Nominee for Chair-elect: Lisa Sohmer

Lisa SohmerLisa Sohmer
Independent College Counselor
Sohmer College Counseling (FL)

Jump to: Nominee SpeechBio | Intro Video

How do your experiences align with NACAC’s new mission and vision statements?”

I was inspired by the announcement of NACAC’s new mission and vision statements, mostly because they mirrored my own NACAC experience. Community, advocacy and education — these elements represent my reasons for joining NACAC at the start of my career and also my reasons for seeking an additional leadership role now. These are the things that NACAC does best; NACAC brings together professionals from around the table and around the world and teaches them, unites them, and empowers them to do great work, on behalf of the profession and the students we all serve.

All of us in college counseling and admissions understand what our new vision statement confirms: post-secondary education is transformative. A college or trade school degree can change not only a student’s life, but the life of their family. Post-secondary education, both access to it and support through it, should be available to all.

My career — at Garden School in NY and as an independent counselor — is about showing students the opportunities that exist and helping them make them their own. The work I do reflects my NACAC experience and the lessons I have learned through the Association. As a member who has served in assembly and the affiliate presidents council and on the NACAC board, NACAC supports and encourages me and for nearly 25 years, NACAC’s messaging and mission, embodied by my colleagues throughout the profession, have told me what I can do and given me the tools to do it.

I learned early on that I could count on NACAC to provide the education that I needed to support students — those I worked with directly and not — and grow in my career. I am eager to continue to learn through NACAC’s programming and to share the things that I know with others. NACAC’s expanded offerings — both in-person and virtual — underscore my belief that NACAC’s professional development is unrivaled.

NACAC’s advocacy structure gave me access to members of congress and their aides and encouraged me to represent the admissions and counseling profession and students everywhere by advocating at the national and state level. From lessons on lobbying to up-to-date, mission-centered talking points, NACAC showed me how to work with other members who shared my goals and enthusiasm. As NACAC membership grows, our voice will become even more powerful.

For so long, I have relied on my fellow NACAC members — and members of my affiliates — for all things professional. In this community I have found mentors, advisors, experts to speak at my college nights, people who share their perspectives and help me expand mine. But the pandemic and the cancelled conferences it caused reminded us that this is more than a professional group; it is a true community of friends. We rely on each other, teach each other, support each other, trust each other. We struggle and succeed together. We laugh and learn together. We make progress together. We share a vision and know that fulfilling our mission will get us there together. 

Lisa's Nominee Speech

"What do NACAC’s new mission and vision statements mean to you as a member, a professional, and as a candidate for the board?"





  • Member, 1999-present
  • Communications Committee: Member, 2016-19; Chair, 2019-20
  • Board Director: 2006-09
  • Ad Hoc Committee on Catastrophic Events: Chair, 2005-06
  • Affiliate Presidents Council: 2003-06

New York State ACAC

  • Member, 1998-present
  • Women in Counseling and Admissions SIG: Co-chair, 2020-present
  • ACCEPT SIG: Co-chair, 2017-20
  • College Fair Committee: Co-chair, 2014-16; Member, 2010-14
  • Summer Institute: Co-Director, 2010-12
  • Presidential Cycle: President-elect, 2003-04; President, 2004-05; Past President, 2005-06
  • NACAC Assembly Delegate, 2001-03

Pennsylvania ACAC

  • Member, 2021-present

Southern ACAC

  • Member, 2019-present

Western ACAC

  • Member, 2016-present

Other Professional Organizations

  • Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA): Member, 2017-present


  • Sohmer College Counseling: Independent College Counselor, 2006-present
  • Garden School, Jackson Heights, NY: Director of College Counseling/Upper Division Coordinator, 1996-2017; Consultant, 2017-present
  • Mosaic College Prep, Los Angeles, LA: Consultant, 2016-present


  • M.A. New York University, Journalism, New York, NY
  • B.A. Connecticut College, English/Government, New London, CT


  • New York State ACAC President’s Award: Recipient, 2008


  • 2021 New York State ACAC Annual Conference: Wonder Women in Admissions
  • 2019 NACAC National Conference: Beyond Varsity Blues
  • 2019 New York State ACAC Coming Together Conference: Working as a Team-A New Admissions and Counseling Dynamic
  • 2019 Chapter in NACAC’s Fundamentals of College Admission Counseling (4th edition 2015/5th edition 2019): College Counseling: Making it Work
  • 2018 NACAC National Conference: Women and College Admissions – The Impact and Power of Mentorship
  • 2018 Young Women Leaders Annual Conference: Putting Yourself on Paper – The College Essay
  • 2017 New York State ACAC Annual Conference: ACCEPT – Who We Are
  • 2017 Summer Journal of College Admission: Where I Lived
  • 2016 New York State ACAC Annual Conference and NACAC Annual Conference: The Importance of Building a Professional Network
  • 2013 Fall Journal of College Admission: Am I Good Enough?



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