Message from the President
Heidi Green, NYSACAC President, Fayetteville-Manlius High School

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that your school year has gotten off to a good start - whether you’ve been on the road, beginning to process early applications, or writing recommendation letters. Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter!

  • NACAC: It was great to see so many friends and colleagues in Baltimore at the NACAC Conference in September. NYSACAC members were well represented and joined over 7,000 attendees from across the country and around the world. Although a bit further away, I hope we can have another good showing in Los Angeles for the 80th National Conference, September 26-28, 2024.

  • Get Involved!  If you are looking for a chance to share your talents and meet new colleagues, I encourage you to volunteer for a committee. Our committee interest form is here. 

  • Reach out: Your thoughts and ideas are what keep us moving forward. You can email me anytime at [email protected]with suggestions or questions.

Our Committees are busy organizing events and opportunities that will take place throughout the year. As a NYSACAC member, registration for many of our events is free or discounted, so we hope that you will consider joining us.

Our Executive Board is also busy, leading the work of the organization. 

  • We have an updated DEI statement on our website.

  • We had a successful college fair at Sarah Lawrence College, and as of this writing, are anticipating another big fair at St. Francis College. Thanks to both colleges for hosting these important events. 

  • We are adjusting to a new governance structure with better balance among the committees under our four Vice Presidents.

  • Chris Doyle, Immediate Past President, is working on our new regional model, as we transition from having state delegates to regional representatives across six regions around the state.

  • Dave Follick, President-Elect, is leading a steering committee that is busy planning the state conference taking place at Molloy University, June 4-7, 2024.

A huge thank you to SUNY Geneseo who has made a significant commitment and financial contribution to host Camp College, one of NYSACAC’s signature programs, for the next four years.

The importance of the work we do to support students pursuing higher education remains. NYSACAC brings us together to support our students and each other. Have a wonderful fall!

Warm wishes,

Conference Update
Dave Follick, NYSACAC President-Elect, Nassau Community College

I am happy to announce that the 2024 NYSACAC Coming Together and Annual Conference Steering Committee is hard at work. We have held several planning meetings with many more scheduled for the next several months. Mark your calendars for June 4-7th at Molloy University on Long Island. This year’s conference theme is “Transforming U”. The staff at Molloy University is looking forward to greeting you and showcasing their amazing university.

Please be on the lookout in mid-December for our “Call for Proposals” for the Coming Together Conference & Annual Conference. Now is the time to start thinking of a great topic to collaborate with a few of your peers. If you have any questions over the next few months please feel free to email me at [email protected]

Winter Institute - Save the Date
Sheryl Kavanagh, Winter Institute Co-Chair, Grand Island High School
Robert Oliva, Winter Institute Co-Chair, St. Francis College

Winter Institute is a one-day professional development program for new professionals from the high school, college, and community-based organization sides of the desk to connect with leaders in our field through facilitated discussions. 

Registration will open in November!

Friday, January 10th, 2024
St. Francis College
Brooklyn, New York

Friday, January 12th, 2024
Syracuse University
Syracuse, New York 

Nothing Gold Can Stay: Changes to NYSACAC's Delegates
Chris Doyle, NYSACAC Immediate Past President & Chief Delegate, Marist College

Robert Frost’s poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” comes to mind as I write this. If you’re not familiar, his short poem is about the effects of time and the inevitability of change described through the autumn season. It’s fitting because we’re turning a new leaf (pun intended) as we implement a structure of Regional Representatives that arose from NACAC’s decision to eliminate the Assembly and therefore the Delegates to that assembly. However, unlike the melancholy poem, this change presents an opportunity for growth and greater engagement with newly elected members of the Executive Board who will provide a deeper understanding of the regions of the state. This is an exciting time for NYSACAC to expand our engagement and be more responsive to our members’ disparate needs.

As Immediate Past President and Chief Representative my role includes chairing the Nominating Committee, managing the self-nomination process for members interested in elected positions, overseeing the award nominations and selections, ensuring the elections run smoothly, and working with the Nominating Committee to recommend the slate to the Executive Board. 

