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 acknowledgement. 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

One of the unique aspects of being a scholar of higher education is that we often live in the organizations we study, whether they be colleges and universities, non-profits, or associations. This provides us the opportunity to draw on our scholarship to affect policies, practices and conditions “at home.” Some ASHE members have designed programs to improve equity, student engagement, retention, and financial aid and then worked with colleagues on their own campuses or within their own organizations to implement them. Our faculty have been instrumental in crafting campus policy surrounding sexual assault, developing new and more inclusive faculty hiring practices, designing new living learning communities, and increasing awareness of the challenges faced by students with mental and physical disabilities.
It can be risky and sometimes discouraging to try changing policies, practices, and cultures within our own institutions. Nonetheless, there can be great satisfaction in knowing we have used what we know to change some key aspect of our own systems. While ASHE has increasingly worked to recognize the scholarship of our scholars through early career, career research awards, book and dissertation awards, we have not shed a light on the role of ASHE members as local change agents, helping our institutions interpret higher education research and apply or engage with it to improve conditions for students, faculty and staff.
In 2020, the Presidential Medal will be given to someone who has served this local change agent role in ways that have had significant impact.
The ideal candidates for this award will be an ASHE member who:

  • Has been at their current institution and has been involved in change efforts for 2 years or more

  • Drew on their research and the research of others to diagnose challenges and design interventions at their current institution

  • Was widely recognized as a true collaborator on their campus, respecting the knowledge of practitioners and partners engaged every day on the issue

  • Individually or as part of a team, can point to some tangible impact from the work (e.g. policies put in place, new programs developed, change in awareness, faculty hired or retained)

Call for Nominations

Nominations are due July 1, Noon Pacific. EXTENDED TO JULY 6, 2020, 8:00AM PACIFIC

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).

Previous Presidential Medal Award recipients:

  • 2018: Mary Howard Hamilton