Nominee for Director: Brenda Gerhardt

Brenda Gerhardt - Director Nominee

Brenda Gerhardt
Independent Educational Consultant
Gerhardt Educational Endeavors (OH) 

Jump to: Nominee SpeechBio | Intro Video

How do your experiences align with NACAC’s new mission and vision statements?”

As an educator, I began as a middle and high school science teacher who realized that students came to school with issues that went far beyond science. To better serve their needs, I became a Professional School Counselor. After 9 years in this role, I completed my PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision and now serve as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Dayton. Each School Counselor who graduates from our program will serve hundreds of students in their communities.

I see my journey as a parallel for NACAC professionals. NACAC’s mission statement, Empowering college admission counseling professionals through education, advocacy, and community, connects to how I work with counseling professionals; helping them to see how small changes at the local level blossom into larger changes at the state and national levels. We begin at the local/affiliate level and grow through the educational, networking, and advocacy opportunities provided through NACAC. We find our professional voices and a drive to serve; we learn how powerful we can be when we combine our voices to lift those of our students. My professional mentors created pathways and opened doors. I strive to hold those doors open for others who have the heart and desire to serve students and provide access to opportunities that were not available to their ancestors. As OACAC GWI Co-Chair, I facilitated speakers and activities for the GWI portion of annual conferences. As an IEC, I serve as Director of DEI for HECA, collaborating with professionals and students with lived experiences to help our members expand their knowledge of diverse populations. As an IECA member, I was honored with the Katz Award for my work with SchoolHouse Connection, an organization dedicated to supporting youth and families dealing with Homelessness.

NACAC’s vision statement, The transformative power of postsecondary education is accessible to all, is the underlying key to building social equity. Systemic change must start at the K-12 level to support the needs of our most vulnerable, underrepresented, and marginalized students. As a parent surrogate for youth impacted by the foster care system, I advocate for their educational needs, including IEPs, 504s, school placement, evaluation, and suspension/expulsion hearings. I present and teach about the needs of these youth as there is a limited understanding of the challenges of students in this space. If we want young people to be ready and able to transition to the academic and social aspects of college with strong skills and positive behaviors, we need to help them know themselves and learn to self-advocate. We must also help the adults in the K-20 environment learn to remove barriers and to accept students in their entirety.

I hope that my constellation of interests, service, and work demonstrate the level and length of my involvement in this profession and my dedication to creating opportunities for success for those who may not yet have a voice or a place at the table. This is who I am and what I can contribute to the board. Thank you.

Brenda's nominee Speech

"What about NACAC's mission and vision excites you? What role would you hope to play?"




  • Member, 2013-present


  • Member, 2013-present
  • Guiding the Way to Inclusion Committee: Member, 2014-19; Co-Chair, 2019-present
  • Inclusion, Access, and Success Committee: Member, 2018-present

Southern ACAC

  • Member, 2013-present

Other Professional Organizations

  • American Counseling Association: Member, 2004-present
  • American School Counselor Association: Member, 2004-present
  • Ohio Counseling Association: Member, 2004-present; Professional Development Committee Member, 2018-present
  • Association of Counselor Education and Supervision: Member, 2006-present
  • Chi Sigma Iota Member, The Ohio State University, 2006-present; Chapter Co-Advisor, Upsilon Delta Chi, 2018-present
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD): Member, 2007-present
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals, 2008-present
  • Ohio Association for Counselor Education and Supervision: Member, 2009-present
  • Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA): Member, 2013-present; Tour Planning Committee Member, 2017-21; Cyndy McDonald Award Committee Member, 2019-present; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Member, 2020-present
  • Independent Educational Consultant Association (IECA): Professional member, 2016-present; Associate member, 2012-16; Katz Award Committee Member, 2019-present


  • University of Dayton, Dayton, OH: Assistant Clinical Professor, 2017-present; Adjunct Professor, 2014-17
  • Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, Columbus, OH: Educational Specialist, 2013-17
  • Lamar University, Beaumont, TX: Instructional Associate, 2012-14
  • The Graham School, Columbus, OH: Experiential Education Site Supervisor, 2000-03; Health & Wellness Teacher, 2002-03 & 2006-10; School Counselor, 2003-04 & 2006-10; School Counseling Supervisor, 2007-08; Administrative Intern, 2008-10
  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; School Counseling Supervisor, 2006-08; Teaching Assistant, 2008-09
  • The Wellington School, Columbus, OH: Summer Options Teacher, 2000-08


  • Ph.D. The Ohio State University, Counselor Education and Supervision, Columbus, OH
  • M.A. Eastern Michigan University, School Counseling, Ypsilanti, MI
  • B.S. The Ohio State University, Science Education, Columbus, OH


  • Susan Sears Distinguished Alumni Award (Ohio State University): Recipient, 2019
  • IECA Foundation’s Irvin W. Katz Award: Recipient, 2018
  • Northwest Woman of the Year Award: Recipient, 2006
  • Betty Bryan Award for Excellence in Volunteer Management, Center of Science and Industry: Recipient, 2002


  • 2022 Ohio ACAC Annual Conference: The Importance of Affinity Groups for BIPOC Students at PWIs
  • 2020 Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology (Dollarhide, C., Locke, A. F., Berrios Allison, A., Gerhardt, B., Grissett, S.): A Call for Social Justice in the American Counseling Association
  • 2019 NACAC National Conference: Pathways Up! Best Practices in Support of College Readiness for Foster Care Youth and Students
  • 2018 National Dropout Prevention Conference: Collaborative Support Programs to Enhance the Success of Students Impacted by the Foster Care System
  • 2018 HECA National Conference: Advocacy and Community Action -Taking College Access Outside of Your Office
  • 2017 Tri-State Diversity & Inclusion Conference: Best Practices in College Readiness and Transition for Foster Care Alumni
  • 2017 OTAGS Conference: Trauma-Informed Care - Strategies to Recognize and Support Students
  • 2016 Fall IECA National Conference: Pathways Up! Best Practices in Support of College Readiness for Foster Care Youth and Students
  • 2009 American School Counselor Association National Conference: Superintendents' Perceptions and Expectations of School Counselors: Implications for Training, Practice and Policy
  • 2009 A Counselor’s Guide to Career Assessment Instruments (5th edition) (Wood, C., & Gerhardt, B.): Additional Career Assessment Instruments

Intro Video

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