This year, alongside the leadership team, I am especially focused on building awareness about the 9 Regional Representative positions that will be elected. These positions will represent one of six regions within the state and will be the inaugural, and largest, group to fill the available positions. It’s exciting to work on something so important and transformative. I hope you will consider running for one of the Regional Representative positions when the self-nomination process opens later this year.

At the Executive Board meeting on Monday, October 16th, the Board unanimously approved four members to serve on the Nominating Committee, which fills the vacancies created by members who fulfilled their term of service. In line with our new regional focus, I appointed members that will give the nominating committee a more robust understanding of the members throughout the state. I’m thrilled to welcome the following members to the Nominating Committee to serve from 2023-2026:

  • Darnell Douglas, Bethlehem Central High School

  • Mike McGwin, Rochester Institute of Technology

  • Victoria Coyne, Grand Island High School

  • Sarah Ireland, Skidmore College

Good luck as application deadlines approach and you work with students and families to complete and submit their applications, and to all who tirelessly travel throughout the country during the fall helping students better understand the college admission process. You’re doing important and necessary work! 

 NYSACAC Professional Development Committee Updates - Save the Dates!
Caitlin Domagal, Professional Development Co-chair, Syracuse University
Kory McBride, Professional Development Co-chair, New Visions for Public Schools

The Student Leadership in Admissions Forum will be held virtually on Friday, February 9, 2024 from 1-4 p.m. Registration to come. If you or your student staff are interested in presenting, please email [email protected].

The Regional Forum series is back in-person this year! Schedules and registration will be posted soon - please save the date and stay tuned for more information.

  • Friday, March 8, 2024 at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus

  • March 2024 at University of Rochester - Date to be Announced

Book Review: “Letting Go – A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years”
Andrea H. Nadler, Hofstra University

For anyone who has wondered what students and parents are truly thinking and how they are honestly feeling as they embark on the journey to college, “Letting Go – A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years” will be an enlightening read. 

As you take a peek into the real lives of students around the world immediately following their high school graduation, on move-in day at college, and as they progress through their undergraduate years, you will see through their eyes the innumerable choices and fast pace of life, the academic and financial pressures, as well as the self-doubt and social dilemmas that challenge them daily.

You will also gain insight into the minds and psyche of parents as they face their youngsters’ desire for independence and the various ways they express it, which can be confusing at times. 

This book will provide a solid context of the dynamics of college life today and to help parents know what resources they can seek to help their children as needed. The reader will also receive practical advice to help them understand what young people really want and need from parental figures as they navigate their new surroundings, handle new situations, and make short-term and long-term decisions as young adults.  

Movers and Shakers

Heather Mena-Carias, Assistant Director of Admissions, joined Lycoming College over the summer and will be the primary recruiter for New York State.

Rob Olivia has started a new position as Vice President of Enrollment Management & Community Relations at St. Francis College.

Stephanie Drew joined Utica University as Associate Director of Admissions.

Danielle Grega joined Utica University as Assistant Director of Admissions.

Legislative Advocacy Day Updates
Alex El Helou, Government Relations Co-Chair, SUNY Maritime College
Annie Stull, Government Relations Co-Chair, Keuka College

The Government Relations Committee is in full swing preparing for Legislative Advocacy Day (LAD) under the leadership of Co-Chairs Alex El Helou of SUNY Maritime College and Annie Stull of Keuka College! 

This year, LAD will be in person in Albany on Tuesday, February 13th and Virtual LAD will be on Thursday, February 15th. The purpose of LAD is to encourage NYSACAC members to meet with their legislators in Albany to advocate for student aid, resources for college counseling, and legislation that will lower barriers to college access and success for students across the state. 

If you are interested in joining our committee and / or participating in LAD this year, please complete this form and the committee will be in touch with you regarding next steps. 

As always, thank you for all of your work to support the Government Relations Committee in our advocacy efforts! Some notable wins we saw in the 2023 Legislative Advocacy Day include increases to Education Opportunity Programs from the proposed $115.75 million to the enacted amount of $119.27 million, and for Students with Disabilities, from the proposed $2 million to the enacted amount of $4 million.


