Welcome to GACRAO's 2024 Mid-Year Workshop Agenda

*Zoom Links will be sent to registrants two days prior to the event.


Opening Session 

(8:30 A.M. to 8:55 A.M.)

Welcome and Mid-Year Workshop 2024 Overview 

70th Anniversary: Doing it BIG! 

Let’s focus on developing the upcoming generation of higher education professionals and ensuring all staff, new and veteran, have the skills to offer top customer service to all stakeholders. GACRAO Executive Committee will share upcoming Professional Development Opportunities offered to members and ways to get involved for the fall conference. Plus, hear updates and a welcome from SACRAO! 

Opening Session Outline 


Kayla Walker – GACRAO President 

Mid-Year Workshop 2024 Overview! 

Daizha Staples – Member at Large IV: Professional and Membership Development

Meet the Team!

GACRAO’s Executive Committee 

1st Block

(9:00 A.M.  to 9:45 A.M.) 

Session Title: Considerations for Students Who Need Additional Accommodations

Description: We want every student to feel a sense of inclusion and belonging. As a result, we often think about axes of diversity such as race, gender identity, and social standing. However, we don’t typically consider our students with disabilities. Unfortunately, people with disabilities are often the forgotten underrepresented minority. Therefore, during this session, we will explore how we can best serve our students who may need additional accommodations.  

Presenter: Joyelle Harris, Ph.D., MBA

Job Title: Director of Women in Engineering and Undergraduate Transformative Learning Initiatives

Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology 

1st Block 

(9:00 A.M.  to 9:45 A.M.) 

Session Title: Strategic Communication: Tips for Maximizing Your Efforts with Prospective Students

Description: Whether you are responsible for communication campaigns or you're just trying to improve your responses to your students, join us to talk about ways to be more strategic. We'll discuss tips and tricks that help - no matter the scale.

Presenter: Caleb Rogers 

Job Title: Associate Director of Admissions, Recruitment 

Institution: Georgia Southern University

1st Block 

(9:00 A.M.  to 9:45 A.M.) 

Session Title: Mindful Practices for Career Health: Nurturing Well-being in Student-Facing Roles

Description: In the dynamic landscape of admissions and student-facing roles, the constant demands and pressures can lead to stress, poor health, career unhappiness, and burnout. This presentation centers on the transformative possibilities of mindfulness in cultivating a more fulfilling and sustainable career and, more importantly, healthy ways to interact and deal with the stresses that life brings all of us. Participants will receive a brief overview on the history and benefits of mindfulness practice, as well as explore practical and personal mindfulness strategies to prevent burnout, enhance job satisfaction, and bring joy to their roles.

Presenter: Matt Bryant

Job Title: Director of Enrollment Services

Institution: Georgia Northwestern Technical College


2nd Block

(9:50 A.M. to 10:35 A.M.)

Session Title: Latinx Recruitment: Is it intentional, or are we just checking a box?

Description: In a recent 2020 Census breakdown, Latinos/Hispanics make up 18.7% of the total population in Georgia. Along with the breakdown, the Census showed that this community has grown by nearly 31% in the last decade. As institutions strategize recruitment efforts for this population, there are a couple of factors to consider to be impactful, meet institutional goals, and increase the percentage of Latinx/ Hispanic students attaining a college degree in Georgia. This presentation will discuss strategies for recruitment, differentiate between intentional and unintentional efforts, and assist the audience with looking inward into what support and resources their institutions offer for this population. Leading this presentation will be two diverse leaders in this space from both comprehensive (University of West Georgia) and selective (Georgia Institute of Technology) institutions.


  1. Maria Rodriguez-Martinez  
  2. Leri Argueta 

Job Titles: 

  1. Former Sr. Admissions Rep; Current Academic Advisor
  2. Senior Assistant Director for Outreach and Access


  1. University of West Georgia / Kennesaw State University
  2. Georgia Institute of Technology

2nd Block

(9:50 A.M. to 10:35 A.M.) 

