Message from the President

Chris Doyle, NYSACAC President

Since accepting the gavel in June, I’ve had the privilege of working with members of the Association to fulfill our mission and return to in-person programming where the comradery of our profession thrives. Like so many of our members, I was eager to return our programming to the scale we’re accustomed to. Since June we have continued to move in that direction and made strategic use of virtual programming to complement our initiatives.

After almost a full year planning the Steering Committee delivered a terrific Annual and Coming Together Conference at Utica University. Close to 600 members from institutions and organizations across New York State participated in dozens of workshops, presentations and earnest conversations. Among the highlights was the celebration of Coming Together’s 25th Anniversary, the conference Keynote from Jenny Rickard, CEO of the Common Application, and myriad opportunities to be together in-person.

NACAC hosted the leaders from all 23 affiliates at their annual Leadership, Engagement and Development (LEAD) event. NACAC CEO, Angel B. Pérez, hosted a leadership focused conversation with Audrey Bilger, president of Reed College (OR), and Herbert Medina, acting president and provost at the University of Portland.

The affiliate leadership, including NYSACAC’s President-Elect, Heidi Green, Past-President, Marie Nocella and I participated in comprehensive strategic planning workshops focused on best practices for non-profit boards, leadership and professionalism. 

During LEAD, the Affiliate Presidents Council (APC) business meeting included candid exchanges between the APC and NACAC representatives, including staff and board members. The majority of the conversations focused on the future of the delegates, NACAC’s termination of the national college fair revenue sharing agreements with the affiliates and NACAC’s plan to consolidate their grant programs into the Grant for Affiliate Impact by NACAC (GAIN) program. At times, the conversation was tense and affiliate leaders expressed concerns related to the lack of communication and specificity surrounding these significant changes and proposals. The APC requested additional information in order to fully inform our board and members about the impact of these changes and proposals. We continue to work with the delegates and board as we navigate NACAC’s decisions and receive information.

The Executive Board and Co-Chair leadership retreat took place at Marist College in late July. The retreat focused on building connections with one another, specifically between the Presidents and Vice Presidents, and the Vice Presidents and their Co-Chairs. The schedule was full and our time together was productive as we charted the course for the year ahead. My sincere thanks to the Executive Board and Co-Chairs for everything they do to keep the Association moving forward.

Co-chairs, Annemarie Cervoni and Eric Padilla, along with VP for Professional Development, Lisa Searle, brought Summer Institute roaring back with a record number of attendees participating in four days of intensive mentor-based programming on the campus of Skidmore College.

Membership co-chairs Jessica Nelson and Karen Archibee along with VP for Finance, Lauren Sangimino, prepared and launched the new membership cycle.

NACAC’s annual conference took place in Houston, TX and NYSACAC members were well represented with more than 100 members in attendance at our General Membership Meeting. The leadership provided updates on the affiliate relations with NACAC, the ongoing work of our committees and plans for the 2023 annual conference. 

I had the pleasure of speaking with the leadership of Education Trust’s REACH NY, a network of civil rights, student-serving, veteran, education, and civic organizations dedicated to a statewide postsecondary equity agenda that results in more first-generation and other under-represented students earning a college degree. As you may recall from previous newsletters, NYSACAC partnered with the Education Trust on the FAFSA Toolkit, a guide that provides high schools with eight evidence-based practices to ensure FAFSA completion. We’re exploring additional opportunities for collaboration that will be mutually beneficial. One example of this is exploring college remediation in New York State. Jeff Smink, Deputy Director at the Education Trust-New York and I discussed ways our member colleges may be able to assist in their research. You can read Jeff’s article in this newsletter for further context.  

I called a special meeting of the Executive Board to vote on two candidates for the nominating committee. The vacant positions were due to members rolling off after their term expired and I’m excited the board passed the motion approving members Chris Milton and Mitchell Thompson to join the nominating committee. Congratulations to both Chris and Mitchell!

