The IDEA Committee

Mission Statement:

The IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Education, and Access) Committee provides leadership to ensure that issues of cultural and ethnic diversity remain at the forefront in the thoughts and actions of NEACAC members and the greater educational community. Seeking to be the voice of diversity in all of its many forms within the NEACAC organization, the IDEA committee works hard to ensure that underrepresented people, both within the membership and in the college-bound population with whom we work, have voices that are heard by the larger membership. The IDEA Committee strives to be a catalyst - heightening awareness, consciousness and sensitivity to the issues of culture, ethnicity, socio-economic status, human rights, gender, sexual orientation, age and other differences. The IDEA Committee serves as the communicator, spokesperson and advocate for personal and cultural issues affecting our profession, and the health and wellness of our membership.

Anti-Racism Resources Available for NEACAC Members

Over the course of the last few weeks, many of us have joined in deeper conversation about systemic racism in this country. Practicing anti-racism work requires a set of skills that must be continually built upon. Answering the call to action put forth by IDEA Committee Chair, Sharonda Dailey, the committee compiled an Anti-Racism Resource document for our members.  The resources included represent a wide range of sources for our members to explore and build upon their commitment to learning and growth. This is a "living" document that we will update periodically. 

Sharonda Daily


 Sharonda Dailey - Committee Chair
 [email protected]



Committee Members:

Danie Abbatello, University of Southern Maine
Emily Abelson, The Frederick Gunn School
Carole Bird, Hamden Hall Country Day School
Kim Bornstein, University of Connecticut
Christopher Charron, Bishop Feehan High School
Amy Chung, Boston College
Cindy Córdova, Boston College
Mark Donnelly, Northeastern University
Shanell Cartagena Dopson, Assumption University
Lisa Ellrich, University of Maine at Farmington
Declan Foley, St. John's Preparatory School
Anthony Franco, St. George's School
Diana Gingles, Providence College
Ali Hennessey, Northeastern University
Riley Hopkins, Wellesley College
Geovanny Interiano, Worcester Polytech Institute
Sebastian Ivory, Wesleyan University
Kashema Jennings, East Granby Public Schools
Kyler Jesanis, Roger Williams University
Josh Kellogg, University of New Hampshire
Brenna Kelly, Brooks School
Adam Kendis, Wooster School
Courtney Kipp, Greenwich Country Day School
Ashley LaCavalla, Match Public Charter High School
Julia Lauzier, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amber Li, AmberEd, LLC
Brooke Libby, Gould Academy
Jobita Mao, Salem State University
Moira McKinnon, Berwick Academy
Luckson Omoaregba, College Visions
Ryan Patten, Colby-Sawyer University
Katie Phung, Bryant University
Brooke, Porter-Jordan, Assumption University
Matthew Rosen, Wilton High School
Jami Silver, Kingswood Oxford School
Karissa Smith, Northwestern CT Community College
Jed Stuart, Loomis Chaffee
Rachael Tampone, Merrimack College
Jill Teeters, The Derryfield School
Danielle Walsh, Clark University
Ashley Willis, Merrimack College

NEACAC College Access and Success Listserv (CASL)

The NEACAC College Access and Success Listserv (CASL) provides a single platform to share information and ideas with other professionals working with students in the New England region on the college search and application process. For more information, or to join the Listserv, please click here. 

Annual Meeting & Conference Session Proposal Sub-Committee


Katie Phung - Chair
Bryant University
[email protected]



Committee Members:

Diana Gingles
Brenna Kelly
Adam Kendis
Luckson Omoaregba
Brook Porter-Jordan
Jed Stuart

The Annual Meeting & Conference Session Proposal sub-committee sponsors sessions at the Annual Meeting & Conference that focus on issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access. Committee members brainstorm session ideas, recruit speakers for sessions, and submit proposals for approval by the Annual Meeting & Conference committee.

