I was invited to spend a terrific day at Marist College on Nov. 5 for their annual Counselor Professional Development Day.

We began with an interesting and entertaining welcome from Kent Rinehart, Dean of Admissions at Marist. This was followed by the Keynote, given by David Hawkins, the Executive Director for Educational Content and Policy, National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). He discussed the “Rapidly Changing College Admission Landscape and What it May Mean for Your Students” with a focus on the changes NACAC was forced to adopt to their Code of Ethics, by the US Department of Justice and how this may play out in Early Decision.

This was followed by interesting sessions on other aspects of college admissions including an open forum with Dean Rinehart, Marilyn Hesser, the Executive Director of Admission, University of Richmond and J.C. Tesone, the Director of Admission, Vassar College.

And, of course, a tour of Marist. A very informative and productive day!

Marist College

I spent a full day on the campuses of Connecticut College and Mitchell Colleges. First stop was “Conn College” where we were given a very interesting and enlightening talk from Andy Strickler, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid on how they craft their community—the students they invite who will become part of their community– which ones will thrive at Conn College. This was followed by a comprehensive tour of the college and the chance to speak with some of their current students.

Connecticut College







Connecticut College








Then we were off to the waterfront campus of Mitchell College. You can’t beat the views of the Thames River! Alexis S. Haakonsen, Director of Admissions gave us an overview of Mitchell College and all it offers their students. This was followed by extensive presentations by two of the programs for which Mitchell College is known, the Thames Academy and The Bentsen Learning Center. Then the campus tour– our tour guide shared with us that “The Barn” was used for some filming and will make an appearance in an upcoming Hallmark movie.

Mitchell College, view of Thames River








“The Barn” at Mitchell




I spent an enlightening two days at the 2019 IECA College Symposium in Philadelphia.

June 10:
I was able to meet with colleagues as well as the Admissions officers of the participating colleges at the opening reception.

June 11:
Moderated by IECA’s own Cigus Vanni, we heard from admissions directors from Penn State University, Boston University, Lafayette College, Binghamton University, Swarthmore College, University of Delaware, Haverford College, Rutgers University, Muhlenberg College and Bryn Mawr College.

What Keeps Me Up at Night?





We had extremely instructive sessions that tackled the big questions:

  • “How Can I Support a Reality That I Find Challenging to Defend? What Keeps Me Awake at Night?’
  • The “Unhooked” Student
  • What Role Can Independent Consultants Play?
  • So Through What Door Should I Enter? Undecided Students or Declared Major?
  • Behind Closed Doors: What Goes on in Committee Discussions?


“The Unhooked Student” Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, Bucknell University and Penn State University


I spent two days in Massachusetts touring colleges.

First up- Merrimack College in North Andover.  I last saw Merrimack in 2010. In those nine years the campus has grown in every way. There is a larger student body, new majors and many new buildings! Colleges grow and change with the times!


Merrimack College Honors Dorm

Merrimack College’s new Library











Next up- Endicott College, a beautiful campus on the water in Beverly. Endicott is known for their “upside down” curriculum where students start taking classes in their major right away and preparing for their first internship—all during freshman year. Lots of new buildings and also an increase in the student body over the last ten years.


Endicott College

Endicott College

Endicott College

Endicott College







Finally, I saw Clark University in Worcester. Clark too has changed since I saw the campus in 2004 and 2005, but remains a solid liberal arts college.



I spent two days on the campus of Landmark College meeting students, faculty, learning specialists and admissions officers. Landmark is a college for those who learn differently, some of whom are neuro-diverse. This is a unique college with many “on ramps” for students to come for summer sessions, one year, an Associate’s Degree and even a few Bachelor’s Degree programs. Students learn how to learn and everyone here understands that learning can be very individual and the style and how they get there is much less important than the journey.

The college scandal was shocking news to almost everyone in America–the cheating and corruption were widespread. I was interviewed by Jocelyn Maminta on Channel 8, WTNH.

I spent a great day at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury,  known affectionately here in Connecticut as WestConn. We were on the Midtown Campus. We had a tour of the campus and learned which majors allow direct entry to the major and which do not, about their two campuses–Midtown and Westside– and their new additions.  Their Nursing and Performing Arts Departments are outstanding! We also had a very informative presentation and lunch with Carlton Lee, who shared what he loves about WestConn and changes he has witnessed in his 30+ years in admissions.


Western Connecticut State University

Western Connecticut State University



Spent a great morning at Wesleyan University! We heard a very interesting presentation by David Holmes, Executive Director of the Character Collaborative. This was followed by a presentation and Q&A session from Chandra Joos deKoven, Director of Admissions at Wesleyan University.

Wesleyan Library

Beautiful library!

Foss Hill

The famous Foss Hill- where Wesleyan students gather to watch games.

I spent a fun and informative three days at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania Nov. 8-10.  We had a tour of the historic small town in addition to the campus tour. I sat in on a class, asked questions of the student panel, and ate lunch with students. We also had a presentation from admissions and financial aid. After dinner, were treated to Orchesis, a very creative student dance performance show.

Allegheny Student Center

Allegheny Student Center








Allegheny Basketball Players

Allegheny Basketball Players Saturday morning practice.

October 21-23, 2018: I spent three very busy days in Rochester,

Day 1:  Nazareth College:  Shortly after getting in town we were taken to see Nazareth College, the Nazz, a college that has been in “hyper growth” for the last 15 years. We heard from Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dianne Oliver about how “Liberal Arts is in our DNA”.

They offer: Academic Passion, the UnCommon Curriculum, Center for Life’s Work and Global Citizenship. Great health sciences- Nursing, OT and a combined BS/DPT as well as some more unusual majors like Music Therapy.

Nazareth College

Nazareth College







Day 2:

RIT: We toured the Rochester Institute of Technology which boasts an amazing, required Co-Op Program. All of their Engineering majors also have a corresponding “Engineering Tech” major. The university also offers majors in the health sciences. RIT is also the National Technical School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Many hearing students on campus have also learned sign langue- a great benefit to all!







RIT Formula One car







University of Rochester: This was my second tour of this university and it does not fail to impress. Really talented, smart and engaged students on a beautiful campus. They offer the “Take 5” and believe that “clusters” are a better way for students to get depth and breadth in a subject outside their major, rather than just an intro class in various disciplines.









University of Rochester









University of Rochester Eastman School of Music: This was a treat! Eastman is not on the main campus, but in downtown Rochester. Students can take their Humanities classes at Eastman or at the main, “River” campus. Wonderful facilities and impressive programs and students. And for the eyes- a gorgeous Chihuly Sculpture.














Day 3:

Our last stop was St. John Fischer College. They are a Catholic liberal arts college with some great health sciences programs. We toured the Wegmans School of Nursing which had amazing facilities…Yes, that Wegmans.