Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 9
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Office of Admission Looks for New Director

Just like the Office of Admission looks beyond GPAs and SATs to perceive how students will thrive at Whitman, it also takes time to evaluate candidates for a new director of admission beyond their resumes.

The director of admission trains and supervises admission officers, works with other departments on campus and develops a plan to recruit prospective students. Since the former admission director moved to another position last July, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Tony Cabasco has begun the search process to find a replacement. This past week, four finalists have come to campus and shared their visions.

According to Executive Assistant to the Dean of Admission Stephanie Johnson, they are looking for a candidate who exceeds the basic job description. Specifically, they hope to find a candidate who fits into the Whitman community.

“We’re looking not only at their skill set, but also how they fit and their passion for the liberal arts,” she said.

Cabasco hopes that the new director will be able to build solid relationships with colleagues and students.

“We look for somebody who can be a good fit for Whitman and a good fit for our team in admission and financial aid,” Cabasco said. “It’s about building relationships and connections.”

Falone Serma is one of the three applicants for the Director of Admissions position.  Serma visited campus on January 28 and spoke about the importance of increasing diversity in liberal arts colleges.
Falone Serma is one of the three finalists for the director of admissions position. Serma visited campus on January 28 and spoke about the importance of increasing diversity in liberal arts colleges. Photo by cade beck.

Each of the four finalists have either graduated from or previously worked at a liberal arts college.

When candidates first arrived, they met with Whitman students for a private campus tour. This brief introduction to Whitman was followed by numerous meals and meetings with faculty and admission officers. Toward the end of their visit, each candidate met with President George Bridges. One of the final stages involved giving a public presentation in which each candidate detailed plans for recruiting students.

Sophomore Sierra Dickey, who attended one of the presentations, noted how important it is for the new admission director to value student diversity.

Milyon Trulove is another finalist.  He presented on enrollment in higher education on January 31.  Photo by Marie von Hafften.
Milyon Trulove is another finalist. He presented on enrollment in higher education on January 31. Photo by Marie von Hafften.

“It seems to me that Whitman has a homogenous culture … Candidates with different backgrounds help,” she said.

Dickey also mentioned that a Whitman admission director should focus on seeing past the application.

After meeting with all the finalists, the Office of Admission feels confident that it can find a new director who meets these requirements.

Director of Financial Aid Services Marilyn Ponti feels that they have a win-win group of finalists.

“I think the nice thing about the finalists is that they’re all great candidates with a broad set of skills [who] would do an outstanding job here at Whitman College,” she said.

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