About CASE

Pam Russell
Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
Dec. 11, 2008

Nation’s Top Higher Education State Government Relations Officers Receive National Recognition

State Relations Professionals at CUNY, Cuyahoga Community College Saluted for Outstanding Contributions in the Field

SAN DIEGO, CALIF.-Two higher education state government relations professionals who increased public support and advanced their institutions through consensus building and creative leadership are the 2008 recipients of the Service Awards in State Government Relations.

Jay Hershenson, senior vice chancellor for university relations at the City University of New York, is the recipient of the Marvin D. "Swede" Johnson Achievement Award. Claire Rosacco, vice president of government relations and community outreach at Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio, is the recipient of the Edwin Crawford Award for Innovation.

The two awards are given annually for leadership in state relations and institutional advocacy. They are the only national awards in higher education state relations, a field that encompasses advocacy and outreach efforts on behalf of colleges and universities to governors, state legislators and other key policymakers.

The awards are administered by the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

The winners received their awards on Thursday, Dec. 11, during the 2008 Higher Education Government Relations Conference sponsored by the four associations at the Omni San Diego in San Diego, Calif.

Jay HershensonHershenson has worked in state relations at CUNY for more than 25 years. During this time, he has built strong relationships with legislators and other state leaders. Key accomplishments include overseeing a communications campaign regarding changes in the provision of remedial courses. The successful campaign led to approval of a significant change and resulted in record enrollment and a growth in minority students. In addition, Hershenson's coalition-building skills helped secure the governor's support of $140 million for Medgar Evers College, CUNY's senior college in central Brooklyn. In a letter of recommendation, Marty Markowitz, a former New York state senator and current Brooklyn borough president, noted: "For the past 25 years, Jay has come up with the programs and initiatives that will move CUNY forward-and he has navigated the political, governmental and intra-university waters to make these initiatives a reality. He is the rock of the City University."

Claire RosaccoRosacco has overseen government relations at Cuyahoga Community College since 2002. During this time, she has built key relationships with leaders at all levels of government. Accomplishments include leading a campaign that promoted the college's many benefits to the community, which led to overwhelming support and passage of two county-wide levies that provide 42 percent of the college's funding. Rosacco also successfully led a state-wide push for an amendment to Ohio law on how two-year institutions invest their funds-a significant change that is expected to secure millions of dollars of new funding for the state's 23 community and technical colleges. In a letter of recommendation, Ohio Senator George Voinovich wrote that Rosacco has "the ability to mobilize others to create public policy that is not only beneficial to her institution but, more broadly, to others in our state as well."

The Marvin D. "Swede" Johnson Award, named for the former director of state government relations at the universities of Arizona and New Mexico, comes with a cash prize and a crystal award. The Edwin Crawford Award, named to honor the 40 years of state government relations work by Edwin Crawford, a former director of public affairs and state relations at CASE, Auburn University, the University of Virginia, Ohio State University, and the University of California System, also comes with a cash prize and a crystal award.

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.

About the American Association of Community Colleges
The American Association of Community Colleges represents more than 1,100 associate degree-granting institutions and some 10 million students. Formed in 1920, AACC is a national voice for community colleges, which marked their 100th year of service to the nation in 2001.


About the American Association of State Colleges and Universities
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities represents more than 400 public colleges, universities and systems of higher education throughout the United States and its territories. AASCU schools enroll more than three million students or 55 percent of the enrollment at all public four-year institutions.

About the National Association of State Universities
The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges is the nation's oldest higher education association and includes more than 200 public universities. NASULGC works to support the contributions that state and land-grant universities make to learning, discovery, and engagement.