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ALP: The Admissions Leadership Podcast

Education Podcasts

Ken Anselment hosts a series of one-on-one conversations with people who have been climbing the leadership mountain in the world of college admissions. Some are nearing the summit. Some are already there. But how did they get there? And what can other climbers learn from their mindsets, habits, and experiences?

Ken Anselment hosts a series of one-on-one conversations with people who have been climbing the leadership mountain in the world of college admissions. Some are nearing the summit. Some are already there. But how did they get there? And what can other climbers learn from their mindsets, habits, and experiences?


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Ken Anselment hosts a series of one-on-one conversations with people who have been climbing the leadership mountain in the world of college admissions. Some are nearing the summit. Some are already there. But how did they get there? And what can other climbers learn from their mindsets, habits, and experiences?




Peaches Valdes

Peaches Valdes, Dean of Admission at Hamilton College, joins Ken for a conversation that spans everything from taking the path less taken and the importance of having a board of mentors, to the magic of super soft stationery and storytelling without notes. Much hilarity ensues. Alternative episode title: "Paths, Pearls, Pickups, Pens, and Paper." Rapid Descent Walkout songTiltedBest recent readThe Farm: A NovelEager to read next A Promised LandPodcast: The MothFavorite thing to make in...


Nancy Beane

You can hear it in my giddy voice when I start the intro for this episode, where Nancy Beane, recently retired associate director of college counseling at The Westminster Schools, and former NACAC president, reflects on her career and all the people who have inspired and lifted her along the way. Come for the inspiration, stay for the history lesson. Shout-outs ... consider it Nancy's thank you's for her Lifetime Achievement Award Juan Acosta; Lee Ann Afton Backlund; Stephanie Balmer;...


Gil Villanueva

Gil Villaneuva, Associate Vice President and Dean of Admission at the University of Richmond and former board chair of The Common Application, joins Ken to discuss horror movies, dogs, and maybe a few things (OK, more than a few things) about higher ed leadership, including the joy of working for ambitious institutions ... also SPAM and fried rice. Shout-outs Nancy Tessier his former boss at University of Richmond (now at Art & Science Group) Pat Coleman, his former boss at Harvey Mudd...


DJ Menifee

DJ Menifee, Vice President for Enrollment at Susquehanna University and member of NACAC's board of directors, shares the stories about his rapid ascent to higher ed leadership ... and, perhaps just as important, deconstructs the construction of a perfect PBJ with Ken. This quote from DJ (borrowed from Kobe Bryant): "If you want to be the best, you've got to sacrifice something." Shout-outs Lori Greene (Butler U; mentor to DJ) Bill Sliwa (who hired him into the profession at...


Adrienne Amador Oddi

Adrienne Amador Oddi, Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, shares her story, which may overlap with many other ALP alumni, but is very much her own. Learn how a swimmer's mindset is perfectly adaptable to leadership in admissions & financial aid. Also math. This quote from Adrienne Amador Oddi: "We take the steps to build community. And when we get tired, the beauty of community is that somebody else can keep us going, and then, when our energy is...


Eva Blanco Masias

Eva Blanco Masias, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Santa Clara University, shares her story, including how a significant national crisis 19 years ago led her to leave a highly successful career to jump into the admissions and enrollment world. Shout-outs Rod Skinner (and his mother, Mrs. Skinner) Mike Sexton Sandra Hayes Charlie Nolan Patrick Lorenzo Rapid Descent Walkout songMi GenteBest recent readHow to be an AntiracistThe Magic TreehouseEager to read next Pauli...


Four Peaks

Ken shares four things to carry you into and through a Halloween/Nov. 1/pre-Election Day weekend. Full episode with new guests drops next week. Peak 1: The Keep Going Song a joyful ear worm Peak 2: "What's at Stake for College Admission in this Election?" by Angel Perez Peak 3: "Election Stress Getting to You? 4 Ways to Keep Calm" Peak 4: Wild Geese by Mary Oliver


Jenny Rickard

Jenny Rickard, President and CEO of CommonApp, climbs a veritable mountain range on this episode of the ALP. Learn about a journey that's part dream, part serendipity and all dedication as you hear Jenny share what she's learned along the way, and what has driven her from the start. Rapid Descent Walkout songWhile You See a ChanceBest recent readLower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New EconomyEager to read next The College Conversation: A Practical Companion for...


David Hawkins

What do a growling beagle, Andrew Cuomo, the Green Bay Packers, shoe leather and good ideas have in common? Find out in this fun and wide-ranging interview with David Hawkins, Executive Director for Educational Content and Policy at the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Rapid Descent Walkout songTotal FootballBest recent readThe Souls of Black FolkEager to read nextMostly HarmlessFavorite thing to make in the kitchen: What she uses to take and keep notesMemorable bit...


