College Access Impact Awards

On the evening of March 13, 2017, Michigan College Access Network honored organizations and individuals whose efforts have gone above and beyond to improve postsecondary attainment. The eight award categories recognize individuals and organizations that have had a tremendous impact on increasing college readiness, participation, and completion in Michigan, particularly among low-income and first-generation students and students of color. MCAN uses these awards as a way of bringing positive attention to the great work happening around the state each year. MCAN has unofficially adopted a nautical theme in their programming, and you will see that reflected in the awards here. 

2017 Award Categories

MCAN is pleased to recognize individuals, organizations and/or corporations who go above and beyond the call of duty, and have made remarkable contributions to change the face of education and help more Michigan residents access and succeed in postsecondary education. The following awards were presented: 
 

THE BEACON AWARD: Strengthening Success through Partnerships

Comprehensively aligning the organizational leaders in the college access and success field allows for the design and implementation of a unified vision for progress toward the Big Goal – 60 percent by 2025. The Michigan College Access Network convenes and engages cross-sector partners to galvanize movement toward collaboration. The recipient of this award is an individual or organization that has continually endeavored to unite programs, activities and/or operations in support of postsecondary attainment.

Award Recipient:
Fostering Success Michigan at Western Michigan University

Pictured left to right: WMU student Brandon Youngblood,
and WMU Professor of Social Work and Director of the Center
for Fostering Success, Yvonne Unrau.


THE CARDINAL AWARD: Rallying Communities to Impact

Boosting the college access activity in communities on the ground level helps drive the state toward the Big Goal – 60 percent by 2025. Promoting campaigns that urge students, parents, school staff and citizens to take direct action helps create a sense of urgency around the postsecondary planning process. The recipient of this award is an individual or organization that has advanced the college-going culture through significant investment in statewide campaigns. 

Award Recipient: Hazel Park High School

Pictured left to right: Hazel Park High School Counselor 
Whitney Bernstein and Hazel Park Promise Zone Director
Kayla Roney Smith.


THE CHIEF MATE AWARD: Providing Comprehensive Programming

School counseling programs play a vital role in ensuring students are provided the support they need to enroll in and complete college - a key component to Michigan meeting our Big Goal - 60 percent by 2025. The recipient of this award is an individual school counselor or school counseling program that has made significant strides in advancing the college readiness and enrollment supports and services to students which assists in moving the needle on critical postsecondary metrics.

Award Recipient: Catherine Longstreet, Hastings High School

Hastings High School Counselor, Catherine Longstreet


THE COMPASS AWARD: Advocating for Attainment

Ensuring public policy supports Michigan’s momentum toward achieving the Big Goal – 60 percent by 2025 – is a critical strategy of the Michigan College Access Network. Working with mission-aligned allies, MCAN advises policymakers at all levels on crafting dynamic legislation that results in reduced barriers and increased attainment across the state and country. Recipients of this award have launched and/or championed bold proposals that focus on increasing Michigan’s postsecondary attainment rate.

Award Recipient: Dr. Venessa Keesler, Michigan Department of Education 

Michigan Department of Education's Deputy Superintendent 
for Educator, Student and School Supports, Dr. Venessa 
Keesler


THE FLAGSHIP AWARD: Developing Sustainable Networks

The creation and support of Local College Access Networks across the state is the primary strategy of the Michigan College Access Network. Mobilizing high level leaders, network staff and community resources creates lasting infrastructure locally in support of the Big Goal – 60 percent by 2025. The recipient of this award is an individual or organization that has provided leadership in the creation of effective alliances focused on postsecondary attainment.

Award Recipient: Jackson County Cradle to Career Education Network

At right: Jackson County Cradle to Career Education Network Leadership Team Member Monica Moser. Also pictured:
LCAN Coordinator Irene LeCrone and Leadership Team Members Jeremy Frew, Zoey Lyons, Nancy Peters-Lewis, Tim
Rogers and Ken Toll.


