Upcoming events

2021 HACAC Virtual Conference

  • 04/16/2021
  • 04/17/2021
  • Online

We are excited to invite you to register for the 2021 HACAC Virtual Conference & Social and Spring Membership Meeting. We are grateful that our event is sponsored by Revolution Prep and is completely free of charge.

Registration is Now OPEN:


Already Registered?


Program Overview:

The 2021 HACAC Virtual Conference will be on Friday, April 16th from 8:15 AM to 1:50 PM, and on Saturday, April 17th from 9 AM to 11:50 AM. All sessions will be recorded for later review. For further details please check out our official conference site on our partner Revolution Prep's site at https://try.revolutionprep.com/hacac-conference-2021/

In effort to promote community building and self-care, and if weather permits, we invite you to take a walk outside in your area in the afternoon following Friday’s sessions. We will provide a link for you to share your photos to social media as we “walk the walk” together. If practical, consider gathering safely with other HACAC members for your walk, following the guidelines in your county for gatherings, physical distancing and mask wearing. Continuing with the self-care theme, following Saturday’s sessions, we will be offering a Pound it Out/ Core Meltdown session from 1-2:30 PM, a virtual exercise class. A virtual social will follow Saturday afternoon. 

Membership Meeting Announcement: 

The virtual Spring HACAC General Membership Meeting will be at 9 AM H.S.T. on Saturday, April 17th prior to the professional development sessions for that morning. Any attendee of our conference, member or not, may attend the general membership meeting, though current Hawaii-based members are eligible to vote. 

Pre-Conference Survey: This short survey will allow us to better plan for our virtual conference and member meeting. Please take a minute to fill it out.

Finally, please join HACAC if you have not done so already. Benefits of membership include professional development, volunteer and scholarship opportunities, and connection to a community. A fee waiver application is available for those experiencing financial hardship. 



FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2021

SESSION 1:  9:00 – 9:50 AM


Session 1A:    Revolution Prep-  Transforming Education

Audience:        All

Presenters:      Ed Devine


Session 1B:     Preparing your Campus to Support Hawai‘i Students

Our session will cover best practices for supporting Hawai'i students on mainland campuses. Presenters will share services and programs created specifically for Hawai'i students and culturally relevant resources that Hawai'i students commonly use. Attendees will leave the presentation with tips on leveraging existing programs on their campuses to better serve students from Hawai'i.

Audience:        Post-Secondary

Presenters:      Kimberly Dela Cruz Kelley (Washington State University);  Donna Ramos Barsana (Pacific University)


Session 1C:    AAPI Representation in Higher Education

Nikki and Kris are both Hawai'i locals who identify as AAPI and work in college admissions. Come talk story with us about the importance of AAPI representation in college admissions and higher education. How can students present this identity as an asset to a college campus? What were our experiences as AAPI students in the college process and now working in college admissions at PWIs? We also hope to hear from colleagues about how we can serve as resources for you and your students.

Audience:        All

Presenters:      Nikki Chun (California Institute of Technology); Kris Tesoro (University of Michigan) 


SESSION 2:  10:00 – 10:50 AM


Session 2A:    Mainland College Resources for Native & Indigenous Students

Native and Indigenous students, Hawaiian or otherwise, often have extra hurdles to overcome related to attending--and completing--a college education. These could be social, financial, preparedness, cultural, and familial. Or all of the above. Come explore the way mainland post-secondary educational institutions are working toward creating student success for these student populations!

Audience:        Secondary, Independent, CBO

Presenters:      Tyler Ceglar (Northern Arizona University); Bekka Alvarado, Coordinator for Native American & Diversity Recruitment (Northern Arizona University)


Session 2B:     Snapshots of Secondary Schools in Hawaii 2.0

Learn more about Hawai’i schools from a panel of educators from private, public, and public charter high schools.

