At Michigan College Access Network, we honor those who have gone above and beyond for postsecondary attainment through our College Access Impact Awards. These awards shine a light on the individuals, organizations, and collaborations that have exceeded expectations to make a positive impact on increasing college readiness, participation, and completion in Michigan.
Award recognition traditionally occurs during the MCAN annual conference. This year's celebration of outstanding postsecondary education advocates from across the state took place on the evening of Nov. 9, 2022.
2022 Honoree: Rakiba Mitchell, Southeastern High School
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 the Sixty by 30 Goal. 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.
2022 Honoree: Michigan's Community Foundations
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 Sixty by 30 Goal. 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.
2022 Honorees: Sen. Kim LaSata, Michigan Senate District 21 and Doug Ross, Diploma Equity Project
Ensuring public policy supports Michigan’s momentum toward achieving the Sixty by 30 Goal 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.
2022 Honoree: David Coulter, Oakland County Executive Office
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 Sixty by 30 Goal. The recipient of this award is an individual or organization that has provided leadership in the creation of effective alliances focused on postsecondary attainment.
THE FLEET AWARD
2022 Honoree: Melissa Kiesewetter, Michigan Department of Civil Rights
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 Sixty by 30. 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.
2022 Honoree: Alpena High School
Boosting the college access expectation in schools on the ground level helps drive the state toward the Sixty by 30 Goal. 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.
2022 Honorees: Danyale Dockery, Michigan College Advising Corps; Cion Swoope, Michigan State University College Advising Corps; Brandon Wardlow, AdviseMI; and Erica Whiting, College Completion Corps
Michigan College Access Network values the leadership and service of college advisers and coaches serving across the state, and this award honors a member from each Michigan corps—AdviseMI, Michigan State University College Advising Corps, the Michigan College Advising Corps, and College Completion Corps—to recognize their on-the-ground efforts to reach Sixty by 30. The recipients of this award have a passion for college access and success, have persevered over challenges while engaged in their year(s) of service, and have proudly represented AmeriCorps to students, families, and the public.
2022 Honoree: Ellen Lipton, Hazel Park Promise Zone
The Michigan Promise Zone Association bestows The Promise Keeper Award to individuals or organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to community-based programs using Promise Scholarships to expand educational opportunity and promote economic development. The 13 Promise Zones that comprise the Michigan Promise Zones Association were created through bipartisan legislation, first enacted in 2009. Each has established a broadly accessible scholarship program, to give students of all ages in their communities confidence that they will be able to afford education after high school.
THE BRANDY JOHNSON BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD
2022 Honoree: Dr. David Eisler, retired president, Ferris State University
In support of the inaugural awards to celebrate MCAN's fifth anniversary, its Board of Directors created an award that they may present when the occasion arises but not necessarily each year. Formerly known as the Board of Directors Award, it was renamed in 2019 to the Brandy Johnson Board of Directors Award. The board of directors made the name change in honor of MCAN founder and former executive director Brandy Johnson, who left MCAN in March 2019 to work as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s policy advisor for postsecondary educational attainment and workforce development. The award is given to an individual or organization that has been particularly supportive of MCAN's mission and the Sixty by 30 Goal.
THE BEACON AWARD
2021 Honoree: The Michigan Department of Treasury
2020 Honoree: Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling
2019 Honoree: Chuck Wilbur, Michigan Promise Zones Association
2018 Honoree: The Detroit Regional Chamber
2017 Honoree: 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 Honoree: The Kresge Foundation
THE CHIEF MATE AWARD
2021 Honoree: Susy Talentino, Sault Area High School and Career Center
2020 Honoree: Joan Helwig, Marlette Jr/Sr High School
2019 Honoree: Regan Tubbs, Allegan County Area Technical and Education Center
2018 Honoree: Jennifer Brown, Bullock Creek High School
2017 Honoree: Catherine Longstreet, Hastings High School
2016 Honoree: Bob Drake, Jonesville High School
THE COMPASS AWARD
2021 Honorees: Rep. Ben Frederick and Rep. Scott VanSingel
2020 Honoree: Tonya Allen, The Skillman Foundation
2019 Honoree: Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI)
2018 Honoree: Sen. Jim Ananich and Rep. Brett Roberts
2017 Honoree: Venessa Keesler, Michigan Department of Education
2016 Honorees: Rep. Tim Kelly and Sen. Geoff Hansen
2015 Honoree: Former Gov. Rick Snyder
THE FLAGSHIP AWARD
2021 Honoree: BEST Benzie County
2020 Honoree: Lapeer County College Access Network
2019 Honoree: Oceana College Access Network
2018 Honoree: Washtenaw Futures
2017 Honoree: Jackson County Cradle to Career Education Network
2016 Honoree: Launch Manistee
2015 Honoree: Destination Education
THE FLEET AWARD
2021 Honoree: Midnight Golf Program
2020 Honoree: Wayne State University
THE PROMISE KEEPER AWARD
2021 Honorees: Lori Tubbergen Clark, Newaygo County Area Promise; and Joyce Seals, Saginaw Promise
THE MARINA AWARD
2021 Honoree: The Bridge Alternative High School
2020 Honoree: Escanaba High School
THE OMBUDSMAN AWARD
2021 Honorees: Jayme Green, College Completion Corps; Angela Magbag, Michigan State University College Advising Corps; Alazia Mitchell, Michigan College Advising Corps; and Leah Warner, AdviseMI
2020 Honorees: Jacquelyn Deneau, AdviseMI; Tiffany Hacket, Michigan College Advising Corps; and Jassadi Moore, Michigan State University College Advising Corps
2019 Honorees: Beth Brandon, AdviseMI; KeAndra Porchia, Michigan State University College Advising Corps; and Patrick Mullen-Coyoy, University of Michigan College Advising Corps
2018 Honorees: Britteny Mitchell, Chandler Park High School, Michigan College Advising Corps; Moussa Traore, Hazel Park High School, MSU College Advising Corps; Byron Terrell Williams, Harbor Beach High School & Owendale-Gagetown High School, AdviseMI
2017 Honorees: Dillon Frechen, Oakridge High School and Holton High School, MSU College Advising Corps; Alexa Lynch, Sexton High School, Michigan College Advising Corps; Lindsay Mieden, Woodhaven High School, AdviseMI
2016 Honorees: Ellen Goedert, Jackson High School, Michigan College Advising Corps; Ashley Justice, Waverly High School, MSU College Advising Corps; Jonathan Lockwood, Alpena High School & ACES Academy, AdviseMI
THE BRANDY JOHNSON BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD
2019 Honorees: Sarah Anthony, Michigan House of Representatives; Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network
2017 Honoree: Dan DeGrow, St. Clair County RESA
2016 Honoree: Lumina Foundation
2015 Honorees: Michael P. Flanagan, former State Superintendent
THE CARDINAL AWARD (This award is no longer given.)
2018 Honoree: North Branch High School
2017 Honoree: Hazel Park High School
2016 Honoree: Holton High School, Muskegon County
2015 Honoree: Ashley Johnson, Detroit College Access Network
THE STEWARD AWARD (This award is no longer given.)
2018 Honorees: Shawn Bultsma, Thomas Haas, and Grand Valley State University Educational Leadership and Counseling Department
2017 Honoree: Hartland High School Counseling Program, Hartland High School
2016 Honoree: Patrick O’Connor, Cranbrook Schools
2015 Honoree: Western Michigan University