Rising Star Awards

The Rising Star Award honors individuals and programs that exemplify excellence and dedication to serving the needs of students in the transition from high school to college.

This award encourages NACAC affiliates to look within their associations, identify and nurture those new members and programs that are deserving of this honor and also encourage the honorees to continue their professional development through membership in NACAC.

Congratulations 2021 Rising Star Award Winners!


Individual Recipients

Jonathan Gowin

Jonathan Gowin, Potomac & Chesapeake ACAC 

Jonathan Gowin’s rural, first-generation background fuels his passion for student success and led to his active engagement in NACAC’s Rural & Small-Town Special Interest Group. He recently was named an assistant director of admission at Carnegie Mellon University (PA), where he’s focused on collaboration with high school counselors and colleagues across the profession. 



Noor HaddadNoor Haddad, Western ACAC

Noor Haddad is an associate director of college counseling at The Bishop's School (CA). She was honored for her work around equity and access issues, including providing one-on-one support for low-income students through the college application process and with community-based organizations across Southern California to help support college access among historically underrepresented students. 


Program Recipients


Illinois ACAC's Elevate: Women in Enrollment Management Seminar Series
Illinois ACAC Rising Star Award

“Elevate” is a professional development seminar series created for women in higher education enrollment management who are looking to take the next step in their professional career or expand their professional portfolio. According to a 2014 NACAC survey, women are overrepresented at entry- and mid-level positions, comprising about 70 percent of counselors and assistant/associate directors, but become increasingly underrepresented at more senior levels. 



PACAC Rising Star AwardPennsylvania ACAC's Promoting Inclusivity & Equity Lunch and Learn Series

The Promoting Inclusivity & Equity Lunch and Learn Series began last fall, and its curriculum focused on promoting inclusivity and equity through self-reflection and professional, local, and state spheres of influence. It then expanded in the spring to topics such as supporting students/colleagues of color, intersectionality, and learning differences.  The free series was available to members and non-members.  



TACAC Rising Star Award

Texas ACAC's Member Relief Fund

The TACAC Member Relief fund was established to raise funds and provide aid after the record-breaking snowstorm in Texas in February 2021. The fund is now in place for TACAC members on a permanent basis. Over $18,000 was raised to support relief efforts. 

Past Award Winners

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