Winter Forum

January 19-22, 2021
9:30am - 11:15am
Virtual Event

The Virtual Winter Forum is a comprehensive, four-day event meant to bring both high school counselors and college admission professionals together.

The PD Committee will send the Zoom links to those who register on Monday, January 18.


Tuesday, January 19

Welcome: Mai Nhia Xiong-Chan, MACAC President

Keynote AddressNichelle Whitney, founder of The Guarden

Is Good Enough Good At All? Going Beyond Good Intentions

In many ways, we can identify people in our life who are kind, caring, and respectful. When it comes to changing culture in America, in higher education, or even in the workplace, we often rest our laurels on the idea that kindness, caring, and respect are enough to promote inclusion and belongingness. Join Nichelle in the Guarden to discuss the dangers of the well-intentioned colleague and complacency in the workplace.

Wednesday, January 20

9:30 The College Search - what is the best way to determine fit at your institution?

Please join our panelist:
Jill Sauber, Associate Dean of Admissions, St. Olaf College
Dr. Brian Jones, Director of Admissions, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Mitch Arnett, Senior Assistant Director for Regional Enrollment, Miami University,
Rebecca Hughes, Assistant Director of Admissions, University of Colorado Boulder

9:30 Housing and Dining Services on Campus - Navigating a Pandemic
Presenters: Nicholas Rafanello, University of Northern Iowa

The current COVID-19 Pandemic has uprooted the traditional framework in which colleges and universities approach housing and dining services and students’ residential experience. At the University of Northern Iowa, the Department of Residence utilized various measures to continue to provide a residential experience for more than 2900 students during the fall 2020 semester. This presentation will share some of the background behind the measures implemented, the impact on students, and the outcomes learned through navigating a pandemic while maintaining housing and dining services across campus.

10:30 Partnership Roundtable session with the Presidents of MACAC, MAFAA, MnAcc, and MSCA

Join in a Q&A session with The Partnership Roundtable, a decade-long cooperative of four Minnesota organizations dedicated to helping all students make the transition to post-secondary opportunities. Leaders from MACAC, MNACC, MAFAA, and MSCA, representing nearly 2500 statewide professional members, will discuss timely topics that impact our shared priority of improving college access for students and their families across our state.

10:30 The Role of Financial Aid in the Admissions Process. An inside look at strategic enrollment management, ways to think about affordability, and paying for college.
Presenter: Chris George, St. Olaf College

The Role of Financial Aid in the Admissions Process. An inside look at strategic enrollment management, ways to think about affordability, and paying for college. 

Thursday, January 21

9:30 Updates from post-secondary institutions, Fall 2021

Hear from our panelists as they discuss application trends during COVID and a glimpse of how future recruitment cycles may be affected.

Mike Vandenberg, Director of Recruitment, Concordia College, Moorhead
Bill Cleveland, Associate Director of Holistic Review, University of Minnesota
Colleen Koppes, Assistant Director of Regional Recruitment, Iowa State
Adam Buller, Senior Assistant Director, Loyola University Chicago

9:30 Transfer Admission Practices In COVID Times
Presenters: Mai Chue Moua, Assistant Director of Admission, Hamline University

This session is designed for college admission recruiters working with transfer students. Join us for an engaging panel discussion with seasoned recruiters from a mix of private and public 4-year institutions about trends, lessons learned, and ideas working with prospective transfer students. 

10:30 Anti-Racism and MACAC: Evolving our strategic plan
Mai Nhia Xiong-Chan, Vice President of Enrollment Management, Hamline University, MACAC President

In early 2020 the MACAC board approved the 2020-23 Strategic Plan, which was ambitious in scope and believed to be comprehensive. Additionally, we are now planning to launch a task force to add a new addendum to the 2020-23 strategic plan, which strengthens and will include action steps for MACAC to intentionally include anti-racism into the strategic plan and our organization's culture. This session is an opportunity for attendees to engage with MACAC leadership in a discussion on what can and should be the focus of MACAC's anti-racism initiatives and will help to inform the first phase of the creation of the addendum.

10:30 Test-Optional Discussion Panel
Presented by Mick Dargis and Chris Peterson from the University of Saint Thomas.

The University of St. Thomas has joined the growing list of colleges and universities who have made the move to being a “Test-Optional” institution. This presentation will outline the reasoning behind St. Thomas making this move, the application review process, and an update on how it is going so far. 

Friday, January 22

9:30 Anti-Racism: A Destination or a Journey?
Alberto Ramos, Diversity & Equity Success Specialist, North Hennepin Community College

In this interactive session, Diversity trainers Alberto Ramos and Nikhil Enugula of North Hennepin Community College will help explore what it means to be an Anti-Racist. We will examine how our own identities can either uphold oppressive practices or dismantle them.

9:30 A Virtual Island: Effective Recruitment During COVID
Presenter: Renee Wharton, Candice Bartell North Hennepin Community College

We all know that high school students are struggling with their transition into college during COVID. Join us to hear how local high school counselors and career advisors are working with their students in the college search process. We will discuss student struggles, outreach methods, and how colleges can support high school students during this transition. We invite secondary and post-secondary professionals to join in on this conversation! 

10:30 How to get involved in MACAC and NACAC

Please join Sarah Hogen, Director of College Counseling, Providence Academy, Past President- MACAC, and Garth Robertson, GR College Consulting, President-Elect, MACAC, as they provide advice and tips on making the most of your memberships!

10:30 Community Healing Collaborative: Centering Student Voices
Presenter: Catrina Huynh-Weiss, Sr. Executive Assistant to the Vice Presidents of Student Affairs and Equity and Inclusion

The Community Healing Collaborative at Minneapolis Community and Technical College seeks to build community-based ecosystems that support the diverse needs for the mental and overall health of students, faculty, staff, and the communities that we serve. We do this by centering student voices and creating opportunities for students to build community and bridge divides through storytelling, meaningful conversations, and leadership opportunities.

Panelist from Minneapolis Community and Technical College:
Kate Foley: Community Development Major
Christian Huble: Philosophy Major
Dasha Kazak: Software Development Major

Register for the Winter Forum


For questions regarding the Winter Forum event, please contact the MACAC Professional Development Committee.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software