AEE Awards 

 

About The AEE Awards

The Association for Experiential Education honors members each year at the International Conference. We continue this tradition to celebrate the outstanding professional accomplishments of individuals and organizations whose passion for experiential education is exemplified through their efforts and their ability to inspire others. 

We hope that recipients of awards feel embraced by a community with shared values and a belief in the power of experiential education. May these awards launch recipients to new, higher levels of purposeful engagement with community organizations and inspire others to dream and to act.

A Message to The Community Regarding Awards

How It Works

*We Are No Longer Accepting Nominations for 2022 Awards

Submitting an Award Nomination: You can view the list of awards below. During the nomination period (July 27-August 17, 2022), each award will have a link that will bring you to a form in which we collect information about you, the nominator, as well as information about the nominee. Please fill in as much as you are able. If you would like to submit a nomination via video you can do that with the form also. If you would prefer a Zoom conversation or phone call please contact awards@aee.org to set up a time with a representative from the Awards Committee.

The form also asks for a Support File(s) demonstrating the criteria you indicated. This could be a letter, video, story or article from a different person or source other than yourself. 

Award Nomination Reviews: After submission of the form, the Awards Committee may reach out to you for further information. We hope to contact the nominee also, so they can provide additional information in support of the criteria. This could include a resume, CV, artifacts, sample of work, marketing materials, curriculum, etc. The nominee will not be told who nominated them for this award.

Once the Awards Committee has collected any supporting materials and confirmed eligibility, the nomination is reviewed by a group of impartial AEE member Reviewers. Reviewers are not part of the AEE staff or Board of Directors. Reviewers compare the information provided against the criteria for the award and complete a rubric for each nominee. The Reviewers will make their selections and send their selection back to the committee.

Award Recipients: When the selection is received by the Committee it will tally up the selections and identify the recipients. Recipients are notified by the Awards Committee. Awards are given out during the Annual International Conference. Recipients do not have to be in-person to receive an award. 

See Other Award FAQs


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Distinguished Researcher Award

Organizational Member of the Year Award

Servant Leader Award

Karl Rohnke Creativity Award

Michael Stratton Practitioner's Award

Distinguished Researcher Award

Research in experiential education holds a significant and growing level of importance in both the academic and applied contexts. This award provides a declaration of the value of that enterprise and recognizes the role that long-term and productive research efforts provide the multiple fields in which experiential education principles are utilized. Additionally, it recognizes the person or people producing this exemplary research and their efforts to make it visible to a wide audience.

The award was established in 2010 originating within AEE's volunteer committee, the Council on Research and Evaluation (CORE). 

The Nomination Period is Now Closed.

Criteria:

  • Has completed a minimum of ten years of research not including graduate work.

  • Has shown exemplary research productivity and visibility in the fields that use experiential education.
  • Has a diversity of publication and presentation outlets particularly those that are refereed.
  • Has numerous research contributions of significant importance.
  • Exhibited continuity of research involvement.
  • Has citations and author impact factor (e.g., H index) commensurate with their field of research and at least comparable to other researchers with 10 years of research.
  • Has had creative and innovative impacts to research within the experiential education community.
  • Has received awards, keynotes, grants, etc. that speak to a research presence.
  • Exemplifies high ethical standards.
  • Is actively involved with and committed to the values and mission of AEE.
  • Is a current member of AEE.

Award Winner Receives: One year individual membership in AEE, plaque/award  

Past Recipients:

2021 - Will Dobud
2020 - No award given
2019 - Tonia Gray
2018 - Jayson Seaman
2017 - Christine Norton and Jim Sibthorp
2016 - Anita Tucker
2015 - Denise Mitten
2014 - no award given
2013 - Alan Ewert
2012 - H. "Lee" Gillis
2011 - Mike Gass
2010 - Keith Russell
Organizational Member of the Year Award

This award is presented to an organization that maintains innovative and outstanding programming at continuously high standards and demonstrates consistent commitment to and support for the work of AEE.

The award was established in 1997 when many of AEE's awards first originated. 

The Nomination Period is Now Closed.

Criteria:

  • Maintained innovative and outstanding programming at continuously high standards for at least five years.

  • Demonstrated consistent commitment to and support for the work of AEE.

  • Exemplifies high ethical standards.

  • Is actively involved with and committed to the values and mission of AEE.

  • Is a current member of AEE.

