A Message from ACES President Dr. Heather Ambrose

Dear ACES members...As I look back over the past several months, I can honestly say how grateful I am for the opportunity to serve as President of this amazing organization! I am proud of the incredible work being done by the ACES Governing Council, the Interest Networks, the ACES Committees, and Task Forces. This has not been an easy year for many, if not all of us. I really appreciate the creativity and adaptability of our members and the passion all of you bring in service of our organization and the profession of Counselor Education and Supervision. I believe we have accomplished a lot despite dealing with burnout and other barriers presented by COVID-19.

While we have much to be proud of, the Governing Council of ACES recognizes that we have a lot more work to do, especially in our efforts to address issues of diversity and inclusion within ACES. We are dedicated to making sure all our members feel valued, respected, and accepted. This is crucially important given the racial injustices being perpetrated against our members who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). We are especially aware of the fear and hatred being projected onto the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. We stand with all of our members who experience discrimination, violence, the “isms”, and the “phobias” that are often placed upon those of us who do not fit a particular societal standard.

We know there are concerns about attending a live conference this fall, especially in the city of Atlanta. I want you to know that we have heard your concerns and are working to address those concerns as best we can. Please be sure to read the statement regarding the conference in this newsletter.

As I think about the upcoming ACA virtual conference, I am reminded of how much I miss spending time with you, and how much I look forward to the opportunity to do that again soon. I will never again take for granted the ability to connect with my friends and colleagues in person. I wish you all a happy and healthy spring!

A message from ACES Executive Director, Dr. Kelly Duncan

Despite the fact that there are many concerning issues occurring in the world in which we live, spring always brings a sign of hope for new life. Just as flowers push through the soil with the promise of brightening our day with color, I feel hopeful that as an organization ACES is committed to make a difference in the lives of our members and the clients we serve.

As a result of a survey of our members, ACES decided to move forward to host an onsite conference in October 2021. Significant work has gone into planning the conference with options available for those attending in person and those who may make the choice to attend virtually. (See more details in articles throughout this newsletter.)

Our Interest Networks and the collaborations with some of our affiliate groups have allowed ACES to bring some spectacular webinars to our members this spring. The dedication of our members who volunteer their time and talents to share relevant and timely content with members is to be commended.

The Governing Council, under the leadership of President Heather Ambrose, has tackled a number of challenges as leaders have had to meet via Zoom all year to conduct the business of the association. While meeting virtually has its advantages, it is hard to replace sitting across the table from one another discussing concerns and making plans.

As counselor educators and supervisors of counselors, we have a tremendous opportunity to advocate and influence. Providing safe spaces for conversations and promoting efforts to serve is important.

As the spring semester wraps up and a larger mass of the country is vaccinated, we can look ahead to time spent together tackling the issues that we hold dear to our hearts. As an association, we can spring back into life and plant the seeds of change so desperately needed.

Fall 2021 ACES Conference Updates

The last year has certainly been a challenging one and the decision about how to move forward with the ACES 2021 conference was not one made easily or taken lightly by the ACES board. The decision was ultimately made to have in-person and virtual components to the conference. I am grateful to be leading a team of returning and new conference planning committee members that are dedicated to making this year’s conference a great experience for ACES membership.

For the in-person conference, the team is working to make the experience as much like a traditional ACES conference as possible, with changes to address member health and safety. The conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, GA October 5-10, 2021. ACES is honored to have a nationally acclaimed author and leader in the CES profession, Dr. Anneliese Singh, as the keynote speaker. In-person attendees will gain professional knowledge through education sessions, panel discussions, poster sessions, and career-focused sessions. Round tables have been eliminated due to social distancing concerns. In addition to educational experiences, there will be ample opportunities for professional networking and socializing. Career Link services will be available for job seekers. Due to the overwhelming response in 2019, a wellness area will again be offered. Pre-conference events will be on Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Pre-conference offerings will include ACES Inform, ACES Emerging Leaders workshop, six Interest Network presentations, an ACA Deep Dive Ethics workshop, and a CACREP self-study workshop. The ACES Women’s Retreat will occur Tuesday and Wednesday, October 5th, and 6th, on-site at the conference hotel.

