Graduate Student Ethics Awards for Master’s Degree Students

Background and Purpose

The American Counseling Association (ACA) Graduate Student Ethics Awards for Master's Degree Students recognize exceptional, demonstrable understanding of the ACA Code of Ethics, the foundation of ethical professional counseling practice.

Application Deadline 

  • January 10, 2020, 11:59 PM EST

Award Notification

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


  • Members of the ACA Ethics Committee


The names of the team members and the names of the institutions of the winning teams will be published in Counseling Today and CT Online. All members of the winning teams are invited to ACA Conference & Expo to receive recognition.

First Place Award

  • $100 honorarium and a certificate of recognition for each student team member.
  • Complimentary registration to the ACA Conference & Expo. Travel and lodging are not included.
  • Essay will be posted online. 

Second Place Award

  • $75 honorarium and a certificate of recognition for each student team member.

Third Place Award

  • $50 honorarium and a certificate of recognition for each student team member.

Honorable Mention Award

  • Certificate of recognition for each student team member.

Eligibility, Rules and Criteria

  • Each student team member must be currently enrolled in good standing in a master's degree program in counseling or counselor education and must be enrolled for a minimum of three credits during the term when the competition will take place.
  • Each student and faculty member on a team must be a member of the American Counseling Association.


  • A counseling or counselor education program may have one team of master’s degree students and one team of doctoral degree students in the competition.
  • Master’s degree and doctoral degree teams will be judged separately. Teams must be made up of students in the same level of a degree program. This is not a mixed-level competition.
  • Counseling or counselor education programs with separate and distinct campuses may have a master's degree team representing each campus. Separate and distinct campuses are considered those that have stand-alone programs.
  • A single counseling or counselor education program that has multiple satellite campuses is not eligible for multiple master’s degree team submissions. (These campuses would have one dedicated representative in an accreditation process, representing the multiple satellite campuses.)


  • Teams are limited to having either a minimum of three students or a maximum of four students.


  • Each team must have a faculty member who will serve as an administrative contact person for the counseling or counselor education program.
  • The role of the faculty contact person is to represent the team’s counseling or counselor education program only.
  • Faculty members should not act as consultants in the awards competition.
  • The faculty member’s email address must be their own, not that of a student.

The team essays will be scored in terms of five rubrics:

  1. Identification of the Dilemma: The team clearly identified the ethical dilemma(s) including conflicting factors, dimensions and variables included in the professional quandary. The dilemma was described in relationship to ethical standards, laws and professional ideas or aspirations.
  2. Proposed Ethical Action: The team proposed action it would take including having: (a) clearly articulated professional interventions; (b) persuasive justification for proposed action and (c) a description of the professionally recognized decision-making model or process used to arrive at decisions.
  3. Use of the ACA Code of Ethics: The team cited appropriate sections of the ACA Code of Ethics (2014) and, if appropriate, other ethical guidelines considered in rendering their arguments. In addition, the team provided a clear rationale regarding selected sections of the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics and any other ethical guidelines cited.
  4. Use of the Proposed Model: The steps of the group's decision-making model were clearly followed and skillfully applied to the case.
  5. Overall: A thorough yet concise paper addressing details of the case and (a) the case study included proper citation of sources throughout the paper and in the reference list; (b) the paper was well organized and written, and information was presented clearly and concisely and (c) the paper cited the appropriate scholarly literature relevant to solving the ethical dilemma.

How to Apply

  • Submit an essay addressing this year's essay prompt.
  • Each team member must provide their American Counseling Association member number at the time of submission. Incomplete registrations will not be accepted.
  • Registering on the American Counseling Association website to generate an ID number does not constitute membership. For information about membership, contact the membership department or call 800-347-6647.
  • By Submitting an essay, teams and team members agree to allow their names and essay responses to be posted on CT Online.

Apply for Award

Supported and sponsored by the American Counseling Association Foundation.



