ASHE Distinguished Service Award

About the 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.   


When reviewing nominations, the awards committee will make decisions based on the following preferred and demonstrated attributes:
  1. membership in ASHE,
  2. chairing and/or serving on committees, 
  3. serving in a council leadership role, 
  4. developing community within the association, 
  5. serving on the board, and/or 
  6. other involvement within the association.

This award is usually presented to a member who has served the association for at least five years.


  • Nominations will be open from May 3, 2021-July 1, 2021 at Noon Pacific. Due to 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.


You'll need:

  • Name, Title, Position, Institution, Email, and Phone Number of Coordinating Nominator
  • Name, Title, Position, Institution, Email, and Phone Number of Nominee
  • A nomination statement up to 750 words which explains why the nominee deserves this ASHE award. Rationale may include, but is not limited to, the nominee’s impact on higher education theorizing, research, practice, and/or ASHE as an organization.
  • 2-3 letters of support. For upload into the nomination form, these should be combined into one document, preferably a pdf.
  • The nominee's CV.
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.

Award nominees (and subsequently recipients) must be current members of ASHE.

Questions about the 2021 award process can be sent to

Awards Committee

The ASHE Awards Committee is a standing committee of the Board of Directors. Committee members are recommended by the President to the Board of Directors and service 1-3 year terms.

2021 Committee Members:

  • Glenda Musoba, Texas A&M University (Chair)
  • Antonio Duran, Auburn University
  • Gina Garcia, University of Pittsburgh (Board of Directors Representative)
  • Marc Johnston-Guerrero, The Ohio State University
  • Darris Means, University of Pittsburgh
  • Charlie Scott, University of Denver (Graduate Student Member)
  • LaWanda Ward, Pennsylvania State University

2020 ASHE Distinguished Service Award
Michelle Espino, University of Maryland, College Park

2019 ASHE Distinguished Service Award
Jeffrey C. Sun, University of Louisville


2018 ASHE Distinguished Service Award
Kimberly Nehls

2017 ASHE Distinguished Service Award:
Kelly Ward & Lisa Wolf-Wendel



2020 Michelle M. Espino
2019 Jeffrey C. Sun
2018 Kim Nehls
2017 Kelly Ward & Lisa Wolf-Wendel
2015 Marilyn J. Amey
2012 Lester F. Goodchild
2011 Leonard Baird
2010 J. Douglas Toma
2009 Amaury Nora
2007 Estela Mara Bensimon
2006 Laura Rendon
2005 Carol Everly Floyd
2004 Wynetta Lee
2003 Ann E. Austin
2002 Barbara K. Townsend
2001 Robert O. Berdahl
2000 Mildred Garcia
1999 Philip G. Altbach
1998 Joan S. Stark
1996 Stan Carpenter & Patricia Hyer
1995 Daryl Smith
1993 John Smart
1990 L. Jackson Newell
1987 Jonathan Fife