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New Director, New Direction for the YU Admissions Office

Mexico City, Mexico; Memphis, Tennessee; Vancouver, Canada; and Panama City, Panama are just a few of the national and international Jewish communities that the Yeshiva University Office of Admissions team has visited recently in attempt to recruit new students for the upcoming academic year. Recently, the YU Admissions Facebook page has been blowing up individuals’ news feeds with pictures, status updates, and videos from their latest high school recruitment locations. Furthermore, they have been featuring updates of their upcoming open houses for men and women, November 23rd and November 16th respectively. Through Facebook and other social media outlets, the Yeshiva University Office of Admissions has been advancing their technological method of gaining acknowledgement and raising awareness of the new YU to their current students, applicants, and alumni alike.

Last week, I met with Ms. Geri Mansdorf, the new director of the Office of Admissions.  She has been a vital part of the Admissions team for the past ten years, but was recently promoted over the summer to director. Ms. Mansdorf has bright, new ideas and is ready to push beyond the limits set by previous administrations.  Beginning this year, she has been implementing a combination of both century-long and recently-developed plans and procedures to recruit future students.  Her fresh perspective is sure to be a catalyst for a rapid growth of students in the future.

So what exactly are these ideas and strategies that will incite interest from the public and generate a new generation of growth?  As Ms. Mansdorf eloquently stated, “Our goals include a more assertive approach to presenting what our undergraduate programs have to offer, as well as a greater use of technology to open and increase communication with our constituents.”  Seemingly, their approach is twofold.  Firstly, the Admissions team is attempting to market the University’s undergraduate programs, Yeshiva College, Stern College, and Sy Syms School of Business, through the new and attractive features they offer; for example, high profile professors like Senator Joseph Lieberman and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks have both been highlighted.  Additionally, they are beginning to offer a greater array of courses, more online classes, and combined classes between the two Manhattan campuses.  Secondly, the Office of Admissions is using social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to, as Ms. Mansdorf puts it, “reintroduce those familiar with YU to the new YU, as well as putting YU on the map for those who may never have thought about it before.”

Along with these new forms of recruiting, the team at the Office of Admissions is still holding the same events that we all have come to know and love — Yeshiva University National Model United Nations, the annual open house weekends, Henry Wittenberg Wrestling Invitational, and  the Red Sarachek basketball tournament.  Although Yeshiva University has been struggling financially, the fact that these expensive recruiting programs are still being supported indicates their importance to the University. Many high school students who have been exposed to these innovative and enjoyable events get introduced to Yeshiva University in a new, interesting way.

Although the Office of Admissions is generally viewed as just an office tucked away in the corner on the first floor of Furst Hall that most students just rush by on their way to class, the reason we are all at Yeshiva University is quite simply because of them.  Always with passports in hand and on the move, the members of the Office of Admissions never have a dull moment moving from place to place recruiting, while simultaneously planning and organizing all of the wonderfully successful functions they offer throughout the year.  On behalf of the entire student body, I would like to formally welcome Ms. Geri Mansdorf into the new position of Director of Admissions, and congratulate her and her team on all they have accomplished thus far and express my excitement for the great things they have yet to accomplish.