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The 2023-24 Awards Process is Now Closed! Award winners will be notified in June.

NACAC honors individuals who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the field of education, to the profession, and to our organization.

Established in 1996, the Margaret E. Addis Service to NACAC Award honors a long-time, respected leader of NACAC who never faltered in her commitment to ensuring ethical practices. The Addis Award recognizes NACAC members for their commitment to ensuring ethical practices while providing unique and outstanding service to the association. 

Below are several (but not all) of the criteria that is taken into consideration when nominating an award recipient for the Margaret E. Addis Service to NACAC Award.

  • NACAC Membership: member for 10 or more years
  • Ethics: constant and passionate voice for ethical practices and standards; instrumental in developing and promoting best practices for the profession; institutional conscience
  • Service to NACAC: previous NACAC service as president or as chair of a national committee; service over an extended period in the NACAC leadership; service during a crisis or transition situation; help shape/define NACAC policy on important issues; offer support, insights and manpower when needed in issues related to ethics and best practices; outstanding service to NACAC in general

About the 2022 Award Winner

Jayne Caflin Fonash is the epitome of all the Addis Award celebrates. As NACAC president in 2019, Jayne led the association through some of its toughest challenges, taking on a review of our Code of Ethics and Professional Practices in response to questions from the US Department of Justice, and helped shepherd the NACAC board, affiliate leaders, staff and NACAC’s legal counsel through difficult conversations.

Throughout the inquiry, Jayne was resolute about NACAC’s commitment to maintaining our ethical practices while abiding by the decree. For her, adherence to our ethical standards was paramount.

Jayne also convened the Ad Hoc Committee on Leadership in College Admission, whose report serves as our “North Star” for the future, and she orchestrated and onboarded our CEO, Dr. Angel Perez.

Previous Award Winners:

  • 2021 – NACAC Admission Practices Committee
  • 2020 – Nancy Beane
  • 2019 – David Kamimoto
  • 2018 – The Steering Committee on Admission Practices under the leadership of Todd Rinehart
  • 2017 – Lou Hirsh
  • 2016 – Phyllis Gill
  • 2015 – Alice Tanaka
  • 2014 – Bridget Herrera
  • 2013 – Frank Sachs
  • 2012 – Patty Montague
  • 2011 – Richard Powell
  • 2010 – Peter Hauet​
  • 2009 – Samuel Moss​
  • 2008 – Carl ‘Sandy’ Behrend​
  • 2007 – Joseph Monte​
  • 2006 – Members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Graduate Coursework and Authors of the Fundamentals of​ College Admission Counseling​​​: John Anderson, Robert Bardwell​​, ​Carl Behrend​​​, Francis Bernstein, ​Susan Biemeret, ​Robin Brown, Elsa Clark​, Steve George​, Barbara Hall​, Esther Hugo, Marybeth Kravets, Bradford MacGowan, Joseph Manning, Joan Mudge, Patrick O’Connor, Bill Pruden, Susan Rexford​, Rebecca Rutsky, Rod Skinner, Jeffrey Smith, Susan Street, Scott White​
  • 2005 – Martin Wilder ​
  • 2004 – Mary Hendry​ and William Neal​ (posthumous)
  • 2003 – National College Fair Chairs Who Served the Program for More Than Five Years: ​Richard Bory, Mimi Grossman, Gwendolyn Hoover​, Richard Hutchinson​, Steve Kerge​, ​​Kathi Lecertua​, Barbara Lowe​, Frank Muzio​, Susan Reantillo, Debbie Rupert​, Marvin Sills​​, Alice Tanaka
  • 2002 – Katy Murphy​
  • 2001 – Antonio Solorzano, Jr.​
  • 2000 – Audrey T. Hill ​
  • 1999 – Patricia L. Burgh ​ ​
  • 1998 – William R. McClintick, Jr.​
  • 1997 – Marjorie S. Loennig​
  • 1996 – Mary Lee Hoganson​

The Margaret E. Addis Service to NACAC Award was previously the Executive Board Award, which recognized a person who provided NACAC with unique and outstanding service. In 1996 this award was changed to the Margaret E. Addis Award.

