NECBAC Honors Six Members with Annual Awards

August 28, 2014

Worcester, MA – In Ausust 2014, The New England Counselors of Color Bridging Access to College (NECBAC) honored colleagues from institutional and associate member institutions with a series of awards including the Founder’s Award, the Rising Star Award, the Community Leader in Action Award, and Member Emeritus status. This year’s recipients include Renee Gadsden of Simmons College, Jessica Reyes of Wheelock College, Chaka Felder-McEntire of James Hillhouse High School & Higher Heights Youth Empowerment Programs, Inc., Adria Belin of Dartmouth College, Louisa Martin of Southern New Hampshire University, and Marylyn Scott of Bucknell University.

President of NECBAC, Leykia Brill, Associate Dean of Admission at Amherst College comments, “I am honored and privileged to be able to acknowledge the contributions and success of our members with these awards.  This is merely a small token of our appreciation to each of you for your years of dedication and service to NECBAC.”

Renee Gadsden, Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Simmons College, is this year’s recipient of the Founder’s Award. This award is given to a member who goes beyond the call of duty to provide professional support to members, educate students and counselors on issues surrounding access and opportunity, and showing tremendous leadership in the field of college admission counseling.

The Rising Star Award, a distinction given to members who have been part of the organization for three years or less, is reserved for an individual who shows great promise and has the potential to become a powerful leader within the organization and beyond. By taking advantage of the opportunities to learn more about the field of admissions and counseling and honoring the tradition of camaraderie and respect within NECBAC, Jessica Reyes, Admissions Counselor for Diversity Outreach and Recruitment at Wheelock College is 2014’s recipient of the Rising Star Award.

Chaka Felder-McEntire, Lead School Counselor at James Hillhouse High School and Executive Director of Higher Heights Youth Empowerment Programs, Inc. was selected as this year’s recipient of the Community Leader in Action Award. This award is presented to a deserving guidance counselor, college counselor, or community based organization leader who has made a significant impact on lives of students. By demonstrating outstanding initiative in the field through programming, counseling and mentorship, Chaka has inspired students and co-workers to achieve their dreams.

Lastly, Member Emeritus status was given to three individuals: Adria Belin, Associate Director of Admissions at Dartmouth College, Louisa Martin, Director of the Office of Diversity Initiatives at Southern New Hampshire University, and Marylyn Scott, Associate Dean of Admissions at Bucknell University. These three individuals have demonstrated a deep commitment to bridging access and continue to be invaluable resources to the organization. Member Emeritus status grants them lifetime membership to NECBAC as a way to honor these individuals’ extraordinary contributions to both the organization and the field of college admission counseling.

The New England Counselors of Color Bridging Access to College (NECBAC) is a chartered, non-profit organization of professional admission representatives of color affiliated with four-year private colleges and universities who are dedicated to promoting enrollment and retention of students of color. NECBAC works to establish, maintain, and participate in cooperative programs, workshops, and materials designed to support the populations served in gaining access to college. More information about NECBAC can be found at