Happy Holidays from Johns Hopkins University! Here in Mason Hall, we’ve been celebrating the season by playing our Pandora Christmas music stations non-stop, hosting student group holiday parties, and wearing our favorite green and red sweaters and neckties. There’s an undeniable energy in the air, but for us Admissions professionals, it’s not coming from a gingerbread and candy cane overload (although that may be part of it, too). For us, the holiday season coincides with another wonderful time of the year: Early Decision season. In the past month and a half, we reviewed over 1,400 applicants who wowed us with their unique experiences, passions, and voices. On Friday evening, we’ll be releasing notifications and welcoming the first members of the Class of 2017.
There is perhaps no time of year as emotionally charged as the holidays. There’s the excitement of reunions with loved ones, the joy of giving and receiving gifts and sharing good food, and the reflections that inevitably accompany the end of one year and the start of another. But feelings of stress can be compounded in such a high-intensity time, especially if you’re a high school senior about to receive a decision that seems so huge in magnitude to many of the situations you’ve faced up to this point. Although these may seem like weak words coming from someone sitting in an Admissions Office far away from you and all of your hopes and dreams, I’ll write them anyway: Everything will be fine. You are not defined by your admissions decision. Although this may feel like the moment that will decide the course of your life forever and ever, it’s not. We talk about the idea of “fit” a lot in our office, and we believe that there are many schools that can serve as a good fit for each student. Trust that you will end up in a place that is a good fit for you, whether that’s JHU or another institution.
Speaking of admissions decisions, if you are an Early Decision applicant and have not yet logged into your ISIS account, please do so. You’ll need to set up your password to access your decision once they are released this Friday, December 14, at 6:00 p.m. EST. See more info in our previous post: http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/blog/2012/12/an-update-on-early-decision-notifications/. An e-mail with instructions on how to log in was sent to all applicants last Friday, December 7; a reminder was sent to those who hadn’t yet logged in yesterday, December 11. If you haven’t received an e-mail, please let us know at email@example.com or (410) 516-8171 and we’ll help you out!
One last note: this entry marks our 400th Hopkins Insider post. This is quite a milestone in and of itself, but it gets better: the very first Hopkins Insider blog was posted by Admissions_Daniel on December 12, 2005—exactly seven years ago. During that time, H.I. has been viewed by thousands upon thousands of prospective students searching for an open and ”behind-the-scenes” perspective on the college admissions process. We hope to continue to bring warmth, humor, and lots of important information to those navigating their college searches, and we thank our readers for your support and thoughtful comments. Here’s to another 400+ blogs and many, many more years of the Hopkins Insider.
A little over a week ago I celebrated my 9th anniversary in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Johns Hopkins University. Sadly, that will be the last milestone I reach in my professional career here at Hopkins. At the end of this week I will enter Mason Hall on the Homewood campus for the final time as an employee. In one of the most difficult decisions I have made in my life, I have resigned my position as Associate Director of Admissions and accepted a new position as Director of Communications for the Office of Admission at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
I never really expected to be writing a farewell Hopkins Insider blog entry, but this summer I received a couldn’t miss professional opportunity that will enable me to take my admissions career in a new direction. Though I have immensely enjoyed being an admissions counselor, at this point in my career I want to focus more on my interests in communications and marketing. This new position allows me to remain in the field of higher education and still involved in issues of undergraduate admissions. My new primary focus will be on the development and delivery of a distinct and cohesive admission message for Emory via a multitude of communications platforms. In so many ways, I am able to take my career in this new direction because of the work I have done at Hopkins—and specifically this blog—and for that I am eternally grateful.
During my over 300 blog posts it is rare I share pictures of myself. With this final entry I thought I would share some of the more embarrassing photos of me from the past 9 years. Here is an interesting holiday pic.
Saying farewell to my second home is not going to be easy. Since making my decision to move south there has been a lot of time to reflect. Such a big move professionally leads someone to look back at when it all started. Growing up I never dreamed of being a college admissions professional and even after graduating college it did not seem to be in the cards. But after disliking my first career choice I looked back on my college years and realized the most fun I had was being a campus tour guide. Then I began to look at my strengths and talk to people who knew me well and two themes became apparent. First, I was a good talker, and second I knew a lot about searching for the right college. So what started as an experiment back in January 1999 when I got my first admissions job has turned into a career, and one I truly love.
I was drawn to the cyclical tasks of a college admissions recruiter and evaluator: recruitment travel, on-campus programming, and application review. I got to use my talent as a strong speaker and I got to engage with the counseling aspect of the profession. As I transitioned to Hopkins I still had passion for these admissions roles but I also began to expand my connection to the areas of communications and marketing. While each year passed and an experiment in a new profession became a career, my reasons for enjoying this career evolved. Finally, in a reflective moment this past spring I realized the parts of my job that I initially was drawn too were not the same tasks that motivated me and therefore a change was needed.
Admissions_Shelly and I are so silly together.
The leadership at Hopkins has allowed me over the past nine years to experiment and explore greatly in the field of communications, especially as it relates to incorporating new media (a.k.a social media) platforms into the traditional recruitment and retention plan. This exploration began with the launch of this Hopkins Insider blog in December 2005, then blossomed with the expansion of Hopkins Interactive, and now represents one of the most comprehensive social media programs for a university in the nation. Nearly seven years ago I wrote in the first of my over 300 blog posts – Who and What is the Hopkins Insider? –
The Hopkins Insider blog is one part of this new endeavor – consider it a behind-the-scenes look at how Admissions works at such a highly selective institution. Over the coming weeks and months, this blog will give you access into the often confusing and hidden operations of an Undergraduate Admissions office as well as provide you with a resource for asking questions. This will become your personal window into the application review process and you will become connected to the personalities that make up the Admissions selection committee.
I didn’t realize back then what I was starting would become a major component of the everyday work of a college admissions office. Admissions blogs that provide a transparent and accessible connection to the inner working of the selection process as well as other forms of social media outreach by formerly reclusive admissions staff is not only commonplace, but now expected. I am proud that we were ahead of the curve at Hopkins, and that as I depart for a new challenge I leave the Admissions Office with a true legacy and a game plan for remaining at the top of the heap.
Not happy about being forced to wear a crab hat, but happy that I am with some of the best SAAB students ever.
The other component of reflection is what I will miss after my departure. This is much harder for me to write about as I will miss so much and thinking about that yields a ton of emotions. (Yes, tears will be shed as I write this.) I will miss the university and the community that exists at Homewood. Hopkins has a great advantage over so many other urban institutions in its physical location and design. The majesty of the Homewood campus breeds an engaged populace and caring community, and even as the campus has expanded during my tenure it is constantly reflecting on how to continue to connect community. (Just check out the new Brody Learning Commons.) I will miss the friendly nature of Homewood: from the people in Levering who always say hello when I go to get a sandwich or drink; to sitting in the Nest rooting on the Men’s Lacrosse team to victory; to the staff at PJ’s during Taco Tuesday; and to the Hop Cops who are always fun to chat with. I will also miss greatly the professional staff I have gotten to work so closely with outside of Mason Hall. There are so many passionate and intelligent members of the staff and faculty at Hopkins who aided me in my growth, stimulated me with their creativity, and taught me about the inner workings of a prestigious institution of higher education.
I had a serious crush on this cardboard cut-out of my former admissions colleague Amy Brokl. Strangely this is not a life-size replica of Amy as she is only about 5 feet tall.
I will also greatly miss my colleagues in the Admissions Office. You all have become much more than colleagues. You are my friends. You are my mentors. You are the people who inspire and challenge me, and you are the people who have most enabled me to grow professionally. I will cherish so much from the experience we have shared, the lessons we have learned together, and all of our collective successes and failures. As I fear I will miss out on certain people, I do not want to single out any one individual in this blog but rather thank all of my colleagues past and present, as each and every one of you has left a mark on me personally and professionally.
