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Awards and Accolades: ACE Scholars Article in NASW Journal

Cal State San Marcos social work professor Madeline Lee, ACE Scholars Services counselors Laurie Orr and Leigh Quijada, and ACE founding director Jim Mickelson recently had a paper published in the National Association of Social Workers Press journal “Social Work.”

The group’s article, “Transforming Lives of Former Foster Youths: A Campus-Based Support Program Grounded in Social Work Values,” details ACE’s model.

“Support programs to improve higher education outcomes for former foster youths have emerged in the past 20 years, but literature to guide their development and implementation is limited,” the paper abstract states. “This conceptual article presents the program logic model for ACE (Achieving College Excellence) Scholars Services, the comprehensive, campus-based program supporting former foster youths grounded in social work values at California State University San Marcos.”

ACE Scholars Services has graduated more than 100 students since its founding in 2007.


Honors for School of Education alumni

Four alumni from the School of Education were honored with teacher of the year awards:

  • Alex Buder, who works at Oak Valley Middle School, was named one of Poway Unified School District’s 2021 School Site Teachers of the Year.
  • Sheen Garcia, who teaches at Del Dios Academy, was named a 2020-21 Teacher of the Year for Escondido Union School District.
  • Joy Leichtfuss, a sixth-grade reading, language arts, and world history teacher at San Marcos Middle School, was named San Marcos Unified School District’s 2020-21 Teacher of the Year.
  • Joe Prechtl, a teacher at Sullivan Middle School, was named a 2020-21 Teacher of the Year for Bonsall Union School District.

Media Contact

Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist

ebreier@csusm.edu | Office: 760-750-7314