About CASE

Pam Russell
Senior Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
July 19, 2016

CASE Announces Recipients of 2016 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, philanthropy and integrated 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 H.S. Warwick Research Award for Outstanding Research in Alumni Relations for Educational Advancement, the John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy for Educational Advancement, and the Award for Outstanding Research in Integrated Educational Advancement. No entries were selected to receive the Alice L. Beeman Award for Outstanding Research in Communications and Marketing for Educational Advancement.

This year's winners are:

  • David J. Weerts, associate professor of higher education and faculty director of the Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education (jCENTER) at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and Alberto F. Cabrera, professor of higher education at the University of Maryland – College Park. Weerts and Cabrera received the H.S. Warwick Research Award for Outstanding Research in Alumni Relations for Educational Advancement for "Pathways to Alumni Giving, Volunteerism and Advocacy." The purpose of this research is to first categorize groups of supportive alumni according to pro-social college behaviors (such as political action, volunteerism and campus activities, etc.) and then determine how placement into one of these groups translates into charitable support for the institution. The authors' goal is to map behavioral pathways from engagement as college students to philanthropic donors as alumni. This study uses innovative methodologies to categorize groups of supportive and non-supportive alumni.
  • Kevin R. McClure, assistant professor of higher education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  McClure received the John Grenzebach Awards for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy for Educational Advancement for "Patterns in Giving by Philanthropic Foundations to Higher Education Institutions: A State-level Social Network Analysis." This project stems from the paucity of informed and theoretical research of foundation giving in higher education. The purpose of this research is to inform higher education advancement professionals in ways that directly benefit their work. There are three research questions upon which this project is framed: 1) Which foundations carry the greatest influence and which institutions are best positioned to compete for foundation grants? 2) To what extent do foundations and institutions cluster together by common mission? And 3) How do institution type (e.g., public vs. private; predominately white institution vs. historically black college or university) and geographic location affect foundation grants? The initial phase of McClure's research will use a social network analysis of the top 25 foundations by total giving and two- and four-year public and private institutions in the state of North Carolina. 
  • Morgan R. Clevenger, assistant professor in the Sidhu School of Business at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Clevenger received the first CASE award for Outstanding Research in Integrated Educational Advancement for "Corporate Citizenship in American Higher Education," which is an expansion of the research he did for his doctoral dissertation at the University of Missouri – Columbia where he earned a doctorate of education in 2014. The purpose of this research is to gain a better understanding of the inter-organizational relationships between U.S. corporations and American higher education, including concern of motivations, expected return on investment, and ethics. Clevenger posits that while there are best practice examples of these relationships, there is a gap in more holistically examining the relationship between corporate citizens and higher education. Clevenger plans to examine these relationships among a diverse group of a dozen higher education institutions.

CASE is grateful to Grenzebach Glier and Associates for its generous support for the research awards program.

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.