AIR Awards Process

Each year, AIR recognizes and celebrates individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the success of the association and the profession through their leadership, service, and scholarship. There are three awards available. 

Due to the cancellation of the 2020 AIR Forum, the award presentation process has been slightly modified. 

  • Recipients will receive a congratulatory letter from the AIR Executive Director and President explaining this year’s unique circumstances. At that time, the Sidney Suslow Scholar award winner will be invited to present a session at the 2021 AIR Forum.
  • Each awardee's institution president will receive a letter from the AIR Executive Director and President.
  • Recipients' acceptance letters and letters of support will be published on the AIR website.
  • An announcement will be included in the April or May edition of eAIR. 
  • AIR will recognize the awardees during the virtual annual business meeting and virtual Forum. A formal presentation of awards will occur at the 2021 AIR Forum to include plaques. 

The three awards are outlined below.

Outstanding Service Award

Recognizes a member for professional leadership and exemplary service to AIR, and may be bestowed posthumously.

John Stecklein Distinguished Member Award

Recognizes a member whose professional career has significantly advanced the field of institutional research through extraordinary scholarship, leadership, and service.

Sidney Suslow Scholar Award

Recognizes an individual who, through scholarly work, has made significant contributions to the field of institutional research and advanced understanding of the profession in a meaningful way.

Learn More and Nominate

2020 Recipients

Debbie Dailey


Outstanding Service Award

Dawn Geronimo Terkla


John Stecklein Distinguished Member Award

Victor Borden


Sidney Suslow Scholar Award


Publication Awards

Charles F. Elton Best Paper Award celebrates the scholarly papers presented at the AIR annual conference (AIR Forum) that are subsequently accepted for publishing in a peer-reviewed journal. These papers best exemplify the standards of excellence established by the award's namesake and make significant contributions to the field of IR. The purpose of the award is to promote scholarship and to acknowledge that AIR members make a wide variety of scholarly contributions to the field, ranging from theory to practice.

Learn More

Have an idea for a new award?

Review the procedures PDF. Proposals must be received by July 1 of a given year to be considered for implementation at the following AIR Forum.

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