Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 17, 1994

New Admissions Director Vows to Serve and Counsel Prospects
By Ken Keatley

The admissions counselor in Paul White first surfaced during
his senior year at a suburban Pittsburgh high school.
    "I have an identical twin, Peter, who played athletics
and was getting mail from all sorts of schools," recalled
White, the new director of undergraduate admissions at
Hopkins. "He was too busy to fill out his applications, and I
literally sat him down and made him do it."
    The persistence paid off. The twins were accepted at
their first-choice school, Yale University. And Paul White
has been steering the right students to the right schools
ever since.
    "I'm not just a recruiter; that's a term I never use,"
White said. "We do public relations, counseling, and
dispelling of myths."
    Because admissions counselors are often a candidate's
first contact with an institution, it is vital that they be
knowledgeable and personable, White explained.
    "When I think back to my own recruitment experience, I
recall meeting a recruiter at a presentation who was very
rude and didn't seem interested in being there," White said.
"That memory has stayed with me, so it's obviously important
that we as counselors remember we're there to offer
prospective students our services."
    From 1988 until arriving at Hopkins last month, White
played an integral role in the admission office at Colgate
University in Hamilton, N.Y. He was associate dean of
admission for four years and in 1992 became senior associate
dean of admission.
    White worked previously as associate dean of admission
at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. and as assistant
director of undergraduate admission at his alma mater, Yale. 
    A 1979 graduate of Yale with a bachelor of arts degree
in American studies, White in 1987 earned a juris doctor
degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. 
    "Like a lot of people who are in admissions, I
originally had no idea that it was a profession," White said.
"And the longer I stayed, the more I realized that I was
doing more to help people here than I would have practicing
    White directs recruitment and undergraduate admissions
for the university's School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting
School of Engineering. He oversees a staff of eight
admissions counselors and a nine-member in-house
administrative team.
    "Paul White is an outstanding professional who is
exceptionally well-positioned to lead our undergraduate
admissions office to the next level of excellence," said
Robert J. Massa, associate dean for enrollment.
    At Hopkins, where the 1994-95 freshman class of 950 is
the largest ever, White hopes to continue the work of the
admissions office in championing the diverse, highly-regarded
undergraduate programs at the university.
    "One of the things I would like to do is make sure
people understand that Hopkins is a true university, with
strong areas across the board," said White.
    But White--like those students who have had to live
three to a dorm room because of the larger than expected
freshman class--is well aware that admissions and enrollment
officials must look for growth within the boundaries of the
university's policies and facilities.
    It is often a fine line to tread, when the prospect pool
is some 60,000 students. White noted that on average, 27
percent of students who are accepted to Hopkins decide to
attend. This year, 30 percent signed on.
    "Who knows why?" White said. "Admissions is part art,
part science. But like any science, sometimes you can't quite
explain things."
    White, who coordinated the minority recruitment program
at Hamilton, lauded the efforts of Hopkins in doubling its
minority enrollment since 1990.
    "It's important for us to try and mirror our
population," he said. "We should try to reflect our society."

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