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Leadership Essay Contest
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2016-2017 Leadership Essay Contest
Co-Sponsored by Chi Sigma Iota and CACREP

Wellness Leadership in Organizations

Contest Submission Deadline: November 15, 2016 at 5:00 PM EST

For the third year, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and CSI are co-sponsoring a Leadership Essay Contest. The two organizations have a strong history of mutual support and cooperative relationships, with a dual focus on enhancing the counseling profession through recognition of excellence in our field.

For this year’s contest, these two organizations, leaders in professional counseling, have decided on the theme of "Wellness Leadership in Organizations.” CSI chapters can download a flyer with contest specifics to share with their members here.

The contest theme builds upon the 2016-2017 CSI presidential theme, "Wellness Leadership," advocated by Dr. Michael Brubaker, President of CSI.  "Wellness Leadership in Organizations” involves the role that organizations play in fostering wellness among its members, as a professional entity, and among those it serves.  Further, the definition of ‘organization’ is intentionally left open to the applicant, as our members contribute to many types of associations, chapters, boards, committees, and organizations, all of which can play a role in advancing the cause of wellness for all persons.

For a starting direction on Wellness Leadership in Organizations, here is one section of Dr. Brubaker’s vision, which addresses our collective call to action:

Wellness leadership extends well beyond the need to change policies and guidelines. It is a fundamental activity among all human beings and organizations as we strive to live fuller lives in relation with one another and strive to meet our larger purpose. Unfortunately, wellness appears to be lacking in many areas of our profession, and potentially in some of our chapters. The lack of resources in schools, agencies, and universities often lead to extended work hours, higher case loads, and increased stress, all of which may lead to counselor burnout. There are also pressures for us to conform with deficit-based clinical practices that may neglect to attend to the holistic care of our students and clients. Furthermore, we may overlook the few evidence-based practices that use wellness-based interventions such as mindfulness and empowerment-based approaches. As we extend our perspective to the collective, there are also concerns about our organizational wellness, a lesser-researched area in the counseling profession. As evidenced by what some have termed uncivil discourse within some counselor discussions in online forums, the desire for mutual wellness may evaporate in the midst of conflict. All of us are subject to such dialogue at times. Wellness leadership may help us navigate such difficult terrain.

- Dr. Michael Brubaker, 2016

Participants in the 2016-2017 Leadership Essay Contest should use the following questions to guide their essays on Wellness Leadership in Organizations:

  • What does Wellness Leadership in Organizations mean to you as a counselor/counselor-in-training and the role you play within your respective organization?

  • How can you provide leadership to your organization in a way that fosters wellness among its members, those it serves, and as a whole?

  • How can your organization lead the advancement of wellness in society?

  • What can CSI and its chapters and CACREP and its accredited programs do to promote wellness across diverse organizations in the counseling profession?

Essays can be submitted in one of two membership categories:

  • Entry-Level Students
  • Doctoral Students/Professional Counselors/Counselor Educators

Award recipients in each category will receive:

  • First place: $500, a one-year membership renewal in CSI, and publication of the essay in the CSI Exemplar, the CACREP Connection newsletter, and at and
  • Second place: $200, a one-year membership renewal in CSI, and publication of the essay at
  • Third place: $100, a one-year membership renewal in CSI, and publication of the essay at

Submission and Contest Rules

  • Only currently active members of CSI are eligible for the contest.
  • Members in any active chapter of CSI may participate, regardless of the accreditation status of their program.
  • First place award recipients from previous years are not eligible to enter the contest again, but prior second and third place award recipients can submit another essay.
  • All essays will be written by one person and submitted as sole authored; only one essay submission per member is allowed.
  • Essays may not exceed 500 words; references can be entered separately and are not included in the word limit.
  • All essays must be in English.
  • Only original work will be accepted; all contest participants must verify that the submission is original.

Conditions for Participation in CSI's Leadership Essay Contest

Essays were accepted until until 5:00 PM EST on November 15, 2016. The deadline to submit an essay for the 2016-2017 contest has passed.

Essays will be reviewed by a panel comprised of leaders from CSI and CACREP. Evaluation criteria will include originality, clarity, and relevance to the counseling profession. Essays will not be returned, and any submissions will become the property of Chi Sigma Iota International. If you have questions about the contest, please contact the Leadership Essay Contest Chair at

If you are interested in reviewing past submissions, previous award recipients' essays can be downloaded from CSI's Leadership webpage.


The following list of resources may be useful as you develop your Leadership Essay Contest submission. Although a literature review is not required, we encourage you to include citations when appropriate.

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