I am really going to miss these people. We had a ton of wonderful moments in Mason Hall.
It is also sad to leave behind the prospective community, the students and families I work with in on a daily basis educating them about Hopkins and assisting in navigating the sometimes confusing admissions selection process. Though this community changes year to year and I never really get to know these people in an in-depth way, I feel much of my enjoyment over the past nine years stems from the connections I have with prospective students and applicants. In my new job I will be working closely with a prospective community again, one that is quite similar, but my engagement will be different. I will miss visiting a high school and chatting with a small group of students about the humanities at Hopkins or how residence life works. I will miss standing in front of a thousand people at an Open House acting as a “cruise director,” providing advice on how to best navigate their day. I will miss using a bullhorn on Decker Quad during SOHOP, or driving a golf cart along St. Paul’s Street after midnight making sure everyone is safe. And I will greatly miss writing entries for this blog.
Now I come to the part of this farewell blog that I have been dreading; how do I say goodbye to “my kids”? I often use that phrase to describe the Student Admissions Advisory Board (SAAB), the group of Hopkins students I have advised and who have been instrumental in all things Hopkins Interactive related. When I started at Hopkins I never imagined that a group of current students making up an admissions volunteer group would be the most significant part of my job. But when I reflect the most significant memories tend to always involved SAABers past and present.
The Student Admissions Advisory Board (SAAB) when we began to hit our stride.
About a year and a half ago I posted a blog called the “SAAB Legacy” where I discussed the impact that a group of past SAABers had on me. I concluded that blog by writing:
These 13 special students have meant the world to me and I consider them in many ways my children. I will look after them for as long as I can, and will provide them with any assistance they ever need. They have inspired me, they have challenged me, they have made me laugh, they have made me cry, they have displayed true creativity, and they have in the end created something memorable and unique. They have kept me in the loop and allowed me to be a small part of their successes. They have left a true legacy.
By overseeing SAAB I have learned leadership skills, I have been challenged to make difficult decisions, I have managed diverse personalities, and I have developed cardinal organizational rules that assist in project management. I will be bringing all these skills with me to Emory and I know my experiences with SAAB will lead to success in my new endeavors. But I will also be bringing with me a collection of memories that I will reflect on when I need inspiration. (I really wish someone would create an actual Dumbledore pensieve as that would make this so much easier.) I hope “my kids” realize what they have meant to me and I hope the followers of Hopkins Interactive realize how uniquely special Hopkins students can be.
My final SAAB group photo ... I will miss "my kids" so much.
Some may read my emotions and not understand them because they see this just as a job and the natural progression of moving from one job to the next. However, this has never been just a job to me and the people I am leaving are my second family. I am eagerly anticipating this next professional challenge, but it is hard to close the book on my time at Hopkins. Though Hopkins is not my alma mater, I have spent nine years here and feel more of a connection to the Blue Jay community then I do to my actual alma mater. Despite moving on, I plan to continue to sing the praises of Johns Hopkins University and look forward to future events such as a hopeful lacrosse championship next Memorial Day.
One Hopkins-related item I surely will continue to follow while in Atlanta and encourage you all to do so as well is the Hopkins Insider blog. I am leaving the blog in truly capable hands and expect great entries in the future. There will now be four full-time Admissions bloggers who will continue to provide a personal window into the admissions process at Johns Hopkins University. But more so these four different personalities will cover a wide-range of issues and provide a more comprehensive array of topics than I was ever able to do back in the day. From Shannon you will learn from a seasoned admissions professional as she enters her eighth year at Hopkins. From Laurin and Ardi you will shadow the experiences of admissions counselors in their first professional year, who also both happen to be recent JHU graduates. And from Shelly you will hear from the main contributor to the Admissions Office’s current communications and marketing efforts. Truly capable hands!
It has been the truest of pleasures to come to work at this place for the last 9 years. Best wishes JHU!
When thinking of how to conclude this final blog entry, unfortunately, words fail me. I will just say thank you to everyone and you all will be sorely missed. I hope over the years I have assisted you, I have advised you, I have motivated you, and on occasion made you laugh.
My dog Soze has been a long-time mascot of the Hopkins Insider blog so I had to share one last photo of him. He will greatly miss Hopkins as well.
Hello there, Hopkins Insider readers! My name is Laurin Wolf, and I’m the newest addition to the admissions counseling staff at JHU. I’m so excited to be part of the team and to help represent my alma mater. Yes, I’m also a proud 2012 graduate of Johns Hopkins! Over my past four years on the Homewood campus, I completed a degree in the Writing Seminars, met a lot of amazing people (some of whom will be my friends for life), and learned a lot about myself. I also went on many adventures in Charm City, where I learned important life skills like how to eat a crab.
Here’s a little bit about me: I’m from a small town in Minnesota, where lakes, ice hockey, and the Mall of America reign (and no, I don’t think I have a Minnesota accent, although some people disagree). My name is really, actually spelled L-a-u-r-I-n (I’m named for my paternal grandfather, who went through almost his entire life never knowing the correct spelling of his own name). I feel a deep kinship with our founder, Johns Hopkins, as I have no doubt that he, too, was constantly having to confirm the spelling of his first name (“Yes, yes, you heard me right… that’s Johnssssss Hopkins”). As a student at JHU, I was a member of a sorority, served on the staff of a literary publication, joined a community service/running club in downtown Baltimore (you can read my Hopkins Interactive guest blog about that experience here), studied abroad in Barcelona, held multiple internships and, as you might have guessed, hung around the Admissions Office a lot! I was a Blue Key tour guide, an Admissions Representative, and a student worker during my four years here. When I found out about the open Admissions Counselor position, I was totally psyched. The job combined many of the things I was looking for in a career—the opportunity to meet new people, see new places, and use my writing skills—AND I would get to get to do all of this on behalf of the school I loved. Plus I would get to spend even more time with your favorite bloggers Admissions_Daniel and Admissions_Shannon—and who wouldn’t want that?!
With my friends Kate and Charlotte at Commencement
Like the rest of the counselors here in the office, I’ll be hitting the road in the fall for recruitment travel and I am thrilled about this aspect of my job. That’s because I’ll get to meet some of you in person! My territory will include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. You’ll start seeing more and more of me on this site, as another part of my role in the Admissions Office will be overseeing the fantastic group of students who contribute to Hopkins Interactive, more formally known as the Student Admissions Advisory Board (SAAB). I’ll also be supporting the Admissions Representatives with my colleague (and fellow Hopkins alum!) Dana Messinger. I have a feeling that every day in this office is going to be a little bit different, and that makes me even more excited to be on board.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve given my first solo information sessions in front of groups of prospective students and their parents. It was a little nerve-wracking at first but mostly a lot of fun! I love engaging with people and I could probably talk about JHU for 5 hours straight (though that would be a little boring for my group and exhausting for me). My next challenge is to figure out ways to make my info session my own and discover my unique voice when I’m up in front of a crowd, while still dispensing all the key points. As a Writing Sems major, this is something I’ve worked on a lot, so I’m looking forward to putting those skills into practice in a new way. I’ve also been busy planning my first trips and learning more about the ins and outs of the office. I’m going to a conference for local admissions counselors at the University of Delaware at the end of the month, where I’ll have the opportunity to meet some of my colleagues from peer institutions.
In addition to sharing my musings on the life of a first-year Admissions Counselor, I also hope to give all of you readers some insights into the life of a recent Hopkins grad living in the city and taking on the “real world.” I expect that this transition will provide moments of triumph, frustration, and downright hilariousness (much like my freshman year of college, actually)! For example, all three were rolled into one incident late last week when I found myself standing on a rickety set of plastic drawers wearing a pair of platform high heels, desperately trying to detach a faulty smoke detector whose incessant beeping threatened to keep me awake all night. Granted, it was probably not the safest choice I’ve ever made (don’t try this at home!) but I think it was a good use of my Hopkins-learned ingenuity. Next order of business: befriend a giant, or at least someone with a ladder. As silly as all of this may sound, I hope that my quest to find balance and happiness in my LAC (Life After College) will be interesting and useful to you, too.