Executive Board Award Winners:

  • 1995 – Margaret Williamson
  • 1994 – Patricia Hawkins
  • 1993 – Sharon M. Alston
  • 1992 – Joyce E. Smith
  • 1991 – Steven T. Syverson
  • 1990 – Ron Ancrum
  • 1989 – Joyce E. Suber
  • 1988 – Carl F. Brown
  • 1987 – Richard A. Stewart
  • 1986 – Helen J. Pape
  • 1984 – Sarah S. Heckscher
  • 1983 – Conrad J. Sharrow
  • 1981 – Ray A. Stines
  • 1980 – Steven C. Munger
  • 1979 – Joseph A. Monte
  • 1977 – Anne M. Kennedy
  • 1976 – Edward J. Yaw
  • 1975 – Silas Purnell
  • 1974 – George Giampetro
  • 1973 – Richard Rowray

Established in 1983, the Joyce E. Smith Excellence in Education Award is presented to an individual or individuals- members or non-members – who have improved the field of education and/or the way students are served.

Below are several (but not all) of the criteria taken into consideration when nominating an award recipient for the Excellence in Education Award.

  • Prominence: national figure in political or education arena; great influence over public opinion in matters related to education
  • Advocacy and Access: in their career, has been at the forefront of initiatives advocating for students and access to education

About the 2022 Award Winner:

Patrick O’Connor is chief strategist and CEO of College is Yours, an organization dedicated to improving college access, and professional development in college counseling.   A past president of NACAC and Michigan ACAC, Patrick is the first in his family to finish college and has focused much of his career on creating college opportunities for first generation students. He is the author of 6 books on college counseling and general counseling issues, including the college guide College is Yours 3.0, and the counselor-oriented College Counseling for School Counselors. An active reformer in school counselor training, Patrick teaches one of the few graduate courses in the country that focuses exclusively on college counseling and was one of the leading voices in passing groundbreaking legislation in Michigan requiring school counselors to receive updated training in college and career advising as part of the renewal of their certification. He also served as the inaugural School Counselor Ambassador Fellow with the US Department of Education, keeping the department informed of the myriad trends and needs of the school counseling profession. His most recent endeavor, Senior College Seminar, is a curriculum designed to let students apply to college and for financial aid during the school day.

Previous Award Winners:

  • 2021 – The Nepal Justice League
  • 2020 – The Shawn Carter Foundation
  • 2019 – Joyce E. Smith
  • 2018 – The ACCEPT Facebook group (Founded by Marie Bigham, Steve Frappier, and Brandi Smith)
  • 2017 – William R. Fitzsimmons and Carmen Lopez
  • 2016- Stacy Lightfoot
  • 2015 –  Dr. Trish Hatch, Dr. Sandy Savitz-Romer, Campus Pride and Shane Windmeyer
  • 2014 – First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama
  • 2013 – Nicole Farmer Hurd and Ted O’Neill
  • 2012 – Greg Darnieder
  • 2011 – Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
  • 2010 – Steve Peifer
  • 2009 – Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)
  • 2008 – Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
  • 2007 – Loren Pope
  • 2006 – Hugh O’Brian
  • 2005 – Irving Fradkin
  • 2004 – Rep. David Obey (D-WI)
  • 2002 – Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-OH), Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), and Rep. Betty McCullum (D-MN)
  • 2001 – Lee C. Bollinger
  • 2000 – Richard Riley
  • 1999 – William G. Bowen and Derek Bok
  • 1998 – Tom Joyner
  • 1997 – Dr. Benjamin Carson
  • 1996 – Peggy Cooper Cafritz
  • 1995 – David L. Boren
  • 1994 – Eugene Lang
  • 1993 – Arnold Mitchem
  • 1992 – Sen. Herbert Kohl (D-WI) and Sen. Thomas Sawyer (D-OH)
  • 1991 – Theodore Sizer
  • 1990 – Augustus F. Hawkins
  • 1989 – Harold L. Hodgkinson
  • 1988 – Oluf Davidsen and George Hanford
  • 1987 – Ernest L. Boyer
  • 1986 – William D. Ford, Samuel L. Meyers and Paul Simon
  • 1985 – Alexander W. Astin
  • 1984 – Fred Hargadon
  • 1983 – Francis Keppel

Established in 1973, the Gayle C. Wilson Service to Education Award was named for a fine and outstanding leader who devoted their life to counseling and assisting students in attaining their educational goals. The Wilson Award is presented to NACAC members who, over a period of years, have performed outstanding service to our profession.

