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Candidates for Council Team Director – Postsecondary 2017-2018

Elect one:

Rachel Brewster
Associate Director of Admissions
Southern Illinois University Carbondale


  • B.S. in Marketing, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • M.B.A., Southern Illinois University Carbondale

IACAC Member:  6 years

Rachel Brewster

IACAC Activities:

  • Summer Institute Attendee
  • District Seminar Attendee
  • Annual Conference Attendee
  • First Timers’ Luncheon Committee (2017)
  • Scholarship Review Committee (2016–Present)
  • Mentee (2016–present)
  • Mentor (2015–2016)
  • Mentorship Committee (2013–2014)
  • College Awareness & Preparation Committee (2015–present)

NACAC Activities:

  • Member 2 years
  • National Conference Attendee

Other Professional Activities:

  • Southern Association for College Admission Counseling (2016–present)
  • CIVSA Region 3 Regional Meeting (2016)
  • College Board Forum Attendee (2016)
  • Indiana Congress Conference Attendee & Presenter (2016)
  • Student Development Institute Attendee (2016)
  • Kentucky Association for College Admission Counseling (2015–present)
  • Missouri Association for College Admission Counseling (2015–present)
  • Collegiate Information and Visitor Services Association (CIVSA) (2014–present)
  • Indiana Association for College Admission Counseling (2013–present)

Considering the recently adopted strategic plan for IACAC, what do you hope to achieve within this role as it pertains to the objectives of the new plan?

I am involved in several other state associations, and it is well known that none compare to Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling. This reputation was not achieved through complacency and lack of initiative. A vision, determination, and hard work are qualities that led the organization to attain this recognition. The members of our organization who stand behind this strategic plan and constantly evoke change set IACAC apart. Now more than ever, education at all levels is in desperate need of advocacy. Strength comes in numbers. While our member-base is strong, we must persistently strive to grow membership and in turn increase awareness. As a member of the leadership team, I would engage in activities to increase membership, outreach, and educational opportunities while paying careful attention to our fiscal responsibility and management.

If elected, what experiences, skills, and qualities do you bring to this specific position?

Several years ago, I took a job outside of higher education and quickly learned that my true passion lies in assisting students in their life journey. I returned to admissions after six short months away. During my combined six years in this profession, I have engaged in counseling, recruitment, event planning, budget allocation, campus visit programming, and served as the advisor for a student volunteer organization. My experience and knowledge within this profession runs deep, yet I am aware that there is always more to learn.

Being a first-generation student, I am passionate about access and inclusion. As a member of the IACAC College Awareness and Preparation and Scholarship Committees, I am proud of the monetary and programmatic resources offered to students through this organization. I am of the belief that we must never stop asking, “What more can we do?” I promise that through my involvement in IACAC, I will never stop trying to do more for our future leaders.

Kenya Taylor
Senior Regional Recruiter
The University of Arizona


  • B.S. Speech Communications, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • M.S. Education, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

IACAC Member: 7 years (2010–present)

Kenya Taylor

IACAC Activities:

  • James A. Alexander Newcomer Award Recipient (2016)
  • Mentorship Committee Co-Chair (2014–present)
  • Mentorship Committee Member (2013–present)
  • Nominations Committee (2015)
  • Annual Conference First Timers Committee Co-Chair (2016, 2017)
  • Mentorship Match of the year Mentor/Mentee (2014)
  • Annual Conference Presenter (2014, 2016, 2017)
  • Summer Institute Committee (2014)
  • First Timers Luncheon Table Host (2013–present)
  • Annual Conference Registration & Hospitality Committee (2012–present)
  • Annual Conference Raffle Committee (2013)
  • Project Reach Committee (2012)
  • Annual Conference Attendee (2011–present)

NACAC Activities:

  • Member 2 years (non-concurrent)
  • NACAC Rising Star Nominee (2016)
  • NACAC Conference Attendee (2010, 2016)

Other Professional Activities:

  • CARR Board Member (2013–2015)
  • CARR Member (2011–present)

Considering the recently adopted strategic plan for IACAC, what do you hope to achieve within this role as it pertains to the objectives of the new plan?

Within the role of Council Team Director, I will help IACAC continue to go beyond limits to grow membership, expand educational opportunities, and extend outreach. I began my admissions career in Southern Illinois. At that time there was not an abundance of IACAC events or programs in the Southern Illinois region. I heard the name IACAC floating around the office, but I did not know what IACAC was or what it meant. In my second year in the profession, I attended the IACAC Annual Conference. I was completely amazed to learn about this incredible organization. I left conference feeling empowered, renewed, and believing in the mission of IACAC. As co-chair of the Mentorship and First-Timers committees, I have made it my personal mission to extend the reach of IACAC to all regions of Illinois, and to ensure that new professionals have opportunities to learn and become involved in IACAC.

Growing and diversifying membership will allow all voices to be heard and represented in the organization. One way to accomplish this would be by giving non-IACAC members access to services and programs so that they can see the benefit of being a member. Another way would be to conduct outreach workshops and/or seminars for those in leadership roles at high schools and colleges to show them why and how IACAC can benefit their employees and institutions.

