Juan Acosta

SACAC Position: Inclusion, Access & Success Co-chair
Title and Institution/Organization: Associate Director of College Counseling, The Westminster Schools (GA)
Years in Profession: 21

How did you first become involved in SACAC? I first joined SACAC when I attended my first conference in 2007 and that following summer I attended SACAC Summer Seminar as a new counselor.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? I’m inspired by the collaborative and inclusive nature that’s innate to who SACAC is. This has allowed me to learn and grow in both my personal and professional life, while allowing me expand my network of colleagues and friends.
Favorite SACAC event/program: SACAC Summer Seminar, SACAC Annual Conference, and Mini Camp College (now College Admission Workshops)
Three words that describe SACAC: Family, Collaborative, Inclusive
Three words that describe me: Welcoming, Funny (I think), Engaging

Kristen Bird

SACAC Position: State & Area Initiatives Co-chair
Title and Institution/Organization: Assistant Director of College Counseling at the Webb School (Bell Buckle, TN)
Years in Profession: 11

How did you first become involved in SACAC? As a new admissions counselor, I attended my first SACAC event, Dry Run, in 2013. I first served in a leadership role in 2020 as the TN Drive-in Workshop Co-Coordinator.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? This is hard to choose! But the words “professional growth” stand out! My involvement in SACAC and the relationships because of it has helped me grow tremendously! This directly impacts my ability to assist my students!
Favorite SACAC event/program: Dry Run and Summer Seminar are my favorites! Dry Run helped me when I was starting as an admissions counselor, and Summer Seminar helped me when I moved to the high school side of the desk.
Three words that describe SACAC: Collaborative, supportive, engaging
Three words that describe me: Organized, loyal, friendly

Christy Conley

SACAC Position: Past President
Title and Institution/Organization:  School Counselor at North Oconee High School (Bogart, GA)
Years in Profession: 20

How did you first become involved in SACAC?  As a member of SACAC, I have enjoyed various opportunities to connect with colleagues and grow professionally within the SACAC organization.  My SACAC involvement has primarily focused on ways to provide education and resources of the college admission process for public school counselors.  I am passionate about ALL students having access to proper college admission advisement.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you?  I connect with inclusion being the focal point of the SACAC mission statement.  By advocating for students to have access and opportunities to reach their educational goals, SACAC is improving the lives of individuals, families, and our communities.
Favorite SACAC event/program: Annual Conference!  The conference is filled with informative sessions that revitalize my spirit and motivate me to plow through the rest of the school year.  The sessions also inspire me to adjust my counseling plan for the next school year and become a better counselor for my students!
Three words that describe SACAC: Empowering, inspiring, and professional
Three words that describe me:  Dedicated, compassionate, enthusiastic

Alex Gonzalez

SACAC PositionMember Relations Co-Chair
Title and Institution/OrganizationAssociate Director of College Counseling, Isidore Newman School
Years in Profession16

How did you first become involved in SACAC? I attended Dry Run as a new admission counselor in my first year working at Tulane University.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? The collaborative and inclusive network…promoting…student access, outreach, and advocacy. This is my personal, professional mission in a nutshell, so I love being united with a thoughtful, action-oriented group of professionals who share a passion for student success and opportunity.
Favorite SACAC event/program: Dry Run was a pivotal learning tool in my early professional career, and now the Annual Conference refreshes and refuels that momentum each year!
Three words that describe SACAC Ambitious, Collaborative, Joyful
Three words that describe meObservant, Organized, Fun

Christine Grover

SACAC Position: National College Fairs Chair
Title and Institution/Organization: Director of College Counseling, Trinity Preparatory School (FL)
Years in Profession: 13

How did you first become involved in SACAC? I had been very involved with International ACAC when I worked abroad, so the first thing I did when I relocated to Florida in 2020 was to join SACAC. While all of the events were virtual that first year, I knew I wanted to become more involved with the organization.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? I am inspired by the collaborative and inclusive nature of SACAC; working from both sides of a desk to help students realize their postsecondary goals.
Favorite SACAC event/program: The networking, professional development, and fun of the Annual Conference cannot be beat!
Three words that describe SACAC: Dedicated, Impressive, Inspiring
Three words that describe me: Driven, Resilient, Curious

Julia Hodge

SACAC Position: Advancement Chair
Title and Institution/Organization: Director of Recruitment & Engagement, University of South Carolina – College of Education
Years in Profession: 10

How did you first become involved in SACAC? I attended my first conference in San Antonio, TX in 2017 as part of the SuperACAC. From there I was hooked! I became my state’s Drive-In Chair for several years; I’ve been a Dry Run faculty member; and I volunteered to review scholarship applications for the Horizon Award. More recently, I co-founded the Campus Partners & Recruiters (CPR) SIG and continue to be one of the co-chairs.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? Both the mission and vision of SACAC are inspiring, but I am particularly drawn to the “collaborative and inclusive network” piece. I believe we are all better when we can work together, and I love how SACAC encourages collaboration and inclusivity in all areas. 
Favorite SACAC event/program: Every year, the annual conference is a bright spot in my schedule. It is a wonderful time to reconnect, learn, and recommit to this work. 
Three words that describe SACAC: Collaborative. Dedicated. Reenergizing. 
Three words that describe me: Learner. Encourager. Team Player. 

