Decision Makers

The deep research and thoughtful assessment required to facilitate the rigorous Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence process wouldn't be possible without the dedication of time, support, and advice from individuals and organizations committed to improving student success. The Aspen Institute is grateful for the contributions of the decision makers and partners for the 2019 Aspen Prize. 
Data/Metrics Advisory Panel
The Data/Metrics Advisory Panel regularly reviews and modifies the formula—based on existing national data (provided by NCHEMS)—to assess over 1,000 public two-year colleges and select 150 eligible to apply for the Prize.
Thomas Brock
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University

Sue Clery
ASA Research

Laurie Heacock
Achieving the Dream

Valerie Lundy-Wagner
California Competes
Kent Phillippe
American Association of Community Colleges

Leticia Tomas Bustillos

Christina Whitfield
State Higher Education Executive Officers
Finalist Selection Committee
The selection committee reviews applications and extensive data on completion, learning, labor market, and equitable outcomes from eligible community colleges to select 10 finalists.
Elaine Baker
Baker Communications Inc. 

Michael Collins
Jobs for the Future

Michelle Asha Cooper
Institute for Higher Education Policy

Kimberly Green
Advance CTE

Alfred Herrera
University of California, Los Angeles

Marc Herzog
Connecticut Community College System (ret.)

Mei-Yen Ireland
Achieving the Dream

Rob Johnstone
National Center for Inquiry and Improvement
Amy Laitinen
New America Foundation 

Shannon Looney
Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities

Paul Markham
Sova Solutions

Gretchen Schmidt
American Association of Community Colleges 

Nicole Smith
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce 

Heather Wathington
Mary Angelou Schools and the See Forever Foundation

Shawn Whalen
College Futures Foundation
Site Visitors
Teams of experienced researchers, current and former leaders, and expert practitioners join Aspen in conducting 1.5-day site visits to each of the ten finalist institutions.
Nikki Edgecombe
Senior Research Scientist
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University

Martha M. Ellis, Ph.D.
Director, Higher Education Strategy, Policy, and Services
The Charles A. Dana Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Marc Herzog
Chancellor Emeritus
Connecticut Community College System
Robert Johnstone
Founder & President
National Center for Inquiry and Improvement

Hana Lahr
Research Associate
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University

Robert G. Templin, Jr., Ed.D.
Senior Fellow
College Excellence Program, The Aspen Institute;
President Emeritus,
Northern Virginia Community College
Prize Jury
Using site visit reports, labor market outcomes, an assessment of learning outcomes, four-year transfer and completion outcomes, and other information gathered in the first two rounds, the Prize Jury deliberates and selects the winners, finalist(s) with distinction, and rising star(s) from among the 10 finalist community colleges.