Attendee Experience


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Trying to decide if you should attend a PACARO conference? Check out the reviews below from PACRAO members who have attended and what conference attendance has done for them professionally and personally.

Laura Remillard
Assistant University Registrar and Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
Stanford University
PACRAO member – 2 years

"Attending the various workshops and presentations at PACRAO helps me professionally. Hearing how colleagues from other universities solve challenges is inspiring. There are many things we have in common, and hearing how others solve issues is critical if we aim to continually grow in our profession. The presentations are timely, well prepared, and informative. PACRAO conferences are an asset to me personally. I've met colleagues who I consider mentors, and others I know I can always have fun with every year!"


Tara Hardee, Ed.D.
University Registrar, California State University Dominquez Hills
PACRAO Member – 5 years

"Attending the PACRAO conference annually supports my personal and professional growth. Personally, I am able to make deep connections with fellow Registrars that come from varying types of higher education institutions. These connections allow me to get perspective on the past, current and future role of the Registrar and of the world of Records and Registration. I have met many colleagues at PACRAO that I can now turn to via phone or email to get support and who I also consider friends. These types of connections are invaluable. Professionally, I am able to grow due to the wide range of topics that are covered at the PACRAO conference. I get a holistic range of important topics in education that help me be a better administrator and instructor. For example, I went to an informative session on block chain technology at the fall 2017 conference in Spokane, WA. This session has helped frame how I look at the possibilities for document verification and has influenced my thought process when developing solutions around workflow. I am looking forward to fall 2018 in Sacramento!"


James Miller
Director of Admissions, University of Washington, Bothell
PACRAO Member – 13 years

"For your professional development dollar, there isn't a better investment than a PACRAO Annual Meeting. PACRAO's membership includes many noted innovators in our field. Our members are an open book when it comes to helping us all do our jobs better. In addition, PACRAO's membership community is just so darn kind, supportive, and fun to be around. You'll never feel out of place or left out at a PACRAO Meeting."


Dede M. Sanchez
Associate Registrar, University of the Pacific
PACRAO Member – 10 years

"I am energized and rejuvenated when I attend the PACRAO conferences. Besides the many sessions to help us navigate new things or existing issues, we meet with our peers to share our strengths and weaknesses and we find we are all very similar. I look forward to attending PACRAO each year!"


Jana Jaraysi
Interim Director of Recruitment, Eastern Washington University
PACRAO member – 6 years

"Conferences provide professional development in so many ways. Attending sessions, learning what our colleagues do and achieve is so helpful in developing one own’s campus. The second piece of conferences that are priceless in regards to professional development are the networking opportunities not only with other attendees but with vendors as well. Conversations take place in the hallways, socials, meals, near the coffee table and outside of sessions. I've found value in sessions that are geared towards admissions, recruitment or working with first generation students, underrepresented populations. It's always interesting to see what others do and translate it or customize it to the work we do here. Also, as mentioned above networking; talking to colleagues about work challenges, getting advice, sharing positive stories and accomplishments have been the most vital piece of attending. There's no other opportunity outside of such a conference to spend three days with colleagues and learn something different every time."


Stephen Arod Shirreffs, Ph.D.
Associate Registrar, Stanford University
PACRAO Member – 7 years

"PACRAO was the first registrar conference where I presented. Even though I talk a lot, I was nervous; I wanted to make a good impression. What struck me the first time I presented, and what continues to impress me, is the warmth, openness, and collegiality of the PACRAO experience. This is a place where the veterans and the newbies and all those in mid-career join together to learn, exchange, and have fun. Yes, fun! I look forward to the PACRAO Gala every year. And when I go home, I am filled with thoughts and musings about what I learned and how I can use that in my day-to-day work. To any colleague contemplating a first trip to PACRAO, I say" Jump right in ... You'll be glad you did."


Holly McDonald
Associate Registrar, University of Alaska Fairbanks
PACRAO Member – 1 year. First PACRAO Conference was 2017

"Over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to attend many professional conferences. The PACRAO Annual Conference is an example of what is possible when an organization seeks to offer a meaningful experience and value for all in attendance. I was able to connect with colleagues from across the region while participating in outstanding workshops and sessions. This, in addition to the welcoming atmosphere the PACRAO leadership created, inspired me to take a more active role in the organization."


Kory Riddle
Assistant Registrar, University of California, San Diego
PACRAO member – 2.5 years

"Participation in the PACRAO organization and conferences has provided me with opportunities for professional development, updates on industry trends, and ideas to take back to my institution that help us improve what we do. PACRAO makes it easy to extend your network, find a mentor, advance subject matter expertise, and gain experience presenting. The wide range of topics presented means there is something for everyone to learn from.  It is exciting to see and celebrate the successes of other institutions and collaborate with them as well. Everyone is eager to share information and supportive of innovation and advancement within the profession. Ultimately, I come away with a renewed excitement about the work I do, enthusiastic about new ideas and the potential they hold, and bolstered by the relationships cultivated."