Anita Hua

SACAC Position:  Annual Conference Chair
Title and Institution/Organization:  Associate Director of College Counseling at The Lovett School (GA)
Years in Profession:  16

How did you first become involved in SACAC?  The first time that I had the opportunity to serve SACAC was actually during my first SACAC annual conference in Raleigh, NC. I served on the Extend the Dream Grant committee. I had great mentors and as a result, the opportunity truly fell into my lap, but I’m more than grateful to have been considered. Extend the Dream was just the beginning and it gave me a different perspective and a different way of thinking about and approaching my place and role in the organization.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you?  “…promoting ethical responsibility, professional growth, access, advocacy, and outreach to help all students realize their postsecondary educational goals.” SACAC has always been a place for me to engage professionally in a meaningful way. I’ve had the great privilege of serving as a committee member for the Horizon Award, a Governance and Nominating committee member, Dry Run faculty member, Camp College faculty member, and eventually serving on the Board of Directors for the first time as a one of the Grants chairs. There are so many ways to get involved and ultimately to serve our members and the students that we all work hard to serve. SACAC’s mission inspires me because there is room for everyone to contribute and to get involved.
Favorite SACAC event/program:  The conference, of course!
Three words that describe SACAC: Spirited, evolving, relevant
Three words that describe me: I’ll give you two words: trained extrovert! 🙂

Sean Kennedy

SACAC Position: President-elect
Title and Institution/Organization: Co-Director of College Counseling, Ravenscroft School (NC)
Years in Profession: 26

How did you first become involved in SACAC? Became a member (I believe) in 2004 when I moved to North Carolina.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? All of it! And that during the recent Strategic Planning process, the committee and the Board reaffirmed the existing statement as a sign that we continue to put energy and effort into what has always mattered to SACAC: our members!
Favorite SACAC event/program: Annual Conference
Three words that describe SACAC: Impactful. Family. Fun.
Three words that describe me: Focused, Collaborative, Friendly

Malika Lindsay

SACAC Position: Admission Practices Chair/Professional Development Co-chair
Title and Institution/Organization: Director of College Counseling & Diversity Initiatives Chair, Jackson Preparatory School (MS)
Years in Profession: 30

How did you first become involved in SACAC? Human Relations Committee 2007-2008, Dry Run Faculty 2009
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? Our commitments to inclusion, ethical practice, and professionalism inspire me daily. 
Favorite SACAC event/program: SACAC Leads and Dry Run are my favorites so far.
Three words that describe SACAC: Inclusive, Professional, Student-centered
Three words that describe me: Organized, Kind, Honest

Krystal A Livingston

SACAC Position: Member Relations, Co-Chair
Title and Institution/Organization: Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission / Atlanta Regional Recruiter, Emerson College (Boston, MA)
Years in Profession: 15 years

How did you first become involved in SACAC?:  After relocating to the South and starting work with a CBO, I initially connected with several SACAC members, particularly admissions counselors. Shortly thereafter, I returned to the college admissions field. Coming from affiliates in the Northeast, I was eager to become highly involved in SACAC. Therefore, I began by attending several SACAC virtual events, which fueled my excitement for my first annual conference in 2022.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? “SACAC fosters a collaborative and inclusive network of college admission counseling professionals…thus equipping and supporting professionals…”.  As an admissions veteran who, yet at times, still feels “green” due to my relocation, I am blessed to have a wonderful peer network within SACAC that I can connect with and learn from at any time. They generously share their time, expertise, and knowledge with me, making me more empowered to serve students and families more strategically and effectively.  I am constantly inspired to “pay it forward” and support others any time I can.
Favorite SACAC event/program: SIG and State meetings.  As a Regional counselor, these particular meetings always give me a sense of belonging to a greater community. Oh, and of course, Board meetings! 
Three words that describe SACAC: Supporting, community, collaborative
Three words that describe me: Change-Agent, Connector, sagacious

Iris Martinez

SACAC Position: Finance Co-chair
Title and Institution/Organization: College & Career Guidance Director, Christopher Columbus High School (FL)
Years in Profession: 10

