College & Career Coordinator, Evanston Township High School
BA English/Secondary Education, May 1999, Lewis University; MA School Counseling and Guidance, May 2005, Lewis University
Junior/Senior Counselor, 2005-2009, Saint Rita of Cascia College Preparatory High School; Academic Counselor, 2001-2005, Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies; Assistant Cross Country Coach, 2001- 2004, Northwestern University Department of Athletics and Recreation; Admissions Counselor, 2000-2001, Lewis University Office of Undergraduate Admission
National College Fair Chicago, Co-Chair, 2009-present; Committee member 2008; CAP Committee member, 2011; Membership Committee member 2006-2009; Conference presenter, “ABCs of College Admission Counseling”, 2009,“They Didn’t Teach that in Grad School: An Introduction to College Counseling”, 2010 and 2011; Chicago & South Suburban District Seminar Committee member, 2009 and 2010; presenter, “Field of Dreams in Athletics”, 2008; West & North Suburban District Seminar Committee member, 2010; moderator, “Collegiate Athletics: Are Your College Bound Student Athletes Qualified?” and “When Coaches Aren’t Calling—Options Beyond the DI ‘Full Ride’”, 2010; West Central District Seminar presenter, “Collegiate Athletics: Are Your College Bound Student Athletes Qualified?”, 2011; Mentee, 2010; Plane O’Fun, New York, 2010
College Board, NOSCA Conference, (2011); College Board, A Dream Deferred, (2011); IACAC Conference, 2006, 2009, 2010 and (2011); NACAC Professional Development Webinars: various, 2009, 2010 and (2011); College Board Regional Forum, 2011; NACAC Conference, 2010; ISCA Conference, 2010; ICAN Conference, 2010; ACT Educator Workshop, 2008; NACAC Directing a Dynamic College Counseling Program, 2008; Umoja Student Development Corporation College Planning Workshop, 2007 ; The Union League Presents Tools for Success: Mentoring Programs
that Work, 2007; UIUC Mock Admission Workshop, 2007 and 2010; United States Marine Corps Educators Workshop, 2006; ISAC FAFSA Made Easy / FAFSA Expert Training, 2005-2011; The Academy for College Admission Counseling 101, 201, 301: 2005, 2006, 2007; The Academy for College Admission Counseling Saturday Only Sessions: 2005, 2007; USATF Level I Coaching Certification, 2003; Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, 2001
Other Professional Activities
NACAC, 2009-present; College Board, 2009-present; Chicago Area College Counselor Association, 2009-present; Chicago Area Naviance Network, 2009-present; South Suburban Counselor Association, 2007-present
It is an honor to be nominated for the IACAC Executive Board position of High School Director. I recently had the privilege of attending the Black Teen Summit, hosted by Oakton Community College, where I heard the Keynote say something that sums up how I choose to focus my professional career – Learn something; teach somebody; change someplace; become someone.
While working in admission, advising and athletics I knew what it was like for students at all different stages of the college process, but I wondered how exciting it might be to work with students and their families earlier in the process – those too who aren’t even seeing themselves as part of the process. I bring the experiences of working with the traditional prospect, nontraditional student and athlete to my job as high school counselor.
During my first year on the “high school side” I was encouraged by a colleague from the “college side” to get involved with IACAC. His urging was heartfelt and the experience in his words was meant to get me to stretch myself to one day be in a place where I could be a contributor to the profession and be a difference maker. The Membership Committee was my first stop. It was immediately so rewarding to meet with other professionals who were passionately trying to come up with ways to invite other counselors to become members of an organization we so strongly believe in. I remember reciting the membership “script” at ISAC training sessions across the city of Chicago and the Southern District Seminar at Rend Lake College. This opportunity to make connections with counselors from a variety of communities has made volunteering for IACAC committees a rewarding experience.
I would be a fool if I didn’t believe that this early involvement with IACAC allowed for me to be asked to direct the counseling center at the NACAC National College Fair – Chicago. Additionally, networking within IACAC has afforded me the opportunity to present at the IACAC Chicago & South Suburban District Seminar, West & Central District Seminar and IACAC Conference.
I have learned so much from my previous positions and colleagues that I find it both rewarding and responsible to teach others who want to serve students and families. I enjoy being involved with IACAC, taking time to share ideas and practices, when asked, and helping to raise the confidence level of those just starting out. Presenting “… An Introduction to College Counseling” at Conference has been something I look forward to each year.
Having recently volunteered for the CAP Committee I couldn’t be more excited about the work we will be doing for students. As co-chair of the NCF Committee I have asked CAP to join us to strengthen the message throughout the state about college readiness. If elected as IACAC High School Director it would be a privilege to serve my high school counterparts by representing the voices of counselors from all high school communities across Regions 1 and 2.
College Counselor, Saint Ignatius College Prep
BS Communications, Ball State University; MEd Higher Education, Loyola University Chicago
Baltimore International Culinary College, Regional Admission Rep 1994-1995; Loyola University Chicago 1995-2005, Undergraduate Admission; Kaplan, Inc. College Consultant 2005
Raffle Co-Chair (2 years), AP Committee member (6 years), IACAC Conference presenter and moderator, Summer Institute attendee and presenter
AMMI at NACAC Orlando, attended 5 National Conferences
When my career in college admission began, I was a regional rep for Baltimore International Culinary College. To some, I was the “the girl with the big hair” or the “the girl with the bear”—since I had a stuffed bear on my table at college fairs. The world of a regional rep was simple back then. It was just me, my black case, my 8-county map of Chicago, and the IACAC Day/ Night calendar. When I asked my boss at the time if I could attend the IACAC conference in Springfield she turned down my request and said “those conferences are just for people to sit around and complain”. So I paid my own way and went. Without a staff of colleagues to sit with at the meals- I found myself welcomed by the familiar faces of my fellow road warriors from the past year. I knew then that IACAC was to play a role in my professional life as my surrogate staff and sounding board.
I am fortunate to have graduated Highland Park High School and was thrilled to see what a “big deal” Mr. Alexander was to IACAC. He quickly introduced to me to the heavy hitters and insisted that I call him Jim. My first “break” into IACAC was as the 1996 Conference Raffle Co-Chair. I loved the opportunity to get people excited while in turn raising funds for the organization. Looking out of over the conference crowd with tickets clutched in their hands-I found myself talking down my anxious colleagues saying “People. It’s just a Raffle.”
Over the years, my IACAC involvement led me to participation on the national level by attending NACAC conference, numerous regional meetings, and AMMI. Serving on the Admission Practices Committee for 2 terms, I was able to see a different side of the Association’s purpose which in turn exposed me to how we work to protect our students.
Ever since my switch to the “other side of the desk” my work with other high schools has enriched my knowledge base of the profession overall and the work we with our students. As a candidate for High School Director, I feel my experience working with high schools externally when I was in Admission and internally as a College Counselor has given me an enriched perspective as a candidate. I am looking forward to serving the Association as High School Director. I will do my best to work in crazy hats, stickers, or some kind of flair!