College Fair co-chairs, Haniya Mee and Chris Scheppner along with VP for Professional Development, Lisa Searle successfully launched the fall college fair series. This year we will offer a virtual college fair (October 19) and in-person college fair (November 3). As anticipated, the virtual fair went well but there was less demand from colleges and students. The in-person college fair, hosted at St. Joseph’s University in Brooklyn, had strong turnout from both college members and students.

School College Relations co-chairs, Dave Follick and Makenna Gagnier, began their “Ketchups” series on Tuesday, October 18th through Zoom. Email invitations were sent to the membership and I hope you were able to reconnect with colleagues. School College Relations plans to continue offering these programs throughout the year.  

I will begin hosting “office hours” with committee co-chairs on Friday, October 28. This was a chance for committee leaders to connect directly with the President to share their thoughts and ideas, and to continue keeping open lines of communication between the co-chairs and leadership team. I look forward to continuing this each month and hope future Presidents will do the same.

CBO and Opportunity Programs Committee co-chairs Rob Robinson and Tyree Van hosted “Navigating Your Future” for high school juniors and seniors. This virtual program introduced students to the college timeline, financial aid, career options, and opportunity programs. In addition to these topics the students were able to participate in a panel with undergraduates from SUNY, CUNY and private colleges in NY.  

I want to acknowledge all of our committee co-chairs and members for their thoughtful contributions and the many hours they dedicate to the Association.

A special thank you to Technology Committee co-chairs Brenna May and Anna Ragno, and VP for Communications, Bryan Rothstein, for keeping our registration forms, web pages and all things technology in good hands throughout the year. 

Good luck with the rest of the fall!


Conference Update
Heidi Green, NYSACAC President-Elect


On behalf of the 2023 Conference Steering Committee, I’m excited to share that plans are well underway for an outstanding four days at St. Bonaventure University. We’ll kick off the event with the Coming Together Conference, June 6-7, and move into the Annual Conference, June 7-9.


St. Bonaventure’s team is committed to making this conference unforgettable. From diverse educational sessions, including Middle Management and Executive Tracks, to social events both on and off-campus, participants will learn a lot and laugh a lot!


Most importantly, SBU is making the conference easily accessible by sponsoring bus transportation from NYC. More details to follow!


Keep your eyes out for our annual call for proposals, for the launch of the conference website, and for registration to open after the new year.


I look forward to seeing you at St. Bonaventure in June!



Race Conscious Admissions: What’s at Stake
Christine Loo, Co-Director of College Counseling, The Stony Brook School

It’s October 19th. I have rec. letters to finish, of course. Lots of them. And most of my seniors have a November 1st deadline. If I’m honest, I’m feeling a little stressed. So why am I writing this article? It’s because this is important. And I hope that for those of you who also have a lot on your plate right now, you’ll take two or three minutes to read this because if I haven’t mentioned it, it’s important...really important for the students that we work with and care about. So I hope you’ll read on.

In two weeks, the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments about the use of race in college admissions in cases brought on by Edward Blum of Students For Fair Admissions. He is challenging Harvard’s admissions practices, asserting that Asian American students are disadvantaged in Harvard’s admissions process. His assertions are not only wrong, but harmful to a race conscious admissions process. We need to recognize how important it is to support race conscious admissions. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of wrong information out there about this. So let’s clear up some myths about race conscious admissions:

MYTH #1: Affirmative action is when a rejected Asian American student would have been admitted had s/he been white (negative action/discrimination). 
John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Civil Rights for the non-profit Asian Americans Advancing Justice stated that “data on Harvard’s own admissions shows that race-conscious admissions have benefitted all communities, including Asian Americans, producing a more diverse student body.” According to NBC and to the university's response to the lawsuit, Harvard’s admissions statistics show that the share of its admitted class that is Asian American has grown by 27 percent since 2010.

MYTH #2: Asian Americans Don’t Support Race Conscious Admissions. 
An NBC article stated that, “the national 2020 Asian American Voter Survey, which examined almost 1,570 voters, targeting the six largest national origin groups, found that 70 percent of Asian Americans supported affirmative action.”