Below are several (but not all) of the criteria that is taking into consideration  when selecting an award recipient for the Gayle C. Wilson Service to Education Award.

  • NACAC Membership: member for 10 or more years
  • Counseling Students: always serve/advocate for students first with passion and integrity
  • Above and Beyond: volunteer considerable time to working with families and professionals beyond work duties
  • Service to Profession: consistently mentor colleagues and provide inspiration and support; volunteer to teach or create professional development opportunities
  • Service to Affiliate: leader in creating or growing an affiliate association; strong advocacy on the national arena; nurture future leaders
  • Service to NACAC: previous NACAC service on the Board of Directors or as a chair of a national committee; service over an extended period in the NACAC leadership; offer support, insights and manpower when needed; serve as a mentor and identify up and coming leaders

About the 2022 Award Winner:

Mary Ann Willis, former director of college counseling at Bayside Academy in Daphne, Alabama, was recently granted emerita status. Throughout her nearly five decades in education, her goals have been to empower others to realize that, for those who take advantage of opportunities both in and out of the classroom, success is born of sweat equity.  Respect for all, sharing skills, and paying forward the mentoring she has received motivates her. Mary Ann has served on numerous college and educational advisory boards, has published articles on admissions-related topics, presented at conferences, and serves on the advisory board of College Bound News.

 Previous Award Winners:

  • 2021 – Thomas Butler and Sean Callaway
  • 2020 – Dominique Jordan Turner
  • 2019 – Nan Davis
  • 2018 – Lynn Slaughter (posthumous) and Susan Biemeret
  • 2017 – Youlonda Copeland-Morgan
  • 2016 – Evelyn Boyd White
  • 2015 – Bill Dingledine
  • 2014 – Myron Arakawa
  • 2013 – Carolyn Barnhart
  • 2012 – George Mills​
  • 2011 – Esther Hugo
  • 2010 – Marybeth Kravets​
  • 2009 – John Blackburn​
  • 2008 – Theodore Spencer​
  • 2007 – Kpakpundu Ezeze​​
  • 2006 – Michael Barron​ ​
  • ​2005 – Angela ‘Nickie’ Roberson ​
  • 2004 – Daniel Feldhaus ​and Edward Wall ​(posthumous)
  • 2003 – Richard Stabell ​
  • 2002 – Lonnie Barefield ​
  • 2001 – Joseph P. Allen ​
  • 2000 – Gary Williams ​
  • 1999 – G. Gary Ripple​
  • 1998 – Roger Campbell ​ ​
  • 1997 – Peggy Templeton-Strong ​ ​
  • 1996 – Naomi Kuziemski ​ ​
  • 1995 – Sally LaGoy​ ​
  • 1994 – Braxton Rethwisch ​
  • 1993 – R. Russell Shunk​ ​
  • 1992 – Anne M. Kennedy ​
  • 1991 – James A. Alexander, Jr.​
  • 1990 – Joseph A. Monte​
  • 1989 – Lois C. Mazzuca ​
  • 1988 – Margaret E. Addis​
  • 1987 – Sarah J. Needham​
  • 1986 – Jeanette B. Hersey ​
  • 1985 – Mary Ann Schwalbe ​
  • 1984 – Evelyn M. Yeagle ​
  • 1983 – Donald G. Dickason​
  • 1982 – Charles E. Malone ​
  • 1981 – Anna H. Bowditch​
  • 1980 – Marion Flagg
  • 1979 – Emery R. Walker, Jr.​
  • 1978 – Mildred G. Fox ​
  • 1977 – Harley Wyatt, Jr. ​
  • 1976 – Louis H. Fritzmeier ​
  • 1975 – Esther DeMerritt ​
  • 1974 – Eugene S. Wilson ​
  • 1973 – Harland W. White​ ​

Established in 2001, the Government Relations Award is presented to a NACAC member who has made outstanding efforts in support of policy initiatives that promote equal access to higher education, encourage student achievement and promote counselor excellence, and further the government relations priorities of NACAC members.  

