Director of College Counseling
Oak Hall School (FL)
What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
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 admissions office and a one-year internship at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis. As fate would have it, while I did not get the NCAA internship, I was offered the job in the admission office, which I started in August after I graduated. I have had an incredible 23-year journey spanning three college admission offices, two independent schools, and many wonderful relationships developed along the way with students and colleagues.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Teenagers are such an interesting and diverse group to work with; I love being able to talk with them about their hopes and future aspirations, help them discover colleges and universities, and guide them through the dynamic and ever-changing college application process. Also, I love that my job offers me the opportunity to learn about the many postsecondary options available to students.
How has NACAC played a role in your career?
NACAC has been an instrumental part of my career during these past 17 years. NACAC provides the interconnectedness for members serving within our profession and the ability to gain valuable insight into the larger world of college admission. 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. NACAC 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 Margaret 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 admission profession. Looking back at my 14-year affiliation with NACAC, 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 New Jersey ACAC 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.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
The challenges that higher education institutions have faced this year with the COVID-19 pandemic have been immense. Residential higher educational institutions which offer only online instruction to students are likely to face budget and enrollment shortfalls in this new environment, which will impact their financial status and future viability.
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 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.
What five words would you use to describe yourself?
Caring, loyal, determined, motivated, resilient.
Expand / Collapse All