College Access Impact Awards

On the evening of March 4, 2019, Michigan College Access Network honored organizations and individuals whose efforts went  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. These awards bring positive attention to the great work happening around the state each year. 

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 CHIEF MATE AWARD: Providing Comprehensive Programming
2019 Recipient: Regan Tubbs, Allegan County Area Technical & Education Center
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% by 2025.  The Michigan College Access Network works to ensure college and career readiness is a priority within school counseling programs.   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 provided to students which assists in moving the needle on critical postsecondary metrics.

Regan Tubbs, school counselor, Allegan County Area 
Technical & Education Center

THE BEACON AWARD: Strengthening Success through Partnerships
2019 Recipient: Chuck Wilbur, Michigan Promise Zones Association
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% 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. 

Chuck Wilbur, executive director, Michigan Promise
Zones Association

THE COMPASS AWARD: Advocating for Attainment
2019 Recipient: Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI)

Ensuring public policy supports Michigan’s momentum toward achieving the Big Goal – 60% 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.

Representatives from the Center for Educational
Performance and Information (CEPI) with MCAN
Executive Director Brandy Johnson

THE FLAGSHIP AWARD: Developing Sustainable Networks
2019 Recipient: Oceana College Access Network

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% 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.

Representatives of Oceana College Access Network 
with MCAN Executive Director Brandy Johnson 

THE FLEET AWARD: Sharing a Vision for Change
2019 Recipient: Bridge Magazine

Michigan College Access Network knows that college access isn’t a challenge just for K-12 schools but for an entire community, region and state. From helping to train school counselors and educators to funding programs in communities and schools to improving curriculum with experiential education, everyone has a role in ensuring our schools can help get Michigan to the Big Goal – 60% by 2025. The recipient of this award is an individual or organization that has significantly contributed to the college access field outside of the walls of K-12. This award is new in 2019.

Ron French, senior writer, Bridge Magazine with MCAN
Executive 
Director Brandy Johnson

THE MARINA AWARD: Changing School Systems and Culture
2019 Recipient: Voyageur College Preparatory High School

Boosting the college access expectation in schools on the ground level helps drive the state toward the Big Goal – 60% by 2025.  Engaging schools to urge students, parents, staff and administration to take direct action creates a sense of urgency around the post-secondary planning process. While developing programs helps improve outcomes, the real impact comes from systems and culture change. The recipient of this award is a school that has advanced the college-going culture and/or tackled systems-level change within the school. This award is new in 2019.

Representatives of Voyageur College Preparatory High
School and MCAN Executive Director Brandy Johnson

THE OMBUDSMAN AWARD: Supporting Students, Counselors and Schools
2019 Recipients: Beth Brandon, AdviseMI; KeAndra Porchia, Michigan State University College Advising Corps; and Patrick Mullen Coyoy, University of Michigan College Advising Corps

Placing well-trained college advisors 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 have been selected for this award to honor their on-the-ground efforts in high schools to reach the Big Goal – 60% 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.

Beth Brandon, AdviseMI AmeriCorps
member and MCAN Executive Director Brandy Johnson 

KeAndra Porchia, Michigan State University College Advising Corps member and MCAN Executive Director Brandy Johnson

Patrick Mullen Coyoy, University of
Michigan College Advising Corps member and MCAN Executive Director Brandy Johnson

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD
2019 Recipient: Sarah Anthony, Michigan House of Representatives 
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. 

Sarah Anthony, state representative, 68th House District

THE BRANDY JOHNSON BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD 
2019 Recipient: Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network
A surprise 11th award was given to MCAN Executive Director Brandy Johnson. Johnson will be leaving MCAN in mid-March 2019 to work as Governor Whitmer’s policy advisor for postsecondary educational attainment and workforce development. In recognition of her nine years of service to the Michigan College Access Network, the Board of Directors also renamed its award to the Brandy Johnson Board of Directors Award.

Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director 

Questions?

If you have any questions about the awards or the nomination process, please contact Ryan Fewins-Bliss, deputy director for community and partner mobilization, via email at ryan(a)micollegeaccess.org or by calling (517) 316-1713


Past Award Recipients

THE BEACON AWARD: Strengthening Success through Partnerships 
2018 Honoree:  The Detroit Regional Chamber

2017 Honorees: Fostering Success Michigan at Western Michigan University 

2016 Honorees: AdviseMI Partner Colleges 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, Western Michigan University, Wayne State University

2015 Honorees: The Kresge Foundation

THE CARDINAL AWARD: Rallying Communities to Impact (This award is no longer given.)
2018 Honoree: North Branch High School

2017 Honoree: Hazel Park High School 

2016 Honorees: Holton High School, Muskegon County

2015 Honorees: Ashley Johnson. Detroit College Access Network                                                                               

THE CHIEF MATE AWARD: Providing Comprehensive Programming
2018 Honoree: Jennifer Brown, Bullock Creek High School

2017 Honoree: Catherine Longstreet, Hastings High School

THE COMPASS AWARD: Advocating for Attainment
2018 Honoree: Sen. Jim Ananich and  Rep. Brett Roberts

2017 Honorees: Dr. Venessa Keesler, Michigan Department of Education 

2015 Honorees: Former Governor Rick Snyder

THE FLAGSHIP AWARD: Developing Sustainable Networks
2018 Honoree: Washtenaw Futures

2017 Honoree: Jackson County Cradle to Career Education Network

2016 Honorees: Launch Manistee

2015 Honorees: Destination Education

THE OMBUDSMAN AWARD: Supporting Students, Counselors and Schools
2018 Honoree: Britteny Mitchell Michigan State Advising Corps; Moussa Traore, University of Michigan Advising Corps; Byron Terrell Williams, AdviseMI Advising Corps

2017 Honorees: Dillon Frechen, Oakridge High School and Holton High School; Alexa Lynch, Sexton High School; Lindsay Mieden, Woodhaven High School

2016 Honorees: Ellen Goedert, Ashley Justice, Jonathan Lockwood

THE STEWARD AWARD: Creating College Access Talent (This award is no longer given.)
2018 Honoree: Dr. Shawn Bultsma, Dr. Thomas Haas, and Grand Valley State University Educational Leadership and Counseling Department

2017 Honoree: Hartland High School Counseling Program, Hartland High School

2016 Honorees: Dr. Patrick O’Connor, Cranbrook Schools

2015 Honorees: Western Michigan University

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD: Recognizes the achievements and dedication of an ardent supporter of college access and success. 
2017 Honoree: Dan DeGrow, St. Clair County RESA

2015 Honorees: Supt. Michael P Flanagan                                                       

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