2019 Executive Board Candidate Information

College Rep Description and Candidates
Secondary School Rep Description and Candidates
Delegate Description and Candidates
Secretary Description and Candidates
President-Elect Description and Candidates

College Representatives

The duties of the College Representatives shall be to:

  1. Serve as a resource for college admission professionals and present their issues to the Executive Board.
  2. Attend NJACAC Executive Board meetings as voting members.
  3. Attend NJACAC general membership meetings.
  4. Serve on NJACAC committees and assist with events.
  5. Perform such other duties from time to time as may be prescribed by the President.

College Rep Candidates


Ryan DePuy

Current Place of Employment: Sacred Heart University
Job Title: Director of Undergraduate Admissions
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC, NJACAC, NEACAC, WPRCA
NJACAC Service: College Key NJ  & Camp College Presenter
NACAC Service: Member since 2012
Has Presented Workshops at:   NJACAC conferences

Candidate Message:  

NJACAC has been an important part in my development as a counseling professional and has given me wonderful opportunities to grow through various professional development opportunities.  Perhaps more importantly, it has given me the opportunity to build relationships with colleagues who have taught me a great deal about the profession.

I would like to start my service to NJACAC because I believe I have reached a place in my career where I can apply my expertise to help the organization grow and thrive, while still continuing to grow as a professional.

The following are some of the issues that I see are important to address:

1. Membership
2. Professional Development and Mentorship
3. Building relationships between School Counselors/Admissions/IECs
4. Utilizing those relationships in the interest of better serving the students we work with
5.  Continuing to administer NJACAC Regional CF, and the NCF.  Possibly exploring a new PVA or STEM program in NJ



Zaneb Ghanem

Current Place of Employment: Rowan College at Burlington County
Job Title: Assistant Director of Outreach  & Admissions, Partnerships & Special Populations
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC,  NJACAC, BCSCA,  MSCROA
NJACAC Service: Scholarship Commitee (2018 – present)
Other Related Professional Leadership: BCSCA Executive board (2015-present), Volunteer MSCROA conference, volunteer Collegiate Advisory Board for Sigma Sigma Sigma National Sorority
Has Presented Workshops at:   NJACAC conference, MSCROA conference, NASPA

Candidate Message:

Serving on the executive board in the College representative role means that I would have the chance to bring a newer point of view not only to the NJACAC but the NACAC as well. While New Jersey may be a smaller state in size, we know that we are large in all other areas including passion, advocacy, and commitment. I believe that I have the ability to bring these areas as well as many others to the national assembly and hope to serve as your college representative.



Giovanna Flynn

Current Place of Employment: Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick
Job Title: Assistant Director
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC,  NJACAC
NJACAC Service: College Key NJ presenter (2019), ABCS committee (2018 – present)
NACAC Service: member since 2016
Has Presented Workshops at:   NJACAC conference 2019, NJNYACRAO 2019 conference

Candidate Message:

I have been working in higher education for 16 years and have been able to work with many different groups of students: traditional, first generation, athletes, EOF, international, Dreamers and transfers. These opportunities have allowed me to gain a well-rounded knowledge of diverse student populations and I would like the opportunity to share this knowledge specifically in regards to first generation students. I hope by becoming part of NJACAC at this new level, it will allow me to network, share and expand my knowledge while meeting new people in the world of secondary and higher education.



Frank Mitchell

Current Place of Employment: SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology 2000
Job Title: Admissions Counselor
Professional Association Memberships: NJACAC

Candidate Message:

As a someone who has been involved in higher ed for nearly 20 yrs I believe my experience and knowledge would benefit this organization.  I’m passionate about assisting HS students find a college that is a good match for them. An important issue would be access to higher ed and its affordability and the the student loan debit crisis.



Brian Switay

Current Place of Employment: The College of New Jersey
Job Title: Assistant Director of Transfer Admissions
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC, NJACAC, TACAC, SACAC
NJACAC Service: Bus Tour Co-Chair ( 2016-present), Conference Committee (2015-present)
NACAC Service: Co-Chair on the Emerging Admissions Professionals (2016-present)
Has Presented Workshops at:   NJACAC conferences, Higher Ed Live, #EMchat

Candidate Message:

I have started in NJACAC by joining the Conference Committee and getting an understanding of how and what NJACAC is. After getting involved and presenting at NJACAC and learning more about Enrollment Management, diving into NACAC and getting positions both within NACAC and NJACAC. I think it is the appropriate time to join the next steps as The Bus Tour duty is just about expiring after my 3-year term. I think that by volunteering to join NJACAC as a College Representative I will be able to represent my colleagues both in incoming Freshman admissions and now in Transfer admissions well and responsibly. I look forward to taking the next steps in my NJACAC career and I look forward to having your vote.

