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AAUA Awards
2020 Award Recipients

JOHN L. BLACKBURN EXEMPLARY MODELS AWARDS

These two awards are made for examples of solutions to common problems in higher education.

Ashok Goel, Georgia Tech University, “Jill Watson Artificial Intelligence Graduate Assistant.” This project has created a virtual assistant who can answer most student questions about the program in artificial intelligence. This technology creates a resource for both on-campus and on-line students who may be struggling with some aspect of a concept or course unit. The possibility of having such assistants is an advantage to almost any academic programs. “Jill Watson” has proven that AI can reduce the workload of advisors or faculty and aid students in pursuit of their degrees.

Stuart Lavietes, “Prep for Success: Adelphi’s Center for Career and Professional Development’: Launched in September 2015, Prep for Success is a comprehensive program that provides students with basic job-search skills and valuable work experience through paid internships with leading organizations. Prep for Success is designed to help any student begin preparing for a career almost upon arrival on campus. It stresses that successfully starting a career depends on more than just earning a college degree. It requires planning, the development of new skills and relevant experience. Main segments include an internship preparation seminar, a leadership certificate, online career coaching, Jaggar fellows, and Panthers with a purpose. The nomination clearly details results of each component.

EILEEN TOSNEY AWARD FOR CAREER SERVICE IN HIGHER EDUCATION

John Cavanaugh is concluding a career in which he has been a president of the University of West Florida, the chancellor of the fourteen institutions of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PSSHE), the director of the Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, a frequent mentor to ACE Fellows and other young administrators, and a servant to many institutional and association boards. This is a life of service unmatched by any recent nominees to this award. By accepting this award, he honors its namesake and the AAUA as well.

MCINNIS/RYAN AWARD FOR MID-CAREER HIGHER EDUCATION LEADERSHIP

Barbara J. F. Feldman is presently the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the New College of Florida in Sarasota. She rose through the faculty ranks in four institutions and has held progressive leadership roles in five. Her administrative career is marked by the direct engagement with the most critical issues facing the institution. She is also an active expert in the coverage of natural disasters by the mass media and has often been interviewed by various outlets. She distinguished herself from other nominees by the variety of institutions she has served and by her continuing role in her area of scholarship.

ROBERT W. MACVITTIE EMERGING LEADER AWARD

Sunddip Aguilar is presently the academic program director at St. Augustine University for Health Sciences. She has a wide span of responsibilities including management of the Ed.D. and DHSci programs. She is the chair of the Institutional Review Board for Research on Human Subjects. She has advanced through a number of non-traditional institutions to her present position and has clearly substantiated her leadership potential to both her subordinates and her supervisors as indicated by references and testimonials.

DAN L. KING AWARD FOR UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGE TRUSTEE LEADERSHIP

Ann Brothers Smith, retired public school administrator, has served as a member of the West Virginia State University Board of Governors since 2011, serving as chair, vice chair and chair of several board committees. A 1964 graduate of WVSU, Smith worked for many years in the Detroit Public School System as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. She retired in 2007 as the Associate Superintendent for School Leadership for Detroit Public Schools. Dr. Smith is also President Emeritus of the WVSU National Alumni Association and serves on the WVSU Foundation Board of Directors. In 2010, she was recognized as the WVSU Alumna of the Year. She stated, “I am a proud alumnus of WVSU, and that serves me well in my service to the Board of Governors. To have someone in this position who has been involved with the University for decades during the highs and lows, and witnessing how it has evolved, provides valuable insight for understanding the past to help us, as a board, chart the future.” In addition to earning her bachelor’s degree from WVSU, Smith earned a master’s degree from Ohio State University and a doctorate degree in education from Wayne State University.

JEROME L. NEUNER AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATION

Rick Ginsberg, Kathryn B. Chval, & Donald Easton-Brooks, “The Crises are Coming: Social Media Challenges Facing Higher Education Leadership,” Journal of Higher Education Management,” Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 49-59, (2019). This award recognizes the article in the 2019 journal that the awards committee voted as the most significant contribution to higher education. Social media present an array of possible problems for leaders now and in the future. The faculty, staff, and students can all create difficulties for the institution by their use or misuse of social media. This helpful article summarizes the situation and suggests policy ideas to deal with them.

BERT ALLAN WATSON AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING PRESENTATION

Monica Brockmeyer, Michelle Hunt Bruner, & Kenya Swanson, “Removing Silos and Strengthening Collegiate Partnerships While Closing the Achievement Gap.” The presenters gave a detailed summary of the well-developed program at Wayne State University that seeks to unify and simplify the student assistance activities so they are more transparent and more easily accessed by at-risk groups. This award recognizes the presentation at the 2019 Leadership Seminar judged by the awards committee to be the best and most informative.

DONALD A. GATZKE DISSERTATION AWARD

Robert Bellarmine Farrell, “Leadership Response to Campus Free Speech Incidents,” University of Pennsylvania, 2019. This work was an in-depth study of recent free speech conflicts at four private institutions: Alma College, Dillard University, DePaul University, and Middlebury College. In each case a controversial speaker from outside the institution was invited, and campus protests ensued. The case studies indicated the difficulties for leadership decision-makers when no easy or clear solution is possible. The work also offers advisement to presidents, senior teams, the general counsel, and the board members. This work is a significant contribution to an enduring higher education concern.

LEO AND MARGARET GOODMAN-MALAMUTH DISSERTATION AWARD

Ronna L. Halbgewachs, “The Trait Emotional Intelligence of College and University Presidents: A Foundational Descriptive Quantitative Study,” The George Washington University, 2018. The primary data is the responses of 300 college and university presidents to the TEIQue-SF survey. The study is the first effort to bring the analysis of emotional intelligence to this leadership group that interacts with a large and diverse number of stakeholders. Findings: presidents generally exceed the general population in having high well-being, self-control, emotionality, and sociability; their emotional intelligence helps to make them effective leaders; a subgroup could benefit from opportunities to enhance this aspect of leadership. The n = 300 represents a significant survey return.

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