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Distinguished Service Award


Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award may be presented to an individual who has contributed exceptional service to graduate enrollment management and the Association. The Distinguished Service Award is NAGAP's highest and most prestigious award for dedication and service to the Association, to graduate enrollment management, and to the field of graduate education. Information about past winners when they received the award is below. 

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NAGAP award nominations will open in late 2022. Recognize your colleagues by nominating them.

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Keith Ramsdell

The 2022 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Keith Ramsdell, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Ashland University. 

Keith has been involved in higher education for nearly 30 years and has worked in both undergraduate and graduate enrollment management positions which has broadened his point of view and increased his ability to serve NAGAP.   He has served in numerous roles in NAGAP including PDI chair, External Relations and Partnerships chair, Leadership Cultivation and Elections Committee chair, Vice President, and President. By leading NAGAP and serving the membership in these various roles, he has helped to provide a solid operational foundation for the organization, led efforts to expand opportunities for professional development programs, worked with the Executive Board to think and plan strategically for the future of the association, and been a true supporter in advancing NAGAP as the leader in Graduate Enrollment Management.



Julie Deland

The 2021 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Julia Deland, Director of Admissions at Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Julie joined the Harvard Graduate School of Education community over 20 years ago and has spent the ‎past 14 ‎years as part of the HGSE Admissions team. As Director, she manages a team of 8 admissions ‎professionals ‎and together they support doctoral and master’s programs in education as well as a ‎certificate of advanced study ‎in counseling. The HGSE Admissions Office is responsible for marketing ‎and recruitment; application ‎processing, evaluation, and notification; and yield initiatives. In addition, ‎Julie works closely with HGSE’s ‎Associate Dean for Enrollment and Student Services on enrollment ‎management strategy. Julie has been an ‎active member of NAGAP: The Association for Graduate ‎Enrollment Management for over 13 years. She served ‎on four NAGAP conference committees, ‎including serving as Chair for two annual conferences. She then served ‎two terms as NAGAP’s Vice ‎President, one term as the President of NAGAP, and one term on the NAGAP ‎Board of Governors as ‎the Association’s Immediate Past President. ‎


kristen sterba

Kristen Sterba

The 2020 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Kristen Sterba, Associate Provost for Students and Administration; Director, Department of Institutional Research, Policy, and Accreditation at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Kristen Sterba has been working in GEM for over 16 years with experience in admissions, recruitment, policy, institutional research, accreditation, grants, and student services. Kristen currently serves as Associate Provost for Students and Administration at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She oversees the Departments of Enrollment Services, Institutional Research, Policy and Accreditation, Campus Life, and Title IX/ADA accommodations.  Kristen has been involved in NAGAP in numerous capacities including service on the NAGAP Governing Board as Research and Global Issues chair, Secretary, and Special Projects chair. She currently serves on the NAGAP Experts Bureau and Leadership Cultivation and Elections Committee. Kristen has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.



Francesca Reed

The 2019 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Francesca Reed, Associate Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment Management, Marymount University.
Francesca “Fran” Reed has worked in higher education for over 20 years. She holds a B.S. from the University of Maryland and an M.A. in Forensic Psychology from Marymount University. Her career has included positions as Assistant Director of Summer Sessions and Adult Ed, Coordinator of Graduate Enrollment, and Director of Graduate Enrollment Services. In her current position as Associate Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment Management at Marymount University, she oversees the Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions operations and Financial Aid.
In addition to being involved in a number of professional organizations, Fran has been an active member of NAGAP since 2002. She has served on the Executive Board of NAGAP from 2010-2015. During her tenure on the Board, she was the 2011 Annual Conference Chair, Special Projects Chair for NAGAP’s 25th Anniversary and the Marketing and Social Media Chair. During her tenure as the Marketing and Social Media Chair, she was involved in facilitating NAGAP’s rebranding from the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals to The Associate for Graduate Enrollment Management. She currently sits on the NAGAP Experts Bureau.


Jen Kulbeck

Jennifer Kulbeck

The 2018 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Jennifer Kulbeck, Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts at Saint Mary's College of California.

Jennifer Kulbeck has worked in the field of higher education and graduate enrollment management for over 20 years. She currently serves as the Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts at Saint Mary’s College of California in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to her experience at Saint Mary’s, she held several positions at Alliant International University. A NAGAP member since 2005, Jen has served on the governing board of NAGAP as chair of the publications committee and editor of Perspectives (2012-2018), and as a member of the education committee (2014-18), leadership cultivation and elections committee (2014-18), experts bureau (2016-18), awards committee (2017-18), bylaws revision committee (2013-14), and marketing committee (2010-12). She is also a poet and letterpress printer, with an MFA from San Francisco State University.



James N. Crane

The 2017 Distinguished Service Award was presented to James N. Crane, Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies at Brigham Young University.

