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University of Phoenix leaders presenting at PACRAO Annual Meeting event focused on advancing knowledge of professionals engaged in enrollment and academic services

By Sharla Hooper

Administrative leaders will share best practices in student support, DEIB and a range of topics

Leaders with University of Phoenix join the proceedings of the Pacific Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (PACRAO) Annual Conference, taking place November 6-9, 2022, in San Diego, CA, and will be contributing to sessions on a range of topics including student support practices, digital credentialing, risk and quality management, veterans, and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB).

“University of Phoenix is a leader in providing empathetic student support and sharing best practices in higher education,” states Audra McQuarie, vice president, registrar. “We have cross-functional departments collaborating to identify meaningful ways to best support our students. We look forward to sharing more about the policies and methods we’ve implemented as a result of this collaboration and focus on student support, including discussing our policy that eliminated transcript holds.”

Leadership from the University of Phoenix Academic Operations will present on numerous topics at the PACRAO Annual Conference, including the following:

  • Jonathan Graff, MBA, associate registrar, and Joe Tate, director, program and policy implementation, will lead the session, “Empathy in Praxis: Supporting Students through Policy and Digital Recognition,” sharing some of the changes the University implemented such as the removal of transcript holds, academic policy updates geared towards supporting students' busy lives and growing digital recognition opportunities. 
  • Chelse Thomas, MAED/AET, manager, University Program Lifecycle Evaluation Improvement, and Nick Williams, Ed.D., director of Assessment, will present in the session, “A 'slow but fast' approach to Digital Credentials,” providing an interactive badge-building experience and a behind-the-scenes look at University of Phoenix's digital credentials initiative.
  • Laura Schonberger, Strategic Integration manager, will present at the DDC Book Club, “Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, & Identity” in a session where participants will learn to seek out and listen to the stories of others with more intentionality surrounding race and other perceived differences.
  • Andrea Siegrist, director, Veterans Affairs operations, will present in the session, “Managing Process Change for VA Enrollment Certification,” providing different strategies and best practices to support process change related to highly regulated processes, using the example of the submission of Enrollment Certifications for student veterans to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Tate will also present in the session, “Simplified Risk & Quality Management for Admissions & Registrar Functions.”

Leaders from University of Phoenix are active in leadership roles with PACRAO as well. McQuarie is a member of the PACRAO Board and serves as the Vice President of Diversity Development. Marc Booker, Ph.D., vice provost of Strategy at University of Phoenix, is a past president of PACRAO and serves as Dean for the Leadership Development Institute of PACRAO.

The event is intended for higher education professionals from a variety of disciplines, and offers presentations, workshops, and panels featuring presenters from across the Pacific region including Arizona. PACRAO is a non-profit, voluntary, professional association representing more than 350 regionally accredited 2-year, 4-year, and graduate schools with an individual membership of 1,500 professional admissions officers and registrars.

Learn more here about the Annual Conference of PACRAO.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit