Meet Your Steering Committee: Deven Lisac


NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Deven Lisac, Alaska Liaison


What institution do you work for and what is your role there? 

I’m with the Bristol Bay Campus in Dillingham Alaska, a satellite school of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. My focus is on distance learners and small colleges.


Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

I got involved in NACADA to learn more about the Global Advising community, to learn from other Advisors, universities, administrators, and collaborate on advising best practices. 


What are some of the projects you worked on during your time as one of the Alaska Liaisons on the steering committee? 

On the steering committee I’ve been involved with assessing one of the NACADA goals of Provide professional development opportunities that are responsive to the needs of advisors and advising administrators.


How has being involved with NACADA helped you grow in your professional career? 

NACADA has helped me make connections with other universities and personal. I’ve met others in the same field/department and we’ve been able to assist each other when new problems arise. We are able to collaborate on best practices.


Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

I’m from Dillingham Alaska. I love to play and explore the great outdoors. I love to Skate Ski and hike.  

Meet Your Steering Committee: John McDonaugh

John McDonaugh 2019

NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

John McDonaugh, BC Liasion


What institution do you work for and what is your role there? 

College of the Rockies (in the southeast corner of BC)/education advisor and coordinator of student services.


Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

I had heard of NACADA from one of my colleagues and wanted to expand my advising knowledge.  I had always wanted to participate in NACADA events, so I jumped at the opportunity of attending the 2019 Calgary R8 conference!


What are some of the projects you worked on during your time as one of the BC liaisons on the steering committee? 

I currently sit as one of the BC liaisons and am actively involved with the two year college subcommittee.  Working with a few other BC college advisors, I have been working to coordinate a BC colleges working group to share best practices/information.  I was also a program co-chair/conference planning committee member for the R8 2020 Victoria conference (the best conference that never happened)! 


How has being involved with NACADA helped you grow in your professional career? 

NACADA has opened doors to endless networking opportunities.  Being involved with NACADA has helped me foster many great friendships while providing me with great opportunities for personal and professional growth.  NACADA has  been very open and supportive of having new members jump right in on committees or to volunteer.


Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

As I continue my journey of lifelong learning, I have switched careers many times.  While at the college, I have worked as an institutional research analyst, instructor in our upgrading and office administration programs, and accessibility services coordinator.  I feel that I have really found my passion in advising students and helping them navigate their lifelong learning and career pathways. 

A few fun facts about me

  • I am allergic to beer and bell peppers!!
  • I am a pretty decent cribbage player
  • I have 3 amazing children (which will be coming up to post-secondary age in a few years!)
  • I love hiking and biking
  • I like to start my day with a very loud, pump me up song!

2020 Regional Conference Cancelled

In light of the recent travel restrictions and the World Health Organization’s announcing COVID19 as a pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to cancel NACADA regional 8 conference. We are so sad to be giving this news but the health and safety of our members is of the utmost importance.

For more information on next steps please check the email you registered with.

See you next year!


Meet Your Steering Committee: Cathlene McGraw

1 McGraw_Cathlene Picture

NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Cathlene McGraw, Committee Member


What institution do you work for and what is your role there? 

At Boise State University, I am an academic advisor in the College of Arts and Science and I serve as adjunct faculty for Communication and Media Arts teaching Conflict Resolution and Nonverbal Communication.


Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

In some ways I feel like a first generation higher education professional because I feel a little lost finding my way in both campus and professional work and cultural expectations. I thought NACADA could help fill in some gaps for me and help me access professional opportunities better.


What are some of the projects you worked on during your time on Scholarship Committee Member on the steering committee? 

I have just served on a handful of committees.


How has being involved with NACADA helped you grow in your professional career? 

NACADA has been very helpful to increase my resilience in this profession – I feel like I understand my professional options in a more broad context.


Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

I started working in higher education as a part of LGBTQQIA+ services. When my little guys came along I turned to advising to find a better balance between family and work. Fun fact: My children are the most smart and attractive people on the planet.

2020 Conference Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers  



Mehvash Ali is the Director of Academic Support Center (ASC) and First Year Experience (FYE) at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). Ali, a licensed clinical psychologist, is an instructor in introductory psychology, abnormal psychology, and biopsychology at AUS. She is currently serving as chair of the NACADA Global Initiatives Committee and co-leading the International Visiting Advisor Program with Susan Corner from the University of Victoria. She is a member of the Inclusion and Engagement Committee, the Region Review Work Group, and the Academic Advising Consultant and Speaker Service in NACADA. She held the International Perspectives seat on the NACADA Professional Development Committee (2015-2017) and helped develop the NACADA Advising Core Competencies in that role. Ali has also served on the Board of Directors for South Asian Public Health Association in the USA.

