NACAC Announces 2020 National Award Winners

Shanda Ivory

NACAC Announces 2020 National Award Winners


Arlington, VA (Sept. 24, 2020) – Each year, NACAC honors individuals who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the field of education, to the profession, and to our organization. This year’s winners were recognized at the 2020 NACAC Virtual Conference.


Margaret Addis Service to NACAC Award

After more than 30 years, Nancy Beane recently retired as associate director of college counseling at Westminster Schools in Atlanta (GA) where she primarily worked with juniors and seniors as they navigated their way through the college admission process. She has been deeply involved with NACAC for more than two decades. Some of her most valuable contributions include serving as board director from 2008-11, president-elect from 2015-16, president from 2016-17, past president from 2017-18, and chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee from 2018-19.  Throughout her career, Nancy worked tirelessly in support of students by helping them achieve their goal of college admittance. She is known for her accessibility and expert guidance in working with students, parents, and college admission officers at all levels. 


Joyce E. Smith Excellence in Education Award

The Shawn Carter Foundation was founded as a public charity in 2003 by Gloria Carter and her son, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter. Its mission is to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships further their education at post-secondary institutions. Since its inception, the foundation has provided more than $4 million to support initiatives that empower youth and communities in need through the foundation’s programs: Scholarship Fund, College Prep and Exposure, International Exposure, Professional Development, Scholar Support, and Community & Goodwill Programs.


Gayle C. Wilson Service to Education Award

Dominique Jordan Turner is the CEO of Chicago Scholars, a college success and leadership development nonprofit whose mission is to build a pipeline of diverse talent from Chicago for Chicago. Dominique is passionate about creating equal education opportunities for underserved youth and believes that education is a valuable resource to pull marginalized youth out of poverty and into leadership positions that positively influence their communities. One of her most notable accomplishments is being selected as one of 20 inaugural Obama Fellows among an applicant pool of over 20,000. She currently sits on the board of Chicago Public Library and Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ). Prior to joining Chicago Scholars, Dominique served as the Posse Foundation’s Chicago director and was the regional director of network growth for the KIPP Foundation. Dominique began her career as a management consultant at Deloitte, where she focused on process reengineering and customer relationship management. 


Inclusion, Access and Success Award

Sylvester Rembert is the senior managing director of college counseling and postsecondary planning at The Eagle Academy Foundation (NY). Sylvester is recognized for his commitment to young men of color, first-generation students, and students from low-income backgrounds. He sets the bar high for his students and encourages them to not only apply to CUNY and SUNY institutions (to ensure they have affordable options), but to "think big" and apply to postsecondary institutions outside of New York. Each summer, Sylvester works with counselors across the Eagle network to coordinate students’ participation in NYSACAC’s Camp College and also coordinates Eagle Academy’s summer college boot camp for rising seniors. One committee member noted: "He has high expectations for Eagle students and no one is more proud to celebrate their successes. Sly is an outstanding role model for the young men of Eagle Academy schools.”


John Burke Muir Editor Award 

Jon Boeckenstedt is vice provost for enrollment management at Oregon State University. His "Admitting Things" blog is widely respected and viewed as a clear, compassionate voice backed up by data. With his finger on the pulse of college admission and enrollment management, his fearless writing insightfully supports the college admission profession and the students they serve. 


The Rising Star Award honors new members and programs of NACAC affiliates that exemplify excellence and dedication to serving the needs of students in the transition from high school to college. This year, one individual and three programs were honored.

  • Erik Ryan (Iowa ACAC)

    Erik Ryan is the assistant director of admissions at Mount Mercy University (IA). "Erik is committed to the association, to the students, families, and school counselors of Iowa, to the college admission profession overall and keeps the best interests of students and his admission colleagues at the forefront of every decision. Erik keeps the best interests of students and his admission colleagues at the forefront of every decision. He has made a name for himself in his brief time in the admission world."

  • Leadership Education Webinar Series (Potomac & Chesapeake ACAC)
    Anthony Ambrogi, director of college counseling at St. Catherine's School (VA) and Damian Garcia, director of college counseling at Glenelg Country Day School (MD) teamed up to offer a series of six webinars that addressed relevant college admissions topics and a leadership component within each topic. Interest was great and 11 professionals completed the requirements to receive a leadership certificate.

  • Rural/Small Town SIG Conference & College Fair (Potomac & Chesapeake ACAC)
    Alison Weston, assistant director for undergraduate admissions at Radford University (VA), and James Pennix, vice president for enrollment management at Ferrum College (VA), collaborated to create a college fair for school counselors, community college counselors, and independent educational consultants from rural areas of southwestern Virginia and West Virginia, with co-sponsorship support from the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center.

  • Public Act 151 (Michigan ACAC)
    MACAC actively engaged the support of state education organizations and business groups to inform a bill passed into law in 2017 that amended the requirements for ongoing counselor professional development. As a resut, the number of professional development hours completed by counselors through Michigan Virtual University alone surpasses the tens of thousands. Counselors have contacted both MACAC and members of the state legislature to thank them for this legislation, which has opened up opportunities for counselors to receive professional development they would have never previously had access to and enabled them to play a larger role in advising Michigan students and parents about the wealth of postsecondary options available in the state. 



The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of nearly 14,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. 


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