Name: Daniel Creasy
Region: New England (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
Educational Background: Brown University; BA in Political Science
JHU Start Date: August 25, 2003
Years in Admissions: 13 years
Why did you chose to go into college admissions?
Originally my plan post-college was to work in communications and specifically political journalism. Following a stint working for CNN I realized that I was not cut out for working in the media. I decided to find a job that I would not have to commit a career to and would provide me time to re-evaluate my professional history. Since I had enjoyed giving campus tours and helping out in the Admissions Office I applied for entry-level college admissions jobs thinking I might enjoy the field for a few years. Thirteen years later I have discovered a career and a passion.
What do you like best about working in admissions at Johns Hopkins University?
This used to be a hard question to answer as I could think of so many responses, but now there is a clear cut answer that comes to mind: The Student Admissions Advisory Board (SAAB). Working on a regular basis with such creative, determined, engaging, and dedicated students has become the true joy of my job and why I love what I do and where I work. SAAB is in many ways my pseudo-family and I care for each of the students greatly. Last year I wrote about my “love” for SAAB past and present in this blog entry: Featured Students: SAAB Legacy. And seriously, how could my answer be anything else … these students got Hopkins to be the #1 social media college in the country.
What is your ideal set-up for reading applications?
I need to be at home. I need water, a good iTunes playlist, warm socks, and Soze suntanning near me.
What do you do when you need a break from application reading?
I am an early riser so my reading day is pretty unusual. I normally start reading around 5:30 a.m. after walking Soze and having a quick breakfast. I usually read until 11:00 a.m. with either VH1 music videos or Mike and Mike in the background. I then take a break, play with Soze, have lunch, and watch a favorite show I TiVo’ed from the night before. Then it is usually nap time. I am back up and reading around 3:00 p.m. and will read straight until dinner time around 7:00 p.m. After dinner and a nice walk for Soze, it is back to reading until my eyes can’t stay open. So pretty much Soze, food, TV, and/or a nap are my go-to activities when not reading.
What is one of the quirkiest things an applicant ever did with their application?
My colleagues always get the quirky things from applicants, but I did get a unique “gift” when I was at a college fair a few years ago. It was at the Summer College Fair at Brown University. The event is held in the gym, in the summer, and for three hours I will typically have over a 1000 students visit my college fair table. Profuse sweating doesn’t even begin to describe what a college rep goes through while attending this event. So a few years ago a prospective student went around handing out pocket fans for each school he was interested in, and on the fans he had printed all of his contact information to get on our mailing list. I still have the fan, but unfortunately the student didn’t apply.
What make an application essay really stand out for you?
It absolutely needs to be personal. I need to have a better sense of who the applicant is after reading the essay. In fact, I want applicants to think of it less as an essay and more as a personal statement. Being personal makes an essay effective, being original and creative makes an essay stand out.
What is the funniest thing you’ve overheard or seen while at Johns Hopkins?
This past summer I was giving an information session to a large crowd of visitors in the Auditorium of Mason Hall. I show a 9-minute video overview of Hopkins to start my session and then when the movie is complete I raise the video screen and shades to the large windows at the base of the auditorium. It is a pretty impressive use of technology, but as the shades and screen are rising, just outside on the patio of the Colonnade that surrounds Mason Hall there is a young man with his pants down tucking in his shirt and putting on a tie. There was an audible gasp from the crowd and then laughter. The laughter got out of control because the man had no idea we were watching him and he took more than a minute to finally raise his pants.
If you could take a class at Hopkins, which one and why?
Education Politics in Urban America – In college I never took a single Education class and now I guess after 13 years working in higher education I would be curious to take one. My student worker Miranda actually took the class last spring and when we chatted about the class it sounded like I would have really enjoyed it.
What is your favorite place on the Homewood campus?
I know it is not a creative answer but my office in Mason Hall. I have a great view overlooking the Decker Quad and I often have my students in my office which makes it a ton of fun.
If you could teach an Intersession class, what would be the class name and description?
Manage 3 TiVos: Tales from a Television Addict OR How to fix the Academy Awards - Anyone who has followed this blog or my Twitter account knows I have a serious addiction to television and movies. The first class would be a class on organizing one’s television addiction while maximizing the effectiveness of DVR recording space. The second class would be a survey and discussion class to determine how to get younger generations to connect with the Oscars.
What is the craziest question you’ve ever been asked while recruiting for Johns Hopkins?
Do you have hair? This was at a college fair in rural Maine and after a few awkward moments I realized the girl was asking if we had a program for cutting hair. After even more awkward remarks I referred her to the Barbizon website.
If you could be a student at Hopkins for a day, what would you look forward to most?
Eating at the FFC. My memories of college cafeteria food at Brown bring back nightmares. I have been to the FFC a number of times and the food is quite good, and even more impressive is the options. If I had just one day I would eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and make sure I get late night in as well.
If you could join any Hopkins club or organization, which one would you join?
I guess saying SAAB would be too easy, so I probably would choose either trying out for the Woodrow Wilson Debate team or writing for the News-Letter. Debate because I do love to argue intelligently, and the newspaper because I have some really good ideas on how to improve their content.
What song or book or movie makes you think of your college days and why?
Song would have to be anything by Sade. The French girl who lived next door to me my sophomore year used to play Sade on repeat all day and night. The walls were so thin, and I literally almost went crazy listening to the soft melodies 24/7. When I asked her to please play the music lower or have a bit of variety she cursed me out in French and blew smoke in my face. She was not a nice neighbor. So I started playing Nine Inch Nails and Ministry on repeat. Book would have to be Crime and Punishment and movie would have to be Priscilla Queen of the Desert but those stories will have to wait until another blog profile.
If a movie was made about your life, who would play your part and why?
John Belushi. Many people have told me this before and I can see it … big guy and very loud. Yeah, that’s me.