Newman sweeps awards at annual conference


The Newman admissions team has spent the past years successfully chasing record numbers in recruitment and retention rates, but the excellence doesn't stop there.

Five members of the team recently attended the Great Plains Association for College Admission Counseling (GPACAC) annual conference in Kansas City and two members were recognized with awards. The GPACAC organization includes counselors from colleges and high schools in the Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska areas. The conference, which had an attendance of approximately 370, was held jointly with the Missouri Association for College Admission Counseling organization.

Only three awards were given at the conference. Assistant Director of Admissions Georgia Drewes was awarded the Rising Star Award, and Associate Director of Admissions Amanda Booth was co-awarded the Burge Spirit Award, which recognizes a member whose enthusiasm and creativity have been an inspiration and whose contributions positively impact the camaraderie in the association.

Booth recently completed her first year on the GPACAC executive board and helps plan the annual conference.

Amanda Booth with the Burge Spirit Award

Though she helped coordinate the entire conference, Booth said the award came as a complete shock. She was honored to share the award with her fellow conference planner, Morgan Brammer from the University of Oklahoma.

Booth's volunteer position on the board means countless hours spent planning a large-scale conference. It was noted that her positive personality, enthusiasm, selfless contributions and meaningful work are appreciated in the organization.

As for Drewes, Booth said, "Being on the board, I had a tip that Georgia would be receiving an award so I was very excited for her."

Drewes is a member of the executive board as well and is highly involved with GPACAC through her position as chair of the College Fair Committee.

The Rising Star Award is given to "a professional with no more than five years of experience who has made significant contributions to the Great Plains affiliate, has demonstrated a commitment to professionalism and has leadership potential within the Great Plains affiliate and the National Association for College Admission Counseling."

Georgia Drewes

Georgia Drewes with the Rising Star Award

Drewes was excited to have been nominated for such an award. She always knew she wanted to go into a profession where she could help people and said, "I never really thought of admissions as being one of those options and it’s nice to know that even though this wasn’t my plan in life, I’m doing some good with it and it's getting recognized."

Booth said, "It was such an honor because there are only three of these awards given each year to professionals from a three-state region, so it's amazing that Georgia received one and that I was a recipient as well. I was so honored and humbled and it was just amazing."

At the conference, Booth and Drewes, along with Director of Undergraduate Admissions Kristen English, gave presentations at sessions with more than 50 colleagues in attendance.

Booth gave a presentation alongside Ron Filipowicz of Waybetter Marketing titled "Why Hyper-Personalized, Data-Driven Marketing Works." Booth talked about the software and information Waybetter Marketing provides Newman and how it is affecting recruitment and retention rates.

Drewes and English gave a presentation titled "Admissions is Sales," which is an expression Drewes was never fond of.

"I remember when I first got here, I hated when people would refer to admissions as sales," Drewes said. "But I think if you do it right and recruit based on fit like we do really well here at the university, that's something that other people in our profession can use to their advantage."

The team left the conference with a new pep in their step. Booth felt a refreshed sense of motivation after listening to new ideas, networking with other motivated professionals in the field and being recognized for her incredible work.

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