By Braedan Shea
It’s already been a big year for Annie Warchol.
The beginning dates back to June, when Vice President of Student Affairs, Slandie Dieujuste, announced position changes within the Division of Student Affairs. The biggest transition amongst the group was Warchol, who was promoted from Director of Students Activities and Campus Union to Assistant Dean of Engagement.
With the new position, she still holds many of the same responsibilities as before, such as the oversight of student activities, New Student Orientation, pre-camp, and first-year programming, but has been given the opportunity to fund a correlation between enrollment and student affairs.
“One of the strongest parts of my job and one of the things I absolutely love is orientations and new student programming,” Warchol said. “So, Stuart [Jones], who is the VP of Enrollment Management, was looking for someone in his area. Collectively [the Enrollment Management Department] came together and decided that I could really help, and be beneficial in helping us bridge the gap between Enrollment and Student Affairs.”
To put it blankly, Warchol’s biggest role is to get students to Springfield College, and the best way to do that, according to her, is through the parents’ engagement.
“One of the gaps that was identified is that as we’re bringing families in, we want to keep them concentrated,” Warchol said. “They come to an open house; but then what are we doing to make sure that those families are still engaged throughout the process until they’ve committed? How do we keep them through accepted open house?”
The biggest difficulty that Warchol has found is the marketing side of things. One of her biggest concerns with trying to achieve the engagement is finding a way to make the college grab the students and parents attention in a multitude of ways over the course of the admissions process.
“The hard part is, how do you show them a different look each time, from a marketing perspective,” Warchol said. “Okay, so when you come, what do you see here? How do we get you to get on campus and then when you get on campus, how do we keep you engaged during that time? Is it a video, or a testimonial from a student, or is it one to one marketing? I don’t know what that strategy is. That’s what I’m kind of like in my research stage right now.”
Despite having more responsibilities, Warchol finds that the adjustment hasn’t been too difficult, rather it’s been pretty easy.
“I don’t find it harder,” Warchol said. “I find it easier to navigate a little bit more. There’ve been a lot of new people working in addition…and it’s been nice to meet new people. Just kind of like branching out a little bit.”
The hard work that Warchol gives did not just stop at getting a promotion. She also was awarded with one of the most prestigious achievements a Springfield College staff member can win: The R. William Cheney Award.
The Cheney Award is given out annually during the All College Meeting to a staff member in recognition of their devotion to the Springfield College community and their commitment to the Humanics philosophy.
“I remember when I first started working here, and watching people that were getting that award and getting recognized for that award, and it really was like a lifetime achievement,” Warchol said. “I mean, it’s like, you know, an Emmy.”
Although Warchol acknowledges that with the new position, it may appear that she is no longer “the one behind the fun,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“With this new role, I think some people were worried that I may not be as approachable or I may not be with the students; but to me it’s a non negotiable. If [the Enrollment Office] said you can’t be with the students anymore, we need you in the office and at meetings, I would have said no. Because that’s my love and my passion.”
Photo Courtesy of Springfield College