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The Source

Changes announced in undergraduate admissions and financial aid

September 16, 2011

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    Lisa Meyer, dean of admissions and financial aid for the College of Arts and Sciences

Within the first couple of months of her arrival, Lisa Meyer, dean of admissions and financial aid for the College of Arts and Sciences, has implemented several personnel changes.

In addition to appointing two longtime staff members to director roles, she hired two new staff members, and named Peter McKay the assistant dean of admissions and East Coast regional representative.

The Source caught up with Lisa to find out more about her new role at Lewis & Clark and how these changes came about.

What was it like to start your new job here at Lewis & Clark?

So far, I have been overwhelmed by the friendly and gracious welcome I have received at Lewis & Clark. There is a stereotype out there that says really bright and talented people aren’t particularly warm. This College disproves that in the first moments you step on campus. Faculty, students, and staff have made a point of stopping in and offering their services. The admissions and financial aid teams have been eager to assist me in any way and have been open to new ideas.

I was raised in Oregon, and lived here until I was in my early twenties. After that I went to Boston and then Southern California. My experiences at other colleges and universities have been stimulating, challenging, and rewarding, and I believe they have prepared me for the work ahead at Lewis & Clark. After 21 years in Southern California, it is great to be home.

Jim Sumner, who was the interim dean of admissions during this past year, did a wonderful job of leading the admissions team and recruiting a diverse, talented group of entering students. It’s exciting to be here as that group arrives on campus, but also onerous to know that Jim set the bar so high. One of the things he seemed to do particularly well was to engage the entire community in the recruitment process. This is essential to our success, and I hope to continue the kinds of initiatives that Jim started on campus.

How did Anastacia transition to her new role as director of financial aid?

Throughout the past academic year, while holding the title of interim director of financial aid, Anastacia Dillon was able not only to maintain the processes in place, but to add insight and experience, improving overall operations. Representatives from all three colleges have commented on the good work of Anastacia and her staff, and there is an overall consensus that the Office of Financial Aid is healthy and productive. This consistently high praise for our interim director eventually led to a promotion to director. In this new role, Anastacia is already considering the flow of responsibilities in the office and is working to improve processes. Her plans include keeping an eye on the balance between financial details and customer service. We are fortunate to work with someone so capable and approachable.

Can you discuss the organization of your department and your thoughts on the year ahead?

At one point this summer, Jim Sumner told me that the gift he was leaving me was a great staff. He didn’t lie. I am impressed on a daily basis at the knowledge, energy, and expertise that all of the members of the admissions and financial aid staff bring to their work. I was fortunate to be able to appoint two longtime staff members to director roles: Anastacia Dillon, as director of financial aid, and Erica Johnson, as director of admissions. Each of them brings intelligence, commitment, and drive to their positions. I’ve already spoken about some of Anastacia’s accomplishments, so I hope I can add a bit about Erica here. A natural leader, she has been a great mentor to many of our newer employees, developing a new generation of highly competent representatives for the College. As the director, she is in charge of the oversight of daily activities for the office, ensuring that all of our plans are successfully implemented. Her ability to see the big picture and to translate overarching goals into finite tasks makes Erica the perfect person for this position.

Additional changes in the Office of Admissions have included the move for Peter McKay to New York, where he serves as our East Coast representative, and the re-institution of a position for the recruitment of multicultural students. Rasheid Light will be joining us in October as the associate dean and coordinator of multicultural admissions. His breadth of experience in working with college-going students, at high schools and colleges, has provided him with excellent preparation to lead many of our strategic initiatives regarding diversity on the Lewis & Clark campus.

We also hired two new support staff members to replace Linda Bristol and Jill Briney, who chose to leave us for the joys of retirement. If you get a chance, please stop by and welcome Elisabeth Martin and Krista Grable to the College.

The year ahead will certainly be busy and filled with challenges, but we have the people in place to have another very successful year.

Is there anything else the campus at large needs to know about your department right now?

The most important thing for the campus at large to know is that attracting the very best students to Lewis & Clark can be facilitated by the Office of Admissions, but it is the entire community that actually recruits a student. Students are most impressed by interactions with faculty and other students. They are looking for signs from the people who will shape their educational experiences that this is the college that fits their goals and aspirations. If you ever have the opportunity to engage with prospective students, I encourage you to do so. It can make all of the difference in the world.