By Abbi Leon
Volume 67, No. 4
The Malone University Admissions Office has recently seen several notable changes in staff. Ann O. Lawson, assistant professor, is now the director of admissions. Lawson began working at Malone 20 years ago teaching part-time while she took MBA courses.
Lawson accepted her first position in the Communication Arts Department, and eventually began teaching public relations and business courses. She previously worked as an employee of East Ohio Gas, where she worked in corporate public relations.
“I’ve seen a decline in enrollment [from my classroom], and I figured I could continue to teach my classes happily, but be sad about the declining enrollment, or I could step up and try to do something about it in a new way,” Lawson said.
Lawson’s immediate goals are to learn all of the admissions processes currently in place. She will direct resources into the events and programs that are more effective in interesting students, or compelling them to apply and come to Malone. Processes that are not working well will be evaluated and Lawson will brainstorm with her team on ways to make improvements.
Lawson also wants to get to know the admissions counselors and student ambassadors individually to build a strong community in the office.
“[I want to make the Admissions Office] a joyful place that people want to work at and to visit, and that gives a better impression of who we are at Malone,” Lawson said.
Changes that Lawson would like to see are for the office to use new ways to reach prospective students, such as personalized videos from student ambassadors to each prospective student. Lawson also wants to have more prospective students visit Malone’s campus, as she has found those that visit campus are much more likely to apply.
Discover Day is a day for prospective students to visit and learn about Malone. Discover Day covers topics on admissions, academics, financial aid and spiritual life, and includes a campus tour and information regarding residence halls. This event occurs multiple times per academic year.
Traditionally, Discover Day has been speaker-centered, and Lawson aims to structure the day more towards individual student needs and their specific questions. She will continue making changes for the next Discover Day scheduled Nov. 12, 2021, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Randall Campus Center.
One major change implemented by Lawson at the latest Discover Day was the introduction of PathwayU to all prospective students. PathwayU is a career assessment that gauges a student’s interests, values and workplace preferences to suggest strong career matches.
After the assessments, faculty related to the students’ suggested or preferred major took time to go over the results and demonstrate the quality and individualized academic advising provided at Malone.
Lawson ultimately seeks to cultivate students who stand out from graduates at other institutions.
“We want Malone students to be the kind of people that go the extra mile … the kind of person that is willing, sometimes at great personal cost, to do more,” Lawson said. “We hope that the kind of people that come from Malone are the kind that employers want because they are more than just skilled, they also have a strong ethical core and a willingness to serve.”
The second major change the admissions office announced was hiring Dr. Jason Moyer, who took on the role of vice president of enrollment management. Moyer, who is also currently an associate professor of the Communication Arts Department, seeks to inspire service-oriented students as well.
“I am interested in seeing students transformed by the Malone student experience,” Moyer said. “The more students [that are] mentored by our faculty members and our staff, the more impact our mission will have on creating servants of the church community and world.”
Similar to Lawson’s goals for the office, Moyer’s goals are to reflect the office’s goals of a supportive and welcoming atmosphere towards potential students.
“The goal that I have first and foremost is that this office will reflect the experience of joy that our students have in their college experience,” Moyer said. “I want to bring the authentic student experience into the culture of this office so that prospective students experience that as they become students.”
Gwen Gelofsack graduated from Malone University in 2021 and is a current admissions counselor. She was positively impacted by the Malone Admissions Office when she decided to come to Malone as a transfer student.
Gelofsack currently recruits transfer students and students in the process of completing online undergraduate programs. She attends college fairs and community colleges for recruitment opportunities.
For transfers that choose to come to Malone, Gelofsack works in-office to help them apply to Malone, schedule their courses, and find the best on-campus housing fit.
Although Gelofsack graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications, she has always valued higher education and loved her Malone experience. As an undergrad, Moyer was Gelosack’s advisor. After he became the vice president of enrollment management, Gelofsack interviewed for the position because she respected Moyer and said it was “an opportunity of a lifetime.”
“It’s kind of a combination of sales, higher education and working for good people,” Gelofsack said. Her job as an admissions counselor allows her to apply the skills she learned at Malone with what she is passionate about.
Gelofsack wants to recruit students that will also love the Malone experience and see personal and professional growth throughout their time there. She believes her current role will continue promoting her personal character development.
Gelofsack’s immediate goals are to create more community between transfer students at Malone, and recently held a transfer-only event at a local Mexican restaurant, El Campesino.
In honor of National Student Transfer Week, Gelofsack invited all current transfer students to the restaurant for two free tacos. As a former transfer student, Gelofsack seeks to continue building the type of community she was welcomed into.
With so many new faces in the Admissions Department, promising ideas and ways of recruitment will be introduced in a way that will hopefully positively affect Malone University’s enrollment.
Moyer urges any student who is passionate about their Malone experience and interested in being a student ambassador to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student ambassadors work in a paid position for the Admissions Department and give tours to prospective students or sit and have meals with them.