Coronavirus Update: Learn more about how LWC is responding to the Coronavirus. Click here for more information.

Lindsey Wilson College Ph.D. Students Make History in ACA Ethics Essay Competition

COLUMBIA, KY. -- For the second consecutive year, a team of doctoral students from Lindsey Wilson College won first place in a national ethics essay competition.

This is only the second time in the history of the American Counseling Association competition that an institution has taken first place two years in a row.  

“Every year ACA hosts a national ethics essay competition. They do that in two categories, one for doctoral programs and one for master’s programs,” said LWC Director of Counselor Education & Supervision and team advisor Jeffrey Parsons. “The students are given an ethical scenario – some sort of difficult situation that needs to be resolved. And then the students use research, literature and their understanding of the standards and Code of Ethics to write a response.”

The three team members from LWC’s Doctorate of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision Program are Connie Elkins from Richlands, Va.; Jay Tift from Brentwood, Tenn.; and John Bender from Wheelersburg, Ohio. This is the second consecutive, first-place win for Elkins and Tift who worked on the essay submission last year. Bender is a new team member for 2020. 

The students submitted their final materials in late fall 2019 and were notified by ACA of their win in February. As part of their recognition, the doctoral students’ first place submission will be published in Counseling Today, the national publication for the counseling profession.  

The award presentation ceremony takes place each year at the annual ACA Conference and Expo in the spring. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing precautions, the conference has been cancelled. 

“This is an exceptionally competitive and prestigious award,” said Parsons. “The programs that traditionally win this award are among some of the top programs in our profession. This is an incredible accomplishment for our students and our program.”


• Click here to learn about the admissions process at Lindsey Wilson College. 

• Click here for information about the Doctorate of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision program.

• Click here to see all of LWC's community campus/extended location sites. 

• Click here to apply to LWC. 

Go back to LWC News.