• Currently, in-person conference registration is limited to 950 participants. This is necessary to meet the CDC guideline of 6-foot social distancing in the conference area and break-out rooms. This limit could be expanded if the CDC changes recommendations before October. Once the limit is reached, only virtual registration will be available.

• Sessions will be scheduled with 25-minute breaks in between. Each room will be sanitized between sessions.

• PPE stations will be available throughout the hotel and conference area.

• Conference areas are ventilated with fresh air circulation.

• In addition to COVID precautions, the hotel also addresses general safety by providing security guards in the lobby and walkway to Peachtree Center. Hotel elevators are key coded so that only those staying in the hotel can access sleeping floors.

New for ACES 2021 is the virtual attendance registration option. Virtual attendees will have access to a pre-determined track of education sessions, one session for each hour of conference programming totaling 24 potential CEs. The virtual session track will be live-streamed from the in-person conference via zoom and recorded for later viewing to allow for the most flexible virtual attendee access. Also new for 2021 is the Virtual Conference Roundtable Bonus that is available to all ACES conference attendees. The Virtual Conference Roundtable Bonus will be live virtual events that are CE-eligible and held following the in-person conference in the months of October and November. All ACES 2021 virtual attendees will be invited to submit a presentation for the Virtual Conference Roundtable Bonus. This allows for the possibility of having a peer-reviewed ACES accepted presentation for those who could not attend the ACES 2021 in-person conference. Visit the conference website for more information about the Virtual Conference Roundtable Bonus.

Conference registration will open May 1, 2021, with early bird registration ending July 30, 2021. The hotel room reservation link is already active. Emerging Leader applications are open and will be accepted until May 14, 2021. Student volunteer applications will open in early April. For access to registration, hotel information, the emerging leader application, the volunteer application, or general conference information, please visit www.aces2021.net. If you have additional questions, contact Holly Branthoover, ACES Conference Coordinator, at Conference@acesonline.net. Hope to see you in Atlanta!

The ACES Governing Council thanks Dr. Cheryl Pence for her service as ACES Treasurer during the 2020-2021 AY. We wish you well in your future career path!

ACES is pleased to welcome Dr. Elizabeth Vallares as Treasurer (2021-2023).

Elizabeth Villares, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Counselor Education at Florida Atlantic University and currently serving as the Past-President of the Southern Association of Counselor Education and Supervision. Dr. Villares has worked as a teacher, school counselor, school counseling program director, and counselor educator for more than 23 years. She specializes in counseling children and adolescents, using technology to improve data-driven practices, and collaborating with school counselors to design outcome research and program evaluation projects. Her current research interests include developing and implementing school counselor-led evidence-based programs to improve students' academic, social-emotional development, and college/career readiness from pre-kindergarten to grade 16.



WACES launched our online Multicultural Awareness and Sustainability Series (MASS) in April and plans to continue hosting monthly MASS events. The goal of MASS is to highlight current multicultural and socio-cultural-political issues impacting our country and its relevance to mental health and the counseling profession. A unique feature of MASS is its emphasis on sharing and learning with counselors, counselor educators, and graduate students in counseling from across the WACES region and country. In a time where physically connecting with colleagues from across the country has been limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MASS represents one way for counselors, counselor educators, and counseling students to connect with each other in ways not done before.

