The Spirit of Democracy Award  

Established in 2022, this award is given in recognition of exemplary leadership from staff (non-faculty, non-senior administrator) in advancing the civic learning and engagement of undergraduate students.

Learn more.
2024 Award winner

Sara Heim strengthens the community by encouraging students to develop philanthropy, non-profit management, and national service skills; she has built the largest AmeriCorps program in Maryland through thoughtful community and university partnerships.

2024 Winner Sara Heim

Associate Professor; Director, Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement
Salisbury University (MD)

Sandy Jacobs’ work advances students’ intellectual and professional growth through a range of academic programming and community-centered, needs-based projects—including supporting probationary students and creating strong community partnerships.

2023 Winner Sandy Jacobs

Director of Community & Civic Engagement
University of North Carolina at Pembroke

As a founding member of UMBC’s Center for Democracy and Civic Life, Romy Hübler’s energetic and innovative work is integral, relational, organic, and generative—perhaps not surprising, as she is a national leader in developing and disseminating the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Theory of Change. Through her sustained mentorship and skills as an educator, Romy empowers, includes, and inspires students.

2022 Winner Romy Hübler

Associate Director of the Center for Democracy and Civic Life
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
About the award
  • Nominees must be a staff member (defined as non-faculty, non-senior administrator), affiliated for more than five years on an AASCU campus, who demonstrates leadership in advancing the civic learning and engagement of undergraduate students. 
  • Nominations must include an endorsement from campus leadership, the nominee’s curriculum vita, and additional documents that provide examples of the nominee’s sustained leadership in advancing civic learning and infusing equity into their work. 
  • Presentation: Annually in person at the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement conference in June and a virtual acknowledgment will be made at AASCU’s Annual Meeting in November.
  • Recipients will receive a commemorative to acknowledge the national recognition.
  • 2023: Sandy Jacobs, University of North Carolina at Pembroke
  • 2022: Romy Hübler, University of Maryland, Baltimore County 

Questions about the Spirit of Democracy Award? Let us know.

Nominations are closed for the 2024 ADP awards; check back at this space in March 2025.

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