Applying to college can be one of the most exciting times in a person’s life. Good grades and extracurricular activities are important, but so is a dedicated admission’s staff to help guide a young person through the application process. Assistant Director of Admission Janis Koscielniak, the winner of the 2016-17 Fort Lewis College Outstanding Staff Award, has always been dedicated, but she has gone above and beyond to ensure that students get their opportunity at a college education.
The number of students applying for admission to Fort Lewis College has increased dramatically in recent years. That kind of growth is wonderful to see, but it also means a lot of extra work for the staff of the FLC Office of Admission, and it’s up to Ms. Koscielniak to help lead the effort to get everything done.
“It has been a roller coaster ride,” she says, “sometimes very fun and sometimes you feel a little nauseous about all the work that needs to get done in a timely manner.”
Admission to college can be a complicated process, and many prospective FLC students are coming from homes where they would be the first in their family to attend college. With all that needs to be done on her end, it could be easy for Ms. Koscielniak to just focus on finishing the paperwork and ignore the person behind it, but that personal time is so important, particularly for FLC’s largest ethnic group.
“A lot of my interactions with students and parents are centered on residency or the Native American Tuition Waiver,” she says. “Some situations can be fairly complicated, so it is necessary to be calm, patient and do my best to help them understand the regulations. These two areas have a huge impact on most families’ decisions about selecting a college or even if college is an option.”
“Often I have students check on the status of their application, and it is very rewarding to be a part of their enthusiasm and excitement when they are informed they have been admitted to Fort Lewis. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
With all that has to be done, having the right team is imperative, and Ms. Koscielniak is quick to share the credit for the incredible job the FLC Office of Admission has done.
“I would like to thank my family, the Office of Admission staff, and everyone I work with on a regular basis at FLC that help and support me.”