ACES Awards

As a matter of official policy, ACES has adopted Guidelines and Procedures for regularly recognizing and honoring accomplishments and contributions to the Association and to the counseling profession.

ACES 2023 Call for Awards

Awards will be announced in Fall 2023 at the ACES Conference in Denver, CO.

The nominator is solely responsible for making the nomination, gathering support material, and emailing the nomination packets. Not following the eligibility requirements and/or not submitting all required materials will disqualify the application.

The Awards Committee reserves the right to refuse to grant any award based on the selection criteria even though one or more nominations may have been made in a category. All materials submitted become the property of the Awards Committee.

To represent the range of diversity and experience in ACES membership, the Awards Committee encourages members to participate in one role per year: either nominator or nominee. Please note that Awards Committee members and members of the ACES Executive Council may not be involved in the nomination process or write letters of recommendation for nominees.

Reminder– It is the job of the nominator to make sure all materials are submitted correctly, and the packet is complete. Incomplete packets will not be considered or reviewed.


The nomination packet must be received by 5:00 PM PST on July 31, 2023.

Please email the entire nomination packet in one file (PDF or Word) to

Send any questions to the ACES Awards Co-Chairs, Dr. Laura Bruneau, and Dr. Brian Weber, at

Description of the ACES Awards


The Outstanding Graduate Student Leadership Award honors a graduate student who is a member of ACES and has provided outstanding leadership to counselor education, ACES, and the counseling profession. Such leadership activities are as follows:

  • State, regional, or national level activities that are directly relevant to the advancement of counselor education, ACES, and the counseling profession;
  • Assuming leadership positions in university organizations related to counselor education and counseling;
  • Scholarship (e.g., innovative research, publication activities, or professional presentations directly related to counselor education);
  • Involvement in professional organizations (e.g., ACES, Chi Sigma Iota, ACA);
  • Role modeling leadership for current and future ACES members for the sake of developing future leaders in ACES and the counseling profession; and
  • Influence, communication, and public relations within society concerning counselor education.

The Outstanding Dissertation Award honors a counseling graduate student who successfully defended his or her dissertation during the past academic year. Nomination packets must include:

  • A nomination form is completed by the nominee’s doctoral committee chair or major professor;
  • A copy of the dissertation abstract/summary (approximately 275 words);
  • Letters of support include a description of the study rationale, research question(s), procedures (e.g., participant recruitment and selection, description of participants, instrumentation), research methodology and data analyses (e.g., ethnographic inquiry, Q methodology, multivariate analyses), results, and implications for further research and practice within the profession of counselor education and counseling; and

As a separate attachment to the nomination packet, please include a PDF of the completed dissertation that is in publishable form and has been approved as having met the requirements for a doctoral dissertation from a counselor preparation program.


The Outstanding Teaching Award honors a counselor educator who exemplifies excellence and innovation as an instructor in the classroom.  Nomination packets must include:

  • A nomination form completed by a current or former student;
  • The nominee’s updated CV (indicating courses taught); and
  • Letters of support should describe the nominee’s achievements with attention given to innovative teaching techniques; and dedication to encouraging critical and independent thinking.

The Outstanding Mentor Award has been named in honor of Don C. Locke and Pam Paisley to recognize their contributions to mentoring emerging leaders within ACES.  The Award honors an individual who has been a significant mentor to graduate counseling students, emerging counseling educators, supervisors, and counselors. Such a person assumes the role of coach, confidant, role model, and resource. Such a person exemplifies (a) Caring for others: genuine and sincere, empathic, accessible, and culturally sensitive; (b) Possessing and sharing knowledge, skills, and talents valued by protégés; (c) The ability to facilitate and support the realization of personal and career goals of those mentored; and (d) A commitment to the profession of counselor education, counseling, and advocating a strong professional counselor educator/counselor identity.  Other eligibility requirements include:

  • Active membership in ACES for at least three (3) years; nomination packets should include documentation confirming years of member
  • Self-nominations will not be considered.

The ACES Supervision Award honors a counseling supervisor or supervision researcher who exemplifies excellence, innovation, and impact in clinical supervision. Candidates for this award may include counselor educators, counseling students, or practitioners who merit recognition as a clinical supervisor or supervision researcher. Other eligibility requirements include:

(a)    In describing the nominee’s achievements, attention should be given to:

  • Innovation in clinical supervision or supervision research;
  • Leadership in the advancement of supervision knowledge, techniques, and theory; and
  • Impact of the nominee’s work.

(b)    If the nomination is for supervision research, the nomination also should include two samples of the research (e.g., dissertation, article, outcomes, or presentation).


The Research in Counselor Education & Supervision Award honors a significant research project by a member (or members) of ACES within the past five (5) years that specifically addresses issues concerning the education and supervision of counselors. 

