Acting Director of Admissions, Illinois State University
BS, Illinois State University
Illinois State University, Associate Director, 2007-2010; Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling, Executive Assistant, 1991-2007; Illinois State University, Associate Director, 1988-1991; Assistant Director, 1984-1988
Annual Conference: Registration co-chair, 1992-2007; Teller, 2009, 2010; Program co-chair, 2010; Presenter, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011; Admissions Practices, 2008-present; Publications (ad Hoc), 2009-2010; Executive Board (non-voting), 1991-2007; Strategic Planning, 2004-2007; Credentials, 2000-2007; ICE/ Calendar, 2000-2007;
Member; Attended multiple annual conferences; Rising Star Award, 2002
Other Professional Activities
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO); Illinois ACRAO
“What has IACAC meant to you?” That’s the question we as candidates were asked to respond to in this statement. To be honest, I’m not sure where to begin to answer that question. As many of you know, for sixteen years I had the pleasure—no, actually the privilege—of serving as Executive Assistant for the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling. During this time, I watched IACAC grow from an organization of 1400 members to one of over 1800 members. I saw the association adjust to the needs of members by adopting the geographic structure of regions and districts. I recall the first time that we used email to correspond with members and when our first website was created by a high school student named Dan Saavedra. (Is it actually possible that there was a time when email and websites didn’t exist???).
Over ten years ago, we addressed the regionalization of college fairs and created ICE programs so that students and families from all around the state have opportunities to learn about colleges and universities. In addition to the Bus O’ Fun, the association expanded visits for counselors to colleges and universities around the country via the Plane O’ Fun. We went through the process of strategic planning, developed new programs called Cadres and participated in the evolution of the Financial Aid Hotline to the Financial Aid Awareness Month to the current College Awareness and Preparation Committee. Over those many years, I had the opportunity to observe and to participate in an association that was ever changing, ever adjusting and ever adapting to the needs of its members and to the needs of the students and families that we serve.
But, as IACAC evolved to meet the needs of its membership, there has been one aspect that has never changed—the dedication and commitment of the MANY members that have volunteered their time and talents over the years. In fact, a successful association is not a place … or a website … or its articles of incorporation. Rather, a successful association is defined by the integrity, the innovation, the dedication and the collaboration of the individuals who comprise it. And this is why IACAC means so much to me. During the years of my employment with IACAC and in my recent years at Illinois State University, I have had the opportunity to work with so many dedicated, talented and enthusiastic IACAC volunteers. I have learned so much from each of these encounters … from leadership skills to organizational skills to a thorough understanding of the SPGP. And, in so many cases, these individuals have become valued colleagues and friends—people to share a good laugh with, but also to turn to for advice on a difficult situation or when the going gets rough.
Now, by serving as College Delegate to NACAC, I hope that it is my turn to give back to the organization that has provided so much to me. I hope that my own dedication, willingness to serve and historical perspective might allow me to contribute to the future of IACAC as we continue to advocate for and serve the students and families in Illinois.
Assistant Director of Admission, Northwestern University
BS, Iowa State University; MS, Loyola University Chicago
Bradley University, Assistant Director of Admission 2006-2007, Admissions Representative 2004-2006.
IACAC Professional Activities and Recognitions
Mentorship Committee Co-Chair, 2008-Present; Mentorship Committee Member 2004-Present; Middle Management Institute Co-Chair, 2010 – Present; Annual Conference Committee First-Timers Luncheon Tri-Chair, 2009-Present; Mentor, present; Summer Institute Committee Member, 2006-2008; Government Relations Committee Member (Lobbied in Springfield) 2004-2006; Annual Conference Presenter, 2005, 2008, 2011.
NACAC Professional Activities
I am so excited to be a nominee for NACAC college delegate on this year’s slate for IACAC’s executive board. To serve as a candidate among the outstanding leaders within this organization is truly an honor.
Although I feel my time within this organization is a mere fraction of that of my colleagues, I cannot thank IACAC enough for the opportunities and resources it has provided me. When I became a member of IACAC, I had no idea the impact this organization would have on me personally and professionally. Through my involvement, IACAC has given me a greater insight into the world of college admission and provided me with network of knowledgeable colleagues that I can count on to help me better serve my students and their families. More specifically, my involvement as a co-chair of the Mentorship Committee has been one of the highlights of my professional career. Through my involvement as a one of the leaders on this committee, IACAC has given me the opportunity to be creative, develop new ideas and put them into action. (And have I mentioned how much fun it has been?!) I would also be forgetting a huge part of this experience if I failed to mention the mentors and friends I have gained as a member of this organization. IACAC has truly made a difference in my career and has helped me grow as an individual and as a professional.
The barrage of daily news surrounding our country’s state of education is a constant reminder of the uphill battle we face. While our system of higher education is still envied around the world, the preparation our students are receiving to gain access, compete and succeed at our institutions is waning. As our state and national legislatures look for ways to balance the budget, funding for the Pell and MAP grant and college preparation programs and college counseling services within our schools are threatened. Compounding this problem, the population of students from underrepresented or first generation backgrounds is growing at an astronomical rate. These students, who need assistance from these programs and these financial resources in order to be successful within our institutions of higher learning, will be shortchanged. I see NACAC as an organization that collaborates to determine the best way to confront these issues and to be an advocate for the students and their families that we serve. IACAC is an organization that has always had a strong voice within NACAC. It would be an honor to serve our organization alongside these well-respected professionals.
Although I have not had much experience at the national level, I am someone who is committed to learning as much as I can about this profession and the challenges our students face. I believe I could bring a fresh perspective and new enthusiasm to the board serving in this role. I am confident that my work ethic and my passion for our profession will provide a base from which I can grow as a professional and uphold the reputation that IACAC has earned on the national level.