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.
- January 10, 2020, 11:59 PM EST
- Winners chosen and announced on February 14, 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use of the Proposed Model: The steps of the group's decision-making model were clearly followed and skillfully applied to the case.
- 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: Augusta University
Faculty Adviser: Denise Lenares-Solomon, PhD
2019 Winning Essay: Master's Category
Second Place: Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Lorraine Gordon
Third Place: Lindsey Wilson College
Crystal Gayle Burriss
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Gregory Sandman
Honorable Mention: Northwestern University
Faculty Adviser: Russell Fulmer
First Place: Monmouth University
Faculty Adviser: Sarah I. Springer
Second Place: Johns Hopkins University, School of Education
Faculty Adviser: Norma Day-Vines
Third Place: Harding University
Faculty Adviser: Gene Wright
Honorable Mention: Marshall University
Faculty Adviser: Lori Ellison
First Place: Webster University
Faculty Adviser: La Vera C. Brown
Second Place: Montclair State University
Team Members: Celenia B. Martinez
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
Faculty Adviser: Kathy Biles
First Place: Northeastern Illinois University
Rohini Sunder Raj
Faculty Adviser: Shedeh Tavakoli
Second Place: College of William and Mary
Janet C. Brantley
Faculty Adviser: Eleni Honderich
Third Place: Neumann University
Faculty Adviser: S. Suzanne Mayer
Honorable Mention: Eastern Mennonite University
Faculty Adviser: Nate Koser
First Place: Lindsey Wilson College
Carson E. Economy
Corinne B. Mattingly
Antoinette G. Lee
Faculty Adviser: Mona Gallo
Second Place: Plymouth State University
Ryan S. Aquilina
Faculty Adviser: Michael M. Mariska
Third Place: Salem College
Katie M. Chilton
Donya T. Headen
Mary G. Roycroft
Faculty Adviser: John S. Gerstmyer
Honorable Mention: University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Audrey L. Miller
Casey J. Kelly
Lyndsey M. Klemme
Larry C. Halby
Faculty Adviser: Bita A. Rivas
First Place: Duquesne University
Hannah P. Hill
Iris R. Konieczka
Abigail S. Wengerd
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Imac Holmes
Second Place: University of Central Florida
Faculty Adviser: Bryce Hagedorn
Third Place: University of Virginia
John M. Kronstain
Christina M. Koch
Lillian M. McVey
Nora K. Covert
Faculty Adviser: Derick J. Williams
Honorable Mention: Argosy University, Tampa
Kelly L. MacAllister
Ammi L. Collado
Amanda L. Tejado
Julia C. Coley
Faculty Adviser: Jenn K. Pereira
First Place: University of Toledo
Robin M. DuFresne
Jill I. Haar
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Nick J. Piazza
Second Place: Eastern Illinois University
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
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Jane M. Webber
Honorable Mention: Old Dominion University
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
Beth L. Brooks
Jayme C. Waddington
Katharine G. Zink
Faculty Adviser: Catharine Beecher-Nitka
Second Place: Webster University
Arti A. Dautenhahn
Stephanie J. Dautenhahn
Mary K. Goslin
Faculty Adviser: Ben G. Shriver
Third Place: Boise State University
Lucas M. Stalder
Faculty Adviser: April A. Schottelkorb
Honorable Mention: California State University, San Bernardino
Claudia E. Esqueda
Melissa M. Jones
Doungchit M. Sakoonphong
Faculty Adviser: Susan J. Brotherton
First Place: University of New Orleans
Kelly G. Fleenor
Keith M. Brown
Emily K. Byrnes
Faculty Adviser: Barbara R. Herlihy
Second Place: University of Florida
Kertesha B. Riley
Faculty Adviser: Meggen Sixbey
Third Place: New Jersey City University
Faculty Adviser: Jane M. Webber
Honorable Mention: Purdue University
Hannah L. Sasser
Arielle R. Falardeau
Melissa R. Tanner
Courtney M. Oliver
Faculty Adviser: Jean P. Peterson
First Place: Eastern Mennonite University
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Linda Leitch-Alford
Second Place: Regis University
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Teresa Christensen
Third Place: New Jersey City University
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Michelle Perepiczka.
First Place: The College of William and Mary
Faculty Adviser: Charles Gressard
Second Place: Youngstown State University
Faculty Adviser: Jake Protivnak
Third Place: Eastern Mennonite University
Faculty Adviser: Linda Leitch-Alford
First Place: University of North Texas
Lorena Rodriguez Fernandez
David D. Huffman
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Casey Barrio Minton
Second Place: Oakland University
Kirsti J. Reeve
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Thomas W. Blume
Third Place: Argosy University, Seattle
Karmen Lynn Walker
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Deidra L. Clay