About CASE

Pam Russell
Senior Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
June 15, 2015

CASE Announces Recipients of 2015 Research Awards in Educational Advancement

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Council for Advancement and Support of Education has recognized three promising research works in progress on alumni relations, communications and marketing, and philanthropy for educational advancement.

The Research Awards in Educational Advancement recognize in-progress scholarly research helpful to educational advancement practitioners in devising strategies and tactics for accomplishing their work.

Representatives from the CASE commissions selected winning entries for the Alice L. Beeman Award for Outstanding Research in Communications and Marketing for Educational Advancement, the H.S. Warwick Research Award for Outstanding Research in Alumni Relations for Educational Advancement and the John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy for Educational Advancement. No entries were selected to receive the Outstanding Research in Integrated Educational Advancement.

This year's winners are:

  • Derek J. Berger, director of development at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Berger received the H.S. Warwick Research Award for Outstanding Research in Alumni Relations for Educational Advancement for "The Relationship between Academic Program Delivery Method and Alumni Engagement: A Correlation Study," which he is completing in the adult, higher and community education doctoral program at Ball State. His study will be guided by two questions:
    • What is the relationship between academic program delivery methods—face-to-face and online graduate programs—and alumni institutional engagement behaviors (giving, volunteerism, participation in alumni events, etc.)?
    • What is the relationship between alumni demographic characteristics and alumni institutional engagement behaviors for both face-to-face and online delivery methods?
  • Noah D. Drezner, associate professor of higher education at Teachers College at Columbia University in the City of New York. Drezner received the John Grenzebach Awards for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy for Educational Advancement for "The Social Base of Philanthropic Fundraising in Higher Education: How Frames and Identity Matter." Drezner's research seeks to understand how donors' identities and their likelihood to give to higher education and at what level are related. For instance, what are the propensities and levels of giving among alumni who received need-based financial aid versus those who received merit-based aid? Or how does gender, race or sexual orientation affect a donor's propensity to give or level of giving? Drezner hypothesizes that prospects who see a mirror of themselves in a solicitation will be more positively disposed to give and to give more.
  • James P. Toscano, vice president for public affairs and communications at Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Virginia. Toscano received the Alice L. Beeman Awards for Outstanding Research in Communications and Marketing for Educational Advancement for "Social Media Legitimacy & Colleges and Universities," which he is completing in the law and policy doctoral program at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. His research focuses primarily on the impact of social media engagement on institutions. Toscano posits that social media is not treated with the same organizational care given other more traditional media sources and that social media use rarely contributes to informed organizational decision making.

About CASE

CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global nonprofit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing, student recruitment, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications and government relations. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.

CASE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Singapore and Mexico City. Member institutions include more than 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries. CASE serves nearly 88,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, please visit www.case.org.