Courtesy of Cornell University

The College of Arts and Sciences appointed a new director and deputy director of admissions in late March.

April 10, 2019

New Director and Deputy Director of Admissions for Arts and Sciences Hope to Increase Faculty Outreach

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Seven months after the previous College of Arts and Sciences director of admissions left Cornell, the college appointed a new director and added a new deputy director of admissions position in late March.

Irene Lessmeister MA ’09 Ph.D ’12 was promoted to director of admissions from her former position as assistant dean in admissions and advising, which she has occupied since 2013.

Ray Kim was promoted as the new deputy director of admissions from his former position as assistant dean for undergraduate admissions and advising. According to Kim, the deputy director position was newly created this year in order to attain “broader perspectives and coverage as admissions practices continue to evolve.”

The previous director of admissions, John Morganelli Jr., left in August and now works as a college admissions consultant at Premier Plus Education, a private firm offering tutoring services to international students. As his departure took place close to the beginning of the academic year, the staff took on additional work to make sure the responsibilities of the director position until the admissions cycle this year.

“Our staff’s level of proficiency and depth of experience within the College gave us confidence that we could successfully accomplish our admissions goals, and the two promotions reflect that,” Kim told The Sun in an email.

Throughout this month, the staff’s most immediate work will involve welcoming newly admitted students to campus. During this admission cycle, the arts college received over 20,000 applications to the College of Arts and Sciences and extended admission to only 9.5 percent.

According to Lessmeister, the admissions office has implemented many new practices in the past few years, including increasing campus communication with prospective students with a greater emphasis on faculty outreach in particular.

In addition to those changes, the office will be looking to adopt new technologies and collaborating in cross-campus initiatives, such as the Veterans Summer Bridge Program, where incoming veteran students take classes before their first semester at Cornell.

“The goal in our office is to never stop learning about new ways to improve the admissions process,” Lessmeister said. “Looking ahead, we want to ensure that our admissions requirements, policies, and practices truly attract the strongest students who are also well suited for the College of Arts and Sciences.”