’s Distinguished Teacher Award

The Pratt Institute Distinguished Teacher Award recognizes exceptional dedication to Pratt’s mission and applauds the accomplishments made over the course of an academic career. The Distinguished Teacher is nominated by students and the Award is conferred by the Academic Senate, the Administration, and the Board of Trustees. The DTA recipient addresses the student body at Honors Convocation, presents the mace at graduation ceremonies, and delivers a lecture for the Institute community.