NYSACAC 2023 Scholarship Recipients
Meghan DeMayo-Dalen, Scholarship Committee Co-Chair, Suffolk Community College
Robert Kaercher, Scholarship Committee Co-Chair, Byron-Bergan Junior/Senior High School

Congratulations to our NYSACAC 2023 Scholarship Recipients:

  • Aglaya Zineko from Orchard Park High School who started at Buffalo State University, SUNY this fall.

  • Nabil Shah from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, was nominated by Goddard Riverside and is now attending Hunter College, CUNY as a transfer student.

  • Sara Surita Mota from Bushwick Leaders High School for Academic Excellence who just started her first year at the New School.

  • Andrea Sandoval from Suffern High School who is attending the University of Connecticut this fall.

  • Luis E. Bermudez from St. Mary’s High School in Lancaster and is attending the Rochester Institute of Technology.

  • Our NYSACAC Julia Forman Scholarship winner is Camilla Pierre from Manhattan Hunter Science, nominated by Goddard Riverside, who is attending Barnard College.

Learn more about some of our scholarship recipients in their bios! Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all that nominated their students. We look forward to a great 2024 scholarship cycle. More information to come in the new year.

Glasha Zinenko

I graduated from Orchard Park High School this summer. I grew up in Moscow, Russia, and moved to Orchard Park, New York two years ago. I am fortunate to have access to education in the United States. I am grateful to the NYSACAC scholarship committee for helping me pursue it.

I am going to Buffalo State University and majoring in Urban and Regional Planning. I chose this major because the way our cities are planned affects our health and our happiness. Most of all, I hope to use my degree to rebuild Ukrainian and Russian cities when Vladimir Putin’s war is over. While Putin is in power, I will stay in the U.S. and help design healthy and accessible areas here.

Nabil Shah


A first-generation Bangladeshi American student who obtained his associate's degree in Ethnic Studies at Borough of Manhattan Community College. This Fall, he will be studying Public Policy at Hunter College. The NYSACAC Scholarship award will support him on his journey to becoming a lawyer so that he and his community can not only survive but thrive. This award will help Nabil pursue his passion to advocate for Asian American and Indo-Caribbean communities at the grassroots level.

Camilla Pierre

I am incredibly honored and grateful to be selected as the recipient of the Julia Foreman scholarship for 2023. As a child of immigrants (from Colombia and Liberia), this scholarship will allow me to focus on gaining the necessary knowledge and experience at Barnard College with less worry of financial constraints. My passions include addressing health, environmental, and housing inequalities in immigrant and low-income neighborhoods. With the support of this scholarship, I can dedicate my time at Barnard to be more focused on making a meaningful impact on underserved populations such as my home of Flatbush, Brooklyn. I plan on majoring in either Biology, Public Health, Urban Studies, or a combination of all three. After graduation, I plan to pursue either an MPH or MD in order to put my passions into practice in medically underserved communities.

Sara Surita Mota

I'm attending the New School this fall. Thank you to the NYSACAC committee for this award! As someone who's passionate about affecting change within my community, it is my goal to use art as a resource and an outlet to those who need it most. Growing up, I used art to overcome the obstacles I faced. I want to build a safe space for kids to think outside the box and believe that their vision can become reality. This scholarship will aid in my goal of impacting future generations in my community to believe in their ability to create.

Save the Date: Comprehensive Recruitment and Transfer Advising Tools for Student Success: Promoting Transfer Equity and Transparency in Higher Education 

Date: 11/30/23 10:00am - 11:15am

Please register on Zoom:

We ask that you please RSVP by Monday, November 27th at 5:00 p.m.

Transparency Matters! 

Join the NYSTAA Downstate Region to discuss transfer equity, articulation agreement, and the need for transparency with recruitment efforts utilizing advising tools that support student enrollment, retention, and success for post-secondary education.


  • Holly BlockAssistant Director of Recruitment, College of Staten Island
  • Dr. Alexandra Logue - Research Professor in CASE (the Center for Advanced Study in Education) of the Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY)
  • Christopher Buonocore - Director of Student Success Initiatives, Lehman College
  • Emily Tichenor - Program Manager, Ithaka S+R and Nechelle Calhoun, Sr. UX Designer for ITHAKA - JSTOR Labs