The ASHE Presidential Medal will be presented to an individual of the current president’s choice at the ASHE Annual Meeting awards ceremony each year. The recipient can be a mentor, colleague, research collaborator, or someone else in higher education whom the outgoing president deems worthy of public acknowledgment. In the event of a posthumous presentation, a colleague, former student, or family member will be invited to accept the medal on the awardee’s behalf. Only one ASHE Presidential Medal can be presented each year.
2020 Presidential Medal: Local Change Agent Award
Tamara Bertrand Jones, Florida State University
Tamara Bertrand Jones has consistently not only developed institutional change at a systemic level, but combats “scarcity mentality” in that she filled a void in needed support of others, and created space for others to grow and shine. While making change, she has also developed structures that will ensure the success and sustainability of her change initiatives, even if/when she is no longer involved. A prime example of grounding in extant scholarship, leadership, and service was her co-founding and growing Sisters of the Academy (SOTA)—which supports Women of Color doctoral students and junior scholars—from a program with little resources into a robust program that addresses inequities endured by marginalized students and scholars in academia.
Ansley Booker, Mercer University
Ansley Booker is a change agent for Mercer University and its surrounding community of Macon, Georgia. As a practitioner and adjunct professor, she serves the most marginalized, including student athletes who are oftentimes treated more like commodities than students at universities.
Tara L. Parker, University of Massachusetts Boston
Tara L. Parker, in her role of department chair, highlights the ways in which a change agent can work within an institution’s current structure to make lasting impact. Through incremental change, she has worked collaboratively and consistently to bring about much needed lasting change, especially in terms of diversity initiatives – to increase faculty diversity and support faculty startup funds.