By Grace Apostol
A new school year brings on new applications of students applying to Washington College.
A key member of this process is the Vice President of Enrollment Management, newly appointed to Johnnie Johnson.
Johnson, who started at the College Monday, Septe. 12, will work within his position, “to work strategically with both the admissions and financial aid offices, developing policies and plans, to enroll a vibrant incoming class each year.”
President of the College, Dr. Mike Sosulski was the chair of the search committee that was tasked with hiring a VP of Enrollment Management.
“Enrollment is so important,” President Sosulski said “There is nothing more important than identifying great, qualified students, and that’s our purpose. We don’t need any of this other stuff if we don’t have students to teach.”
According to President Sosulski, the search committee brought four finalists to the College where final interviews were conducted and the decision to hire Johnnie was made.
“Johnson stood out to us for a number of reasons, but the really important aspects to his candidacy were the fact that brings so much energy to his work,” Sosulski said. “When you meet and talk to him , you just get this warm sense of energy and intelligence and care and sense of purpose.”
Director of Admissions Kelsey Miller was also on the search committee in charge of the hiring process of Johnson.
“We were definitely looking for an individual who would be a good fit for WC and our admissions team,” Miller said. “We were looking for someone with a background in a liberal arts institution and setting, an individual to bring new and innovative ideas to recruitment of prospective students, [and]someone who would be strategic with data.”
Before coming to WC, Johnson was the Vice President for Admissions at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky.
While in school, Johnson received Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and Business and Sociology from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.
Johnson’s experience with admissions and financial aid has given him love for this field.
“I love being involved in the decision-making process of high school students and their families, when it comes to choosing their ideal college,” he said. “There are so many options, so I treasure being a valued source of information for the families.”
Before Johnson came to campus for his first official day, he already established a rapport with colleagues.
“We established our working relationship even prior to him arriving on campus,” Miller, who works directly under Johnson, said. “So that is one thing I was really excited about with him is that he was ready to jump in as soon as the announcement hit the papers of him joining the team.”
President Sosulski said that Johnsonn’s job is vital to helping with representing the world that is around the College.
“I think that recruiting a diverse population of students that really reflects the world we live in and makes opportunities available to students from every background is an incredibly high priority for this college and for me personally, and I know [Johnson] is committed to that,” President Sosulski said.
Regarding his hopes for his new position, Johnsons hopes to bring stability to the offices working with admissions.
“I hope to also provide the vision for a new direction and the energy to bring that vision into new action plans and procedures for the future,” he said.
Johnson also is passionate about the experiences that students can have at a college like WC.
“Cornell College changed my life, and from that point on, I was determined to tell others about these unique institutions,” Johnson said. “WC is a hidden gem, but I am dedicated to bringing it to the masses to hopefully influence their decisions to add this institution as a viable option to continue their education.”
Photo Courtesy of Johnnie Johnson
Photo Caption: New VP of Enrollment Management Johnnie Johnson