NJACAC should continue to address Diversity and Inclusion not only in NJ but nationally. How can we continue to help and bring a strong education to students who may think that they are not eligible to receive one.


Secondary School Representatives

The duties of the Secondary School Representatives shall be to:

  1. Serve as a resource for secondary school counselors and present their issues to the Executive Board.
  2. Attend NJACAC Executive Board meetings as voting members.
  3. Attend NJACAC general membership meetings.
  4. Serve on NJACAC committees and assist with events.
  5. Perform such other duties from time to time as may be prescribed by the President.

Secondary School Rep Candidates


Jeremy Hudson

Current Place of Employment: Somerville High School
Job Title: College & Career Counselor
Professional Association Memberships: NJACAC, NJSCA, SCSCA
NJACAC Service: IAS committee (2018 – present), volunteer NCF NJ
Has Presented Workshops at:   NJACAC conference,  NJSCA conference

Candidate Message:

As a school counselor, I look for ways to assist my students in their post-secondary planning. As I become more knowledgeable and connected, they do too. It is important that NJACAC continue to assist first generation, low income, and undocumented students with making college a reality.



Christine McGovern

Current Place of Employment: DePaul Catholic High School
Job Title: Director of Guidance and Student Services
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC,  NJACAC
Has Presented Workshops at: NJACAC conference

Candidate Message:

I am honored to be nominated for the position of Secondary School Representative. I would like to draw on my years of experience and knowledge of college admissions and share this with newly appointed counselors. The ever changing issues surrounding college admissions such as finances, competitiveness, and the stress that surrounds the college planning process is important to keep up with and share solutions with colleagues. Being a part of the executive board would allow me the opportunity to discuss these important and make some change.



Cherilyn Reynolds

Current Place of Employment: The Pingry School
Job Title: College Counselor
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC,  NJACAC, ACCIS
NJACAC Service: Communications Co-Chair (2018-present),  Webmaster (2017 – present)
NACAC Service: Member since 2008
Has Presented Workshops at: NJACAC conference, NJACAC Basics

Candidate Message:

We all, of course, work to serve our students; I feel the relationship and understanding of our students starts with communication among our own college admission colleagues. I would love to share ideas, thoughts and trends with my counterparts in both independent and public schools, while hopefully providing a level of encouragement to join the association. There is an opportunity for NJACAC to have more independent school representation on the executive board, and I hope to be a part of this initiative. While there are many “issues” we can address as an organization, having a diverse body of members will allow us to work together to accomplish our goals.



Sara Smith

Current Place of Employment: Highland Regional High School
Job Title: School Counselor
Professional Association Memberships: NJACAC, CCSCA
NJACAC Service: IAS Committee Chair (2017 – present),  Camp College volunteer, College Key NJ volunteer
Other Related Professional Leadership: FOCUS on Your Future College Fair Coordinator
Has Presented Workshops at:   NJACAC conferences,  Camp College, College Key NJ

Candidate Message:

I’m a good fit to be a secondary school representative since I’ve been a school counselor for 13 years and give a voice to the underrepresented high school populations.  I will bring my experience as well as my leadership and ability to listen to others and be a voice to my fellow school counselors with concerns and be able to present their concerns to the NJACAC Executive Board.



Elisabeth Walter

Current Place of Employment: Bergen Catholic High School
Job Title: Director of College Counseling
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC, NJACAC,  NJSCA, BCSCA, ASCA
NJACAC Service: College Key NJ (small group leader)

Candidate Message:

I would like to serve with NJACAC because I feel there are so many pressing areas facing high school.


Delegates

The duties of the National Assembly Delegates shall be to:

  1. Represent the interests of the New Jersey Association for College Admission Counseling.
  2. Attend Executive Board meetings as voting member.
  3. Attend the annual NACAC conference, and to represent NJACAC at National Assembly meetings, during their term.
  4. Perform such other duties from time to time as may be prescribed by the President.
  5. Alternate delegate(s), will be appointed by the President (with the approval of the Executive Committee) to attend the NACAC National Assembly meeting as outlined in Article IV, should an elected delegate be unable to fulfill this responsibility or another Delegate position is created by This person may or may not be a member of the Executive Board and must be a voting member of NJACAC and NACAC.
  6. Delegates must serve on, and chair, at least one committee, subcommittee, or event of the organization.