About the 2022 Winners:

Stephanie Brazinsky has spent over twenty-seven years in the school counseling and college admissions field.  Her excitement and passion for advising students led her to pursue her Ed.M. in school counseling and upon completing her counseling degree, she accepted a position as a high school counselor at Newton North High School in Newton, MA.  During this time, she spent her free time volunteering at a variety of non-profit organizations in the Boston area which helped low-income students gain access to higher education.  It was through this volunteer service that Stephanie was inspired to learn Spanish, which led her to move to Quito Ecuador and accept a position as a school counselor at Academia Cotopaxi.  Eventually, Stephanie’s desire to return to public education led her to her current job as a school counselor at Denver South High School.  Stephanie’s passion for equity, has also led her to become the Chair of Government Relations for the RMACAC Executive Board.  She also served on the NACAC Ad Hoc committee for engaging Public School Counselors during the 2021-22 academic year.

María Elena Ornelas earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Vanderbilt University. Serving as an admissions officer at her alma mater for the past 15 years, she’s devoted her professional career to issues of college access & success and the recruitment of historically underrepresented & first-generation college students. In her role as Associate Director of Admissions, María supervises graduate student interns, manages college access partnerships, co-leads the evaluation & selection process, and assists with the recruitment coordination for her office. She is a board member for Intrepid College Prep and previously served on Southern ACAC’s board as Government Relations Co-Chair.

Previous Award Winners:

  • 2021 – Ashley Young
  • 2019 – Paul Welsh
  • 2018 – Breanne Boyle
  • 2017 – Sarah Summerhill
  • 2016 – Jessica Sant
  • 2015 – Grant Blume
  • 2014 – Julie Fopma
  • 2013 – Jayne Fonash
  • 2012 – Ken Anselment
  • 2011 – Bob Bardwell
  • 2010 – Craig Dodson
  • 2009 – Patrick O’Connor
  • 2008 – Jon Westover
  • 2007 – From Western ACAC: Kevin Buck, Elsa Clark, Esther Hugo, Esther Lopez, Rafael Magallan, Marc Meredith, Katy Murphy, and Loretta Whitson
  • 2006 – Allen V. Lentino
  • 2005 – New York State ACAC
  • 2004 – Rose-Ellen Racanelli
  • 2003 – Jim Miller
  • 2002 – Frank Sachs
  • 2001 – Braxton Rethwisch

Established in 1984, the Inclusion, Access, and Success (formerly the Human Relations) Award honors persons who have been instrumental in making postsecondary education opportunities available to historically underrepresented students.

Meet the 2022 Award Winner:

EMERGE, a Houston-based college-access organization, was created to empower and prepare high-performing students from underserved communities to attend and graduate from selective colleges and universities across the nation. EMERGE currently serves 28 high schools in the Houston Independent School District (ISD) and operates in partnership with five other Houston-area school districts. It supports students attending over 150 selective colleges and universities across the country.

Previous Award Winners:

  • 2021 – Yvonne Espinoza
  • 2020 – Sylvester Rembert
  • 2019 – Heidi Bonner
  • 2018 – Catalina Cifuentes
  • 2017 – Celina Barrera-Scott
  • 2016 – Jonathan Burdick
  • 2015 – Audrey Smith and Coalition for HB 1079
  • 2014 – Janice Downing
  • 2013 – Alfred Herrera and Julie Kampschroeder
  • 2012 – Richard Alvarez
  • 2011 – Chris Milton and Karen Staller
  • 2010 – Aliza Gilbert and Posse Foundation
  • 2009 – Admission Possible
  • 2008 – College Goal Sunday
  • 2007 – Advancement Via Individual Determination
  • 2006 – Alejandra Rincón
  • 2005 – Whitney Laughlin
  • 2004 – Pathways to College Network
  • 2003 – The Daniels Fund
  • 2002 – Dr. Arnold Mitchem
  • 2001 – Jacob Schramm
  • 2000 – I Have a Dream Foundation
  • 1999 – Susan Chipley
  • 1998 – Roberto Haro
  • 1997 – Edward Bell
  • 1996 – Donald Johnson
  • 1995 – Robert Albright, Gloria de Leon and Ernesto Nieto
  • 1994 – Laurice Sommers
  • 1993 – Carl F. Brown
  • 1992 – J. Alan Marks and Betty Schneider
  • 1991 – Silas Purnell
  • 1990 – Samuel H. Johnson
  • 1989 – Betty Fairfax
  • 1988 – NACAC Human Relations Committees of 1986  & 1987 for the development of Guide for Parents:  Ronald C. Ancrum, Rosetta L. Gooden, Audrey T. Hill, Naomi Kuziemski, Leslie K. Lane-Epps, Geverna Levels, Brian J. Lewis, Walter M. Pritchett, Clifton B. Rawles, Thedore Sherron and Anthonio Solorzano, Jr.
  • 1987 – Clarence Mixon
  • 1986 – Marion R. Flagg
  • 1985 – Jack Wright
  • 1984 – William R. Davis

