Graduate Student and Alumni Awards
Program in Higher Education Leadership and Policy (PHELP) Awards
The PHELP at The University of Texas at Austin invites applications for three awards that recognize student and alumni excellence. We invite applications for two prestigious graduate student awards and one alumni award meant to honor academic and service excellence within our scholarly and professional community.
The Dr. Sharon H. Justice Student Leadership Award
Awarded annually to an outstanding master’s student in the College & University Student Personnel Administration concentration. Dr. Justice has served the University for many years in the capacity of Dean of Students as well as an adjunct faculty member within our master’s concentration. Her contributions to our University are innumerable, as she has positively touched the lives of countless undergraduate and graduate students as well as student affairs professionals across the country.
Named to honor her legacy, this award will recognize an individual who embodies the leadership and service to the program and the University that Dr. Justice has demonstrated throughout the years.
- Applicants must have completed at least 18 credit hours (approximately one year) in the master’s program (College & University Student Personnel Administration).
- Applicants must demonstrate excellence in internships and/or graduate research assistantships.
- Applicants must exhibit academic excellence in and outside of the classroom.
- Applicants might also exhibit community involvement, including volunteer work and projects benefiting our community.
2023 Farhat Bhuiyan and Gaby Loredo
2022 Jocie Sobieraj
2020 Haile Duplainter
2020 Danielle Geraci Thoma
2019 Howard Thrasher
2018 Cameron Tepper
2017 Saralyn McKinnon-Crowley
2016 Anna Morris
2015 Hannah I. Hendricks
The Dr. Bill Lasher Doctoral Student Excellence Award
Awarded annually to an outstanding doctoral student in the Program in Higher Education Leadership and Policy. Dr. Lasher joined the faculty of our program in the early 1990s while still serving the University in a variety of administrative leadership roles. His exemplary legacy as a practitioner and nationally-recognized leader in institutional research helped to launch the program’s stature. He also served admirably as the program head for over a decade, ushering a period of great expansion and building up the program to what it is today.
To honor Dr. Lasher’s legacy, this award will recognize a doctoral student who has demonstrated research, academic and teaching excellence as well as leadership and service.
- Applicants must have completed all coursework and have passed comprehensive and qualifying exams.
- Applicants must demonstrate excellence in research, publications, and service.
- Applicants might also exhibit community involvement, including volunteer work and projects benefiting the community.
2023 Dr. Sarah Simi Cohen
2022 Dr. Evelyn Ambriz
2020 Dr. Jorge Burmicky
2019 Dr. Justin Samuel
2018 Dr. Lisa Jasinki
2017 Dr. Ashley Stone
2016 Dr. Claudia Garcia-Louis
2015 Dr. Sarah L. Rodriguez
The Dr. V. Ray Cardozier Alumni Excellence Award
Awarded periodically to a graduate from the Program in Higher Education Leadership and Policy. In 1983, Dr. Cardozier joined the department as the first full-time faculty member specializing in higher education administration.
To recognize and honor his important legacy as the de facto founder of our program, we have established this award to recognize a graduate that has recently demonstrated excellence in scholarly/professional work. Nominees for this award will be accepted on an ad hoc or periodic basis (no more than once per year).
All applicants or nominations for the alumni award must be graduates of the Program in Higher Education Leadership and Policy (to include previous names of the program).
2022 Dr. Zachary Taylor
2020 Dr. Miguel Wasielewski
2020 Dr. Sarah Rodriguez
2018 Dr. Maricela Oliva
2016 Dr. Cassandre Alvarado
2015 Dr. Robert Garza
Applications for all three awards are due by March 3rd, 2023.
Award recipients will be recognized on a plaque that will be permanently displayed in the Sanchez Building, 3rd floor. Awardees will also be recognized at relevant program meetings or convocations as well as on our program website. There is no remuneration associated with these awards at this time.
All applicants for the two student awards must be currently enrolled and in good standing in the Program in Higher Education Leadership and Policy (master’s or doctoral).
Applicants must demonstrate a high level of engagement in both the Program in Higher Education Leadership and Policy and the University as a whole.
Application Submission Checklist
- Completed application form (for student awards only)
- Personal statement (for student awards only)
- CV or resume
- Letter of recommendation/nomination
The letter of recommendation should be from someone in the community who is familiar with your work and who is not a faculty member of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. The letter must express to the committee the scope of the nominee’s merits, leadership and/or service to the community since starting the graduate program at UT-Austin.
All nomination materials must be submitted via e-mail to Dr. Michael Goodman by March 3rd, 2023.
Include “Master’s Award Application,” “Doctoral Award Application,” or “Alumni Award Nomination” in the subject line. Submissions must be in PDF form or MS Word.
Texas Principal Leadership Academy Awards
The Texas Principal Leadership Academy (TPLA) recognizes those who contribute research and leadership to school positions. These awards honor both students in the TPLA and superintendency programs, and faculty who have made significant contributions to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy and school leadership.
Martha N. Ovando Award
Beginning in 2013, the Martha N. Ovando award will be presented annually to a cohort member of the Texas Principal Leadership Academy in recognition of outstanding student leadership.
The award’s namesake, Dr. Martha N. Ovando, is a professor emeritus with the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Ovando has devoted her career at UT to the service of students in the department’s Public School Executive Leadership program, particularly those in the principalship and superintendency programs. Her commitment over the years to the preparation and mentorship of effective school leaders has established a praise-worthy impact on the landscape of school leadership in the state of Texas. For this reason, we are proud to present an award that bears Dr. Ovando’s name.
TPLA Servant Leader Award
Servant Leader Award is presented annually to a servant leader in recognition of exemplary service and committed leadership.
The first recipient of the award was Dr. Ann O’Doherty, former clinical assistant professor with the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. O’Doherty embodied the tenets of servant leadership throughout her time with the department. A celebrated public school leader in Texas, Dr. O’Doherty played integral roles in research and instruction while with the academy. She made it clear to her students, through her teaching and mentorship, that collaboration, empathy and service compose the core of effective leadership.