We are fortunate to have the opportunity to meet and learn from Ali at the conference. She will present the keynote address on Friday, as well as a Preconference Workshop: Psychological Intervention Skills in Academic Advising. (Register for the Preconference Workshop when you register.) Learn more about NACADA’s Visiting Advisor Program during Ali’s concurrent session.



Devi Mucina, an Ubuntu African, is an associate professor and the director of the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria. Guided by Indigenous Ubuntu philosophies, his academic interests and current research focus on Indigenous men and fathering beyond imposed colonial masculinities; Indigenous men in elite sports; and contemplating how Indigenous spiritual mask dancing shapes Indigenous masculinities. At the center of his research are questions about how Indigenous communities are renewing and decolonizing Indigenous masculinities by grounding holistic relational engagements with intimate partners, families, communities, lands and bodies of waters. His other research explores the impact of parental and familial members’ incarceration on children and questions the risk factors this creates for their future incarceration from an Indigenous intersectional theoretical framework.

We are excited to introduce you to Mucina on Saturday as he will provide the keynote address at lunch.

Looking for more conference information? Head here.

Opportunities in Victoria, BC

Victoria is Fabulous! Check out these fun facts, figures, and opportunities for while you’re here for the 2020 Regional Conference.


  • With a perfect growing climate, Victoria is known internationally as the City of Gardens.
  • The city has an annual flower count dating back to the 1970s. The total blooms counted in 2018 was over 3.4 billion.
  • Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in Canada and Fan Tan Alley is the narrowest street in Canada.
  • Friendly is an understatement: Victoria has been named both the Most Romantic City in Canada and one of the top 15 Friendliest Cities in the World.
  • Other accolades include: Canada’s Best City to Live in for Women, and both the Seventh Best City and Second Best Small City in the world (by international travel and tourism magazine, Condé Nast).
  • Bright lights, beautiful city: As the provincial capital, the Parliament buildings have approximately 3,300 energy efficient lights and roughly 1,600 lampposts across the city hold hanging flower baskets every Summer.

Read more here: 



Coffee Drinker’s Guide to Victoria:

10 Tasty Bakery Cafes in Victoria:

Victoria Ale Trail:

Best Restaurants according to Yelp:

10 BEST Restaurants in Victoria according to Tripadvisor:

Top 5 Family Activities:

Top 5 Outdoor Activities:


Early Bird Registration Ends February 13th – If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so here.

Meet Your Steering Committee: Melana Mar

Melana Mar

NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Melana Mar, 2020 Conference Co-Chair


What institution do you work for and what is your role there? 

University of Victoria, Manager, Students, Academic Advising Centre for the Faculties of Humanities, Science and Social Sciences


Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

In my first few years as an advisor I had the opportunity to attend my first regional conference in Vancouver, BC (2014) and my first annual conference in Las Vegas (2015). By attending these conferences, I could see that NACADA is not just a website to go to look up articles for best practices in academic advising, it is also a community of people who are thinkers and innovators.


What are some of the projects you worked on during your time as Region 8 Conference Co-chair on the steering committee? 

I was approached last March to consider taking on the role of conference co-chair. The opportunity to shape a conference that is representative of our region sounded exciting. I also could not pass up an opportunity to work in collaboration with my colleague Janine Mayers (conference co-chair and British Columbia Liaison). We are working hard to deliver an amazing and inclusive event this March in Victoria, BC!


How has being involved with NACADA helped you grow in your professional career? 

It has been interesting to see the steering committee in action! I feel fortunate to be part of it.


Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

My parents owned a grocery story when I was growing up and we all had to work. I did not mind this particular “child labour” situation. I quickly learned that my cherub-cheeks and winning smile could earn me a lot of samples. As a result of time served, I consider myself a connoisseur in Canadian snack foods and confections. I also love dogs.



Volunteer 1

Region 8, we are needing the help of some volunteers for various position at this year’s regional conference in Victoria! Each position ranges from 1-2 hours of your time, some volunteer roles will even require you doing what you already plan on doing, attending. We would love and appreciate your time and help! 

