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Liaison User Conference Session Spotlight: UNMC’s Academic and Student Affairs Administrative Coordinator and Director of Student Services Cover Holistic Admissions

RJ Nichol
Jul 23, 2018

Liaison’s Laura Nicole Miller recently caught up with Tamara Cardin, academic and student affairs administrative coordinator for the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Allied Health Professions. Tamara shares some background on Holistic Admissions Review: One College’s Journey, the session she and UNMC’s Director of Student Services Maggie J. Winnicki will present at the Liaison User Conference later this week.  

Laura Nicole Miller (LNM), Liaison: Thanks for your time today, Tamara! To start, can you share a little about your and Maggie’s backgrounds?

Tamara Cardin (TC), University of Nebraska Medical Center: Maggie has been with UNMC for 18 years and I’ve been here 13 years. Prior to her role as Director of Student Services for UNMC’s College of Allied Health Professions, Maggie was the Academic and Student Affairs Administrative Coordinator (my current role). Maggie has been with the College of Allied Health Professions for her entire UNMC tenure and has been promoted into various positions. She was the first staff member of the first distance/online education-focused office on the UNMC campus, which eventually merged with the current Academic and Student Affairs office. As part of that office, she spearheaded the launch of several online “degree advancement” programs for current health care professionals.

Before I took over Maggie’s role as Academic and Student Affairs Administrative Coordinator, I was an academic and student affairs specialist focused on admissions, recruitment and enrollment functions for the 12 professional programs housed in the college. Like Maggie, I was the first staff member of a newly created student-focused office in the college, the Academic and Student Affairs office, which was established in 2010.

Though we are staff members of a specific college, Maggie and I both have held institutional leadership positions. Maggie was the Campus Military Lead as well as an inaugural member of the UNMC Assessment Committee. I currently serve as Admissions Functional Lead for PeopleSoft Student Information System and hold an interim appointment as the CRM Campus Lead.

LNM: How long have you used Liaison’s admissions solution WebAdMIT? What has your experience with Liaison been?

TC: The College of Allied Health Professions has used CASPA [The Centralized Application Service (CAS™) for physician assistants] for over 10 years and PTCAS [The Centralized Application Service (CAS™) for physical therapy] for about eight years. Since WebAdMIT is the backend of those services, we have quite a lot of experience with this solution!

We also implemented UniCAS [Liaison’s campus-wide CAS solution]  for the rest of our programs in the summer of 2015 after learning of its launch at an AACRAO SEM conference in 2014. Implementation of UniCAS was a no-brainer for us; not only did it create tremendous efficiencies, but it further aligned college processes as it moved all of our programs to the same admissions software. As users of CASPA and PTCAS, we already knew the tremendous benefits of Liaison’s CAS product and made no efforts to look at any other technology.

Our implementation team was amazing. We had a very short implementation goal and the excellent implementation team, led by Cindy Hoyle, not only successfully got us to meet that goal but supported us every step of the way as we made system and process decisions. Since our implementation, we have continued to receive outstanding customer service and support from our Liaison team and Liaison executives.

LNM: That’s great to hear, Tamara! I’m sure you’re looking forward to seeing your Liaison team in person at the Liaison User Conference later this week. What else are you looking forward to at the Conference?

TC: We are indeed looking forward to a little face time with Liaison employees who have supported us over the last 3 years! The Conference will be a great time to speak with them directly and thank them for all their efforts. We’re also excited about learning how other institutions use Liaison’s products, their efficiencies and processes implemented, experiences and best practices.

LNM: Do you frequent higher education conferences? If so, what tips do you have for attendees to help them get the most out of the Conference?

TC: We attend many higher education professional organization conferences; however, this is our first technology user conference. Maggie and I often get to attend conferences together, which allows us to divide and conquer, covering more sessions and acquiring more knowledge. But that is only a valuable tip if you get to attend conferences with a colleague! Another tip is to always find a session to attend, even if you think a topic doesn’t apply to your work or organization.  Some of the most valuable and inspirational information has come from unexpected sessions. In fact, we discovered UniCAS at one of these unexpected AACRAO sessions!

LNM: You submitted a session proposal via our Call for Speakers and we were quite excited to accept it! Can you give readers an overview of what inspired your proposal?

TC: During the session, we’ll share insight into how our college is implementing a holistic admissions strategy across all 12 of our programs, and we’ll share how we’re including non-cognitive variables in our decisions for the 2018-2019 admissions cycle. This implementation is the culmination of years of research and discussion in our college, as well as at the institutional level. Now that all 12 programs utilize a Liaison-powered CAS, standardization of this process became achievable. After all, Liaison’s technology promotes holistic application review, so what better partner could we find to support this initiative?

LNM: Who do you believe will get the most out of attending your session?

TC: Any institutional user, whether a current user or someone considering WebAdMIT, could benefit from our session. Though we will cover our efforts to implement holistic admissions review for our college, we will be presenting that implementation through the lens of the CAS/WebAdMIT technology and how the technology changed office processes. Any attendee looking to learn of another way this technology can impact an admissions office will benefit from our session — we will share examples of how to utilize a CAS, UniCAS and WebAdMIT to create your own holistic admissions review strategy. 

LNM: The two days of the conference will be full of sessions and networking opportunities, but many of the presenters who I’ve interviewed have shared that they’re making time to explore Boston in their downtime. Anything specific that you’re looking forward to while you’re here?

TC: Boston is a wonderful city, and we’re excited to be able to visit it for our third time! In our previous trips, we have been able to tour the city and see historical sites, attend a Red Sox game and visit the Boston Public Market. As higher education enthusiasts, we took a walking tour across the Charles River to see MIT and Harvard. This trip may give us the chance to finally explore the harbor more! As total foodies, we always look forward to finding more great restaurants in Boston or visiting old favorites.

Download the Liaison User Conference event guide to add Tamara and Maggie’s session, Holistic Admissions Review: One College’s Journey, to your agenda. 

RJ Nichol

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Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 40,000 programs on more than 1,200 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.