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Pam Russell
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For Immediate Release
Nov. 29, 2012

State Relations Leaders at KSU, Cal State, Fullerton Honored for Advocacy Successes

MIAMI—Kansas State University's Susan Peterson and California State University, Fullerton's Frances Teves are this year's recipients of the prestigious Service Awards in State Government Relations. The two higher education state government relations professionals were honored today during an awards luncheon at the 2012 Higher Education Government Relations Conference in Miami.

Susan PetersonPeterson, director of government relations at Kansas State University, is the recipient of the Marvin D. "Swede" Johnson Achievement Award. Teves, director of state relations and advocacy for California State University, Fullerton, 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 Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Peterson has led Kansas State University's advocacy efforts since 1989. During her 22-year tenure, Peterson has secured significant state funding increases and numerous other benefits for the institution through her work with legislators and six governors. These efforts include:

  • Obtained more than $250 million for construction and other programs at Kansas State
  • Led effort to secure more than $825 in one-time funding for collaborative efforts that included all state universities in Kansas
  • Collaborated with the University of Kansas to pass legislation that gave voters the opportunity to vote on a ½ cent sales tax to support higher education, and following its passage, participated in the campaign strategy to obtain voter passage of the tax.
  • Worked with legislators and others to pass a multi-year pay plan to bring state employee wages up to the market pay of particular job classifications
  • Initiated and coordinated a regents-wide legislative communications effort to promote and advance higher education in Kansas

Frances TevesTeves has served in her current position at Cal State, Fullerton, since 2004. In this position, she has helped advance the institution's legislative agenda through her work with state legislators and partnerships with local community colleges, nonprofits, businesses and others. Key initiatives include:

  • Served as co-creator on a photo exhibit project that highlighted 50 successful Latino alumni to showcase their diversity and inspire young people to pursue a college education (winner of a 2009 CASE Circle of Excellence award)
  • Worked closely with student leaders to develop a campaign that sent more than 2,000 postcards to state legislators highlighting the impact of budget cuts on students and encouraging them to "reinvest" in higher education
  • Launched legislative staff roundtables to cultivate and enhance relationships with legislative staffers
  • Built a robust toolkit that included advocacy cards, similar to baseball cards, that included information on legislators and underscored the need for advocates of the institution to contact policy makers—more than 1,500 cards have been delivered to students, alumni, faculty and other advocates

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 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 crystal award.

About CASE

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