About the Award

The Student Innovation Award recognizes innovation in Information Systems, Enterprise Computing, Computer Science, Information Technology or a related concentration. Applicable to students and recent graduates enrolled in one of the aforementioned programs or a related concentration, this award affords the winner an opportunity to immerse themselves in four days of IT education on some of the latest topics presented by authorities in the industry. In addition, the winner receives recognition and exposure to a huge community of IT professionals and vendors that can beneficially affect his/her career path.

Congratulations to Joseph Dreese of Pennslvania Tech College, winner of the 2018 Student Innovation Award. See the details on his submission below:


Students should submit an academic-related information system project that they consider to be innovative. Projects may include something that improved a process, increased performance, improved productivity, or the development of a new tool or application.

Submissions must include:

  • Project abstract and report
  • Short video describing/demonstrating the project
  • Proof of student status or graduation within the last 12 months from an accredited institution

Award Levels and Prizes

COMMON will offer two prize levels – Grand Prize and Runner-up. The Grand Prize winner will be given an all-expense paid trip to POWERUp19 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California from May 19-22, 2019. If the Grand Prize winner is not available to attend, the 1st Runner-up will have the opportunity to attend.

Grand Prize

  • $350 gift certificate to Amazon
  • 1 expense paid trip to POWERUp (Includes conference registration, airfare, lodging and meals; winner to present project on video to be published on the COMMON website and accept award at Opening Session.)
  • Submission featured on www.COMMON.org for a minimum of six months
  • Article in COMMON.CONNECT magazine profiling winner and project


  • $150 gift certificate to Amazon.com
  • Video of submission featured on www.COMMON.org for a minimum of six months
  • One-year COMMON Membership

Entries will be awarded on submission fulfillment, award criteria and requirements. Upon successful receipt of the submission form and supporting documents, applicants will receive a confirmation email. Entries will be reviewed by the COMMON Innovation Award Committee.

Rules, Regulations and Eligibility

  • Must be at least 18 years of age by the submission deadline
  • Must have less than two years of professional IT experience
  • Must be a current student or recent graduate (within the last 12 months) from an accredited institution
  • Must reside in the United States or Canada
  • Only one submission per student will be accepted
  • Multiple individuals may contribute to a single project submission (Their participation should be noted in the submission. However, only the person submitting the entry will be eligible for prizes if the submission is selected.)

Submissions for the 2019 Student Innovation Award will be accepted after Jan. 01, 2019.  If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Lorr at klorr@commoneducationfoundation.org or by phone at 312.279.0211.