Award Winner Receives: One year individual membership in AEE, plaque/award  

Past Recipients:

2021 - Project Venture/National Indian Youth Leadership Project
2020 - No award given
2019 - Deer Hill Expeditions
2018 - Minnesota State University, Mankato
2017 - Enviros
2016 - Thompson Island Outward Bound
2015 - Brevard College
2014 - Camp Mary Orton
2013 - The Mosaic Project
2012 - Prescott College
2011 - High 5 Adventure Learning Center
2009 - College of DuPage
2008 - Santa Fe Mountain Center
2007 - Sterling College
2006 - Georgia College and State University,Outdoor Education Academic Program
2005 - Omni Youth Service
2004 - Project Use
2003 - The University of New Hampshire's Outdoor Education Program
2002 - The Challenge Course Advisory
2001 - Learning Unlimited Corporation
2000 - Washington State University 4-H Bonney Lake Challenge
1998 - Joseph Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp
1997 - Project Adventure
Servant Leader Award

This award recognizes individuals for their active, excellent servant leadership to the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) and its members.

Servant leadership is a timeless concept and has been around for centuries. The phrase “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay published in 1970. In that essay, Greenleaf said: “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead." And “A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible."

The award originated in 1997.

The Nomination Period is Now Closed.

Criteria:

  • Has demonstrated active, excellent servant leadership to AEE at a regional or international level for at least five years.

  • Focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the AEE communities to which they belong.

  • Demonstrates a passionate commitment to furthering experiential education principles.

  • Exemplifies high ethical standards.

  • Is actively involved with and committed to the values and mission of AEE.

  • Is a current member of AEE.

Award Winner Receives: One year individual membership in AEE, plaque/award  

Past Recipients:

2021 - Federico A. Borroel
2020 - No award given
2019 - Brian Croft
2018 - Joe Austin
2017 - Maurie Lung
2016 - Elizabeth Speelman
2015 - John Regentin
2014 - Christine Norton
2013 - Andrew Bobilya
2012 - Anita Tucker
2011 - Terry Nail-Williams
2010 - Joel Cryer, Aleta Meyer, Deb Sugerman
2009 - Steve Pace, Scott Robertshaw
2008 - Jude Hirsch, Sandy Newes, Dennis Call
2007 - Bobbi Beale, MB Buckner
2006 - Brenda Porter, Jeanine Stocks
2005 - Scott Banderoff, Katrina Guerkink, Marianne Scippa
2004 - Al Rock, Jennifer Payne, Christian Itin
2003 - Mark Rowland, Sam Tower
2002 - Charles "Reb" Gregg
2001 - Anna Kay Vorsteg, Mark Guidry
2000 - Sylvia Dresser, Margaret Lechner, Zeke Zeliff
1999 - Rob Rubendall
1998 - Michael Terrien, Chris Lupton, Tex Texeira
1997 - Rick Curtis, Bill Proudman, Nina Roberts
Karl Rohnke Creativity Award

This award is presented to an individual whose outstanding commitment to experiential education principles are evidenced through the design, creation and/or production of experiential education resources.

The award originated in 1997 and was named after Karl Rohnke. Karl was an innovative teacher and program developer. His creative and experiential facilitation style laid the foundations for adventure program development for individual and team growth in schools, colleges, corporations, camps, therapy, and elder education. Play, challenge, fun, and laughter were tools he used to enhance learning experiences whether in indoor and in outdoor settings.

The Nomination Period is Now Closed.

Criteria:

  • Has designed, created, and/or produced one or more of the following experiential education resources and/or events: video, book, workshop/seminar, newsletter, artwork, article, play, electronic-media resource, program, product or educational materials.

  • Utilizes play, challenge, fun, and laughter in their work.
  • Demonstrates an outstanding commitment to experiential education principles.
  • Lives and works with a passion for experiential education.
  • Exemplifies high ethical standards.
  • Is actively involved with and committed to the values and mission of AEE.
  • Is a current member of AEE.