I would also like to expand outreach and educational opportunities to meet members where they are by offering webinars, teleconference capabilities for committee meetings, and session recordings from our annual conference. This will allow members who are not able to attend IACAC programs and events the ability to have access to the material. IACAC’s plan to rotate the annual conference throughout Illinois is another great way to accomplish our strategic goals.

Lastly, I would like to help further define pathways to develop members for leadership roles within our organization.

If elected, what experiences, skills, and qualities do you bring to this specific position?

I am honored to be given the opportunity to give back to an organization that has given me so much. Through IACAC, I have been afforded opportunities that have helped me grow within the profession. My experience serving as a committee co-chair has taught me what it means to be an advocate, serve as a resource, and to build and foster meaningful professional relationships. As a committee co-chair, I heard and listened to feedback, ideas, and the needs of committee members and program participants, and worked with my co-chairs to take action. Some of these action steps have included: implementing a liaison system to ensure that the mentorship matches are effective, hosting the mentorship meetups throughout the state to expand outreach efforts, motivating committee members to take an active role in the committee, and collaborating with other committees to help strengthen the services that we provided to IACAC members.

I also have experience growing and overseeing a committee. I am confident that I will make a great Council Team Director utilizing strong organization, communication, and event planning skills. More importantly, I am a genuine, positive, proactive person and I passionately believe in the mission of IACAC. It was not very long ago that leaders in IACAC took me under their wings, believed in me, and pushed me to be a stronger professional. I am truly grateful for IACAC. I will continue to uphold the mission of IACAC for the future faces of the organization.

Josephine West
Regional Recruitment Manager
The Ohio State University


  • B.A., Northern Illinois University (1995)

IACAC Member: 8 years (2009–present)

Josephine West

IACAC Activities:

  • Annual Conference Raffle Committee Co-Chair (2016, 2017)
  • Annual Conference Raffle Committee Member (2015-present)
  • Annual Conference Presenter (2017)
  • Annual Conference First Timers Luncheon Host (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Mentorship Committee Member (2014-present)
  • Mentorship Mentor (2016–present)
  • Scholarship and Grants Committee Member (2016–Present)
  • Conference Evaluations Committee Member (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Government Relations Committee Member (2014–present)
  • Inclusion, Access and Success Committee Member (2016–present)
  • Project Reach Committee Member (2015–present)
  • IACAC Conference Attendee (2010–present)

NACAC Activities:

  • Member (2014–present)
  • National Conference Attendee (2014, 2016)

Other Professional Activities:

  • CARR Member (2009–present)
  • CARR Treasurer (2014–2016)
  • CARR Counselor Outreach Co-Chair (2016–2018)

Considering the recently adopted strategic plan for IACAC, what do you hope to achieve within this role as it pertains to the objectives of the new plan?

IACAC has been so important to me in my development as a professional and I am excited about the possibilities as we look to the future. If elected as Council Team Director – Post- Secondary, I would like focus on three important goals that are in the recently adopted strategic plan:

1. Membership – As a priority of the strategic plan it is important that we increase our I will work with the Executive Board and Membership Committee to emphasize the incredible benefits of membership for both school counselors and college representatives in IACAC. I also hope to get members even more engaged in IACAC on committees, participating in professional development events, and representing Illinois on a national level.

2. Brand –As another strategic priority, we need to continuously keep members informed about key issues and benefits within the organization. A strong communication plan would guide us, and through emails, newsletters and social media every member of IACAC should always be aware of what is happening in our organization. I would love to be a part of creating a public relations plan that communicates what we do as an organization. With this plan I hope for further exposure as to the benefits and services that IACAC members can add to the profession.

2. Outreach – Today with the demographic landscape of the country changing, it is important that we are persistent in providing access to higher education to those groups that are underrepresented on college campuses. As an organization we need to ensure that our membership is prepared to work with all students from diverse We should make an effort to draw attention to important diversity issues both locally and nationally, provide resources and training to our members, work with our elected state legislators who are involved on higher education committees, and expand delivery of association services to members in all geographic regions of Illinois.

If elected, I will continue to work extremely hard for IACAC with a positive attitude, an open mind and the utmost respect for this organization.

If elected, what experiences, skills, and qualities do you bring to this specific position?

I feel honored to be nominated for Council Team Director – Post-Secondary of IACAC. Having served in various leadership roles, I have come to realize that the strength of a leader depends on understanding the strengths of an organization. I am proud to be a part of such a strong organization such as IACAC. The role of Council Team Director is critical as it supports the President and/or the Executive Board.

If I am elected, I will bring years of leadership, outreach, motivating, and planning experience. I feel I have the skills to Co-Chair any of the following committees: Member Relations, Student and Family Outreach, Professional Development or Media. I have been a member of IACAC since 2009 and have served on numerous committees. I have also Co-Chaired the Conference Raffle committee for the past 2 years. I have served on the Executive Board of CARR in 2 separate roles. I was the past Treasurer (2014–2016) and I am currently the Co-Chair for Counselor Outreach (2016–2018). In these roles I have to be fiscally responsible, able to multi-task and plan events. I also have experience planning potential and admitted student receptions and other events within The Ohio State University system. I believe I can provide a wide variety of ideas for current and new IACAC programs. I also have experience with creating and staying on a budget.

Thank you for your nomination! I would be honored to serve and hopefully give back to this wonderful organization that has given me the tools and information I need to assist counselors, students, and families.

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