For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-888-0811 (office)
Carrie Johnson
Associate Director of Marketing and Media Relations
202.387.3760, ext. 811

Ten 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 14, 2016

Washington, DC—January 14, 2016—The Association of American Colleges and Universities announced today the 2016 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 2016 recipients are:

Claire Berezowitz, Civil Society & Community Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Nusta Carranza Ko, Political Science, Purdue University
Annemarie Galeucia, Cultural Geography & Anthropology, Louisiana State University
Uttam Gaulee, Higher Education Administration, University of Florida
Brad Jacobson, Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English, University of Arizona
Jasmine Linabary, Communication, Purdue University
Breanne Przestrzelski, Bioengineering, Clemson University
Roman Ruiz, Higher Education, University of Pennsylvania
Daniel Siakel, Philosophy, University of California, Irvine
Desiree Weber, Political Science, Northwestern University

These individuals were chosen in a rigorous process from a pool of 275 nominations from 137 institutions noting nominees’ leadership ability or potential for exercising leadership in teaching and learning, and their strong commitment to academic and civic responsibility.

“AAC&U is honored to have the opportunity to identify and celebrate these inspiring young leaders,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider.

“This is another stellar year for the future of faculty leadership," said K. Patricia Cross. "Of more than 275 nominations by 137 institutions across a wide range of academic disciplines, the ten 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 ten scholars selected this year are remarkable in their leadership, teaching excellence, and scholarly publication records.  As AAC&U celebrates ten years of being involved with the award, we salute Pat's life of commitment to excellence in higher education."  

The 2016 Cross Scholars will be introduced to the AAC&U community at its 2016 Annual Meeting, “How Higher Education Can Lead—On Equity, Inclusive Excellence, and Democratic Renewal,” to be held in Washington, DC, from January 20-23, 2016. The 2016 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 more than 1,300 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.