Recent admissions changes reflect on roles

Admissions office undergoes several changes

The Admissions Office for Waynesburg University has recently experienced several changes. Some staff members have moved on, and familiar faces have begun to fill their vacancies.

One of the most notable and recent changes to the Admissions Office was the departure of Jackie Palko, the former director of undergraduate and graduate admissions. Robert Barnhart is filling in as the Interim Director of Admissions.

“I’ve been working in the Office of Admissions for over nine years, and the familiarity certainly has made the transition a bit easier,” Barnhart said. “Having been through [many] recruiting cycles, I have a pretty good idea of the different phases of the process throughout the year, so that will hopefully serve to prevent any unexpected surprises along the way.”

Barnhart’s promotion wasn’t the only change in the Admissions Office this year. Five new admissions counselors were hired for this past fall recruiting cycle.

Some of the new members to the admissions team are relying on familiarity with Waynesburg, like Barnhart, as a huge reason for an easy adjustment.

Michael Trax and Isaiah Skeete, are recent graduates of Waynesburg and two of the five new ad-

missions counselors. They both find that their experiences as students helped them slide into their new roles.

“I think it was pretty easy from the start,” Trax said. “I knew all of the basics about Waynesburg, I just had to touch back up on the admissions process details and everything.” 

“I’m a fresh set of eyes,” Skeete said. “I’m a recent grad just a couple months ago, so I love answering when families and students have questions about what Waynesburg has to offer.”

As a recent graduate, Skeete’s eyes on the University are as fresh as anyone’s eyes in that role

can be. Trax completed his undergraduate degree in 2020 and finished his master’s degree last year. 

Barnhart agrees that recency with the University helps out some of the newer counselors. Even the ones that didn’t attend Waynesburg can make an impact too.

“It definitely helps to have counselors that are familiar with Waynesburg University and that have had that experience,” Barnhart said. “It makes it easier to truly share their experiences with prospective students and their families. But it’s also been very interesting to work with some of our new counselors that did not graduate from the University, as they bring great observations and perspectives to the table as well.”

As some of the new counselors on the corner, Trax and Skeete didn’t foresee themselves in the roles that they are in now due to them already obtaining jobs post-graduation. Skeete was

working for Adult Probation in Washington County and was a Graduate Assistant for Student Activities. Trax was working full-time at PNC Bank in Bridgeville, Pa. After not fully enjoying

their previous jobs, both of them are excited to be back with Waynesburg as admissions counselors.

“My thing is that I want to do what gets me up in the morning and energizes me. This opportunity definitely does,” Skeete said in a prior WCTV interview.

“It’s a place I love,” Trax said. “I was very grateful to get [the position].” 

It isn’t uncommon for the Admissions Office to hire graduates from Waynesburg. Seven out of the nine admissions workers obtained their undergraduate degree from Waynesburg, something that the office benefits from.

“All of us can speak to what the University really has to offer since most of us were former students here, which is really cool,” Skeete said.

Whether they’re a Waynesburg graduate or not, the admissions counselors have strong feelings for the University. “Obviously all of us love Waynesburg so it’s definitely cool working with a [University] that all of us are passionate about,” Skeete said. “We have a great team down here.”