  • Research must be in publishable form
  • Nominations must include an abstract (approximately 800 words in length) outlining the rationale, procedures (e.g., participant recruitment and selection, description of participants, instrumentation), selected research methodology and data analyses (e.g., ethnographic inquiry, Q methodology, multivariate analyses, etc.) results, and implications for further research and practice within counselor education.
  • Examples of issues addressed in the research project are:
  • Counselor and supervisee characteristics and effectiveness in the practice of counseling;
  • Appropriate and/or “effective” methods for counselor preparation, supervision, and continuing education;
  • Specific instructional and/or supervisory practices that facilitate counselor competencies and professional counselor/counselor educator identity development; and
  •  Counselor educator/faculty and supervisor characteristics and effectiveness in the practice of teaching, mentoring, and supervising

Publication in Counselor Education and Supervision Award honors a significant publishing effort by an ACES member focusing on the education and supervision of counselors within the last two (2) years.  A publication is conceptualized to mean book, journal article, video, CD-ROM, or DVD that specifically contributes to the body of knowledge in counselor education, counseling supervision and/or counseling. Priority will be given to those works whose intended audience is comprised primarily of counselor educators, counseling supervisors, and counselors (e.g., publication in American Counseling Association sponsored journals). Examples of publications are:

  • A book or journal article conceptualizing trends in the history of the profession of counselor education;
  • A video relating to any aspect of counselor education and/or supervision
  • A CD-ROM or DVD interactively teaching counseling or supervision skills

Dr. Robert O. Stripling was recognized by the ACES as one of two individuals who has been the greatest influence in developing counselor education programs at universities throughout the United States during the 50-year period from 1940-1990. This award, in memory of Dr. Stripling, is given to a person who has shown commitment to:

  • Leadership in the advancement of standards for counselor education and supervision;
  • Program development and counselor preparation;
  • The enhancement of the profession through competency-based credentialing;
  • Establishing a history of excellence in the formation; and implementation of professional standards in counseling, counselor education, and supervision

The preparation of counselors, counselor educators, and counseling supervisors for the coming generations requires both historical foundation and forward thinking. To do as we have always done relegates us to a repetition of the past; to venture beyond comfort, to risk, to dare to be different are required of the stewards for professional preparation. This award honors the individual who has:

  • Shown exemplary commitment, vision, creativity, and future thinking;
  • Tolerated ambiguity and fear during innovations in preparation and practice;
  • Championed transformational leadership;
  • Defended visionary writing or publication;
  • Promoted trend-setting practice; and
  • Advocated for change in contemporary and futuristic service

(One award to a counselor educator and one award to a counselor supervisor, please specify in the nomination.)

To honor outstanding service by a counselor educator and a counselor supervisor. Service should be to ACES and/or the cause of counselor education and supervision, which is of national importance to the profession. The service may be in the following areas:

  • Education and supervisory innovation and program development;
  • Standards implementation and credentialing;
  • Pre-service or in-service supervisory practices;
  • Continuing education and professional development of counselors; and
  • Advancement of the cause of counseling in society at large through such means as public media or political action

The Professional Leadership Award honors excellence in leadership by an officer, committee person, or other leader or major contributor to ACES at the state, regional, or national levels.

Leadership involves:

  • Scholarship (i.e., innovative research, publication activities, or professional presentations directly related to counselor education and counseling);
  • Program development in university or counseling work settings;
  • Involvement in professional organizations (e.g., ACES, state licensure boards, CACREP team member assignments);
  • Role modeling leadership for current and future ACES members for the sake of developing future leaders in ACES; and
  • Influence, communication and public relations within society concerning counselor education

(One award is given to a doctoral program and one award to a master’s program, please specify which program is being nominated.)

The Robert Frank Outstanding Counselor Education Program Award honors a counselor education program that exemplifies the importance of excellence through standards (which was the essence of Robert Frank’s career as a counselor educator) and innovation. 

Such excellence is shown through:

  • Faculty members’ commitment and contributions to ACES and the counseling profession;
  • Program commitment not only to standards but also to their improvement and development;
  • Faculty members’ mentoring a clear and strong counselor and/or counselor educator identity;
  • The program’s influence and relationship not only to students, but also to the university and surrounding community; and
  • Unique and innovative ways to provide education and supervision of counselors and/or counselor educators

Award recipients must be ACES members, as well as counselor educators and supervisors, for a minimum of 15 years to be eligible for this award. To be given for outstanding service to ACES and the field of Counselor Education and Supervision as demonstrated by:

  • Extraordinary Teaching and Academic excellence (Demonstrated through program development, student and peer evaluations, academic and administrative responsibilities to CACREP and NBCC);
  • Significant publication and/or research history;
  • Manifest commitment and service to ACES as evidenced by committee membership, offices held, task force involvement, advocacy, and volunteerism within the organization; and Outstanding commitment to the advancement of Counselor Education and Supervision through the education, supervision, and mentoring of students and/or new professional counselors
Excellence in DEIJ in Counselor Education Award

Award represents a commitment by ACES to recognize members’ efforts that have shaped counselor education and supervision. This award will be presented to an ACES member for outstanding contributions to research, supervision, teaching, advocacy and/or policy, and whose work informs and advances the understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice excellence in counselor education and supervision. Nominees should be considered trailblazers with a proven sustainability record and progressive change in areas of inclusive excellence in diversity. The nominee is required to be a current member in good standing of ACES and has demonstrated commitment to the philosophy/ mission of ACES.

Note that self-nominations will not be accepted. Nominators need to include the nominee’s specific contributions to research, supervision, teaching, advocacy, and/or policy and their progressive and sustained work over their career.

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