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Member Spotlight: September 2021

Member Spotlight: September 2021

This month’s Member Spotlight features Mary Alice Berg, Associate Director of Admission at Loyola University – Chicago.

How long have you worked in counseling?
17 years

How did you get into counseling?
I was a tour guide at my undergrad alma mater Marquette University. I noticed that all the folks around the office seemed to really love their work. From the Dean at the time, Roby Blust to June Smith, the amazing woman who welcomed every visitor at the front desk, the office was full of smart, funny approachable and collaborative people. I wanted to be just like all of them when I grew up! So I guess the whole Marquette Admissions team from 2001-2004 really got me into counseling. They were inspiring role models and I’m lucky to call many of them friends/colleagues all these years later!

How long have you been an IACAC member?
Definitely the last 5 years or so but probably longer although I know there were years in there when I forgot to renew! Don’t be me – renew your membership! 🙂

How have you been involved in IACAC?
I attended an early morning session at the NACAC conference in Boston on a Government Relations topic. I stood up to make a comment or ask a question during the session and after I sat down Joe Freeman, Steve Landgraf and Jen Sloan introduced themselves as the IACAC Government Relations chairs. They encouraged me to join their squad and I’ve been on the Government Relations committee ever since. Currently I serve as one of the chairs.

What do you love most about your job?
The pandemic taught me that one of the things I love most about my job is being physically present on campus. I was not cut out for the work from home life AT ALL! Loyola is one of my favorite places filled with the best students/faculty/staff. I am so grateful to put on work clothes, drive to campus while singing along to Chicago radio and spend the day with colleagues who are brilliant, hardworking and hilarious! I never get tired of talking about Loyola with prospective students so that probably means I am in the right place.

What is the most common college process concern you see among your students today?
I meet so many students who are intimated/stressed about the whole college application process – particularly the idea of their app being judged/picked apart by the review committee. I try to use warmth and humor to make the application review process seem more approachable. I tell students that we admit far more students than we deny at Loyola and remind them how much we enjoy getting to know their story via the application. I also love to remind students that their app is not being reviewed by a bunch of old, white men wearing blazers in a dusty boardroom but rather by me on my laptop with Taylor Swift on in the background and a Diet Coke by my side!

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