MYTH #3: The use of race in admissions only benefits students of color. 
The reality is that a diverse student body benefits EVERYONE. In its ruling on Fisher vs. University of Texas, the Supreme Court summarized the benefits of diversity as, “the destruction of stereotypes, the promotion of cross-racial understanding, the preparation of a student body for an increasingly diverse workforce and society, and the cultivation of a set of leaders with legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry.”

When we think about our current state of affairs, it is SO important for students to be able to live and learn in a diverse community. It is in these spaces that they learn to have civil dialogue with people who disagree with them. They learn to look at life through the lens of someone who grew up very different from them. They learn to have diverse friend groups. They learn disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean you can’t love and respect them. Our world needs these kinds of students. So much is at stake.

So what can you do to support race conscious admissions? Here are a few suggestions (some things are easy, some are lofty goals):

  • Learn more about the cases. Do you know the man behind SFFA? Do you understand his long-term goals? They’re not supporting Asian Americans.

  • Speak with your family, friends, and coworkers about the case. Tell them you support race-conscious admission.

  • Post on social media showing your support.

  • Blog on the topic.

  • Write an article or op-ed in support of race-conscious admission for your school/college/local or national paper.

  • Participate in the upcoming NACAC AAPI SIG visual campaign (details to come).



Save the Date: Winter Institute

Winter Institute is a one-day professional development program for new professionals from both
sides of the desk to connect with leaders in our field through facilitated discussions. 
We are excited to announce that we will have two in person events this year at the following locations:
January 6, 2023
9 AM - 5 PM
Cornell University
January 20, 2023
9 AM - 5 PM
St. Francis College


New Additions to the Nominating Committee
Marie Nocella (she/her), NYSACAC Immediate Past President

I am pleased to announce that the Executive Board has approved my appointments for the Nominating Committee. Please join me in congratulating Chris Milton from Lehman College and Mitchell Thompson from Scarsdale High School on the start of their 3 year terms!

I look forward to working with this esteemed committee to select award recipients and determine the slate for our election.

Here's to Another 25 Years of CTC
Briana Avery & Emmanuel Moses, NYSACAC Coming Together Co-Chairs

We were so thrilled to be able to host the 25th Annual Coming Together Conference (CTC) on Utica's beautiful campus last June, and the CTC Committee is already gearing up for the 26th conference at St. Bonaventure. 

For those who haven't attended, CTC is the first day and a half of the annual conference, and is a space dedicated to conversations centered on access, success, equity, and inclusion in higher education. These conversations are for all members of NYSACAC, and we offer sessions (see our Post Conference One-Pager) that are driven by all members of the space, regardless of what side of the "desk" they are sitting on. 

We are looking to continue to hold this space, and this experience for the larger NYSACAC community, and build on much of the feedback we've received from the last conference:

"I have not always attended the CTC, but it is definitely the part of the conference that I will continue to attend. I thought the programming was great and the sessions were awesome. I do agree with much of what was suggested - these sessions should be in the main conference. I come for the educational sessions and am never disappointed. I liked the addition of the casual sessions with a moderator."

As Co-Chairs, along with the entire CTC Committee, we look forward to continuing to welcome all members of the greater NYSACAC community into these conversations, and we are excited to craft another memorable conference at St. Bonaventure in June 2023! 

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

Nominations will soon open for the 2023 elections.  This year, we will ask candidates to self-nominate and tell the Nominating Committee of their interest in the position.  The open positions are:

  • President-Elect

  • Vice President of Inclusion, Access, and Success

  • Secretary

  • Delegates (pending the definition of this new Delegate role)


Please refer to the NYSACAC website here for descriptions of these positions. 

Please consider nominating yourself for one of these important roles on the NYSACAC Executive Board!

