Winter/Spring 2021 Newsletter

Winter/Spring 2021 Newsletter

News, updates, and more from the Northwest's premier college admission counseling organization. See this newsletter in email format.

In This Issue

  • President's Pen
  • Member Perspective: Motivating Gratitude
  • 2021 PNACAC Conference Registration Now Open
  • Vote! 2021 PNACAC Ballot Now Live
  • Update: Seattle NACAC 2021
  • PNACAC College Fair Committee: Seeking Volunteers
  • Montana Spring Virtual Events
  • Updates from NACAC
  • Member Updates

President's Quill

Patrick Wilson headshotPatrick Wilson
PNACAC President, Senior Associate Director of Admission
Linfield University, McMinnville, OR

Based on the sun beaming in my eyes on the way to work, it would seem as though spring is here. In my college admission career, spring has always been exciting and terrifying. After so many months of working with students on their college search, it is finally time to celebrate decisions and next steps. But, also terrifying as we on the college side count the incoming student numbers and brace for the May 1 rush. I’m not sure if waiting for the postage-paid envelopes to arrive with matriculation fees was more or less stressful than watching the numbers tick up in CRMs, but either way, we’ve reached the final countdown.
Last year, May 1 became June 1, and lasted all summer long. I would guess we’re in for a long haul this summer, as well. Families may be waiting to see if we’re really at “the end” of the COVID tunnel before deciding. Current seniors who finally can start their college search. Last year’s graduates who now wish to continue their education. And, of course, the enrollment timeline for community colleges has never been on the same schedule as four-year institutions.
As the months tumble on, I hope we can all continue to muster the patience and understanding with students and families navigating this process, as well as with each other. And, to echo the suggestion below, gratitude when it is due.
I, for one, am grateful that in all the conversations with colleagues around the Pacific Northwest, that so many continue to be focused on how we can evolve the college admissions process centered around what is best for the student. I look forward to not just the new normal we’ve been living in, but hopefully a better normal.

Member Perspective: Motivating Gratitude

Sue Corner, Director of Recruitment
Willamette University, Salem, OR

Most of you saw Common App’s announcement of the new essay prompt to be included in the 2021-2022 application round, right?  For those who missed it:

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
I LOVE this addition.  The idea of encouraging the students we work with to think about gratitude at this challenging time is a grand idea.  I’m thrilled by the thought of reading hundreds of essays about gratitude this fall.  I am also moved to think about gratitude myself….

I’m thankful to work in a profession that constantly challenges me to think about my words, actions, and place in the world.  I’m thankful for colleagues at Willamette and around the country who I can turn to for support and guidance when work is difficult.  I’m thankful for the incredible sense of hope found in the thoughtfully-written applications of students who are striving to learn, grow and overcome even when the world doesn’t give them much to be hopeful about.  I’m thankful for the silver linings of this past year and for a sense that a return to togetherness is on the horizon.  I’m thankful that I get to work in a role that gives me daily purpose to help and serve others.

I could go on and on, but I won’t do that here.  I will, however, reach out to the colleagues I’m grateful for and let them know how I feel.  Will you join me in doing so if you haven’t already?  A little gratitude acknowledged and shared can make such a difference. 

What is your gratitude practice?  Thanks to the folks at Common App for inspiring me to think about mine.  There really is much to be thankful for.

2021 PNACAC Conference Registration Open

virtual conference logoRegistration for the 2021 PNACAC Virtual Conference is now open. The annual conference is a great opportunity to reconnect with colleagues throughout our five-state region (and beyond).

We hope you will join us and learn from one another about how to do virtually anything to help students as they prepare for the future. We look forward to connecting virtually with you this April!


Conference Registration is $20 for PNACAC Members and $50 for non-Members.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for those who are interested in supporting the conference. For details contact Teri Calcagno at [email protected].

Vote! 2021 PNACAC Ballot Now Live

Eligible voting members should have received their ballot for the 2021 PNACAC slate of candidates on Tuesday, March 23rd. If you did not receive a ballot but believe you are eligible, please reach out to [email protected]

Included on the single-slate ballot are:

  • President-Elect: James Miller, Seattle University
  • Treasurer-Elect: Jarrod Larse, Oregon State University
  • Awards & Recognition Chair: Jaime Barajas, College of Western Idaho
  • Communications Chair: Anna Aegerter, University of Redlands
  • NACAC Delegate/Admission Practices: Erin Miller, The Northwest School
  • NACAC Delegate/Scholarships & Development: Eddie Celis, University of Idaho
  • NACAC Delegate/Diversity, Equity & Access Co-Chairs: KaeBee Burns, University of Washington-Seattle and Toni Riley Alaska Pacific University
  • Professional Development Co-Chair: Kelsey Marks: University of Washington-Seattle
  • Technology Chair: Brent Bode, Western Washington University

Upon approval of the slate, we will have representation from all five PNACAC states!