THE OMBUDSMAN AWARD: Supporting Students, Counselors and Schools

Placing well-trained college advisers in high schools across the state creates strong partnerships with counselors and principals to embed a college-going culture in their building. Working with MCAN's partners in this effort - the Michigan College Advising Corps and the Michigan State University College Advising Corps and through our own advising program, AdviseMI, three college advisors are selected for this award to honor their on-the-ground efforts in high schools to reach the Big Goal - 60 percent by 2025. The recipients of this award have a passion for college access, have persevered over challenges while engaged in their year of service, and have proudly represented AmeriCorps to students, families and the public.

Award Recipients: Dillon Frechen, Oakridge High School and Holton High School; Alexa Lynch, Sexton High School; Lindsay Mieden, Woodhaven High School

MSU College Advising Corps Adviser Dillon
Frechen
Michigan College Advising Corps Adviser Alexa
Lynch
AdviseMI College Advising Corps Adviser Lindsay
Mieden  


THE STEWARD AWARD: Creating College Access Talent

Michigan College Access Network values the professional development of individuals working in the college access field – including high school counselors and college advisors. By supporting a well-trained sector, MCAN aims to increase the number of students enrolling in, persisting through and completing postsecondary education in order to hit the Big Goal – 60 percent by 2025. The recipient of this award is an individual or organization that has dramatically contributed to increasing the skills, talent andknowledge of college access professionals in Michigan. 

Award Recipient: Hartland High School Counseling Program, Hartland High School

At right: Hartland High School Counseling Program Counselor
Erica Empie. Also pictured: Hartland High School Counseling
Team Members Heather Borst, Helen Kenney, and Jodi Wilson. 


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD: Recognizes the achievements and dedication of an ardent supporter of college access and success
 

In support of the inaugural awards to celebrate MCAN's fifth anniversary, its Board of Directors saw fit to create an award that they may present when the occasion arises but not necessarily each year. The Board of Directors Award is given to an individual organization that has been particularly supportive of MCAN's mission and the Big Goal - 60 percent by 2025.  

Award Recipient: Dan DeGrow, St. Clair County RESA

 St. Clair County RESA Superintendent Dan DeGrow 


Past Award Recipients

THE BEACON AWARD: Strengthening Success through Partnerships
2016 Honorees: 12 partner colleges from the AdviseMI program - Alma College, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan  University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Madonna University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State  University, University of Michigan-Dearborn, University of Michigan-Flint, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University.

2015 Honoree: The Kresge Foundation    

THE CARDINAL AWARD: Rallying Communities to Impact
2016 Honoree: Holton High School

2015 Honoree: Ashley Johnson, Detroit College Access Network                                                                                                        

THE CHIEF MATE AWARD: Providing Comprehensive Programming
2016 Honoree: Robert Drake, counselor at Jonesville High School

THE COMPASS AWARD: Advocating for Attainment
2016 Honorees: Sen. Geoff Hansen and Rep. Tim Kelly

2015 Honoree: Governor Rick Snyder

THE FLAGSHIP AWARD: Developing Sustainable Networks
2016 Honoree: Launch Manistee

2015 Honoree: Destination Education   

THE OMBUDSMAN AWARD: Supporting Students, Counselors and Schools
2016 Honorees: Ellen Goedert, Michigan College Advising Corps adviser; Jon Lockwood, AdviseMI college adviser; Ashley Justice,  Michigan State University College Advising Corps adviser

THE STEWARD AWARD: Creating College Access Talent
2016 Honoree: Dr. Patrick O'Connor, associate dean of college counseling at Cranbrook School  

2015 Honoree: Western Michigan University

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD: Recognizes the achievements and dedication of an ardent supporter of college access and success.
2016 Honoree: Lumina Foundation

2015 Honoree: Supt. Michael P. Flanagan                                                                                  

 

 

 


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