Posted on Nov 25, 2013 in Alumni News, Campus News, and News
In the realm of student recruitment, campus visits are often pivotal events for prospective students. As a volunteer with the Helpful Alumni Working for KU (HAWK) program, Monique Garcia Pope of Wichita brought six high school students from her community to campus Nov. 15 for a visit led by Greg Valdovino, assistant director of admissions. Pope, c’96, shared this account following a great day on the Hill, which included visits at the Adams Alumni Center with Heath Peterson, vice president for alumni and student programs, and Jacey Krehbiel, alumni programs coordinator.
I contacted Greg several weeks ago to see if he could help facilitate a KU campus tour for six outstanding students I have worked with through my community involvement in Wichita and as a HAWK volunteer. The group included five students (four seniors and one sophomore) from Wichita North High School and a junior from Wichita West High School who had signed up with their guidance counselors to come for the tour: Brissa Gallegos, McKenzie Ortiz, Samuel Corravubias, Andrea Martinez, Angie Clare and Miguel De Alba Vallejo.
Never in my student recruitment volunteer outreach experience have I seen a more diligent group of students who are so smart, involved, motivated and kind, and I’m not just saying that because they’re students from Wichita. Truly, these students are outstanding! They asked great questions throughout the day, and one student brought her notepad with her and was jotting down notes on the drive back to Wichita–very impressive!
Most of the students are taking Advanced Placement classes, and the seniors are going to pursue the Gates Millennium Scholars Program.
I knew that four of the six students had KU at the top of their college choices, but were wavering a bit, and that’s totally understandable at this stage. The list of other schools in contention for this group included Vanderbilt University, Boston College and New York University–but that was before they came to Lawrence!
Upon our arrival the KU Visitor Center, Greg arranged a fantastic housing tour. I could sense the students were really excited as we walked through some of the residence halls. We then returned to the visitor center auditorium with other prospective students, and Lee Furbeck, senior associate director of admissions, gave a great presentation. The bus/walking tour was lots of fun, and we truly enjoyed having lunch with Greg at the Union, asking him questions and hanging on to every word he said.
Earlier that morning, I had contacted Jacey and Heath to let them know we were in town and, if time permitted, we would like to swing by the Alumni Center. I apologized for the late notice but, as always, Heath and Jacey were available to share information on the Student Alumni Association and a few KU souvenirs. Heath gave us a brief tour of the Alumni Center, and the students were really impressed with the Association and the support provided to help establish the KU Hispanic Alumni Network. They mentioned that they’d like to be a part of KU HAN once they graduate from KU.
Greg suggested that if we had time before returning to Wichita, we could swing by Allen Field House and the Ambler Student Recreation Center. The center is a huge improvement over the Robinson Center I recall, and of course the students had a blast at the Field House.
What made me most proud was the collaboration in action, including Greg in the admissions office and Heath and Jacey at the Alumni Association. On the drive back to Wichita–we might as well have floated back home–the students were all on cloud nine. Some of them even “tweeted” to their followers about what an awesome time they had at KU, and they had clearly made their choice to attend KU because of Friday’s visit.
I cannot begin to express my gratitude to Greg for all that he did, and to Heath and Jacey for their warm welcome. Everyone worked to ensure that these six students had a wonderful experience on their KU campus tour. Without a doubt, all six now are eager to attend KU! Thanks to everyone for all you do.
–Monique Garcia Pope