Presidential Medal

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.

Honorable Mention:
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. 


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 letter outlining how the faculty member has acted as a change agent. The nominating letter should address
  1. the issue the change agent is addressing
  2. what research or evidence base the scholar has drawn on
  3. what they have done to share this work or implement it with their campus
  4. the time period over which this work occurred and
  5. measures of impact the work has had on students, faculty, staff, climate or other groups or issues on campus.
  • The letter can include quotes from multiple stakeholders on campus, including those most impacted by the local change agent’s work. However, the nominating letter should be no longer than 5 pages (single-spaced).


2020 Tamara Bertrand Jones
2020 (Honorable Mention): Ansley Booker
2020 (Honorable Mention): Tara Parker
2018 Mary Howard Hamilton