The Garry R. Walz Trailblazer Award was created in honor of Dr. Walz’s dedication and contributions to the counseling profession—and to honor other such trailblazers whose vision, passion and leadership skills help advance the counseling profession and encourage others to do the same.

Amanda L. Giordano

A trailblazer is a pioneer that makes or points a new way to guide others. Dr. Garry R. Walz was such a person, blazing many new trails in the counseling profession.

Dr. Walz was 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. 

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

Dr. Walz served as president of the American Counseling Association and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, as well as chair of the Counseling and Human Development Foundation. He received many 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.

To be determined 

To be determined

ACA Awards Committee

Complimentary registration for the 2024 ACA Conference and Expo (April 11-13, 2024 | New Orleans, LA), and recognition during event. Winners will receive further information at the time of award notification.

Sponsor:The American Counseling Association Foundation

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; and
  • Been a professional or retired member of the American Counseling Association for at least five years.
  • Nominations must come from an ACA member.
  • The awardee must be an ACA member.
  • An individual can only be nominated for one award per year. 

The total submission package for this award cannot exceed 16 pages in length. All nomination materials must be combined into one document (all formats accepted), with the nomination letter first.

Nomination letter: In the letter, identify the nominee and the specific award. Explain why you believe the nominee should receive the award by responding to the specific criteria outlined in the nomination guidelines. Keep in mind that the awards reviewers are relying on the information you provide to choose the most deserving recipient for the award. Please address each nomination guideline and make sure your nominee meets the award criteria and requirements. Brevity, clarity and specificity are most important here.

The Selection Committee is especially interested in recognizing an individual who exemplifies a trailblazer in the counseling profession—someone who has created an idea or a concept that stands out, both in originality and practicality, and demonstrates a personal commitment to enact the idea or concept. The Selection Committee is emphatic in the desire to honor those 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 about how they meet the specific criteria;
  • At least three supporting letters of recommendation that address the specific criteria; and
  • A curriculum vitae of no more than four pages highlighting the nominee’s relevant accomplishments.

Supporting materials: Include a nominee biography and a copy of the nominee’s curriculum vitae (CV) or resume of no more than four pages, highlighting the nominee’s relevant accomplishments. If there are additional materials (news reports, journal articles, etc.) that you feel help support the nominee’s achievements, please include a copy of them. Keep in mind that the total submission cannot exceed 16 pages in length.