Welcome to GACRAO's Mid-Year Workshop Session Synopses


Opening Session 

(8:30 A.M. to 8:55 A.M.)

Welcome and Mid-Year Workshop 23' Overview 

GACRAO Executive Committee 

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/99548562489?pwd=QjBaQ1FBenJHVHcwb25jR2JjbkhHZz09

Zoom Meeting ID: 995 4856 2489

Zoom Meeting Passcode: 371334

Customer Service Session

(9:00 A.M.  to 9:45 A.M.) 

Session Title: Customer or School Counselor: Serving Others and Ourselves 

Description: What is customer service and how is it relevant to our work as college admissions professionals? Who is our “customer” – the students or the school counselors? Learn how customer service plays into our interactions with others and how to navigate difficult conversations and situations where the customer (i.e. a student) may not always be right and how you can still express the greatest level of customer service during those situations. Balance your needs as a college counselor while providing a level of service that eases some of the burden from school counselors. 

Presenters: Javier Francisco (Interim Director of Admissions at Georgia College & State University), Rachel Horn (Senior Admissions Counselor at Georgia College & State University), Jillian Bolak (Associate Director at Georgia College & State University)

Zoom Link: https://gcsu.zoom.us/j/96734095748?pwd=NU1HWUZYbW0xM1BnKzRHam1WSXE5Zz09

Zoom Meeting ID: 967 3409 5748

Zoom Meeting Passcode: 843204


Diversity and Inclusion Sessions

(9:50 A.M. to 10:35 A.M.)

Session Title: Creating and Maintaining a Culture of C.A.R.E.

Description: The culture we want is the one we create and the DEI lens and the principle of "CARE-ing" are foundational. C.A.R.E. does not always happen organically, but can be achieved intentionally when people feel welcomed with all of their individual differences and are equipped with the DEI lens and mindset that lead to optimum human relations, inside and outside of the workplace. People are our greatest resource and we can create and maintain a culture of Community, Accountability, Respect, and Equity (C.A.R.E.) through practice and policy, in which campus community members feel valued, accepted, and appreciated.

Presenter: Tonya Parker

Job Title: Chief Diversity Officer/ Dean for Equity & Inclusion

Institution: Wesleyan College

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/99208341148?pwd=bFNyanRDV1NUVndqVUt2c2FWTmx2QT09

Zoom Meeting ID: 992 0834 1148

Zoom Meeting Passcode: 058955

Session Title: Cultural Awareness in College Admission and Recruitment

Description: With the growing demand to diversify our classes for our respective institutions, we will discuss cultural awareness within our work and examine approaches to carry out effective diversity recruitment. We will cover approaches to working with students from low SES, DACA, and other backgrounds as well.

Presenter: Leri Argueta, MPA

Job Title: Senior Assistant Director for Diversity Initiatives

Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology

Zoom Link: https://gatech.zoom.us/j/93599661358


Mental Health Sessions (10:40 A.M. to 11:25 A.M.)

Session Title: College Admissions and Mental Health: Tales from the Front Lines

Description:  The rates of anxiety, stress, depression, and mental illness are at record-setting numbers for Generation Z.  On many college campuses, the demands for mental health services far exceeds the capacity of available counselors/therapists.  Although not a new phenomena, the situation has only been exacerbated by COVID, economic uncertainty, a polarizing political climate, etc.  This session is designed to highlight what is happening on the high school side and offer insight on how to best support our students.  This session will be interactive and allow time for participants to share best practices.   

Presenter: Jodi Hester

Job Title: Associate Director of College Counseling

Institution: Woodward Academy

Zoom Link: https://woodward.zoom.us/j/99219336768?pwd=K3cySno4My91QlVBWm5hRldldkJMdz09 


Session Title: "Focusing on Self-Care While Working in College Admissions"

Description: We have all heard that you should secure your own mask first before assisting others, but how many of us are practicing that? You love what you do but you are tired and stressed…and it is time to change. We will have an open and honest conversation about what you can control as you learn to focus on the importance of self-care in the world of college admissions. 

Presenters: Jennifer Shaughnessy (Regional Admissions Representative at University of Missouri and Chair of GARN) and Jenn Fieldman, LMHC, LCMHCS

Zoom Link: https://umsystem.zoom.us/j/92400167184?pwd=WW53NFBIcmFhSklZVmZYdHRSd3Y3Zz09

Zoom Meeting ID: 924 0016 7184

Zoom Meeting Passcode: 989005



Professional Development Sessions

(11:30 A.M. to 12:15 A.M.)

Session Title: “Off Balance”

Description: We are constantly chasing work/life balance.  For many of us, the hours just don’t up.  In this session, we will change our approach.  Instead of trying to achieve work/life balance, let’s try to create work/life satisfaction.  The presentation is based off of Matthew Kelly’s “Off Balance.” In the time we have, we will discuss finding ways to boost energy, set priorities, and asses our satisfaction levels.

Presenter: Luke Ellis

Job Title: Assistant Direction of Recruitment and Admissions

Institution: Georgia Southwestern State University

Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87335299473?pwd=U0lScjVaSkNnejdUa01wUkoyeXpidz09

Zoom Meeting Passcode: 989762

Session Title: Growing Professional through Professional Organizations

Description: Professional development provides opportunities to learn new skills, gain expertise, and grow your network through attending conferences and workshops, joining committees, hosting discussion groups, volunteering and more. This session will explain professional development opportunities within SACAC (The Southern Association for College Admissions Counseling, GARN (The Greater Atlanta Regional Network), and GACRAO (The Georgia Association for Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers).

Presenters: Kayla Walker (Associate Vice President of Enrollment at Wesleyan College,) Kevin Dodson (Regional Recruiter at The University of Tennessee,) and Jillian Bolak (Associate Director of Admissions at Georgia College and State University) 

Zoom Link- https://tennessee.zoom.us/j/94760703028

Zoom Meeting Passcode: Midyear23


Closing Session 

(12:20 P.M. to 12:30 P.M.)

Mid-Year Workshop 23' Closing Remarks 

GACRAO Executive Committee 

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/98277619498?pwd=d2Qva1p0a0FyVWhITnZpMC9vZjh0QT09

Zoom Meeting ID: 982 7761 9498

Zoom Meeting Passcode: 406320