Honors & Recognition

Click here to view all award descriptions

Award Recipients

Founders Award 

2014: Donnie Brown, Tindall Corporation
2011: Flora Riley, Clemson University (Retired)
2010: Patsy Hammett, Milliken & Company

Honorary Lifetime Award

2017: Nancy Bernard, Auburn University
2017: Scott Maynard, Mississippi State University (Retired)
2016: Donnie Brown, Tindall (Retired)
2014: Patsy Hammett, Milliken & Company (Retired)
2014: Eric Pearson, Northrop Grumman (Retired)
2014: Drema Howard, University of South Florida (Retired)
2013: Laura Melius, Eastern Kentucky University
2013: Roger Young, Southwestern University (Retired)
2011: Flora Riley, Clemson University (Retired)
2011: Dave Kraus, Texas Tech University
2009: Marcia Harris, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Retired)
2008: Vernon Martin, Philip Morris USA (Retired)
2007: Brenda Davis, Alabama A&M University (Retired)
2007: Luther Eptin, Mississippi State University (Retired)

Southern Star Award

2017: Sam Ratcliffe, Virginia Military Institute
2017: Kent Phillips, The Walt Disney World Company (Retired)
2016: Ja'Net Glover, University of Florida
2015: Charlie Wilder, Mississippi State University
2014: Phil Gardner, Michigan State University
2013: Ray Angle, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2012: Toni McLawhorn, Roanoke College
2011: Roger Young, Southwestern University
2010: Karen Thompson, East Carolina University
2010: Matthew Berndt, University of Texas at Austin
2009: Alexandra (Alex) Anderson, Southwestern University
2009: Mary Mahoney, University of Tennessee

President's Award

2017: Alicia Smyth, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
2016: Ray Rogers, St. Edward's University
2015: Courtney Edwards, Louisiana State University
2014: Saranette Williams, Regent University
2013: Ray Rogers, Rollins College
2013: Elizabeth Boggs, Rollins College
2012: Wayne Hampton, Disney Worldwide Services, Inc.
2012: Norma Guerra Gaier, Texas State University - San Marcos
2011: Troy Nunamaker, Clemson University
2011: Tim Harding, The University of Tampa
2010: Donnie Brown, Tindall Corporation
2009: Curt Schafer, Texas State University
2008: Patsy Hammett, Milliken & Company
2007: Shelly Underwood, St. Mary's University

New Professional Award

2017: Megan Downey, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
2016: Kim Timpone, Barry University
2015: Jill Boatright, Loyola University New Orleans
2014: Katherine Nobles, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
2013: Stephanie Saunders, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
2012: Erica Lake, University of South Carolina
2011: Patrick Ryan, University of West Florida
2010: Michael Phillips, University of North Carolina Wilmington
2009: Wayne Hampton, Disney Worldwide Services, Inc.

Champion of Diversity Award

2017: Andrew Harper, St. Edward's University
2016: Melena Postolowski, Stetson University
2015: Mason Murphy, Texas State University
2014: Marian Higgins, University of Georgia
2013: Eric Pearson, Northrup Grumman

Mosaic Award

2017: Verizon
2016: Raytheon
2015: Pepsi, Co. (Frito Lay)
2014: Enterprise Holdings
2013: Out for Work

Imaginative Spirit Award

2017: Stephanie Bird, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
2016: Emilio Lorenzo, Nova Southeastern University
2015: Vicky Hamby, University of South Carolina
2014: Tim Harding, University of Tampa
2013: Shereada Harrell, University of Texas at Dallas
2013: Gary Alan Miller, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Servant Leader Award

2014: Alice Jones, Old Dominion University

Emerging Leaders Certificate

Theresa Danner, Collin College
Emily Cosgrove, Huntingdon College
Mandelin Meehling, Southern Methodist University
Monique Forhand, University of Arkansas Fort Smith
Danielle Pillans, Navarro College
Lizeth Vazquez, New Mexico State University
Kat Evans, Baylor University
Patrick Ryan, University of West Florida
Chelsey Armstrong, Oklahoma State University

Sarah Ward, Midwestern State University

Cynthia Brown, New Mexico State University
Darrell Easley, Mississippi State University
Lindsay Seaborn, Samford University
Set Thibodeaux, Louisiana State University

Award Descriptions

Founders Award

Awarded at the Board’s discretion based upon nominations solicited, vetted and recommended by Awards Committee.

The Founders Award is considered the most prestigious award SoACE can bestow on one of its members. It is to be given only when the Board of Directors deems there to be a deserving recipient and is not an annual award. The award may be presented to a current or former member of SoACE (including former SACE and SWACE members) who has made notable and significant contributions with distinguished achievement to the Association, the profession of career services and recruitment. To be considered for this award, an individual must have been active and contributed in the development of programs, held leadership roles in the Association for a considerable number of years, contributed in an innovative way to the professional development of the profession, authored publications of a creditable nature, and/or otherwise represented the Association in an exemplary manner. Current board members are not eligible to receive this award.

Southern Star Award

Awarded at the Board’s discretion based upon nominations solicited, vetted and recommended by Awards Committee.