Below are a list of volunteer positions that we are hoping you could help us out with. Each position has a description has a few of the duties that will be required. Please note, to be a volunteer you will need to have registered as a delegate for the conference. (PS. EARLY BIRD ENDS ON FEBRUARY 13). 

Registration table: Assist our delegates with the check-in and registration. Distribute merch bags. Be the first point of contact for general conference questions and concerns. 

Information Ambassador: Greet and answer questions of our delegates. Assist in directions, knowledge about events in Victoria, restaurants and sightseeing. Assist in directing and leading delegates to sessions, dinner groups and tours. Sign our delegates up for dinner groups.

Session Host: Since you will already be attending sessions, here’s your chance to introduce one of our presenters. You will be given a quick script to introduce and thank your presenter for the session you already plan on going to. In addition, you will also need to share some conference announcements and may be required to answer some quick questions regarding the conference regarding locations and general information. Having little tech experience is a plus but is not required for this role. 1-2+ sessions required.

Service Project Volunteers: As a Service Project Volunteer, you will be in charge of mingling with our delegates and answering any questions about our service project: NEED2. Collect donations and direct delegates to the service project tables for more information. For more information on the NEED2 service project, please visit:

Dinner Group Host: Are you ready to mingle with all some delegates from Region 8 and lead a group of advisors to a restaurant? You will be in charge of making sure the group arrives on time for the reservation at the restaurant of your choice. Groups may vary between 10-20 people. Reservations will be made prior to the start of the conference and you will be informed of the restaurant.

On-call Tech Support: General tech support with projectors and sound. Quickly support set up for presentations when there is a call for support. Even better, assist in the tech support for the sessions you already are planning to attend.

To sign up to volunteer, please visit this link here:

Once you have signed up, a few weeks leading up to the conference you will receive your next steps pertaining to your role. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Volunteer Chair, Jordan –

REGION 8, we are super excited to see you on March 12-14 in Victoria!

How connected do you feel to our Global Advising Community?

How connected do you feel to our Global Advising Community?

NACADA has members in over 30 countries. Join us for Make It Happen. Make It Matter. NACADA’s Region 8 Conference will be held in Victoria, BC Canada (March 12-14). Join us to build your global advising network!

In addition to keynotes who bring international and an Indigenous perspectives, Region 8 is introducing Invitational Presenters at pre-conference and concurrent sessions. You can also attend the International Panel and learn more about the Global Initiatives Committee’s newly launched Visiting Advisor Program (VAP) during the concurrent sessions. Make Your Global Advising Community Happen at this year’s conference.

Pre-Conference Invitational Presenters

Mehvash Ali



Mehvash Ali, Director of Academic Support Center and First Year Experience at American University of Sharjah

Psychological Intervention Skills in Academic Advising




Rob Hancock, (Cree-Metis/English), LE,NONET Academic Manager, Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement and adjunct faculty member, Department of Anthropology and the School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria

Insights from the New CAS Standards for Indigenous Student Affairs

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Conference Invitational Presenters

Karen Sullivan-Vance



Karen Sullivan-Vance, Associate Vice-Provost for Student Success, University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Advising in Turbulent Times: How Academic Advisers Can Help Students Navigate a Tumultuous World



David Grey


David Grey, Chair of UK Advising and Tutoring (UKAT)

Towards Universal Design For Socially Just Faculty Advising





Rob Hancock, (Cree-Metis/English), LE,NONET Academic Manager, Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement and adjunct faculty member, Department of Anthropology and the School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria

Key Concepts for Decolonizing Practice

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We look forward to the conversations that these speakers will help facilitate during our upcoming 2020 Region 8 Conference. If you have not registered yet, please learn more here.

The Early Bird Deadline To Register For The Regional Conference Is Coming Up On February 13, 2020

Are you going to NACADA in Victoria? We hope you will be! The early bird deadline to register for the regional conference is coming up on February 13, 2020.

Don’t forget to register for the pre-conference as well! We have added two additional pre-conference sessions, including the Best of Region 8 2019 Winner.

For more information on registration, please visit this link here:



While you’re at it, make sure you book your accommodation at one of our partnering hotels that are very close to the conference centre. We are so excited to have the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Victoria and the Parkside Hotel & Spa accommodate all of our delegates.


We have reserved spaces for our delegates, but they are going fast! Space is limited.

For more information regarding hotel bookings and our special rate codes, please visit this link here:

Register and book today! See you on March 12-14, 2020 in Victoria.

Make it happen, make it matter!