NCDA Awards Highlight and Invitation to Nominate

By Sandra Sylvestre

Break out the noise makers, it’s time to celebrate!

The NCDA Awards Committee is excited to recognize the great efforts being done by our members.  From research, to policy, to education, to practice, NCDA members are doing amazing work to support the career and life goals of the people whose lives they touch.

NCDA awards are available for both individual and group contributions.  Individual award categories include: Diversity Initiative, Eminent Career, Graduate Student Research, International Practitioner of the Year, Dr. Kenneth Hoyt Career Education Practitioner, Legislative, Merit, NCDA Fellow, and Outstanding Career Practitioner.  Group award categories include: Exemplary Career Center - Education, Government, and Business, Exemplary Career Center - Non-profit, Community Organizations, and Service to International Students.

You spoke, and we listened!  New this year, the application form is available in an online format designed to ease the nomination process (see link provided at article’s end). Nominations are due January 31, 2018. All NCDA members are encouraged to thoughtfully consider nominating a fellow member.

Each year at the Global Career Development Conference the winners are revealed. Award plaques are presented and photos taken, which are shared in the fall issue of Career Developments (members print-only magazine). Who are these awesome members who are winning NCDA Awards?  We have highlighted a few of these exceptional winners to give you a glimpse of the quality of career development work happening across the globe!


Award Spotlight  – Exemplary Career Center

NCDA honored many talented groups and people in 2017, including Careers Zimbabwe, recipient of the Exemplary Career Center: Non-profit, Community Organizations and The Fleishman Center for Career & Professional Development, at Binghamton University in Binghamton, NY, recipient of the Exemplary Career Center: Education, Government, and Business.  The Exemplary Career Center award promotes the continued development and implementation of thoughtful and innovative initiatives that support career development for outstanding service.  The NCDA Awards Committee believes sharing the details of the work of the winners is inspiring and encourages future nominations.

Careers Zimbabwe is a non-profit organization which offers career development, behavior change, and entrepreneurship/leadership training to youths in high schools and tertiary institutions, churches, and partnerships with other youth organizations. Starting from the side of a university student’s desk and leveraged by multiple social media connections, Careers Zimbabwe has now grown to the point that external funders are supporting it as it continues to impact thousands of unemployed, underemployed and disenfranchised youths. It recently launched an e-zine and hosted a career week and a career development conference with international speakers in October.

The Fleishman Center provides a transformative learning community that prepares Binghamton undergraduate and graduate students with career readiness skills for advanced education and careers. They are committed to helping students secure opportunities through creating connections via high-impact learning, alumni and employer events and career consulting sessions.  Collaboration is their cornerstone and the key to their innovation and growth with documented impact at both the local and national levels. They are one of only a handful of higher education institutions that provide a Wellness Center within their offices.


Elevate Yourself and Your Group

The opportunity to be acknowledged by peers and recognized for hard work feels wonderful!  It creates motivation that lasts.  Celebrating success enhances inspiration, too.  NCDA awards can have a durable impact in a variety of ways.  Read on to learn about the marvelous ways that Careers Zimbabwe and the Fleishman Center were impacted after their recognition.

Personal Momentum

Affirmation of accomplishments helps to create a success mindset which keeps you focused and energized.  Nhundu Pardingtone, Team Leader of Careers Zimbabwe noted the award gives me more reason to look back at the work we have done, what we want to do & remain steadfast towards the goal. Personal momentum has helped highlight the importance of his work, and in his words, “it's bigger than us!”

Open New Partnerships

Being recognized with an NCDA Award opens up opportunities for collaborations that you might not have enjoyed before.  Working off the energy of the NCDA Award, Careers Zimbabwe now has other organizations opening up to partnerships with its team.  Nhundu was excited to report that “Capital26Free will be our partner in hosting career podcasts (#CareerPod).”  And, its team has plans to create a print magazine for 2018.

Elevate Visibility

Being recognized on an international level elevates visibility of the great work you do.  Careers Zimbabwe recently carried out the first ever National Career Week in Zimbabwe, October 2-6, 2017.  They were able to secure a key sponsor for the event, the Pacific Cigarette Company, and local NGO, Shamwari YeMwanasikana (loosely translated as Friends for Girls) supported their "Career Development Fighting Child Marriages” activity.  Local universities graced the event as well.   Nhundu added “The award feeds directly into our different efforts and makes our work easier as we attest to an international recognition”

Pride and Validation

Staff at the Fleishman Center for Career & Professional Development, shared feeling a sense of pride from being selected by NCDA as an Exemplary Career Center.  The recognition and honor of the award brought them a real sense of validation to the holistic work and services they provide.  The Fleishman team also shared their delight that receiving the award allowed them to tangibly demonstrate the community effort of career development to their ‘extended’ family.  “. . . [the award allowed us to prove to] campus colleagues, alumni and employers [that their participation in] providing internships, mentoring opportunities as well as employment and career development prospects played a significant role in our center’s recognition of this ‘exemplary’ award.”

Higher Levels of Engagement

Fall 2017 brought higher levels of employer participation in The Fleishman Center’s signature events such as the NYC Employer Visits and their Centralized Academic Internship program as well as student engagement in programming and career consulting.  The Center’s Associate Director, Enhancing Student Experience, Erin Elizabeth Cody, emailed, “while I can't say that the NCDA award was causal in the increase, I can say its impact continues to encourage our team to reach for new heights in support of our students' success.”  Cody was delighted to share that quickly after the recognition, the university president sent an email to parents and new students encouraging them to engage in services, attend events and develop career readiness competencies with support from its team.  The Fleishman Center also shared its national recognition with key stakeholders at a well-attended event and has included the award on their new website homepage. 


Call to Action:  Provide Your Input for the 2018 Celebration!

Help us celebrate the amazing work you and your fellow members are doing by nominating yourself, group, or colleagues today!  All awards will be presented at the 2018 NCDA Career Development Conference in Phoenix, AZ, Jun 21 – 23.  For more information and to access our NEW electronic nomination form, visit the Awards section of the NCDA website:  https://ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/membership_awards.


Sandra SylvestreSandra Sylvestre, MA, GCDF, MCC is an Assistant Director of Career Development at Brandeis University and a member of the NCDA Awards Committee. She has previously served on the leadership board for the RICDA. Sandra helps students and alumni tell their stories in a way which acknowledges personal strength and identifies future opportunities.  In particular, she enjoys supporting first generation college students and those who have trouble identifying where to begin. She can be reached at ssylvest@brandeis.edu


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