Director of College & Transition Counseling
Denver Academy (CO)
Co-Leader of the Learning Differences SIG
What drew you to the world of college counseling?
I spent close to 10 years in higher education before working as the college & transition counselor at Denver Academy. I was drawn to this role because as a former admission counselor I had recruited students in the state of Colorado and always enjoyed meeting with the counselors at the high schools where I visited. I admired the meaningful relationships the counselors had developed with their students. I, too, wanted to create a space where my students could meet with postsecondary representatives to talk about their plans for the future in a comfortable and supportive setting.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Literally every day is different! I get to engage with my students and learn about their individual interests, host numerous postsecondary representatives from a variety of schools and organizations, reconnect with friends I’ve made along the way at NACAC conferences, serve as a leader within the Rocky Mountain affiliate, and continue to build my knowledge bank of the many college and university options by visiting programs throughout the world.
How did you get involved with the Learning Differences SIG?
I developed the Learning Differences SIG with a former colleague as a way to create a space for counselors to share resources and referrals of colleges offering programs of support to students with learning differences. As counselors, we are inherently expected to “know it all” and though we often do know a lot, there is always more to learn. My hope is that this forum can save everyone time and provide firsthand knowledge or experience, especially when the student is looking at schools outside of their local region.
Why is this SIG important to you?
The postsecondary success of my students is paramount in my role as a counselor. The Learning Differences SIG helps me to serve as a more informed resource for my families, because they rely on my knowledge of the numerous specialized support programs on college campuses throughout the US.
Why should counselors and admission professionals get involved with a NACAC SIG?
SIGs are an excellent opportunity to become involved in the greater NACAC community but on a more interest-specific level. While we all work hard to support our students, by nature of the school or student population we serve, this often determines our areas of interest and/or need. I am very grateful for the friendships I have developed and for the knowledge I have gained by actively engaging with my fellow SIG members. Sharing similar trials and tribulations allows for a deeper connection.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
We’re in a constantly evolving educational landscape. As counselors, our students and families look to us for assistance, guidance, insight, and honesty as it relates to their college search, the application and financial aid process, testing requirements, scholarship opportunities, LD support programs, and so much more. The responsibility to be knowledgeable on all issues impacting postsecondary education can be fairly overwhelming when so many are depending on us for the correct information. Fortunately, the NACAC community is always available and eager to help out when I feel I don’t have all the answers.
When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
Travel! It’s really hard for me to sit still. So, whether it’s a quick road trip or an international flight, I am always plotting my next adventure.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. Miranda is at the top of her industry, has a fabulous wardrobe at her fingertips, expects the best from those around her, and though she appears to be unapproachable and cold, Miranda truly cares about setting a successful example for her employees.
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