Scholarship Spotlights
Meylin Andares, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, IOPS, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Chloe Stalker, Pace University, Transfer Scholarship
My name is Chloe Stalker and I am a recent Westchester Community College graduate. I am both proud and grateful to have received the 2022 NYSACAC Transfer Scholarship. It means a lot to both my family and to me. I will attend Pace University this fall where I will study Environmental Policy. In the future, I would like to become a policy analyst for climate change, but I have also contemplated studying Environmental Law. Pace University has the #1 Environmental Law program, so it is an incredible opportunity for me. Nonetheless, I am very grateful to have received this scholarship for my hard work and dedication at WCC. This scholarship will help me in achieving my academic goals by allowing me to continue my studies beyond my two years at WCC. It is an honor to receive this scholarship, and I thank you for your support!


Christian Gonzalez, Wagner College, Julia Forman Scholarship 
My name is Christian “CJ” Gonzalez and I am from New York City. I grew up in Brooklyn, and recently moved to Staten Island. I have been playing football since I was 6 years old, and one day hope to play in the NFL. I am currently enrolled in Wagner College, and looking forward to beginning classes in the fall. I will be studying Business. I hope to utilize my degree within the sports realm, if I do not make the professional athlete. This scholarship will help alleviate some of the financial pressure on my mother and I. I grew up in a single parent house. My mother has worked hard and saved her entire life to provide everything I need and want. She is a nurse and has worked long hours to ensure we purchased a home. I had all the academic support for my ADHD that I needed, and as many football opportunities as she could afford. I appreciate the financial assistance received through this scholarship and will continue to work hard towards my future goals.


Soohyun Yoon, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Freshman Scholarship
I am nostalgic and awed by how much progress I've made over the years. From the time I barely knew the alphabet to winning a NYSACAC scholarship, it truly has been an extraordinary experience of knowledge and growth. I will continue to listen and advocate for those in need during college and beyond where I'll be pursuing a career in the healthcare field. I am grateful that this scholarship will be another reflection of my achievements and provide a financial contribution toward college tuition. Thank you!



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

We will soon open the nomination forms for our six annual awards. As you connect with colleagues this fall, please keep them in mind and submit a nomination for them to receive an award next June at our annual conference.

Our annual awards are:

  • The President's Award is given to an individual who, over the years, has performed outstanding service to NYSACAC, to our profession, and to the community.

  • The Distiguished Service Award for a college professional is awarded to an individual who has given exceptional service to our profession. 

  • The Distinguished Service Awardfor a high school professional is awarded to an individual at a secondary school or in independent counseling who has given exceptional service to our profession. 

  • The Distinguished Service Award for a Community-Based Organization professional is awarded to an individual who has given exceptional service to our profession. 

  • The Inclusion, Access, and Success Award is given to an individual or program that champions the issues of access, making post-secondary opportunities available to historically underrepresented students.

  • The Rising Star Award honors an individual or program that exemplifies excellence and dedication to serving the needs of students in the transition from high school to college. Preference will be given to those who have worked in the field for no more than five years or to new programs within the past five years. They must be new members or programs who are striving to make a difference within the association through their work in committees.


You can view past award winners on our website.

Thank you in advance for your nominations!


Movers and Shakers
Hofstra University
Bryan Rothstein was promoted to the Director of External Relations. Congratulations Bryan!

Union College
Welcomes three new colleagues to their admissions office:

  • Elena Montoya '22, Assistant Dean of Admissions

  • Juliana (Juls) Sweet '21, Admissions Counselor

  • Benjamin Tefft, Assistant Dean of Admissions


Niagara University 
The Office of Enrollment Management announced the promotion of six employees and the addition of several new team members as the 2022-2023 recruitment cycle gets underway.


  • Stephanie Buczkowski was named Director of Admissions.

  • Emily Buell was promoted to Associate Director of Admissions.

  • Julie Candella was promoted to Associate Director of Admissions.

  • Erin Clark was promoted to Assistant Director of Admissions.

  • Jennifer ParDee was promoted to Assistant Director of Operations.

  • Alicia Rybak was promoted to Graphic Design Specialist.


  • Joshua Bartel was hired as an Admissions Advisor.

  • Nidiam Berrios was hired as an Admissions Advisor.

  • Justice Fryling was hired as an Admissions Assistant.

  • Sarah Kottke was hired as an Admissions Advisor.