Keeping good company with two other adventurous city girls.
Well, the summer heat is certainly on here in Baltimore, but it’s nice and cool in Mason Hall (it’s actually freezing—I’m wearing a fleece jacket and a blanket as I type this! That’s one aspect of office life I haven’t yet adjusted to). Come visit us if you have a chance (there’s still time to check out a Hopkins Preview this month), and enjoy the rest of the sweet summer. Until next time…
Six years ago on March 30, decision release day for the Johns Hopkins Class of 2010, I decided to post a new blog entry to our then just four month old Hopkins Insider Admissions Blog. That blog entry provided a run-down of how decision release day had gone and shared a few pictures. I remember posting the entry late in the evening when I got home from work and not thinking anyone would read it. A year later when we prepared to release regular decision notifications for the Johns Hopkins Class of 2011, readership of the Hopkins Insider blog was up so I decided to try something new … live blogging throughout the day. And a tradition was born.
Blue skies over Gilman - what a stunningly beautiful campus we have.
As I write this I embark on my 6th RD notification day live blogging experiment (#12 if you count ED releases as well) and I am excited to announce that I am going to have some help this year. Not only will you be able to follow along my thoughts and views on how the day rolls out, but my colleague and co-author of the Hopkins Insider, Admissions_Shannon, has also agreed to write periodic updates throughout the day. We will provide you a first-hand look at what takes place in Mason Hall (home to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions) on the day we release 19,000+ notifications to our Regular Decision applicants. Through frequent updates we will detail how this long admissions review season comes to a fulfilling end, and we hope we will provide context and helpful information as you prepare to learn of your decision. I will also attempt to keep up with my Twitter account – @AdmissionDaniel – throughout the day, for those who prefer updates in 140 characters or less.
My alarm clock goes off, which today is not a buzzing sound, but the rough tongue of my dog Soze on my forehead telling me he needs an early morning walk. Out we go into a chilly and dark morning and as Soze does his business I checked the weather report and see that it is going to be a lovely, mostly sunny spring day in Baltimore today. Back inside I turn on some music - I’ve been on a serious streak of listening way too much to a playlist of just three songs – “We Are Young” by Fun., “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye and “Charlie Brown” by Coldplay. This will hold me over until I turn on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning and get my “back and better than ever” fix from Greenie and Golic. Though the last week has been exhausting – scratch that, the last month has been exhausting – scratch that too, the last FOUR MONTHS have been exhausting, I feel I sense of energy and exhilaration that at the end of the day the hard work of all in Mason Hall will come to fruition and the Johns Hopkins Class of 2016 will continue to form. Decision release days have truly become one of the special days every year like my birthday or a big holiday.
He may be sleeping in this picture, but in just a few minutes Soze will be waking me up and getting Decision Release Day underway.
6:30am – Admissions_Shannon
Is it Christmas? No. Are we going to Disneyworld? No. Is it Decision Release Day? YES! They all feel the same when you wake up in the morning – you’re super excited to start your day, but exhausted because you couldn’t sleep the night before. After months of reading applications and holding committee, decision release day has finally arrived! While tonight seems so far away, the day will be a busy one … there are still plenty of packets that need to be sealed and lists to be double checked. For now though, it’s time to get ready for work …
Admissions_Shannon wake-up call delivered by Jack the Cat.
7:30 a.m. – Admissions_Daniel
What an amazingly beautiful spring day it is in Baltimore. I had my sunroof open on my short commute into work and as I arrived, I continued a tradition of snapping a photo of Mason Hall. Now to get my day started in the office.
Dawn over Mason Hall on Decision Release Day
8:15 a.m. – Admissions_Daniel
Just finished composing my To Do list for the day. Seven important items to complete before the release of e-mail decisions tonight. Decided to go witha Foo Fighters playlist for the morning. Going to tackle some e-mail, post a message on College Confidential (ugh!), and check out all of our social media sites. My colleagues are beginning to trickle in.
Yesterday's To Do List on the left (Accomplished!); Today's To Do List on the right (Get to Work!)
8:33 a.m. – Admissions_Shannon
Just got in the office and I am going to start my day now. I might not be as organized as Daniel is with competing To Do lists, but I have a lot on my desk too. First is to share some pictures with you all. Last night, much of the Admissions staff and some great student volunteers stayed late to get as much work done as possible so we could get decisions out today. We worked until about 8:00pm and Daniel and I snapped the following pictures.
Our award-winning admit packets. YES!
Decision bins waiting to be checked again and packets stuffed into envelopes.
The stuffing begins. DON'T SEAL YET.
Some important minds discussing next steps.
The long line of letters waiting to be checked one last time.
All Boxed Up
Admit Packets cost a lot to mail priority. $5.30 each!
10:03 a.m. – Admissions_Daniel
Nothing new to report. We are in a holding pattern as Financial Aid finishes stuffing some award letters and we do some database reviews. I have been getting through a variety of my to do list items and also had a compelling conversation with a colleague about Hopkins Lacrosse and how excited we are that they are ranked #1 in the nation. I wish I could head up to NYC this weekend to watch the team take on UNC in the Konica Minolta Big City Classic. It does though conflict with Wrestlemania 28 … Rock v. Cena in the “Once in a Lifetime Match” and Tripe H v. Undertaker in the “End of an Era” Hell-in-the-Cell match. Yeah, I may be 37 but I still watch wrestling. Got a problem with that?
10:45 a.m - We have begun the last round of checks of all decision letters. This will take some time. This is the third full check of letters against our applicant database and is proof of how meticulous our process is at every stage. Thorough doesn’t even begin to describe how much we put into each stage of our application processing, application review, decision making, and even production of decision letters. Best head upstairs to help my colleagues.
11:12 a.m. - OK, I need to clear something up. One of our admissions student volunteers questioned whether I am truly still a WWE fan (ugh, it was WWF back in my day) or whether I was just writing it to seem hip in this blog. Well, take a look at this photo. Yeah, that’s right … I have mini Rock and Cena figures on my desk at work. And even better, they were a birthday gift from Shannon. #YouCantSeeMe #TeamBringIt
Proof I am still in a fan of wrestling.
11:51 a.m. - Just got the call that the class is sealed, all checks are complete, and we can now seal and stack all of our decision letters and packets. Then off to the post office we will go. There will be a bit of silence for the next few hours as Shannon and I work with our colleagues to get all of this done. Stay tuned for more updates later in the afternoon.
11:45 am – Admissions_Shannon
Today has been a crazy one…a day full of double tasking! While we are preparing for the big mail, we are also getting ready for our Admitted Student events in April. In fact, just finished chatting with some of our current tour guides about our Lunch with a Student Program. Thank goodness for Bryan Nance … I missed out on breakfast so he brought me some potatoes to snack on. Yum. Now I am going to head upstairs and help everyone.
Yum, Potatoes. Thanks Admissions_Bryan.
3:00 p.m. – Admissions_Daniel
Apologies for the lack of updates. It has been a whirlwind of activity in the office for the last few hours. I need to take a breath and download some photos. I will have a re-cap of everything posted in the next half hour. But … YES … decisions have been mailed.
3:17 p.m. – As I know many of you are curious, I am going to reflect back over the last few hours. Here is how everything transpired in order:
1) Last check of letters is completed as the entire Admissions staff chipped in.
2) The sealing of admit packets commences.
3) The heavy lifters — Daniel and JB — move all sealed admit packets from their bins to U.S. mail bins.
4) In record time all packets are sealed, loaded into mail bins, and ready to move downstairs.
