Who and What is the Hopkins Insider? (Rebirth)

Greetings from Baltimore and welcome to the “Hopkins Insider” blog.

Back on December 12, 2005, I (Admissions_Daniel) first typed those words and posted my first Admissions blog ever. The Hopkins Insider blog was born that day. (Check out that first entry here.) Then on September 16, 2008, it was time to reintroduce the blog so I rewrote those same words in my 142nd blog post and the Hopkins Insider blog was rebooted. (Read that entry here.) My readership had grown exponentially and there were so many new prospective students and parents visiting the site that I felt after three years a new introduction to the Hopkins Insider was necessary.

Inside Gilman-The quintessential Hopkins image.
Inside Gilman-The quintessential Hopkins image.

Now four years and eight months since my first blog entry and a couple of years after the reboot, it is time for the Hopkins Insider blog to once again be reborn. As the admissions cycle commences for 2010-11, the Hopkins Insider blog will be, for lack of a better term, maturing. Frequent visitors to the blog will notice we have made some significant changes this week to the design and color scheme. [When I say “we” I actually mean JHU_Joe who is a genius and the main designer of so many of the Hopkins Interactive blogs. (THANKS JOE!)] The changes to the blog are not just aesthetic though. So for this 258th blog post, I thought it was once again time to detail Who and What is the Hopkins Insider blog.

WHAT IS THE HOPKINS INSIDER BLOG?
The purpose of the Hopkins Insider blog is the same it was in December 2005 as it is today. The Hopkins Insider is an Admissions blog that provides a behind-the-scenes look at how the Admissions process works at Johns Hopkins University. The blog is an access point for information about the sometimes unknown operations of the undergraduate admissions office of a highly selective, private institution of higher education. It has always been the mission of this blog to work as a resource for answering questions about Johns Hopkins and the admissions process, and become a personal window into how applications are reviewed for prospective students and their parents.

The blog has evolved greatly over the last four plus years. In the beginning, entries primarily touched on frequently asked questions, deadline updates, and newsworthy happenings at the Homewood campus. Over the years, entries have moved beyond the basics, now providing advice, suggestions, and opinions. Entries began to break down the barriers of the hidden admissions process, creating a better understanding of how highly selective admissions works. Readers were introduced to the members of the Admissions Committee and learned how different parts of an application are reviewed. By displaying the mix of chaos and sanity that exists in our Admissions office, the blog is able to present a transparent view of how a Johns Hopkins class comes together each year. Additionally, the blog has often been used to promote the University to all audiences, often helping to dispel some of the large misconceptions about Hopkins (i.e. Hopkins is much more than medicine, fun flourishes at Homewood, and Baltimore is a great college town).

As another admissions cycle begins and the future Class of 2015 dives into the college application process, know that the Hopkins Insider will remain the place that INFORMS / DISPELS / UNCOVERS / HUMORS / DEBUNKS / CLARIFIES / EXCITES / and ENTERTAINS as much as possible.

WHO IS THE HOPKINS INSIDER?
Earlier this summer Shannon swung by my office and proposed becoming a co-author of the blog. I jumped at the chance, not just because it would be a bit less work for me, but also because I knew that the blog needed a new voice. While I will continue to write regular entries that shine a spotlight on the admissions process and the happenings in Mason Hall (the home of Admissions), Shannon will take a different route with her entries. Shannon will add a “pulse” to the blog, posting entries that focus on life in Baltimore and in-and-around the Homewood campus, as well as featuring snapshots of student life at Hopkins. Shannon will post an introductory entry early next week, and then get straight to work by researching her next blog entry by attending Baltimore Restaurant Week. Stay tuned.

Admissions_Daniel as a bluejay.
Admissions_Daniel as a bluejay.

Up until today this was a pretty easy question to answer. The Hopkins Insider has been me, Daniel G. Creasy – a twelve year Admissions professional, Associate Director of Admissions at Johns Hopkins University, and a five year Admissions blogger who likes to write as much about my dog Soze, my niece and nephew, the New York Mets, and popular culture as much as I do about college admissions and Johns Hopkins. But starting early next week the Hopkins Insider will have a co-author, Shannon Miller. Shannon is a Senior Assistant Director of Admissions and a five year colleague of mine. Shannon recruits in California, Alaska, Oregon, and Hawaii, oversees the Blue Key Tour Guide Society, and is one of the most passionate fans of the city of Baltimore that I have ever met.

Admissions_Shannon as a bluejay.
Admissions_Shannon as a bluejay.

Another benefit of having Admissions_Shannon joining the Hopkins Insider team is that she will help me motivate our other Admissions colleagues in posting guest entries throughout the year. Already we have signed up Mark to write entries about his upcoming fall travel and the double-degree admissions process with the Peabody Institute. Sarah has agreed to write about her top ten favorites things about living in Baltimore and Dana will write about her impressions of the new Gilman Hall. Chloe will write about Hillel at Hopkins, and our newest colleague Zak will write about the Baltimore Scholars program and being the new guy in the office. I am also quite excited for a guest entry from one of our marketing geniuses, Shelly, who will discuss the process that goes into creating our annual Viewbook and how it is easy for her because of her love affair with Hopkins.  And that is just the tip of the iceberg. (Heck, I got a huge white board in my office now that provides an extensive outline of future blogs – and no one will be able to resist the power of the white board.)

The new white board.
The new white board.

EVEN MORE NEW STUFF
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the other reasons for reintroducing the Hopkins Insider blog. Around 4:30 p.m. this afternoon the main Johns Hopkins Office of Undergraduate Admissions Web site was re-launched (http://apply.jhu.edu). This is the first significant upgrade of the Admissions site since I joined the Admissions staff nearly seven years ago. IT IS AWESOME. It is a huge leap forward, and the impetus behind the visual redesign of this blog. We got so motivated by the upgrade of the Admissions site that we updated Hopkins Interactive as well.

 

New JHU Admissions site
New JHU Admissions site

So enjoy the new Admissions site, the revamped Hopkins Interactive site, and Shannon and I hope you all become frequent visitors of this next version of the Hopkins Insider blog.