Tomorrow’s Counselors Awards 

Background and Purpose

The American Counseling Association Tomorrow’s Counselors Awards recognize graduate counseling students with exceptional insight and understanding about the counseling profession and the work of professional counselors in mental health, private practice, community agency, agency, organization or related counseling settings.

Application Deadline

  • January 10, 2020, 11:59 PM EST 

Award Notification

  • Winners chosen and announced the week of February 18, 2020 


  • ACA Awards Committee

Grand Prize Award

  • $1,000 honorarium
  • Complimentary ACA Conference & Expo registration (travel and lodging not included).
  • Recognition and presentation of the award at the Conference.
  • Essay published on CT Online.

First Prize Award

  • $750 honorarium and complimentary ACA Conference & Expo registration (travel and lodging not included).
  • Recognition and presentation of the award at the Conference.

Second Prize Award

  • $500 honorarium and complimentary ACA Conference & Expo registration (travel and lodging not included).
  • Recognition and presentation of the award at the Conference.

Honorable Mention Awards (2 awards)

  • Complimentary ACA Conference & Expo registration (travel and lodging not included).

Sponsor: Gerald and Marianne Corey, Allen and Mary Bradford Ivey and the American Counseling Association Foundation



The American Counseling Association Tomorrow’s Counselors Awards are open to any counseling student in a master’s degree or doctoral degree program taking one or more graduate courses at an accredited college or university.

  • Awards applicants must be enrolled in counseling-related graduate studies in the fall of 2020.
  • Awards applicants must be American Counseling Association student members. Join ACA or renew your membership.
  • Awards applicants may enter only one of the following two awards tracks: the 2020 American Counseling Association Tomorrow’s Counselors Awards or the 2020 American Counseling Association Future School Counselors Awards.
  • Previous American Counseling Association Tomorrow’s Counselors Award Grand Prize awardees are not eligible to apply for these awards. Previous winners of ACA Tomorrow’s Counselors awards in other categories (First Place through Honorable Mention) may apply for the 2020 Tomorrow's Counselors Awards.
  • Applicants for the American Counseling Association Tomorrow’s Counselors Award must certify that they are preparing to work in mental health, private practice, community agency, agency, organization or related counseling settings.
  • Only one essay can be submitted by each American Counseling Association student member.

All entries will be read by a team of experienced professional counselors and evaluated in terms of how effectively each essay addresses the subject and offers provocative insights into the profession of counseling and its future.

Judges will want to see ideas well explained and supported. They will be evaluating how effectively the essayist presents his/her view and how interesting that position will be to the counseling community at large.

The decisions of the judges are final. There can be no substitution of prizes.

How to Apply

  • Submit an essay of 500 words or less, addressing the theme:

The 2014 ACA Code of Ethics directs professional counselors to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.  Discuss how professional counselors can effectively achieve this goal.

Scoring Rubric:  In the essay, the writer:

  1. identifies the client’s issue;
  2. identifies the client’s world view;
  3. discusses how law, ethical codes and institutional policy impact treatment effectiveness;
  4. covers the purpose of and need for advocating for clients;
  5. demonstrates the use of correct grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation in a concise and well-constructed essay; and
  6. constructs a logical and compelling argument that supports the conclusions in the essay.
  • It is recommended that awards program entrants write their essay in a software program of their choice, save it and then copy and paste the essay into the online submission form. Keep a copy of the essay in case there is a problem in the electronic transmission of the awards entry.
  • Neither the American Counseling Association nor the American Counseling Association Foundation is responsible if an entry does not reach the Awards program submission queue.
  • All entrants, by the act of entering, grant the American Counseling Association and the American Counseling Association Foundation the right to publish their name and their essay as part of the post-competition publicity on CT Online
  • Check ACA membership status.
  • Submit an essay meeting all award requirements.

Apply for Award


Supported and sponsored by the American Counseling Association Foundation.



Grand Prize: Adriana Walsh
First Prize: Bailey Walther
Second Prize: Ben Stoviak

Honorable Mention
Dominique Walker
Evan Merida


Grand Prize: Anabel Mifsud, University of New Orleans (LA)

First Prize: Jim Minthorne, California State University, Fullerton (CA)

Second Prize: Leslie Preveaux, Mercer University (GA)

Honorable Mention:
Jennifer Toof, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (IL)
Madelfia Abb, Wake Forest University (NC)


Grand Prize:
Jessica L. Ryan, University of Wyoming (WY)
Lynne Shayko, Kent State University (OH)

Daksha Arora, Johns Hopkins University (MD)
James Ford, Texas Southern University (TX)
Olivia Houston, University of Pennsylvania (PA)
Kristen Ras, Concordia University (MO)

Honorable Mention:
Julles Berky, University of Phoenix (UT)
Ashley Burks, University of Houston (TX)
Mila Cainey, Montreat University (NC) 
Sarah Fitchner, Kean University (NJ)
Melissa Kohlberger, Centenary University (NJ)
Juan Pantoja-Patino, Marquette University (WI)
Ariann Rubino, Virginia Tech (VA)
Annalisa Smithson, Lehigh University (PA)
Peter Stieglmayr, Fordham University (NY)
Denise Whetstone, Wake Forest University (NC)


