Intro to ORI - Interview with Juan-Camilo Tamayo

By Aaron Andersen
VP Communications, OACAC

This summer OACAC will host the first Regional Institute in Shanghai China. The Regional Institute will allow for two days of concentrated networking, educational sessions, and conversations that are specific to China and Asia. Through in-depth and focused conversations, all participants will leave with a greater understanding of the educational process, admission requirements, and the challenges and opportunities students face when applying to a university outside of their home country.

Recently, talked with OACAC executive board member, VP Government Relations and chief ORI coordinator Juan-Camilo Tamayo about this exciting new initiative and what members can expect. 

Aaron Andersen: Thanks for taking time to talk a little about the upcoming OACAC Regional Institute. Now I know it will be held August 17-18 , about a month after the OACAC Conference in Oregon. With two different conference programs how will members decide which to attend ? 

Juan-Camilo: Every year OACAC meets either in the U.S. or Canada. We relish the opportunity for members to continue in OACAC’s goals of networking and professional development. By taking the OACAC Regional Institutes into China, counselors who cannot attend on a yearly basis will be able to attend a closer institute and continue networking and developing in the region. Therefore, OACAC members will now have the option to choose between coming to the annual conference or attending regional conferences with sessions more oriented to a specific region.

AA: For university representatives that are interested in recruiting international students what can these programs offer ?

JC: Universities are always carefully looking for ways to best utilize their budgets. By concentrating on specific regions, China in particular, universities will have access to approximately 80-100 high school counselors from different schools. This will allow, in two days, a tremendous amount of networking and outreach. Universities will not have to spend thousands of dollars recruiting. Ultimately, the OACAC Regional Institute will be significantly more cost-effective for university representatives.

AA:  Juan, a lot of talk in secondary school circles in Asia right now involves the testing security and the general culture of cheating will this be a topic addressed at the ORI ?

JC: Testing security and a general culture of cheating are certainly topics that are, at the moment, very much in the cultural consciousness. I believe that these topics will be sensitively and thoroughly broached two-fold. First, we will have officials from testing bodies like College Board come and address these topics. Secondly, in networking, OACAC counselors will have the opportunities for conversation and dialogue. It is my hope that these topics will be addressed among members throughout the Regional Institute.

AA: Members sometimes feel that there are not enough registration spaces for the Summer Conference, what is being done this year ?

JC: For OACAC Regional Institutes the idea in extending our conferences around the world is to include more members in dialogue, networking, and professional development. Of course, because registration is limited, members might sometimes feel that there are not sufficient registration spaces. But in opening up more conference opportunities and Regional Institutes, the hope is that more people can feel included, can have the opportunity to enroll, and we can still maintain a close and personalized conference.

AA: From an organizers perspective, what aspect of each program excites you the most 6 months out ?  Any aspect that is keeping you up at night ? 

JC: I am thrilled by the amount of emails I’m getting on a daily basis from different regions. This doesn’t even include the OACAC Regional Institutes happening elsewhere. Through Regional Institutes we are brining OACAC closer to our members. They can continue their dialogue in various places and in new forums and we are becoming a tighter-knit organization. I am thrilled to watch these new developments for OACAC. What keeps me awake is also exciting: trying to make sure that everything is delivered to the standards and expectations of our members. For this first Regional Institute will be learning a lot, and undoubtedly making some rookie mistakes. At the same time, however, we will be learning immensely from what we are about to deliver and growing (always growing!). 

AA: Thanks for this, any other comments ? 

JC: I want to take this opportunity to thank OACAC members for their full support. I also want to thank the OACAC board for their tireless work, and NACAC for their constant support. This is a very exciting time for us and we hope to deliver a remarkable institute. We hope you can join us, and be on the lookout for registration. Spaces will fill up quickly, so be sure to register sooner rather than later! Looking forward to seeing you there.  

Learn more about OACAC Regional Institute, and register today

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Comments 0-5 of 1

Patrick Bourgeacq - Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Alright, JuanK, would it have killed you to mention ACT's participation in your testing response? ;) LOL

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