5) Three SUVs appear in the semi-circular driveway in front of Mason Hall just as all the mailed decisions arrive.
6) The loading of the cars commences with many, many hands.
7) The cars are loaded. Susan heads up to the main Johns Hopkins post office in Mount Washington with all deny, wait list, and international mailings. JB, Shannon, Calvin, Sarah, and Daniel head to the downtown Baltimore Post Office with two cars and close to 40 bins of admit packets.
8) The unloading of the cars takes place simultaneously in two different locations and just around 1:45 p.m. all regular decision notifications are out of the hands of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
9) Back to Homewood and Mason for some lunch and to reflect.
10) Time to blog.
Whew. A busy few hours indeed, but one of excitement and joy in our office. Slideshow to come very soon.
3:31 p.m. – Slideshow time. Enjoy.
3:35 p.m. – Admissions_Shannon
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to the post office we went! With the final seal of approval from the president’s office, it was time to seal the mail. All hands on deck, the entire admissions staff – PR, operations, IT, communications, and counselors – got the priority mail envelopes ready for shipment. We then caravanned down to the Baltimore City post office where we unloaded two cars filled to the brim with acceptance packets.
When we returned to Mason Hall the first thing we noted was how empty the main room on the third floor felt. See!
Then it was time to play. Calvin decided that I needed to be pushed in one of the large mail bins. Thankfully no one was injured, but Daniel snapped some good pictures.
OK, I needed that.
Now that everything is in the mail, we have had a bit of fun, it is time to prepare the emails to be sent!
5:05 p.m. - After a LONG day at the office, things have really quieted down. People are once again busy, but this time, preparing for April. I had one last meeting with current students, and now I am out the door to head to Kickball – yes, I play adult kickball with some co-workers and friends! It will be great to relax and take a break after a super busy week.
Time for Kickball
5:15 p.m. – Admissions_Daniel
Here is our press release that discusses the release of Regular Decision notifications:
Press Release Office of Undergraduate Admissions Johns Hopkins University March 29, 2012
Thursday March 29, 2012—The Office of Undergraduate Admissions officially “sealed” the Class of 2016 today, sending admit packets and e-mails to 3,071 accepted Regular Decision applicants. These talented students will join 557 students who were admitted Early Decision in December.
A snapshot of the admitted members of the Class of 2016:
Total applications received: 20,496 – record applicant total for 11th straight year
Total students admitted: 3,628
Overall acceptance rate: 17.7% – an all-time low
Males/females: 50.4% / 49.6%
Preliminary areas of academic interest:
Whiting School of Engineering: 38%
Krieger School of Arts and Sciences: 62%
- Humanities: 27% (of admitted KSAS students)
- Natural sciences: 45%
- Social and behavioral sciences: 26%
All 50 states represented, plus D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are represented. New York continues to lead state representation in both applications received and offers of admission.
293 international students have been admitted, residing in 65 nations. Of particular note, 18 European countries are represented with offers made to 83 students. 123 students represent 11 East Asian countries. There are also 34 Canadian students, 20 students from South America, 18 students from South Asia, and 12 students from Central America and the Caribbean.
Regular Decision admitted students have until May 1, 2012, to reply to the university’s offer of admissions.
Congratulations to the Class of 2016!
5:38 p.m. – Admissions_Daniel
As my colleagues on our IT team working diligently to prepare to begin the release of e-mail notifications starting after 6:00 p.m., there are a few important things I want to review, and I hope you heed this advice.
FIRST, we will start sending e-mails after 6:00 p.m. ET. Please note the bold, italic, underlined emphasis on the key words start and after. This means that you will not receive an e-mail in your in-box immediately at 6:00 p.m. It will take a while for all the e-mails to be sent out (probably over an hour) and there is a good chance we don’t start sending exactly at 6:00 p.m. If you keep refreshing your e-mail in-box at 6:00, 6:01, 6:04, 6:10, … and there is no message — DO NOT PANIC and do not assume anything. Be patient and allow the process to work properly. (Also, there is no specific order to how we will send e-mails.)
SECOND, here is some sound advice that I hope you follow. For the next hour (if not two hours) step away from your e-mail. Stop reading this blog. Stop checking your in-box. Stop checking College Confidential (in fact I suggest stopping that altogether). Relax. Take a nap. Get a snack. Read a magazine. Eat an orange. Go do something that will calm you and distract you. Take your mind off the ticking clock.
THIRD, and most importantly, after you receive your e-mail decision my strong suggestion is that you log-off and go spend some time with your family. No matter what decision you receive, let the news sink in and do it off-line. This is a major milestone in your life, and you should share your initial reactions and emotions with your family and those closest to you. These people have been there since the first moment of your life, and they will be there FOREVER. Your family is not an online community. Your family is not Facebook. Your family in not some anonymous screenname. Your family is not this blog. Please follow this advice. Receive your decision and sign off. Don’t update your Facebook status immediately. Don’t post a blog comment. Don’t go post your emotions on some Web forums. Share your thoughts and emotions in the real world first. The virtual world will be there later for you to provide a social media spin on your news.
I say it every year … let the news sink in first — react in the real world before entering the cyber world.
Best wishes to all of you. This is our last update until after we release the e-mail notifications. We will have a few final thoughts later on tonight.
8:15 a.m. – Admissions_Daniel
All our e-mails have now been sent. Please continue to have patience because e-mail servers all have different delivery times. The process seems to have gone quite smooth this year (fingers crossed). I will monitor things throughout the evening. Please remember a few things I posted in the decision release blog earlier in the week:
- DO NOT share your decision e-mail with other people nor post the message on any public form or Web site. The e-mails contain personalized information.
- If you did not receive an e-mail tonight, I suggest:
Check SPAM folders.
If your e-mail address is associated with a private school, your school’s server may block our decision e-mails and you should check with your school’s network administrator to have the e-mail released.
Check ANY and all e-mail accounts you have ever used during the college search process. We send the e-mail to the account you listed on your application. However, our database system does track all e-mail accounts that have ever been matched to your record, so on occasion the notification e-mail may be sent to an old e-mail address. (Check e-mails that you may have used when registering for the SAT/ACT for example, such as your parents e-mail accounts.)
In the rare occurrence you don’t receive your e-mail decision, you may call the Office of Undergraduate Admissions on Friday at 410-516-8171 to request your decision e-mail be re-sent to an alternate e-mail address. We ask that only the applicant or parent/guardian of the applicant calls. We will only be able to re-send a decision e-mail if the identity of the caller can be reasonably assured. Please also be prepared to share an alternate e-mail address. We will only process requests to re-send decision e-mails via phone, not e-mail.
I got a bunch of work to take care of, but I will have one final update a bit later on.
9:15 p.m. – Admissions_Shannon
By this point, decisions have been released. Now, I’ll be curling up with my book (currently reading the Hunger Games) and heading to bed. I am looking forward to meeting the admitted members of the Class of 2016 in the coming month, and, believe it or not, beginning to work with the potential members of the Class of 2017. This was fun sharing the live blogging duties with Daniel. I’ll let him finish it off later tonight.
10:10 a.m. – Admissions_Daniel
Wow, what a day. I’ve been going non-stop for nearly 17 straight hours, but it has been totally worth it. I started the day excited and exhausted and as we wrap-up another decision release day I must say I remain excited and exhausted. There will be time over the next few days to reflect on all the decisions, and I plan to post very soon new blog entries for the admits, the wait listed, and the denies. The work will continue tomorrow but I need to get some shut eye. I always wish I would have something more poignant to say at the end of this long day of blogging, but unfortunately the words are failing me. I will leave you with one of my favorite shots of the Homewood campus take by current Johns Hopkins junior Greco Song:
… or so my colleagues told me when I first started working at Hopkins five years ago.
