Alumni join Admissions Office


When Dayne Wahl '09 of Delmar, N.Y., and Kayla Hollins '12 of New York City talk to prospective students about MCLA, they speak from personal experience. Both of these alumni began new positions this fall as admissions counselors.

As graduates of the College, they know the ins and outs of the campus, including the classes and the professors, as well as the abundance of opportunities through clubs, internships, study abroad, undergraduate research, and much more.

"From the second I stepped foot on campus, everything about MCLA seemed right," Hollins said. "From the tour guide to the campus to the academic programs, I knew MCLA was the perfect fit. As a student, I was heavily involved in various clubs and student activities. I was immersed in the MCLA culture."

As a senior, Wahl served as an Admissions Ambassador, where he spoke to prospective students about the many opportunities available to them at MCLA.

"I loved having the opportunity to show students and their families around my second home and their future homes. The small tours where I was really able to get to know a student one-on-one and explain to them how they could get involved at MCLA left an impression on me," he explained. "I still remember my tour of MCLA; it was actually my first tour of any school, and I immediately felt at home."            

What do they want prospective students to know that didn't learn until they'd been on campus for a while?

MCLA, according to Hollins, not only is an amazing community; it is playing an important role in shaping the greater community of North Adams.

"It took me a while to discover how culturally rich North Adams and the Berkshires are. Coming from New York City was a culture shock: I had never hiked a mountain or eaten in a small, locally owned restaurant. All of these neat features helped make MCLA my home long after graduation. Prospective students should know that MCLA goes far beyond the four walls of the dorm room or classroom. When you visit campus, explore downtown as well. It has so much to offer," she said.

Wahl said, "You truly can join clubs immediately after stepping foot on campus. Not many other schools let you have your own radio show your first semester. I enjoyed my student life, but I wish I had joined every club and applied for every job earlier than I did."

What's the best part of their job? For Hollins, it's working with engaged high school students, and bringing them to campus through an Open House bus trip for the Overnight Program.

"I love meeting students and families who know about MCLA, but are still shocked to find out new things about our community," she said. "On the morning of day two of the Overnight Program, the students are a beautiful combination of worn out and enthusiastic - meaning they have found the place they want to be for the next four years."

"I love being able to spread the word of this hidden gem of a school, but if I had to pick my favorite part of my new job, it would actually have to be working with our Admissions Ambassadors," Wahl said.

He and Hollins are the co-coordinators of the Admissions Ambassadors.

"It's been a great way to keep in touch with the undergraduates," Wahl said. "It is clear that each of their stories is fascinating and unique."

"Getting to work with the student ambassadors puts into context how much MCLA is changing," Hollins said. "As a staff member, it is great to work with current students to learn all about what is happening on campus. Every day an ambassador surprises me with how amazingly involved they are. We like to say that ambassadors are 'the face' of MCLA, but they are truly the face, mind, body - and most importantly - the spirit of MCLA."