How did you first become involved in SACAC?  I joined SACAC back in 2018. Although I wasn’t an ‘active’ member, I read all their emails. I then became a Horizon Scholarship Award application reader and began attending the Annual Conferences. The rest is history.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you?  It has to be SACAC’s collaborative nature and how it provides professionals with enriching experiences that ultimately lead to supporting students realize their postsecondary educational goals!
Favorite SACAC event/program:  Annual Conference
Three words that describe SACAC: Inspiring, Collaborative, Refreshing
Three words that describe me: Passionate, Resourceful, Energetic

Diana McAfee

SACAC Position: Executive Assistant
Years in Profession: 22 (7 in college admissions, 15 as an association executive assistant)

How did you first become involved in SACAC?  As a first-year admission counselor, I attended the annual conference at the Peabody in Memphis in 2000. During that conference, I learned that the association needed a new exhibit chair, so I volunteered to serve.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you?  “Supporting” and “engaging” our network of professionals. I love being able to assist and empower the members of this association to continue on their journeys to be the best professionals they can be.
Favorite SACAC event/program:  As a former member, I only ever attended the annual conference, and it was always an incredible experience. In my role as Executive Assistant, I am supporting the efforts of each and every event, so my favorite is any that our members are able to attend!
Three words that describe SACAC: Collaborative, Resourceful, Evolving
Three words that describe me: Communicator, Organizer, Joyful

Allison North

SACAC Position: Professional Development Co-chair
Title and Institution/Organization: Regional Associate Director of Admissions at University of Vermont
Years in Profession: 10

How did you first become involved in SACAC? I attended my first SACAC conference and dry-run in 2014. I knew from that point I wanted to get more involved and started volunteering at the conferences. 
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? The entire mission inspires me, but especially the advocacy part. We are all in this for the betterment of students and to help them reach their full potential. Because of the relationships we form with our students, we are able to be better advocates for them through the process.
Favorite SACAC event/program: Definitely Dry Run!!! It is where I formed so many lasting friendships in this profession.
Three words that describe SACAC: Engaging, inspiring, and collaborative! If I had a fourth word, it would be FUN!
Three words that describe me: Advocate, passionate, resilient

Justine Okerson

SACAC Position: Finance Co-chair
Title and Institution/Organization:  Senior Associate Director, East Carolina University
Years in Profession: 13

How did you first become involved in SACAC?  Presenting at annual conference.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? I am most inspired by the phrases “inclusive network”, “advocacy,” and “supporting professionals.” The members of SACAC are professionals who care about making change in their hemispheres for their students and each other, while not being afraid to lend advice or offer solutions and support for colleagues at what would appear to be competing institutions or schools.
Favorite SACAC event/program: Annual Conference
Three words that describe SACAC: Conscious, Dynamic, Inventive
Three words that describe me: Adventurous, Creative, Vibrant

Arlene Outerbridge

SACAC Position: President-elect
Title and Institution/Organization: Director of College Counseling and Guidance at The Master’s Academy, Oviedo, FL
Years in Profession: 19

How did you first become involved in SACAC? I learned about SACAC in my second year in college counseling.  I was looking for an organization that was committed to developing counselors to be their best.  I was told by a colleague at a nearby school about SACAC and signed up immediately for the conference that year which happened to be in my home state of Florida.  Although I knew no one, I decided to sign up as a volunteer in registration and I met so many amazing people at the check-in. Since then, I have attended every conference and I am still learning from the best.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? The focus of collaboration resonates with me.  I believe that the synergy created by working with other professionals heightens the learning experience which in turn allows for purposeful action.  I am grateful for the times that I get the opportunity to hear from others when problem-solving, which by default empowers us to grapple with the difficult things together while moving towards a powerful solution.
Favorite SACAC event/program: Annual Conference, SACAC Leads
Three words that describe SACAC: Dedicated, Innovative, Supportive
Three words that describe me: Caring, Listener, Collaborative (& outgoing)

Anna Peel

SACAC Position: Government Relations Co-chair
Title and Institution/Organization: Director of College Counseling, The New School (GA)
Years in Profession: 13

How did you first become involved in SACAC? As an intern in Atlanta Public Schools in 2013 I attended my first SACAC conference and presented in Myrtle Beach. That year I also attended my first drive-in workshop at Oglethorpe.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? “promoting ethical responsibility, student access, and advocacy,” especially resonates with me. I believe in creating spaces for students and professionals that are accessible and inclusive. 
Favorite SACAC event/program:  I love the drive-in programs, the webinars, and the Special Interest Groups. The annual conference is the most fun!
Three words that describe SACAC: Fun, Innovative, and Exciting
Three words that describe me: Passionate, hard-working, and joyful or so I hope!

