Wednesday, April 19, 2017

PCACAC Member Spotlight on Luis Portillo!

Luis Portillo currently works at Radford University as the Regional Senior Assistant Director of Admissions.
What led you into admissions/college counseling? Share your journey story!
 I was working a good “corporate” job that was ok but it wasn’t for me, I would go home daily and be miserable. I was always job searching and fell upon a listing for an admissions position, and the fact that it was with my alma matter was a big bonus, did some homework on what and admissions counselor does and sent a few emails; one in particular to Radford’s Director of Alumni Relations whom I had met my freshman year and kept in touch throughout my collegiate career and she thought I would be great for the job and I applied with her as a reference and the rest was history.

What's your favorite admissions/counseling memory or travel story?
 My favorite travel story was a large group of counselors went out for lunch after the 2nd day of Montgomery County NACAC and just the connections I made and realized that the people on the road with you can be your saving grace and only thing to keep you sane because they are the only people that know exactly what you are going through while you’re out there for weeks at a time. My “aha” or light bulb moment you could say!

What do you love most about your job?
I love the people I meet, whether it be students, parents, or professional colleagues. Building relationships is my favorite part of my job.

What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue leadership (or membership) in PCACAC and/or NACAC?
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort bubble, put in proposals to present at conferences, and grow your network.  

If not working in admissions/college counseling, what else could you see yourself pursuing? 
 I would have probably gone back to get a teaching license. I was always told by people closest to me that I should be a teacher. My school teachers all the way through high school always suggested it. They even told my mother that when she would come in for parent/teacher conferences or “back to school” nights.

What's one thing that most people don't know about you?
 I love to just sit in tranquil places/scenic views with headphones listening to music. As social as I may seem, my alone time is important to me.

How do you balance work/life?
I make sure I always make time for family and friends, not when possible but always. They are they few people that keep me grounded and remind me where I came from, where I am and where I want to go. That and music is my escape. Most of my day there is music playing in the background.

What's a current trend or future issue you're passionate about right now? And why?
 I would say the most current trend that really has me doing “homework” daily would be the increasing number of first generation students that are going to college and how they come from so many different backgrounds and each have specific needs.

What advice would you give to someone considering entering the admissions/college counseling profession?
There will be a lot of things that you encounter that might make you so angry, tired, leave you with a feeling of complete defeat. Know that you cannot save them all, but understand at the end of the day you will make a difference in a student’s life and that is something to admire and be proud of in this career field.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The 52nd PCACAC Conference Has Gone Mobile!

Dear Colleague,
The 52nd PCACAC Conference has gone mobile!

We are excited you'll be joining us for our 52nd Conference in less than two weeks in Williamsburg, VA, at the Kingsmill Resort and we are looking forward to seeing everyone! To help make the most of your time at the conference, PCACAC Conference has gone mobile once again! However, we are thrilled to announce we have a brand new mobile guide for you to use on Guidebook! Get the guide to access the most up-to-date information about our event, including schedules, maps, and much more.
Get our guide here: Guidebook Mobile App Guide
Android and iOS users:
  1. Tap the "Download" button to download the free Guidebook app
  2. Open Guidebook and you can find our "PCACAC 52 Conference" guide
 Any questions? Please email us at  We are happy to help.

Rosemary Martin, Conference Chair
and the Conference Planning Committee

PCACAC President's Message

Dear friends and colleagues,

My President's Message for this month will be very simple. In fact, there are only two items:

Item 1: Come to the PCACAC Annual ConferenceApril 23-25 at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA. Yes, you can still register! Can't come for the whole conference? Then register as a one-day attendee for Monday, April 24 - you'll get 4 educational sessions and the college counselors' fair. Thanks to our location this year, many of you are close enough to make it a day trip. I look forward to seeing you there!

Item 2: VOTE! PCACAC elects officers and delegates to the NACAC Assembly each spring. If you're a voting member, now is the time to cast your vote. The online ballot is open until 8:00pm on Monday, April 24. For those attending the conference, we encourage you to stay for the Membership Meeting on Tuesday, April 25, where we will also vote on amendment to PCACAC's bylaws.

That's your quick and simple to-do list for today...and my shortest, but most important message of the year!
As always, thank you for your support of PCACAC, and I look forward to seeing many of you in Williamsburg.


Anthony Ambrogi
President, PCACAC

Cast Your Vote During the 2017 PCACAC Election!

