Director of College Counseling
Oak Hall School (FL)
How did you become the director of college counseling at the Oak Hall School?
My journey to Oak Hall began in March 2016 when I was invited by the school to interview for my current position. I thought I had not heard of the school before my visit; however, after my visit I discovered that the former college counseling director, Richard Powell (a Margaret E. Addis Award winner), was someone I had met during the 2010 NACAC Conference. Richard and I reconnected as a result. Our phone conversation the day before I accepted the job offer was a factor in my decision to come to Oak Hall.
What made you decide to get into this field?
I worked as a tour guide for the admission office at the college where I graduated from, the University of Mary Washington. I loved the opportunity to give campus tours to prospective students and talk about why I loved being a student at the school. I also have a lifelong love of sports and I was very interested in a career as a college sports information director. During my last semester of college, I applied for a one-year admission counselor position in Mary Washington’s admission office and a one-year internship at the NCAA National Office in Indianapolis. While I did not get the NCAA internship, I was offered the job in the admissions office, which I started in August after I graduated. I have now had an incredible 20-year journey, spanning three college admission offices and two independent schools with many wonderful relationships developed along the way.
What is your favorite part of the job?
I love working with students. Teenagers are such an interesting and diverse group to work with. I enjoy being able to talk with them about their hopes and future aspirations, helping them discover colleges and universities, and guiding them through the dynamic and ever-changing college application process.
How has NACAC played a role in your career?
I cannot imagine my career during these past 20 years without NACAC. NACAC provides the interconnectedness for members serving within our profession and the ability to gain valuable insight into the larger world of college admissions. The relationships with colleagues in the profession I have established over the years at national conferences and at other NACAC professional development programs along with my involvement within NACAC and its affiliates has been essential in my development and growth as a leader and made me a better counselor and advocate for students.
During my first year as an admission counselor, I was fortunate to work in an office led by Martin Wilder (another Addis Award recipient) and with other individuals who served in national and affiliate roles. Their participation in NACAC and affiliate leadership inspired me to get involved and contribute my time and talents to advance the college admissions profession. The story of my NACAC involvement has a couple of chapters. The first chapter began in 2003 when I first elected to the Executive Board of my former affiliate NJACAC and later went on to serve on NACAC’s Current Trends and Future Issues and Admission Practices committees. The next chapter of my involvement occurred in 2012-2015 when I had the privilege of serving in the presidential cycle for NJACAC and on the NACAC Affiliate Presidents Council. Last year, when I relocated to Florida, I began another chapter with a new affiliate, Southern ACAC, where I am currently serving as co-chair of the Counselor Participation Fund and as a member of NACAC’s Governance and Nominating Committee.
You’ve been a supporter of the Imagine Fund. Why do you choose to give to NACAC?
Having served on the Affiliate Presidents Council, I have seen firsthand the impact of the Imagine Grant. In my former affiliate, members who received the Imagine Grant used this to support initiatives such as Camp College and attendance at the national conference. When we devote resources to support members in their professional development, we making an investment in the future of our profession.
When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
Spending time with my family is very important to me. I also love to travel. My favorite travel destinations are Washington DC, New Orleans, and New York City. I am a huge sports fan. In the fall, college football is my favorite sport. In the winter, I love watching college and professional basketball, and throughout the year, I am watching professional tennis, especially Grand Slam tournaments.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
I have to go back to my childhood years for this one. Since I grew up on Saturday morning cartons about Marvel comics, I have always had a fascination with superheroes so I am enjoying all the recent Marvel superhero movie releases. My choice would be Storm from the X-Men.
Describe yourself in five words.
Caring, loyal, determined, motivated, and resilient.
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