Background and Purpose

Dr. Garry R. 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.

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

Deadline:  Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, 11:59 PM EST
Judges:  A selection committee
Prize: $1,000 honorarium, complimentary ACA Conference & Expo registration (travel and lodging not included). Recognition and presentation of the award at the conference. The award recipient will have the opportunity to present their trailblazing idea or concept at a session at the Conference.
Sponsor: The American Counseling Association Foundation

Eligibility, Rules and Criteria

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;
  • 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.  

Nomination Guidelines

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.

Nomination Checklist

  • Nominee Biography
  • Nomination Letter (include details to illustrate the specific requirements for this award)
  • Supporting Materials (must include a CV of no more than four pages)
  • Three Supporting Letters
  • Nominee Statement


**NOTE:  If this is the first time you have submitted a nomination, you must create an account.  The email and password for the awards submission system may or may NOT be the same as your ACA website email and password.  They are different systems, and are not linked.

Submissions must be received by Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, 11:59 PM EST.

Send questions about eligibility criteria or other parts of the application process HERE.

Supported and sponsored by the American Counseling Association Foundation.

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