NACAC Kickoff!

In the admissions world, it’s all about who you know—some may be a future boss, a friend, a mentor, or even the future president elect of TACAC. But this week, some of our very own TACAC members are headed to the NACAC Conference in Boston to meet so many of our colleagues across the nation and discuss some important issues facing our field. So, who’s going to NACAC? Let’s find out!

April MFirst time attender April Marroqiun, Regional Admissions Counselor for Lamar University says that “I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn new information and resources that will allow me to be a better admissions counselor for my institution, my admissions team, and most importantly: the students that I serve.” Marroquin, who covers Southeast Houston and Central Texas for Lamar, was awarded the Imagine Grant, which has allowed for her to attend the conference this year, but that she will definitely be busy! “Tony Sarda, Assistant Director of Recruitment at Lamar University, and I have planned to cover as much territory as humanly possible during the conference. Considering drastic changes being made in the current White House administration, I am personally hoping to learn more about working with undocumented students. I also hope to bring back a renewed energy and motivation to hit the ground running for another successful year—that, and a LOT of business cards.”


Nathan W

Nathan Mawhirter, Admission Counselor at Southern Methodist University, although new to TACAC, will attend for the second year in a row, having attended his first NACAC conference last year in Ohio. His advice for first time attenders? “Read as many nametags as you can! This is a great way for you to put a name with a face while also networking with people from across the globe.”  Mawhirter, who has planned SMU counselor events at the conference for the last two years, also said, “The NACAC Conference is a great way to find your motivation again: You are at a conference surrounded by thousands of other professionals who are so passionate about the same issues. Just listening in on these conversations, even if you feel like you have nothing to add, can help you gain an idea for a career path moving forward. I am hoping to learn more about important issues in our field: the use of technology in admissions, inclusion and access for underrepresented populations, and the effect of governmental agencies on the future of higher education. These are all issues that I am less knowledgeable on and I look forward to learning more during the sessions.” His favorite memory of last year’s conference? “Walking through the Exhibition Hall and getting a huge bag of free stuff. It was so big I had to ship it all back to campus!”

April CAssistant Director of Transfer Admission at TCU April Cano will be attending the NACAC Conference for the third time, but she warns first time attendees: “Do not let yourself get overwhelmed!  Soak it all in little by little, explore when and what you can, and take breaks throughout the regroup.” Cano, former Miss TACAC in 2016, has long since been involved on many different levels within our great organization but notes that, “NACAC is important to me because it encourages that I grow and learn and meet lots of really brilliant (and fun) people. Attending the conference exposes me to information that is meant to be synthesized in my own way so that I am empowered to create my own voice in higher education.  Benefits include development in a profession that I am passionate about, that I actually enjoy, and being surrounded by others who share that sentiment.  By attending the conference, I accumulate takeaways that can better myself, my own institution, and TACAC.” April’s favorite memory from conferences’ past? “The opportunity to bond with the colleagues from my own office!  It isn’t often that we get to meet up outside of the office, and if we do, we are talking about what is going on in the office at that time.  Connecting with my colleagues while away allows us to get to know one another better on a personal level but also pick each other’s brain on general/hot button topics in higher education.” Now you know at least three of the many thousands of folks who will be attending NACAC later this week—but don’t worry, if you’re planning on being there, you’re sure to meet many many more! Take it from these folks and soak it all in—and don’t forget your business cards!
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