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AMA Foundation Higher Education Marketing Team of the Year Award

AMA Foundation Higher Education Marketing Team of the Year Award

The AMA Higher Education Marketer of the Year Awards honor extraordinary leadership and achievement in the field of higher education marketing and are brought to you by the AMA Foundation and its founding sponsor Lipman Hearne.

2021 Finalists

Atlanta Technical College

The Atlanta Technical College Communications, Marketing and PR (CMPR) department support seven departments across campus, including the President’s Office, Academic, and Student Affairs, Institutional Advancement, Facilities and IT, Economic Development and Community Engagement, Administrative Services, and the Center for Workforce Innovation’s Recruitment and Enrollment. The CMPR team consists of four team members who work across institutional boundaries to position the college to continue its work to end generational poverty. We are a multi-generational team that utilizes that advantage to reach a diverse audience including students, parents, partners, and donors. 

Over the course of the past 18 months, the College, along with the rest of the world, has had to pivot its operations due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The CMPR team was critical in providing insight, planning, coordination, and execution into how the college was able to address the needs of its students, faculty, staff, donors, and stakeholders. The CMPR team was instrumental in facilitating the transition of numerous in-person events to virtual platforms, including commencement, the state of the College address, and the College’s major fundraiser.

Grinnell College

Developing Inquiry Skills

In many ways, the 2021 marketing efforts of Grinnell College, a private liberal arts college in Grinnell, Iowa, represent the culmination of a five-year strategy to convey the mission of the college, establish a truly distinctive brand, and build upon a national reputation for excellence in higher education. The effort began in 2017 with the development of a research-based brand platform that visually and verbally conveyed what makes Grinnell unique — a holistic student experience that delivers individually advised learning for intellectually engaged students. 

The brand platform has been brought to life by the Grinnell team through a strategic approach to integrated marketing in which all marketing and communications efforts are highly coordinated across the institution; to support ambitious enrollment, advancement, and reputation-building goals. Led by Debra Lukehart, the Grinnell College Office of Communications team of 15 diverse professionals has established an integrated approach to telling the Grinnell story and built strong partnerships across campus with faculty, staff, and students — and beyond campus to alumni and other supporters of the college.

Mount Saint Joseph University

Mount St. Joseph University, established by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, opened its doors to the first 20 students in 1920 as the first Catholic university for women in Southwestern Ohio. With the growth of student enrollment, the Sisters of Charity made plans to develop and opened a new campus in the fall of 1962. In 1986, the University was formally declared coeducational. The University, though incorporated under a Board of Trustees in 1972, remains a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity.

Today, the University serves a diverse coeducational student population of undergraduate and graduate students.

The Mount St. Joseph University Marketing Team created, launched, and delivered a vision to become a High-Performance Marketing Organization. The team identified and leveraged a consumer products Brand Building Model in early 2020 to assess the competitive landscape, perform a university SWOT, identify and personify customer targets, develop a brand equity pyramid, and identified and executed key strategies with excellence.

With this in mind, the team earned this award by fielding research with key customers to uncover insights, designed and deployed a new brand-building model, launched several new creative and innovative initiatives with excellence and delivered breakthrough results with +13% enrollment growth.


The AMA Foundation Higher Education Marketer of the Year Awards are brought to you by the AMA Foundation and Lipman Hearne

To be eligible for the AMA Higher Education Marketer of the Year Awards, individual nominees and teams must be currently employed at a higher education institution with focus on the branding, marketing, and communications aspects of a college or university. All nominees will be considered regardless of organization size and budget. There will be two awards bestowed, one award recognizing an individual thought leader and one award recognizing an outstanding marketing team. 

Nominations will close on August 21, 2021. All nominees will receive notification of their candidacy and will be required to complete and submit a candidate profile form for further consideration that provides additional information on the candidate’s experience in the categories below.

A panel consisting of a mix of marketing experts and practitioners will serve on the selection committee.  All judges will be leaders and experts in the field of higher education marketing with careers as marketing academics, consultants, and practitioners. 

Upon reviewing the candidate profiles, the top three finalists will be asked to submit a video and invited to attend the 2021 Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education. The winner will be decided by conference attendees, and the winning team will be announced onsite at the conference.

Award Criteria

Vision and leadership, such as:

  • How team’s work has helped advance or transform the field of higher education marketing
  • How team’s collaborative process on campus and/or with outside partners contributed to the final deliverables and achievement of organizational objectives
  • Recognition by peers in the field

Strategy, such as:

  • Breakthroughs and advances in organizing and planning in the context of higher education organizations
  • Development of unique methodologies
  • Effective collaboration inside the organization and with outside partners
  • Creative approaches to marketing problem solving and communications

Results, such as:

  • Employment of effective methods of measurement
  • Achievement of the organization’s goals, both immediate and over time
  • Innovative use of social media, technology or other emerging tools or trends to advance higher education marketing practices

Recognition and Benefits

Award winners will be announced and honored at the 2021 Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education. The three finalists of the 2021 AMA Higher Education Marketer of the Year, Team Award will receive:

Complimentary Registration to the 2021 Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education

Recognition and award presentation at the luncheon held at the 2021 Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education

Post Conference recognition via AMA communication channels

One year paid membership to the AMA for one of your team members


Learn more about the AMA Foundation and the AMA Foundation Higher Education Marketer of the Year Awards

Please contact the AMA Foundation with any questions (