Anti-Racism Initiatives Sub-Committee


Anthony Franco - Co-Chair
St. George's School
[email protected]




Danielle Walsh


Danielle Walsh - Co-Chair
Clark University
[email protected]



Committee Members: 

Shanell Cartagena Dopson
Geovanny Interiano
Josh Kellogg
Courtney Kipp
Moira McKinnon
Jill Teeters
Brooke Libby

As an extension of the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Education, and Access) Committee, the Anti-Racism Initiatives Sub-Committee was established to recognize that, as practitioners, we all have a responsibility to advance and more deeply engage in the work of equity and inclusion. As a collective, we will create action against racial hatred, bias, systemic racism, and the oppression of marginalized groups. As anti-racist practitioners, we will prioritize the dignity and humanity of marginalized communities over the enlightenment of White communities. This sub-committee’s aim is to radically reimagine the work of anti-racism within our field. With an understanding that anti-racist work is essential, we will provide the NEACAC membership with curricula, resources, and professional development opportunities in programmatic ways to inspire lifelong learning and sustainable, systemic change. We acknowledge that this work will never be complete, but anti-racist work is essential and we will strive to be the catalyst that sparks hope and action. 

Essay Writing Contest Sub-Committee


Julia Lauzier - Chair
University of Massachusetts Amherst
[email protected]

Committee Members:

Kim Bornstein
Christopher Charron
Amber Li
Brooke Libby
Ryan Patten
Rachael Tampone

Each year, high school juniors and seniors from NEACAC-member high schools in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont are invited to submit a 500-word essay on a chosen topic. A panel of NEACAC members judges the essays based on originality, creativity, focus, clarity, and structure. Six winners—one from each of the six New England states— are awarded a $1,000 scholarship and receive recognition at an awards ceremony during the Association’s Annual Meeting & Conference and have their names published in the NEACAC Newsletter. 

Inclusive Policies and Practices


Sebastian Ivory - Co-Chair
Wesleyan University
[email protected]





Jami Silver - Co-Chair
Kingswood Oxford School
[email protected]


Committee Members:

Emily Abelson
Mark Donnelly
Declan Foley
Riley Hopkins
Kashema Jennings
Karissa Smith

The Inclusive Policies and Practices subcommittee collaborates with various NEACAC constituents and committees as they work towards more inclusivity within the association, our respective institutions, and as individual members. Subcommittee projects include (but not limited to) the development of Land Acknowledgement practices for NEACAC programs and the creation of the Virtual College Admissions and College Counseling Resource Guide. The subcommittee also moderates the College Access and Success Listserv (CASL) and Google Group.

Coffee Chats

The Inclusive Policies and Practices subcommittee of IDEA will be hosting Coffee Chats, a virtual conversation series that will give folx on all sides of the desk the chance to connect and discuss a specified topic but without a formal agenda. The next Coffee Chat theme will be a continuation of the first, "Sustaining our Equitable Practice." Reflecting on this year, what have we learned? Who did we miss? Who are we bringing forward? What do you need to continue to do the work?

Join us on August 24 from 3-4:00pm. You do not need to be a NEACAC member to participate in the conversation. Register Here 

Make a Difference Fund Sub-Committee

Daniel Abbatello - Chair
University of Southern Maine 
[email protected]

Committee Members:

Carole Bird
Ali Hennessey
Kyler Jesanis
Ashley LaCavalla
Jobita Mao

The purpose of the Make a Difference Fund is to provide monetary support for: Innovative pilot programs, ideas or services, and other professional development opportunities that benefit NEACAC members and the constituents they serve, matching grants to attend NACAC or NEACAC conferences, as well as other professional development workshops.

Sub-committee members review grant applications and select recipients.

Margaret Addis Memorial Scholar Program Sub-Committee

Lisa Ellrich - Chair
University of Maine Farmington

Committee Members:

Amy Chung
Cindy Córdova
Matthew Rosen
Ashley Willis

The Margaret Addis Memorial Scholar Program fund enables secondary school counselors from underrepresented areas to attend our Annual Meeting and Conference. "Underrepresented Areas" are defined as rural or urban secondary schools, EOP/TRIO programs and agencies and community/technical colleges in New England. To qualify, candidates should work in settings adversely impacted by budget cuts or limitations, and as such, can not afford the cost of NEACAC membership or attendance to the Annual Meeting & Conference. Sub-committee members review scholarship applications and select recipients. The Margaret Addis Memorial Scholar Program nomination form is now LIVE.