Townsend Lecture

ASHE CAHEP Barbara Townsend Lecture & Award

The Barbara Townsend Lecture Award will recognize a lecture and lecturer focused on community colleges, feminist studies, doctoral education, and/or higher education programs. The award recipient will present a lecture during a special session of the conference, to be coordinated by the committee chair, ASHE Office, and award recipient. 

CAHEP welcomes nominations for a lecture and lecturer that focus on community colleges, gender in higher education, graduate education, and/or higher education programs and leadership/administration.

About Dr. Townsend

Barbara Townsend served as the ASHE Executive Director and on many other committees, to improve the study of higher education for her higher education colleagues. Barbara was particularly well known for her research on community colleges, feminist studies, doctoral education, and higher education programs. In 1995, Barbara, Les Goodchild, and Bob Hendrickson co-founded the Council for the Advancement of Higher Education Programs (CAHEP). CAHEP and the larger ASHE community wanted to recall her spirit and enthusiasm for higher education programs annually with a lecture series in her honor.

Nominations for 2024 will open in May 2024 and close in June 2024. Please check back for more information at that time.

Nomination Evaluation Criteria

When reviewing nominations, the awards committee will make decisions based on the following preferred and demonstrated attributes:

A nomination statement of up to 500 words explaining how:

  1. Scholarship aligned to one or more areas of the nomination call (higher education programs and leadership/administration, graduate education, gender in higher education, and/or leadership in community colleges).
  2. Involvement with ASHE and/or CAHEP in the past.
  3. Demonstrated commitment to advancing higher education programs through scholarship, teaching, and/or service activities.

2024 Awards Timeline

  • Nominations will be open in early May 2024 and close in late June 2024. 
    Due to the 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.

Nomination Requirements

To submit a nomination you will need:

  • Name, Title, Position, Institution, Email, and Phone Number of Nominator
  • Name, Title, Position, Institution, Email, and Phone Number of Nominee
  • A nomination statement of up to 500 words explaining how (1) the nominee’s scholarship has engaged deeply with one or more of the nomination areas (higher education programs and leadership/administration, graduate education, gender in higher education, and/or leadership in community colleges); (2) the nominee has been meaningfully and/or consistently involved with ASHE and/or CAHEP; (3) how the nominee’s scholarship, teaching, and/or service have demonstrated a commitment to advancing higher education programs, and (4) a possible lecture title/topic.

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.

The coordinating nominator, as well as the award nominee(s) (and subsequently recipient(s)), must be current members of ASHE.

Questions about the 2024 award process can be sent to

Nominations for 2024 will open in early May 2024.

Awards Committee

Each year, the Council Chair appoints an awards committee, in close consultation with the Executive Committee, to solicit and accept nominations. ASHE awards committee members are not eligible to be nominated during the year in which they serve on the committee.

2023 CAHEP Awards Committee:
  • Ryan Miller (Chair), University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Ann Gansemer-Topf Iowa State University
  • Vicki Baker, Albion College
  • Cydney Caradonna, University of Utah-Utah Prison Education Project, Journal of Higher Education in Prison

Past Recipients

2023: Crystal R. Chambers

Additional Recipients

  • 2022: Marilyn Amey (YouTube Link)
    • "Beyond Competencies: Developing Adaptive Leaders for Post-pandemic Higher Education"
  • 2021: Sydney Freeman Jr. (YouTube Link)
    • "I’m a Higher Educationist, I’m proud, and I’ll say it loud: Embodying and embracing the future of higher education as a field of study"
  • 2020: Xueli Wang (YouTube Link)
    • "On My Own: The Challenge and Promise of Building Equitable STEM Transfer Pathways"
  • 2019: Sarah Rodriguez
    • "Finding Voice and Power as La Profesora: Reimagining Higher Education Programs as Sites of Resistance"
  • 2018: Jaime Lester
    • "Gender Trouble in Community Colleges: Constructing a New Definition of Democracy's College"
  • 2017: Pamela L. Eddy
    • "Community College Leadership Frontires: Scouting and Developing Talent
  • 2016: Kelly A. Ward
    • "Higher Education Leadership: Perspectives from the Pipeline"
  • 2016: Lisa Wolf-Wendel
    • "Higher Education Leadership: Perspectives from the People"
  • 2015: Noah Drezner
  • 2014: John S. Levin
    • "Playing the Field: The Qualitative Researcher in the Community College"
  • 2013: Linda Serra Hagedorn
  • 2012: Robert M. Hendrickson
  • 2011: Edward St. John
  • 2010: Anna Neumann