International ACAC Executive Board Interviews Article

International ACAC Executive Board Interviews Article 

The month of June marks the end of the term for some members of the Executive Board. As we welcome new members to the Board starting July 1, International ACAC wants to recognize the individuals who have served our organization and applaud the work they have done. Below you will find information about these individuals and their numerous efforts over the past few years. 

Aaron Andersen

Director of International Recruitment (AMEA), University of British Columbia, Canada

Role(s) on the Executive Board:

  • Past-President, Chair of Governance Nominating Committee (2019-2020)
  • President Cycle (2017-2020)
  • VP for Communications (2014-2017)

What drew you to serve on the Executive Board for International ACAC?

Initially, I was inspired by the work that the previous member in the VP Communications position, Shuan McElroy was doing to engage the membership.  I looked at members such as Jack Shull, David Zutautas, and Marie Vivas who really put all of themselves into this work.   The Association had offered me a lot of connections and learning, and it occurred to me it had come time that I give back something. 

Do you have a favorite moment from your time on the Board for International ACAC?

Certainly one moment that will be hard to beat for the rest of my life is dancing on the float during the Mardi Gras Parade wrapping up a successful 2018 Conference in New Orleans.  What made it extra special was to share that moment with Past President Johanna Fishbein and Executive Director Theresa Schweser, both of whom I had worked with so closely for many years.  

If you could change any aspect of international education right now, what would it be? 

While there are several major changes I would like to see, such as testing access, and increased international scholarships, I am drawn to aspects the Association can make a direct impact through its members. One area International ACAC could make some real movement is equipping staff to be able to talk about systemic racism in their institutions. We need more

local international voices in our organization. Part of that comes from international universities and schools working closer with local schools, and acknowledging the place of privilege that international education inherently represents. Counselors and admissions representatives can play a role in pushing their schools to bring in more local talent.

What will you miss this most about being on the Board?

Hearing from colleagues around the world, bringing different perspectives and opinions on the wide range of issues we work on as an Association.  It takes 5AM meetings and changing viewpoints but the rewards have been great. The number of programs and resources that have been developed is thanks to the tireless work of volunteers – and I’ll miss that global collaboration. 

What’s a new personal or professional challenge that you look forward to taking on? 

From global to local… I’m organizing a few community newsletter and several events this summer.  I think there is so much power for change by starting right in your own block or neighborhood. 


Daniel Marschner

Director of International Admission, Loyola Marymount University, USA

Role on the Executive Board:

  • Vice President for Advocacy & Outreach (2019-2020)

What drew you to serve on the Executive Board for International ACAC? 

I believe strongly in the mission of International ACAC and supporting the organization and its membership by serving on the Executive Board was an honor. International ACAC continues to play a major role in my personal and professional development, and I greatly enjoyed serving on the Executive Board.

Do you have a favorite moment from your time on the Board for International ACAC?

I really enjoyed a dinner with the Executive Board members who attended the CIS Global Forum in Bilbao, Spain in November 2019. The current and former members of the Executive Board are truly fantastic people and it was wonderful to see how the friendships that they have formed through serving on the Executive Board are so genuine and enduring.

If you could change any aspect of international education right now, what would it be? 

We are in the midst of a truly tumultuous time in international education. I think that the largest challenge that many international students face is the rise of xenophobia around the world. I am hopeful that the contributions that international students make in terms of facilitating intercultural exchange, providing diverse perspectives, and enriching campuses throughout the globe can lead to more encouraging policies for international student mobility.

What will you miss this most about being on the Board? 

I will miss collaborating with the incredible Executive Board members and the International ACAC Headquarters team who made my experience on the Board very enjoyable. Their dedication to the organization is truly remarkable and inspires hope in the future of the organization.

What’s a new personal or professional challenge that you look forward to taking on? 

I will look forward to supporting international student mobility in whatever capacity becomes available in the future; I will also enjoy completing the rest of my term on the International ACAC Advocacy and Outreach Committee which will be complete in 2021.


Cory Miller

Guidance & University Counsellor, Branksome Hall, Canada

Role on the Executive Board:

  • Delegate to National Assembly (2014-2020)

What drew you to serve on the Executive Board for International ACAC?

I wanted to give back to a community who has given me so much and made me the counselor I am today. The collegial sharing amongst our members is truly the best professional development I have found anywhere. I wanted to expand access to learning for counselors who may feel isolated around the world. 

Do you have a favorite moment from your time on the Board for International ACAC? 

I have 2:

Initiated by Aaron Anderson, Webinar Wednesdays was the program recipient of NACAC’s Rising Star award in 2017. As the coordinator at the time, I represented the many faces who have participated in the series and accepted the award in Boston (it still sits in my office today). Several affiliates have since followed our lead and begun to offer regular virtual learning spaces. I was very proud that International ACAC was recognized as leaders and early adopters of virtual professional development exchanges.