Kelly Pietkiewicz

SACAC Position: Government Relations Co-chair
Title and Institution/Organization: Scholarship Coordinator, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
Years in Profession: 12

How did you first become involved in SACAC?  As an admissions counselor at the University of Memphis attending the annual conference.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? There are a lot of aspects that stick out to me, but I think the one that does the most is the “professional growth” aspect of SACAC> We all come to SACAC with a passion to serve students and make the college counseling world better, but we all are imperfect in that work. SACAC allows us the opportunity to continue to learn and grow in our work to best serve ALL students.
Favorite SACAC event/program: I LOVE the annual conference! Not only are you getting to see all of your amazing mentors, friends and meet new people, but you typically get to explore a new city as well. I always leave the annual conference recommitted to the work I am doing.
Three words that describe SACAC: Educational, Family, Empowering
Three words that describe me: Advocate, Engaging, Loyal

Brent Shropshire

SACAC Position: Member Relations Co-chair
Title and Institution/Organization: Director of Counselors, College Readiness, Wellness & Fine Arts, Bartow County School System (GA)
Years in Profession: 25

How did you first become involved in SACAC? In 2003 Furman University sponsored me to attend Summer Seminar as a new counselor to the profession and from there I attended my first conference in the spring of 2004.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? I love the collaboration among public school counselors, independent counselors and college professionals. I also love how we advocate for access for all students.
Favorite SACAC event/program: The annual conference is my favorite event; however, I would also like to add that I am thankful that SACAC offers the Counselor Participation Fund to help Public School Counselors to attend the conference and events and I am thankful for the Extend the Dream Grant to help fund student programs.
Three words that describe SACAC: Collaborative, Inclusive, Supportive
Three words that describe me: Friendly, Loyal, Collaborator

Lucy Smith

SACAC Position: Inclusion, Access & Success Co-chair
Title and Institution/Organization: Associate Director of College Counseling, Charlotte Latin School (NC)
Years in Profession: 20

How did you first become involved in SACAC? I first got involved through the email listserv and visiting the website for resources back when I was newer to college counseling. I eventually applied for and was awarded a SACAC grant so that I could attend Summer Seminar, where I learned so much more and began building a network of colleagues and friends. Since then, SACAC has continued to play a huge role in my growth as a counselor.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? Promoting student access is the most important thing we do as college admission professionals. Every student should have the ability to choose college as a next step after high school.
Favorite SACAC event/program: Sweet Tea Tour – I have made so many friends and memories on those tours, and I love getting to see different college campuses that I can then share with my students.
Three words that describe SACAC: Inspiring, inspired, dynamic
Three words that describe me: Driven, organized, fun-loving

Celeste Suris-Rosselli

SACAC Position: Communications Co-chair
Title and Institution/Organization: Director of College Counseling, The Baldwin School (PR)
Years in Profession: 16

How did you first become involved in SACAC? Thru Mini Camp College Puerto Rico.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? The collaborative nature of the organization as we help students and families navigate the college application process.
Favorite SACAC event/program: SACAC Conference
Three words that describe SACAC: Collaborative, Inspiring, Education
Three words that describe me: Sardonic, Caring, Caffeinated and Highly Motivated

Monique Tubbs

SACAC Position: State & Area Initiatives Co-chair
Title and Institution/Organization: District College and Career Coordinator, 6-12, for Polk County Public Schools (FL)
Years in Profession: 11

How did you first become involved in SACAC?
I attended my first SACAC conference in New Orleans, LA, made possible by the Counselor Participation Fund (CPF). The experience was so enriching that it inspired me to volunteer as a conference host. This position provided me with opportunities to connect with other professionals in college access, who motivated me to continuously pursue service opportunities.
What aspect of SACAC’s mission inspires you? I deeply connect with SACAC’s emphasis on equity and access. It’s not just a mission statement, it’s something they truly live by. Just like me, they believe that every student, regardless of background, deserves the opportunity to achieve their postsecondary dreams. Additionally, SACAC’s commitment to empowering public school counselors is another aspect that inspires me. They understand the challenges we face and go above and beyond to provide the resources and professional development we need.
Favorite SACAC event/program:
Hands down, the SACAC Annual Conference is my favorite event of the year! For college access professionals, especially public-school counselors like me, this conference is a game-changer. It’s like getting a shot of pure inspiration and practical advice all rolled into one. You walk away with the latest strategies to build college and career advising programs that truly work. Plus, there’s a ton of awesome resources to help you support each student on their college journey, no matter their background. You get to connect and share ideas with some of the most passionate college access professionals out there. If you’re looking to make a real difference in your students’ lives, the SACAC Annual Conference is the place to be. It’ll equip you with the tools and knowledge to empower ALL your students to reach their college goals.
Three words that describe SACAC: inclusive, informative, impactful
Three words that describe me: supportive, collaborative, passionate