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Behind The Scenes with the TFAS Recruitment And Admissions Team

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TODAY, March 17, is final deadline day for our 2015 U.S. summer programs in Washington, D.C. The TFAS recruitment and admissions team is hard at work processing applications as students rush to turn in their application materials under the wire.

As a TFAS alumnus, you probably remember corresponding with your admissions counselor while applying for TFAS programs. What you may not know is that the small-but-mighty team of three corresponds and interacts with thousands of students during the application process. Even while traveling to conferences, blogging, managing the DCinternships social media accounts and helping to secure financial aid for students, our team still manages to have a personal interaction with each prospective student.

Mary Stankus is the director of U.S. programs recruitment and admissions department and has been working at TFAS for just over ten years. She oversees the department, works with partner groups, manages the application system and develops the recruitment and student communications schedule, among other things.

Mary Stankus, director of U.S. programs recruitment and admissions, reviews an application that was recently submitted for the summer programs.
Mary Stankus, director of U.S. programs recruitment and admissions, reviews an application that was recently submitted for the summer programs.

Stankus strives to make improvements to programs and the application process each year by assessing student feedback and making changes to ensure the best possible experience. This year, Mary and her team have launched a new application system, made improvements to their website, social media and marketing outreach and implemented a more robust recruitment travel schedule. The hard work seems to be paying off. “We have been very impressed with the quality of applicants this year,” said Stankus. “We have had strong interest, which is shown in the increased amount of applications started this year over last year. The programs we are offering are really connecting with students and helping to meet their professional ambition.”

Dana Faught is the associate director of U.S. programs recruitment and admissions. She has worked in the department for seven years and loves changing lives by helping young people attend TFAS programs. “I always get thank you notes at the end of the summer from students who say their TFAS summer completely changed their world view, changed their life or reset them on a new path in their professional career and personal lives,” said Faught. “They mention the connections they made with other students and how those connections will be life-long friends.”

Dana Faught, associate director of U.S. programs recruitment and admissions, reviews an application for the Capital Semester Fall 2015 program.
Dana Faught, associate director of U.S. programs recruitment and admissions, reviews an application for the Capital Semester Fall 2015 program.

Faught is responsible for working with students whose last names begin with M-Z, Capital Semester recruitment, marketing and recruitment content, recruitment travel and much more. Through her tenure with TFAS, Faught has enjoyed seeing some of her former students begin to give back to the programs as alumni volunteers. “Students really go through something together and it’s rewarding for me to see them come back to D.C., recruit for us or give back their time by serving as a mentor, internship sponsor, guest speaker or alumni ambassador,” said Faught. “It’s so great to hear about their TFAS experiences and how it impacted them so profoundly. That, to me, is my favorite part about working here and working with the students.”

Mallie Woodfin is the coordinator of U.S. programs recruitment and admissions. Although she’s only been working at TFAS for just over a year, Woodfin has made a big impact. She has heightened the DCinternships social media presence and helped to connect alumni with prospective students through the Alumni Ambassador program. In addition, she is responsible for working with students whose last names begin with A-L, marketing and recruitment content, recruitment travel and much more.

Mallie Woodfin, coordinator of U.S. programs recruitment and admissions, speaks with a student about financial aid.
Mallie Woodfin, coordinator of U.S. programs recruitment and admissions, speaks with a student about financial aid.

“It’s nice to come full circle talking with students – helping them with their application, processing the application, helping them with financial aid, enrolling them and then actually seeing them coming to D.C.,” said Woodfin, “The whole process is important.”

Since joining the U.S. Programs admissions department last year, Woodfin has developed a strong sense of pride to be working with a team that is so dedicated to its mission. “Our main objective is to help students,” she said. “Making the programs great for each student is the most important thing and to us the program begins when a student first learns about us by email, mail, at a conference or on campus,” she said.

In addition to helpings students go through the application process with ease, this team of three works tirelessly to help secure scholarships for students to attend our programs. Each year, more than 70 percent of U.S. programs students receive a scholarship to make their TFAS experience possible.

With the increased number of applicants, we’ll need as much help as we can get to make sure this year’s pool of students receives the necessary scholarship support. You can help Mary, Dana and Mallie award the best and brightest students a TFAS scholarship by donating today at TFAS.org/GiveBack.

Our U.S. programs staff aren’t the only ones gearing up for a busy summer. The final application deadline for our international program in Hong Kong recently passed and the final application deadline for our international program in Prague is May 1.

Brigit Moore, director for Asia programs, said, “I am really happy with the diversity with the applications this year. We have a good mix, both in terms of where applicants are from and their academic backgrounds. It is going to make for great discussions and interactions when the students arrive and start the program in Hong Kong.”

Matt Kwasiborski, director for European programs, is also happy with the applicant diversity and pleased with recruitment overall. “Having relocated to Prague permanently, it has allowed me to travel throughout Europe to do face-to-face recruiting, which has definitely increased interest in the program,” said Kwasiborski. “Our alumni in the area have also been crucial in recruitment and getting the word out about the program. I am very excited to meet the new students and welcome them into the TFAS family this July,” he said.

Stay tuned to read all about our 2015 summer program students in upcoming @TFAS Alumni Newsletters!

 

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