CPPHE Excellence in Public Policy Higher Education Award

The CPPHE Excellence in Public Policy 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.

Nominations for 2024 are now closed.

Nomination Evaluation Criteria


Scholarly or Practitioner excellence at the nexus of academic scholarship and policy practice (an individual does not need to demonstrate excellence in both categories). Occasionally an individual may demonstrate excellence in both categories in which case nominations should describe how the individual’s scholarly and practitioner efforts work together to advance public policy. 

Criteria used to determine scholarly excellence

  1. Research that advances evidenced-based public policies and equity-focused public policy.
  2. High-impact publication(s), widely read and discussed in academic, policy, and/or public discourse 
  3. Authorship of scholarly book(s) focused on public policy.
  4. Keynote addresses and presentations at scholarly conferences and convenings.
  5. Efforts to translate research into policy recommendations.
  6. Collaboration with students on research.

Criteria used to determine practitioner excellence

  1. Commitment to building collaborative relationships with organizations and/or other practitioners. 
  2. Mentorship of emerging policy scholars and practitioners. 
  3. Public scholarship in the form of legislative testimonies, policy briefs, white papers, data visualizations, fact sheets, opinion pieces, social media engagement, and other efforts to encourage evidenced-based public policy. Invited keynote and public speaking addresses.


Organizations being considered for the award must hold nonprofit status. University/college research centers, foundations, think tanks, and other organizations are eligible for this award. The following selection criteria will be used to evaluate organizations for this award.

  1. Leadership in federal and/or state policy design and implementation. 
  2. Boundary-spanning collaboration that brings diverse stakeholders including academic researchers, policymakers, and nonprofit organizations together to advance evidence-based public policy.
  3. Research or writing that identifies evidenced-based recommendations for public policy. 
  4. Diverse organizational staff that includes diversity of cultural, religious, ability, gender, immigrant, and racial identities and statuses.
  5. Evidence of cultivation of emerging policy leaders, especially those holding diverse identities. 
  6. Evidence of equity-focused policy leadership.

2024 Awards Timeline

  • Nominations for 2024 are now closed.
    Due to the number of submissions and the review process, no late submissions will be accepted; as such, nominators are encouraged to submit their nominations well in advance of this deadline.
  • Nominators and nominees will be informed of decisions in mid-September.
  • An announcement of recipients will be sent to the ASHE membership in late September.
  • The recipient(s) will be recognized during the ASHE Awards Ceremony during the Annual Conference.

Nomination Requirements

Each submission will need:

  • Nominator name, institution/organization, email, and phone number 
  • Nominations for individuals should include the individual’s title, position, institution/organization, email address, phone number, Twitter handle (if applicable), personal website (if applicable) 
  • Nominations for organizations should include the organization’s name, location, email address, phone number, website, Twitter handle (if applicable)
  • A nomination letter (500 word maximum) articulating how the individual or organization meets the selection criteria. Citations of relevant articles, publications, media stories, invited lectures, etc., should be included at the end of the nomination and will not count towards the word maximum. 

Due to the increased number of nominations received in recent years, 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.

The coordinating nominator, as well as the award nominee(s) (and subsequently recipient(s)), must be current members of ASHE.

Questions about the 2024 award process can be sent to awards@ashe.ws.

Nominations for 2024 are now closed.

Awards Committee

Each year, the Council Chair appoints an awards committee, in close consultation with the Executive Committee, to solicit and accept nominations. ASHE awards committee members are not eligible to be nominated during the year in which they serve on the committee.

2024 CPPHE Awards Committee:

  • Kevin McClure (Chair), University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Margaret de Leon 
  • Shonda Goward, San Jose State University
  • Samuel Snideman, Ball State University 

Past Recipients

2023: Robert Kelchen

Additional Recipients

  • 2022: Krystal L. Williams (YouTube Link)
  • 2021: Christopher Nellum & Dominique Baker (YouTube Link)
  • 2020: Liliana M. Garces & Barmak Nassirian (YouTube Link)
  • 2019: Paul Lingenfelter & State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
  • 2018: Nicholas Hillman & Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
  • 2017: Laura W. Perna
  • 2016: Education Policy Center at the University of Alabama