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Kim Fries Early Career Award

Professional Biography of Dr. Fries

Dr. Kim Fries (1956 – 2011) was one of those rare individuals who combined efficiency with humor and grace. She became involved in NEERO by contributing her research to the annual conference, first as a Boston College doctoral candidate in 2000 and over the next years as an assistant and associate professor of education at the University of New Hampshire. As a former teacher and then a professor, Kim possessed enormous expertise and experience with higher education and K-12 practice. This kind of perspective on theory-practice relationships was sought after by school practitioners, academic scholars, and government policymakers during her too-short career.

Kim began teaching at the elementary level but subsequently taught at all grade levels, K-12. She received both a bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from the University of South Florida, a C.A.S. from Harvard University, and a doctorate from Boston College. She joined the Department of Education faculty at the University of New Hampshire in 2002, where she taught courses in their Teacher Education Program and their Teacher Leadership Program.

As a NEERO Board member for over eight years, Kim remained a steady mentor for all of the organization with her calm, focused, and generous spirit. As president, she made a significant impact by strengthening the Board's infrastructure and the organization as a whole. This included: directing the first major review and revision of the bylaws and standing rules in decades, initiating the process that led to the re-incorporation of NEERO, and formalizing the awards committees and review process. Looking back to the past and forward to the future, she proposed expanding the board to include the positions of Historian and Webmaster. After completing her term as Past President, she continued to serve the Board in the new Parliamentarian position.

Service to NEERO

2003-2004: Membership Director

2004-2006: Vice-President

2006-2008: President

2008-2010: Past President

2010-2011: Parliamentarian

Dr. Kim Fries.webp
Fries Award: Image

Award Criteria

Purpose and Eligibility

Established in 2012 in memory of Dr. Kim Fries, the purpose of this award is to recognize the work of NEERO members who have demonstrated distinction in the early part of their professional careers.  The Board is seeking nominations of people who have been contributing members of NEERO for at least five (not necessarily consecutive) years and have demonstrated distinction within the first decade following receipt of their doctoral degree.

Nomination Procedure

Self-nominations and nominations by NEERO members are encouraged. To make a nomination for presentation at the annual conference, please submit the following information:

  1. A letter describing the nominee’s qualifications for the Award, with emphasis given to the nominee’s contribution to NEERO and achievements in:

    • Research, publication, and/or other evidence of the impact of contributions to the field;

    • Service and teaching

  2. Current Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  3. Letter of support from their home institution(s)

  4. Additional letters of support are encouraged.

Submit materials to


Stay tuned for the deadline for the NEERO 2025 Conference.

Fries Award: Services

Award Recipients


Kathryn Welby & Bryan Mascio

Merrimack College & Independent Consultant


Amy Ryan

Boston College


Katharine Covino

Fitchburg State University


Jessica York

University of Hartford


Emilie Mitescu Reagan

University of New Hampshire


Lisa D'Souza

Assumption College


Carmen Veloria

Suffolk University


Pat Paugh

University of Masssachussett, Boston


Cinzia Pica-Smith

Assumption College


Jenn Cook (Posthumous)

Rhode Island College


Damian Bebell

Boston College


Sarah Enterline

K12 Insight


Kim Fries (Posthumous)

University of New Hampshire

Fries Award: List
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