*YOU MUST BE A NATIONAL (NACAC) MEMBER TO VOTE FOR ASSEMBLY DELEGATES

Delegate Candidates


Sharaea Boyd

Current Place of Employment: Bard High School Early College
Job Title: College Transfer Coordinator
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC, NJACAC
NJACAC Service: Camp College NJ co-director 2019,  Camp College Volunteer
NACAC Service: Member since 2016
Has Presented Workshops at:   Will lead NJACAC Cultural Minority SIG at 2019 conference

Delegate Experience working as a representative or in political assemblies :

 Some of the qualities I believe would be applicable to serve as Delegate is the ability to lead a group of professionals to accomplish one common goal. This is best exemplified in the workshops I provide to my colleagues regarding college related updates both in the high schools and universities. The presentation experience I possess, gained through work, has prepared me to speak on my organization’s behalf if needed. My ability to understand what students require and provide resources makes me a great candidate to work for an organization that services both students and the professionals that assist them. Previously, as one of the founding members of Caldwell University’s Task Force for Racial Equity, I have worked closely with students and professionals of color to ensure that a proper campus climate was felt throughout, using institutional data and department presentations. The skills that I have built through this role, prepare me to take a new role I hope to gain as a co-facilitator of NJACAC’s Cultural Minority SIG.

Candidate Message:

As a Delegate, I look forward to addressing key issues that specifically affect students within the state of New Jersey. Looking to grow the involvement of the IAS committee and overall NJ student outreach, I would love for NJACAC to provide more resources for our growing student population here in the state, specifically students of color. Serving as a Delegate provides the opportunity for me to be a voice for students that attend schools in urban cities and provide resources that would bring more positive attention to the organization. My connection to higher education professionals and high school counselors alike, would hopefully yield in additional memberships as we work closer together. IAS is a passion of mine that I intend to pursue and utilize for the greater good of the NJ student body.  



Melissa Zolla

Current Place of Employment: William Paterson University
Job Title: Assistant Director of Campus Visit Experience
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC, NJACAC, CIVSA
NJACAC Service: Membership Co-Chair: 2018-present, Conference Committee: 2015-present, College Representative: 2017-present, College Key Co-Chair: 2018, College Key workshop leader: 2015-2017, Camp College small group leader: 2016
NACAC Service: Member since 2016
Has Presented Workshops at:   NJACAC conferences, NASPA conference, MSCROA conference
Awards: NJACAC Rising Star 2018, NACAC Rising Star Nominee 2018

Delegate Experience working as a representative or in political assemblies:

While I have not had experience with the NJACAC bylaws directly, I have had years of experience working within my sorority, Theta Phi Alpha, serving as regional delegate and focusing on national and chapter bylaws. I have attended the last four national conventions, serving as the regional delegate and ensuring that my constituents’ interests as well as their voices were heard at the national level. I served as a chapter advisor for four years and in this role it is my responsibility to ensure that national and chapter bylaws are followed properly by the women in the organization.

Candidate Message:

Serving on the executive board in the Assembly Delegate roll means that I would have the chance to bring a newer point of view not only to the NJACAC but the NACAC as well. While New Jersey may be a smaller state in size, we know that we are large in all other areas including passion, advocacy, and commitment. I believe that I have the ability to bring these areas as well as many others to the national assembly and hope to serve as your delegate.


Secretary

The duties of the Secretary shall be to:

  1. Be responsible for the non-financial records of the Association.
  2. Record the minutes of all Executive Board and General Membership meetings and to distribute them to the members of the Executive Board.
  3. Send out all necessary notices affecting business meetings of the Executive Board and committees.
  4. Provide any documentation required by NACAC, including copies of minutes and new copies of Bylaws.
  5. Serve as an Alternate Delegate to the National Assembly (if needed, eligible and attending the annual NACAC conference)
  6. Perform such other duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the President.

Secretary Candidate


Monica Mann

Current Place of Employment: Wayne Hills High School
Job Title: Lead School Counselor
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC, NJACAC, PCSCA, NJSCA, ASCA
NJACAC Service: Conference Planning Committee: 2015 – current, Awards Committee: 2017 – current Scholarship Committee: 2017 – Current Scholarship Committee Chair)
Other Related Professional Experience: PCSCA Executive Board, PCSCA Membership Chair
Awards:   NJACAC School Counselor of the Year 2018

Candidate Message:

I have enjoyed interacting and being a part of NJACAC over the last few years and feel like I have a lot to offer the organization. I think that by being on the Exec. Committee I can help serve the organization and its members in an organized and efficient way. I believe that NJACAC should continue to provide opportunities for its members to network and learn about the “hot topics” in our profession while also advocating for our profession and overall helping students of all kinds to reach their potential.