Last summer (July 2019), as one of the conference’s inaugural Conference Chats speakers, I shared a story about supporting a student named Asmat. It was an intersection of my personal and professional life. The response from audience members that day and since has been heartwarming. I hope that our story will continue to inspire others to act in moments of need.

If you could change any aspect of international education right now, what would it be? 

Access. So many academic opportunities are presently out of reach for very deserving students. Educational institutions are missing the chance of enhancing their communities with these students’ voices and contributions. We must continue to advocate for the redistribution of resources to balance access. This is essential if we are to successfully address our current global societal challenges.

What will you miss this most about being on the Board?

Being elected to the board in 2013 happened to coincide with my move home after more than a decade of working in international schools in Singapore, Turkey and Brazil. I was fearful of losing my global colleagues and their perspectives once I was back in Canada. International ACAC has proven to be my lifeline to the broader world and while I will miss the board meetings, I know that these connections and relationships will continue to sustain me.

What’s a new personal or professional challenge that you look forward to taking on? 

Adapting my counseling practice to a virtual setting for the foreseeable future.

Getting back in the pottery studio.


Joe Tavares

Head of High School Counseling Department, Jakarta Intercultural School, Indonesia 

Role on the Executive Board:

  • Vice President for Inclusion, Access & Success (2017-2020)

What drew you to serve on the Executive Board for International ACAC?

I became a member of International ACAC in 2010, and to be honest, it took me a few years to realize how much of what International ACAC accomplishes is through a corps of volunteers.  In 2015, I applied to be a member of the Inclusion Access and Success (IAS) committee and so was humbled to have been selected.  In my first year on the committee, I was able to learn about and support the Scholar Program and other initiatives that aim to support under-resourced educators.  I made really good friends on the IAS committee and felt professionally and personally energized by the work.  Back then, Joan Liu was the vice president of IAS, and when her three-year term was coming to a close, Joan encouraged me to apply for the role.  If I’m being honest, I was very reluctant to apply-- Joan set a very high standard as VP of IAS and I wasn’t sure I could handle the responsibilities as well as she had.  However, Joan promised me that she would support me.  I feel so grateful to have been pushed by Joan to serve on the Executive Board.  It has been one of the most rewarding, enriching experiences I have enjoyed in my career. 

Do you have a favorite moment from your time on the Board for International ACAC?

Since 1999, International ACAC has provided hundreds of scholarships to members so they could attend the summer conference.  During my time on the IAS committee, I’m proud to say that we selected and welcomed 73 scholars from 51 countries.  We provided them with full funding to attend the annual conference, a bus tour, and fly to the conference destination.  Moreover, they are supported by a mentor and a professional network.  This program changes trajectories, not just for the Scholars but also the hundreds of students they serve.  If I could single out a favorite moment from my time on the Board, it was when we voted to increase the number of Scholars fully-fund each year.  On that day, I remember feeling like I was surrounded by colleagues who support the same causes that I do, and that was incredibly affirming.      

If you could change any aspect of international education right now, what would it be? 

The exorbitant cost of an international education has unfortunately “priced out” millions of students around the world from having this life-changing opportunity.  I believe that schools and universities need to get creative and develop new paradigms in thinking about how and who pays for a student’s international education.

What will you miss this most about being on the Board?

In the days preceding the summer International ACAC conference as well as the NACAC conference, International ACAC’s Board comes together for extended time to discuss issues impacting the profession, engage in training, do strategic planning, review organizational finances, and develop policies and programming that can support the membership.  On certain days, the Board will spend upwards of 10 hours in a room together.  Frankly speaking, the schedule is brutal, but it’s how we make sure the work gets done.  At the end of each day, we temporarily forget about what we discussed, debated, and argued about, and get to truly enjoy the company of each other. There are 18 individuals on International ACAC’s Board, and I have deep personal and professional respect for each of them.  They have supported me, challenged me, and broadened my understanding on so many topics.  I will genuinely miss seeing them as regularly as I do now. 

What’s a new personal or professional challenge that you look forward to taking on?

At the moment, I am pursuing a doctorate degree.  It’s something I have wanted to do for a long time, and I believe stepping down from the Board will provide me with much-needed dedicated time for learning and writing.  Something else that will keep me busy - my school in Jakarta has created a scholarship program that allows high-achieving, low-income Indonesian students to attend our school.  The students in our first scholarship cohort will be 12th graders during 2020-2021 school year.  Helping turn their college dreams into reality is a big goal of mine.  

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