Nominations for 2024 are now closed. Thank you to all who submitted a nominee. Nominations for 2025 will open in early May 2025. Please check back for more information at that time.


ASHE awards are intended to recognize exemplary achievements and contributions to the study of higher education through research, leadership, or service to ASHE and the field of higher education. The ASHE membership plays an essential role in identifying persons who should be honored by the Association, so please give each award your thoughtful consideration. It is not necessary to present every award every year, but there are undoubtedly individuals deserving of recognition in each of the following categories:

ASHE Distinguished Service Award

  • The Distinguished Service Award will be presented in recognition of engagement and extension of the mission and vision of the association, enrichment of the experience of members, and, in general, exceptional commitment and significant contribution to the success of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Bobby Wright Dissertation of the Year Award

  • Named in memory of Irvin Lee (Bobby) Wright, the ASHE Dissertation of the Year award annually recognizes one or more exemplary dissertations in the field of higher education. Award criteria include the high quality of the methodology employed and the significance of the dissertation topic.

Council for the Advancement of Higher Education Programs (CAHEP) Barbara Townsend Lecture

  • The Barbara Townsend Lecture will recognize a lecture and lecturer focused on community colleges, feminist studies, doctoral education, and/or higher education programs. The award recipient will present a lecture during a special session of the conference.

Council for Ethnic Participation (CEP) Founders' Service Award

  • The CEP Founders’ Service Award recognizes a member of the ASHE community who demonstrates sustained and long-term service to CEP. Service refers to engagement in any activity that supports the goals and objectives of CEP and fosters inclusiveness within the ASHE community. 

Council for Ethnic Participation (CEP) Mildred García Award for Exemplary Scholarship

  • The Mildred García Award for Exemplary Scholarship will recognize and celebrate one early career, nontenured scholar-practitioner (e.g., visiting assistant professor, clinical assistant professor, or tenure-track faculty) and one mid-level or senior practitioner-scholar (i.e., tenured associate or full professor, senior/executive administrator) for their seminal, exemplary scholarship that focuses on issues specifically related to underrepresented Populations of Color and furthering inclusiveness in the field. 

Council on International Higher Education (CIHE) Award for Significant Research on International Higher Education

  • The Award for Significant Research on International Higher Education will recognize a highly significant research outcome in the field of international higher education.

Council on Public Policy in Higher Education (CPPHE) Excellence in Public Policy Higher Education Award

  • This award recognizes excellence in work at the nexus of academic scholarship and policy practice. In particular, this award focuses on research and/or practice in the policy field that advances the public policy discourse in higher education and/or evidenced-based public policies and equity-focused public policy. Both individuals and organizations are eligible for this award.

Early Career Award

  • The Early Career Award will be presented in recognition of an emerging, significant, and potential for the future of a body of scholarship.

Howard Bowen Distinguished Career Award

  • The Howard R. Bowen Distinguished Career Award will be presented in recognition of a professional life devoted in substantial part to the study of higher education and a career that has significantly advanced the field through extraordinary scholarship, leadership, and service.

Leadership Award

  • The Leadership Award will be presented in recognition of bringing visibility and support to the field of higher education, demonstrating the contributions of the study of higher education to policy formation, and/or in gaining substantial resources for research and training in higher education.

Mentoring Award

  • The Mentoring Award will be presented in recognition of extraordinary, tireless, and sustained contributions to the professional and scholarly development of emerging scholars as to the future of our profession.

Outstanding Book Award

  • The Outstanding Book Award recognizes a book that makes a significant contribution to the study of higher education. The award is open to any book published within the last year that advances theories, knowledge, practices, pedagogies, and/or policies in the field of higher education.

Presidential Medal

  • The ASHE Presidential Medal will be presented to an individual of the current president’s choice at the ASHE Annual Conference awards ceremony each year. 

Research Achievement Award

  • The Research Achievement Award is presented to an ASHE member in recognition of their outstanding contribution of a body of research that advances scholars’ understanding of higher education in a significant way.

Special Merit Award

  • The Special Merit award is presented in recognition of a person, group, or organization in recognition of distinctive support for the purposes and goals of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.