It's me ... Admissions_Shannon
Greetings! Admissions_Shannon here and I am excited to write my first offical blog entry as co-author of the Hopkins Insider. During my undergraduate years at Gettysburg College, I spent a lot of time in the school’s Admissions Office. I was a tour guide, office receptionist, day and overnight visit coordinator, and intern. After graduating in May of 2005, I realized how much I loved what I was doing and decided I wanted to continue on in the field. I began my job search, got an interview at Hopkins, and was hired by the university in July. I made the move from my hometown of East Brunswick, New Jersey to Baltimore Maryland, and started working on Monday, August 8th. And now I am a blogger.
In my first few days of work, my new colleagues introduced me to the Admissions Cycle – in the fall we travel and recruit, in the winter we read applications and make decisions, in the spring we put on admitted student events, and in the summer we relax and get ready for the new year. However, I have found that summers are anything but relaxing!
With a 33% increase in applications since I have been here (from 13,768 who applied in the fall of 2005 to 18,459 who applied in the fall of 2009…yikes!), Hopkins is always a busy place to be! During the fall, I am charged with visiting high schools, going to college fairs, and conducting Explore Hopkins presentations throughout my region of California, Alaska, and Hawaii. Although I do not get to visit every state each year, I am the office expert on schools in these areas. When winter rolls around, I read over 1,400 applications for first reads from these areas. I then move onto the committee process with my colleagues to make decisions on who will be a part of next year’s class. By the time spring has arrived, I am into campus visit mode. While I am the advisor of the Blue Key Tour Guide Society year round, this is one of the most important times for tours of campus, as many students are deciding which college or university is the best fit for them.
Not me ... but rather my favorite B'more delicacy
Finally, when the summer is here, the whirlwind begins once again. New tour guides need to be hired, trained, and scheduled. Travel needs to be set up – flights booked, hotels selected, visits planned. Weekend programming needs to be organized. Projects need to be completed.
This summer has been no different! In May, I hired, trained, and scheduled over 50 guides to conduct tours throughout the summer. I’ve been busy arranging my fall travel to North Carolina (I’ll be helping out a colleague this year who is about to have a baby), California, AND Hawaii! We have successfully conducted five weekend programs with over 3,100 visitors, including student panels and tour guides…those are my pieces to organize. And now, I am starting up new projects. I am revising our tour route with the reopening of Gilman Hall, preparing to welcome our new class and get them involved in volunteering for the admissions office, and starting to blog too.
Baltimore during Snowmageddon
This brings me here, posting my first blog on Hopkins Interactive. I am excited to share not only my admissions knowledge, but also information on student life and the city of Baltimore. Having worked closely with students for my last five years as the Blue Key Tour Guide Advisor, manager of office student workers, and supervisor of our student interns, I have some great insight on life on the Homewood campus. As Admissions_Daniel also mentioned, I am one of Baltimore’s biggest fans.
So come back soon, and come back often. Ask questions, suggest topics you would like to learn more about, and let me know how I can help!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A few weeks ago I headed up to New England to attend a series of summer college fairs at Brown University, Harvard University, and Phillips Academy – Andover. I have attended these fairs for four of the last five years, and once again my Mom actually accompanied me on the trip. I attend the college fairs while she walks around the towns (Providence, Cambridge, and Andover) looking for neat outfits and gifts for my niece and nephew (her grandchildren). These recruitment trips always tend to be the most memorable for me because I am with great company, the weather is nice, and the events are quite relaxed. This year’s trip though will be eternally memorable to me for an incident that occurred near the end of the final event … an incident that reconfirmed solidly in my mind why I love my profession and rejuvenated my passion for what I do.
Before the big reveal of this story, I think I need to provide a little bit of context. I love what I do, and I think anyone who reads this blog, follows me on Twitter, interacts with me on Facebook, meets me on the road, or connects with me on-campus would attest to the fact that I have a lot of passion for my profession. That passion sometimes can become a bit too much. A passionate person tends to take on more than the normal workload at times, and there can be a backlash. Yes, shockingly there are times when my job can frustrate me and I feel burnt out.
These emotions tend to materialize the most at the end of May when the admissions process is complete and the incoming class is sealed. Thankfully, that is the perfect time frame for an admissions person to take vacation … and as my two month absence from blogging proved … I love vacation time. Taking vacation though for me doesn’t mean completely checking out, as I make sure to daily check and respond to email and keep up-to-date with my ongoing projects (i.e. communicating with the incoming freshmen through our Facebook group). But the summer is definitely a time when I have the chance to relax and the major stresses of the job can dissipate.
With that said, you all are now wondering what happened? … … …
Near the end of the college fair at Phillips Academy – Andover, a very familiar-looking young lady and her mother stopped by my college fair table. As I greeted them I asked whether we have ever met before because she looked quite familiar. The young lady mentioned that yes we had met a few years ago at a college fair at Andover and that she was a rising junior at Hopkins. To add to that, I was the Admissions counselor who had read her application and was partially the reason why she chose to attend Hopkins upon being admitted. Her mother added that they are big fans of this Hopkins Insider blog and found it quite helpful in navigating the college search process. A smile immediately came across my face and I felt a sense of great pride, especially since my Mom was sitting right there to witness this encounter.
Things got even better though … the student and her mom mentioned that they had seen the sign outside the gym at Andover that a college fair was going on and decided to stop by to personally see if I was at the fair representing Hopkins. They wanted to come by and say hello and say thanks. They just wanted to pass along their appreciation since I had been a great help to them a few years ago, and the student was loving her time at Hopkins. I was floored … and near tears. I was able to remain composed, but when reflecting on this moment with my Mom as we returned to the rental car I really did get emotional.
I am about to celebrate my sixth year anniversary working at Hopkins at the end of August, and will enter my twelfth year working in college admissions. I can count on just one hand the number of memorable encounters like this, where someone took the time out to say “job well done.” In my office I have two letters, one email, and one card that I keep in a folder for whenever I need a reaffirmation about why I love what I do. I will be printing out this blog entry and adding it to the folder. Unfortunately too often the feedback I get is negative or from a disgruntled student or parent — I can count those encounters on multiple hands and feet.
What made this encounter even more special is how much the student has made out of her time at Hopkins (she is about to embark on an amazing study abroad experience – hopefully fodder for a great guest blog entry in the future). As well, it was amazing to see how much pride was in her Mom’s eyes. My Mom and I spoke with them for about ten minutes and it was a complete joy. I do get to work with a great group of current Hopkins students through the Hopkins Interactive site and Student Admissions Advisory Board, but it is always so wonderful to witness a success story from one of the many applicants that I have admitted but not remained in contact with.
So now I sit in my office, with a rejuvenated spirit and love for my profession, and another moment to keep in the back of my mind to remind me why I love this world of college admissions. Just one final thing to say…
Late this afternoon the Admissions Office welcomed about 75 Class of 2009 seniors and their families to Mason Hall for a special reception. The event was a Senior Admissions Volunteer Reception and was to celebrate and honor the tremendous members of the Class of 2009 that donated their time over the last few years to help the Admissions Office connect with prospective students, applicants, admitted students, and many, many, more people. We celebrated an amazing group of students who helped out as tour guides, admission representative interviewers, student employees, bloggers, overnight hosts, multicultural student volunteers, residence hall guides, open house volunteers, and Hopkins Interactive representatives.
The event was a wonderful occasion to say thanks and to provide the students with a token of our appreciation. In my remarks to the entire group, I shared that the Class of 2009 is a truly special class. Most of the Admissions counselors who have worked in the Admissions Office for longer than four years, including myself, agree this is the best overall class of students who have helped out in Admissions. In so many ways, this class represents the best that Hopkins has to offer. We relied a ton over the years on all of these students and they never failed us. The overwhelming increase in applications over the last four years, the litany of positive feedback we hear from visitors, and the overall successes of the Admissions Office over the last few years truly stems from this amazing group of students. (I confidently feel it was the work of all of our admissions volunteers that led to our over-enrolling the freshman class this year.)
