John Stecklein Distinguished Member Award


Dr. John E. Stecklein was a founding member and the first president of AIR (1965-1966). His contributions to the Association and the field were extensive and groundbreaking, including his collaboration with colleagues to establish AIR, craft the AIR Constitution, record the history of IR, and advance the profession. The first AIR Distinguished Member Awards were bestowed in 1966, and Dr. Stecklein was a recipient in 1977. The award was renamed in Dr. Stecklein’s honor in 2002-2003. 

The John Stecklein Distinguished Member Award recognizes a member whose professional career has significantly advanced the field of institutional research (IR) through leadership, service, and scholarship. 

How to Nominate

The recipient: 

  • Has been an active member of AIR and has made substantial contributions to the field of IR over an extended period of time. (Note: The number or extent of a person’s contributions cannot substitute for commitment over an extended period of time.) 
  • Through research, service, and/or practice has made a significant contribution to the field of IR in some of the following areas: 
    • Advanced the practice of IR through innovative ideas, techniques, or theories; 
    • Promoted the application of IR theories and practices in new venues and/or organizations; 
    • Demonstrated the contributions of IR to policy formation; 
    • Supported the mentoring, development, and training of IR practitioners; 
    • Contributed to widely-disseminated research, which could include presentations, facilitation of workshops or similar, and/or publications, etc.; 
    • Served on AIR committees, advisory and editorial groups, the Board of Directors, or as the leader of Association-sponsored events, etc.; and/or 
    • Contributed to the field of IR in other significant ways. 

Important Dates

  • The award committee will complete its work in March, at which time all nominees will be notified of the award selection.
  • The awardee will be announced publicly in May.

Jump To

How to Nominate

A complete nomination packet* must be submitted via email, and include:

  • A letter of nomination from a current AIR member that speaks to ways in which the nominee has significantly advanced the field of IR through research, service, and/or practice over an extended period of time, and clearly addresses each of the criteria specified above. 
  • At least two letters of support from AIR members. 
  • The nominee’s curriculum vitae/resume. 
  • The nominee’s contact information, including telephone number, email address, and mailing address.

Email the nomination materials listed above to with the subject line "Nomination Packet: John Stecklein Award." 

*AIR will work with a primary nominator for each nomination. It is the primary nominator's responsibility to ensure the nomination packet is complete and that those supporting the nomination are apprised.

Submit Nomination

Award History

2023: Victor M.H. Borden
Bill Knight
Not awarded
2020: Dawn Geronimo Terkla
2019: Lydia Snover
2018: Mary Ann Coughlin
2017: Ellen Chaffee
​2016: Joe Saupe
2015: Not awarded
2014: Jeff Seybert
2013: Mike Middaugh
​2012: Patrick T. Terenzini
2011: J. Fredericks Volkwein
2010: John Smart
2010: Terry Russell
2007: John A. Muffo
2006: Deborah J. Teeter
2005: Richard D. Howard
2004: Adrian H. Harris
2003: Samuel S. Peng
2002: Gerald W. McLaughlin
2001: Larry G. Jones
2001: Julia M. Duckwall
1998: C. Robert Pace
1997: James W. Firnberg
1996: James R. Montgomery
1992: F. Craig Johnson
1991: Charles F. Elton
1990: Charles H. Belanger
1989: Joan S. Stark
1988: Paul Jedamus
1988: Marvin W. Peterson
1987: Kenneth P. Mortimer
1987: Bernard S. Sheehan
1985: Lyman A. Glenny 
1984: Lois E. Torrence
1983: Cameron L. Fincher
1981: Mary E. Corcoran
1978: Paul L. Dressel
1977: John E. Stecklein
1974: Elmer West
1970: Charles E. Howell
1966: A.J. Brumbaugh
1966: John Dale Russell