First Place: 
Carlow University
Team Members: 
Samantha Burton
Ingrid R. Pipes
Katie Voorman
Ben Stoviak

Second Place: Stetson University
Team Members: 
Jill Arlaud
Crystal Dior-Glover
Zonovia Proctor
Daisy Zhaoxuan Zhou

Third Place: Plymouth State University
Team Members: 
Amy Bay Laurel Casey
Laura Walker
Sarah Pepper

Honorable Mention: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Team Members: 
Justina Wong
Eve Edelberg
Jennifer Toof


First Place: 
Augusta University
Team Members:
Kellyn Brooks
Kate Crockett
Kathryn Towns
Faculty Adviser: Denise Lenares-Solomon, PhD
2019 Winning Essay: Master's Category

Second Place:
Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine
Team Members:
Cameron Eshgh
Kaylee Kanning
Pam McCormick
Molly McCune
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Lorraine Gordon

Third Place:
Lindsey Wilson College
Team Members:
Crystal Gayle Burriss
Lynnsey Rodgers-Oakes
Brianna Taylor
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Gregory Sandman

Honorable Mention:
Northwestern University
Team Members:
Kayla Anderson
Lauren Attiah
Hannah Osmanski
Nina Tirado
Faculty Adviser: Russell Fulmer


First Place: Monmouth University
Team Members:
Madison Lawn
Helene Maliko-Abraham
Emily Ramos
Sunanda Sharma
Faculty Adviser: Sarah I. Springer

Second Place: Johns Hopkins University, School of Education
Team Members:
Daksha Arora
Pooja Deshpande
Kunaal Doshi
Faculty Adviser: Norma Day-Vines

Third Place: Harding University
Team Members:
Dana Bennett
Erin Hasler
Kelsy Kerr
Wyndham O’Neal
Faculty Adviser: Gene Wright

Honorable Mention: Marshall University
Team Members:
LaRissa Adkins
Sabrina McCauley
Kimberly Vance
Faculty Adviser: Lori Ellison


First Place: Webster University
Team Members:
John McIntyre
Andrea Gillespie
Tamara McCaffity
Jacqueline McMillian
Faculty Adviser: La Vera C. Brown

Second Place: Montclair State University
Team Members: Celenia B. Martinez
Brianna Horvath
Shannon H. Theobald
Faculty Adviser: Dana H. Levitt

Third Place: University of Holy Cross
Team Members: Dustin J. Trahan
Jessica E. Boyd
Joshua  N. Evans
Stephen M. Maffei
Faculty Adviser: Theodore P. Remley

Honorable Mention: Oregon State University, Cascades
Team Members: Kristin Gregory
Allison Styffe
Lindsay Kandra
Kimberlee Lear
Faculty Adviser: Kathy Biles    


First Place: Northeastern Illinois University
Team Members:
Leslie Contos
David Jarosz
Megha Patel
Rohini Sunder Raj
Faculty Adviser: Shedeh Tavakoli

Second Place: College of William and Mary
Team Members:
Isaiah Day
Ashley Hazelgrove
Megan Johnson
Janet C. Brantley
Faculty Adviser: Eleni Honderich

Third Place: Neumann University
Team Members:
Elizabeth Barr
Stephanie Fortunato
Laura Strubeck
Faculty Adviser: S. Suzanne Mayer

Honorable Mention: Eastern Mennonite University
Team Members:
Lisa Reo
Rebecca Wright
Tija Krneta
Michael McAndrew
Faculty Adviser: Nate Koser       


First Place: Lindsey Wilson College
Team Members:
Carson E. Economy
Corinne B. Mattingly
Antoinette G. Lee
Faculty Adviser: Mona Gallo

Second Place: Plymouth State University
Team Members:
Ryan S. Aquilina
Karen McLendon
Kathryn Doucet
Faculty Adviser: Michael M. Mariska

Third Place: Salem College
Team Members:
Katie M. Chilton
Donya T. Headen
Mary G. Roycroft
Faculty Adviser: John S. Gerstmyer

Honorable Mention: University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Team Members:
Audrey L. Miller
Casey J. Kelly
Lyndsey M. Klemme
Larry C. Halby
Faculty Adviser: Bita A. Rivas


First Place: Duquesne University
Team Members:
Hannah P. Hill
Iris R. Konieczka
Abigail S. Wengerd
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Imac Holmes

Second Place: University of Central Florida
Team Members:
Alina Siddiqui
Courtney Fyvolent
Katelyn Foudray
Faculty Adviser: Bryce Hagedorn

