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Candidate for President-Elect 2013-2014

Sacha ThiemeSacha Thieme

Director of Freshman Admission, DePaul University

B.A., Indiana University, Bloomington, IN;
M.S. in Education, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

IACAC Member: 11 years

IACAC Activities:
Membership Committee (2003–2008);
Government Relations (2004–2008), Springfield Trip (2004, 2006, 2013);
District 2NW Seminar Planning Committee (2005, 2006), Presenter (2004, 2008), Moderator (2005, 2006);
Annual Conference: Presenter (2004–2008), Hospitality (2004–2007), Registration (2004–2006), Teller (2005, 2006);
Newcomer Award Recipient (2006);
Professional Development Director (2007, 2008); Summer Institute Tri-Chair (2008);
Middle Management Institute Committee (2009–2012);
Assembly Delegate 2009-2012, Chief Delegate (2011–2012);
Molly K. Arnold President’s Service Award Recipient (2012)

NACAC Activities:
Member (2006–2013);
Professional Development Committee (2011–2013), Chair (2012–13)

Other Professional Activities:
Minnesota ACAC Member (2004–2006);
Indiana ACAC Member (2007, 2008)

Candidate Statement:
I am humbled and honored to be nominated to serve as the President-Elect for IACAC and look forward to the opportunity to promote our continued success as an organization. Our professional experiences today are filled with limitless “trending” topics. First-generation, undocumented or underrepresented students, standardized tests, test-optional admission, net-price calculators, rankings, AP and IB curriculum and the list goes on. The depth and breadth of our knowledge on these topics is tested on a daily basis by our students, their parents, our administrators and even our peers.

Our members have developed a strong reputation in Illinois for being well-educated on the issues facing our students and our service of their questions and needs. Having had the opportunity to serve as a NACAC delegate for Illinois, I also witnessed the respected position we hold in the national assembly. We continue to have national professional committee members and chairs, have nationally renowned experts in our midst, and have multiple members who have served on national boards. The strength of our organization and knowledge of our membership has obviously positioned us well within the profession, but have we done all we can to organize ourselves in a way that makes sourcing this body of talent as easy as possible? Do we, as a larger organization know the talent that is in our ranks? Are we as individuals self-aware enough to know what we each bring to the table?

Since last serving on the IACAC executive board I have had the opportunity to participate on the NACAC Professional Development Committee, which has provided an important education in the structure and operation of our national organization and subsequently caused me to contemplate additional opportunities for IACAC to build upon our reputation. My most recent position as chair of this committee has allowed me to interact directly with NACAC leadership and board directors on a regular basis, providing a better understanding of the current strategic plan. This perspective will be helpful as we work to align our own strategic plan for the future. As NACAC works to reach out to young professionals we need to prepare these professionals and middle managers to be ready to seize these opportunities. As NACAC outlines competencies for professionals in our field we need to make sure our members possess the self-awareness to understand where they are in meeting these competencies.

This exposure has also generated a number of questions about how external parties can benefit from our knowledgebase. When people are looking for experts and resources in the field how often do they make note of professionals in Illinois? How do we collect and organize ourselves in such a way to make it easier for our peers and leaders to seek out members with the authority to speak on trending topics? How do we share this information among our own membership so we can more easily support each other? Anyone that has worked with me (or has sat in an executive board meeting with me) will know that I never run short of questions.

A great deal of time and energy has been dedicated over the last few years to reorganize our leadership model and implement a new structure. Now we have the opportunity to extend this more efficient model to the membership so we and others can easily identify and celebrate the talent and knowledge we possess. This will help us more effectively address the ever changing needs of our students. As John Heywood stated, “two heads are better than one” and “many hands make light work.”

I continue to appreciate that ours is an organization comprised of professionals fulfilling a variety of unique and independent roles and yet we can come together to effectively address the issues facing prospective college students. To all of us in IACAC, the relationship seems natural and normal. If elected, I look forward to promoting this continued collaboration through mutual awareness of our individual and collective skills, talents and knowledge.

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