Ursinus welcomed Shannon Zottola in July 2018 as assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management. She was appointed the college’s Vice President and Dean of Enrollment Management after David Tobias resigned this fall.
Zottola graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and previously served as the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management at Cabrini University.
Zottola’s responsibilities at Ursinus include recruiting prospective students through “integrated and strategic” efforts in which multiple departments at Ursinus take part, according to her school web page. However, this position encompasses a broader scope of goals and responsibilities.
I asked Zottola about what goes into being the Vice President and Dean of Enrollment Management. “There are a few critical things,” Zottola said. Some of the highlights, she explained, include “maintaining relationships. This includes relationships within the college, with prospective families, and with external constituents such as college counselors and Community-Based Organizations.”
Doing this well, she said, requires “the ability to be a true leader and colleague to an exceptional team of enrollment managers. Knowing when to work hard, and when to keep it light and laugh as a team, is so important to the morale of the staff!” She also highlighted “A strong conviction in the value of higher education, particularly a traditional, liberal arts education.”
“As a first-generation college student, I have experienced first-hand the life changing benefits of a college education.”
Asked about what goals she might have in her position at Ursinus, Zottola focused on the overall goals of the college as a whole.
“One of my main objectives is to advance the overall enrollment goals of the College,” Zottola stated.
According to the Ursinus website, first-year student enrollment has declined from 425 in 2013 to 378 this fall.
Zottola says an increase “will be achieved by: continuing the great work that has been done to position us as a top 100, nationally ranked liberal arts institution; serving as a committed partner to my colleagues across the institution; understanding and responding to changing recruitment trends; working smarter; and leading the Enrollment Management team every day with both a smile and a grateful heart.”
Zottola also said she felt incredibly welcome in the Ursinus community..
“I am completely enamored with Ursinus College.” Zottola said. “Everyone I have interacted with has welcomed me, and I truly feel at home here. Our campus is so beautiful and well-maintained, and our faculty and staff are committed to the institution and our students in such a passionate and authentic way.”
Zottola expanded on her experiences on campus, talking about the different kinds of activities students are currently invested in, and how they go hand-in-hand with academics. “Every day, I hear examples of the research our students are involved in, or ways in which they are engaged in service (and so many other amazing contributions!) and I am truly in awe of their commitment to being open to all that Ursinus has to offer both inside and outside of the classroom.”