Next up in our profiles of Admissions Committee members is actually the staff member responsible for the Hopkins Insider blog, Daniel Creasy...
Name: Daniel G. Creasy
Territory: New England, which we define as Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
Education (College - Major / Minor): Brown University, Providence, RI - Political Science major and minors in Communications and Sociology.
Johns Hopkins Start Date: August 25, 2003
Years in Admissions: 9 years
Why did you choose to enter the profession of College Admissions?: Like most in the profession I did not grow up saying I want to be a College Admissions counselor. However, after graduating college and experiencing the profession I thought I wanted to pursue (Political Journalism), I decided I needed to move my professional life in a different direction. I truly enjoyed my time working as a tour guide and assistant in the Admissions Office at Brown, so I thought a job in Admissions might be fun for a year or two. Nine years later I have found a career, a passion, and a profession I enjoy waking up to every morning.
Favorite Animal?: Since my dog Sozë (yes, named after Keyser Sozë of Usual Suspects lore) is really more a friend than an animal...I will choose a White Siberian Tiger, especially those at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
Why did you choose to work for Johns Hopkins?: Actually I followed a close friend and former colleague to the Johns Hopkins Admissions Office. Prior to arriving at Hopkins, I honed my Admissions skills for nearly six years at American University (AU) in Washington, D.C. A colleague and close friend, Jessica Hess, had left AU a year or so earlier to work at Hopkins and when a job opened up I jumped at the chance. Not only would I get to work closely with my friend again, but Hopkins was located in the Mid-Atlantic states which I had called home for a while. Also, I wanted to move back to a smaller city like Providence, and Baltimore definitely fit that criteria. Professionally, I had a real desire to work for a highly selective school too. And oh yeah, they offered me a great job!
What do you enjoy most about your job?: I enjoy the fact that our job is quite cyclical. I need to be constantly challenged and stimulated and in College Admissions things are always changing. In the fall we travel and get to speak with all types of students, in the winter we read and read and read tons of applications, in the spring we hold great campus events for admitted students, and then we relax a bit during the summer. I also really like the community of a college campus from the students, staff, and faculty to the beautiful green grass and brick buildings.
How do you approach reading an application?: Actually for a detailed account of my approach to reading applications I encourage you to read my Hopkins Insider blog post on January 9, 2006 titled "Three Months of Transcripts, Recommendations, and Strained Vision."
As far as the physical way of reading applications for me, I need to be home -- sitting on my living room floor -- back to my couch -- dog resting with his head on my lap or eating a bone -- computer with instant messaging close by (I can never be too far from friends and colleagues) -- MTV2, MTV Hits, or VH1 Classic on the TV because I need music and love music videos -- two glasses of water -- and my files spread out on my coffee table. (I actually went to Ikea a few weeks ago to purchase a new coffee table for the read season.)
When not reading applications, what do you do for fun?: I have assumed the role of Entertainment specialist in our office so I must keep up with movies and TV constantly. I watch upwards of five movies a week (boy do I love Netflix), and I am committed to at least 7 major television shows each week (I love my TiVo even more). Oscar Night is a national holiday for me. I am also an avid reader, and not just of college applications, and one of my newest passions is spending time with my niece who was just born in January.
What are your Admissions pet peeves? (What drives you crazy?): Here's just a sample of few of my pet peeves: (1) Applicants who submit their application with one name, their test scores with a different name, and their transcript or recs with another arrangement of their name. (2) Spending $10 to go to the beach or hiking and forgetting that it is supposed to be an ADVENTURE. (3) Also with the essay, spending $10 on gas or starting one's essay with a phrase such as "$10 does not go a long way in today's society." (4) Admissions stalkers -- you know who you are. Email us with questions, not just to say "hi." (5) Applicants who have their Mom or Dad make all of their phone calls or write all of their emails for them.
Favorite College Essay?: I have read many over my years and agree with much of what my colleagues have said about enjoying the creative and original essays that reveal unique information about the character and individuality of the applicant. But yes, in my 9 years I do have a clear-cut favorite. It is from my second year of reading applications, and the essay was titled "The Mullet." And yes, it was an essay about the unique haircut in which the hair is long in the back but short on top, front, and sides -- or as many say "business in the front, party in the back." The essay still hangs on my wall in my office, and actually there is a great story that goes along with this essay but that is for another time...
What three things would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?: I actually was asked this question when I interviewed with an alum for Brown and I guess I had an amazing answer because they admitted me. But that was 13 years ago. Now, I struggle with this answer but here goes: (1) my TV with my TiVo as I can not be disconnected to the world of entertainment; (2) my dog Sozë so I have someone to talk to; and (3) one of the following six people: Charlize Theron, Jessica Alba, Rachel McAdams, Keira Knightly, Elisha Cuthbert, or Evangeline Lilly -- I'm not picky just one of them so that I have someone to...you know......talk about movies with. (Actually, Evangeline might be the best pick - she does have experience on a deserted island (LOST) and she could keep me safe.)
Check back Friday for profile VIII...