Award Winner Receives: One year individual membership in AEE, plaque/award  

Past Recipients:

2021 - Shoshanna Sumka
2020 - No award given
2019 - Seth Hawkins
2018 - Jude Hirsch
2017 - Michelle Cummings
2016 - Amy Climer
2015 - Gary Stauffer
2014 - Madhu Sudan
2013 - no award given
2012 - Marilyn Levin
2011 - Maurie Lung
2010 - Kim Wasserburger
2009 - Brent Bell
2008 - Chris Cavert
2007 - TA Loeffler
2006 - Clifford Knapp
2005 - Tom Smith
2004 - no award given
2003 - Thomas A. Shearer
2002 - no award given
2001 - Rufus Collinson
2000 - Sam Sikes
1999 - Jim Cain
1998 - Mobile Team Challenge
1997 - Sandy Carlson
Michael Stratton Practitioner's Award

This award honors an experiential practitioner who has exhibited consistently high levels of performance in working directly with students, participants, clients, etc. This person's work demonstrates that a practitioner can bring about significant change and impact in the lives of people in their program.

The award was established in 1986. In 1989, the name of the award was changed to the Michael Stratton Practitioner Award in honor of the first recipient. Mike Stratton was involved with Outward Bound since its initial course in the mid-sixties in Colorado. He later worked at the Carroll School in Massachusetts where he created a special program for children with dyslexia. Mike’s accomplishments, high energy and perseverance are a great model for practitioners everywhere.

The Nomination Period is Now Closed.

Criteria:

  • Demonstrates that a practitioner can bring about significant change and impact in the lives of people in their program.

  • Exemplifies consistently high levels of performance as a practitioner of experiential education.

  • Possesses a solid knowledge of quality standards and exhibits this knowledge throughout their practicing career.
  • Works on program directly with clients, students, participants, etc. on a frequent basis.
  • Is ideally a full-time experiential educator.
  • Lives and works with a passion for experiential education.
  • Is a practitioner more than a theorist.
  • Exemplifies high ethical standards.
  • Is actively involved with and committed to the values and mission of AEE.
  • Is a current member of AEE.

Award Winner Receives: $250 from the Permanently Restricted Award Fund, one year individual membership in AEE, plaque/award  

Past Recipients: 

2021 - Sarah Gough
2020 - No award given
2019 - Bobbi Beale
2018 - Maria Jose (Mache) Trevino
2017 - Jeff Wilson
2016 - Chih-Mou Hsieh
2015 - Kim Sacksteder
2014 - Tony Alvarez
2013- Ken Kalisch
2012 - Sandy Kohn
2011 - Rick Medrick
2010 - Pam McPhee
2009 - David W. Lovejoy
2008 - Gary Stauffer
2007 - Denise Mitten
2006 - Bob Henderson
2005 - Jim Schoel
2004 - no award given
2003 - Marty Knuth
2002 - Thomas Leahy
2001 - Jean Berube
2000 - H. "Lee" Gillis
1999 - Richard Rutschman
1998 - Karen Warren
1997 - Laurie Frank
1996 - Dan Creely & Angel Russek
1995 - JoAnna Woo Allen
1994 - Craig Dobkin
1993 - Betsy Caldwell Dalgliesh
1992 - Deborah Eads
1991 - Sanford Tollette
1990 - Karl Rohnke
1989 - Reno Taini
1988 - Ava Heinrichsdorff
1987 - Keith King
1986 - Michael Stratton

Award FAQs

Can I submit a nomination if I don’t have all the information? Yes! There is very little required information on the form but, the more you can submit the more helpful it is for the Awards Committee to evaluate the nominee. Talk to your nominee directly and/or get another person (who has the missing information) to submit a nomination with you.

What if I nominate someone who does not qualify? Yes, you may nominate them. If a support file or the nominee are unable to establish they meet the criteria, they will be removed from consideration for the award.

What happens if there is not a qualified nominee for an award? If there are no qualified nominees for an award, the award will not be given out for that year.

How long will my nomination stay in consideration? A nominee will be considered for an award for the year submitted and 2 subsequent years (a total of 3 years) provided that all criteria are still being met. 

Can I nominate myself? No.

Who is the Awards Committee? The Awards Committee is made up of dedicated volunteers who commit to being part of the year-long process. Qualifications include being an AEE member, high ethical standards, being actively involved with and committed to the values and mission of AEE, attendance at one or more Annual International Conferences, and the ability to communicate and follow through with assigned tasks.

How do I become an Awards reviewer? If you would like to be an Awards Reviewer please learn more by clicking here and contact awards@aee.org. Reviewers commit to spending an average of 2-3 hours a week during late June through early August. Qualifications include being an AEE member, high ethical standards, being actively involved with and committed to the values and mission of AEE, attendance at one or more Annual International Conferences, and the ability to communicate and follow through with assigned tasks. 

If I have other questions, who can I contact? Please email awards@aee.org.