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2015 Association for the Study of Higher Education Conference

As the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) prepares for its 40th annual conference November 5-8, 2015, in Denver, Colorado, Penn AHEAD is proud to be celebrating several connections with the organization. ASHE is dedicated to advancing the production of high-quality research on higher education, and is the leading professional research organization for higher education professionals.

Penn GSE sponsors several conference events under the direction of Laura W. Perna, Penn AHEAD’s Executive Director and current ASHE president. In her presidential address, Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Ten Ways to Ensure that Our Research Continues to Matter, she challenges ASHE members to take ten actions to ensure the value of higher education research into the future. Dr. James Minor, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education, offers framing comments to introduce her address. The presidential address is scheduled for Thursday, November 5, 5:30 pm – 7 pm, followed by the ASHE welcome reception.

Penn AHEAD is also sponsoring a screening of the documentary film First Generation (Wednesday, 8:30 pm), as well as a post-screening presidential session that includes filmmaker Jaye Fenderson and one of the film’s featured students. Penn GSE’s Shaun Harper will be moderating this session.

Matt Hartley, Kata Orosz, and Roman Ruiz will also be participating on various panels and presentations.

As president of ASHE, Perna has developed a number of initiatives designed to advance the conference theme, Inequality and Higher Education, as well as several sub-themes, including Connecting Research and Policy/Practice. Two initiatives are specifically designed to encourage the production of high-quality research that addresses the knowledge needs of higher education administrators and policymakers: the Emerging Issues Plenary sponsored by Lumina Foundation (Saturday, November 7, 12:15 pm) and five ASHE Collaborations supported by the William T. Grant Foundation.

The collaborations matched higher education researchers from ASHE with members of the following intermediary organizations: Council of Independent Colleges, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), The Pell Institute, and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. These collaborative groups have been meeting regularly since November 2014, and all five groups have engaged in some type of data collection designed to build a better understanding of the role of research in informing policy and practice.