Ashe Dissertation Of The Year Award

Promising Scholar/Early Career Award

Given for a significant body of scholarship, a single extraordinary research achievement by a higher education scholar, or recognition of a potential for future research. The Early Career Award, called the Promising Scholar Award in 1989 and 1990, is reserved for individuals who are no more than six years beyond the receipt of the doctoral degree. 

Previous ASHE Promising Scholar/Early Career Award Recipients:

2017 Julie R. Posselt
2016 Manuel S. Gonzalez Canche
2015 Liliana M. Garces
2014 Julie J. Park
2013 Kimberly A. Griffin
2012 Nicholas A. Bowman
2011 Samuel D. Museus
2010 Lori Patton Davis
2009 Terrell L. Strayhorn
2008 Shaun R. Harper
2007 Paul D. Umbach
2006 Marybeth Gasman
2005 Brian Pusser
2004 anthony lising antonio
2003 Laura W. Perna
2002 Donald E. Heller
2001 M. Christopher Brown II
2000 Linda Hagedorn & Lisa Wolf-Wendel
1999 Linda J. Sax
1998 Jennifer Grant Haworth
1997 Robert Rhoads
1996 Eric Dey
1995 Sylvia Hurtado & Elizabeth Whitt
1993 Alberto Cabrera & Patricia Gumport
1991 Amaury Nora
1990 Fran Stage
1989 Ann Austin

Bobby Wright Dissertation of the Year Award

Named in memory of Irvin Lee (Bobby) Wright, this award recognizes one or more dissertations that serve as exemplary models of the methodology employed. Criterion also include the significance of the dissertation topic.Bobby Wright (1950-1991) was an assistant professor in the College of Education and research associate in the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at Pennsylvania State University.

He was the former director of the Centre for Native American Studies at Montana State University, before coming to Pennsylvania State University in 1989 as assistant professor in the College of Education and research associate in the Centre for the Study of Higher Education. He returned to Montana on April 10, 1991. He received the 1986 Distinguished Dissertation of the Year award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education and the Montana State University Alumni and Endowment Foundation Graduate Achievement Award for outstanding performance.

He received his bachelors degree in business administration from the University of San Francisco in 1973; his masters degree in American Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo; and his doctorate in Adult and Higher Education from Montana State University in 1985.

Bobby Wright passed away at the age of 40, on May 15, 1991 as a result of AIDS.

Call for Nominations

Welcome! Here you will complete the nomination process for the 2017 ASHE Bobby Wright Dissertation of the Year Award.

Please review the nomination guidelines that follow prior to continuing this submission process:


1. The dissertation must have been successfully defended and officially deposited to the nominee’s university by May 31, 2017. Dissertations previously nominated will not be reconsidered.

2. The nomination is required from the dissertation chair who is an ASHE member. However, the nominee is not required to be a member of ASHE.

3. Acceptance of nominations begins May 10, 2017. All nominations and corresponding materials must be submitted via online submission no later than 5:00 pm PST on July 10, 2017. E-mail and/or hard copy submissions will not be accepted.

4. In addition to filling out the information in the nomination form below, the chair of the nominee's dissertation committee must submit the following documents as separate .doc, .docx, or .pdf files:

  • nomination letter in which extraordinary features of the dissertation are described.
  • coversheet that includes: (1) full dissertation title; (2) nominee’s full name; and (3) the institution which the dissertation was earned. 
  • A BLINDED, 15 double-spaced page abstract of the dissertation, inclusive of necessary tables and/or figures. Do not include any identifying information on the abstract. See below for information that should be included in the abstract. Also, up to 3 single-spaced pages of references in APA format can accompany the abstract and will not be included in the 15 page limit. 

5. The abstract should include the: (1) full dissertation title [please do not include any identifiers]; (2) statement of the study’s purpose; (3) research questions, if applicable; (4) significance of the study; (5) theoretical or conceptual underpinnings, if applicable; (6) methods – research design/approach, sampling, data collection procedures or data sources used, and data analysis; (7) summary of key findings; and (8) implications for practice, policy, and/or future research. Additionally, up to three single-spaced pages of references in APA format can accompany the abstract and will not be included in the 15-page limit


Please save your document using an abbreviated title (preferably the first 4-5 words in the dissertation title). For example, a dissertation titled, “An Examination of Dissent and Dismay: The Rising Costs of College and Limited Access” should be condensed and the file should be saved as an examination of dissent-nomination materials


6. No single dissertation committee chair may nominate more than two candidates.


7. The recipient of the Bobby Wright Dissertation of the Year Award must attend the ASHE Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas November 9-11, 2017.

