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By Ed Devine

Second semester is in full swing!  As college freshmen are re-inserting themselves into their new communities, along with their seasoned friends from the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior class, we hope they find their connections and are turning those corners to assimilating fully into campus life.

As an organization, WACAC will hit our busiest season during second semester (view WACAC Profile.)

The year started terrifically and two of our signature Share Learn Connect (SLC) events have been completed.  Thank you to Santa Monica College for playing host to this year’s Los Angeles event.  Also, thank you to Candy Navarro and Andrea Zuniga, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy,  and the entire LA SLC planning team for your efforts in putting on this important event.  It was a great opportunity for nearly 200 colleagues to get together and to ‘sharpen their collective saws.’

Sacramento – we came, we saw and we conquered!  What a week of amazing WACACtivity that took place in early February.  Congratulations to Kris Zavoli and Breanne Boyle for conducting an energized and spirited 13th annual Government Relations Conference.  There was an amazing line-up of training sessions that led into a day on the hill that put us in front of 45 Legislators.  Maureen Chung did inspiring work to get so many appointments strategically set up.  Take a look at the GRAC blog to see the highlights of the conference, which included student participation and some early thoughts on introducing legislation to help alleviate the extremely high counselor to student ratios in CA (one of the worst in the US.)

And, speaking of GRAC — we brought back (and re-purposed!) one of our favorite GRAC members to take the lead on the Sacramento SLC.  Marlena Norman and her team far exceeded any expectations for the return to Sacramento.  The conference closed out twice and the sessions were terrific.  Thank you to our host, Sacramento State, and the 150 who attended the event.  Congratulations to Team Sacramento SLC for the start-up energy it took to pull this off.

Lauren Popkowski and Todd Hicks have been tremendous in their leadership of Professional Development and SLC.

Speaking of Leadership, Lauren Cook and Greg McCandless led the 5th annual WACAC Leadership Development Institute that took place in January.  A staple WACAC program, LDI has helped identify and nurture the future leaders of our organization.  Of the nearly 30 mentees who have participated in this program, 95% have stayed in the admission field, and over 65% have taken on volunteer leadership positions in our organization.

Miles to go, before we sleep.

There are three more SLC’s taking place in the next few weeks.  To the Chairs of those event, thank you in advance and good luck: Allison Lopour, Collegewise(Orange County), Janine Bissic, Whittier College (Inland Empire),  Laurie Kiguchi, LK Educational Consulting, and MaryLynne Rodriguez, Presentation High School (Bay Area.)

Thank you to Vanessa Ea and all of the WACAC College Fair site coordinators.  We will host hundreds of colleges and will serve approximately 10,000 students in the month of May at our 8 college fairs.  We will also host 6 NACAC Fairs this Spring under the guidance of AhYoung Chi and the college fair committees.

And, the Grand Daddy event of them all, (dare we say, our Rose Bowl,) the 2016 WACAC Conference is sure to be a huge success.  Sea Change in College Admission, the theme for this event, will take place at one of our “home-courts” as we return to Loyola Marymount University.  We will welcome nearly 900 of our professions dedicated colleagues to what promises to be an energized event.  Thank you in advance to Peggy Hock, our conference planner; Jeff Morrow, our sessions coordinator; and to Radia Alouache and the entire crew at LMU for playing host.

Thank you to all the WACAC Committee Chairs and our National Delegates for your work throughout the year.

And, to the backbone of our organization, thank you to Deanna Kilgour and Teri Kuwahara for all the work they do.

“Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working together is success.”
Henry Ford