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Pam Russell
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For Immediate Release
June 13, 2013

Scholars Win 2013 Research Awards in Educational Advancement

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The Council for Advancement and Support of Education has recognized six outstanding works of research in philanthropy, communications and marketing, and alumni relations for educational advancement.

The Research Awards in Educational Advancement, awarded annually, recognize published books or articles, doctoral dissertations and master's theses. Representatives from the CASE commissions on philanthropy, alumni relations and communications and marketing select the winning entries.

This year's winning research projects are about:

  • Fundraising practices of public and private colleges and universities in California
  • Reconsidering the common endowment practices of many universities
  • How private liberal arts colleges communicate with prospective students
  • How top universities use new media to engage key stakeholders
  • Community college alumni engagement efforts in Pennsylvania
  • Understanding how alumni benefit colleges and universities

This year's winners are:

Kent Karsevar, senior director of development for the colleges of engineering, science and mathematics and social sciences at California State University, Fresno. Karsevar received the John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy for Educational Advancement, outstanding doctoral dissertation, for "Fundraising Practices of the University of California, the California State University, and California Private Universities," completed at California State University, Fresno. The goal of the study was to identify specific themes and patterns that contributed to the understanding of fundraising and highlight insights from university presidents and chancellors.

John R. Thelin, professor of the history of higher education and public policy at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and Richard Trollinger, vice president for college relations at Centre College in Danville, Ky. The two researchers received the John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy for Educational Advancement, outstanding published scholarship, for "Forever is a Long Time: Reconsidering Universities' Perpetual Endowment Policies in the Twenty-First Century," which appeared in History of Intellectual Culture. The authors posit that historical research can provide an informed base for reconsideration of government and institutional policies and practices that shape giving and spending at colleges and universities.

Wesley Fugate is executive assistant to the president and secretary to the board of trustees at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va. Fugate received the Alice L. Beeman Research Award in Communications and Marketing for Educational Advancement, outstanding doctoral dissertation, for "Alike but Different: How Three Private Liberal Arts Colleges Communicate Prestige, Legitimacy, and Differentiation During the Student Recruitment Process," completed at the University of Georgia. His dissertation explores how three liberal arts colleges of varying prestige levels communicate with prospective students.

Sheila McAllister is assistant professor of public relations and director of the graduate program in corporate and public communication at Monmouth University in Long Branch, N.J. McAllister received the Alice L. Beeman Research Award in Communications and Marketing for Educational Advancement, outstanding published scholarship, for "How the World's Top Universities Provide Dialogic Forums for Marginalized Voices." Her study, which appeared in Public Relations Review, examines if universities use new media tools and how the world's top universities use Facebook as an interactive forum that gives voice to key stakeholders.

Melissa Starace, director of alumni affairs at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa.  Starace received the H.S. Warwick Research Awards in Alumni Relations for Educational Advancement, outstanding doctoral dissertation, for "Transforming Nomads into Settlers: A Study of Community College Alumni Engagement Efforts in Pennsylvania," completed at the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation examines how community college presidents, advancement professionals and volunteers are confronting the dilemma of how to develop and define meaningful and philanthropic relationships with their institution's alumni in an era of diminished state and community resources.

Maria Gallo, development manager in the office of the president at St. Angela's College, Sligo (National University of Ireland, Galway). Gallo received the H.S. Warwick Research Awards in Alumni Relations for Educational Advancement, outstanding published scholarship, for "Beyond Philanthropy: Recognising the Value of Alumni to Benefit Higher Education Institutions," which appeared in Tertiary Education and Management. Her paper argues that building lifelong relationships with alumni offers higher education institutions with a strategy to yield other residual benefits for the institution, which may also lead to philanthropy.

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