Please direct all questions to the committee chair, Julie J. Park, at 

To submit a nomination, please click here

Previous ASHE Bobby Wright Dissertation of the Year Award recipients:

  • 2016 Nicole Alia Salis Reyes, The University of Texas at San Antonio
    • "'What Am I Doing to Be A Good Ancestor?' An Indigenized Phenomenology of Giving Back Among Native College Graduates"
  • 2015 Tara Hudson, University of Notre Dame
    • "Interpersonalizing Cultural Difference:A Grounded Theory of the Process of Interracial Friendship Development and Sustainment among College Students"
  • 2014 Amalia Dache-Gerbino, University of Rochester
    • "The Labyrinth in the Metropole: A Postcolonial Mixed-Method Study of College Access and Choice"
  • 2013 Stephany Brett Dunstan, North Carolina State University
    • "The Influence of Speaking a Dialect of Appalachian English on the College Experience"
  • 2012 David R. Johnson, Rice University
    • "A New Reward System in Academic Science"
  • 2011 Alina Siu Wong, University of Michigan
    • "In flux: Racial identity construction among Chinese American and Filipina/o American undergraduates"
  • 2010 Jarrett Gupton, University of Minnesota
    • "Pathways to College for Homeless Adolescents"
      • Cited for Excellence: Lorelle Espinosa, Institute for Higher Education Policy, "Pipelines and Pathways: Women of Color in STEM Majors and the Experiences that Shape Their Persistence"
  • 2009 Genevieve Shaker, Indiana University 
    • "Off the Track: The Full-Time Nontenure-Track Faculty Experience in English"
  • 2008 Michelle Espino, University of Arizona 
    • "Master Narratives and Counter-Narratives: An Analysis of Mexican-American Life Stories of Oppression and Resistance Along the Journeys to the Doctorate"
      • Cited for Excellence: Ryan Wells, University of Iowa, "Effects of Schools on the Educational Expectations of Children of Immigrants"
  • 2007-08 Uma Madhure Jayakumar, UCLA 
    • "Diversity Capital: Conceptualizing How Higher Education Positions Individuals for Success (or Failure) in an Increasingly Global Marketplace"
      • Cited for Excellence: Katalin Szelenyi, UCLA , "Doctoral Student Socialization in Science and Engineering: The Role of Commercialization, Entrepreneurialism, and the Research Laboratory"
  • 2006-07 Melissa R. Peet, University of Michigan 
    • "We Make It the Road By Walking It: Critical Consciousness, Structuration, and Social Change School"
  • 2005-2006 Aimee LaPointe Terosky 
    • "Taking Teaching Seriously: A Study of University Professors and Their Undergraduate Teaching"
  • 2004-2005 Liang Zhang 
    • "How College Affects Students: Toward the reconciliation of Theory with Empirical Evidence"
  • 2003-2004 Toni E. Larson 
    • "Decentralization in U.S. Public Higher Education: A Comparative Study of New Jersey, Illinois, and Arkansas"
  • 2002-2003 Joni Mini Montez 
    • "Developing and Piloting the Higher Education Leadership Instrument (HELI)"
      • Cited for Excellence: Christine Keller, "Moving Forward or Standing Still: Progress in Achieving Wage Equality for Women Faculty in the 1990s"
  • 2001-2002 Michael K. McLendon 
    • "Setting the Agenda for State Decentralization of Higher Education: Analyzing the Explanatory Boundaries of Alternative Agenda Models"
      • Cited for Excellence: Joshua B. Powers, "Academic Entrepreuneurship in Higher Education: Institutional Effect of Performance of University Technology Transfer"
  • 2000-2001 David Weerts 
    • "Understanding Differences in State Support for Higher Education: A Comparative Study of State Appropriations for Research Universities"
      • Cited for Excellence: William Mallon, "Abolishing or Instituting Tenure: Four Case Studies of Change in Faculty Employment Policies"
  • 1999-2000 Marvin Dewey 
    • "An Exploratory Study of the Relationship Between Cognitive Complexity of Administrative Teams in Provite Liberal Arts Colleges and Organizational Health as One Dimension of Organizational Effectiveness"
      • Cited for Excellence: Elizabeth A. Palmer, "An Analysis of a Diversity Requirement: The Effect of Course Characteristics on Students' Racial Attitudes, Gender Attitudes, and Self-Perceived Learning"
  • 1998-1999 Deborah Faye Carter 
    • "A Dream Deferred? Examining the Degree Aspirations of African-American and White College Students"
      • Cited for Excellence: R. Sam Larson, "Organizational Change from the 'Inside': A Study of University Outreach"
  • 1997-1998 Joseph Berger (Co-awardee) 
    • "Organizational Behavior at Colleges and Student Outcomes: Generating a Quantitatively Grounded Theory" 
  • ​Cynthia Sabik (Co-awardee) 
    • "(Re)Writing Metaphor and Form: Autoethnographic Enactments From the Postmodern Classroom"
  • 1996-1997 Lisa Rose Lattuca 
    • "Envisioning Interdisciplinarity: Processes, Contexts, Outcomes"
