ASHE Distinguished Service Award

Presented in recognition of exceptional commitment to the Association for the Study of Higher Education and significant contribution to its success.

2020 ASHE Distinguished Service Award

Michelle M. Espino, University of Maryland, College Park & Latinx/a/o Scholar Collective

Michelle Espino Lira does not just study and write about Latinx/a/os, she actively mentors and creates opportunities for networking, capacity building, and collectivism amongst Latinx/a/os. Since 2008, every November at the ASHE annual conference, she has organized the Latinx/a/o Scholar Collective Dinner, growing to from 11 attendees in the first year to 143 in 2019. During the dinner new Latinx/a/o graduate students are welcomed and introduced and milestone moments are recognized. Her dedication to offering this dinner each year and creating a space of celebration and support is a true testament to her commitment to the Latinx/a/o community. In addition to creating community amongst conference attendees, she intentionally partners with a Latinx small business as the location for the dinner and gathering. 

Call for Nominations

Nominations for the 2021 award will open in May 2021.

To submit a nomination you will need the following information to complete the form:

  • Name, Title, Position, Institution, Email, and Phone Number of Coordinating Nominator
  • Name, Title, Position, Institution, Email, and Phone Number of Nominee
  • A nomination statement up to 750 words which explains why the nominee deserves this ASHE award. Rationale may include, but is not limited to, the nominee’s impact on higher education theorizing, research, practice, and/or ASHE as an organization.
  • 2-3 letters of support. For upload into the nomination form, these should be combined into one document, preferably a pdf.
  • The nominee's CV.

New for 2020! Each nominee will be limited to one nomination. In the event multiple nominations are submitted, the committee chair will notify the coordinating nominators requesting they consolidate their nominations with the best three letters. 

2019 ASHE Distinguished Service Award
Jeffrey C. Sun, University of Louisville


2018 ASHE Distinguished Service Award
Kimberly Nehls

2017 ASHE Distinguished Service Award:
Kelly Ward & Lisa Wolf-Wendel



2020 Michelle M. Espino
2019 Jeffrey C. Sun
2018 Kim Nehls
2017 Kelly Ward & Lisa Wolf-Wendel
2015 Marilyn J. Amey
2012 Lester F. Goodchild
2011 Leonard Baird
2010 J. Douglas Toma
2009 Amaury Nora
2007 Estela Mara Bensimon
2006 Laura Rendon
2005 Carol Everly Floyd
2004 Wynetta Lee
2003 Ann E. Austin
2002 Barbara K. Townsend
2001 Robert O. Berdahl
2000 Mildred Garcia
1999 Philip G. Altbach
1998 Joan S. Stark
1996 Stan Carpenter & Patricia Hyer
1995 Daryl Smith
1993 John Smart
1990 L. Jackson Newell
1987 Jonathan Fife