The dean of the William & Mary School of Education, Spencer “Skip” Niles, received the inaugural Thomas Hohenshil National Publication Award at the American Counseling Association (ACA) 2019 Conference & Expo on March 30.
The award honors an individual who is deemed to have made outstanding contributions to the publishing of counseling-related literature.
Niles, who has been ranked as the 11th most influential dean of education in the United States, has published over 140 articles and over 150 presentations at national and international conferences.
Among his authored or co-authored books is the best-selling textbook in career counseling and development internationally, Career Development Interventions, published by Pearson, as well as a book co-written with Hohenshil on counseling at the global level, Counseling around the world: An international handbook.
Niles continues to teach the career counseling and development course at the School of Education, which is a required component of CACREP-accredited counselor education.
“It is an honor to receive this award. I’ve spent my career digging deeply into the theory and practice of career development,” said Niles. “This is work that is increasingly relevant to counselors in all practice areas as we are witnessing unprecedented global change in the nature of work and career development.”
Niles is developer for the "Hope-in-Action Theory," a career development theory about which he and colleagues have numerous peer-reviewed articles.
Niles was nominated for the award by Charles Gressard, Chancellor Professor of Counselor Education; Daniel Gutierrez, assistant professor of counselor education; and Bradley T. Erford, professor in the department of human & organizational development in the Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
“During the past 30 years Skip has become the preeminent publisher and leader in the area of career development and I am still proud to call him my friend,” observed Gressard, who first met Niles in 1987 when Niles was interviewing for a faculty position at the University of Virginia.
Since then, Niles was a distinguished professor at Penn State University, serving as department head of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education from 2005-2013 and as program chair of Counselor Education from 2000-2005. He led the development and CACREP accreditation of Penn State’s first Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision. Niles served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the Finnish Institute for Educational Research in 2012.
Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, he served as professor and assistant dean from 1987-2000 at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Over the course of his career he has given lectures to students and colleagues in more than 30 countries, and served as editor for both the Journal of Counseling & Development and The Career Development Quarterly.
“Dean Niles has contributed immensely to our knowledge of career assessment," said Gutierrez, who also lauded Niles’ commitment to mentoring professionals and students. "He has provided us with numerous career interventions, and he has given the field great insight into life roles, values and career decision making.”