SFUAD Courts Prospective Students

SFUAD's enrollment team from left to right : Ron Denney, Amy Bingen, Chris Gonzales, Ryan Henson, Soozi Galante, Mary Beth Lindsey, and Malcom Morgan.

SFUAD’s enrollment team from left to right : Ron Denney, Amy Bingen, Chris Gonzales, Ryan Henson, Soozi Galante, Mary Beth Lindsey, and Malcom Morgan.

Enrollment pulled out all the stops Oct. 17 in the lobby of the Greer Garson Theatre to persuade young people from all over the region to pursue a SFUAD bachelor’s degree.

Izzi Getlo, from Flagstaff, Ariz., has been looking for the right college since her freshman year of high school.

“I want a school where there are like-minded people,” Getlo said, “and I don’t have to sit in a classroom all day.”

Torn between film and musical theater, Getlo said she hoped to know the course of study she wants to pursue after the tour.

Greeted by enrollment reps, prospective students received personalized packets of university information, and were then offered a breakfast of fresh pastries and hot coffee — all while being treated to a xylophone serenade by Contemporary Music Program freshman Eugene Mason.

Pastries offered included scones, muffins, chocolate croissants and cinnamon buns.

After the check-in portion was complete, prospective students and their parents were then asked to seat themselves in the theater for a viewing of a promotional video and welcome remarks by department faculty.

The promotional video emphasized the university’s association with big names and events such as Shepard Fairey, Ozomatli and Shoot the Stars.

Faculty spokesmen included Matt Donovan from Creative Writing, Tony O’Brien from Photography, Chris Eyre from The Film School, Tom Miller from Studio Art, Laura Fine Hawkes from Performing Arts and Scott Jarrett from Contemporary music — Graphic Design was unavailable.

The faculty spoke of the myriad benefits one may derive from a SFUAD education — including the competitive edge writing students acquire from working with published faculty, the collaborative opportunities and creative independence provided students by Jackalope Magazine, the high tech facilities and equipment available to students at The Film School and the new 360 degree theatrical performance space used by performing arts called “In the Round.”

“We offer a culture of professionalism, as well as being a college,” Jarrett said.

After welcome remarks were completed, prospective students and their parents were then separated into groups by area of interest, and escorted by faculty spokesman to learn more about their respective departments. More than half of prospective students gathered for The Film School.

According to Ryan Henson, the international coordinator of enrollment, the department holds nine open houses per year, hosting an average of 400 prospective students each of those years. Data for the percentage of students who enrolled after attending an open house were unavailable.

However, Registrar Mary Angell says that enrollment of “first-time freshmen” went up to 246 for the 2014 fall semester, compared to 201 for the previous fall — an 18 percent increase.

The day closed with a 3 p.m. reception mixer at the Welcome Center. Arriving from a campus tour, prospective students and parents alike were greeted with a variety of snacks, including cheese and crackers, grapes, fresh-baked brownies and cookies, lemonade and ice water. A plethora of SFUAD paraphernalia was available for purchase as well.

“The school was great,” Getlo said afterward. She seemed set on SFUAD, she remained torn between majors. When asked if she was leaning one way or the other, Getlo said musical theater because “that’s where my heart is.”

Deb Ellis, mother of photo prospective Ian Ellis, was impressed with SFUAD. Ellis liked what she says appears to be a hands-on curriculum, which is “preparing students to work.”

“Ian’s also looking at [Northern Arizona University],” Ellis said, “but we were really impressed with the facilities here.”