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Call for Award Nominations
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Call for Award Nominations: Nominate a Peer, State Chapter, or Yourself for a 2012 AMHCA Award

By Carol Staben–Burroughs, LCPC
Chair, Member Services Committee

“Counseling in the Modern Era: Challenges & Opportunities in a Changing World” is the theme of AMHCA’s 2012 Annual Conference in Orlando. This is an important time to recognize and join with others to strengthen our personal and professional paths to greater mental health. Each year at AMHCA’s Annual Awards luncheon, our organization honors those individuals and state chapters that have discovered creative partnerships to meet the unique challenges of today’s evolving mental health environment. 

Join us at the Annual Conference July 19–21, 2012, in Orlando to honor past performance and inspirational examples of excellence as we celebrate winners of nearly 20 awards at AMHCA’s Annual Awards luncheon. 

The Member Services Committee invites all AMHCA members to submit nominations for an individual in one of several categories as well as nominations for AMHCA state chapters (both large and small chapters) that have made outstanding progress in the last year. Awards categories are described below. All nominees must be AMHCA members, with the exception of nominees for Legislator of the Year. 

Mail all nominations and required documentation to AMHCA, Attn: Melissa Hobson, 801 N. Fairfax St., Suite 304, Alexandria, VA 22314. The final deadline for nominations is Friday, May 18, 2012. 

  • Dr. Linda Seligman Counselor Educator of the Year: Recognizing outstanding and humanitarian service to others through teaching, training, consulting, supervising, research, or program development, spending at least 50 percent of his or her time in these activities.
  • Graduate Student of the Year: Recognizing a student AMHCA member who exemplifies the ideal mental health counseling student through outstanding scholastic and academic performance, outstanding counseling practice, or outstanding writing contributions to the field of mental health counseling. As part of the Donald Mattson Scholarship, a $500 grant accompanies this award. 
  • Legislator of the Year: Recognizing the outstanding service of a congressional member. Nominees should advocate for the professional concerns of counselors, AMHCA, and the overall welfare of the community. A legislator nominated for this award need not be an AMHCA member.
  • Mental Health Counselor of the Year: Recognizing an individual who has provided outstanding counseling service—including consultation—to the public, spending at least 50 percent of his or her time in direct counseling with clients and relevant consulting activities.
  • Outstanding Community Service: Recognizing the outstanding commitment and service by an AMHCA member at the local level to his or her community. Specifically, community service addresses the issues of the counseling profession and stimulates future service to promote the reputation of the profession.
  • Poster Session Award: Recognizing an outstanding Poster Session entry based on subject originality, presentation clarity, appropriate research design and methodology, and advancement of the profession. Only poster sessions selected for presentation at the conference will be eligible for the award; the award winner also receives free registration for the 2012 conference. Judges for this award will be the AMHCA Conference Planning Committee. 
  • Professional Service and Leadership to a State Chapter: Recognizing an AMHCA state chapter member whose dedication, energy, service, and leadership have strengthened the state chapter in such ways as membership growth, innovative program development, increased participation in sponsored events, and enhanced membership services. Eligible nominees should promote the goals and missions of his or her state chapter as well as the mental health counseling profession.
  • Public and Community Service: Recognizing outstanding service at the local, state, or national level that reflects a significant contribution to the professional concerns of AMHCA. Nominees may be nominated for service to AMHCA; work on legislative policy at the local, state, regional, or national level; work on critical mental health issues such as managed care or third-party payments; or development of new programming for consumers. 
  • Researcher of the Year: Recognizing exceptional research in mental health counseling.

To Nominate an Individual

Nominations should include ONLY the following: 

  1. A letter of nomination (two pages maximum) specifying for which award you are nominating this candidate and detailing why this person deserves the award. The nominator must include his or her contact information, including a phone number, plus mail and email addresses.
  2. A letter on state chapter letterhead from your AMHCA state chapter endorsing the nominee. If your state does not have a chapter, please submit a second nomination letter. 
  3. A brief resume (three pages maximum) from the nominee.

Note: For the research award, a copy of the published research article must be included.


In order to recognize the work of both large and small AMHCA chapters, two awards will be given in each State Chapter Award category. Large chapters are those with 500 or more members; small chapters are those with fewer than 500 members.

  • Membership: Greatest membership growth during the 2010 calendar year.
  • Service to Consumers: Outstanding activities directed at providing service to consumers.
  • Service to Members: Outstanding activities directed at providing service to members.
  • Outstanding Chapter Website: Recognizes a state chapter website that supports or advances the purposes and principles of AMHCA. Websites are evaluated based on their design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, navigation, and ease of use.
  • Outstanding State Chapter: Outstanding activities directed at building a stronger state chapter.
To Nominate a State Chapter

AMHCA plans to recognize winners in both large and small state chapters (large chapters are those with 500 or more members). To nominate your state chapter for one of the awards listed on page 16, please send: 

  • A letter of nomination (two pages maximum) detailing your state chapter’s accomplishments, and why the chapter deserves recognition.

  • The nominating letter should be on state chapter letterhead or from a state chapter officer or representative. Include any supporting documentation. 

  • The nominator must include his or her contact information, including a phone number, mailing, and email addresses.

To ensure consideration of your nominee, please submit a completed packet of required nomination information by the May 18, 2012, deadline.