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2016 Midwest ACE Award Winners
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2016 Award Winners!

The following Midwest ACE 2015-2016 award winners were announced the at the 2016 Annual Conference Jul. 27-29 in St. Louis, Missouri:

High Five Gratitude Award

The “entry-level” Gratitude Award category for members doing exemplary work beyond expected job requirements.

  • Karl Aldrich
  • Danielle Bank
  • Sara Burden
  • Tabby Cates
  • Theresa Green-Ervin
  • Monique Frost
  • Marty Gahbauer
  • Julie Gourley
  • Morgan Hewitt
  • Katie Kennealy-Pierczynski
  • Jennifer Neef
  • Brian Neighbors
  • Kelsey O'Rourke
  • Niki Perkins
  • Jennifer Pickerell
  • JJ Sadler
  • Tim Scully
  • Jen Skidmore
  • Alaina Tuohy
  • Peter Vasher
  • Eilis Wasserman
  • Kristina Wright

Applause Gratitude Award

Recipient of at least one High Five Award

  • Tara Coffell
  • Rachel Kraft
  • Andrew LeMarbe
  • Catherine Lund
  • Nancy Niebrzydoski
  • Kristin Nisbett-White
  • Zach Pavol
  • Alicia Rigoni
  • Cathy Schwabauer

Standing Ovation Gratitude Award

Recipient of High Five Award, and at least one Applause award Members who have received at least one High Five are eligible for consideration for the Applause and Standing Ovation recognition levels.

  • Kristin Adler
  • Jerry Donahue
  • Nancy Dugan

J.W. Paquette Superior Leadership Award

Instituted in 1991, this award recognizes active members who have made a consistent and significant leadership contribution to Midwest ACE.

Kelly Harris, Eureka College

Kelly Harris has been an active member of Midwest ACE since 2000.  Kelly has held Midwest ACE and NACE executive leadership positions, served on various task forces and committees and conducted presentations at NACE, Midwest ACE and Trends in Recruiting Conferences.  Kelly has written articles and been interviewed for regional and national publications and blogs on various topics relating to Career Services, as well as serve on various expert panels at events relating to career services.  

Kelly has devoted most of her career in employer relations and development at Bradley University and Florida State University.  She is currently serving as Director, Employer Relations at Eureka College in Eureka IL.   


Founders Distinguished Service Award

In honor of the six Founders of Midwest ACE, this special recognition award is given to active members of the Association who have made a truly distinguished contribution to the Association and the profession over their careers.

Gail Rooney, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Gail S. Rooney has worked in higher education for over 30 years in a variety of positions (counseling, teaching, and administration). Her work has been with community colleges, a small private college, and large universities. She received her PH.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Illinois, her masters in Counseling Psychology from George Williams College, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado. Her past roles include student affairs and career services administration, faculty teaching for undergraduate and graduate students, and consulting with career services, a student service center, an athletic department, and social agencies. She served as President of the Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers and served on the NACE Executive Board as Director-College. Gail is also a recipient of Midwest ACE’s J. W. Paquette Superior Leadership Award.


Dr. Rooney co-authored a NCDA monograph entitled, Learning Outcomes Assessment Step-by-Step: Enhancing Evidence-Based Practice in Career Services (2012) with Julia Makela. She also contributed two chapters, Back to the Basics: Career Counseling and Framing Assessment for Career Services: Telling Our Story to Strategic Directions for Career Services within the University Setting with colleagues. During her leadership at Illinois, The Career Center has received three NACE Excellence Awards, one in Educational Programming (EPICS), a second in Marketing/Branding (Rewards Program) and most recently in Technology-Excellence (Data Dashboard Delivers!). She has presented at several conferences on topics such as using learning outcomes in career services, campus-wide first destination practices, technology-enhanced career exploration, ethics in social networking, assessment to guide evidence-based practice, and strategic planning for organizational/service improvement.

President's Award

This award recognizes noteworthy contributions of members to Midwest ACE. Recipients will be chosen by the 2015-2016 Midwest ACE President.

James Mitchell, Ball State University 

For outstanding contributions to leadership development and to our profession.







Congratulations again to Midwest ACE's Award Winners!




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