As I worked as the event’s bartender I continued to reflect on how much these students make me love my job. I got quite emotional at times, but tried to hide it as much as possible. In fact, over the last couple of weeks I have found myself getting emotional when I think of these seniors graduating and heading to enter the “real world.” Whether it was at the “thank you” barbecue we hosted for all admissions volunteers at the end of the term, or the Outback Steakhouse dinner I shared with a group of Advisory Board seniors on Mother’s Day, or while I wrote out thank you cards to the seniors, I have shed a good amount of tears of joy thinking about the Class of 2009. (Speaking of thank you notes – remember cardinal rule #2 … always send a thank you card. And please don’t forget, cardinal rule #1 … when the police arrive, go home! Sorry, inside joke.)
Why so emotional, you ask? Well for two reasons. First, for me the Johns Hopkins Class of 2009 is the first class of students that I was fully involved with from the recruitment stage and the application review process. Though I have worked closely with students who have graduated in recent years, it is this class that I truly feel I had a lot to do with in terms of their enrollment. It may sound a bit weird, but the class is like a first child.
The second reason for me feeling so emotional at this time is because of five specific seniors. Esther, Julia, Laura, Andrew, and Tanmay … these five seniors mean the world to me. Seeing them graduate tomorrow will be quite emotional as it has been an amazing journey over these past four years. See when the Class of 2009 entered Hopkins four years ago a “little” project known as Hopkins Interactive was still in its gestation phase. Esther, Julia, Laura, Andrew, and Tanmay are in many ways founding members of the Student Admissions Advisory Board which is the student group behind the Hopkins Interactive Web site. In my eyes, they are part of the “founding fathers” of the site. As a group they are uniquely driven, creative, motivated, and passionate. It is these qualities and devotion to perfection that launched what is arguably one of the best student admissions blogging and communication program for any college in the country.
I felt on the eve of their Commencement, and as a final means to honor them and say thanks, I would briefly comment on each student. So please join me in congratulating and thanking five amazing members of the Johns Hopkins Class of 2009.
Where to begin when describing what Esther has meant to me. Simply put, she is on the short list of the most memorable students I have ever come in contact with in my 10+ years in my profession. She is irreplaceable as a student worker, blogger, creative mind, and friend.
I actually met Esther, her twin sister Zoe, and their Mom (a Hopkins alum) in my previous Admissions job at American University. At the time, Esther and Zoe were juniors at Moses Brown School in Providence, RI. Little did I know a year later I would meet the Bell twins once again, this time as an Admissions counselor for Hopkins. Long story short, both Esther and Zoe chose to enroll at Hopkins in 2005 and the Homewood campus is so much better for it. As they depart this spring, it will not be long for another Bell to arrive at Hopkins — their younger sister will be a freshman this fall.
Esther has been an essential part of nearly every project I have taken on over the last four years. Some much of the creativity that exists in our Hopkins Interactive site stems from her brainstorms. As well, she keeps me sane on a daily basis. Little does she know how jealous I am of her and the amazing path she has laid during her four years of Hopkins. I could rattle her praises for hours, and hope to have just that chance in the coming months with reference calls.
Just a few weeks ago Esther passed her Foreign Service Exam and as an International Studies graduate of Hopkins with a vast array of experiences, it is almost a given you will be able to find her working in an embassy in some unique part of the world shortly. In the meantime, she is pursuing opportunities along a vast array of options including the film industry, college admissions, new media marketing, and maybe even modeling! All I know is whatever she takes on in the future she will be a success.
I am not sure Julia knows it, but if I had the chance to go back and do my undergraduate years over I would follow a very similar path as she has during her four years at Hopkins. There are similarities in our college paths — we were both Political Science majors … we are both from New York … we both spent hours working for Admissions. But there are differences too — she was active with her sorority while sorority girls loathed me in college … she roots for the Yankees, me the Mets … and most significantly, Julia made the most of every single opportunity she tackled during her time at Hopkins.
As I wrote a thank you note to Julia just recently I mentioned to her that she is on the Mount Rushmore of Advisory Board members over the years. Many of the directions that the student group behind Hopkins Interactive were first suggested by Julia. Her leadership is unmatched, and her creation of the Social Chair position this year was ingenious and appreciated by all the underclassmen. Every person who has come in contact with Julia is better for the experience. It is going to be difficult to go to work in Mason Hall and know that Julia is not around to chat about any number of topics — politics, sports, entertainment, the real life Gossip Girls, or the crazy phone calls that come in to the Admissions Office.
Julia will be returning to New York upon graduation and has a great political internship lined up for the short-term. She will continue to search for the perfect job, and I am utterly confident to see her actively involved in shaping the direction of either New York politics or national politics in Washington, D.C. in the near future. My political science degree led me to education (long story). That will be another difference between Julia and I … she will make a difference in policy and politics.
No exaggeration, Laura is one of the nicest, most pleasant, friendliest, and kindest people I have ever known. Yes these traits probably stem from her growing up in Seattle, but she is a truly one-of-a-kind spirit. Laura always makes me smile, and those who know her always have a huge smile on their faces when talking about her.
My first memory of Laura is in the application she put together to become a student blogger and part of the Hopkins Interactive project. To this day it is the best student advisory board application I have ever received, and it foreshadowed so much the creative approach she would bring to ever task she tackled. As a Writing Seminars major I never questioned how strong a blogger she would become, but I was so pleasantly surprised amount how much of a leader she became both with the Student Advisory Board but also in the other activities she got involved with, namely the Outdoors Pursuits organization.
For me, Laura’s shining moment was the production of our Insider’s Guide for admitted students this past year. With out her leadership and passionate interest in the project, the Insider’s Guide would never have been as great a success as it turned out to be. When I started at Hopkins I had a specific vision for an Insider’s Guide written by students, and with Laura’s guidance the ultimate guide we produced far surpassed my original vision.
Laura will return to Seattle shortly and then head off to a lead a 5-week outdoors trip with students from her former high school. The funny thing is when you meet Laura you would never assume she is some one who could lead such a trip … but knowing her I can attest there is no one I would trust more in such a situation. Laura will continue the job search and I know in just a short time we all will have a chance to see her work in some form of publishing or writing.
Forever now when I think of Andrew the first word that will come to mind is maybe. That is the word that I wrote in big, bold, black letters on his application for the Advisory Board as an incoming freshman. Looking back four years later I realize what a mistake it was to write maybe. Instead it should have read, “Absolutely take him … he will be a great addition and always keep you entertained.”
If asked to describe Andrew I would first say that he is just a good guy and someone every should have a chance to meet. I’d follow that by saying that Hopkins would be an even better place if we had more “Andrews” in the class. He does not fit the mold of what one expects of a Hopkins student (that persistent myth of the cut-throat, solely academic student), and that is what I think is so perfect. Andrew has pursued his own path through his four years, and made an impact in numerous ways. Plus, you can never find faults with a die-hard Mets fan.
In the coming fall Andrew is off to graduate school for an International Studies masters program. What makes the experience so special is the program is in SCOTLAND at the University of St. Andrews. I know Andrew will learn so much while abroad and then he will return to the States and use his new-found expertise in security studies and counter terrorism to make sure we are all continually safe.
When it comes to Tanmay, I must admit I have made a number of mistakes. To start, when he applied for the Advisory Board as a freshmen I did not select him for the Board. STRIKE ONE. Then, not until the start of his senior year did I come to realize I had been mispronouncing his last name. STRIKE TWO. Thankfully, to date, I don’t think I have made any other mistakes to lead to a third strike. On the flip side, Tanmay has only hit home runs since his arrival at Hopkins in the Fall of 2005. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist continuing the baseball theme – I’ll stop now.)