The award is named for John Burke Muir, who was NACAC Vice-President for Publication and Research from 1983-1986. In that position he served as editor of the Journal of College Admission. English teacher, drama coach and college counselor, John Muir was an ardent advocate for his students, an inspiring theatrical director, and an exemplary professional colleague who brought humanity, humor, and excellence to all of his work.

Because the nature of content (and delivery) has changed,  the award guidelines were updated in 2020 to recognize new formats and appeal to a wider range of content creators. This award now recognizes the efforts and talents of members writing blogs, recording podcasts, creating videos, and using other innovative formats. Articles written for NACAC’s Journal of College Admission and other traditional outlets will also continue to be considered.

All content must be free or included with NACAC membership. A wide variety of works will be considered, including those falling into the following categories:

A news article, op-ed, or long-form blog entry or blog series related to college admission counseling

A documentary, or instructional or informational video (non-marketing) related to college admission counseling

Podcast Series
A series of podcasts related to college admission counseling

Published a book or another major work in the past year

Social Media Campaign
Collective posts for one campaign in the past year

PSA Series
A themed series that supports the need for postsecondary education (or other college admission counseling themes)

About the 2022 Winner

Shanda Ivory joined NACAC in 1990 as director of communications. She has directed messaging for the association through a number of milestones, including the subtle change in the association’s name in 1995 and rigorous debates about enrollment deadlines and deposits, need-blind admission, merit vs. need-based aid, the May 1 Candidates’ Reply Date, standardized testing, and other provisions included in the Statement of Principles of Good Practice. The US Department of Justice anti-trust complaint and Operation Varsity Blues were among notable communications challenges the association faced in recent years.

Shanda previously served as writer/editor for Higher Education and National Affairs, the newsletter of the American Council on Education, the umbrella association for Washington, DC-based higher education associations. A former newspaper reporter, she covered education, the courts, and special events. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, and master’s degree in mass communications from Ohio State University.

Previous Award Winners:

