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Joyce E. Smith Excellence in Education Award

Established in 1983, the Joyce E. Smith Excellence in Education Award is presented to an individual - member or non-member - who has improved the field of education and/or the way students are served.

Below are several (but not all) of the criteria that the Member Relations Committee uses when nominating an award recipient for the Excellence in Education Award.

  • Prominence: national figure in political or education arena; great influence over public opinion in matters related to education
  • Advocacy and Access: in their career, has been at the forefront of initiatives advocating for students and access to education

About the 2020 Award Winner:

The Shawn Carter Foundation was founded as a public charity in 2003 by Gloria Carter and her son, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter. Its mission is to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships further their education at post-secondary institutions. Since its inception, the foundation has provided more than $4 million to support initiatives that empower youth and communities in need through the foundation’s programs: Scholarship Fund, College Prep and Exposure, International Exposure, Professional Development, Scholar Support, and Community & Goodwill Programs.

Previous Award Winners:

  • 2019 - Joyce E. Smith
  • 2018 - The ACCEPT Facebook group (Founded by Marie Bigham, Steve Frappier, and Brandi Smith)
  • 2017 - William R. Fitzsimmons and Carmen Lopez
  • 2016- Stacy Lightfoot
  • 2015 -  Dr. Trish Hatch, Dr. Sandy Savitz-Romer, Campus Pride and Shane Windmeyer
  • 2014 - First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama
  • 2013 - Nicole Farmer Hurd and Ted O'Neill
  • 2012 - Greg Darnieder  
  • 2011 - Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
  • 2010 - Steve Peifer
  • 2009 - Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)
  • 2008 - Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)  
  • 2007 - Loren Pope
  • 2006 - Hugh O'Brian
  • 2005 - Irving Fradkin
  • 2004 - Rep. David Obey (D-WI)
  • 2002 - Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-OH), Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), and Rep. Betty McCullum (D-MN)
  • 2001 - Lee C. Bollinger
  • 2000 - Richard Riley
  • 1999 - William G. Bowen and Derek Bok
  • 1998 - Tom Joyner
  • 1997 - Dr. Benjamin Carson   
  • 1996 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz     
  • 1995 - David L. Boren
  • 1994 - Eugene Lang
  • 1993 - Arnold Mitchem    
  • 1992 - Sen. Herbert Kohl (D-WI) and Sen. Thomas Sawyer (D-OH)
  • 1991 - Theodore Sizer  
  • 1990 - Augustus F. Hawkins
  • 1989 - Harold L. Hodgkinson  
  • 1988 - Oluf Davidsen and George Hanford  
  • 1987 - Ernest L. Boyer
  • 1986 - William D. Ford, Samuel L. Meyers and Paul Simon  
  • 1985 - Alexander W. Astin    
  • 1984 - Fred Hargadon  
  • 1983 - Francis Keppel

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