Thank you to all who submitted an application this year. We have such a great group of people in PNACAC. Getting involved in committee service is always an option; you can reach out to committee chairs directly

Thank you to this year’s Nominations Committee members: Melanie Casciato, Robbie Cupps, Andrea Frangi, Oster Hernandez, Genesis Meaderds, Claire Nold-Glaser, Mike Ouert, Liz Perez, Jennifer Reeves-Eisbach, and Patrick Wilson

Update: Seattle NACAC 2021

nacac conference logo seattleStay Tuned: NACAC 2021 is coming to Seattle, September 23-25, 2021 in-person and online!  Stay up-to-date by visiting the NACAC Conference website. Please reach out to your NACAC Local Advisory Committee (LAC) if you have questions. There will be volunteer opportunities, and we are hopeful about college tour opportunities, counselor preview day, and connecting with all of you in-person and virtually this coming September.  Questions? Email your LAC at [email protected].

PNACAC College Fair Committee: Seeking Volunteers

As PNACAC navigates both virtual and in person events this upcoming academic year, we need your help. Join the regional college fair committee to chart the future of college fairs for our region, help to organize, coordinate and advertise these events and more!

Time commitment will vary and is up to you how much you want to be involved. Questions? Email Jocelyn or Myndee, college fair co-chairs at [email protected].

Montana Spring Virtual Events

Montana Post Secondary Educational Opportunities Council (MPSEOC) invites PNACAC members to join the final spring Montana Virtual Event for students, counselors, parents, & beyond.  This event will happen the month of April 2021 with LIVE events being hosted by MPSEOC from April 6 -8, 2021.  

Questions? Please reach out to Amy Leary, MPSEOC, [email protected]

Updates from NACAC

Updates from David Hawkins, Chief Education and Policy Officer, NACAC

ACTION ALERT: Support the “Put School Counselors Where They Are Needed Act”
Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA-WACAC) recently reintroduced H.R. 614, the “Put School Counselors Where They Are Needed Act,” a bill that would provide funding for school districts to hire school counselors. As we have in prior Congresses, we sent Rep. Sánchez a letter of endorsement, and have since sent a message to all 435 House members urging them to consider co-sponsorship. We encourage you to spread the word about the action alert far and wide to help us build support for this important bill. President Biden has expressed his support for doubling pupil services personnel, including school counselors, in public schools, so this bill stands a good chance of becoming a reality if we can muster enough support. If you would like to send a message to House members from your state(s) encouraging co-sponsorship, just contact me, and we can facilitate that.

ACTION ALERT: Support the “Protect Our Students and Taxpayers Act”
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL-IACAC) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-SACAC) recently reintroduced the “Protect Our Students and Taxpayers (POST) Act” to strengthen an important protection against predatory colleges. Specifically, the POST Act would require that for-profit colleges obtain at least 15% of their revenue from non-federal sources. In other words, the education being offered by for-profit colleges should be substantial enough to at least garner 15% of total revenue from the free market. For reference, there are almost no non-profit colleges that rely on federal funding for 85% of their revenue. Similar to above, if you would like to contact your state(s) delegations to cosponsor this bill, we will be happy to facilitate.
MEDIA RELEASE: NACAC Joins Human Rights Campaign, 13 National Organizations Opposing Anti-LGBTQ State Legislation
NACAC signed onto an effort organized by HRC to signal our opposition to state legislation that would infringe on the rights of LGBTQ students. In the past, we have joined efforts in several states to oppose specific legislation. This statement by HRC, NACAC and 13 other organizations is intended to alert legislators that there will be organized opposition to bills that discriminate against LGBTQ students. If you are aware of and want to take action on legislation that would discriminate in your state, let me know and we can help.

Member Updates

The Northwest School - Seattle, WA

This year, The Northwest School welcomed two new members to our college counseling team.  Rachel Fumia, Associate Director of College Counseling, and Sarah Porter, College Counselor.   Rachel moved to Seattle from Philadelphia this summer, where, after years in independent school teaching and college counseling, she most recently worked at the Lenfest Scholars Foundation.  Sarah is a long-time member of Northwest’s Humanities faculty who has collaborated with college counseling – both formally and informally – for many years.

Welcome Rachel and Sarah to the PNACAC community!

Pacific Lutheran University - Tacoma, WA

PLU is excited to account Natasha Lemke, formerly of Evergreen State College Tacoma Program,  is the new Assistant Director of Admission for Equity and Access at Pacific Lutheran University.  

Welcome Natasha to PLU and PNACAC!

Salve Regina University - Newport, RI

Greetings counseling colleagues! I have some quick Spring updates to share about Salve Regina from your Seattle-based counselor:

“Salve Regina has been designated as one of the top 30 colleges and universities nationwide for its expert management and adaptation in the face of two prominent crises…– the coronavirus pandemic and the growing calls for social justice.”

Applications continue to be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the Spring, and scholarships and financial aid are still available (though we encourage the FAFSA to be submitted as soon as possible). Please reach out to me at [email protected] if you would like to discuss potential applicants, learn more about Salve, or have me share our Common Application fee waiver code.

All the best,
Nicholas Albanese
Assistant Director of Admissions, Regional Officer

University of Washington - Seattle, WA

The University of Washington welcomes Joseph Licari to the admissions counseling team. Joseph previously served in admissions counseling roles at Saint Leo University and Long Island University and joins us with several years of admissions experience. To find your UW admissions counselor visit

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest, Joseph!
The University of Washington is hosting Junior Dawg Day, Wednesday, April 28. This new virtual event is exclusively for high school juniors who are interested in learning more about the UW application process. Registration and event information is available at

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