Dr. and Mrs. E.G. Williamson established the Ralph F. Berdie Memorial Research Award as a memorial to their daughter, Janice Marie. The award is named for Dr. Berdie in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the profession of student affairs through leadership and sound research.

Gon Ratanashevorn

The purpose of the award is to encourage and provide support for research in the area of college student affairs or related areas of counseling and education. Research projects are not limited to statistical and experimental projects and may include conceptual, historical and philosophical explorations and comparative appraisals.

Innovative and creative ideas potentially affecting directional changes in the field of counseling and college student personnel work shall receive primary consideration. Projects that relate to populations that might be served by college services may be considered.

To be determined 

To be determined

ACA Awards Committee


  • $300 honorarium 
  • Complimentary registration for the 2024 ACA Conference and Expo (April 11-13, 2024 | New Orleans, LA), and recognition during event. Winners will receive further information at the time of award notification. 

Sponsor: Dr. and Mrs. E. G. Williamson. Additionally sponsored by The American Counseling Association Foundation.


The research project must:

  • Answer questions and investigate ideas that are concerned with problems of interest and significance to college student affairs work and related phases of educational counseling.
  • Address areas of interest to one or more ACA division and organizational affiliate.
  • Be designed to generate findings applicable beyond the immediate setting.
  • Make efficient and effective use of available funds.
  • Have the potential to gain additional funding for longer-term research, if warranted.
  • 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. 


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.

A research overview must be included with your nomination. In the overview, briefly:

  • Describe the nature of the research and clearly state the hypothesis (es) to be examined.
  • Explain why the research is of interest and importance to the counseling profession.
  • Describe the procedure and general design of the proposed study.
  • Itemize the funds needed to conduct the research.
  • Describe how additional funds will be obtained to support further exploration of the hypothesis (es), if warranted.

Supporting materials: Include a nominee biography and a maximum of two letters in support of the nomination from others familiar with the nominee and her or his 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.