Dear Colleague,
Elections are now open for PCACAC offices, and I encourage you as a valued member to share your voice! This year's ballot includes candidates for the following positions:
  • President-Elect
  • Secretary
  • Professional Development Chair/Delegate
  • Government Relations Chair/Delegate
  • At-Large Delegate
Detailed information about each candidate and Election Criteria for each position can be found on our 2017 Election page at  Voting is open through Monday, April 24th until 8:00 pm.  Candidates receiving a majority of the ballots cast for the office shall be elected.

PCACAC voting members who attend the Membership Meeting at the Annual Conference will also vote on proposed amendments to the PCACAC Bylaws.  You may review the proposed changes at www.PCACAC.credentials-Bylaws.orgClick this sentence to access the webpage and locate the link to download the proposed changes.

Please cast your 2017 Election online ballot and join us for announcement of our new officers at the Membership Meeting and Brunch on Tuesday, April 25, from 10:30 am - noon at our 52nd Annual Conference at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA.

As a side note, if you have trouble accessing the ballot, please try opening it in a different browser or in a private/incognito browser window (CTRL-SHFT-N).
Thank you for your commitment to PCACAC!

Mike Oligmueller
PCACAC Past President and Nominating Committee Chair

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Conference Highlights!

Dear Colleague,
Registration to attend PCACAC's 52nd Annual Conferenceat the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg,Virginia is open through April 10th, so hurry!  If you have already registered, read on for some highlights and events that have been added.
If you have not registered, online registration begins with this link.
We cannot wait to see everyone in Williamsburg, April 23-25th for the conference or even earlier, for the PCACAC Equity Collaborative Workshop that begins Saturday, April 22nd at 1:00 PM at William and Mary.

See HIGHLIGHTS below for what interests you.
Look for more highlights coming soon - IMPROV!

Acapella Group & the James River - President's Dinner, Sunday, April 23rd
The Stairwells will be our entertainment for the President's Dinner beginning at 7:30 PM in the James River Grand Ballroom at the Kingsmill Resort. Stairwells is an all-male acapella group from William & Mary.  Extra tickets for guests not registered for the conference or registered for Monday only, may be purchased. Contact PCACAC's Executive Assistant, Annie Hilten at Join us earlier at 6:00 PM for the President's Reception in the Burwell Ballroom and enjoy breathtaking views of the James River.

Social, Monday, April 24th beginning at 9 pm
After a day of educational sessions join your friends and colleagues beginning at 9 PM at Paul's Deli for music, drinks, dancing, pictures, laughter - fun! Paul's Deli, a William & Mary favorite, is located in the New Town shopping/dining district.  Shuttle service to and from Kingsmill will be provided.

College Tours - Tuesday, April 25th
Look closely!  An institution has been added to the list of college tours!  Do not miss this opportunity to visit some of Virginia's exceptional institutions. Tours will be Tuesday, April 25 after PCACAC's conference. Stop by on your way home and take advantage of the open doors.  If you would like more information about these college tours, email Nick Orban, College Tour Committee, at

Virginia Wesleyan College1:30 PM
University of Richmond1:30 PM
Randolph-Macon College1:30 PM
Old Dominion University1:30 PM
Norfolk State University1:30 PM
Hampton University1:00 PM
College of William & Mary1:00 PM
Christopher Newport University1:00 PM

William & Mary Open House, Sunday, April 23rd 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Welcome to Williamsburg! We are thrilled to welcome you to our historic and innovative town and can't wait for you to explore what Williamsburg has to offer.  We invite you to attend our Open House, prior to the first session of PCACAC, to enjoy local refreshments, meet and greet with the Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admission Tim Wolfe, and take a mini-tour of our campus.

REGISTRATION - ENDS, April 10th, so hurry!
FULL conference registration includes sessions, meals, the conference social, exhibits, admission to the Counselors College Fair (exhibiting is extra), and covers all events from Sunday afternoon through Tuesday at noon, as well as free parking! Please take a few moments to review our Conference resources:
1)     Registration Fees,
2)     Sessions-at-a-Glance,
3)     Conference-at-a-Glance
4)     Sponsorship opportunitiesand

Hotel Reservations
Call Kingsmill Resort directly at 800-832-5665 to make your reservations.  Hurry, PCACAC's block of rooms are going fast - discount pricing for guestrooms ends April 8, 2017.

PCACAC Membership
PCACAC members automatically receive a discount when they complete and submit the conference online registration form.  It is easy to JOIN PCACAC as a new member or RENEW an expired membership.  Simply click on one of these links or visit the Membership Information section on our Home page at

Questions?  We are happy to help.
For help with registration or any of the items on this page, contact the Executive Assistant at or call 434-989-7557