From the moment you decide to attend Acadia University to graduation and beyond, one thing is clear: you’re family.
Members of our recruitment staff know this because most of them are alumni, and they are happy to share their knowledge and experience with prospective students so that they, too, will understand right from the get-go the kind of post-secondary experience Acadia offers. It’s a personalized education that caters to each student’s individual goals and ambitions, ensuring a successful journey from the moment they decide to attend Acadia to when they join our community as full-fledged alumni, degree in hand, ready to pursue career aspirations and make a difference.
We all ‘Stand Up and Cheer’ and love to describe the powerful and transformative Acadia experience with others here at home and around the world.
Madison Mackenzie (’16) has been with the Recruitment Office since 2017 and is our Nova Scotia Enrolment Advisor. “After crossing the stage and officially becoming an Acadia graduate,” Maddie says, “I couldn’t think of a more exciting opportunity than working in recruitment. Sharing personal stories and anecdotes with new students has forged many special connections, and I can’t wait to one day see them cross the stage the same way I did.”
Danielle Poirier, who graduated in 2016 and immediately started working with the Recruitment Office, says that in her Grade 12 year she had no idea where she wanted to go or what she wanted to do so she attended a school fair and remembers speaking with an Acadia recruiter. As a result of the conversation, she registered for an Open House “and that is when I fell in love with the campus. I loved my four years at Acadia and now I get to be that person sharing my Acadia experience and what I love most about the school and the town of Wolfville.”
COVID-19, however, has changed the landscape and presented our team with a completely different canvas upon which to work. This year’s recruitment season was cut in half because of the coronavirus pandemic. Typically, our recruitment staff would spread out across the nation and the globe, sharing their Acadia stories and assisting students through the admission process.
Travel restrictions and lockdowns in many communities prevented that, but like many other agencies and organizations, with the dedicated support of faculty, staff and members of our alumni family, the student recruitment team shifted and found new and innovative ways to connect with future students. Through persistent outreach on social media, e-mail, virtual events presentations, virtual campus tours and student recruitment sessions, the Acadia voice is being heard loud and clear, and perhaps much more widely than ever before!
Liam Dutton (’11, ’13), Manager of Recruitment says, “as an alumnus, ex-varsity athlete and Acadia employee, I couldn’t be prouder of how we have all come together to overcome the challenges that were presented to us at the end of the last school year. Being part of various planning groups throughout the summer to reach our ambitious goal of reopening in a hybrid format for September demonstrated to me how many hands make light work, as well as the sheer passion so many people have for Acadia and its students.”
Leah Vasil (’17) has worked for the Recruitment Office for three years and is our Campus Tours Coordinator. “Being able to help prospective students navigate a rather stressful time and hopefully ease their mind in making a decision for their next steps is a privilege,” she says. “It’s even more exciting when you see those same students arriving and thriving on campus the following year!”
Leah has worked diligently within the confines of the ‘Atlantic bubble’ and focused on virtual presentations and recordings. As always, alumni are there to help. Part of the Open House schedule in November included a panel of alumni who spoke with prospective students and their parents about their experiences at Acadia and how they shaped their decisions and life journey since then. See the panel video here.
In Student Recruitment and Alumni Affairs, we have embraced change and the many new opportunities to connect. And we’re not alone. “One thing is certain,” says Acadia’s Executive Director, Alumni Affairs Oonagh Proudfoot (‘93, ’06), “in all my conversations with alumni around the world, during this time of virtual events and video conferencing, the first question they ask is, ‘How can we help with recruitment efforts?’”
Whether making connections with teachers, guidance counsellors or other support services; safely hosting a gathering of prospective students and parents at home; or offering their own advice and information, our alumni community is always there. There have been many collaborative efforts between Alumni Affairs and Student Recruitment, hosting joint events in major cities across the country and internationally, with great success.
Now more than ever, we look to our alumni to provide additional support in any way possible. Be our voice in your local community, share your story, continue to inspire the next generation of Acadia students the best way you know how. Lend a hand, like families do.
For contact information and recruitment material, please visit: https://www2.acadiau.ca/future-students.html
Pictured above is Liam Dutton (’11, ’13), Manager of Recruitment, with a prospective student at a pre-COVID-19 Open House on the Acadia campus.