Special Merit Award21


The Special Merit award is presented in recognition of a person, group or organization in recognition of distinctive support for the purposes and goals of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

The award is usually presented to a person, group, or organization in recognition of distinctive support for the purposes and goals 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. Service or contributions that advance the purposes and goals of ASHE or research on higher education.
  2. The distinctiveness of the service or contributions to ASHE.


  • 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 award will be conferred during the annual CPPHE membership meeting, at the upcoming ASHE Annual Conference. The recipient(s) will also 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 demonstrates the nominees match to the award evaluation criteria.
  • 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 office@ashe.ws.


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 Universty
  • Darris Means, University of Pittsburgh
  • Charlie Scott, University of Denver (Graduate Student Member)
  • LaWanda Ward, Pennsylvania State University

2020 Special Merit Award:
The Indigenous Scholars Collective


  • 2020: The Indigenous Scholars Collective
  • 2016 Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA
  • 2015 Inside Higher Ed
  • 2011 Institute for Higher Education Policy
  • 2010 The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
  • 2008 The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, University of South Carolina
  • 2006 United Negro College Fund
  • 2005 Samuel E. Kellams
  • 2004 Jerry Davis/Lumina
  • 2003 University of Michigan Affirmative Action Defense Team
  • 2002 Walter R. Allen
  • 2001 Clifford Adelman & Deborah Wilds
  • 2000 Michael Olivas
  • 1995 Lavina Fielding Anderson
  • 1993 Walter Hobbs
  • 1992 Jossey-Bass Incorporated Publishers
  • 1989 Peggy Heim & Robert Silverman

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