Honoring Don Dinkmeyer, the founding editor of the Elementary School Guidance and Counseling journal, this award recognizes an individual or organization making a significant contribution in the counseling field in support of families and family members.

Don Dinkmeyer's professional career as a counselor, counselor educator and author was devoted to helping families. His published materials include widely recognized works in parent education, elementary school curriculum, marriage enrichment and therapy materials and counseling programs.

Dr. Dinkmeyer believed that empowerment and encouragement occurs through education and skill training. He encouraged efforts to help families and family members through actions and deeds.

Background and Purpose

This award recognizes an individual or organization making a significant contribution in the counseling field in support of families and family members through:

  • The creation of materials that benefit families or counselors working with families, including contributions through publishing, the development of psychological education programs, editorial work, video or the media OR
  • Establishing or maintaining a program that makes a positive impact on families at the local, regional or national level. The award may recognize new programs or long-standing programs OR
  • Having followed a career that has shown clear evidence of dedication to the issue of families and of working with, and supporting, families.


  •  January 10, 2020, 11:59 PM EST

Award Notification

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


  • ACA Awards Committee


  •  $1,000 honorarium, complimentary ACA Conference & Expo registration (travel and lodging not included). Recognition and presentation of the award at the Conference.

Sponsor: The American Counseling Association Foundation

Eligibility, Rules and Criteria

This award was created to further social interest, the process of helping others for the common good. It is intended to recognize individuals or organizations with actions and publications that have been vehicles of social interest, with a meaningful and positive influence on families and family life.

  • Nominations must come from an ACA member.
  • The awardee is not required to be an ACA member.
  • Nominations for school and community programs, as well as outstanding individuals, are encouraged.
  • An individual can only be nominated for one award per year. 

Nomination Guidelines

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.

In your nomination letter, briefly:

  • Describe the programs, activities or accomplishments that qualify the nominee for this award.
  • Describe the influences the nominee’s efforts have had on the population(s) the nominee seeks to serve, consistent with the award criteria and the concept of social interest.
  • Provide appropriate biographical information about the nominee, including how to contact the nominee. If the nominee is an organization, identify a contact person and provide contact information.

Supporting materials: Include a nominee biography and a maximum of two letters in support of the nomination from others familiar with the nominee's 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. You may also include a copy of the nominee’s curriculum vitae (CV) or resume of no more than four pages, highlighting the nominee’s relevant accomplishments, if available. Keep in mind that the total submission cannot exceed 16 pages in length.

Apply for Award

Supported and sponsored by the American Counseling Association Foundation.


Dr. Jake Protivnak

Sheri Pickover

John Sommers-Flanagan

The New Horizons Family Counseling Center (NHFCC), a partnership project between the College of William & Mary Counseling Program and seven local school divisions in the Virginia Peninsula region

Dee Ray, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, RPT-S

Dr. James Robert Bitter

Dr. Ryan Carlson

Dr. Christine E. Murray

Dr. Andrew P. Daire

Amber Lange, PhD

Dr. Robert L. Smith

Dr. Deryl F. Bailey

Dr. Kelley R. Kenney

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