  • 2021 – Ken Anselment
  • 2020 – Jon Boeckenstedt
  • 2017 – Tommy Lucas and Whitney Linsenmeyer, “Cutting Through a Crisis: Guiding Prospective Students and Families During Times of Unrest” (Spring 2016)
  • 2016 – Dr. Tara Jabbaar-Gyambrah and Dr. Seneca Vaught, “Why College as an Investment is a Lousy Analogy” (Winter 2015)
  • 2015 – Jason Klugman, “Creating a Community of Scholars on the Edge of Disaster” (Winter 2014)
  • 2014 – Arthur Levine and Diane R. Dean, “It’s Only Technology If It Happens After You Are Born” (Summer 2013)
  • 2013 – Benjamin S. Baum, “LGBT Applicants and Challenges for Admission: Five Cases” (Fall 2012)
  • 2012 – Amy Liu, “The Admission Industrial Complex: Examining Entrepreneurial Impact on College Access” (Winter 2011)
  • 2011 – Ryan Gildersleeve, “Access Between and Beyond Borders” (Winter 2010) and Anne Pabst, “The Search for Sustainable Girls” (Fall 2010)
  • 2010 – Jonathon Epstein, “Behind the SAT-Optional Movement: Context and Controversy” (Summer 2009)
  • 2009 – Angel Pérez, “Struggling Between Two Worlds: How College Affects Identity Construction” (Winter 2008)
  • 2008 – Kirsten Olson, “Hyperventilating: The Concerted Cultivation of the Teenager” (Summer 2007)
  • 2007 – Joyce Vining Morgan, “Yves: Hope Against the Odds” (Summer 2006)
  • 2006 – Sam Patterson, “How Much is Too Much? Effective and Ethical Response to Application Essays” (Fall 2005)
  • 2005 – Kelly Herrington, “The Pleasure, Privledge and Agony of Application Reading” (Summer 2004)
  • 2004 – Carla Shere and Mark Hicks, “Toward Reflective Admission Work: New Direction for Thoughts and Practice” (Spring 2003)
  • 2003 – Sarah Myers McGinty, “Issues of Access: The College Application Essay” (Fall 2002)
  • 2002 – John L. Mahoney, “Perception of the Profession is Cause for Concern” (Winter 2001)
  • 2001 – Frank D. Sachs, “The Evolvement of Parent Education in the College Counseling Process” (Fall 2000)
  • 2000 – Kim Stafford, “College Recruitment Night” (Spring/Summer 1999)
  • 1999 – Van Sturgeon, “The Day I Turned Stupid” (Summer 1998)
  • 1998 – Michael Smith, “Multicultural Admission: From Paper Policy to Institutional Committment” (Summer 1997)
  • 1997 – James Alexander, Anne L. Bryant, Gwendolyn Jordan Dungy, Jean H. Fetter, Bill Fitzsimmons, Lawrence E. Gladieux, Mary Lee Hoganson, Don Johnson, Marybeth Kravets, Judy Rolfe, Ted Spencer, Peter Van Tyle, and Albert C. Yates, Special Issue: Diversity (Summer/Fall 1996)
  • 1996 – Ron W. Moss, “A Generation of Variance: Are We Prepared?” (Fall 1995)
  • 1995 – Peter Van Tyle, “How to Keep College Admission Officers at Their Desks and Out of the Courtroom” (Winter 1995)
  • 1994 – Frank C. Leana, “Blueberry Pancakes, Please” (Summer 1994)
  • 1993 – Maryam Ahamad, Edward Bell, Charlene Blue Horse, Deborah B. Bowles, Frank Burtnett, Deborah J. Carter, Richard Ferguson, John Hollifield, Naomi Kuziemski, Whitney Laughlin, Laudelina Martinez, Suzannne D. Mintz, Arnold Mitchem, Michael Rowland, William E. Sedlacek, Charles Shom, Donald M. Stewart, and Kristin Tichenor; Achieving Diversity: Strategies for the Recruitment and Retention of Traditionally Underrepresented Students
  • 1992 – Bethany L. Spotts, “Creating a Successful Minority Affairs Position” (Spring 1991)
  • 1991 – B. Ann Wright, “Smile When You Say Performance Appraisal” (Winter 1990)
  • 1989 – Steven Munger, A Guide to the College Admissions Process
  • 1988 – Jean Ballard Terepka
  • 1987 – E. Douglas Norton, “Intervention in Burnout and Substance Abuse in the Admissions Professions” (Spring 1987)
  • 1986 – Daniel C. Tyson, “The Montezuma Eight: A Moral Challenge to the Admissions Profession” (Winter 1986)
  • 1985 – David Chapman and Susan L. Benati, “The Structure of Salaries in College Admissions” (Spring 1985)
  • 1984 – Suzanne McColloch and Betsy Porter, “No-Need Scholarships: Practices, Trends, and Attitudes” (Fall 1983)
The 2022 Rising Star Awards are sponsored by Slate by Technolutions.

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 2022 Rising Star Award Winners!


