Regional Admission Director
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
Way back in the dark ages, when I was applying to college, the two schools I focused on were the University of Michigan (my alma mater) and Williams College (MA). Pretty much the only thing those two schools had in common were academic profile and test scores, but that was really all anyone considered then—could you get in? In reality, neither were really the best fit for me. I wanted to help students look at the whole college experience and find the best fit for them where they could thrive and accomplish great things.
What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is probably interacting with young people. I love their energy and the excitement of guiding them to an amazing college experience.
How has NACAC played a role in your career?
When I started my first job working “on the other side of the desk” in a high school, I attended a NACAC conference. I learned so much from the session presentations as well as through networking with other attendees. NACAC’s Step-by-Step Guide: College Awareness and Planning for Families, Counselors and Communities was my go-to resource for many years. Now that I work in higher ed, NACAC and our regional affiliate, PCACAC, provide me with tons of professional development and networking opportunities and help me stay up-to-date on the “industry.”
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
I think the rising costs of attending college are a huge challenge. There is no question that earning a college degree, and ideally having the away-from-home residential experience, will always be transformative but there’s a point when the cost is prohibitive. It already is for so many families. It’s becoming more about getting a diploma than exploring, growing, and maturing in addition to learning. Without that piece, students miss out on all of the pathways and opportunities they didn’t realize were available to them.
When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I love to spend time with my husband, my dog, and my very large family (blended family of seven adult children and their significant others and granddogs). We love to travel but mostly to visit them and spend time at a beach or lake. I traveled a lot as a child and young adult and am ready to spend more time exploring local areas. When at home, I like to be outside and walk or read.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Ok, this answer has a limited audience, but I just happen to be completing this questionnaire after watching one of the last episodes of the series This Is Us. I think I would be Beth Pearson. She has such a great attitude toward life and family. She is so supportive and appreciative of those important relationships but keeps everything in perspective with a little laughter thrown in for good measure.