I met Tanmay for the first time during a scholarship event the spring of his senior year of high school. I knew upon my first encounter with him of his sheer brilliance and that he would become a difference maker in the Biomedical Engineering program. Little could I predict the impact Tanmay would make on nearly every part of academic and student life at Hopkins. Through his involvement in HERU, or Model UN, or the Biomedical Engineering Society, simply Tanmay has done it all and made Hopkins a better place. With all these evident strengths, it is Tanmay’s compassion and willingness to help others at the drop of the hat that I have so appreciated.
At last check, Tanmay is off to medical school at Duke (a good school in all things but Lacrosse — had to say it). He plans to become part of a MD/PhD program, and ultimately to enter a Biomedical research field. Over the four years I have witnessed all of Tanmay’s accomplishments, I think I have been most impressed by his drive and his knowledge of his academic and personal goals. Tanmay’s contact information will always remain close at hand, because I anticipate sometime in the future I will need some medical assistance and possibly my life saved, and I am pretty confident that the genius that is Tanmay can help me out.
Congratulations & Thanks
I hope Esther, Julia, Laura, Andrew, and Tanmay know how much they have meant to me. I do know they know how much my nephew and niece (Cooper and Lilly) mean to me in this world, so what I am about to say next carries a lot of weight. If in 20 or so years, I look at my niece and nephew and they are even half of the young women and men that these five students are, it will be clear to me Lilly and Cooper are on the right path and in for great successes in the future. I have had the pleasure to watch these students grow these past four years, and it has been my honor.
As I hope I have expressed in this post, this is a group of students I will not soon forget. Fare the well, Esther, Julia, Laura, Andrew, and Tanmay. May the “real world” present you with great successes, pure happiness, and the chance to remain creative and passionate. I will miss you all greatly.
So a month ago I posted about a new idea I had come up for the Hopkins Interactive site and the Hopkins Insider blog — the 1st Annual Bloggies. I was really excited of this new brainstorm and not just because it related to my addiction to the Oscars / Academy Awards. I really thought that the current Hopkins Interactive students, friends of the Hopkins Insider, and the faithful readership of this blog would rally around this mission and post some great “award nominations.” Wow … was I wrong. This idea was received like a ton of bricks. In fact, I even heard whispers that the Hopkins Insider might have actually “jumped the shark.” (Read thisif you don’t understand that phrase.)
Well even though I got the hint that not many cared about the Bloggies, I am still fulfilling the initial goal and posting the winners the night after the 2009 Oscar telecast. (Yes, I am tempted to discuss the Oscars from last night, but instead I am going to reveal the winners … this blog would be way too long if I went off on that tangent.)
I do hope that you all do follow the links to these Bloggie winners, as they really are some of the best entries we have ever posted to the over 20 blogs and hundreds of entries linked to Hopkins Interactive.
So without further adieu … the envelopes please …
THE FIRST ANNUAL HOPKINS INTERACTIVE BLOGGIE AWARDS
BEST BLOG ENTRY OF 2008 Roxi Rules – April 21, 2008 NO JOKE … TO THE CLASS OF 2012
This was the most talked about blog of 2008. Roxi took on a risky topic, and truly presented a honest, and real look at academic life at Hopkins.
BEST DRAMA Roxi and Jessica: Caught in Between – December 18, 2008 COPING WITH DEATH WHILE AT HOPKINS Hopkins Interactive blogs aren’t supposed to bring you to tears. However, Jessica’s heartfelt blog after the passing of her grandfather did that for many people. More significantly though, Jessica detailed how to overcome hardship while in the midst of finals.
BEST COMEDY Simply Serendipitous - February 3, 2008 SO, WHAT IS CARBON? A strong contender for Best Title as well, this entry from the increasingly introspective Mandy poses such a simple question that any committed natural science student should know the answer to … or is it actually that simple of a question?
BEST ENSEMBLE 2012: Hopkins Arts & Sciences Freshman Blog - multiple entries SWEET 16… (Dominique D.) A WORD ABOUT FUN AT HOPKINS (Lauren B.) A MOMENT OF WEAKNESS(Saznin M.) MOMENTS OF COFFEE(Wafa K.) The ensemble blog is something we launched last year with four freshmen in the class of 2011. In the Fall of 2008, we launched a number of new ensemble blogs, and it has been the all female Arts and Sciences blog that has been the most enjoyable to follow. Whether it was Dominique writing about her academic path; or Lauren dispelling the myth that Hopkins is where fun comes to die; or Saznin’s quest for a major; or Wafa’s reflection on the importance of a special beverage – this freshman blog has truly impressed.
BEST SUPPORTING BLOG Hopkins Interactive Guest Blog – Nov. 27, 2008 & Dec. 8, 2008 PRE-MED TO PHD (by Evelyn Clark) & PARIS, JE T’AIME (by Allison Blatz)
The Guest Blog has been the spot for some of our best written blogs. There were so many great entries to choose from but the best were truly Evelyn’s reflections on her changing academic interests over her years at Hopkins and Allison’s reflections on her time abroad.
BEST SCREENPLAY Julia’s Journal - November 5, 2008 YES WE DID! THIS IS OUR TIME! Julia’s blogs have consistently been the strongest written entries on a consistent basis, but it was this post-election night entry celebrating President Obama’s victory may have been her best. Not shocking though, as great entries should come from Political Science student following one of the most momentous days in the history of the United States of America.
BEST EDITING 2012: Hopkins Engineering Freshman Blog (Rohit D.) – Nov. 3, 2008 HALLOWEEN POLITICS Rohit has become our blogger of very few words. His entries, though shorter than most, are quite popular because he is able to provide an update about his freshman year in a succinct way and with interesting pictures.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY The Reel Life of Josh - December 31, 2008 TIME TO PRETEND Thanks to Josh, our Film and Media sophomore, we incorporated a lot of videos into our blogs in 2008. This entry shows his talent in film as he shared his final project for his Intermediate Film Production class. (Interesting note is that this entry would not have been eligible if just posted one day later — just like the Oscars, winners tend to come from the later part of the year.)
BEST ART DIRECTION Wish You Were Here - April 24, 2008 SPRING AT HOPKINS + OPEN HOUSES! Lauren’s blog is known by most as our “prettiest” of blogs. It was this entry that celebrated the best season at Hopkins that was not only well written (typical for Lauren) but also presented some amazing pictures.
BEST SET DIRECTION Hopkins Interactive Video Blog - April 2, 2008 HOPKINS CRIBS The wildly popular Hopkins CRIBS series has been one of the most successful blog ideas we have ever pursued. It was quite difficult to pick just one of last year’s CRIBS videos as best … so instead we present 7 of the best videos in one entry.
BEST DOCUMENTARY Verbal Snippets & Snapshots - December 10, 2008 BALTIMORE: ANOTHER REASON TO CONSIDER HOPKINS So many of Kate’s entry this past year could be considered in this category for the blog that best presents a snapshot of student life at Hopkins. It was this ode to Baltimore though that was hands-down her best.
BEST NEW ARTIST 2012: Hopkins Engineering Blog - Nov. 16 (Brian) & Nov. 10 (Peter) WHAT’S YOUR MAJOR? (Brian) CAUGHT UP IN THE CONFLICT … (Peter) Brian and Peter couldn’t be more different, but there entries have become some of the best presented by the Class of 2012. Of the all the blogs they both posted, Brian’s discussion of his beloved Environmental Engineering major and Peter’s re-cap of the middle of his first semester, rise to the top.
BEST FOREIGN ENTRY A Day in the Life - February 6, 2008 LESSONS FROM FLORENCE 2008 has our first set of blogs from abroad as Esther headed to Switzerland and Laura headed to Italy. Laura’s entry about the 12 lessons she learned in Florence along with her wonderful photos led to this win.
