Senior associate director of admissions Scott Siegel leads a team of six. But unlike most managers at Indiana University, his team is spread out from coast to coast -- literally.
Siegel, who is himself based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, leads a team of admission counselors based full time in IU’s most successful recruitment markets across the country. These regional admissions representatives are ambassadors of IU in Chicago, Texas, New York, California and Washington, D.C.
Being based full time in their recruitment territories allows these counselors to do what campus-based counselors do in greater volume. They are able to visit more high schools, attend more college fairs and make more regular, face-to-face contacts with high school counselors and students. They stay engaged with IU Alumni Association chapters and connect prospective students with the resources they need to make informed decisions about which college to attend.
"We are the face of IU in these markets," Siegel said. "IU and the Office of Admissions take customer service seriously and always strive for Hoosier hospitality. We are able to give personal attention to students and parents in these key markets by meeting at coffee shops and talk about their interests and scholarships. We're not just someone they can email; we're actually there."
In his role as the admission counselor for parts of Chicago and North and South Dakota among other areas, Siegel has been able to further advance IU's diversity recruitment efforts as well. He and senior assistant director Emily Jackson are engaged with community-based organizations in the Chicago area, including the Chicago Scholars program for low-income, first-generation high school students.
At one program the two participate in, students are able to sit down with college admissions counselors to apply and receive a decision onsite. IU then hosts a reception for admitted students at the Chicago Scholars Office, which is attended by Executive Director of Admissions Sacha Thieme and representatives from the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program.
Last fall, Siegel furthered Native American recruitment efforts by traveling with Nicky Belle, First Nations Educational and Cultural Center director, and Julia Jennings, director of community and school partnerships for the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multiculrtural Affairs, to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Belle, who had cultivated a relationship with the reservation through the Lakota Language Program at IU, invited Siegel to discuss admission standards and processes with juniors at the Red Cloud Indian School.
During the fall 2017 recruitment cycle, Scott Siegel traveled with Nicky Belle, First Nations Educational and Cultural Center director, and Julia Jennings, director of community and school partnerships for the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multiculrtural Affairs, to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Photos courtesy of Scott Siegel
"Beyond being part of the university's enrollment goals, diversity recruitment gets at the core of what we do as admissions counselors," Siegel said. "Equity and access are so much part of standards set by the National Association for College Admission Counseling that it just comes naturally in what we do."
To make sure they stay connected to campus culture, the regional admission counselors return to Bloomington several times a year. Each summer, they spend a week in town for a staff retreat and fall recruitment planning. They host high school counselor fly-in or bus-in events on campus and attend Red Carpet Days for admitted students. Regional recruiters are also involved in cross-functional teams in the Office of Admissions, planning staff professional development opportunities and sitting on search committees.
Siegel, who is a 1992 IU graduate, said visits to campus always give him a refreshed sense of purpose in his work. He pursued a career in higher education and student affairs thanks to his experiences with the IU Student Foundation, the Indiana Daily Student, the Marching Hundred and Greek life at IU.
"I love working for my alma mater,” Siegel said. “It makes the admissions work I do so much easier because I have emotional investment and attachment to the school I’m representing."