James N. Crane has worked in the field of undergraduate and graduate enrollment management at Brigham Young University (BYU) for 30 years. He joined the office of Graduate Studies as the Director of Recruitment and Admission in 2000 and has served as the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies since 2004. James is an active member of NAGAP, CGS, WAGS, NAFSA, EAIE, AACRAO, PACRAO, and UACRAO and has enjoyed the opportunity to represent BYU and NAGAP in these associations. James has been an engaged member of NAGAP since 2001. He received NAGAP’s Future Leader Award in 2007 while serving on the Membership and Marketing Committee (2006-08). He was later asked to serve on the Board of Directors as the Membership and Marketing Chair (2008-10). James joined NAGAP’s Executive Board as Vice President in 2010 and served for two terms as President from 2012-16.




Cammie Baker Clancy

The 2016 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Cammie Baker Clancy, Director of Graduate Outreach & Admissions at SUNY Empire State College.

For over 30 years, Baker Clancy worked with many different populations of students including undergraduate, graduate, and non-traditional students. She has been involved in numerous professional organizations having held positions as Community College Representative, University College Representative, Vice President and President of the State University of New York College Admissions Professionals (SUNYCAP). She was the SUNY representative to the Legislative Forum Committee in New York State and co-chaired the Professional Scholarship Committee that provided scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students, studying public policy and education, to attend the annual Forum at the NYS Capitol. A NAGAP member since 1997, Baker Clancy has served on the Executive Board of NAGAP as chair of the Professional Development Committee (2008-12), chair of the Chapter Committee (2012-14), and as a member of the Education Committee (2014-16).


Dr. Myron Thompson

Myron A. Thompson

The 2015 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Myron A. Thompson, Ph.D. Thompson has served in his present positions of Associate Provost and Executive Director of the Graduate School at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) since 1995.

Dr. Thompson received his PhD from UB in 1973 and has authored articles appearing in various refereed publications. He has been an invited speaker at many national conferences and meetings of professional organizations including NAGAP Annual Conferences and Winter Professional Development Institutes for advanced professionals. He has served on the NAGAP Education Committee and was a member of the NAGAP team that developed the most recent edition of the “Essential Guide to Graduate Admissions” published by the national Council of Graduate Schools (CGS). In addition to NAGAP, he is currently an active member of the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS); the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS); the National Professional Science Masters Association (NPSMA); the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities’ Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education (CRPGE); the European Association for International Education (EAIE); and the Asia-Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE).


Jeffery Johnson

Jeffrey Johnson

The 2014 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Jeffery Johnson, Ph.D.  Johnson has more than 20 years of leadership in higher education and currently holds a Clinical Assistant Professorship in the Department of Global Health Systems and Development at Tulane University. While at Tulane, he served as Director of Admissions, Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Services, Director of Peace Corps Programs and founding Director of Undergraduate Public Health Studies at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. 

Dr. Johnson served as President of NAGAP from 2008-2010, and Chair of the International Relations Committee from 2010-2012. In addition, he served as a frequent presenter at the annual meeting of the European Association for International Education (EAIE), as well as throughout the United States and internationally as a contributing author and presenter on issues related to higher education, graduate admissions, marketing, recruitment, internationalization, service learning and student services.



Thomas P. Rock

The 2013 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Thomas P. Rock, Ed.D.  Rock is the Executive Director of Enrollment Services and Director of Admission at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Higher and Postsecondary Education Program.  He has more than 20 years of experience in higher education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Dr. Rock served as a NAGAP board member in a number of positions, including the President from 2006-2008.   He has also served as an Advisory Board member of the World Education Services (WES) and has presented at regional, national and international venues including presentations at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Conference, the Noel-Levitz National Conference on Student Recruitment, Marketing and Retention, the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools, the NAGAP Annual Conference, and the Institute for International Education. In September 2010, Dr. Rock was selected as a delegate by the U.S. Department of State and met with government and University officials in Beijing and Shanghai.


Joanne Canyon Heller

Joanne Canyon-Heller

Joanne Canyon-Heller is the outgoing President of NAGAP and the Assistant Vice President for Graduate and Global Recruitment at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois.

Canyon-Heller has been in higher education for more than 30 years, starting her career at National Louis University as part of its faculty. She has also served as Assistant Dean to the College of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Director of Graduate Admission at Roosevelt.

Canyon-Heller has held three other positions on NAGAP’s governing board since becoming an active member in 1996. She is interviewed frequently as an expert on graduate-level programs in publications such as the Chicago Sun-Times and Today's Chicago Woman.



Dave Fletcher

Dave Fletcher has been a member of NAGAP since 2000.  He has served on two annual conference committees and served three terms as the NAGAP treasurer, from 2004-2010.  During Dave’s first term as treasurer he was privileged to serve the association as the Chair of the RFP committee for professional association management.  Prior to his career in graduate enrollment management, Dave taught high school Latin and Spanish for 13 years.  While a high school teacher, Dave was honored by the Classical Association of the Middle West and South with a full scholarship to study Greek history, civilization, topography, classical sites and monuments at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens during the summer of 1992.  The following summer he was awarded a scholarship by the Fulbright Foundation to undertake similar study, this time at the American Academy in Rome.  In the summer of 1995 he was awarded a fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities to study classical literature at the University of Washington, Seattle. 