Grand Prize:
Leah Culler, Antioch University, Seattle (WA)

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 Mention:
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)


Grand Prize:
Kelly King, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Rachel Mickelsen, University of Texas at San Antonio 

Kadie-Ann Caballero-Dennis, North Dakota State University
Tara Carleton, Loyola University Maryland
Patrick Ide, Liberty University 
Heather Kramer, Loyola University Maryland
Ketluimar Vallecillo-Samot, Liberty University
Honorable Mention:
Mehmet Avci, St. Mary’s University 
Sarah Davis, Marywood University
Joshua Elliott, Eastern Kentucky University
Gerard Grigsby, Ohio University 
Mary Rose Barbour Kaplan, Kutztown University
Andrew Robinson, Boston University School of Medicine 
Lisa Sanchez, New Mexico Highlands University
Nena Tahil, University of North Florida
Ashley Tolleson, Georgia State University
Jeff Zapor, Wayne State University


Grand Prize:
Kellyn Marshall, Walden University 

Lisa Factor, Lenoir-Rhyne University
Vanessa Matossian, Grand Canyon University
Darryl J. Schafer, Missouri State University
Whitney White, Walden University
Christopher Woodside, Monmouth University

Honorable Mention:
Karen Elizabeth Cohen, National Louis University 
Prairie Conlon, Liberty University 
Emily Donald, University of North Carolina at Charlotte 
Kelly Helton, Carson-Newman University 
Tavonda Hudson, Mercer University 
Travis R. Moore, Southern Methodist University 
Rebecca Pence, University of Texas at Austin 
Jennifer Schermerhorn, Lenoir-Rhyne University 
Stacy Solsaa, University of South Dakota
Rebecca Vazquez, Regent University


Grand Prize:
Everett Painter, University of Tennessee

Brad Carmichael, Old Dominion University
Julia Olson, Regis University
Sara Pomerantz, University of Vermont
Erin Wenzel, Antioch University Seattle
Tanya Willson, Barry University  

Honorable Mention:
Saihba Ali, Southern Methodist University
Elizabeth Ballenski, Colorado Christian University
Alice Boertje, Concordia University Chicago
Justin Cook, Missouri State University
David Ray Dingus, Lindsey Wilson College
Eric Esters, Argosy University
Katherine Kingra, Husson University
Arnold P. Sprague, University of Buffalo, The State University of New York
Justin Trout, Lindsey Wilson College 
Lorilee Vernig, St. Mary's of Minnesota


Grand Prize:
Jenna Meyerberg, Georgian Court University

Angela Bryner, Western Illinois University
Everett Painter, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Emily Shields, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Alissa Weinberger, New Mexico State University
Abigail Wengerd, Duquesne University
Honorable Mention:
Cara Blakes, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Liz Hickey, New Jersey City University
Eleni Honderich, College of William and Mary
Bonnie Kozminski, Capella University
Summer Milton, Mid America Christian University
Michelle Monforton, Oakland University
Julia Olson, Regis University
Michele M. Pappert, Oakland University
Jose Bullecer Rebustes III, Kean University
Travis Watson, Slippery Rock University  


Grand Prize:
Luis De La Lama

Lauren Benoist
Danielle Cascella
Martha Nodar
Gitima Sharma

Honorable Mention:
Keya Anderson
William F. Brown
Karlie Butterworth
Hannah Edith Davis
Christopher Farmer
Jessica Ann Headley
Liz Hickey
Yi-Chun Lin
Jeanne Malmgren
Panagiotis Markopoulos
Melvin Mendoza
Mark W. Nettles
Megan Rook
Therese L. Smerklo
Jacqueline Ward 


Grand Prize:
Jeremy Reichert, Colorado Christian University

Tracie Self, University of Iowa
Melanie A. Kautzman-East, Youngstown State University
Joelle Drader, Spring Arbor University
Kelly G. Fleenor, University of New Orleans

Honorable Mention:
Kathy Mousseau, University of Phoenix
Ricky Thompson, Argosy University-Atlanta
Emily Keller, St. Mary's University
Sanda Gibson, Ohio University
Kelly Wright, University of Louisiana at Monroe
Ricshawn Adkins Roane, George Mason University
Robert Carr, Capella University
Michael Hubbard, Corban University
Laura C. Anderson, New Mexico Highlands University
Erica Pettinger, Alfred University
Jacqueline Ward, Walden University
Glenda Laurent Dickonson, Loyola University Maryland
Natalie F. Williams, Ohio University
Alyssa Barkman, Walden University
Angela S. Shores, NC State University

Grand Prize:
Anita A. Neuer, Old Dominion University

Julie Hammontree, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Cyndi B. Dennemann, Xavier University
Donny L. Baca, University of Northern Colorado
Thomas J. Sherman, University of Virginia

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