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Iowa Summer Bucket List

As the start of school is approaching, I know it can feel like all the fun summer activities go out the window. And while schedules definitely get busier, remember that we still have a couple months of sweltering heat left in Iowa! There is time to check off those last remaining summer bucket list items. You’re likely going to be spending a lot of time in cars and hotel rooms before you know it, so I recommend enjoying the outdoors while you still can!

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I know, there aren’t fireworks, champagne or silly hats and glasses, but it’s just as important for us in education.

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Road Warrior Survival Guide

August is here and school supplies are flying off the shelves. This can only mean one thing: admissions recruitment travel season is right around the corner. Whether you are new to the field or have earned your “road warrior” status years ago, surviving travel season comes much easier with preparation. Here are my tips and tricks learned during 10+ years navigating the rolling hills (interstates, highways, brick, gravel and sometimes even dirt roads) of Iowa behind the wheel of a college-branded car:

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MIDWest 2022 - Recap & Highlights

In September of 2019, the MIDWest conference planning committee (with representatives from all four affiliates), met in Madison, WI to start the process of planning our 2020 MIDWest conference. We were so excited to explore Madison, put together some wonderful sessions based around our theme (2020 Vision), and connect with colleagues across state lines. When the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to our in-person conference plans, we decided to postpone by one year and try again in 2021. Of course, the pandemic continued, and we wound up pivoting to a virtual format (is anyone else really tired of that phrase?) for the 2021 MIDWest Conference. It was a great experience, but definitely not the same as the

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A Decade Later: Thoughts on the profession after 10 years

The admissions profession is often described as a career where an individual works for either one to two years, or a lifetime. As I begin my tenth year in the field, it seems I am much closer to a lifetime status designation, and much further from the first-year admission counselor I once was. Asked to write an essay for the Iowa ACAC spring newsletter, I decided to provide some thoughts, and hopes, to those new to the admission counseling profession. You have embarked on an amazing journey, and have the opportunity to make a positive impact on countless students’ lives. I hope you embrace the responsibility, and maybe become an admissions lifer.

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Changes of Scenery

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MIDWest Conference 101!

Let’s start counting down the days! In just a few short weeks, we will all be together in person for the 2022 MIDWest ACAC Conference in Eagan, MN! The last time we all had the chance to be together was at the 2019 Iowa ACAC Conference at Prairie Meadows in Altoona. We made the best of things in 2020 with a virtual conference (thanks to our wonderful Past President, Tom Paulsen), and tried again in 2021 with a virtual MIDWest Conference (shout out to the excellent Wisconsin ACAC team for planning), but I know that I have really missed the in-person conference experience for the past two years. With all of the disruptions caused by the pandemic, we’ll have more first-time conference-goers than ever before, so as your current Iowa ACAC Conference Planning Chair, I wanted to share some thoughts and advice to help you make the most of your MIDWest ACAC experience! 

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The RIDE Returns!

The time is almost upon us. The RIDE 2022. It’s been a tough last couple of years, getting oh, so, close and yet needing to cancel, but this year (knock on wood) it seems like we are in the clear to carry out one of the best traditions and events with Iowa ACAC.

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Get to Know - Heather Weiss

Professional School Counselors are, and have long been, a vital part of our Association. In this Get to Know segment we hear from long-time  member Heather Weiss of Shenandoah HS!

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What Does the Future Hold?

When I was in my undergraduate secondary education program, I had to take a methods class on wrestling. I had never wrestled or even watched a wrestling match (other than those ‘rasslin programs on TV). I asked my advisor, Dr. John Byrd, “Why do I have to take this class?  I have no interest  in wrestling.” His reply was very insightful. He said, “You never know when a job offer will include coaching wrestling.” Well, he was wrong. My first job did not require that I coach wrestling. My second job did! 