Individual Recipients

Brandon Curry, Indiana ACAC 

Brandon Curry is a higher education enrollment management professional with over 8 years of experience. He is currently the Assistant Director of Recruitment & Admissions at Indiana University Fort Wayne and previously served at other institutions as both an admission counselor and social studies teacher. He serves on the Indiana ACAC Executive Board as Secretary and was a member of NACAC’s Ad Hoc Committee on Serving Next Generation College Counseling and Admission Professionals. Brandon is pursuing a Ph.D. in Global Leadership from Indiana Tech, holds an M.B.A. from University of Southern Indiana, an M.S.L. from Trine University, and a B.A. from Manchester University. He lives in Fort Wayne, IN and is very active in his community, which is exemplified by his service on the Executive Board of the Southwest Montessori Academy and the Board of the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana. He enjoys spending time with his wonderful wife (Kelley), his dumb dog (Percy), and his ornery parrot (Houdini).

Kaylee Meade, Ohio ACAC

As a first-generation college student, Kaylee understands how daunting the college search can be. She was lucky enough to have an amazing admission experience that led her to become a tour guide. Her desire to help students has only continued to grow in her role as Director of Undergraduate Admission at Ohio Dominican University. Through her work at Ohio Dominican University and OACAC, she seeks to lighten the burden on students and professionals by improving the college search and application processes.

Program Recipients

International ACAC’s Mentor Year Program

The Mentor Year Program’s mission is to provide a formal mentorship program where members build relationships with members in support of their professional development. In its inaugural year, the program supported members from 7 regions, 44 countries, and 94 institutions around the world. It provides a small, familiar community for professionals seeking growth through one-on-one mentee/mentor relationships, regular participant meetings, and monthly committee updates. Mentees will build their skill set, knowledge base, and resources for their own personal and professional development and for the benefit of the student populations they serve.

Minnesota ACAC’s Anti-Racism Committee

The Anti-Racism Committee (ARC) exists out of necessity and functions as both a barometer and a promoter of equity within Minnesota ACAC. The committee questions and challenges existing systems of oppression and exclusion through work with the organization’s annual strategic plan and approach to member recruitment and engagement. ARC members engage deeply with anti-racist ideas and materials while simultaneously working to uplift, equip, and empower those who have been historically marginalized and thus underrepresented in the admissions community and leadership positions.

Potomac & Chesapeake ACAC’s PRIDE Month Series

PRIDE Month Series is a free, four-session virtual event which provides LGBTQ+ related education, insight, and social opportunities to all interested professionals who support and work with high school and college students. The series was first held in June 2021 and topics presented focused on how to better support LGBTQ+ students and to assist fellow colleagues with establishing and maintaining inclusive environments and practices. The subjects discussed include LGBTQ+ student panels, understanding identities and their spectrums, the transitioning process, inclusive technology practices within CRMs and other systems, and much more. We market this series to all ACAC’s and encourage them to attend, connect, and gain additional perspective on what LGBTQ+ students, colleagues, and friends need from us as trusted allies.

Previous Winners


Individual Recipients

Jonathan Gowin (Potomac & Chesapeak ACAC)
Noor Haddad (Western ACAC)

Program Recipients

Elevate (Illinois ACAC)
Member Relief Fund (Texas ACAC)
Promoting Inclusivity and Equity Lunch and Learn Series (Pennsylvania ACAC)


Individual Recipients

Robert Kaercher (NYSACAC)
Fatmata Koroma (PCACAC)

Program Recipients

Advocacy Leadership Credential Program (PACAC/ PASFAA)
Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio Collaboration Webinar Series
Leadership, Equity, Accountability & Diversity (LEAD) Program (IACAC)


Individual Recipients

Courtney Johnson-Benson (OACAC)
Estrella Redondo (NYSACAC)

Program Recipients

Counseling in the College Program (Michigan ACAC)
Website Translation Program (RMACAC)
Transitions for Youth Conference Program (Indiana ACAC)


Individual Recipients

Lindsay Barbeau, Wisconsin ACAC
Meredith Norman, KYACAC

Program Recipients

Webinar Wednesdays, International ACAC
Government relations efforts, NYSACAC
Women in Admissions program, Michigan ACAC


Individual Recipients

Alison Lonneman
School Counselor, Beechwood High School, KY
Kentucky ACAC

Lauren Livak, New Jersey ACAC

Program Recipients

Scholar Mentor Program, International ACAC
Sharing the Dream, Illinois ACAC
Admission Practices Studies, Potomac & Chesapeake ACAC


