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Meet Cigus Vanni

Cigus Vanni
Independent Counselor
Cigus The College Fairy LLC

What drew you to the counseling field?
My parents did not attend high school or college, and I vowed that I would assist students and families in this process after my own experiences. I like to be involved with human development and I prefer options to solutions (I would have made a terrible engineer).

What is it like to work as an independent counselor after retirement?
It is glorious. I can’t believe that after more than 40 years working with students and families that I get to do what I do. I suck as my own boss—I give myself too much work and I can’t say no—but I get to set my own schedule and I can go to tons of thrift shops on off-hours.

Over the course of your career, how did you utilize NACAC’s resources and opportunities to better the profession and support your own work?
I have attended a gazillion national conferences, I log on to webinars on a regular basis, and I scour the Knowledge Center for information and insight that could help me help my posse. I have proposed various motions in the Assembly and I have shared resources I created with the Knowledge Center, the NACAC Exchange, and the IECA cohort.

What are some of the most significant changes in the admission process since you first started?
The increased business orientation of the process; the more meaningful voices of individual members supporting changes such as expanded fee waivers, self-reporting of test scores, and accountability; the more genuine attention provided to transfer students; and the Internet.

What inspired you to recommend the motion that became NACAC’s school profile project?
Years ago, I worked in admission at Swarthmore College (PA) and saw some pretty crummy school profiles that did nothing to assist students from those schools. Presently, I conduct regular college admission workshops at local libraries and display various profiles from around our area. The variety is remarkable, and I can’t help but feel as if some students are given short shrift by the inadequate profiles representing their schools. I thought if NACAC could establish some parameters by which a school profile could be judged as satisfactory/helpful/meaningful, we could address this as a group. The first step, then, is to have samples by which school personnel can view what’s out there and have some context by which to compare their own profiles

How do you see the outcomes (to be released in early 2019) of this project helping schools and colleges?
Schools can view many diverse profiles and be able to modify or add to what they have based on what they see. Schools with particularly compelling profiles can share and assist others. We can strive to assure that students are not disadvantaged by the profiles their schools send.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
Work more, shop at thrift stores, spend time with my dad (97 years young), graze at my local supermarket, ride trains (I’m old enough to have a freebie card from my local transportation agency) and sustain a simple, other-directed life.

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Blossom the Powerpuff Girl—she’s pink, she has super powers (but only after she finishes her homework), and she is the mediator between her demanding sister Buttercup and her airhead sister Bubbles. What better role model could a counselor have?

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