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How to Submit Award Nominations


ACACI Award Winners 2018

 ACACI Advocate of the Year Award 2018

Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat Whip

This award is an outgrowth of Senator Durbin's work to advance the Trauma-Informed Care for Children and Families Act.  This Act is essential in order to address the deleterious and lifelong outcomes experienced by children and their families through their exposure to adverse childhood experiences and community violence.

Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Springfield, is the 47th U.S. Senator from the State of Illinois, the state’s senior senator, and the convener of Illinois’ bipartisan congressional
delegation.  Durbin also serves as the Assistant Democratic Leader, the second highest ranking position among the Senate Democrats.

Also known as the Minority Whip, Senator Durbin has been elected to this leadership post by his Democratic colleagues every two years since 2005.

Elected to the U.S. Senate on November 5, 1996, and re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2014, Durbin fills the seat left vacant by the retirement of his long-time friend and mentor, U.S. Senator
Paul Simon.


Durbin sits on the Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, and Rules Committees. He is the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution and the
Appropriations Committee's Defense subcommittee. Senator Durbin makes approximately 50 round trips a year between Washington and Illinois. He is married to Loretta Schaefer Durbin. Their family consists of three children--Christine (deceased), Paul and Jennifer--as well as three
grandchildren, Alex, Ona and Floyd. They reside in Springfield.

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ACACI Counselor of the Year 2018

Karolina Hogueisson, MA, LCPC, RDDP, NCC

Karolina Hogueisson is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, National Certified

Counselor, Certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional, and Registered Dual Disorder Professional. 

She obtained her Baccalaureate Degree in Psychology, with minors in Science and Social Science from National Louis University, Chicago and my Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Argosy University, Schaumburg.  She participated in the Chi Sigma Iota Chapter of the Counseling Honor’s Society while at Argosy University.

Her experience includes working with children, teens and adults in a variety of settings. In the past 15 years she has conducted home visits with families in the Early Head Start Program, worked with child/youth survivors of trauma and violence and operated a part of a statewide program through the Safe from the Start Initiative. She has also worked in a correctional facility as a Mental Health Specialist III where she provided mental health services to adult pre-trial detainees at the Cook County Department of Corrections. She has provided in-home services as an Early Intervention Provider and have operated my own private practice since the day she received her LCPC licensure. Her interest areas include trauma, suicide prevention, mood disorders, anger management, challenging behaviors, parenting and child and adolescent mental health. 

She strives to provide high quality services to all of her patients. She uses a variety of approaches and strategies to best serve everyone who reaches out to her for help and join them on the journey to accomplishing their therapeutic goals. Together they work on identifying and overcoming the obstacles that are keeping them from feeling happy, fulfilled, and satisfied. 

She holds herself up to high professional standards and continue to invest in her own wellbeing and education. She regularly attends professional trainings and conferences and belong to many professional organizations.

She spends her free time with her husband and cats Elsa and Vader, her family and her great friends. She enjoys baseball (Go Cubs!), football (Go Steelers!) and reading. She is also an avid cyclist and is currently serving as the president of a local bicycle club. 

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ACACI Counselor Educator of the Year Award 2018

Master’s Program

Tiffany Nielson, PhD

Dr. Tiffany Nielson is Assistant Professor of Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling and Co-Coordinator of the Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling Area of Focus in the Human Development Counseling Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield.  Her research interests include Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling; Mentoring in Counselor Education; Child and Adolescent Counseling; Child Sexual Abuse; Religion and Spirituality in Counseling and Counselor Training. In addition to teaching Marriage, couple, and family counseling course,


Dr. Nielson teaches the Child and Adolescent Counseling course where she models a deeply empathetic concern for children across the entirety of the developmental spectrum.  Students in her courses benefit immensely from her scholar-practitioner informed content. Her experiences from teaching in China are interwoven into the tapestry of her course content, enriching students' understanding of the benefits of immersion learning in one's quest for intercultural sensitivity and competence.  Dr. Nielson pays careful attention to students' knowledge, skills, abilities, and dispositions to ensure post-graduate competence.  

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ACACI Counselor Educator of the Year--2018
Doctoral Program

Dr. Sonya Lorelle is an Assistant Professor at Governor's State University where she teaches in the Counselor Education and Supervision concentration as serves as Program Coordinator. She has been extensively published in peer-reviewed journals and has 5 international presentations to her credit (Thailand, Bhutan, and India).  Moreover, she has received honors for the exceptional quality of her publications. She previously served on the Editorial Board for The Professional Counselor (4 years). Her dissertation--A phenomenological study of children’s experiences while families receive services from a homeless agency-- exemplifies her interest in, and commitment to, children in diverse contexts.

Dr. Lorelle is known for her warm and engaging teaching style and her support for student maturation and expansion. She scaffolds students for remarkable growth and noteworthy opportunities. For example, many of her students have been named NBCC Doctoral Fellows. She provides students the opportunity to engage in international experiences by taking them to Thailand each year. Her concern for the well-being of children and adolescents is evident in her efforts to help develop a school counseling program in Bhutan and to provide play therapy training in India.

Sonya Lorelle, PhD, LPC, NCC, RPT

ACACI Award Winners 2017

ACACI Counselor Educator of the Year 2017

RoseMary Cairo, Ed.D.



• Ed.D., Counselor Education and Supervision, Argosy University, Schaumburg, 2011

• M.A., Counseling and Human Services, Roosevelt University, 1997

• B.A., Psychology and Education, Barat/DePaul University at Chicago IL, 1978




Dr. Cairo is a clinically licensed Counselor (LCPC), practicing in the profession for over eighteen years. She works with individuals, couples and families, with an emphasis on holistic wellness. Her area of expertise is in relationship counseling. Dr. Cairo is a past treasurer for The Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling in Illinois (ACACI). She is committed to membership in the professional counseling organizations and has served three terms as the president of the Illinois Spiritual, Ethical & Religious Values in Counseling (ISERVIC) , one term as the secretary for the Illinois Association for Couples & Family Counseling (IACFC) and is a past treasurer for The Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling in Illinois (ACACI). Dr. Cairo has taught at the graduate level for over eight years with specialty areas in Multicultural Competency, Ethical practice in Counseling & Supervision, and Group Counseling. She is committed to embracing opportunities to further educate and inspire students in graduate and post-graduate counseling programs and to assist their development in becoming professional counselors and counselor educators.

ACACI Counselor of the Year 2017

Christine Vinci, MA, LPC, CCTP, NCC


Christine is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional,

And National Certified Counselor. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Clinical

Counseling Psychology at St. Xavier University and earned her Master’s Degree in

Community Counseling at Argosy University. While in graduate school, Christine

 participated in Chi Sigma Iota, the honor society for professional counselors.


Christine is a dedicated and compassionate clinician who has a passion for working with children, adolescents, and their families. She has worked in various capacities for over ten years, dedicating her career to working with the disadvantaged and vulnerable populations.  She believes in social justice and advocacy, often going above and beyond her role as a counselor. She would often assist clients and their families from linking them up to services to attending IEP meetings. Christine’s mission is to provide high quality services in an ethical, respectful, and dignified manner regardless of age, sex, socioeconomic status, religious background, cultural background, sexual orientation, and ethnic background.  Christine continues her dedication outside of counseling, often active in volunteer work with children with autism as well as write and present on various topics related to working with

youth and families.  Christine believes in an integrative perspective, working with clients where they are at and on their individual needs. Christine believes in being creative in the therapy room, often thinking outside the box and utilizing art, music, humor, and other creative outlets to enhance the counseling process.        


Christine is also an ACACI Emerging Leader

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