Message from the President

Chris Doyle, NYSACAC President

I find myself reflecting upon my time as your President and contemplating the immense privilege it has been to serve alongside such a remarkable group of professionals. Our collective journey has been a transformative one, filled with challenges, growth, and the pursuit of our mission.

This year, I have witnessed the profound dedication and unwavering commitment of members within our organization. Together, we have achieved remarkable milestones, leaving an indelible impact on the lives of countless professionals in the realm of college admission counseling. It is through our shared pursuit of knowledge and continuous improvement that we have navigated the complexities of what feels like an ever-changing landscape.

Our accomplishments stand as testaments to the strength of our collective efforts. From the resounding success of our return to in-person programming and the continued strategic use of virtual events, we have shown ourselves to be an affiliate that’s innovative and solution-focused. By embracing the responsibility to educate and guide the next generation of professionals, we have demonstrated our commitment to a brighter future for our profession and the students who rely on our expertise.

But the magnitude of our achievements goes beyond the surface level. It lies within the hearts and minds of our dedicated committee co-chairs and members, who have worked diligently to propel our organization forward. Your commitment to excellence and your unyielding support of the profession have been the driving forces behind our collective success. It is through your individual contributions that we have been able to tackle complex challenges and forge new pathways forward.

I would be remiss not to express my deepest gratitude to the Board, whose steadfast leadership and strategic vision have guided us through unexpected challenges and enabled us to be successful. Your dedication to our mission and the betterment of our profession should inspire all our members.

As I reflect upon the experiences we have shared, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and admiration for each of you. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as your President. The depth of knowledge, expertise, and unwavering commitment within our organization is truly inspiring.

NYSACAC will continue to flourish under Heidi Green’s leadership when she takes the gavel in June. Together, we have all set the stage for continued growth, development, and the pursuit of excellence in our field.

I hope to see you at St. Bonaventure for the Annual Conference and Coming Together. And I hope you all enjoy time with your family and friends this summer!

Welcome to the Annual Conference 2023

Heidi Green, NYSACAC President-Elect, Annual Conference Chair

This newsletter comes on the eve of our arrival at St. Bonaventure University for the Coming Together Conference and Annual Conference, June 6-9, 2023. Whether you live nearby and are commuting or have traveled across the state to attend the conference, we're so appreciative of your efforts to attend arguably the best conference for college admission and access professionals.

From the great variety of workshops to top-notch keynote speakers, a college/CBO fair, an exciting mega-session, and three tours to area colleges - there is much learning and experience to be shared. Our exciting networking events - excursions, fundraisers, annual golf outing, and conference socials - allow attendees to make valuable connections, some of which will last a lifetime. Trust me!

A huge shout-out to the St. Bonaventure staff who have spent the better part of eight months preparing for our arrival. Each and every person on the SBU team has been invested in the success of our conference. This wonderful staff exudes kindness and compassion in every interaction. Thank you to the 75-member steering committee who have spent month after month having Zoom calls to make this amazing event come together. Social Media, hospitality, Coming Together, registration, evaluations, communication, programming - and so many more subcommittees - have created this 4-day program, one to remember. And finally, thank you to NYSACAC Executive Director, Kathleen McArthur, who has been on every call, every meeting, every email—this wouldn't be possible without your dedication and expertise.

I look forward to seeing many NYSACAC members over the next week on the beautiful St. Bonaventure campus. I hope you enjoy every minute!

Silent Auction

Nicole Radassao, Chance Auction, NYSACAC Conference Steering Committee

Whether you're making your way to St. Bonaventure, or thinking of the conference from afar, we welcome you to participate in the annual NYSACAC Silent Auction! Bidding opens Monday, June 5th at 1 p.m. and closes Thursday, June 8th at 1 p.m. Enjoy bidding on items that have been donated by our colleagues, member institutions, and organizations & businesses throughout New York and beyond!

The Silent Auction is virtual for your convenience and can be visited at

All proceeds go toward student scholarships and professional development opportunities. Happy bidding!

