Student Awards

Winners of the ACA Graduate Student Essay Competitions for 2017

The ACA Foundation Graduate Students Essay Competitions award winners for 2017 have been selected. Essayists this year were challenged to create a message for the new federal administration on the importance of supporting the counseling needs of the populace, and the counselors that provide these services in varied settings across the nation.

 Future School Counselor Essay Competition

 Grand Prize Winner (Award - $500 and complimentary 2017 conference registration)

  •  Mitra Ghandeharizadeh, Johns Hopkins University (MD)

 Runners Up (Award - $250 and complimentary 2017 ACA conference registration)

  • Trista Bruns, Plymouth State University (NH)
  • Jennifer Debevec, San Francisco State University (CA)
  • Katie Hanson, University of North Dakota (ND)
  • Claire Randall, Liberty University (VA)
  • Nicholas White, Alfred University (NY)

Honorable Mentions (Award - Complimentary 2017 ACA conference registration)

  • Megan Dunn, Monmouth University (NJ)
  • Jennifer Dwiggins, College of William & Mary (VA)
  • Jacqueline Iloh, Johns Hopkins University (MD)
  • Marcus Peerman, Virginia State University (VA)
  • Margaret Scally, Trinity Washington University (DC)
  • Austen Winkler, College of William & Mary (VA)
  • Rebecca Yellen, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TX)

Tomorrow’s Counselor Essay Competition

 

Grand Prize Winner  (Award - $500 and complimentary 2017 conference registration)

  •  Leah Culler, Antioch University – Seattle (WA)

 Runners Up (Award - $250 and complimentary 2017 ACA conference registration)

  • Jacqueline Barthelemy, Chicago School of Professional Psychology (IL)
  • Sam Colbert, Ball State University (IN)
  • Travis Kraemer, Western Seminary (OR)
  • Jeffrey Wilson, MidAmerica Nazarene University (KS)
  • Leah Yeomans, University of North Carolina – Charlotte (NC)

Honorable Mentions (Award - Complimentary 2017 ACA conference registration)

  • Brittany Bishop, Longwood University (VA)
  • Karen Cohen, National Louis University (IL)
  • Lauren Deasy, University of North Carolina – Charlotte (NC)
  • Jazmin Gonzalez, University of Texas at El Paso (TX)
  • Eleanor McAuliffe, University of New Orleans (LA)
  • Pneurissa Stamps, Chicago State University (IL)
  • Cassandra Riedy, Belmont University (TN)
  • Kasey Seltner, Neumann University (PA)
  • Angela Touchton, Lindsey Wilson College (KY)
  • Caleb Watkins,University of the Cumberlands (KY)

 The Grand Prize essays will be published in an upcoming edition of Counseling Today.

 

 




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Latest News

ACA Names Representatives to CDC Project

by Amber McLaughlin | Feb 27, 2014
Five expert members will contribute to the Safe and Supportive Schools Project, which will work with 19 state education agencies to promote the establishment of safe and supportive school environments for all students and staff as an approach to preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections for adolescents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of the 19 million new sexually transmitted diseases reported each year occur in young people, ages 15-24. In 2010, young people, ages 13-24, accounted for 21 percent of all new HIV infections in the U.S.

This alarming trend clearly indicates that a change is needed in the standard national approach to addressing human sexuality. As part of its mission to enhance the quality of life in society and promote respect for human dignity and diversity, ACA supports a proactive approach to youth health and wellbeing. That’s why we have partnered with the American Psychological Association (APA) to implement the Safe and Supportive Schools Project (SSSP). 

Funded by the CDC for a five-year period, SSSP will work with 19 state education agencies to promote the establishment of safe and supportive school environments for all students and staff as an approach to preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections for adolescents.

ACA has selected five expert members who will review resources and provide implementation guidance for interventions that school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists, and school social workers can use in their districts.

Our representatives to the Safe and Supportive Schools Project are:

Vanessa Cantu, a school counselor at Besteiro Middle School in Brownsville, Texas.  Brownsville is currently the poorest city in the U.S. Consequently; Ms. Cantu works with many homeless students, as well as frequent drug users and students who are practicing unsafe sex.

Rick Gunsallus, PhD., who provides counseling services for schools in Broward County, Florida.  The county in which je works has the second highest number of new AIDS cases per capita in the U.S.  Dr. Gunsallus counsels homeless students, ESL students, and GLBTQ students.

Brian Law, a school counselor at Valdosta high School in Valdosta, Georgia. Mr. Law’s school has a 40% migrant population. He also has experience working in a Title I school.

Patrick Ryan Mullen, a doctoral student in Counselor Education. His dissertation is focusing on school counseling. Mr. Ryan has served as chair of the School Counseling department at Journeys Academy, an alternative and Title I school in Sanford, Florida.

Amanda Rumsey, a school counselor at McLendon elementary School in Decatur, Georgia. Ms. Rumsey enrolled in the doctoral counselor education program at Georgia State University. She has developed school-wide interventions for at-risk students.

"We are proud to play a role in this progressive initiative,” said Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji, President of ACA.  “Facilitating empowerment for youth to make better decisions early in life, rather than solely focusing on problems after they manifest down the road, is and always will be one of the underlying values of our profession.”

For additional information about the project, please contact David Kaplan at dkaplan@counseling.org.