Mark Young, a professor of counseling education in UCF’s College of Education, has been awarded one of the highest honors in the counseling profession from the American Counseling Association.

Young was named an ACA Fellow, a prestigious distinction which means that he has made significant and unique contributions to the counseling field through professional practice, scientific achievement or teaching.

A professor in the Department of Educational and Human Sciences, Young has spent more than 20 years working in community mental health, corrections, college counseling centers and private practice. He has published three books and a variety of articles and led workshops at conferences in the U.S., Mexico, Russia and France.

Young also is the co-founder and director of faculty development for UCF’s Marriage & Family Research Institute, which is part of the College of Education’s graduate counseling program.

Andrew Daire, the MFRI’s co-founder and executive director, was also honored at the ACA’s annual conference in San Francisco last week.

Daire received the Don Dinkmeyer Social Interest Award, which recognizes an individual or organization that has used counseling to support families and promote a positive influence on families and family life.

Dinkmeyer was the founding editor of the Elementary School Guidance and Counseling Journal. He encouraged education and training to help families. His award includes a $1,000 honorarium.

Daire is a professor of counseling education in the Department of Educational and Human Sciences. His work has so far received nearly $6 million in grant funding to support research and educational outreach related to healthy relationships. Daire has made presentation at conferences throughout the globe and conducted counselor training workshops on couples and marital interventions in the U.S., Germany, Kenya and Jamaica.

The American Counseling Association is the world’s largest nonprofit organization for professional counselors. The organization, founded in 1952, provides leadership training, continuing education and advocacy services for its more than 42,000 members.