Community Colleges Research and Scholarship Award

By the conferral of this award NASPA continues its traditions of both honoring prominent research and scholarship in higher education and student affairs and supporting the community colleges sector. In order to support the goals of a strong research-based practice, this annual award is presented to an individual or team who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing research and scholarship on the topic of student affairs in the community college.

Community Colleges Division

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Award Information


Below are the criteria that will be used to evaluate the nominees. Please note that only one letter of nomination is required and up to three additional letters of support will be considered but not required. Self-nomininations will be accepted.

  • Exceptional contributions to student affairs practice in community colleges through sustained research and scholarship
  • Issues addressed in research and scholarship must be important and substantial issues related to student affairs practice in community colleges
  • Impact of research must have implications for higher education at the national or international level
  • One letter of nomination that references the research and/or scholarship of the individual or team (self-nominations are accepted) and up to three additional letters of support
  • Resume(s) or vita(e) of the nominee(s)
  • Active individual NASPA membership

Current Recipients

  • Elena Sandoval-Lucero, Ph.D.
    Vice President, Boulder County Campus - Front Range Community College

    Dr. Elena Sandoval-Lucero joined Front Range Community College (FRCC) in June 2017, as vice president of the Boulder County Campus. She serves as CEO of the campus, and represents the campus and FRCC throughout Boulder County. Dr. Sandoval-Lucero has more than 25 years of experience in academic and student affairs settings in community colleges and universities. Before joining FRCC, she served as vice president of student affairs at Community College of Aurora. She also worked as director of admissions and outreach at Metropolitan State University of Denver. At the University of Colorado Denver, she served as an assistant research professor, assistant director of extended studies, and coordinator of student services in the School of Education and Human Development. Dr. Sandoval-Lucero teaches in the higher education program at the University of Denver, and has presented, researched, and written extensively about the field of student affairs in higher education.

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Past Recipients

  • 2015 | Frank Harris III

    Associate Professor -