About Julia Varriale, Founder and Editor of Collegevale.org:
As a nontraditional adult, full-time day student (my answer to looming empty-nest syndrome), I graduated summa cum laude from Framingham State College in Massachusetts with a degree in Geography and went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from Boston College and the Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA Extension. A lifelong learner, I am the product of both public and private secondary schools; a for-profit, two-year business program (thank you, Katie Gibbs, for the skills that made it possible for me to create this website myself); a community college (one terrific biology course -- no frogs were injured in my pursuit of knowledge in this area); a women’s college (one fantastic creative writing course); a state college (thirty-two courses); a private research university (graduate school); and online learning (certificate). Needless to say, I take an unusually broad -- and long -- view when it comes to education and admission and enrollment trends. I have almost thirty years teaching and mentoring experience in grades K-12 as well as at the post-baccalaureate level, worked as a part-time admission officer for six years at a New England liberal arts college and more recently at a public comprehensive university, provided pro bono short-term consulting for over fifteen years, and have been an online instructor in the UCLA Extension College Counseling Certificate program since 2008. When not teaching with UCLA Extension, I enjoy advising students on the college search, transition to college, and adults returning to college.
While a graduate student at Boston College, the geographer (demographer) in me wanted to concentrate my studies on admissions and enrollment trends. Because there were no formal classes on the topic, I supplemented my Boston College studies with attendance at the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions in 2001 and 2003, the NEACAC Summer Institute in 2001, and the UCLA Extension program, which I completed within weeks of my graduation from Boston College in 2003. From 2002 to 2006, I edited In A Nutshell: Education in the News, an informal e-newsletter of admission and enrollment trends in the news, readership of which extended over five countries and twenty-one states. The Nutshell was begun as a method to study for comprehensives at Boston College and was something I was happy to share. In addition to following admission and enrollment trends, I follow student affairs and higher ed finance.
I am an AICEP Certified Educational Planner and a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC), the Western Association for College Admission Counseling (WACAC), and the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and have served on the Communications Committee (chair, 2005-2008, and editor of the NEACAC Newsletter, 2003-2008), Fiscal Oversight Committee, an Ad Hoc Committee on Sponsorship at NEACAC, and the Professional Development Committees at both WACAC and NEACAC. I currently serve on the Current Trends Committee at NEACAC and as co-leader of the NACAC Graduate Coursework SIG.
My husband, Steve, and I live outside Boston, Massachusetts. Our daughter and her family live nearby. If you find any egregious typos in here, let’s just blame them on our ever-helpful cat, Bear, who died two years ago. Any future typos will be blamed on our two newest members of the family, Cookie and Munchkin; we were foster failures our first time out, and I have to say it's hard to type with kitten mittens…
About Teo Salgado, Associate Editor:
I am an independent educational consultant based in Toronto, Canada. I've worked in the postsecondary education sector for more than 20 years, and my career includes work in international student recruitment, admissions counseling, and alumni relations at the University of Toronto and Western University.
I completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree, with High Distinction, at the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts degree at McGill University in Montreal, QC. To remain current on university admissions processes, I recently completed the post-baccalaureate Certificate in College Counseling from the University of California-Los Angeles, graduating with distinction, and the Independent Educational Consultants Association's (IECA) Summer Institute Training program at Swarthmore College.
Currently I am an Associate Member of IECA and a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), and the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC).
When not in the office, I enjoy traveling, having visited more than 60 countries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. I also love spending time in the outdoors and may often be found on a hiking trail, usually deep in the northern Ontario backcountry, with my wife, Masha. I also serve as a director on the McGill Alumni Association (Toronto), as a University of Toronto Alumni Mentor, and also on volunteer committees at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the University of Toronto at Mississauga. In addition, I make numerous admissions presentations throughout the year to groups in my community.
Following sports teams is important to me. I am an avid supporter of Futból Club Barcelona, Toronto Football Club, and of my hometown Miami Dolphins.