About CASE

Pam Russell
Senior Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
Nov. 22, 2016

State Relations Leaders in Missouri and California Honored for Work

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Council for Advancement and Support of Education has announced the recipients of its 2016 Service Awards in State Government Relations.

Marty Oetting, head lobbyist for the University of Missouri System, is the recipient of the Marvin D. “Swede” Johnson Achievement Award. Meredith V. Turner, associate director, legislative advocacy and institutional relations at the University of California Office of the President, will receive the 2016 Edwin Crawford Award for Innovation.

The honorees will be recognized at an awards luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 1, at the 2016 Higher Education Government Relations Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Oetting was selected to receive the Marvin D. “Swede” Johnson award for his leadership in state government relations and specifically for his work for the University of Missouri System. As head lobbyist for the UM System, Oetting is responsible for developing the state legislative priorities for the four-campus system and coordinating lobbying efforts in the state capitol, among other responsibilities. For nearly 30 years, he has served the higher education community in Missouri. Former State Representative Mike Thomson commended Oetting for his knowledge of higher education policy that influenced all of education. “Many institutional representatives ... only seemed to be able to discuss what was best for their particular interest. Marty was good at seeing the whole picture and had a good feel for what would work best.” Thomson also noted that Oetting is “one of those few, a true professional who has, and will continue to be, a major positive influence in higher education.”

Turner is being honored for her student advocacy work and leadership in elevating higher education’s profile among California legislators and staff. California Assembly member Das Williams said Turner “helped put California State University students on the map” and that she was a “pivotal driver” of a successful campaign that raised $120 million of additional state funding for CSU. And CSU’s Chancellor Timothy White said Turner was an “exceptional advocate” and student organizer who demonstrated “innovative leadership and possesses the qualities requisite to serve as an exemplar to other government relations professionals working in higher education.”

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 Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

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