Name: Sarah Godwin
Territory: Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi
Education: B.A. University of Vermont, Political Science; M.A., Ed. The George Washington University, Higher Education and Student Affairs
Johns Hopkins Start Date: August 2008
Years in Admissions: 3 and a half years
Why did you choose to enter the profession of College Admissions?: Immediately after I graduated college, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. I was a legal assistant for 2 years, but then I realized I really didn’t like being in a cubicle all day (it was SO boring!). I enjoy getting out into the world, meeting people in their own environments, and helping families make big decisions. College admissions definitely lets me do that. I also like the fact that what we are doing changes every 3 months or so. Just when I’m getting tired of sleeping in hotel rooms – I get to stop and start reading applications. Then just when I’ve had enough of reading applications – it’s April and time to stop. You get the idea.
What is the most enjoyable part of reading college applications?: Reading an application of someone whom I’ve met, or reading an essay that is such a glimpse into your soul that I feel like I have met you.
And the least enjoyable part?: Reading an application of a student who for whatever reason, is just unhappy. It comes through (sometimes in little ways) in essays, recommendations, transcripts, etc. It’s like a big white elephant in the room.
What is your personal approach to reading an application?:I like to get a snapshot of what is important to you first, so I start with the extra curriculars. How you spend your time outside of school is a good indication of who you are. Then I look at transcripts, letters of rec, essays, etc.
What is your favorite thing about Johns Hopkins University?:Definitely, the double ‘Ses’!
If working in College Admissions wasn't an option, what would you be doing as an occupation?: I’d likely still be involved in the legal field, but in a different position. Possibly as a recruiter or an event planner – anything that would get me out of that cubicle.
In your personal opinion, what is the top issue facing the field of higher education currently?:The number 1 problem facing higher education is the ability (or inability) of colleges and universities to fundraise. Higher Education is an expensive business, and as high as tuition prices are (I know, it seems crazy) they still don’t cover the true cost of running an institution. In order to offer financial aid, build new facilities, and attract top faculty, institutions must rely heavily on funds from both annual funds and endowments. Institutions that are not well equipped to fundraise aggressively will continue to fall behind institutions that are.
What is your top Johns Hopkins University memory to date?: This fall, the Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium (MSE) brought Will Ferrell to campus, and I had the chance to go. The best part was that Mr. Ferrell completely tailored his hour plus talk to JHU – he had totally done his research and he was – as expected - hilarious!
What book, what movie, and what album should all students have read, watched, and listened to before enrolling in college?:
Book: Bringing Down the House (now the movie 21)
Movie: Good Will Hunting
Album: Anythinga capella, wherever you're going - you'll hear a lot of it!