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Making the Connection

A number of years ago, I was very unsure about taking the next step to college. The director of my high school choir at the time was a Wartburg College graduate. He shared his incredible experience and encouraged me to visit. As an uncertain 17-year-old, I called to set up my visit and will never forget the kindness I received on the other end from the visit coordinator. I felt more confident about taking the next step. After my visit, I knew Wartburg was where I would go to college. I applied for a job in admissions during my junior year at Wartburg and developed many relationships that became influential in my career path. I had no idea how much that decision would impact my life. I served as a spiritcaller, Ambassador and eventually spent an entire summer working full-time in the admissions office. Still, when it came time for graduation, I wasn’t sure about the path I wanted to take. As I began looking for a job, it was a connection I had made at Wartburg that led me to Simpson College and a job as an admissions counselor. The people and the experience there solidified my love for higher education. When I had the chance to return to Wartburg Admissions, I knew recruiting for my alma mater was the right decision. Almost twenty years later, I find myself wondering where the years have gone!

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4 Food Hacks for Health

These cold winter days can bring a handful of negatives to a person’s health and physical activity. Maybe even more so for us who work in education where physical activity is minimal. It is easy to stay inside where it's nice and warm, order take out, not go to the gym/exercise, sit on the couch and eat warm high-calorie meals that can pack on the pounds. As a self-proclaimed food critic, I understand the importance of eating foods that ignite the taste buds. Eating healthier doesn't have to be bland and boring, so let me lend you a hand on some of my favorite food hacks that help cut the calories and provide nutritional substance during these cold winter months (and beyond) and also deliver on the flavor profile.

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Changes of Scenery

Time to take a look at what's going on in offices and life celebrations! A welcome en masse to all new team members...you're also new Iowa ACAC members...and a big snuggly welcome to all the little ones who joined the office families!

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The Confluence of Admissions & Parenting

I have a high school freshman and sophomore at home. Well, they’re not home much with such busy schedules. And when they are home, they spend a LOT of time in their rooms, so I don’t even KNOW they’re home. Can anyone relate?

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See you at the Hill!

The Iowa ACAC Government Relations Committee is excited to return to Des Moines on Thursday, February 24, for our annual Visit the Hill event! Join us at Forté Banquet and Conference Center starting at 9 a.m. for a morning full of education and conversations that you won’t want to miss! 

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Admissions #10yearchallenge

Greetings from South Dakota! A recent trend on Facebook was the #10yearchallenge where you post a picture of yourself today alongside a picture of yourself from ten years ago…or maybe some could do 20 years ago or more. It’s a fun opportunity to take a few minutes to reminisce and reflect upon certain chapters in your life and think about where you’ve been, what you’ve done, what you’ve been able to experience, challenging times, good times, and so on and so forth.

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Get to Know - Gail McMahon

Ever seen an email come through on the listserv from Gail McMahon? Or ever wonder who keeps the Iowa ACAC website up to date? For those of you who don’t know, Gail McMahon is the woman behind the curtain. She keeps everything running smoothly behind the scenes, so I thought it was time to pull back the curtain a little with a short interview.

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COVID Holiday Celebrations

In January and September I compiled lists of lessons learned since the start of the pandemic for SCENES. Lessons such as buying TP and Clorox wipes anytime you had the chance, and the most flattering angle for video calls.

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Admissions Gift Guide

Has anyone else noticed that there is a gift guide for everything now? They’re all over social media this time of year! Gift guides for him, gift guides for her, gift guides for teens, for moms, for dogs; I’ve even seen gift guides based on the different enneagram types. So I figured it was time someone made a gift guide for admission representatives. Here’s my 2021 holiday admissions gift guide: 

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4 Tips to REALLY Step Away

Six hundred and twenty-eight days is the time between when our whole world changed and when I am writing this. Obviously, we need no reminders about the differences that we have faced in our industry due to Covid-19 or in our personal lives, but for some reason this year feels different. We are relatively back to normal, hosting tours and on-campus events, and with that comes the usual stress, burnout and overall exhaustion of the fall. 

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