Director of College Counseling
In a nutshell, what is your current role?
To oversee the college counseling office, working with a staff of 12 people and 315 students through the college admissions process.
How and why did you become involved in this (higher education/enrollment management) profession?
I started out in 1989 with admissions work. For years, I went back and forth between admissions and college counseling, and am now here at Phillips Academy in college counseling.
What sustains you professionally?
Facilitating access to higher education—helping socially and economically disadvantaged students overcome roadblocks to college success.
What is the most interesting policy initiative or research project with which you have been involved? Why?
As an admission officer at Williams College, we helped create a mentoring program for first-generation college students. At Andover, we are doing a good deal of research and implementation of programs that helps make our campus a much more inclusive place for our diverse community—faculty, staff, and students.
What are the most pressing development needs for college counseling professionals?
More professional programs like the college counseling programs at UCSD and UCLA. Currently, you gain experience mostly through on-the-job training.
What can enrollment professionals do to enhance student access and opportunities?
Simplify the financial aid process and find some common ground on a standard financial aid award form.
What can enrollment professionals do to enhance student outcomes?
The more we can learn, the better. We need to create more professional development opportunities for college counselors. We need to help counselors tap into the many resources available for students especially opportunities outside of their own state systems to further student success.
What is the most interesting place you have visited?
I spent four weeks in southern Africa on an admission recruitment trip, visiting countries like Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, and Swaziland.
Where would you still like to visit that you haven't already?
Australia and Ireland
What is your favorite movie?
Raiders of the Lost Ark
What is the last book you read?
“Go Diego Go” at least five times a night to my son. Also, Tracy Kidder’s “Strength in What Remains.” I know the brothers of the main character in this biography.
You get to meet any historical figure. Who do you choose and why?
As a longtime baseball fan and because of my interest in social justice and equity: Jackie Robinson.
What song can’t you get out of your head right now?
“Thomas the Tank Engine” theme song –sad, but true
What is the ideal way to spend a Saturday night?
Since my wife is in admissions and I’m in college counseling, spending Saturday night with my 2 year-old son and wife is a nice break from our busy lives.
Cats or dogs?
Don’t have time for either right now but identify as more of a dog person.
Do you have a message you would like to share with your colleagues?
Find a balance between your work and home life! In our college counseling profession, a heroic effort is expected, but definitely not sustainable years on end.