Fall 2023 ISACorps Alumni E-Newsletter
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The content of this message may also be viewed online at ISAC's website.

Fall 2023 ISACorps Alumni E-Newsletter

Be Informed. Food for Thought. Resources.

In this Issue

ISACorps Alumni Recognition

News & Announcements

Upcoming Webinars

Welcome to the ISACorps Alumni quarterly e-newsletter! Visit the ISACorps Alumni webpage to access the newsletter, join the ISACorps Alumni directory, and read more about ISACorps alumni updates and announcements.

ISACorps Alumni Recognition

Valerie Miller

Valerie Miller

Valerie recently accepted an Academic Advisor position at Tulane University (TU) in New Orleans. She is a part of the first year advising team, helping students navigate the transition to college. She works with a caseload of 330 students, facilitating course registration, academic planning, and understanding degree requirements. Their office engages with students through individual appointments, email, drop-ins, and campus events. They strive to develop students' self-efficacy and connect students to information and resources. They also collaborate with faculty and other departments to support students throughout their college experience. Fun fact about Valerie: She is a Tulane alumna and former member of the TU marching band! She played the saxophone and marched in many Mardi Gras parades.

Valerie served in the Corps in 2019 in the Triton College district and found that ISAC was a great steppingstone into higher education. She graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Environmental Studies.

Share your stories with us here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3787739
All Corp members who submit their stories will receive an ISACorps Alumni mug!

Alums in Leadership Awards, Appointments, & More: Beyond the Workplace in Higher Education

Jonathan Brown (2009) joined as a Board Member for Playworks Minnesota for the MN chapter.

Pedro Moncada (2012) completed the Navigator Foundations Leadership Development Program hosted by the International Rescue Committee.

Morgan McMillan (2010) started a home-based bakery business named Midnight Mariposa Custom Baked Goods & Pastries and a consulting organization that specializes in providing financial wellness and education programming and training to educational partners.

Share your awards and leadership roles with us https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3787739!

News & Announcements


2023 ISACorps Group Picture

This summer, ISAC hosted its 15th annual CorpsCon training program in a six-week hybrid format, following three years of virtual training due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Corps members spent the first couple of weeks learning about the importance of the Corps and the skills needed to serve as a near-peer mentor. They then completed two weeks of field work in their communities and regions and wrapped up training with two weeks of financial aid content. A highlight of CorpsCon is always the mock FAFSA workshops. Corps members also had an opportunity to share their own college journey stories, which was powerful and unifying.

College Changes Everything

The 2023 College Changes Everything® (CCE) conference was held on July 17, 2023, at the Tinley Park Convention Center. All presentations and other materials from the 2023 College Changes Everything® (CCE) conference are available on the conference website. We appreciate all the equity designers who were able to attend in support of the conference theme – DEIA: The Work We Need to Do. If you couldn’t attend, we encourage you to check out the conference presentations. We hope they will inform and inspire you to work towards advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) for Illinois students, and to consider how do we increase educational equity for our students.

We asked Corps members, ISAC staff, and alumni to share how college changed, is changing, or will change everything for them.

Read Joe’s story below:

Joe Bright (2013) shared: “Coming from a small town in Northern Illinois I was not exposed to many things outside of that community while growing up. Going to Augustana provided me with the opportunity for new experiences and to interact with people from other communities across the country and from around the world. My experiences there helped lead me to my belief that I am not just a citizen of the state of Illinois or of the United States, but of the entire world.”

Check out more stories on the conference website.

First Generation Scholars Network (FGSN)

The FGSN Network is a great resource for students that we hope you will share with your network and colleagues. If you are working with students that will be the first in their family to earn a college degree, ask them to consider joining our network to get support and resources from ISAC, and from a network of first gen peers at their college and colleges across the state! If your first gen students are heading to their first year of college this fall, we’ve got events and programs that can give them tools, resources, mentoring, as well as a great network of connections to make their transition and first year of college a whole lot easier—and successful. Learn more and join the First Generation Scholars Network on FGSN page on our website.

To date, more than 560 high school graduates from the class of 2023 have joined FGSN. FGSN recently hosted a “Going to College” Summer YouTube live stream video series where Corps members shared their insights and experiences about being a first-time college student. The videos can be found on ISAC’s YouTube page.

