New members of the admission staff at Monmouth College include, from left, Sarah Houston, Seray Teleke, Jess Strong and Becca Wilson. Houston and Wilson are May graduates of Monmouth.
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With its second straight record-level incoming class just days away from matriculating, Monmouth College is now hard at work building its Class of 2019. Five new faces in the admission department will be part of that process.
Michael Blaesing is one of those new faces, and he will have a leadership role as interim director of admission, replacing Phil Betz, who has accepted the position of director of admission at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.
“Student recruitment is, of course, a vitally important part of our work, and we want to handle this transition in the admission office as seamlessly and effectively as possible,” said Monmouth president Clarence Wyatt. “We are fortunate, then, to be able to announce that Michael Blaesing has accepted, on an interim basis for the coming academic year, the position of director of admission.”
A 1996 Monmouth graduate, Blaesing worked 10 years in the admission office, rising to the position of senior associate director of admission, before moving to the college’s development office in 2007. He will work under the direction of vice president for strategic initiatives Tim Keefauver, who is on special assignment to strengthen enrollment.
“I am confident that with Tim Keefauver’s continued strong leadership, Michael’s experience and enthusiasm, and a strong and accomplished staff in the admission office, our student recruitment efforts will not miss a beat,” said Wyatt.
In addition to its high numbers, the freshman class set to matriculate on Aug. 23 is the second class in a row with higher academic credentials. Monmouth’s average ACT score for entering freshmen has risen more than 1.3 points during that time.
Two of the other new faces ¬– Becca Wilson and Sarah Houston ¬– are also Monmouth alums, graduating in May. Wilson, who studied public relations and communication studies, is serving as an admission counselor for students in Mercer, Rock Island, Henry, Whiteside, Carroll and Jo Daviess counties. Houston will be an admission counselor for six local counties, including Warren, Knox and Henderson. Her major was psychology, with minors in human services and Spanish.
Also joining the staff as an admission counselor is Jess Strong, who majored in science, technology and society at Butler University, graduating in 2013. She will serve first-time freshman students in the north central counties of Illinois.
While that trio will work with Illinois students, Seray Teleke will help drive the admission office’s growing international initiative. She will assist prospective international students with the admission process and SEVIS procedures and travel internationally on behalf of the college.
Originally from Ankara, Turkey, Teleke graduated from Gazi University, where she studied international relations. She moved to the U.S. in 2010 to earn a master’s degree in global development and peace from the University of Bridgeport, with a concentration in international conflict analysis and resolution.