Dr. Suanne Davis Roueche (posthumously) and Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail
are co-recipients of this year’s Diverse Champions Award


The Diverse Champions Award recognizes higher education leaders who have shown unwavering commitment
to equal opportunity and access for all, particularly at the community college level.

The late Dr. Suanne Davis Roueche has been described as one of the five most influential women in the development of community colleges in the last 25 years. Her diligent scholarship, designed to strengthen the nation’s community colleges for the benefit of those they serve, has been lauded for decades by peers and leaders across numerous higher education systems. Authoring and co-authoring 19 books and more than 60 articles and chapters, Roueche served for more than 20 years as the director of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) at the University of Texas, prior to her retirement in 2012. Roueche will be remembered as an unmatched champion for the community college in the U.S. —offering perspective best practices and unparalleled insight.


Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail, founder of the Community College Leadership Doctoral Program at Morgan State University (MD), is a professor emerita of higher education and former president and chief instructional officer at Cypress College. As a higher education consultant in The McPhail Group, she currently serves as a leadership coach for two-year and four-year institutions in eight different states. A prolific author and researcher, McPhail sits on numerous boards and has been nationally recognized for her stellar leadership ability. She has made an indelible impact on teaching and learning in the U.S.

More about the Diverse
Champions Award


The award was created by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education in 2012 upon the retirement of the inaugural Diverse Champions Award winner, Dr. John E. Roueche, as director of the Community College Leadership Program (CCLP) at the University of Texas at Austin. Of the more than 500 CCLP graduates produced during his 40-plus year tenure at CCLP, more than 60 percent are women and people of color.

The Diverse Champions Award is given to individuals who have made similarly extraordinary contributions to the world of higher education.

The April 19, 2018, edition of Diverse will contain a tribute
to Drs. Roueche and McPhail.
This year’s award will be presented during the
98th American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) annual meeting,
April 28 – May 1, 2018 in Dallas, Texas.

Past Recipients


  • 2017: Dr. Kay McClenney, Senior Adviser to the President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges
  • 2016: Dr. Terry O’Banion, Former President of the League for Innovation in the Community College
  • 2015: Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, President of Miami Dade College
  • 2014: Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton, Former President of Cuyahoga Community College
  • 2013: Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO of American Association of Community Colleges
  • 2012: Dr. John E. Roueche, Former Director of the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin