The Section for Women in Public Administration presents Seven National Awards recognizing outstanding contributions of women leaders. Recipients of the Awards are honored at the SWPA National Awards Breakfast held at the Annual ASPA Conference.
Any individual or organization may nominate. A nomination should be submitted with a recommendation of 300 words or fewer. The National Awards Chair will then direct the nomination material to the Chair of the award committee, who will make recommendations to the SWPA Executive. The selection criteria for each Award are listed below:
Joan Fiss Bishop (1910-1981) Leadership Award:
Created in 1985 to honor Joan Fiss Bishop - ASPA's women's movement founder and former National Council member who co-chaired the ASPA Women's Caucus in Denver, Colorado (April 1971) and chaired ASPA's Task Force on the Status of Women in Public Administration (1971-1973) - one of the first created by a professional association. The Task Force gave rise to the ASPA National Committee on Women in Public Administration (1973-1982), and subsequently the Section for Women in Public Administration (SWPA) was established in 1982. Fiss Bishop is believed to be the first person to serve as career services director at four different colleges and universities, including Emmanuel College, Radcliffe College, Wellesley College, and Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Award Criteria: Honors an individual, who by example and action, has: 1) promoted increased participation of women in the public administration profession; 2) exhibited defined contribution to increased involvement in the public sector; 3) demonstrated innovative leadership and accomplished professionalism in their own public sector career; and 4) made a commitment to the public administration profession through membership in ASPA.
Marcia P. "Marcy" Crowley (1923-2010) Service to the Section Award:
Originally created in 1991 to honor Julia Henderson, the award was rededicated in 2007 to honor Marcy Crowley - long-time Wayland, Massachusetts selectman (24 years), former ASPA National president (1995-1996) and long-time SWPA historian and board member.
Award Criteria: Honors an individual for: 1) outstanding service to the Section for Women in Public Administration (SWPA); 2) service to the Section for several years; 3) a demonstrated impact on the work of the Section; and 4) current member in good standing.
Dr. Julia Juanita Henderson (1915-2013) International Award:
Created in 2007 to honor Dr. Julia J. Henderson - the ASPA charter and National Council member who served as Secretary General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (1971-1978) and as a United Nations senior administrator (1945-1970). Henderson is believed to be the first woman fellow elected to the National Academy of Public Administration (1968).
Award Criteria: Honors an individual who has: demonstrated commitment to: 1) international public administration; 2) international public service in general; or 3) careers in international public administration and public service, NOTE: Honoree does not have to be an ASPA or Section member.
Dr. Rita Mae Kelly (1939-2001) Distinguished Research Award:
Created in 1991 to honor Dr. Rita Mae Kelly - renowned scholar and women's rights leader, who founded the Center for Empowerment and Global-Local Equity (1996), served as dean of School of Social Sciences (1996-2001) and held the Distinguished Chair in Applied Ethics at the University of Texas-Dallas. She received the Section's first Distinguished Research Award.
Award Criteria: Honors an individual who has: 1) contributed outstanding research on gender related issues; 2) performed research on an issue significant to the role of women in public administration; and 3) made an impact through that research on women's lives. NOTE: Honoree does not have to be an ASPA or Section member.
Outstanding Mentorship Award:
Award Criteria: Honors an individual, who by example and action, has provided outstanding service and mentorship to women and/or graduate students in public administration and/or academia. NOTE: Honoree does not have to be an ASPA or Section member.
Best Dissertation/Thesis Award:
Award Criteria: Honors an individual who is in the process of completing or completed within the last two years a master thesis or doctoral dissertation related to gender and/or public administration. NOTE: Honoree does not have to be an ASPA or Section member.
Rising Star Award:
Award Criteria: Honors an individual early in their academic or professional public service career (less than 5 years) who has demonstrated outstanding potential, growth, and commitment to advancing the field of public administration and public service. NOTE: Honoree does not have to be an ASPA or Section member.
We encourage all ASPA members and other professional colleagues to nominate outstanding individuals for these Awards. For more information contact Dr. Charlene M. L. Roach at firstname.lastname@example.org (Vice Chair, 2022 SWPA Awards Committee).
Click here to nominate.
Joan Fiss Bishop Award
2020 - Kris Norman-Major
2019 - Susan T. Gooden
2018 - Angela Evans
2017 – Nancy E. Tate
2016 – Mary Ann Feldheim
2015 – Claire Mostel
2014 – Meredith Newman
2013 - Anne Osborne Kilpatrick
2012 - Lydia Quarles
2011 - Frances Burke
2010 - Mary Jane England, MD
Julia J. Henderson Award for International Service
2020 - Salta Liebert
2019 - Elaine Yi Lu
2018 - Karen Johnston
2017 - Patria de Lancer Julnes
2016 - Allan Rosenbaum
2015 - Meghna Sabharwal
2014 - Carmen Delgado Votaw
2013 - Kathryn Mohrman
2012 - Yahong Zhang
2011 - Lotte Bogh Anderson
2010 - Soonhee Kim
Rita Mae Kelly Distinguished Research Award
2020 - Meghna Sabharwal
2019 - Rita M. Hilton and Rosemary O'Leary
2018 - Vicky Wilkins
2017 - Mohamad G. Alkadry
2016 - DeLysa Burnier
2015 - Mary M. Timney
2014 - Helisse Levine & Maria D’Agostino
2013 - Lael Keiser
2012 - Janet R. Hutchinson
2011 - Patricia M. Shields
2010 - Sharon H. Mastracci
Marcia P. Crowley Service to the Section Award
2020 - Agatha Caraballo
2019 - Michelle Evans
2018 - Meghna Sabharwal
2017 – Hillary J. Knepper
2016 - Suzanne Discenza
2015 - Patricia M. Shields
2014 - Nancy Rose Foye- Cox
2013 - Roslyn Alic-Batson
2012 - Suzanne C. Discenza
2011 - Barbara Lewkowitz
2010 - Nouphine “Phin” Xaypangna
2020 Special Suffrage Awards
Rising Star Award - Shilpa Viswanath
Best Dissertation - Rashmi Chordiya
Outstanding Mentorship - Jessica Sowa