Admissions Staff Explain Role of Diversity in Admissions Events


Photo credit: Genevieve Humphreys

Photo by Genevieve Humphreys

According to the Office of Admissions, the incoming classes at Trinity are increasingly diverse. This means that as diversity grows, Admissions employees work to make sure that all of Trinity’s visitors can get their questions answered, regardless of their background.

Trinity hosts a variety of open house programs throughout the year for both admitted and prospective students. These programs typically include several different smaller events or sessions throughout the course of a day, including a visit day panel made up of Trinity students.

“Out of all of the different events that we end up doing at the student open house programs, I would say the student panel is the one that gets the most hits,” said Justin Doty, dean of Admissions. “I think what they appreciate is that students typically don’t sugarcoat anything. We always have a student panel at the end of the day at those programs. We have a Trinity student panel for the parents and then we have a Trinity student panel for the students as well.”

Hannah-Elyse Konyecsni, senior and recruitment intern for the Office of Admissions, is one of the people in charge of creating visit day panels along with other recruitment interns.

“We look for people who are involved in research/internships, athletics, Greek life, residential life, STEM, humanities, business and those who are from out of state and have studied abroad,” Konyecsni wrote in an email interview. “We also try to have an even mix of male and female panelists as well as some diversity in economic, religious and cultural backgrounds. The goal of the panels is not to show the ratio of diversity, it’s to provide information to all students who are interested in attending.”

A wide range of diversity is important for these panels because the admissions office wants all visitors to be able to get their questions answered.

“In order to attract diversity, we have to put forward a diverse face,” Konyecsni wrote. “There is no other way to do it. But admissions is very transparent with Trinity’s racial diversity, as all of the statistics are published online. Ultimately, we look for students who have different perspectives and are good at talking about it. The recruitment interns find around eight students who are willing and available and send that list to the administration, who chooses the final five that you will see on a panel.”

Diversity is a big part of the student panels, and it is also an important part of the rest of the admissions events.

“It really is woven into the content throughout the entire program,” Doty said. “In my mind, when I say diversity, I am thinking on the broad spectrum, all the different forms of diversity on campus. I think by the end of the day prospective students and parents really get it. On the academic side and on the campus life side, they understand the personality of Trinity. They see diversity taking on many different forms and why it’s important.”

Tour guides also talk to prospective and admitted students about diversity at Trinity during their tours.

“We purposefully have our tour guides lead our guests through the Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO) and Student Involvement office spaces to not only explain their role in our campus community but to also highlight the resources we have available to all students,” Vanessa Leyva, visit and event manager, and Hillary Everts, assistant director of Admissions, wrote in an email interview. “We talk about diversity within the residence halls and how you will have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with people who may identify differently and have different experiences than you.”

Doty expressed his excitement for the growing diversity at Trinity.

“It’s been fascinating for me to see the trend over the last five years here, just what this population is looking like each year in terms of diversity,” Doty said. “The students that we’re attracting and enrolling — each year, it just continues to be more diverse and I think what’s interesting is if you take a look at Trinity compared to other private, selective liberal arts schools across the country, we are in an enviable position.”