Garry R. Walz Trailblazer Award

Background and Purpose

Dr. Garry R. Walz is past director of the ERIC Counseling and Student Services Clearinghouse and a professor emeritus of the University of Michigan. He established the clearinghouse at the University of Michigan in 1966 and moved it to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1993, where it continued until 2004 when the U.S. Department of Education discontinued funding for all ERIC clearinghouses.

Currently, Dr. Waltz is CEO of Counseling Outfitters, LLC, and CAPS Press, LLC. He has authored and coauthored numerous books and articles. He also initiated and directed the ERIC/CASS Virtual Libraries, including the International Career Development Library (ICDL) and the Cybercounseling website (jointly hosted with ACA).

Dr. Waltz is a past president of the American Counseling Association and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, as well as a past chair of the Counseling and Human Development Foundation.  He has been recognized through numerous awards including the ACA Gilbert and Kathleen Wrenn Humanitarian Award, the National Career Development Association Eminent Professional Career Award, and the ACA Distinguished Professional Service Award.

A trailblazer is a pioneer who makes or points a new way to guide others.  As noted above, Dr. Walz is such a person, blazing several new trails in the counseling profession.

This award includes an honorarium of $1,000. The award recipient will have the opportunity to present her or his trailblazing idea or concept at a session at the ACA annual conference.

Criteria and Requirements

The award should recognize someone who has:

  • Developed an innovative program or practice that that stands out in both originality and practicality, and has been validated through research or experience;
  • Demonstrated a personal commitment to put it into practice;
  • Been a professional or retired member of the American Counseling Association for at least five years.

Nomination Guidelines

The Selection Committee, which includes Dr.  Walz, is especially interested in recognizing individuals who exemplify trailblazing in the counseling profession—individuals who have created an idea or concept that stands out both in originality and practicality and demonstrates a personal commitment to enact it.  The Selection Committee is emphatic in the desire to honor people representing the wide and rich diversity of the American Counseling Association membership.

In your nomination submission, briefly:

  • Describe the nominee’s idea or concept.
  • How the idea or concept was put into practice.
  • The impact to the profession.



  • A statement by the nominee on  how they meet the specific criteria.
  • At least three supporting letters of recommendation that address the specific criteria.
  • A curriculum vitae of no more than four pages highlighting the nominee’s relevant accomplishments.

Nomination Checklist

  • Nominee Biography
  • Nomination Letter (please review award details for specific requirements for nomination letter)
  • Supporting Materials (must include a CV of four pages or less)
  • Three supporting letters
  • Nominee statement

Submit your nomination(s) online by Nov. 12, 2017.

Create a new log in and submit your nomination(s).

Garry R. Walz Trailblazer Award Instructions (PDF)
National Awards General Instructions (PDF)