CACREP Award Winners 2019

CACREP’s Biennial awards were given out at the ACES Awards luncheon at the national conference in Seattle. The CACREP Award for Excellence in Advocacy named after its inaugural recipient Martin Ritchie in 2014 recognizes individuals who engage in superlative advocacy efforts on behalf of CACREP and its vision, mission, and values, which ultimately serve to advance the counseling profession through quality and excellence in counselor education. This year CACREP inaugurates a new award. The Carol Bobby Pioneer Award for Visionary Leadership was created by the CACREP Board of Directors honoring the meritorious career of Dr. Carol Bobby as a pioneer in the counseling profession. As President and CEO of CACREP for 30 years, Dr. Bobby’s influence on professional counseling and the accreditation of counselor training programs is legendary, particularly related to the development, growth, and maturation of the formal quality assurance mechanism that has been instrumental in advancing counselor education and the profession. In addition to her professional influence, she had a passionate commitment for supporting counselors-in-training. She made it her mission to champion counseling students by ensuring a unified academic pathway that is built on a strong professional identity, ethical practice, and real-world experience. She regularly sought creative opportunities for students and practitioners to be engaged in advancing the profession, serving as a mentor to many leaders in the counseling profession over her long career. The Carol Bobby Pioneer Award for Visionary Leadership recognizes a doctoral student in a CACREP-accredited counselor education and supervision program who embodies visionary leadership aligned with CACREP’s core values.

Martin Ritchie Award for Excellence in Advocacy

Recipient: Louisa Foss-Kelly

This year’s recipient of the Martin Ritchie Award for Excellence in Advocacy is Louisa Foss-Kelly from Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Foss has been a counselor educator for 13 years in CACREP accredited institutions. She maintains the highest professional training standards for her students and recognizes the crucial need for advocacy within our profession. Dr. Foss-Kelly sought opportunity to instill such values in her students through the founding of her department’s Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Academic and Professional Honor society (CSI), a chapter which has grown under her advisement since it’s initiation in 2014. Most notably, Dr. Foss-Kelly personifies strength in professional advocacy through state legislative efforts. As a member of the CCA’s Public Policy and Legislation Committee and most recently chair (2014-2019) of this committee, Dr. Foss-Kelly spearheaded the state’s legislative initiative, with SB 903, An Act Concerning Educational and Training Standards for Professional Counselors. This bill was passed by the Connecticut General Assembly in June, 2017. The law reiterates the importance of the CACREP training standards as gold standards for counselor training. In fact, it assures that core training areas are verified in order to become licensed as a mental health counselor in Connecticut. This past year, Dr. Foss-Kelly continued her work, leading and contributing to state HB 7132, An Act Concerning Licensure of Professional Counseling Associates and Marital Family Therapy Associates. This law provides two tiers of licensure, the LPC-Associate at the first tier and the Licensed Professional Counselor as the independent practice license. This bill has passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate and was signed into Law in Connecticut effective October 1, 2019. Dr. Louisa Foss-Kelly exemplifies activism as a counselor educator and her actions support her impassioned dedication to the counseling profession.

Carol Bobby Pioneer Award for Visionary Leadership Recipient

Recipient: Brandi Chamberlin

The recipient of the Carol Bobby Pioneer Award for Visionary Leadership is Brandi Chamberlin, who is a recent doctoral graduate from the CACREP-accredited program at Liberty University. Ms. Chamberlin, while in her doctoral program, worked to enhance a strong counselor identity in herself, faculty, and graduate counseling students by advocating for the professional development of the counseling faculty. She is a member of ACA, AMHCA, AACC, ACES, CAPS, SACES, VCA, VACES, NCCA, and the Lynchburg Area Counselor’s Association. She served on the CACREP self-study team for the last 3 years and is a member of Chi Sigma Iota. She has given 10 professional presentations, has active research agendas in four areas; and served as a Conference Proposal Reviewer for the Virginia ACES, SACES, and the Central Virginia Counselor Development Symposium. Currently, Dr. Chamberlin serves the community in Lynchburg, Virginia in many ways. One example is her service as a Board Member for Patrick Henry Family Services, an agency which provides group homes, counseling, crisis housing, and foster family services. And a second example is, recognizing a need for affordable counselor professional development opportunities, she developed the Central Virginia Counselor Development Symposium which offers an all-day training symposium at a low cost ($30) to advance counseling. In her day to day work she has a contagious passion for counseling: motivating and inspiring others…just as Carol Bobby did for so many of us.