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Candidates for College Director

Eric Ruiz Shawn Wochner
Eric Ruiz Shawn Wochner


Eric RuizEric Ruiz

Assistant Director of Admissions, University of St. Francis

Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting & Finance, University of St. Francis;
MBA, University of St. Francis

IACAC Member: 4 years

Previous Employment:
Full time college student

IACAC Activities:
National College Fair Co-Chair (2011–present);
Mentorship (2009–present);
Mentorship Match of the Year (2009);
Mentor (2010, 2011);
ICE Calendar (2011–present);
Summer Institute: New Member (2008), Committee (2009, 2010, 2012);
Various Conference Committees (2009–present);
Various Conference Presentations (2010, 2011);
Recipient of the James Alexander Newcomer Award (2011)

NACAC Activities:
Conference Committee (2010);
Co-Chair National College Fair (2011–present)

Other Professional Activities:
Administrator/Staff Committee (2011–2012);
Hispanic Serving Institution Committee (2011–present);
Bernie the Saint Bernard Mascot (Occasionally when they don’t have a student);
Kiononia Retreat Leader;
Bolivia Mission Trip Leader;
VP for the Young Professionals Committee at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy County

Candidate Statement:

I am most pleased and honored to be nominated as a candidate for the College Director position for IACAC.

About five years ago, if you would have asked me “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I would have told you that I would probably be on the Metra train making my way to my job at the accounting firm that I was offered. I would have never guessed I would find myself in higher education. I never actually found a job, I found a career. IACAC, along with my first Summer Institute at DePaul University in 2008, confirmed and helped reassure me that assisting students and helping them learn about college is something I love doing. Being part of the Mentorship, Summer Institute, ICE Calendar and Co-Chair of the National College Fair committee have shown me that I was never meant to be an accountant. Serving on the IACAC Executive Board would give me the opportunity to give back to the profession what they have given me; a passion to help students realize their potential and help them find a place to show the world what their made of.

It has been a great pleasure to witness the development of students. To be the resource that they need as they go through the challenges growing up, no matter where they come from, has been a tremendous privilege. To help students gain the knowledge they need in order to make well-informed decisions about the type of options they have, high school is so important and I feel obligated to share with as many students as I can about those options.

IACAC has supported my efforts and given me the tools that are needed to be successful. The organization has a plethora of knowledgeable and highly experienced members that share the same values of education as I. I have been lucky to learn from them and will continue to do so through the various events IACAC sponsors. The opportunities that IACAC has provided have helped me to learn new skills and develop others to help me with my goal of helping every student I come in contact with. The dedication, teamwork, and the members of IACAC have been extraordinary. Because of this organization, I can confidently say that I am a better admission professional and an individual.

It would be an honor to have the opportunity to take a leadership role in an organization that truly embodies the value of education in today’s society. To be an effective leader one must have and maintain the skills and motivation necessary to bring people together to accomplish a main goal. The ability to listen, be receptive and most importantly, have a commitment to the mission and goals of the organization are also important. I am ready to help IACAC move forward as part of the Executive Board. I am both moved and honored to be nominated to serve as College Director; the support given from the membership is much appreciated and I look forward for the opportunity to serve.



Shawn WochnerShawn Wochner

Admissions Counselor, Western Illinois University

BA, Western Illinois University (2001);
MBA, American Intercontinental University (2007)

IACAC Member: 4 years

Previous Employment:
Western Illinois University, Admissions Counselor (2008–present);
Colorado Technical University, Training Manager (2006–2008)

IACAC Activities:
Annual Conference: Registration Committee (2010-2011), Social Media Committee (2010), On-Site Committee Co-Chair (2012);
Presenter (2011–2012)
IACAC Committees: Summer Institute Co-Chair (2011), Mentorship Committee (2012), Credentials Committee (2012)

Other Professional Activities:
CARR (Chicago Area Regional Reps) (2008–2012), Secretary (2011–present)

Candidate Statement:

It is an honor and a privilege to have been nominated and slated as a candidate for the position of IACAC College Director. IACAC is an organization that means the world to me and I owe a lot of my professional development to this association. As a new, regionally based admissions counselor, I walked into my first college fair with my table drape, view books and brochures not knowing what I was about to experience. I truly learned the admissions position from my IACAC colleagues from other colleges and universities, without them I would still be completely overwhelmed and lost. This association is truly a family and that is what I love about it.

I believe I would be a strong candidate for the position of IACAC College Director because I have a deep passion for this profession and want to help advance the opportunities of students throughout the state. If elected, I would bring out-of-the-box ideas and perspectives, help to advance a culture where change is a good thing and utilize my strong work ethic to help provide opportunities to all students in Illinois.

I would have to say that serving as one of the Co-Chairs for the 2011 Summer Institute would have to be the most rewarding experience I have had with IACAC. After researching other ACAC affiliates, we took the best of all programs and enhanced what we were doing here in Illinois. This first meant taking the program from four days down to three, taking out Sunday. We also added in additional small group time and updated the sessions that were offered. The 2011 Summer Institute saw record attendance, with 54 participants including in- state and out of state public and private four year institutions, community college representatives and even two high school college counselors. Because of our large attendance, we also brought in five times more than budgeted, with a little over $11,000 after all expenses. As I attend college visits and fairs, I have had the opportunity to see many of the participants and they are still very excited about the profession and appreciative of the opportunities awarded to them through the Summer Institute.

I am interested in the College Director position because I have a passion for this profession and wish to continue to give back to IACAC by serving on the IACAC Board. I want to become more involved with IACAC and this is a great opportunity to do just that. I am very adaptable, able to multi-task successfully and able to coordinate and oversee projects. I also feel that being able to connect and build relationships with the leaders and members of this organization will help to hone my own personal leadership skills which will help me to become a better leader, understand more of the larger scope beyond our state boarders and prepare me for the next step of my involvement with IACAC and NACAC.


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