AAHHE is proud to be the sole organization that honors key leaders, scholars, teachers, and artists who have advocated, supported, and championed Latinos in higher education.  These awards have been developed to honor individuals who, through their expertise, energy, productivity, and contributions, have improved the conditions of Latino/a/x(s) pursuing a college degree or a career in higher education.  The awards are presented annually at the AAHHE National Conference.

The 2025 AAHHE Call for Nominations is open!

For more details about our call for nominations/applications, visit here.

The AAHHE Awards categories are:

The Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes distinguished leadership and long-standing sustained contributions to higher education that transcend the nominees’ respective institutions and have had a notable impact and recognition in the field at the state and/or national levels. Sponsored by The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education.

The Books of the Year Awards acknowledge and honor the power of the written word to share the Hispanic experience, culture, history and research excellence. The Books of the Year Awards have a separate call for nominations at the end of summer each year.

The Community College Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in advocacy, teaching, or leadership and has provided significant contributions to the community college enterprise. The Community College Award has previously been sponsored by UPS.

The Doctoral Student Award recognizes current doctoral students who aspire to join the academy and demonstrate their academic accomplishments and servant leadership at their university.

The Early Career Award recognizes faculty or administrators who demonstrate commitment and promise via their actions, research, and service to the Latinx higher education community. This award is for applicants/nominees whose career is no more than seven years after receiving their doctoral degree.

The Mildred García Founders' Award, given in the spirit of the extraordinary leadership, stewardship, and courage evidenced by the founding members of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, honors an individual or organization demonstrating an exemplary commitment to advancing access and success of the Latinx population in higher education; evidencing a pioneering spirit in forging transformational avenues and inclusionary opportunities that support and promote Latinx issues; and achieving outstanding accomplishments aligned with AAHHE’s mission.

The Outstanding Support of Hispanic Issues Award recognizes an individual who has a long-standing record of visible and recognized leadership and other significant contributions that illustrate their continued endeavors as supporters and advocates of Hispanic issues in higher education. This individual need not be an educator but one who has made significant contributions to Hispanic higher education as a community leader, civic leader, elected or appointed official, etc.

The Sylvia Hurtado University Faculty Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in both research and teaching and has provided significant contributions to their respective academic disciplines.

The William Aguilar Cultural Arts Award recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the understanding of the national Latino community and/or culture through the fine, creative, and performing arts.


If you are interested in sponsoring one of the AAHHE Awards, please contact Dr. Lucia Gutiérrez at [email protected].