President-Elect

The duties of the President -Elect shall be to:

  1. Preside at any meeting of the Association in the absence of the President and to assist the President as requested.
  2. Succeed to the office of President in the event of a vacancy in that office;
  3. Chair the Conference Planning Committee and coordinate the activities of the Conference Planning Committee.
  4. Serve as a delegate to the National Assembly of the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
  5. Perform such other duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the President, attend and assist in leading the NJACAC Summer Leadership Retreat.
  6. With the President, represent the Association at the following forums:
    1. NACAC Leadership Development Retreat (LDI) (mid -summer)
    2. Legislative Conference in Washington D.C. (usually March)
    3. NACAC National Conference (late September/early October)

President-Elect Candidates


Russell Althouse

Current Place of Employment: Wardlaw-Hartridge School
Job Title: Associate Director of College Counseling
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC, NJACAC,  PACAC, ACCIS
NJACAC Service: Bus Tour Co-Chair ( 2016-present)
NACAC Service: member since 2005, LGBTQA SIG member since 2005
Other ACAC Affiliate Service: PACAC member since 2005, Chair – August Admission Workshops, Chair – Professional Development Committee, Chair – Technology Committee
Has Presented Workshops at:   NACAC conference,  NJACAC conferences,  PCSCA conferences
Awards: PACAC – Honorary Membership: Awarded for Outstanding Contribution/Leadership; SUNY CAP – Achievement Award: Awarded for Outstanding Contribution to Students through University or Community Service

Qualifications that would make you good President:

My current role has helped because I am able to attend NJACAC Board meetings and see how this board runs and functions. My years on the PACAC Board have also played a major role in helping me to understand how an affiliate board of NACAC should run and operate. I have also learned how to work with various groups of people which will be an important skill to run a diverse organization.

Candidate Message:

I wish to serve in the Presidential Cycle because I am passionate about professional development, and have gained various perspectives which I feel can benefit NJACAC through my involvement with PACAC and other professional organizations. Serving in the Presidential Cycle will allow me to help NJACAC members in gaining professional development and other critical programming to assist them with their profession. One area that I believe NJACAC needs to address is membership and engagement of our members as well as cost/access of membership and programming.



Laurie Sieminski

Current Place of Employment: Edison High School
Job Title: College Counselor
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC, NJACAC, NJSCA,  MCSCA, HCSCA
NJACAC Service: Secondary School representative 2016- present,  ABCs Chair 2017-present, College Key NJ Workshop leader,  BASICS workshop leader, Camp College small group leader, Conference Committee, NCF NJ volunteer & counseling center counselor
NACAC Service: Member since 2016
Has Presented Workshops at: NJACAC conferences

Qualifications that would make you good President:

I have had the pleasure of being on the board as a Secondary School Representative for the last two years. I also have served in a leadership role for the Junior League of Morristown as a new member advisor and as a nominating and placement advisor. In these roles, I have learned how to help the members of my association to become acclimated and placed on appropriate committees.  While I have been a member of NJACAC since the beginning of my career, it took me a few years to begin to volunteer for events such as College Key and Camp College. These experiences helped me to connect with other like-minded professionals and set me up to run as a Secondary School Representative in Spring 2017. In this role, I expanded my knowledge of the workings of the board and continued to network with the rest of the board. Participation in events such as the Board Retreats strengthened my commitment to the organization as I learned the ins and outs of the association. My role as a chair for the last two years, with moments of both success and failure, has taught me how to continue to persevere through a tough process for the benefit of the students we support.

Candidate Message:

I am honored to be nominated to serve as President-Elect of NJACAC. This organization has allowed me to share my experiences throughout my career in order to help other counselors and myself to continue to grow and learn from each other. I would like to continue to serve not only the students of the state of NJ, but the counselors and admission professionals as well. As a public school college counselor, my unique role has allowed me to learn about both sides of the desk, and this knowledge has propelled me to share my insight with others and to provide the best service to my students. My goal is to ensure access to their best-fit post-secondary school to all students regardless of the background they come from.

Students are experiencing a record amount of stress, anxiety, and depression across the United States. As they move into their junior and senior years of high school, this is exacerbated by the impending decisions about their future. Throughout my career, I have always found that the more students are prepared to make this decision, the less stress it will evoke. Ensuring access to quality education on careers, postsecondary options, and preparation to leave high school for all students is a passion of mine. The collaboration between college admissions professionals and school counselors is essential as we work together to provide comprehensive advising and education which will hopefully lead to reduced stress and anxiety.

NJACAC should also continue to work to assist underserved populations throughout the state who are often attending schools where counselor caseloads are high and the responsibilities are increased. We need to support the efforts of these counselors while finding ways to serve these students.