Study USA and the Changing Face of Elon Admissions

Few things motivate one to write a blog entry more than when someone tells you they actually read your blog!    Honestly, I wondered if anyone else felt that way until I was in New York City last month.   I commented to a colleague that I read her blog while flying into the city.  She practically hugged me!

That trip to NY was to visit the Elon in New York program.   It struck me that while I flew home from the Elon in LA program last year, I wrote a blog entry on my observations and experiences on the west coast.   It follows then, that I should comment on my NY experience.    In short, it was fantastic!

If you know even a little about Elon, you know my alma mater is known for study abroad (among other things).   In fact, 71% of the students at Elon spend at least one term abroad which, according to IIE’s Open Doors, means more students study abroad at Elon than at any other master’s level institution in the country.  I’m extremely proud of that because a 21st century education must be a global education.    But education, like life, is built on experiences.    That’s why we’ve developed the Study USA opportunities – in both LA and NY.

The programs are nine weeks in length (though Elon in LA is now also a spring program).  You can read my entry about the LA experience which I wrote on August 6th of last year….   In NYC, 28 students are taking an upper level GST (General Studies) class.  It’s essentially an ethnography class that requires students to immerse themselves in the Streets of New York:  Madison Avenue, Broadway and Wall Street.   Classes are taught by Elon faculty members from the School of Communications, the department of Performing Arts and School of Business respectively and meet on Mondays.  From Tuesday through Friday, students are doing unpaid internships throughout the city.   From AKA to Julliard to the Arthritis Foundation, students are developing event planning, networking and strategic marketing skills.   These 28 students are majoring in a variety of things from Business to Music to Human Services Studies.   How can they return from such an experience and not be well positioned for continued academic success and the promise of better employment opportunities?   Oh yes, I also accompanied them to see Wicked on Broadway and to a Yankee game…..

Why has it been so long since I’ve blogged?   The spring semester was one of dramatic change in the admissions office at Elon.   We have several staff members in new positions – and I am among them!   On June 1 I assumed the role of Vice President of Admissions and Financial Planning.   Our new (interim) dean is Lisa Keegan ’03.   Upon graduation from Elon, Lisa worked in admissions as an assistant director before attending the Stetson University School of Law where she graduated magna cum laude in 2007.  She returned to Elon as Chief of Staff in President Lambert’s office until this summer.   In addition, Melinda Wood ’99 was recently promoted to Associate Dean of Admissions.  Melinda maintains her responsibility of managing the applicant pool while Cindy Barr, also an Associate Dean, supervises the scholarship process and our special populations of applicants.   Zaire McCoy ’02, is now Assistant Dean of Admissions.    In addition to her numerous responsbilities in professional organizations, Zaire manages our office and supervises our campus visit and event programming.   Along with Art Fadde, Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Admissions and Dr. Patrick Murphy MBA ’01, Director of Financial Planning, I cannot imagine stronger leadership or greater competency in a professional environment.  

Other folks new to their roles or new to the office are Kaitlyn Schultz ’10,  Associate Director and Director of Transfer and Special Admissions, Anita Alston ’07, Associate Director of Territory Management, Sarah Cates’ 04, Director of Application Processing,  Grant DeRoo ’12, Admissions Counselor for MA, RI and CT, Scott Christopherson ’12, Admissions Counselor for NY and NJ and Kathy Rodriguez, Assistant to the Director of Application Processing.  Kathy joins us most recently from William Patterson in my home state of NJ.  And do I even need to tell you how excited I am that Natalie Garza joins us from the Syracuse University Office of Admissions as Associate Director and Director of Multicultural Admissions?

Change is simultaneously hard and exhilarating.   We have a great team and we are eagerly preparing for the new admissions cycle.  But first, we are going to welcome the Elon Class of 2016 just three weeks from today!   Summer it seems, is just about over….

Finally, will the Vice President continue writing from the dean’s desk?   How about I write from the VP’s perspective?


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