Audience:        Post-Secondary

Presenters:      Ashley Kaonohi (James B. Castle High School);Irene Burns & Jessica Mountz (Hanalani Schools); Kira Kolba (Hawaii Technology Academy); Chelsea LaFrance & Aaron Hashimoto (Kanu o ka ‘Āina New Century Public Charter School); Mahina Kamakana-Juario (Moloka‘i High School); Liane Viloria (Pacific Buddhist Academy) moderated by Teri Ann Matsuda (California Polytechnic State University)


Session 2C:    Coalition for College New College Planning Curriculum for 9th-10th graders

Coalition for College has developed some new tools for students to engage in their college process as early as grades 9 and 10. We'll present and talk story about the Coalition College Planning Curriculum and the MyStory tool. After all, who knows better than Hawai'i students how to tell and talk story?

Audience:        ALL

Presenters:      Nikki Chun (California Institute of Technology); Derek Terrell (Coalition for College)


SESSION 3:  11:00 – 11:50 AM


Session 3A:    NCAA Updates: There’s No Madness Here

Test scores, eligibility, and recruiting are key issues on families’ minds.  Learn how the pandemic has affected college recruiting, along with participating in a Q& A session on any other dilemma you may be experiencing with your student-athletes.


Audience:        ALL

Presenter:        Maureen Shagonaby (Michigan State University)


Session 3B:     University of California - Insights and Updates

Join UC representatives for insights on how students can put their best selves forward in the academic and personal insight sections of the UC application, followed by Fall 2022 updates and a Q & A.

Audience:        Secondary

Presenters:      Mandy Loh (University of California, Riverside); Blia Yang (University of California, Santa Cruz)


Session 3C:    The New Roaring 20's: Prognostications and Portends

Beyond the staggering and sobering loss of life, the global pandemic has disrupted how we work, meet, apply to college, and more. While some things will go "back to normal," other changes will likely stay with us. Join us for a wide-ranging and free-wheeling session where admissions professionals from the high school and university sides alike offer up their best prognostications (for the better), and their portends (for the worst) that could unfold in years and admissions cycles to come. Audience members will have an opportunity to engage and provide real-time feedback on the various scenarios.

Audience:        All

Presenter:        Todd Fleming ('Iolani School); Jamie Dutton (Northeastern University); Jim Rawlins (University of Oregon); Lisa Rhone (University of Southern California); Stephanie Walsh (Seabury Hall)


SESSION 4:  1:00 – 1:50 PM


Session 4A:    Learning Differences

Audience:        All

Presenters:      Farris James (Assets School)


Session 4B:     Connecting Students and Universities with Virtual Fairs

COVID-19 makes college fairs non-starters for now, and virtual university visits may fail to attract students who could profit from them. Additionally, small schools sometimes can’t get university reps to participate. MaiaLearning Virtual Fairs lets schools collaborate on virtual college fairs that attract students because of the range of colleges and attract college reps because they can reach many students with one effort. There is no cost to high schools, and they do not have to subscribe to MaiaLearning's college planning platform. This presentation explains the details and gives examples of successful fairs.

Audience:        Secondary

Presenters:      Philip Roybal (MaiaLearning, Inc)


Session 4C:    Career Driven Counseling and Career & Technical Education through Kapi‘olani Community College

This session will touch on early career exploration in high school and allow discussion to share ideas of what works along with the challenges.  Also, you will learn from a panel of experts on how Kapi‘olani Community College can bridge students to academic and professional success through Career and Technical Education. 

Audience:        Secondary

Presenters:      Andrew Marchetto-Ryan (Island Pacific Academy); Sheldon Tawata (Kapi’olani Community College)


Saturday, APRIL 17, 2021

SESSION 5:  10:00 – 10:50 AM


Session 5A:    Australian Universities: More Than Just Koalas and Kangaroos

Join three Australian university representatives for a chinwag, an Australian version of a talk story about the value proposition of Australian universities, driven by participants’ questions. We can offer our perspective on how admissions, entry requirements, and the academic and social experience at Australian universities are different from and similar to American universities. We can also share about the culture and climate of the other parts of the ‘big island’ that is Australia. All to help you determine if universities in the Land Down Under are a good fit for your students. Come to this session with a virtual cuppa and your questions!

