Whew!  How about that start of the new year?  It sneaks up on us, delightful yet daunting after what we hope has been some rest in the Summer.

With Fall comes a new round of the familiar for most of us.  Familiar events, familiar patterns, familiar tasks.  Sometimes these can be tedious, but aren’t we lucky to be in a field where we make a difference each and every day?  So, as the tasks pile on, whether it be planning travel or getting on a plane, rounding up those Natl Merit Semi Finalists to get to their essays and/or talking with students about the processes of applying to college, I encourage you to take a moment to breathe, reflect and to enjoy your role in truly making a student’s life better.  And celebrate the ripple effect:  making that student’s life better helps his/her family and ultimately his/her community.

We, as a profession, are a community . . . a community based in principles and ethics.  If you are able to travel to the NACAC Conference in Toronto you will hear about several initiatives proposed, in place, or planned.  The Assembly will be working through a proposal that strongly discourages the use of agents in recruiting international students, with the proviso that if agents are used, the colleges will be held responsible for their behavior.  Dan Nannini will be presenting a proposal for Best Practices focused on giving transfer students some leeway in evaluating offers of admission before having to commit.  The Executive Board at NACAC responded to requests last year and put funds into the support of public school counselors’ professional development, and those funds will be available this coming year as well.

At the Saturday Membership Meeting in Toronto, I will be inducted as the President of NACAC for the 2013-2014 year.  I am sincerely grateful for this opportunity, which grew out of support that I have received from WACAC and our members over the years.  My priorities certainly are focused on transfers, public school counselors and our ethical standards, and I promise to move initiatives forward in those areas and to represent our members well.  If you have ideas or input, please contact me by email or phone!  We don’t do this work in isolation.

Also at that Saturday Membership Meeting, Michael Pelly from Chapman will complete his three year term on the NACAC Board of Directors.  Not only has he contributed impressively to the work of the Board, but this year also served as the Chair of the Performance Committee.  I couldn’t be more proud of my former admissions intern who has worked hard and used his amazing talents, energies and intellect to become the Vice Chancellor at Chapman University.  Please join me in thanking Mike for his service and congratulating him on a job well done.

I hope you have a great start to the year . . . and keep up the good work.  I know you are making a difference every day, and hope you have a moment to breathe and take it all in.

Katy Murphy
Director of College Counseling
Bellarmine College Preparatory
President-Elect, National Association for College Admission Counseling