Corey Johnson

Ken learns why dynamic kindness is more important than "success" in his chat with Corey Johnson, founder of Imagine Scholar, based in the Nkomazi region of Mpumalanga province, in South Africa. Imagine Scholar is "founded on the belief that there is an equal distribution of raw potential in every pocket of the world. Our mission is to equip young leaders with the integrity, skills, and mindsets they need to shape a world they can be proud of." Many thanks to Laura Kaub (whose name somehow...


Rachelle Hernandez

Ken kicks off Season 3 with Rachelle Hernandez, Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Student Success at the University of Texas at Austin. Learn why you may be able to go fast alone, but you'll always go far together—a theme of this podcast—and how doing right by students will always mean doing right by your institution. Ken also learns that the last thing you need is a pen exploding on you. Rapid Descent Walkout songHall of FameBest recent readThe 5 Elements of Effective...


Maria Furtado

Ken chats with Maria Furtado, Executive Director of Colleges That Change Lives, which is dedicated to the advancement and support of a student-centered college search process. Maria shares the origin story of Admissions Aerobics (it's real and it's magic), as well as lessons she's learned along the way as a former director of admission herself. Special shout-out to Marty O'Connell and Virginia Buege two of the big brains behind the birth of Colleges That Change Lives. Rapid...


Darryl Uy

Ken chats with Darryl Uy, director of admission at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. \In the episode Darryl illustrates the joys and advantages of being the director instead of the VP or dean, and how majoring in theater is the perfect prep for being an admission director. Rapid Descent Walkout songDon't Give Up on MeBroken & BeautifulBest recent readThe ImperfectionistsEager to read nextThis Is How It Always IsFavorite thing to make in the kitchen: What he uses to take and keep...


May 1, Then and Now

Ken chats with—well—himself. No the quarantine isn't going that badly for him, but it seems like May 1 is a good day to pause and reflect on our previous expectations for—and now the new reality of—The Big Day. Shameless cross-promotion: Why Do We Do This? an article I published almost a year ago about the challenges and the gifts that come with the work of college admission counseling.


Patrick O'Connor

Ken chats with Patrick O'Connor, associate dean of college counseling at Cranbrook Schools and author of College Is Yours 2.0: Preparing, Applying, and Paying For Colleges Perfect For You. A frequent publisher of articles in the Huffington Post and elsewhere, Patrick is a strong advocate for college access (he's the chair of the Michigan College Access Network) with a long record of working with legislators to support college counseling. Rapid Descent Walkout songJesu, Joy of Man's...


Jennifer Delahunty

Ken chats with Jennifer Delahunty, a self-described "accidental admissions officer, a humanoid and admissions gig worker. The former enrollment chief at Kenyon College and a perpetually gifted writer, Jennifer shares her views on how we can make the admissions world for students better than it is right now, and how our current disruption may be the perfect opportunity for nimble, creative, and humble leaders to bring all hands on deck to do so. Rapid Descent Walkout songIt's the End of the...


Mary Beth Petrie

Ken chats with Mary Beth Petrie, Dean of Admissions at Lawrence University (who works just two doors down from Ken). Beth reminds Ken what snowstorms can teach admissions folks about coping with pandemics, how to keep a team healthy in the midst of chaos, and, in an unusual twist, switches the typical ending of the ALP, much to Ken's surprise. Many thanks to Rick Bailey and Sam Waterson of RHB for sharing their advice during this episode about how we can "imagine voraciously" during this...


Tony Sarda

Ken chats with Tony Sarda, Director of Recruitment for Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Some are called to serve with a whisper, others with a boom of thunder... in the case of Tony, it was both. Learn about the importance of being open to grace, and giving grace... and why it's really hard to be whay you cannot see. Rapid Descent Walkout songDon't Let Me Be MisunderstoodLose YourselfBest recent readWhy Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?Eager to read nextLeaders...


Jon Boeckenstedt

Ken chats with Jon Boeckenstedt, vice provost for enrollment at Oregon State University, and the mind behind Higher Ed Data Stories, a treasure trove of data-driven (and data-visualized) observations about the state of higher ed. Jon shares some views about his recent career move as well as surprises about his reading and writing habits, as well as the unusual upside of the imposter syndrome. Shout-outs & Links jonboeckenstedt.netOut Here In OregonThe Test and The Art of ThinkingMad...


Carmen Lopez

Ken learns why "leadership is motion" with Carmen Lopez, Executive Director of College Horizons, a national educational non-profit serving American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Hawaiian Native students in their transition to college and graduate school. Shout-outs & Links How Native Students Can Succeed in College: "Be As Tough As the Land That Made You"Native AppropriationsAll My RelationsRapid Descent Walkout songs (it's a playlist)Apple MusicSpotifyBest recent readsNavajo Coyote...