WACES has also developed a brief resource and activity sheet for Counselor Educators and Supervisors wishing to learn more about the history of Anti-Asian Racism in the U.S. and how they can integrate lessons and activities addressing Anti-Asian and Anti-AAPI racism into their classrooms and supervision sessions. To access this resource sheet, please see the link below: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vMM9gs7Swb507JZmkZ55ICvSz7Izn0uB/view?usp=sharing


NARACES has continued with monthly offerings with the 2020-2021 Year of Learning and Connection. These have been great opportunities to increase our professional development, while connecting with region members. More information about the remaining spring presentations and dates can be found on our website. Our Advocacy and Wellness committee have continued their collaboration of holding monthly wellness groups for BIPOC counselor educators and supervisors, including one upcoming in April related to Anti-Asian Violence and BIPOC Allyship. In other news, NARACES has completed a bylaws change to include a permanent committee related to Accessibility and Equity. Per the bylaws, this committee is committed to making recommendations for, and implementing, accessibility and equity into regional conferences. This fall NARACES held elections for 2021-2022. In July we will welcome Dr. Sherritta Hughes as president-elect, Dr. Candice Crawford as secretary-elect, and Carolyn Bazan as graduate student representative-elect to the NARACES Executive Board.


We are excited and thankful for all the work SACES members and leaders are doing for our profession. The SACES Executive Committee and the SACES Webinar Committee collaborated to provide the SACES Virtual Professional Development Series. The topics and presenters include: Antiracist and Feminist Pedagogy (Drs. Allison Levin and Travis Andrews), Telemental Health Counseling and Supervision (Drs. Nicole Arcuri Sanders and Theresa Kascsak) Virtual School Counseling (Drs. Summer Kuba, Kerry Bowles, Capri Brooks, and Brandi Chamberlin) and Grant Writing (Drs. Ryan Carlson and Naomi Wheeler). Additionally, we hosted a SACES Presidential sponsored panel presentation, moderated by Dr. Marlon Johnson, with two prominent higher education and counselor education leaders, Dr. Kent Butler UCF’s Interim Chief Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Officer and President-Elect and Dr. Andrew Daire, Dean of the VCU School of Education. We are continuing the virtual professional development series this Spring. Our 2022 SACES Conference will be in Baltimore November 3-5 2022. We are excited for the special issue of Teaching and Supervision in Counseling focused on Anti-Racist Counselor Education, which is being guest edited by Drs. Paul C. Harris, Erik M. Hines, and Renae D. Mayes, along with the TSC editor Dr. Kelly Wester and the associate editor Dr. Bradley McKibben. The tentative publication date will be June 2021. One focus this year was to increase research rigor within our region. Galaxina Wright, the SACES graduate student representative, Shelby Gonzales, the SACES graduate student representative designee and members of the graduate student committee hosted a SACES Graduate Student Virtual Writing Workshop on March 26th which featured Dr. Bradley McKibben and Dr. Catharina Chang, and a task force to develop a writing bootcamp for new faculty is in process. Dr. Hannah Bowers, from Florida Atlantic University has been elected as SACES President-elect-elect and Dr. Kaprea Johnson, from Virginia Commonwealth University will serve as the next SACES secretary. Their terms in office will begin on July 1, 2021. We look forward to welcoming new leaders. Please reach out to any member of the SACES Executive Committee if you want to get involved!


As the Graduate Student Representative (GSR), I work closely with the GSR-Designee, Shelby Gonzalez, to implement and maintain engagement of graduate students in areas of professional development via the Graduate Student Committee (GSC). Additionally, Shelby and I serve as advocates for graduate student needs based on feedback from the GSC monthly meetings that focus on a different topic. For example, for the month of September, we focused on integrating wellness into our Fall semester, and had Lea Herbert, LPC, NCC from the University of Central Florida share tips for incorporating wellness. During the month of October we had a panel of first year junior faculty come answer questions surrounding their recent experiences of finishing dissertation and share job search suggestions. The panel included Dr. Jen Deaton, Dr. Hannah Coyt, and Dr. Jon Borland. Most recently for the month of February, we partnered with the New Graduate Student Network and focused on providing specific information on how graduate students can become involved in SACES regarding student committees and interest networks. The SACES GSR position is unique in that the focus of goals tends to shift based on the personality of those that hold the position. My focus has tended to shift towards highlighting student needs surrounding research and writing, and as a result I have implemented the Research & Writing subcommittee. In response to COVID-19, recently I have helped to create safe spaces for students to share their experiences with others to build connection and collaboration, an area more difficult to obtain due to the temporary absence of conferences. In February, Shelby and I held writing support groups for students to share their challenges with temporary remote schooling and their experiences with developing their academic scholarship from behind a screen. I have truly enjoyed the SACES GSR position and am grateful for the opportunity to serve and connect with so many graduate students. Before ending my term of service, I would like to work on passing the torch to Shelby Gonzalez and assisting her in finding ways to leave her mark in this position as well. I am also prepared to continue serving as a source of outreach to the SACES GSC post my term.

