The Newman University Admissions team hosted its annual Scholarship Interview Day Saturday, Jan. 29, with the help of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (ASC) sisters, Newman students, faculty and staff members.
Scholarship Interview Day welcomes prospective students who have applied to interview for some of the biggest scholarships Newman has to offer. This year, to accommodate as many interviewees as possible both near and far, five morning teams and five afternoon teams interviewed the students via Zoom as well as in person.
Some students in attendance interviewed for one scholarship, others for two. All those who interviewed for the St. Newman Scholarship were also required to complete a 1-hour, timed essay responding to a specific prompt.
In addition to interviews, the Admissions team also offered campus and residence hall tours, parent sessions, lab tours in the state-of-the-art Bishop Gerber Science Center, financial aid appointments and interview icebreakers.
“We had quite a few students visiting campus for the first time,” Associate Director of Admissions Georgia Drewes explained. “We had 50-plus parents and other guests in attendance, and it was our chance to inform, impress and entertain, and hopefully, we left a good impression on everyone who came to campus that day.”
It takes a village
Newman President Kathleen Jagger addressed the group of interviewees and their families during lunch in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center. Director of Theater Mark Mannette spoke about the interdisciplinary focus that Newman’s academic experience offers, and senior Daniel Knolla reflected on his experience as a Newman student and how he hopes to apply what he’s learned post-graduation.
Each of the scholarships highlighted during day has its own committee and decision process. Kelly McFall, director of the Honors Program, reviewed all Honors applicants; Director of Mission Effectiveness Therese Wetta, ASC, worked with five teams to conduct ASC Service Award interviews; and six faculty members made up the St. Newman interview/selection committee.
Sister Therese described the student applicants as “definitely poised for university study.”
“They come intellectually prepared and almost all of them had a varied service background,” she said. “As one of the ASC Scholars said after the interviews were completed, ‘If four of the students I interviewed today come to Newman, this campus will definitely be changed for the better.’”
Senior data analytics major and ASC scholar Julia Myers said she was excited to be on the other side of the interview process for the ASC Service Award.
“This was my first time interviewing people for any type of position or scholarship, and I hope I was able to calm the students’ nerves and make the interviews as comfortable as possible, so they could do their best,” Myers said. “I was blown away by so many of the students I interviewed. It is very exciting to see a new cohort of students with so much passion for service along with expressing the desire to grow in leadership and as people.”
Myers added, “I hope all of them decide to come to Newman; it will be in good hands with their spirit.”
Making Scholarship Interview Day
Drewes took on the task of planning the ins and outs of the day’s schedule of events — a responsibility that was both an honor and somewhat stressful, she said.
“The more applications we got as we neared the extended deadline of Jan. 15, the more nervous I got,” Drewes said with a laugh. “It’s a good problem to have so many students interested and invested enough to complete the process and RSVP for the event/interviews, but having large events on a small campus with small departments can be challenging, especially when it comes to finding space to host everyone and keep COVID distancing and masking policies in mind.”
Behind-the-scenes, Digital Marketing Manager Geoff Louvar provided all the design and print materials needed for the day, including the slideshow presented at lunch with the name, picture and school of each attending applicant. Amy Arrington, welcome center manager, provided support by preparing info packets, swag and name tags for the event. Senior Michelle Tong, Admissions student coordinator, helped collect swag for participants, provided tours, helped set up for the day and assisted from start to finish.
“Our Office of Admissions and Office of Financial Aid gave us their full Saturday to make sure the event went well,” Drewes added. “Several faculty, staff, students, alumni and ASC sisters also helped with speaking and the parent sessions. Their help was invaluable, greatly appreciated and contributed to the overall success of the day.”
Out of all the events Drewes has been involved with in her eight years at Newman, the 2022 Scholarship Interview Day was possibly the most well-attended.
Drewes added, “Regardless of who gets what scholarship, we’d ideally love to have all the students join our community now that we’ve seen their academic, extracurricular, athletic and social prowess.”