For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-884-0812 (office)
Ross Berry
Marketing and Media Relations Assistant
202.387.3760, ext. 811

Eight Graduate Students Honored with K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award

Students Recognized for Commitment to Academic and Civic Responsibility and for their Promise as Future Leaders of Higher Education

Jan 12, 2017

Washington, DC­­—The Association of American Colleges and Universities announced today the 2017 recipients of the annual K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award. This award recognizes graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education; who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and in others; and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. The award is named in honor of K. Patricia Cross, professor of higher education, emerita, at the University of California, Berkeley.

The 2017 recipients are:

These individuals were chosen in a rigorous process from a pool of more than 250 nominations from 127 institutions noting nominees’ leadership ability or potential for exercising leadership in teaching and learning, and their strong commitment to academic and civic responsibility.

“At a time when liberal education is under increasing scrutiny and civil discourse is being challenged, leadership combining academic and civic responsibility is more important than ever. We couldn’t be more proud of the Cross scholars for all that they have accomplished and enthusiastically await the many ways in which they will shape the agenda for higher education through excellence in teaching, service, and leadership,” said AAC&U president Lynn Pasquerella.

“This is another stellar year for the future of faculty leadership," said K. Patricia Cross. "Of more than 250 nominations by 127 institutions across a wide range of academic disciplines, the eight award recipients include an impressive number of Outstanding Teaching Awards, a wide variety of experiences serving local and worldwide communities, and a demonstrated concern for the development of others. It is heartwarming to see these impressive and dedicated teachers join the faculties of our colleges and universities, and it is especially appropriate that AAC&U should take the lead in recognizing future faculty leaders."

L. Lee Knefelkamp, AAC&U senior scholar, and a member of the award selection committee, said of Pat Cross: “Her thinking about how we can improve higher education has influenced several generations of scholars; and her analysis and advocacy of the needs of adult learners, first-generation college students, and underserved students has changed the quality of higher education for the better. We are very pleased that she has now turned her attention to the next generation of academic leaders. The eight scholars selected this year are remarkable in their leadership, teaching excellence, and scholarly publication records.  As AAC&U celebrates eleven years of being involved with the award, we salute Pat's life of commitment to excellence in higher education."

The 2017 Cross Scholars will be introduced to the AAC&U community at its 2017 Annual Meeting, “Building Public Trust in the Promise of Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence,” to be held in San Francisco, CA, from January 25-28, 2017. The 2017 Cross Scholars will be honored at the Opening Plenary. They will also be presenters in the session, “Faculty of the Future: Voices from the Next Generation.” The Cross awardees will participate in other sessions and meetings throughout the conference.

For more information about AAC&U, its Annual Meeting, or the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, visit

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises nearly 1,400 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.