Updates from the Immediate Past President

Marie Nocella (she/her), Immediate Past President, NYSACAC

As I near the end of my term as Immediate Past President, I have some updates and information for you.

It’s the time of year for Bylaw changes. NACAC has asked us to update our bylaws to be in line with theirs, namely the removal of Delegates and Assembly and to make sure our membership structure matches. I reviewed our Bylaws, made the necessary changes, and then had them approved by NACAC, per their request. Hopefully the membership will understand why these changes are being made, and will vote to approve the changes at our General Membership Meeting during the NYSACAC Annual Conference.

Our Policies and Procedures Manual is also being updated with similar changes to the Bylaws.  As discussions amongst members of the Executive Board continue around these changes, there will be further updates for how we move forward and continue to do our great work to support professionals as we support our students.

I am excited to announce the election and award winners during the conference! The excitement surrounding these professionals is always encouraging. Please join me in congratulating them this week.

Thank you for your support in my role this year. I hope to see you at St. Bonaventure!

Thank You

Marie Nocella (she/her), Immediate Past President, NYSACAC

As my time on the Executive Board comes to a close after 11 years, I would like to thank you for your support and trust in serving as a leader for NYSACAC. Although my official role as Immediate Past President will soon conclude, my involvement and love for this organization and our profession will continue. 

I would like to especially thank  those that have mentored me over the past 20 years in this field. Watching amazing professionals model good leadership and your encouragement, sometimes through volunteering, has led me to take on various roles in NYSACAC. I would not be the leader, professional, or person I am without my NYSACAC mentors. You have my profound gratitude and respect.

Many NYSACAC colleagues have become friends. This support system has guided me through rough times and celebrated with me in good times. I would not have successfully made it this far personally or professionally without you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

This wonderful field full of passionate people has become a home for me.  If you haven't gotten involved yet, please consider volunteering. This organization can change your career, and even your life, for the better.

Interior Design as an Art Degree: Empowering Creatives to Shape Functional and Inspiring Spaces

Emmanuel Cruz, Director of Admissions, New York School of Interior Design (New York, NY)

During last year's NACAC conference, we had the privilege of hearing from Billy Porter, who emphasized the significance of arts education. I found this particularly engaging as I had recently transitioned from a liberal arts college (SUNY Oswego) to an art school (New York School of Interior Design). Witnessing the transformative power of art, I cannot overstate the importance of interior design as both a profession and an art degree. 

In our current era, the need for inventive minds and creatives who can inspire meaningful change in society has never been more crucial. Unfortunately, there persists a prevailing misconception surrounding interior design, with many perceiving it solely as a decorative pursuit. However, it is crucial to understand that interior design extends far beyond mere decoration. It encompasses the art and science of understanding human behavior, enabling the creation of functional and purposeful spaces within a building. It is worth noting that we spend approximately 90% of our human existence indoors.

Decoration, on the other hand, primarily focuses on furnishing and embellishing a space with fashionable or aesthetically pleasing elements. While interior designers possess the skills to decorate, decorators lack the comprehensive expertise required to truly design. Interior designers apply both creative and technical solutions within a structure, striving to develop spaces that are not only visually appealing but also practical, fostering the well-being and cultural identity of their occupants. 

Moreover, interior design does not exist in isolation; it acknowledges the architectural shell of a building, embraces the physical location, and considers the social context of the project. Designs must also comply with building codes and regulations while promoting principles of environmental sustainability. 

The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology that encompasses thorough research, analysis, and the integration of knowledge into the creative process. This holistic approach ensures the effective fulfillment of client needs and the efficient utilization of available resources.

In conclusion, as secondary school counselors and college professionals, it is imperative that we recognize the significance of interior design as both a profession and an art degree. By encouraging students to explore this field, we foster the development of creative problem solvers who possess the capacity to positively impact society. These individuals have the ability to design functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces while considering the well-being of individuals and the environment. Let us embrace the importance of interior design and empower our students to embark on this enriching journey of artistic expression and professional growth.