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Susan R. Komives Collaborative Leadership Award

Started in 2022, The Susan R. Komives Collaborative Leadership Award is given every two years to a leadership educator who demonstrates excellence through collaborative leadership. Recipients will show evidence of collective work across campus, state, regional, or international contexts that advances leadership education. This award is coordinated by the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs and aims to recognize those who serve as connectors, conveners, and collaborators in the field. 


Leadership education professionals at any career level and in any role, are eligible for this award. Nominees may be considered for up to two award cycles. Nominators may update the submission materials to be considered again.

Selection Process

To be considered for the award, individuals need to be nominated by someone or self-nominated with a nomination letter outlining the candidate’s qualifications and work that is in line with the award’s purpose. Nominators or nominees will also submit two supporting letters and the resume/CV of the nominee. Applications will be reviewed by the LEI Planning Committee including representatives from NCLP,  ACPA, and NASPA, following a rubric outlining award criteria. 

Awardee Criteria

Awardees will demonstrate the following: 

  • Active networking and community building across and beyond the field of leadership education
  • Convening of groups to advance leadership education
  • Investing in the development of other leadership educators
  • Execution of collaborative projects related to leadership education on their campuses and/or across institutions/organizations

Award Package

The bi-annual awardee will receive: a scholarship covering the Leadership Educators Institute (LEI) registration fee for the award year; up to $500 to be applied towards the awardee’s lodging at LEI hotel; and recognition at the next LEI.

Award Nominations and Timeline

  • Applications Open: Early June
  • Applications Close: Mid July
  • Application Review & Selection Period: August
  • Awardee Notified: Late August / Early September
  • Award Presented: Mid-December at the Leadership Educators Institute

Award Winners

2022 - Dr. Craig E. Slack

About Dr. Komives

This award honors Dr. Susan R. Komives’ life-long practice and initiative as a leadership educator. Dr. Komives’ work, characterized by rich mentorship and collaboration, led to the founding and creation of many seminal parts of the leadership education field including the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs, the CAS standards on leadership education and development, the annual National Leadership Symposium, the relational leadership model, the ensemble approach and advancement of the Social Change Model of Leadership development, research teams who created the Multi-institutional Study of Leadership and the Leadership Identity Development model, and the New Directions for Student Leadership sourcebook series. Additionally, she has co-authored or co-edited such publications as NCLP’S Concepts & Connections, NCLP’s Insights monographs, Exploring Leadership, Leadership for a Better World, The Handbook for Student Leadership Development, Learning Reconsidered, Management and Leadership Issues for the 21st Century, and How Academic Disciplines Approach Leadership Development.

Dr. Komives is Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland in the student affairs graduate program. Her leadership extends nationally as past chair of the ACPA Senior Scholars, a NASPA Faculty Fellow, a senior scholar with the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Leadership Association. She served as senior student affairs officer at both Stephens College and the University of Tampa as well as president of both the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) and ACPA: College Student Educators International. Moreover, she has delivered over 500 keynote speeches and consulted in leadership or student affairs in Canada, China, Japan, South Korean, Taiwan, and Qatar.  

Among her awards, she is the 2011 recipient of the University of Maryland Board of Regents Award for Faculty Teaching and is a recipient of both the ACPA and NASPA outstanding research and scholarship awards. She is the 2012 recipient of the ACPA Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2013 Leadership and Service Award from the Association of Leadership Educators, and NASPA’s 2019 John S. Blackburn Distinguished Pillar of the Profession Award. She and her husband Ralph are proud parents of two children and grandparents of three grandchildren.

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