Richard “Dick” Lipka Lifetime Achievement Award

The Richard “Dick” Lipka Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor that can be awarded by the Middle Level Education Research Special Interest Group (MLER SIG). The award is named for Dick Lipka who is the founding father and guiding force in the MLER SIG. The award is given only when an individual has demonstrated a level of service and leadership in middle grades education that warrants this special recognition. For a more information about the award including a brief description, eligibility criteria, nomination process, and timeline, open the following link: Richard “Dick” Lipka Lifetime Achievement Award – 2020

Direct questions to Dr. Penny Howell at


2020 – David Strahan is the Taft B. Botner Distinguished Professor of Middle Grades Education at Western Carolina University.

Micki M. Caskey Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Graduate School of Education Portland State University Dr. Micki Caskey is a highly respected leader in the field of middle level education. Dr. Caskey is a distinguished scholar, author, mentor, and colleague, and for her influential leadership in middle level education, she was selected as the 2014 recipient of the Lipka Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Caskey is the former chair of the Middle Level Education Research SIG of AERA. She is a regular presenter at AMLE and AERA on topics of interest to middle level educators and researchers, and her record of scholarship includes 10 books, more than 50 articles and book chapters, and the editorship of one of middle level education’s premiere journals Research in Middle Level Education Online. In 2013, the Association for Middle Level Education recognized Dr. Caskey with the prestigious John Lounsbury Award.

Vincent A. Anfara, Jr. Professor and Chair Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Dr. Anfara is the first recipient of the Lipka Lifetime Achievement Award due to his longtime leadership and service in middle grades education. He is the series editor of The Handbook of Middle Level Education Research, former executive advisor of the MLER SIG, past chair of the MLER SIG, and past chair of the National Middle School Association’s Research Advisory Committee. His scholarly work includes 14 books and more than 80 articles.