Dave has presented at the Classical Association of Florida and NAGAP annual conferences.


Daniel Bennett

Daniel J. Bennett

Dan Bennett has devoted his professional career to the strengthening of graduate education, especially with regard to the recruitment and admission of graduate students and to providing faculty and students alike with related outstanding inspiration, guidance and service. His efforts have had a profound and extremely positive impact on all those with whom he has come into direct contact over the years or who have had the opportunity to benefit, at a distance, from his published written works.

Dan has established an extraordinary record of leadership in the field of graduate enrollment management, and is an internationally recognized and respected leader in the field. In addition to his publications in NAGAP and other professional journals and books regarding matters of critical importance to graduate enrollment management, Dan has shared his experience, vision, critical analysis and astute advice with many individuals through his numerous conference presentations and workshops. It is noteworthy that Dan’s active engagement with the profession has consistently extended far beyond the bounds of NAGAP.

Dan Bennett has been an active and influential member of NAGAP for more than 15 years. During that time, he has performed with distinction a number of important roles in the organization, including leadership positions on various committees (e.g., the Research and National Issues Committee and founding chair of the NAGAP Education Committee) as well as current service on the NAGAP Governing Board. Dan has consistently contributed creative and innovative ideas, energy, enthusiasm and commitment that have greatly strengthened NAGAP and expanded the benefits it provides to members across the United States and elsewhere in the world. Dan’s efforts have had a significant impact on NAGAP as an organization and have greatly advanced its overall impact, vitality and prestige.


Carolyn Payne-1

Carolyn Payne

Carolyn Payne directs day-to-day operations of Iowa State’s Graduate College, manages its budget and has official signature authority for all Graduate College actions. She also works closely with the Office of Admissions and the 120 programs that offer graduate study at Iowa State.

Carolyn joined Iowa State in 1979 in the University Library and moved to the Vice President for Research Office in 1982, and has served in the Graduate College since 1991. Over the past 18 years, she has led the university through several major enrollment management changes, including the move to an online application process; and more recently, the development of an online application evaluation system.

Carolyn also has served in various NAGAP leadership positions – including past-president and governing board member, president, membership chair, research chair and national issues chair. She earned a doctorate in historical, philosophical and comparative studies in education from Iowa State in 1992; an MLS (1972) from the University of Kentucky, Lexington; a master of arts in history (1968) from the University of Illinois, Urbana; and a bachelor of arts in history (1967) from the University of Louisville, Kentucky.


Glenn Berman-2

Glenn S. Berman

Glenn Berman has been involved with NAGAP since the first conference in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  A former Governing Board member, he has served the association in a number of roles including President, Treasurer, Membership Chair, Conference Chair, member of the Professional Development Committee and President of the NJ-NAGAP Chapter.  He has also served as a faculty member for the summer Professional Development Institute since its inception and has presented at numerous other professional conferences including The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel, Law School Admissions Council, National Association for Foreign Student Affairs and NJ-NY Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Glenn is currently the Assistant Vice-President for Enrollment Services and Dean of Admissions at Dowling College in New York.  He has previously held various admissions and enrollment-related leadership positions at New York Institute of Technology and in the Graduate School of Business at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.


Kristin Williams

Kristin Williams

Kristin Williams has served on the Governing Board of NAGAP in a variety of roles, including President, Past-President, Parliamentarian, and as chair of several committees (Annual Conference, National Issues, and Membership). Dr. Williams has served as a faculty member of the NAGAP professional development institute series since 1997 and has been a presenter at numerous annual conferences and workshops, including NAGAP, Council of Graduate Schools, Law Schools Admissions Council, and the Department of State's US-based training programs for overseas educational advisors.

Currently, Kristin is the Assistant Vice President for Graduate and Special Enrollment Management at The George Washington University. During her 25 years in higher education, Kristin has worked in recruitment and admissions, curriculum development, grants management, alumni relations, and student services.



Donald Resnick

Donald Resnick has served as President, Past-President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Parliamentarian of NAGAP.  He has chaired the Graduate Fair Services, Annual Conference, and Professional Development committees, and was an active member of the Annual Conference and Professional Development Committees. One of Donald’s most significant contributions has been the 12 years of vision and leadership that he has provided for the professional development workshops and institutes, building skills, increasing competency, and raising the level of professionalism of several thousand graduate enrollment management personnel.

Donald has provided leadership in graduate and undergraduate admissions and education at Baruch College, Drexel University, Hofstra University, NYU Law School, and currently as Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at Dowling College.  He has written articles, presented at NAGAP and other higher education conferences, and shared his expertise as a consultant in graduate enrollment.

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