News

American College of Education Vice President Honored as National Outstanding Master's Student

by American College of Education | March 10, 2010

ACPA Winner to Co-Present Cross-Cultural Leadership Research at ACPA Conference

Chicago, Illinois – Ana del Castillo, Vice President of Operations and Student Support at American College of Education, is the 2010 recipient of the Outstanding Master's Student Award from ACPA: College Student Educators International. ACPA, the American College Personnel Association, is one of the nation's leading scholarly associations for student affairs professionals. The Standing Committee on Graduate Students and New Professionals of ACPA awards this prestigious honor annually to a master's student from across the country in a higher education or student affairs graduate program.

Ms. del Castillo's passion for excellence in education extends beyond her full-time position as a vice president at American College of Education, which provides educators with online master's degree programs in education, and has moved her to pursue her own master's degree in higher education at Loyola University Chicago. Her dedication caught the attention of one of her higher education professors at Loyola, Dr. John Dugan, who nominated her for the ACPA award. "Ms. del Castillo is an exceptional candidate for this award having dedicated significant time and energy to improving higher education programs and services, students' educational experiences and development, maintaining an excellent GPA as she works towards a M.Ed. in Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago, and contributing to scholarship and research aimed at advancing our field," said Dr. Dugan.

Ms. del Castillo works as a member of Dr. Dugan's academic research team on the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership, an international research program examining the influences of higher education on student development. Ms. del Castillo's work on the research team has resulted in the acceptance of a program on the topic of cross-cultural transferability of socially responsible leadership to the Mexican cultural context, as well as similarities and differences in leadership development processes in the US and Mexico. Her work has been accepted as a program topic that she will co-present at the ACPA 2010 conference, to be held this coming week in Boston. As lead author, Ms. Del Castillo, with her co-authors, will present a manuscript based on the research to the Journal of College Student Development for publication consideration. This research also served as an impetus for a similar study with sample students from Canada, about which Ms. del Castillo co-presented findings at the NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) 2010 conference in Chicago earlier this month. In his nomination letter, Dr. Dugan wrote that Ms. del Castillo's research findings provide "invaluable insights for educators on how to design and deliver leadership development programs to maximize student learning."

She has accomplished all this while working full-time to improve service to students at the online American College of Education, where she also uses her classroom learning to advance the College's evidence-based practice. "Ana del Castillo's leadership at American College of Education is stellar, and we are proud to support her pursuit of a master's degree. The fact that she is focused on cross cultural leadership and support of students is something the College benefits from on a daily basis. We congratulate her for a well-deserved honor," said Dr. Jeri Nowakowski, President of American College of Education.

"I am very honored to be recognized by ACPA in this way and am truly grateful to American College of Education for supporting my graduate work at Loyola University Chicago. My personal research interests center on reexamining aspects of existing theory and research in higher education for application in evidence-based practice with non-traditional students. My work at American College of Education has deepened my commitment to this population and has provided me with the valuable opportunity to apply what I am learning from my academic and research experiences at Loyola and through the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership. I am delighted to represent American College of Education and Loyola University Chicago at ACPA this year," said Ms. del Castillo.

Ms. del Castillo, a Chicago resident since 2002, plans to complete her master's program later this year. She will receive the Outstanding Master's Student Award Saturday evening at the Leadership/Corporate Partner Reception at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. ACPA's Standing Committee on Graduate Students and New Professionals will further honor Ms. del Castillo at a special event Monday night, also at the Sheraton Boston. The ACPA 2010 conference runs from Saturday, March 20 through Wednesday, March 24 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

About American College of Education

American College of Education is solely dedicated to providing educators the most affordable, high-quality online master's degree programs in education. The College's vision is to dramatically improve student performance by enhancing the instructional effectiveness of teachers through transformative technology and innovative online learning. American College of Education is based in Chicago, Illinois. It currently serves online students nationally and internationally. American College of Education is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association (NCA). For more information about American College of Education, visit www.ace.edu.

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