ACES Interest Network Updates

ACES Diversity & Inclusion Interest Network Update

The ACES Diversity & Inclusion Interest Network (formerly the Multicultural Interest Network) has had two meetings thus far this spring. During these meetings we revisited the initiatives and action plan for the interest network and discussed our progress for the 2020-2021 year, as well as began to discuss initiatives for the upcoming year. We have also been developing our preconference session for the ACES 2021 conference. The preconference session is titled “Diversity and Inclusion? Taking Intentional Action for Social Change Throughout Our Work in Counselor Education,” and is scheduled for Wednesday, October 6, 2021 1-4pm EST. Central to this session is our group’s aim of promoting the appreciation and understanding of multiculturalism and diversity in research, teaching, leadership, supervision and counseling, and addressing the concerns of minoritized individuals. Workgroups will be utilized to brainstorm and create culturally considerate and inclusive action steps and to develop internal and systematic accountability across the five CACREP standards of counselor education and supervision. We hope that all graduate students, counselor educators, supervisors, and counselors consider joining us for this preconference session!

The Anti-racist Practice in Counselor Education subcommittee has continued hosting the Anti-Racism in Counselor Education and Supervision Consultation Groups this semester. The meetings occur the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month from noon-1:30pm Pacific Time (1-2:30pm MT, 2-3:30 CT, 3-4:30 ET), and the dates for Spring 2021 are: March 4th, March 18th, April 1st, April 15th. The Zoom Meeting Link is: https://tcsedsystem.zoom.us/j/96085205826. For more information regarding these consultation group meetings, please contact the subcommittee co-chairs Dr. Dominique Avery (davery@saybrook.edu) & Dr. Aja Burks (caseyaja@gmail.com). Our Webinars/Guest Speakers Planning and Research & Publication subcommittees are actively planning webinars and other resources that can be shared with ACES members, so if you are interested in contributing to these efforts please reach out to the chairs of these subcommittees: Webinar Subcommittee-Dr. Shon Smith (sdsmith5@ncat.edu); Research & Publication subcommittee-Dr. Jenny Cureton (jcureton@kent.edu) & Dr. Kalesha Jenkins (kaleshajenkins@outlook.com). The ACES Diversity & Inclusion Interest Network will have our May meeting Monday, May 10th, 2021 2pm EST. For more information about the interest network please send an email to diversityandinclusion@acesonline.net. In addition, please visit https://acesonline.net/diversity-inclusion-interest-network/ to access previous meeting minutes and recordings. We hope to see you at future meetings!

ACES Career Interest Network Update

This newly formed ACES Career Interest Network (CIN) gathered information from CIN members on desired areas of focus. Based on the findings from the survey, we put out a call for anyone interested in taking on a leadership role within CIN and formed the CIN leadership team to address the interest network member's survey feedback. The subgroups and team leads are: Doctoral student support and mentorship (Kenya Johns, Autumn L. Cabell); Promoting college/career readiness research (Leann M. Morgan); Research methods and collaboration (Kelley Holladay); Effective teaching practices and teaching collaboration (Melinda Gibbons, Brian Hutchinson); and Career counseling and counselor educator advocacy (Na Mi Bang).

