NCDA Aims to Recognize Members

By Michelle Beese

The NCDA Awards Committee is passionate about recognizing our members for all of the outstanding work they do. We encourage you to think about nominating someone you know that deserves an NCDA award! NCDA recognizes all kinds of work, including practice in the legislative, international, or cultural responsiveness areas, as well as training of career development facilitators, support of career education and much more! The deadline to nominate another NCDA member is February 15, 2014 and the process is quite easy.


Check out all the special awards that are available and find the nomination form on this link: NCDA Membership: Awards



Following Up with Former Award Winners

Do you ever wonder about what happens to someone who wins an award? We thought it would be interesting to follow up with some of our former winners and ask them what winning the award meant to them. We asked three previous winners to share their careers with us after winning the award.


Deb CrapesDeb Crapes was a recipient of the Outstanding Career Practitioner Award in 2011.


1. What were you doing at the time you received your award?

I was working as a Career Specialist for the Spokane Public School District in Spokane, Washington. I worked with underrepresented youth in our district helping them with their plans for life after graduation. I was also very active in NCDA, volunteering at the annual conference and as a committee member.


2. What are you doing now?

I continue to work as a Career Specialist in Spokane working with underrepresented youth helping them with their future plans and aspirations. I like to think of myself as a "success advocate" for students, helping them navigate the world of work and college. I continue to be involved with NCDA and have continued with my committee involvement.


3. How has the award impacted your career development?

It is so nice to be recognized by your peers-and very humbling at the same time.  After receiving the award I have had the opportunity to meet, connect, and work with many amazing career professionals.  I have to thank NCDA for playing such an important role in my career development.  It is an outstanding organization with outstanding members!  They provide support when I need it and I know that they are always there for me.


4. Does it continue to play a role in your professional life?

 Winning the Outstanding Career Practitioner Award will always be one of the highlights of my career.  It gives me credibility that is recognized locally and nationally. It also reminds me how fortunate I am to have a career that I love and colleagues that share my passion. 



Mary Ellen EarnhardtMary Ellen Earnhardt won the Outstanding Career Practitioner Award in 2008.

1. What were you doing at the time you received your award?

I was a director of the 21st Century Community Learning Center. This program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.


2. What are you doing now?

I now oversee all the 21st CCLC programs in the state of Montana. There are currently 77 programs in the state of Montana. I recently presented a career component of the CCLC program to the top level educators in the state of Montana.


3. How has the award impacted your career development?

Having the opportunity to receive this award gave me the opportunity to meet other professionals and learn from them.  In return I was able to help my educators, peers and students understand the importance of career development as an essential element of their lives.


4. Does it continue to play a role in your professional life?

We are incorporating career development in our 21st CCLC programs and I am working with other departments at OPI (Office of Public Instruction in Montana).



Natalie KauffmanNatalie Kauffman, also won the Outstanding Career Practitioner Award. She actually came up with the idea of finding out what our award winners have been up to since they were recognized by NCDA. We all agreed that was a fabulous idea!

1. What were you doing at the time you received your award?

When I was received NCDA's Outstanding Career Practitioner Award back in summer 2003, I was providing both on-site and virtual comprehensive career development services to diverse clientele around the world, typically ranging from ‘millennials’ to ‘baby boomers’, through KauffmanNcareers, LLC, my Maryland-based, private practice and career consulting business. I also was an adjunct faculty member at Baltimore County Community College, part time Career Center Assistant Director at Notre Dame of Maryland University, instructor of the Global Career Development Facilitator curriculum, instructor of a career planning and a MBTI course with a local Lifelong Learning program and on-call career and international destination consultant with Options Resource and Career Center in Houston, TX.


2. What are you doing now?

Through KauffmanNcareers, LLC, I continue to provide comprehensive individual and group career development support to individuals and groups across the U.S. and around the world. I also continue my adjunct faculty role with Baltimore County Community College, but now provide on-call career services to current students and alumni of my graduate school alma mater, The Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Additionally, I have developed an expertise in federal government job search and have greatly enjoyed recent sub-contracting experiences with the US Departments of Commerce, Defense & Health and Human Services.


3.  How has the award impacted your career development?

NCDA's Outstanding Career Practitioner Award impacted my career development by helping me to move outside my comfort zone and to move on from giving back at the state level to giving back at the national level. Prior to receiving NCDA’s award, I had been very active in my state’s CDA and counseling association, eventually serving as president in both Maryland’s Career Development Association and Association of Counseling & Development. After receiving the award, I said yes when called by the NCDA Nominations Committee to consider running for Southern Region leadership and said yes again when asked to chair NCDA's 3rd Leadership Academy. These activities further enhanced my leadership skills and abilities and helped me to continue to build my private practice and consulting business as well as to confidently apply for and secure a higher education Career Center Director position.


4. Does it continue to play a role in your professional life?

NCDA's Outstanding Career Practitioner Award continues to play a role in my professional life. When I completed my NCDA Southern Region Trustee position, I once again elected to move outside my comfort zone and registered for and attended an international careers conference, CERIC’s annual Cannexus Conference in Ottawa, Canada. Mark Savickas and I were the only US participants. (Actually, Mark was an invited keynote speaker.) I also continue to give back. I got involved with my alma mater’s student and alumni counseling association. Currently, I'm an active member of The Johns Hopkins University’s Alumni Council and Student Engagement Committee. And I’m still actively involved with NCDA through participation in both the Awards and Veterans Committees.


Members Invited to Comment Now


Have you won an award through NCDA? We would love to hear from you and how the award has impacted your professional life. Our intent is to do a series of these articles to highlight our past award winners. Please contact the Awards Chair, Michelle Beese, at mbeese@internet49.com or call 916-709-2730 if you are interested in sharing your story to inspire our members. And don't forget to nominate your colleague (click here for details) before February 15, 2014.


Printer-Friendly Version