Name: Mark Butt
Territory: Delaware, New Jersey, and select International regions including Canada
Education: University of Delaware - B.A. in Elementary Teacher Education; University of Pennsylvania - M.S.Ed. in Management of Higher Education
Years in Admissions: Three years
Why did you choose to enter the profession of College Admissions?: College admissions encompasses many of the aspects that I truly enjoy; including advocating for higher education, travel, analytical thought and interacting with people. It really is the perfect fit for me and I have a hard time imagining myself doing anything else right now.
What is the most enjoyable part of reading college applications? And the least enjoyable part?: The most enjoyable part of the application process is feeling like you get to meet people. Reading applications is like going to a huge party and you get to personally sit down with each person for a while and get to know them. My least favorite part is probably placing students on the waitlist – it’s very hard for me. While being denied admission is a hard reality for high school seniors, the waitlist puts students in limbo. There are many amazing, bright, and talented people who are never taken off of our waitlist.
What is your personal approach to reading an application?: As previously mentioned, reading applications for me is like having a conversation with the applicant. It’s about recognizing the strengths and areas of growth for an applicant and also being in tune with the goals of Johns Hopkins University as an institution. I like looking at the students through multiple lenses (a scholar, a roommate, a friend, a leader, etc.) to get an idea of who they are as a person while keeping in mind the institutional idiosyncrasies of Johns Hopkins University.
What is your favorite thing about Johns Hopkins University?: I have a lot of favorite things about Johns Hopkins but the people are my most favorite. I think there is such a compelling mix of students, faculty and staff here that it makes a great place to work. This is of course augmented by our campus which gives students a great sense of place. Further, I think Baltimore has been pleasantly surprising as a city and community. Prior to coming to Hopkins I knew very little about Baltimore; however, having been here for a while now, Baltimore has truly captivated me as a citizen and city dweller.
If working in College Admissions wasn't an option, what would you be doing as an occupation?: I would probably be still figure skating professionally. Growing up in Canada I competed at the National level as a singles figure skater. I competed all throughout college and medaled at the US Figure Skating National Collegiate Championships before joining a professional company (Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey) and performing in Disney on Ice. I had a wonderful stay in the company and then retired to move on to graduate school.
In your personal opinion, what is the top issue facing the field of higher education currently?: This is a tough question as there are many issues. I think issues of inequality in multiple disciplines pose large challenges to institutions. This is an umbrella for issues such as high school funding, financial aid and opportunity discrepancies in a democratic, capitalist society.
What is your top Johns Hopkins University memory to date?: I think traveling on behalf of Hopkins to Europe and Central America has been a wonderful experience and opportunity. It’s always great to meet families and students from far away countries who are interested in learning more about the undergraduate experience.
What book, what movie, and what album should all students have read, watched, and listened to before enrolling in college?:
- Book - The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
- Movie - Water; Directed by Deepa Mehta
- Album: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill and RIOT! by Paramore