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Joan Adams, assistant to the dean of admission, stands outside the Office of Admission.
 
Posted 07.13.05

Assistant to the Dean of Admission Sprints Between Budgeting Department and Triathlons

Q: Joan, you are the assistant to the Dean of Admission. How long have you been in the Office of Admission?

A: I started working in the office of admission in January of 2000.

Q: And what were you doing before that?

A: I was hired in August of 1999 and started my Wesleyan career in the registrarís office.

Q: What do you like most about working here after these five years?

A: There are many things that I love about working at Wesleyan. First and foremost, I truly enjoy working with the office of admission staff. To me this group is like my extended family. We all get along well and work together as a team toward our common strategic goal of attracting and retaining the best students for Wesleyan. Working at Wesleyan provides so many benefits. Since I am a health and fitness nut, I appreciate the opportunity to utilize Freeman Athletic Center nearly every day. The new addition is just incredible and such an added bonus.

Q: Who do you primarily work with in the office?

A: I mostly assist Nancy Meislahn, dean of admission and financial aid. We work well as a productive team and after four years together operate in sync setting priorities and accomplishing as much as possible. As her assistant I manage her calendar, coordinate domestic and international travel, prepare correspondence and documents, and basically try to stay one step ahead of her which is a major challenge!

I also assist and support Greg Pyke, senior associate dean, with travel planning and statistical reporting for the University common data set and college guidebooks. Greg and I also work together to coordinate the Wesleyan High School Scholars Program which permits outstanding juniors and seniors from area high schools to take one course per semester.

Q: What else do you do?

A: Along with supporting Nancy and Greg I oversee the admission office budget and manage the prospects and applicants who have alumni relations or other special interests. Every day is unique with many challenges. I donít personally meet with students and parents on a daily basis but enjoy working at the registration table during our open houses in the fall and WesFest in the spring. I also work with University Relations to schedule special tours and interviews for alumni relatives.

Q: What is the busiest time of the year for you and why?

A: It is impossible to pick a time that we arenít busy in admission. The summer months are very hectic and exciting with prospective students and their parents visiting campus; the deans travel extensively through the fall and January 1st is our application deadline for regular admission. November through April is the busiest time for me personally. Summer marks the end of the cycle as the Class of 2009 matriculates in August, but weíve already begun to recruit the Class of 2010!

Q: What were you doing before? Are you a Connecticut native?

A: I grew up in Lake Placid and Greenwich, New York, and received an associateís degree in travel administration from Bay Path College and a bachelorís of science degree in management from Central Connecticut State University. I have lived in Massachusetts, California and Florida working a variety of jobs in sales, for example contract office furniture and food service, and more recently in human resources and benefits administration so my background is very diverse to say the least.

Q: Are you involved in any organizations or volunteer services?

A: Last winter I volunteered with the ďMomís ProgramĒ through New Britain General Hospital. The program trains young mothers in parenting classes and while they are in class the volunteers care for their children, mostly infants. Prior to the Momís Program I volunteered on the hospice unit at Middlesex Hospital.
I tend to volunteer during the winter months as I spend most of my free time in the summer months training for sprint triathlons.

Q: Whatís involved in a triathlon?

A: The sprint level triís are usually a half mile swim, 10 to14 miles on a bike and 5k run in length. The swim segment was most intimidating to me so I joined a Masters Swim group in September, thanks to Tom DiMauro in IT, and enjoyed swimming with an over-40 group through the winter. It was lots of fun.

Q: I doubt many people will believe youíre over 40 when they see the photo with your profile. So, is there anyone in your life worth mentioning?

A: Next month I am thrilled to be celebrating six years with my partner, Mary. She is the one who puts that smile on my face. My 83-year-old mom, Virginia lives in New Hampshire with her companion, Jim and they travel between New Hampshire and Florida each year. I have a sister, Cindy, who lives in Florida and brother, Greg and wife Nancy living at Ballston Lake, New York Ė and four nieces, two nephews and a great niece on the way!

Q: What are your other hobbies and interests?

A: Mary and I spend as much time as we can working in our yard and enjoying time with our family and friends. We love to travel and have taken several trips abroad and have traveled extensively in the US.
By Olivia Bartlett, The Wesleyan Connection editor