Individual Recipients

Samantha Schreiber (CA)
Rosemary Martin (IN)
Megan McHale (MA)
Darah Tabrum (NM)

Program Recipient

Public School Counselors Training (PCACAC)


Individual Recipients

Carolyn Ucci, New Jersey ACAC
Lisa Searle, New York State ACAC
Heather Zeman, New England ACAC

Program Recipients

IACAC Middle Management Institute, Illinois ACAC
TACAC Webinar Wednesday, Texas ACAC


Individual Recipients

Owen Bligh, New England ACAC
Kenneth Bordelon, Texas ACAC
Anna Taul, Kentucky ACAC
Casey Pedrick, New York State ACAC


Individual Recipients

Kristen Collins, New York ACAC
Elizabeth Cheron, New England ACAC

Program Recipients

Michigan Advocacy Day, Michigan ACAC
District Directions, Western ACAC
Joining Hands for College, Potomac & Chesapeake ACAC


Individual Recipients

Bill Jack, New England ACAC
Erica VanBuren, Missouri ACAC
Teege Metille, Wisconsin ACAC
Christine Stumm, New York  State ACAC

Program Recipients

The New Jersey ACAC Membership Campaign, New Jersey ACAC


Individual Recipients

Jordan Smith, Kentucky ACAC
Darren Conine, Overseas ACAC
Thomas Robinson, Overseas ACAC

Program Recipients

NEACAC Middle Management Workshop, New England ACAC
Project Reach, Illinois ACAC
Greater Milwaukee College Workshop, Wisconsin ACAC


Individual Recipients

Desiree Keenan, Minnesota ACAC
Matthew Ogawa, Pacific Northwest ACAC

Program Recipients

Leadership Development Program, Minnesota ACAC
School Counselor Educator: Pre-Con Workshop, New England ACAC


Individual Recipients

Lisa Brown, Texas ACAC
Brandy Lapointe, New England ACAC
Laura Young, Western ACAC

Program Recipient

“Top Ten List” Brochure Campaign, New England ACAC


John Ambrose, Michigan ACAC
Mike Bryan, Rocky Mountain ACAC
Charlotte Diakite, New Jersey ACAC
Debra Landesberg, Southern ACAC

Program Recipient, Texas ACAC


Individual Recipients

Brad Burnham, Minnesota ACAC
Jennifer Farrell, Iowa ACAC
Noelle Goodwin, Indiana ACAC
Amy Jarich, Potomac & Chesapeake ACAC

Program Recipient

1st Annual Walk/Run So They Can Ride, Kentucky ASCAC


Individual Recipients

Jennifer Collignon, Ohio ACAC
Gisselle Martin, Southern ACAC
Jennifer Sullivan, Texas ACAC
Jennifer Swenson, Minnesota ACAC
Mary Wilkes, Pennsylvania ACAC


Individual Recipients

Diana Russell, Southern Methodist University, Texas ACAC
Stephanie Henney, Michigan ACAC
Greg Wasserman, New York State ACAC
Sandra Patterson, Southern ACAC

Program Recipient

Support Staff Drive-In Workshop, Missouri ACAC


Individual Recipients

Chris Traetow, Iowa ACAC
Jonathan Byers, Southern ACAC
Brian Taylor, Texas ACAC

Program Recipients

What Colleges Need to Know, New England ACAC
Camp College, New York State ACAC


Individual Recipients

Debbie Gabbidon, New Jersey ACAC
Sonali Perera, Western ACAC

Program Recipients

Illinois College Expositions (ICE), Illinois ACAC
College Counseling, 101, Potomac & Chesapeake ACAC
Share the Knowledge, Rocky Mountain ACAC


Individual Recipients

Erin Bergan, Iowa ACAC
Frances Bernstein, New York State ACAC
Myra Gomez Gonzales, Texas ACAC

Program Recipients

Visit the Hill, Iowa ACAC
One Day Workshop for Two-Year College Counselors, New England ACAC


Individual Recipients

Jeff Fuller, Texas ACAC
Kristine Shay, New York State ACAC
Meghan Sweet, New York State ACAC

Program Recipients

New Student Ambassador Workshop, Great Plains ACAC