Session Title: Perspective from the Other Side 

Description: Join former college admission professionals as they dive into serving students in the high school setting as advisors, counselors and specialists. The presentation will offer a unique perspective from ‘the other side’ when it comes to helping students and families navigate the often-complex college enrollment process


  1. Kayla Walker
  2. Jodi Hester
  3. Stephen Woodall
  4. Kaylee Havens

Job Titles: 

  1. College and Career Specialist 
  2. Associate Director of College Counseling
  3. Independent Educational Consultant
  4. College & Guidance Counselor


  1. Newton County School System 
  2. Woodward Academy 
  3. College & Career Connections, LLC
  4. Kings Ridge Christian Academy

2nd Block 

(9:50 A.M. to 10:35 A.M.) 

Session Title: You Have Rights!

Description: This session will consist of an overview of FERPA and what the Act covers. As the nature of educational records has evolved, so has FERPA. Let’s dialogue together and talk about some of the ways your institution protects the academic records of your students.

Presenter: David Fulmer

Job Title: Associate Bursar, Student Services

Institutions: Mercer University 


3rd Block 

 (10:40 A.M. to 11:25 A.M.)

Session Title: 5 Creative Strategies Colleges and Universities can Implement to Better Support First-Generation Students

Description: First generation students face a number of barriers compared to their legacy student peers ($41K median parental income vs $90K). This student population is growing at a rapid pace and institutions can expect to see an increase in coming years. It will be critical for colleges and universities to prioritize serving first generation students to insure a successful academic journey. We have an opportunity to transform higher education by driving first-generation student success to help eliminate academic, career and economic barriers.  

Presenter: Tyreece Echols

Job Title: Special Populations Analyst / Rockdale Campus Coordinator

Institution: Georgia Piedmont Technical College 

3rd Block 

 (10:40 A.M. to 11:25 A.M.) 

Session Title: FAFSA 24-25 Delay

Description: Discuss the ongoing delay in the 2024-2025 FAFSA process affecting all colleges in the United States. It's crucial to explore and implement effective communication strategies tailored to students and families. By proactively addressing concerns, providing updates, and offering alternative financial aid options, institutions can ensure transparency and support during this period of uncertainty.

Presenter: Katie Minich 

Job Title: Outreach Representative

Institution: Georgia Student Finance Commission

3rd Block 

 (10:40 A.M. to 11:25 A.M.) 

Session Title: Building a Personal Recruitment Brand 

Description: How do you build your personal recruitment brand while representing an institution? Your personal brand is what helps students convey trust in you to build the relationship needed through the recruitment process. During this presentation, we will cover all the ways to build your personal brand all while representing your institution well.

Presenter: Tanisha Johnson

Job Title: Director of Recruitment

Institution: Wesleyan College 


4th Block 

(11:30 A.M. to 12:15 P.M.)

Session Title: Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

Description: Everyone wants good customer service.  What does that even mean? In this session, we will discuss tips, tricks, and skills to hone your customer service skills.  At the end of the day, good service can be the difference maker on a student’s school choice.

Presenter: Luke Ellis

Job Title: Assistant Director of Recruitment and Admissions

Institution: Georgia Southwestern State University

4th Block

(11:30 A.M. to 12:15 P.M.)

Session Title: Good Communication is the Bridge Between Confusion and Clarity 

Description: We have all heard students say "but I didn't know that" or "that is not what my professor, coach or advisor told me".  This presentation will share communication strategies a Registrar's Office can utilize to inform students, staff, faculty and administration on institutional policies and processes. The goal of a communication plan is to ensure accurate messaging is shared across your campus.

Presenter: Michelle Wendel

Job Title: Associate Registrar

Institution: Albany State University

4th Block

(11:30 A.M. to 12:15 P.M.)

Session Title: Transcript Withholdings - Registrar Roundtable 

Description: Gather around the table to discuss the Department of Education's new legislation on transcript holdings and how this could potentially impact our state. Who all is impacted, and why? Let's talk about it. 

Presenter: Amber Baldridge 

Job Title: Registrar 

Institution: LaGrange College

Closing Session 

(12:20 P.M. to 12:30 P.M.)


Closing Session Outline

Mid-Year Workshop Closing Remarks 

Daizha Staples & Kayla Walker- Member at Large IV: Professional and Membership Development & President

Not Goodbye, but See You Later!

GACRAO Executive Committee