Awards and Recognition

Do you know someone who is going the extra mile and making a difference in a student's life or in the field of education?

Nominate them for a PNACAC Award! Through the efforts of its Awards and Recognition Committee, PNACAC strives to honor exemplary professionals among our membership and the professional community. Recognition of award winners happens at the PNACAC Annual Conference each May. 

Descriptions and eligibility criteria for each award are listed below.

  • The deadline for Rising Star Nominations is February 8, 2024 to meet NACAC timelines.
  • The deadline for all other 2024 Award nominations is April 15, 2024.
Nominate for a PNACAC Award


Or, give them a quick Kudos to be recognized in our next newsletter! It only takes a few minutes!

Give a Kudos


PNACAC Awards & Past Recipients

Shawn Marie BarrySister Shawn Marie Barry Distinguished Service to Youth: This award is named for the St. Mary's Academy of Portland's former college counselor who lost her battle with cancer in 1995. These awards are given to PNACAC members who serve as a secondary school counselor, independent counselor, or a college level admission officer. Recipients of the award must have a minimum of ten (10) years of high school or college teaching and/or counseling experience with at least three (3) years in their current position. They must be currently engaged in counseling and be recognized as "those who have given outstanding and faithful service to youth."
  • Jennifer Reeves-Eisbach, Roosevelt High School (OR)
  • 2022 Kelly Palmer, Troy High School
  • 2021 Robert “Bob” McClory
  • 2019 Palmer Muntz, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • 2018 Robbie Cupps, Capital High School (ID)
  • 2017 Jeanne Eulberg, O'Dea High School
  • 2016 Kathy Krueger, Seattle Prep Academy,
  • 2015 Joe Raniero
  • 2014 Kelly Herrington, University Prep
  • 2013 Claire Nold-Glaser, College Planning Help
  • 2012 Susan La Rosa
  • 2011 Whitney Laughlin
  • 2010 Daniel Naegeli, Meadowdale High School 
  • 2010 Doug Scrima,The Evergreen State College
  • 2010 DebAnn Rippy
  • 2009 Teri Calcagno, Central Catholic High School
  • 2009 Scott Copeland


Rising Star: This recognition is given to secondary school or college admission counselors who have been in the profession for five (5) years or fewer and possess exceptional promise.

  • 2023 Jasper Adams, Juanita High School
  • 2022 Caitlin Forbes
  • 2021 Miranda Stiles
  • 2019 Heath Olson
  • 2018 Cholena (CC) Wright
  • 2017 Julian Franco
  • 2016 Oster Hernandez, College of Western Idaho
  • 2015 Monzerrath Stark
  • 2014 Hannah Middlebrook, Pacific Lutheran
  • 2013 Alex Galbreath
  • 2012 Heather Wofford
  • 2011 Katie O’Brien
  • 2010 Kelly Braun
  • 2010 Kellen Willis
  • 2009 Matt Ogawa
  • 2009 Victor Zamora


Alice TanakaDr. Alice Tanaka Exemplary Service Award:  Named for Alice Tanaka, Ed.D., a Past-President of PNACAC, college counselor and long-serving Seattle National College Fair Chair, Alice has been an active member of both PNACAC and NACAC for over fifty years; guiding both students and our organizations with her wisdom and compassion. This award is given to a member who has demonstrated outstanding service to students and the organization.



  • 2023  Patrick Wilson, Willamette University
  • 2021 Kathleen Barnes Grant
  • 2018 Ann Nault, Meadowdale High School
  • 2017 Megan Diefenbach, Holy Names Academy
  • 2016 Jim West
  • 2016 Alice Tanaka, Holy Names Academy
  • 2013 Teresa Hudkins
  • 2012 Nancy Shaffer
  • 2011 Marc Janes, Charles Wright Academy 
  • 2011 Jim Sumner
  • 2010 Michael Sexton, Lewis & Clark College
  • 2009 Cynthia Doran (Ms. Doran received the Lifetime Achievement Award, which evolved into the Exemplary Service Award.)


Excellence in Admissions: The PNACAC Excellence in Admissions award recognizes an outstanding professional who has worked in a college advocacy, counseling, or admission capacity for at least five (5) years. Recipients of the award must have made an impact in the field through a body of professional or research work, a single significant contribution, or through the work or service that demonstrates support of the PNACAC and NACAC missions.

  • Jana Jaraysi, Eastern Washington University
  • 2022 Jarrod Larse, Oregon State University
  • 2021 Cassy Esparza
  • 2019 Ramon Silva, Boise State University
  • 2018 Erica Johnson, Lewis & Clark College
  • 2017 Dave Kobzina


Program of Excellence: This award is for programs that provide great service and/or outcomes for students. To be eligible for this award, programs are considered to be unique and provide excellent service to students. Nominees must have been in place for fewer than five (5) years, and the program must be one that can be replicated by other institutions.

  • Willamette University's Camp College Summer Program
  • 2016 Bienvenidos a EOU, Eastern Oregon University
  • 2015 Pirates to Raiders, Southern Oregon University
  • 2014 AVANZA!, University of Idaho
  • 2013 Beaver VIP, Oregon State University
  • 2012 Imagine U at Washington State University
  • 2011 ACT VI