  • Jai Moore was hired as an Assistant Director of Admissions.

  • Paul Myers was hired as a Marketing Communications Specialist.

  • Audrianna Yates was hired as an Admissions Operations Assistant.


Congratulations and welcome to all! 


College Remediation in New York State
Jeff Smink, Deputy Director, The Education Trust - NY

Too many students across New York State (NYS) enter college only to find they are required to take remedial coursework. These courses are often non-credit bearing, yet still require tuition payment. Research suggests only 10% of students required to take remedial coursework earn their degree in four years, leaving many with debt and no post-secondary degree. Like so many other issues in education, students of color are disproportionately harmed by this phenomenon.

This issue worsens racial inequities and significant gaps in data collection, research, and policy, making it difficult to build awareness and urgency with key stakeholders such as policymakers and education advocates. To address these gaps, the Education Trust–New York, a statewide advocacy organization focused on educational equity, is working to collect data on college remediation across the state, analyze key metrics by race/ethnicity, and create policy recommendations that lessen reliance on non-credit bearing courses in New York State. We believe this work can significantly increase post-secondary attainment, reduce student debt, and promote more equitable post-secondary experiences for first-generation college students, students of color and those from low-income backgrounds in New York State.

Students of color earn post-secondary degrees at a much lower rate than White students, leading to wage inequity. For example, STEM jobs are one of the fastest growing industries, yet only 6% of computer science and engineering students are Black. At the same time, approximately 6.7 million Black workers (42% of the Black labor force) currently hold jobs that could be subject to disruption by 2030, making a post-secondary degree even more essential to future success. Remedial coursework currently serves as a barrier to college persistence and completion. With a better understanding of the impact of remedial coursework, we can make policy decisions that are aligned with the goal of having more students of color earn a post-secondary degree; thus, leading to family sustaining wages and a better quality of life.

We are excited to work with the New York State Association for College Admissions Counseling  (NYSCAC) to gain a better understanding of this challenge from New York colleges. Specifically, we’re interested in exploring the following questions:

  • How many students are enrolled in remedial courses across NYS, with a focus on race/ethnicity?

  • What remedial courses are students enrolled in and how many?

  •  What is the financial cost of remedial courses and how is debt distributed by race/ethnicity?

  • What metrics are being employed by colleges to place students in remedial courses?

  •  What are the academic outcomes of remedial students by race/ethnicity, multilingual learner status, and socioeconomic status?

  • How are remedial students’ mental health impacted by the length, stigma, and/or cost of the remedial program?

We are hoping to present on this issue at upcoming NYSCAC events. To help us gauge interest in the topic, please send a brief note to Jeff Smink, Deputy Director at The Education Trust-New York, at [email protected], and let us know if you’d be interested in exploring this with us. We look forward to working with NYSCAC on this important and timely issue.

College Fairs Update
Haniya Mee and Chris Scheppner, NYSACAC College Fair Co-Chairs

The College Fair Committee enjoyed helping students and their supporters learn more about their options this fall through two events. We had our Virtual Fair hosted on October 19th  and our In-person fair hosted at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn on November 3rd. We would like to thank CollegeXpress for their help marketing our virtual fair to students, and St. Joseph’s College for hosting and supporting the in-person fair! Lastly, if you’re interested in hosting an event, please reach out to us at [email protected]

Judith Burke Berhannan Retires
Lauren Sangimino, NYSACAC Vice President for Finance

After nearly 40 years at Stony Brook University, Judith Burke Berhannan has retired as Dean of Admission. Judy began her career at Stony Brook University as an admissions counselor in 1983. Prior to becoming Dean of Admission, Judy spearheaded the university’s multicultural efforts.  Behind her, she leaves a legacy of student equity, opportunity, and access for minority and first-generation students.  


Within her time, she was an advisor to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Mentor Program, Minorities in Medicine, the National Society of Black Engineers and Scholastic Achievement Incentives for Non-Traditional Students (S.A.I.N.T.S).

