recruitment: Its All in a Name
by Martha Jackson
Leslie Stith, '81 has recruited students for the College in
lots of places. For instance, there was that time he was talking
to a high school student while setting up a soybean plot in
Like a lot of high school kids, the young man
really didn't really know what he should do after graduation.
"I know where you ought to go," Stith told him. "Here's
why." And then, as Stith talked about UK's College of Agriculture,
he said the student "lit up like a brand new light bulb."
That student is just one of the "dozens"
that Stith, a marketing manager for Monsanto who lives in Guston,
Ky., estimates he has steered toward UK.
"I find out what their interest is. If
ag is even a remote possibility, I get their name and contact
UK," he says.
Stith is right in how he helps the recruitment
effort, said Jeffrey Bewley, director of student relations for
the College. And, he is just one example of how alumni assist
in recruitment. There are countless other stories just like
"If an alum gives us a name and the contact
information, we can follow up," Bewley said. "They
can e-mail us or give us a phone call. Just to have a student's
name is extremely helpful."
Once the name is in hand, the College can take
the second step. "We're doing some preliminary data analysis
of how effective various recruitment events are," said
Bewley. "What's jumping out at us is that getting students
on campus is key to getting them to come to UK."
He said that telling potential students about all the College
has to offer is one thing, but "it's a whole other thing
to see what the campus has to offer.
"The College of Ag is a different atmosphere.
It's like a family. You can say it, but if students come and
see it, they believe it," said Bewley.
Ambassadors help recruit Current students serving as
ag ambassadors act as part of the recruitment "staff"
and lead tours for prospective students, among other duties.
Ambassadors for 2002-03 are ((left to right) top row standing:
Stephanie Goode, Mariam Naveed, Matt Bacon, Jason Ward, Caitlin
Cleary, Katherine Christian, Brooke Core, Josh Long, Matt Howard,
Kim Delaney, Jessica Huber, Sara Jean Wells; top row sitting:
Josh Johnson, Amanda Osborne, Nathan Williams; second row sitting:Erin
Shultz, Christina Bowles, Kasey Reed; bottom row: Leanna Randolph,
Elizabeth Hardesty, Brandon McDonald, Matt Meyer, Danielle Hutchins,
Sarah Adams, Fatima Wazir, and Willie Bowling.
a second way alums can help recruit."Get a van and bring
a group up," Bewley said. "If you think five people
in your county are interested in UK and the College, we will
give them a full-fledged tour." The Lincoln Trail Area
Alumni Chapter has been successful using this method to help
fact, if you've got even one student who's interested, Bewley
will see that the student gets a tour.
be customized in a way visits out in the state cannot, he said.
"We just need to know who's coming and what they're interested
One of the
advantages of a tour is that they are led by the Student Ambassadors,
a handpicked group of ag students who are a link to the state
in a variety of ways.
(Read more about the Student Ambassadors - www.ca.uky.edu/students/)
The on-campus customized tours are ideal, but various conferences
and events on campus can also serve as springboards for recruitment
of students who take part in them. Such events include the Institute
for Future Agricultural Leaders (sponsored by the Kentucky Farm
Bureau), held in the summer, and Prospective Student Roundup
during Roundup Week in the fall.
on-campus recruitment doesn't mean recruitment around the state
is being abandoned, Bewley said. The College is part of every
one of the University-sponsored Preview Nights, which are held
throughout the state for prospective students.
Alums need to remember, Bewley said, that "the College
doesn't have real decision-making in the UK admissions process."
That means students have to get accepted at UK first, then enroll
in the College of Ag.
students in FFA and 4-H are still sources of students in the
College of Ag," Bewley said, "but the College is more
than farming. It's science and business. Our students enrolled
in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Biotechnology,
and Food Science, for example, won't be going back to the farm.
Some have never even been on a farm."
got a name of a good prospect, or if you've got a student (or
three or 20) you want to bring to campus for a tour, call Jeffrey