We are excited to announce the first CIN webinar and panel "Teaching Career Counseling in a COVID/COVID-Recovery World" on Wednesday April 28th at 11:00 am PST | 1:00 pm CST | 2:00 PM EST. COVID-19 has shaped the way we approach teaching. As counselor educators, how has the way we teach career counseling courses changed over the past year and a half? How do we see the career counseling profession shifting because of the pandemic and what next steps must occur for us to train effective career counselors moving forward? Join the ACES Career Interest Network and a panel of career counselor educators as they discuss strategies for navigating teaching career counseling in a COVI19 and COVID-Recovery world. Register at http://bit.ly/teachingcareerincovid

ACES Supervision Interest Network Update

As the ACES Supervision Interest Network standing committee members, we just had our March meeting last Monday. During the meeting, we updated each other and worked on the planning and preparations for the 2021-2022 Academic Year. We determined dates in September, November, February, and April to offer our members with a variety of supervision-related webinars/trainings for the first time! Please stay tuned to the ACES SIN listserv for a brief survey on what topics you would like to see as SIN Webinars/Trainings in the 2021-2022 Academic Year.

ACES Advocacy Interest Network Update

The ACES Advocacy Interest Network is co-lead by Dr. Janice A. Byrd (Counselor Educator, Kent State University) and Dr. Tanesha L. Walker (Counselor Educator, University of Toledo). The network seeks to be recognized as a vanguard of change within the ACES organization. We are committed to: (1) advancing pedagogy and advocacy education and training of counselors, supervisors, and counselor educators; (2) affirming and enhancing education and supervision that advocates for the needs of a culturally diverse society; (3) promoting a unified professional identity for counselors, supervisors and counselor educators in the spirit of advocacy and (4) supporting the dissemination of premier advocacy research and scholarship. Since our last blog, we have advanced two of our initiatives. Led by Dr. Cara Metz (Counselor Educator, University of Arizona-Global Campus), the Advocacy IN seeks to highlight advocacy efforts being facilitated by individual ACES members on our website. If you are leading efforts as a counselor educator or supervisor and you are willing to create a video that is no longer than 10 minutes answering set of guiding questions, feel free to reach out to Dr. Metz (cara.metz@uagc.edu) via email. The second effort led by Brandon Shurn (Doctoral Student; Walden University) will focus on highlighting counselor education programs that lead advocacy or community engagement efforts as a department (not tied to a student organization like a chapter of Chi Sigma Iota). If you are interested in speaking about your individual or department’s advocacy efforts to provide others with ideas, direction, and inspiration, please email us at acesadvocacyin@gmail.com to get more information or to learn how to get involved with the interest network. We are working closely with ACES Governing Council to ensure our efforts are in alignment with the ACES mission, policies, and protocol. We want to hear from you and highlight the meaningful work you’re doing!

International Student and Faculty Interest Network (ISFIN) Update

As the ACES International Student and Faculty Interest Network (ISFIN), we continue striving for an inclusive and culturally responsive community for our members. The last few years increased the complexities of career planning for international students and faculty. Additionally, our members have experienced tremendous distress in the wake of police violence, COVID-19, and other racism and white supremacy pandemics within the last year. We acknowledge that these pandemics primarily impact the BIPOC and AAPI communities in the U.S., who have suffered centuries of genocides, slavery, and exploitation under systemic racism. It’s also vital for us to make the racism, hate crimes, and violence against the Black, Brown, and Asian international students and faculty more visible. Thus, our priority is to regularly assess our community’s needs and provide a safe space for dialogue, validation, and support. The themes from our regular surveys and community meetings show us that the most pressing needs of our members are: 1) Professional community support in a safe space that cultivates a sense of belonging; 2) Career planning and job search support; 3) Collaboration for research projects and conference presentations; 4) Increasing multicultural self-awareness and engaging in racial healing as international students and faculty