July 21 Call-a-Thon

Gallaudet faculty, staff, and administrators exemplified the University’s spirit of teamwork by pitching in with Admissions Office staff for a July 21 Call-a-Thon to contact hundreds of prospective students from across the nation.

For three hours that evening, 18 members of the campus community representing nine departments joined Admissions staff in Chapel Hall at a bank of videophones and voice phones, where they talked with deaf and hard of hearing high school seniors and their parents about the benefits of a Gallaudet education.

Connecting with prospective students is something “we do every day,” said Admissions Director Charity Reedy-Hines of her office staff’s duties. “But this is more of a personal touch. For faculty and staff to contact these students conveys a sense of what a caring community we have, and at the same time it is an opportunity to provide information to students and their families. Her sentiment was reinforced by observing that many of the callers exhibited a good deal of excitement when talking to the high school students about Gallaudet — a reflection of their pride and enthusiasm in the University.”

Reedy-Hines reported a number of heartwarming conversations between the callers and the individuals they contacted. One was a Native American family living on a reservation in Oklahoma who had never heard of Gallaudet. The mother was highly impressed after learning about the University, but was certain that there wasn’t even a remote possibility that the family could afford to send their deaf son here. After being informed of financial aid opportunities, she tearfully thanked the caller for sharing the good news and said that she will talk to her son about applying.

Another caller reached an 18-year-old who was interested in enrolling at Gallaudet but lacked confidence that he could succeed here. After talking with him for awhile, the caller discovered that the young man had the necessary academic credentials to be accepted and convinced him to apply.

Another caller reached a mother who had a good deal of misinformation about Gallaudet; in addition, she feared her daughter wouldn’t be socially accepted at the school. The caller was able to debunk some of the parent’s misconceptions and convince her of the diversity of the student body and the strong support services the University has for new students. She is now considering having her daughter apply.

Thank you, volunteers

Giving up their free time to share in the University’s recruitment effort “shows how dedicated this community is to spark interest and bring these students to Gallaudet,” said Reedy-Hines. Although this event was only for seniors, the Admissions Office plans to stage future Call-a-Thons that will target different groups: honors students, groups interested in specific majors paired with representatives from those departments, students with various communication and racial backgrounds, for example, and, as always, volunteers are welcome.

Anyone who is interested in participating or continuing to volunteer at future call-a-thons is asked to email Coordinator of Recruitment David Reekers.

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