BEST TITLE Adventures at Hopkins - January 19, 2008 I HATE AIR FRANCE AND OTHER STORIES There were a lot of clever titles in 2008, but Esther’s attack on Air France was a clear winner primarily because if you Google the phrase “I hate Air France” it is this entry that is the first link.
***LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT*** NOT-QUITE-DAILY-RAMBLINGS Since the inception of the Hopkins Interactive blogs in December 2005 there is a sort of Mount Rushmore of all-time bloggers that include Michelle T., Michelle B., Esther, and Julia. But it is Class of 2007 graduate Michelle Tellock that is the first to be enshrined in the Bloggie Hall of Fame. Michelle’s blogs were always engaging and still resonate today two years after her graduation. As well, despite currently attending law school in New Haven (at a very good school), she continues to interact with our blogs and is the genius behind our Twitter page.
Hope you enjoyed the first annual Hopkins Interactive Bloggies. 2009 is shaping up to be our best blogging year ever, so check back in about a year for the second annual Bloggies. (STOP THAT GROANING!)
At 5:30 a.m. PT yesterday, from Hollywood, CA, the nominations for the 81st annual Academy Awards were revealed. As you will read or hear from now until the winners are announced next month, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” leads with 13 nominations, “Slumdog Millionaire” is in second with 10 nominations, power-couple Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) both received acting nods, and as expected Heath Ledger received a posthmous nomination for his tremendous work as the Joker on “The Dark Knight.”
Anyone who knows me or has been following this blog for more than a year, knows that I am an Oscar-fanatic, an Oscar-historian, an Oscar-gambler, and an Oscar-snob. (Did I miss anything?) Every year when I get my new day planner and I am entering my friends and family birth dates, anniversaries, and other important events, I am sure to include Oscar Night (2.22.09) and Nomination Day (1.22.09) on that calendar. Like my television watching, it is an addiction and illness … an no I won’t be seeking professional help.
In the spirit of Oscar Season, I came up with a really exciting idea …
THE FIRST ANNUAL HOPKINS INTERACTIVE BLOGGIE AWARDS
I am a huge fan of any awards season, and why not bring that to the world of Hopkins Interactive. In 2008 we published hundreds of new blog entries, and now it is time to honor the best. On February 23rd, one day after the Oscars are handed out, I will post links to the winning blog entries of our 15 categories (see below).
Between now and then, I NEED EVERYONE’S HELP. I am turning to the readers of the Hopkins Interactive blogs to provide me with nominations. Yes, I need your help in providing me with your nomination of the best bloggie performances 0f 2008 (the best blog entries posted between January 1 and December 31, 2008). Here is how the Nomination Process will work:
The Bloggies Nomination Process
Nomination Rules - You can nominate only blog entries posted in the 2008 calendar year.
- You are nominating specific entries, not overall blogs.
- You can nominate as many blog entries as you want.
- Nominations should reflect specific categories, but you may also nominate just your favorite entries and the judges will apply them to categories.
How To Nominate There are three ways you can nominate entries:
Post your nomination to this Hopkins Forums thread: CLICK HERE
Post your nomination in the Comments section of this blog entry.
With your nominations we request the following information:
* Title of the Blog entry (the specific entry title)
* Date the Blog entry was published
* Primary Name of the Blog the entry was published to.
* Author of the Blog entry.
* Direct Permalink to the Blog entry (optional).
Continue below for the 15 Bloggie categories and links to all the blogs so you can begin researching past blog entries for your nominations.
The Bloggie Categories
Best Blog – Awarded to the best blog entry overall in 2008.
Best Drama – Awarded to the most emotional / most inspiring / most reflective blog entry of 2008. Best Comedy- Awarded to the best comedic or musical blog entry of 2008 (in other words … the funniest!). Best Ensemble – Awarded to the best blog entry of 2008 posted to a multi-authored shared student blog (see listings below). Best Supporting Blog – Awarded to the best blog entry of 2008 posed to a University Blog (see listings below). Best Screenplay – Awarded to the most well written blog entry of 2008. Best Editing – Awarded to the best blog entry of 2008 that is approximately 150 words or less.
Best Cinematography – Awarded to the entry in 2008 that displays the best use of video content. Best Art Direction – Awarded to the “best looking” blog entry of 2008 (i.e. displays the best use of pictures, font color, text size, etc.) Best Set Direction – Awarded to the best Cribs blog entry of 2008. Best Documentary – Awarded to the blog entry of 2008 that gives the best snapshot of student life at Johns Hopkins. Best New Artist- Awarded to the best freshman blogger of 2008. Best Foreign Entry – Awarded to the best blog entry of 2008 that best discusses studying abroad or travel. Best Title – Awarded to the single blog entry of 2008 with the best title.
***Lifetime Achievement***- A special recognition award to the top blogger in the history of Hopkins Interactive.
Use the links below to do your research….
Hopkins Insider(the blog you are currently reading!) – Provides a ”behind the scenes” look at Admissions at Johns Hopkins University from Admissions_Daniel (ME!) himself.
Hopkins Interactive Guest Blog– Offers guest blog entries written by current (and, sometimes, incoming) Hopkins students who do not blog regularly for Hopkins Interactive. Our Guest Blog provides a unique way to hear the stories of a myriad of Hopkins students, each quite different from one another.
Hopkins Interactive Video Blog– From our bimonthly video show Hopkins Now!, to Cribs episodes (where we give you an exclusive tour of our on- and off-campus residences), to short videos about dining, athletics, the library and much more — this is truly your inside “look” into Johns Hopkins.
The Blue Jay Buffet — Our “random” topics blog offers entries from alumni, parents of Hopkins students, faculty and more, as well as monthly updates about campus events, Hopkins students and faculty in the news, and news-worthy Engineering items.
Senior Blog: Class of 2009– Senior year of college comes faster than you think! Four seniors share their experiences as they savor their last year at Hopkins and look forward to life in “the real world.”
Roxi & Jessica: Caught in Between– What are you when you’re not a fresh freshman and not a seasoned senior? A junior and a sophomore share everything about those two years in between.
INDIVIDUAL STUDENT BLOGS
Adventures at Hopkins(Esther) – A current senior International Studies major talks about internships, studying abroad (in Switzerland), performing arts, and her own exciting “adventures at Hopkins.”
Julia’s Journal(Julia) – Also a current senior, this Political Science major offers lots of advice to applying/incoming students, as well as her own experiences with internships/work, Model UN, Greek Life, and planning for the future.
Murphy’s Law Gone Right(Jackie) – A junior majoring in Philosophy muses about friends, family, school, politics and more with a unique mix of profundity and wit.
Simply Serendipitous(Mandy) – A sophomore and newly-declared Public Health major discusses choosing a major, exploring Baltimore, taking advantage of time at home, and staying balanced and happy at Hopkins.
The Reel Life of Josh(Josh) – This sophomore shares his advice on picking the right school for you, ways to succeed and have fun at Hopkins, and a look at some of his own work as a Film and Media Studies major.
Verbal Snippets and Snapshots(Kate) – A junior Neuroscience major explores the arts and culture at Hopkins while finding time to enjoy Baltimore, study for classes, take part in research, and more.
Wish You Were Here(Lauren) – A sophomore English/Writing Seminars major discusses the balance between school and fun, taking Humanities classes, and often provides photographic proof of her active life at Hopkins.
ARCHIVED STUDENT BLOGS
2011: Hopkins Freshman Blog- The tales of four freshmen (who are now sophomores) as they progressed through their first years at Hopkins.
A Day in the Life (Laura) - Before she began writing for the Senior Blog, writing seminars senior Laura had her own blog.
With your nominations we request the following information:
* Title of the Blog entry (the specific entry title)
* Date the Blog entry was published
* Primary Name of the Blog the entry was published to.
* Author of the Blog entry.
* Direct Permalink to the Blog entry (optional).