      • Cited for Excellence: Rebecca Ropers-Huilman, "Shaping an Island of Power and Change: Creating a Feminist Poststructural Teaching Discourse"
      • Cited for Excellence: Carol L. Colbeck, "Organizational and Disciplinary Influences on Integration and Congruence of Faculty Work"
  • 1995-1996 Teresa Isabelle Daza Campbell 
    • "Protecting the Public's Trust: A Search for Balance Among Benefits and Conflicts in University-Industry Relationships"
  • 1994-1995 Robert A. Rhoades 
    • "Institutional Culture and Student Subculture: Student Identity and Socialization"
      • Cited for Excellence: Peter M. Magolda, "A Quest for Community: An Ethnographic Study of a Residential College"
  • 1993-1994 Rebecca R. Kline 
    • "The Social Practice of Literacy in a Program of Study Abroad"
      • Cited for Excellence: Dorothy Finnegani, "Academic Career Lines: A Case Study of Faculty in Two Comprehensive Universities"
  • 1992-1993 Martha Lillian Ann Stassen 
    • "White Faculty Members' Responses to Racial Diversity at Predominantly White Institutions"
  • 1991-1992 Julie Neururer 
    • "Decency and Dollars Invested: Case Studies of South African Divestiture"
      • Cited for Excellence: Francoise Queval, "The Evolution Toward Research Orientation and Capability in Comprehensive Universities: A Case Study: The California State University System"
  • 1990-1991 Kenneth D. Crews, J.D. 
    • "Copyright Policies at American Research Universities: Balancing Information Needs and Legal Limits"
  • 1989-1990 Roger L. Williams 
    • "George W. Atherton and the Beginnings of Federal Support for Higher Education"
  • 1988-1989 Patricia Gumport 
    • "The Social Construction of Knowledge: Individual and Institutional Commitment to Feminist Scholarship"
  • 1986-1987 Dolores L. Burke 
    • "Change in the Academic Marketplace: A Study of Faculty Mobility in the 1980s"
  • 1986-1987 Irvin Lee (Bobby) Wright 
    • "Piety, Politics and Profit: American Indian Missions in the Colonial Colleges"
      • Cited for Excellence: Lester F. Goodchild, "The Mission of the Catholic University in the Midwest, 1842-1980"
  • 1985-1986 Janet Kerr-Tener 
    • "From Truman to Johnson: Ad Hoc Policy Formulation in Higher Education"
      • Cited for Excellence: Amaury Nora, "Determinants of Retention Among Chicano Students: A Structural Model"
      • Cited for Excellence: Charlotte Hanna, "Modest Expectations: Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Affirmative Faculty Action"
  • 1984-1985 Lois A. Fisher 
    • "State Legislatures and the Autonomy of Colleges and Universities: A Comparative Study of Legislation in Four States, 1900-79"
      • Runner-up: Bernard Reams, "Research Interactions Between Industry and Higher Education"
      • Cited for Excellence: Marta Wagner, "The American Scholar in the Early National Period: The Changing Context of Colonial Education"
  • 1983-1984 Jeffrey Bartkovich 
    • "Designing an Empirically Derived Taxonomy of Organization Structures in Higher Education"
      • Cited for Excellence: Constance Collins, "Loose Coupling as a Framework for Understanding Structural Change: Case Studies of Four American Colleges and Universities"
      • Cited for Excellence: Edward Ottensmeyer II, "Strategic Organizational Adaptation and the Regulatory Environment: A Study of Universities During a Time of Regulatory Change"
  • 1982-1983 Catherine Marienau 
    • "Bridging Theory and Practice in Adult Development and Planned Change"
      • Cited for Excellence: Jerry Wayne Askew, "Toward a Theory on the Impact of Budget Retrenchment in Educational Organizations"
      • Cited for Excellence: Ellen Metzner, "Ironside Career Paths of Women Administrators in Higher Education"
  • 1981-1982 Ellen Chaffee 
    • "Decision Models in Budgeting"
      • Cited for Excellence: Ted I. K. Youn, "The Career of Young Ph.D.s: Temporal Change and Institutional Effects"
      • Cited for Excellence: Joyce Mushaben, "The State Versus the University: Juridicalization and the Politics of Higher Education at the Free University of Berlin, 1969-1979"
  • 1980-1981 Paul Duby 
    • "An Investigation of the Mediating Role of Causal Attitudes in School Learning"
      • Cited for Excellence: James Henson, "Institutional Excellence and Student Achievement: A Study of College Quality and Its Impact on Education and Career Development"
  • 1979-1980 Kenneth Bradley Orr 
    • "The Impact of the Depression Years 1929-1939 on Faculty in American Colleges and Universities"
      • Cited for Excellence: Daniel Carl Levy, "University Autonomy Versus Government Control: The Mexican Case"
  • 1978-1979 William Zumeta 
    • "The State and Doctoral Programs at the University of California: Academic Planning for an Uncertain Future"
  • Elaine Di Biasi, Co-Winner 
    • "Classical Tenure and Contemporary Alternatives: Academic Principles and Court Decisions"

One thought on “Ashe Dissertation Of The Year Award

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *