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2017 Quinn Prize FAQs

What is the purpose of the Matthew J. Quinn Prize?
The prize is meant to recognize an outstanding achievement in an academic field, professional field, the arts, or public service that demonstrates the nominee’s cross-disciplinary interests, love of learning, creativity, leadership, integrity, and service.

What is the purpose of the Matthew J. Quinn Youth Leadership Award?
This award embraces the same tenets as the Matthew J. Quinn Prize – honoring outstanding achievement that embodies Dr. Quinn’s values and characteristics, but it is specifically for current Young Scholars; they are the only students eligible for this award.

How do these two awards differ?

The purpose of the Matthew J. Quinn Prize is to recognize achievements of higher education scholars and alumni and the Youth Leadership Award specifically targets Young Scholars, bringing recognition and honor to their good work.

Who do these awards honor?
Dr. Matthew J. Quinn served as founding executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation from 2000 to 2010, leading the creation of the foundation’s scholarship programs. This position was an ideal intersection of his many interests and talents: his knowledge of higher education; his curiosity about many academic disciplines; his management and leadership skills; and, his commitment to helping people grow and develop to their fullest potential. The Cooke Foundation benefited significantly from his creativity, open-mindedness, wisdom, congeniality, strong ethical compass, and commitment to serving others.  

How many prizes will be awarded?
As the Guidelines for the Quinn Prize state, one or more individuals may be selected for the prize.  If the Cooke Foundation awards more than one prize, the award amount will be divided between recipients. Similarly, one or more individuals may be selected for the Quinn Youth Leadership Award. If the Cooke Foundation awards more than one Young Scholar with this prize, the award amount will be divided between recipients.

Will the recipients be taxed on this award?
The Cooke Foundation will file a Form 1099 to the federal government; therefore, there may be tax implications with the receipt of this award. Please consult a tax professional if you have questions.

Will the award affect my Young Scholars Individualized Learning Plan scholarship amount?
No. The award may be used for any purpose and will not be considered in the determination of your Individualized Learning Plan scholarship amount.

Who can make nominations for the Quinn Prize and the Quinn Youth Leadership Award?
Any foundation educational adviser, program coordinator, scholar, or alumnus/a may submit a nomination. These individuals may nominate one current Young Scholar for the Quinn Youth Leadership Award or one higher education Scholar for the Quinn Prize.

For both the Prize and the Youth Leadership Award, scholars may nominate themselves. Nominators must fill out a brief Nomination Form with a description of the achievement and the nominee’s relevant characteristics. The nominee will then be contacted by Cooke Foundation staff to provide a Nominee Form, a resume or CV, and letter of recommendation discussing the nominee’s achievement. Scholars that self-nominate will need to complete a Nominee Form for Self-Nomination.  Foundation staff will review additional supplemental materials on a case-by-case basis.  Select staff will review all applications and make final recommendations to the selection committee. This selection committee of senior staff will recommend the finalist(s) to the Board of Directors.

May I nominate more than one person?
No, you may only nominate one person for either the Quinn Prize or the Quinn Youth Leadership Award.

May I nominate myself?
Yes, you may choose to nominate yourself. Scholars who self-nominate will need to complete a Nominee Form for Self-Nomination in addition to the Nomination Form. Foundation staff will provide this document to all scholars that choose to self-nominate.

Can a nominee be nominated by more than one person?
Yes, it is possible that a nominee may receive numerous nominations. Please know that the selection committee will only review one set of documents for that nominee.

How do I complete the nomination?
First, a Nomination Form must be completed and submitted via email to (preferred) or postal mail to:

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
44325 Woodridge Parkway
Lansdowne, VA 20176

Please indicate on the envelope or in the subject line whether the nomination is for the Quinn Prize or the Quinn Youth Leadership Award.

Once the Nomination Form is received by the Cooke Foundation, the nominee will receive an email with a Nominee Form attached. Nominees will be asked to submit a brief Nominee Form to the Cooke Foundation. If a scholar self-nominates, he/she will be asked to complete a Nominee Form for Self Nomination. The nominee will be asked to submit their Nominee/Self-Nominee Form and all supporting documents (resume/CV and a letter of recommendation speaking to their achievement) to the foundation.

Are deferred Scholars eligible for nomination?
It is possible for a deferred scholar to be eligible, but the foundation would have to make that decision on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Foundation at for more information.

What supplemental documents should a nominee submit?
In addition to the Nominee Form, each nominee must submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) that outlines the following: honors and awards received (academic and otherwise), school activities, contributions to field of study or department (i.e. research, publications, etc.), other significant activities, including employment.  In addition, you must supply a letter of recommendation. This recommendation letter should attest to the scholar’s outstanding achievement and how it reflects on Dr. Quinn’s values. Both must be submitted via email. Additional documents will be approved on a case-by-case basis, so check with staff at before submitting additional materials.

What is the deadline and timeline for announcing the recipient(s)?
Nomination Forms may be submitted to the Foundation until January 27, 2017. The Nominee/Self-Nominee Form and all supplemental materials must be submitted by March 17, 2017. Prize and Award winners will be announced in May.

Will you provide feedback to applicants on their nomination?
No. The Cooke Foundation will not comment on nominations after making award decisions. All applications and supporting materials become the property of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and, as such, will not be returned.

Who selects the prize recipients?
A committee of senior foundation staff will recommend the finalists to the Board of Directors.

If I’m submitting art, videos, or other media, is there a limit to the number I can provide with the application? 
Additional supplemental materials require foundation approval.  Please email us at for permission.  If you have received permission, you may only submit five items of supplemental materials to accompany your nomination. Use your best judgment as to what best demonstrates the quality, depth and breadth of your work and contributions.

I have an Apple computer. Will you accept Mac files?
Files that can only be opened by Mac specific software, such as Safari or iWork, will not be considered.

What other file guidelines do you have?
Files submitted through methods other than those specified above will not be considered.

Please make sure your files have been scanned by a virus protection program.  Files suspected to be infected will not be accepted or considered.

The Cooke Foundation will not be returning files submitted for consideration.