Every day, Hobsons clients are creating meaningful and measurable change within their organizations to help students make the best decisions to shape their own futures. The Hobsons Education Advances Awards recognize the innovation that is possible when an institution combines people, process and technology to make a difference in the lives of students.

Hobsons is excited to announce the ten K-12 and higher education institutions chosen as the 2019 Education Advances Finalists. Each finalist is recognized as an institution working to create meaningful change in the lives of their students.

Finalists for the K-12 College, Career and Life Readiness category are: Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Baltimore Md., Everett Public Schools, Everett, Wash., Indianapolis Public Schools, Indianapolis, Ind., and Naaman Forest High School, Dallas, Texas.

In the higher education Match & Fit/Admission category, the finalists are: Caldwell University, Caldwell, N.J., Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, N.Y., and Wilmington College, Wilmington, Ohio.

Finalists for the higher education Student Success and Advising category are: Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Fla., Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, Calif., and SUNY Broome, Binghamton, N.Y.

To learn more about each finalist, please click here.


We are proud to recognize the accomplishments of our clients, celebrate in their successes, and to share best practices with our broader community. Our awards finalists and winners will be recognized at the 2019 Hobsons Summer Institute in Marco Island, FL. Winning institutions will receive $2,500 and runners-up will each receive $1,000 to go toward campus initiatives. Thank you to those who submitted their nomination.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday, July 30th at the HSI 2019 Awards Ceremony & Luncheon.

Meet the 2019 Education Advances Awards judges



Crystal E. Newby serves as the Senior Associate Director of Education and Training at the National Association for College Admission Counseling where she has worked since July 2013. She earned a B.A. in Communication and M.S. in Human Resources Administration from The University of Scranton and is currently a doctoral student in the Ed.D. program at Johns Hopkins University, with a specialization in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education.


Taun Toay, a Bard alumnus, serves as Vice President for Enrollment and Strategic Initiatives at Bard College, where he oversees Admissions and Financial Aid. He is also managing director of the Bard College Berlin campus and the Levy Economics Institute, a non-partisan think-tank. Toay holds an M.Phil. in economics from the New School for Social Research.




Dr. Dhanfu E. Elston serves as Complete College America’s Vice President of Strategy where he utilizes his campus expertise for practical application, implementation, and scaling of CCA momentum strategies at institutions throughout the nation. Recently, he launched a national initiative with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to amplify completion efforts at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Over two decades of his higher education career in academic and student affairs, Elston has created and implemented comprehensive success and retention programs that have garnered national attention.

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Gordon Freedman is President of the National Laboratory for Education Transformation, a California-based 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to transforming 20th century education into 21st century learning. Freedman founded NLET to create an organization that looks three to five years into the future, acting as a broad social, research and organizational platform for the alignment of education and training with the technology of the knowledge economy and youth culture. Freedman also manages Knowledge Base, LLC, a consulting firm established in 1998 to provide services to institutions, publishers and education technology companies. Freedman formerly served as Vice President Global Education Strategy, Blackboard Inc, during its growth from 100 million dollar in annual revenue to an exit at 1.4 billion dollars.


Dr. Kal Srinivas is the Director for Retention in the Office of Academic Programs at Syracuse University. Working collaboratively across campus, as the Director for Retention she is responsible for the coordination of university retention efforts, programs and services. She oversees the access and success of special populations (e.g., first generation, students of academic concern, intra-University transfer students) and special programs (e.g., Say Yes to Education, KIPP, Posse, Haudenosaunee Promise) as they progress to graduation.




The Naviance Advisory Board is comprised of education leaders throughout the country, representing diverse sectors, geographical locations, school size and roles. The board’s mission is to inform decisions related to Naviance product, services, and sales in relation to Naviance and partner products. The Naviance Advisory Board is designed to provide strategic consultation as the future of the Naviance product is determined.


Learn more about last year’s Education Advances winners