Third Place: University of Virginia
Team Members:
John M. Kronstain
Christina M. Koch
Lillian M. McVey
Nora K. Covert
Faculty Adviser: Derick J. Williams

Honorable Mention: Argosy University, Tampa
Team Members:
Kelly L. MacAllister
Ammi L. Collado
Amanda L. Tejado
Julia C. Coley
Faculty Adviser: Jenn K. Pereira


First Place: University of Toledo
Team Members:
Robin M. DuFresne
Jill I. Haar
Andrew Intagliata
Nicole Rybarczyk
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Nick J. Piazza

Second Place: Eastern Illinois University
Team Members:
Alyssa M. Swan
Jennifer I. Pugh
Sarah P. Puchalski
Rebecca P. Williams
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Rebecca L. Tadlock-Marlo

Third Place: New Jersey City University
Team Members:
Erika Calvi
Shalin Bhatt,
Camille Parker
Elizabeth Hickey
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Jane M. Webber

Honorable Mention: Old Dominion University
Team Members:
Lenora K. Jennings
Michelle G. Reaves
Margaret W. Fernan
Brad A. Carmichael
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Edward S. Neukrug


First Place: University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Team Members:
Beth L. Brooks
Karen Fiedler
Jayme C. Waddington
Katharine G. Zink
Faculty Adviser: Catharine Beecher-Nitka

Second Place: Webster University
Team Members:
Arti A. Dautenhahn
Stephanie J. Dautenhahn
Mary K. Goslin
Faculty Adviser: Ben G. Shriver

Third Place: Boise State University
Team Members:
Kristin Fehrer
Liz Finn
Lauwrina Lingelbach
Lucas M. Stalder
Faculty Adviser: April A. Schottelkorb

Honorable Mention: California State University, San Bernardino
Team Members:
Claudia E. Esqueda
Daisy Hernandez
Melissa M. Jones
Doungchit M. Sakoonphong
Faculty Adviser: Susan J. Brotherton


First Place: University of New Orleans
Team Members: 
Kelly G. Fleenor
Keith M. Brown
Emily K. Byrnes
Faculty Adviser: Barbara R. Herlihy

Second Place: University of Florida
Team Members:
Kertesha B. Riley
Jeanne-Marie Ritter
Bindi Shah
Jessica Ostrander
Faculty Adviser: Meggen Sixbey

Third Place: New Jersey City University
Team Members:
Aynur Eglow
Christine Leiva
Miriam Eisenmenger
Marjorie Wichert
Faculty Adviser: Jane M. Webber

Honorable Mention: Purdue University
Team Members:
Hannah L. Sasser
Arielle R. Falardeau
Melissa R. Tanner
Courtney M. Oliver
Faculty Adviser: Jean P. Peterson


First Place: Eastern Mennonite University
Team Members:
Erin Constable
Tara Kreider
Thomas Smith
Zachary Taylor
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Linda Leitch-Alford
Second Place: Regis University
Team Members:
Polly Douglass
Leslie Hughes-Lind
Abby Schreiber
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Teresa Christensen

Third Place: New Jersey City University
Team Members:
Lauren Coffey
Mark Doering
Aynur Eglow
Christine Leiva
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Michelle Perepiczka.


First Place: The College of William and Mary
Team Members:
Amanda Deverich
Hannah Bayne
Stacy Bolling
Faculty Adviser: Charles Gressard

Second Place: Youngstown State University
Team Members:
Kyle Wagner
Emily Myers
Meredith Edgar-Bailey
Faculty Adviser: Jake Protivnak

Third Place: Eastern Mennonite University
Team Members:
Nate Koser
Genhi Whitmer
Zachary Taylor
Faculty Adviser: Linda Leitch-Alford


First Place: University of North Texas
Team Members:
Daisy Colin 
Lorena Rodriguez Fernandez 
David D. Huffman 
Kimberlee Tucker.
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Casey Barrio Minton

Second Place: Oakland University
Team Members: 
Kirsti J. Reeve
Suzanne Sebree
Amy Willett
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Thomas W. Blume
Third Place: Argosy University, Seattle
Team Members:
Brandin Chapman
Kris Goodman
Karmen Lynn Walker
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Deidra L. Clay


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