As part of the ISAC FGSN, we have curated this resource guide to assist those working with first generation students. This guide includes stories of first gen students, podcasts, tips, lists of colleges that provide support for first generation college students, and many other resources that amplify the stories, struggles, and barriers faced by first generation students. The goal of this guide is to increase awareness of the unique issues facing first generation college students and provide counselors and others working with first gen students some additional tools to help students navigate the college-going process. The resources found in this guide are curated from a variety of different sources, including ISAC, ISACorps Alumni, professional partner organizations, and more. Check out the guide at the link below.

Check out more stories on the Resource Guide for Working with First Generation College Studentspdf.


Registration is now open! To accommodate the level of interest, we are excited to offer the 2023 ISAC FAFSA Symposium at TWO locations this fall. Alumni can use the promo code on the registration form: “Alumni” for free access. We look forward to seeing you there!

  • October 25, 2023 at Illinois Central College
  • November 7, 2023 at Moraine Valley Community College

We thank Illinois Central College and Moraine Valley Community College for their partnership in hosting this year's FAFSA Symposiums!

FAN (Family Action Network)

ISAC is proud to sponsor the FAN – Family Action Network. We are excited for the amazing line-up of events for this 2023-24 season. Please share with your colleagues and network as well. Register today for the Zoom event taking place Wednesday, September 27th at 7 pm CT featuring Bettina L. Love, Ph.D., who will be talking about her book, “Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal” You can register for this free online event here. Also, you can visit FAN’s website for future and past events at https://www.familyactionnetwork.net/.

Connect with ISACorps Alumni on BrightCrowd

Have you received your BrightCrowd email reminder about creating a page? More than 130 alums from over 75 cities have already joined the ISACorps Alumni Community Directory on BrightCrowd! Think of BrightCrowd as a digital yearbook. This networking platform is exclusively for ISACorps Alumni. It is our instant community. You can add as much detail about yourself as you like. Reconnect and create meaningful connections with your peers and colleagues by signing up today.

Check out this BrightCrowd digital book demo: https://brightcrowd.com/examples/alumni-reunions

We have sent emails to alums about joining our Alumni Community Directory on BrightCrowd. If you did not receive an email and would like to join, please email ISAC.CorpsAlumni@illinois.gov.

Share Some Quick Tips for Students and Parents Through our ISAC College Minute™ Videos!

We are grateful to the many alums and current ISACorps members who star in our ISAC College Minute™ series of videos—these are quick tips (1-4 minutes) on anything from financial aid to college planning to managing the social and emotional transition to college. We have more than 25 videos (with more coming all the time), many in English and Spanish, and a whole new series for first generation college students. Check out our YouTube page for our videos, and feel free to share with your colleagues, students, and families!

Job Opportunities!

Looking for a new job? Check out these positions! ISACorps Alumni Job Postings List.xlsx

Are you looking to change careers or looking for career coaching? Need assistance with your resume or cover letter? Contact ISAC.CorpsAlumni@illinois.gov to set up an appointment.

If you know of any job opportunities in your area and would like to share them with your fellow ISACorps alumni or current ISACorps members, please email ISAC.CorpsAlumni@illinois.gov.

ISAC’s PD Webinars

Illinois PaCE: Planning for College and Career Readiness

Check our free webinars in September! For more information and registration details, visit ISAC's Webinars page. Please share these offerings with colleagues and partners! Professional Development hours and Continuing Education credits are available. For questions, contact isac.outreachtraining@illinois.gov.

Other Webinars and Conferences

Don't forget to join the alumni directory to update your contact information to receive recent job postings, our quarterly e-newsletter, the latest PD opportunities, alumni event invitations, and more. https://www.isac.org/students/before-college/isacorps/isacorps-alumni-directory.html

Want a new alum t-shirt? Fill out this form! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VLWPWVJ

Lastly, subscribe to our e-Messaging listserv to receive information about the latest ISAC-related programs and services, and ISAC-hosted events and symposiums. https://www.isac.org/emessaging/


If you have any questions regarding this e-Message, please send an email to the ISACorps Alumni Network division at ISAC.CorpsAlumni@illinois.gov.

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