Judy has received the President’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, the State University of New York’s Admissions Profession Award, and the 2008 EOP/AIM Distinguished Advocate Award. During her career 700,000 applications were reviewed, 280,000 admissions letters were signed, 117,000 students became Seawolves, and she traveled over 700,000 miles to high school visits, events, and college fairs.


Judy has approached many obstacles throughout her career with an unwavering grace and sophistication. She has led from the heart with integrity, forgiveness, and kindness. She has shaped the culture of higher education within her office, Stony Brook University, and across the State of New York. We celebrate Judy for all of her accomplishments and wish her well in her retirement.


Remembering Peter Engel
Estrella Redondo, Vice President for Inclusion, Access & Success

It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of Peter Engel, Associate Director of Admissions at CUNY Lehman College, and past member of NYSACAC. Peter worked for the City University of New York for over 15 years. In his most recent role as Associate Director of Admission, he worked closely with colleagues in developing recruitment plans, marketing materials, and communications for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Anyone who had the opportunity to know Peter was immediately struck by his kindness, compassion, and the ability to care deeply for his family, friends, colleagues and students. He positively impacted the lives of so many of his colleagues at Lehman College and in the greater CUNY community.  Peter was dynamic and forward thinking in providing support to students and colleagues. 

Peter met his partner, Joanna Kucharski, when they both worked at CUNY Central. He was an amazingly devoted, loving father to their daughter, Stella, and took great joy and pride in sharing stories and pictures of her. As a family, Peter, Joanna, and Stella loved spending time at the beach in Rhode Island, picking mushrooms in the wilderness, and cooking together. We offer our condolences to his family, friends and CUNY colleagues during this difficult time.


St. Francis College Celebrates Grand Opening of New Campus
Rob Oliva, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, St. Francis College

In September, local leaders and elected officials joined the St. Francis College community to celebrate the grand opening of the college’s new state-of-the-art, custom-designed campus in Downtown Brooklyn. The thoughtfully planned, student-centered space — featuring flexible labs and classrooms as well as the latest technology incorporated throughout — is an inspiring 21st-century learning environment.

“We are honored to celebrate the grand opening of this incredible new campus,” said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, President of St. Francis College. “St. Francis College is proudly committed to providing an unmatched values-based education in the heart of New York City, and our new campus deepens our ability to deliver on that promise to our students and neighbors.”

The contemporary campus has classrooms and labs outfitted with cutting-edge technology and equipment, a 300-seat auditorium, a cafeteria, a dedicated lobby entrance, and an outdoor terrace overlooking Downtown Brooklyn. It has more than 30 classrooms, eight science labs, a nursing simulation lab, a nursing skills lab, a psychology lab, a FinTech lab, a MakerSpace and three multi-use computer labs.

The college’s new home, as of the Fall 2022 semester, is convenient to public transit and will unlock opportunities in New York City beyond the campus for all of its students, employees and visitors. The college also expects to serve as a major anchor in the economic development of the nearby Fulton Market neighborhood, with more than 2,600 students and hundreds of faculty and staff.

“Our students merit an education that meets the demands of the 21st century, and our new campus, programs and learning experiences provide that,” said Robert Oliva, Assistant Vice-President for Enrollment Management. “St. Francis College is bridging the higher-ed gap by providing a high-quality, accessible education to students, regardless of background.”

The college’s move to a new campus is part of SFC Forward, its vision for the future. As part of SFC Forward, the college will continue to introduce new academic programs to springboard students into competitive and burgeoning industries, while also creating more opportunities for remote and hybrid learning. The strategic initiative also deepens the college’s commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout its curricula, programming, hiring and more.

Through the campus move and beyond, St. Francis College continues to fulfill its mission, as it has since 1859, of providing an affordable higher education to working-class and first-generation New Yorkers. Nearly 80% of the college’s students are from the five boroughs of New York City, although their diverse backgrounds represent approximately 80 countries. More than 50% of students are first-generation college attendees, and 99% receive some form of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans.

If you are interested in visiting St. Francis College’s new campus, please contact Rob Oliva at [email protected] to schedule a tour.