College Admission Professional & School Counselor of the Year Awards

Iowa ACAC annually recognizes a High School Counselor of the Year and a College Admission Professional of the Year. These honorees are nominated by fellow admission and high school counseling professionals to recognize exemplary work with students in the college admissions field. This year's recipients will be announced at our annual spring membership meeting during the 2024 MIDWest Conference in May.

Do you know school counselors or admissions professionals who consistently provide exemplary service to students? Take time to nominate them. Once compiled, the nominations will be sent to Iowa ACAC members for voting. Only Iowa ACAC members will vote.

Award Nomination Form


Admission Professional of the Year Previous Recipients

Two men on a stage

(Josh D'Amico, Mt. Mercy University, the 2023 Admission Professional of the Year.)

School Counselor of the Year Previous Recipients

(Wendy Maas, Ottumwa HS, 2023 School Counselor of the Year)

Rising Star Award

Iowa ACAC recognizes and encourages the work of admission counselors new to the profession, as well as the work of members in creating new programs to serve students in transition. Iowa ACAC wants to give state recognition to these new professionals and new programs, then complete the paperwork to nominate them for the NACAC Rising Star Award. The Rising Star Award honors individuals and programs that exemplify excellence and dedication to serving the needs of students in the transition from high school to college through Association work.

Eligibility Categories

Individuals - Individuals receiving a Rising Star Award nomination must be voting or non-voting professional members of Iowa ACAC for no more than five years. They must be new members who are striving to make a difference within Iowa ACAC through their work in Association committees.

Programs - Programs receiving a Rising Star Award nomination must be new Iowa ACAC programs within the last five years that use nontraditional approaches to traditional challenges. The programs must be practical and replicable by other affiliates.

(Emily Hannon, 2023 Rising Star Recipient)

Michael Barron Impact Award

Do you have a student or parent who reached out to share the great experience they had with their admission counselor? Perhaps you know a specific story about the way a counselor went above and beyond to serve a family and the difference it made in their college journey. This award recognizes admission staff whenever, and however, they might have impacted the life of a college student. 

The recognition is to be organic, arising from the student-staff relationship. This award celebrates the good that happens in the day-to-day work that we do in the name of serving students and impacting their lives.

Nomination Procedures - To nominate a member of your staff for this honor, email Iowa ACAC Past President Drew Shradel at [email protected] with the name of person and reasons for nomination.

(Michael Barron, Jas Whitinger, Mount Mercy University (2023 Michael Barron Impact Award Recipient), and nominator Luz Guerrero.)