Audience:        All

Presenters:      Todd St Vrain (University of Melbourne); Lea-Anne Allen (Macquarie University); Tori Ellenberger (Deakin University)


Session 5B:     Using Aptitudes and Interests to Uncover Natural Talent and Certifying Students
Towards a Successful Future

YouScience and Precision Exams combines objective measures of aptitudes, interests, and industry certifications to help students understand their natural talents. Aptitudes cut through gender & societal biases that limit visions of opportunities, creating larger, more diverse talent pipelines. Our industry-recognized certifications validate the knowledge and skills students are learning in your programs. Come learn how YouScience helps students find pathways, careers, and post-secondary opportunities that fit them best.

Audience:        All

Presenters:      Alex Lund (YouScience)


Session 5C:    Tales of the Class of 2020, Where Are They Now?

A twist on the student panel,  please join this interactive session for a chance to talk openly with Hawai’i students now in their first year in college. Students in virtual, in-person, or hybrid learning will share their Freshman year experiences.  Come with questions and expect robust discussions.

Audience:        All

Presenters:      Class of 2020 High School Graduates from Hawai’i


SESSION 6:  11:00 – 11:50 AM


Session 6A:    Self-Discovery: The Launching Point for the Student CCLR Journey

Join us in an interactive presentation to understand how the Naviance suite of assessments supports career and college exploration by tapping into students’ innate strengths, passions, and interests. Attendees will understand best practices regarding re-engaging students after a year of remote learning by leveraging interest and personality inventories that address the whole child and SEL. Join us in a robust conversation on how to initiate the post-secondary journey for grades 6-12 so that students can transition into high school and beyond!

Audience:        Secondary

Presenters:      Kristina Miller (Naviance)


Session 6B:     Talk Story: Pandemic Fatigue Among Adolescents & Professionals Who Serve Them

Nina was a straight A student through 9th and 10th grade, with goals of attending a four-year college.   Shy by nature, she had a small group of close friends, well-liked by teachers, and flew under the radar of administration.  Nina is  now failing courses, struggling to wake up in time to “attend” remote classes, suffering from significant depression and anxiety, and has completely isolated herself from her friends who are attending school in-person.  She’s lost her “vision” of seeing herself at a four-year college and lost her desire to return to in-person. Nina is one of many struggling with mental health, grades, and social skills through the pandemic.  Teens, their parents, and the professionals who serve them are struggling right along beside them.  


Please join Mary Naimie in a space to discuss the emotional, physical, and academic struggles of teens throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will open up this talk to your questions, case examples, and your own struggles as professionals who serve teens and their parents.

Audience:        All

Presenters:      Mary Naimie, LCSW (MindFit4Life)


Session 6C:    Emailing, Texting, Tweeting, Zooming during the Pandemic: Straight Talk from Students on the Effectiveness of Technology-based College Recruiting Methods

Want practical feedback from the very audience that you are trying to reach? Do you wonder about the effectiveness of the student recruiting methods that your institution is currently using? Are students “zoomed out?” An annual favorite with college admission officers. Please join this interactive panel session for a chance to talk openly with students about best practices for college recruiting.

Audience:        All

Presenters:      Hawaii High School Juniors and Seniors; moderated by Corinne Schell (Marist College)

Contact us

Address: P.O. Box 236052, Honolulu, HI 96823-3520

Email: communications@hawaiiacac.org

About us

HACAC is a non-profit organization of professionals working in the realm of college admissions, both on the secondary and post-secondary levels. Like our parent organization, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), we are dedicated to helping students transition to post-secondary education through education, collaboration, and community building.

"Hawaii Association for College Admission Counseling" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

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