NACE Awards Program

NACE Awards honor members' outstanding achievements in the career services and HR/staffing professions.

2024 NACE Awards

2024 Award Winners


Frequently Asked Questions


NACE Awards provide honors and recognition for yourself, your staff, and your organization through acknowledgment at the NACE Conference & Expo and in NACE publications.

The NACE Awards honor members' outstanding achievements in the career services and HR/staffing professions. NACE Excellence Awards are judged on program needs/objectives, content, design, creativity, innovation, measurable outcomes and ease of replication in the following categories:

Awards for Organizations

Career Services Excellence Award—Awarded for excellence in career services best practices.

Recruiting Excellence Award—Recognizes excellence in recruiting best practices.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Excellence Award—Acknowledges excellence in best practices in nurturing and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Technology Excellence Award—Awarded for excellence in best practices using technology and/or social media outlets.

Chevron Innovation Award ($1,000 provided by Chevron)—Recognizes outstanding achievement for innovative programs that drive impact in the college career services field.

Sponsored by

Business Affiliate Innovation Award—The Innovation Award will recognize a NACE Business Affiliate member with a product or service implemented in the past one to two years that has proven to make a positive and lasting effect on the outcomes of students through the fields of either career services or university relations and has partnered effectively with NACE members through the ideation and/or implementation process.

Career Readiness Excellence Award—Awarded to an individual or office from career services and university relations for innovative best practices that support and promote the incorporation of career readiness competencies into work with students and/or alumni to prepare them for careers or internships.

Awards for Individuals

Business Affiliate Award for Excellence in Leadership—Recognizes an individual from a product and service provider (NACE member) that has made a difference in our industry, partnered effectively, and serves as an inspiration to others. They will have demonstrated over the past year extraordinary results and a commitment to excellence which models NACE values.

Career Services Champion Award—Awarded to a college or university president or chancellor from an accredited institution of higher education who supports the establishment of and demonstrates forward-thinking leadership in support of career services/education.

Employer Recruiting Champion Award—Awarded to a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), President, or Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) of an organization that recruits college students. The awardee will be one who demonstrates significant commitment to recruiting, hiring, and cultivating college talent.

Mackes Leadership Award—Honors the leadership and contributions of Marilyn Mackes who led the association as Executive Director for 23 years. The award recognizes members who have shown exemplary leadership while promoting an environment of ethical standards, diversity, equity, inclusivity, and innovation.

Mentor of the Year Award—Recognizes an individual who selflessly demonstrates leadership and provides exceptional support for the professional growth and advancement of their mentee(s).

NACE Catalyst Award ($1,500 provided by NACE)—Awarded to an HR/recruiting individual, early in their career, who demonstrates strong leadership potential and innovative contributions to the HR/recruiting profession and NACE. Previous Winners

NACE Catalyst Award

2024 Winner
Olayinka Olorisade, Uber

2023 Winner
Gabrielle Ellerbrock, Thermo Fisher Scientific

2022 Winner
Stephen L. Tesoro, Tata Consultancy Services

2021 Winner
Philip Rathosky, Merck & Co., Inc.

2020 Winner
Kelsey Weissgold, IBM Corporation

2019 Winner
Christine Foster, UnitedHealth Group

2018 Winner
Michael Borrelli, The Vanguard Group

2017 Winner
Tabatha Cates-Powell, Enterprise Holdings

2016 Winner
Maura Quinn, Liberty Mutual

2015 Winner
Jill Miller, Novo Nordisk Inc.

NACE Rising Star Award ($1,500 provided by NACE)—Awarded to a career services professional, early in their career, who demonstrates strong leadership potential and innovative contributions to the career services profession and NACE. Previous Winners

NACE Rising Star Award Winners

2024 Winner
Patrick Massaro, Rowan University

2023 Winner
Joslyn Johnson, University of Michigan

2022 Winner
Stefano Verdesoto, Baruch College

2021 Winner
Keith Sun, University of Cincinnati

2020 Winner
Whitney McDowell-Robinson, Tougaloo College

2019 Winner
Ashley Byrd-White, University of South Carolina – Columbia

2018 Winner
Kristin Walker, Clemson University

2017 Winner
Laurence Jackson III, Northwestern University

2016 Winner
Samantha Haimes, Middlebury College

2015 Winner
Kevin Grubb, Villanova University

2014 Winner
Chaim Shapiro, Touro College

2013 Winner
Christine Cruzvergara, George Mason University

2012 Winner
William Alfred Jones, Jr., University of Maryland – College Park

2011 Winner
Heather Maietta, Nichols College

2010 Winner
Lauren Pasquarella Daley, University of Florida Career Resource Center

2009 Winner
Farouk Dey, Stanford University

2008 Winner
Ignacio Gallardo, University of California-Santa Barbara

The Kauffman Award—Commemorates the leadership and contributions of Warren E. Kauffman, who served the association for more than 30 years. Acknowledged as NACE’s most prestigious award, recipients are recognized for making long-term and on-going, substantive contributions to NACE that significantly advanced the association.

Academy of Fellows—Membership in the Academy is awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the profession through the advancement of knowledge, leadership, or excellence in professional practice.


All current NACE members are eligible to submit for an award.

To ensure the integrity of the NACE Awards Program, Honors and Awards Committee members abstain from submitting for an award on behalf of their organization and withdraw from the ranking and voting process in any category in which an award entry is received from their respective organization. Those serving on the NACE Board of Directors also abstain from submitting award entries on behalf of their respective organizations.


Please view the NACE Awards Program FAQ page which includes submission tips and best practices to help you create a quality award nomination.


Check out these winner videos and see the full list of winners in the NACE Journal.