The Southern Star Award may be presented to a person or persons to recognize significant and outstanding contributions to the profession, to society, or to SoACE.  The Southern Star Award is a prestigious recognition of service and contributions exceeded only in significance within SoACE by the Founders Award. The Southern Star Award may be given to a college or employer representative. The recipient does not have to be, or have been, a member of SoACE, SWACE or SACE, but must have made notable or sustained contributions to one of the associations or to the profession. Recipients of the Southern Star Award must have made a major and significant contribution to the career services and recruiting profession or had a sustained impact on SOACE, SWACE or SACE over a period of time. Nominations for Southern Star award recipients will be solicited by the Awards Committee.  The Awards Committee will make recommendations to the Board, which will consider nominees for recognition using the procedures established by the Awards Committee. Current board members are not eligible to receive this award.

New Professional Award

Awarded each year to one employer member and one college member. Recipients are selected by the Board based upon nominations solicited, vetted and recommended by Awards Committee.

The New Professional Award may be presented to SoACE members with no more than five years of experience in the profession who have demonstrated significant contributions to career services and/or recruitment. It is meant to recognize “future leaders” within the association.  Contribution may be to the association, a state association, NACE, or through direct activities as a part of their normal employment.  These activities must show innovation, reflect foresight, and display promise that the individual has the unique quality of future leadership. Current board members are not eligible to receive this award.

President's Award

Awarded annually at the sitting President’s discretion

President's Awards are given annually at the discretion of the sitting president to recognize individuals or organizations that have distinguished themselves by their service to the Association in ways of particular significance to the President during his/her tenure in office. Recipients of President's Awards are not subject to the vote/approval of the Board of Directors. 

Honorary Lifetime Membership Award

Awarded at the Board’s discretion based upon nominations solicited, vetted and recommended by Awards Committee. Award is not, by definition, an annual award.

Honorary Life Membership is awarded to individuals who have made notable and significant contributions to the Association over the course of their active membership in SoACE, SACE or SWACE. In order to be considered for Honorary Life Membership, an individual must have been active in SoACE, SACE or SWACE for at least five years, must no longer be eligible for active membership in the association because of retirement, job transition, or other similar reasons. Honorary Life Members are accorded all the rights and privileges of active members except the eligibility to vote on Association business matters or to hold office; however, Honorary Life Members may hold committee membership, be eligible to serve as committee chairs, and serve on committees in an ex-officio capacity.  There is no annual membership fee for Honorary Life Membership, however Honorary Life Membership must be renewed annually. New Honorary Life Members are provided a complimentary conference registration the year in which they are officially recognized and receive discounted conference registration thereafter. All SWACE and SACE Honorary Life Members retain their Honorary Life Memberships in SoACE as long as they renew this membership annually.

Diversity and Inclusion Awards

Established in 2013 and intended to address SoACE’s strategic priority on diversity and inclusion, SoACE annually recognizes an individual and a group/organization that has demonstrated a sustained commitment to the pursuit of diversity and inclusion in the community and workplace.

Contributions in advancing diversity could be in the form of activism, education, outreach, publication, service, or other initiatives. Criteria for these awards include:

  • Demonstrates commitment to the spirit of diversity and inclusion through active participation in promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives within the last twelve months
  • Supports positive communication and education that promotes mutual respect, acceptance, cooperation or tolerance among people of different backgrounds
  • Demonstrates and exhibits a positive influence on constituencies 
  • Nominations for these awards are submitted with the association wide awards.
Current board members are not eligible to receive this award.

Imaginative Spirit Award

The Imaginative Spirit Award may be presented to a college or employer member, which can be for an individual, team or office, to recognize their contributions towards the implementation of a unique and creative approach relevant to student/alumni programming, advising, employer/university relations, recruiting and/or training.  The purpose for this award is to uphold high standards of excellence in support of student/alumni/employer/university engagement, to encourage and reward creativity in our profession and to recognize and share best practices. Current board members are not eligible to receive this award.

Servant Leader Award

Awarded at the Board's discretion. The Board of Directors may recognize an individual that embodies the true spirit of the servant leader demonstrated by service beyond the call of duty to the association. Characteristics of servant leaders include such things as: empathetic listening, awareness of needs, an ability to positively influence others, foresight, good stewardship, and a commitment to growth of professionals. Current board members are not eligible to receive this award.

Board & Committee Chair Award

At the conclusion of their year of service, each member of the Board of Directors and each Committee Chair will be recognized by the President and the Association with an award, the nature and form of which will be determined by the President in consultation with the Awards Committee and in line with resources budgeted to support this recognition.

Certificates of Appreciation

Awarded annually at the sitting President’s discretion.

A Certificate of Appreciation may be presented to a member of the Association, to any person actively engaged in career services or recruitment or to an organization which has made a notable contribution to the field of career services and recruitment, provided outstanding service to the Association, or who have completed assignments of special significance to the Association. Certificates of Appreciation are presented, upon the recommendation by the President and approval by the Board of Directors, to individuals or organizations that meet the above mentioned criteria.