Aylward was selected for the award because of his work promoting leadership opportunities for women in higher education. His role in organizing and helping to lead CACUBO’s inaugural Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) in 2019 was cited as one of his most outstanding accomplishments. He was the vice-chair for the inaugural event and is currently serving as chair of the 2020 Leadership Institute (LI). To finish out his term, Aylward will serve as the past chair for WLI in 2021.

CACUBO’s WLI was introduced into the longstanding LI lineup in 2019 to meet the ever-changing market needs surrounding leadership development. WLI was specifically designed for all women, regardless of current position, with leadership potential within the higher education industry as well as for men who strive to advance the leadership role of women in higher education. The LI platform is an immersive higher education leadership development experience that serves to helps professionals advance their careers and institutions elevate their teams

Aylward has worked at USD since 2012.

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