Student Excellence in Practice Award


The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy is accepting nominations for the Student Excellence in Practice Award. In keeping with The Society's mission of 1) advancing the practice of psychotherapy and 2) supporting the development of graduate student trainees, The Society is pleased to offer this award to recognize the achievements of its student members in the area of clinical practice. The award will be presented to the candidate who best demonstrates commitment to the practice of psychotherapy and exemplary achievement in clinical work.

Funding Specifics

The winner will be awarded a prize of $500 to be presented at the annual APA convention. The winner of the award will be featured in the Psychotherapy Bulletin, and will be asked to write a brief piece for the Psychotherapy Bulletin in which they reflect upon their clinical experiences thus far.

Eligibility Requirements

Any graduate student member of The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (including students on internship) is eligible to be nominated or self-nominate for this award. Students interested in joining The Society can do so at this website:

Nomination Requirements

Students may be nominated by another individual or may self-nominate.

The application materials are as follows:

  • The Student Excellent in Practice Award Nomination Cover Sheet
  • A current and abbreviated (2-page maximum) curriculum vitae focused on clinical experiences.
  • A biographical statement summarizing the student's clinical experience and how that student has demonstrated excellence in the practice of psychotherapy (500 words maximum). Illustrative examples are outlined below.
  • A letter of recommendation from a clinical supervisor that highlights how the student has demonstrated excellence in the practice of psychotherapy. Illustrative examples are outlined below.

Examples of clinical excellence (not exhaustive) are as follows:

  • Student demonstrated innovation in service delivery by implementing programmatic use of a routine outcomes monitoring measure at their practicum site.
  • Student crafted and delivered a psychoeducational workshop, presentation, or other talk to members of their broader community.
  • Student developed and executed a novel or creative group psychotherapy program to meet a community need.
  • Student facilitated an outreach program dedicated to increasing psychotherapy participation among members of minority and/or underrepresented groups.
  • Student participated as a representative or ambassador for mental health as a member of a campus committee tasked with addressing the needs of undergraduate students.

Submission Process & Deadline

Submission Process: Email materials to Lei Sun, Chair, Student Development Committee. E-mail:

Submission Deadline: April 1.


Student Excellence in Practice Award

2020 Recipient: Shawntell N. Pace

Shawntell N. Pace, M.Ed. (she/her/hers) is a rising second-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at The University of Georgia under the tutelage of Dr. Linda F. Campbell. She received her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The University of Georgia. Additionally, she received her master’s in Higher Education Administration and her bachelor’s in Radio, Television, and Film both from Auburn University. Currently, she is a doctoral-level clinician at UGA’s Center for Counseling and Personal Evaluation and Mercy Health Center, a community-based agency serving individuals who are uninsured. This fall, she will be serving as a graduate practicum intern at Emory University working on the Nia Project at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Her research interests center around healing racial trauma and how race-based experiences impact the physical and mental health of people of African descent and Chamorro (e.g. indigenous people of the Micronesian Islands) descent and healing racial trauma. Aside from her clinical work and research, Shawntell serves as the Social Justice Chair of UGA’s Counseling Psychological Student Association, the Chair of the Georgia Psychological Association Graduate Students Committee, and the Communication and Public Relations Coordinator for Division 17 of the American Psychological Association.

Student Excellence in Practice Award

Previous Winners

2019- Matteo Bugatti

2018 – Mariafé Panizo Jansana