Two former Newman University admissions counselors recently stepped into roles within the Department of Student Life, bringing their expertise deeper into the heart of campus.
Joshua Prilliman jets into role as director of student activities
The new director of student activities is no stranger to the Newman campus. Joshua Prilliman graduated from Newman as an art major in 2014 and returned to Newman as an admissions counselor about a year ago.
“My love for Newman is really what attracted me to this role, and wanting to be involved with the students and being a part of making their college experience the most fun I could possibly make it,” he explained. “I want to be involved, I want to help make college memorable, and I am willing to go as far as I need to and more in hopes that I can help create an incredibly awesome campus life.”
Prilliman shared that he told Dean of the School of Business and Technology David Cochran that part of his role was to get all the adults on campus willing to embarrass themselves for the sake of the cause, meaning he wants everyone to be willing to pitch in and be part of the fun on Newman’s campus.
“I am still working on getting Dr. Straub to allow me to paint his face for a home athletic event,” he joked.
Prilliman feels his experiences as an admissions counselor will only continue to serve him in his new role.
“Part of what made my job fulfilling was when I helped recruit students and they would swing by my office to say ‘hi’ or stop and have some conversations with me at the dining hall,” he said. “Being able to still be part of their experience is truly humbling because they could get here and never interact with me again if they wanted, and that has allowed me to ask them about what they want and what they feel like they need. My only job here on campus has been all about students. The only difference now is I get to work more with current students.”
Perhaps what excites Prilliman most is the opportunity to help build community and camaraderie throughout Newman’s campus.
“I want to be here, and I want to help in every way I can, and I know we have incredibly passionate students that want the same thing, like Michelle Tong and Alondra Valle, our student workers in admissions,” he said. “Seeing how passionate they are about their roles on campus makes me incredibly happy and seeing their efforts with building community just bolsters the feelings I have of wanting to be involved in the process. I am here to help and always open to new ideas.”
Director of multicultural engagement and campus life is Katherine Reynoso
Katherine Reynoso, who joined Newman as an admissions counselor in early 2023, is now the director of multicultural engagement and campus life.
“What attracted me the most to this role was to have the opportunity to use all my background knowledge in diversity and other cultures in general to contribute to our students’ success and international community,” she said.
Reynoso feels that her experience in admissions will enable her to work more closely with current students. She’s especially excited to work with student organizations like the Multicultural Leadership Organization and the Hispanic American Leadership Organization.
“I already had the opportunity to help students apply and enroll to Newman, and now I will work on helping them feel at home by finding all the resources necessary for them,” she shared.
One of the first initiatives Reynoso is working on is promoting a shuttle service that will give students free rides to the grocery store. Madeline Vardell, student support specialist at the Runway Learning Center, is organizing the program.
Reynoso is deeply committed to collaborating with the admissions team as well by giving presentations in Spanish to the local community and helping grow the Hispanic population on campus.
For Reynoso, her passion for working with students and education stems back to her childhood.
“My mom was a daycare owner and worked with education for more than 20 years,” she shared. “I have always been an advocate for educating our communities and continue to do so outside of work by being part of local coalitions to help educate local families to improve health equity.”
Work at Newman University
Being a part of the Newman University team means empowering graduates to earn a degree of difference in order to transform society for the better.