BU grads find home in admissions


Story by Spencer Brown, Assistant News Editor

Over the summer, four Baker graduates were hired in the office of admissions. They have filled four of the five positions that were available within the department.

Now that they are employees instead of students, they each look forward to helping potential students see all that Baker has to offer.

The first is Welcome Center Coordinator Abby Reynolds, a 2013 graduate who spent time in Texas before returning to Baker.

“It felt like it was time to come home,” she said. “I was very fortunate to have this opportunity.”

In her new position, Reynolds works alongside Aftan Jameson, the assistant director of campus visit experience, to plan all potential student visits. This also includes all coordination with the university admissions assistants (UAAs).

“I’m looking forward to gaining more experience, in addition to finishing my master’s degree and figuring out what I want to do in higher education,” Reynolds said.

Parker Johnson, a December 2014 graduate, is another addition to the department. Now the admissions counselor for western Kansas and 26 other states, Johnson said he “really wanted to return to Baker.”

“Ever since I was a UAA, I kind of thought I would enjoy being an admissions counselor,” Johnson said. “Once you graduate, you start looking at ways of achieving your goals, and this [job] was one of those. It really offered great opportunities.”

In addition to the ability to work with potential students, Johnson enjoys being able to learn more about the professional world through the “great mentors” within the admissions department.

“I’m looking forward to helping [students] find Baker, in addition to finding their own experience within Baker itself,” Johnson said.

Working with the majority of the international students that Baker recruits is Admissions Counselor Sydney Doster. As a May 2013 graduate, Doster spent about a year in Nepal before returning to Kansas and exploring opportunities in Baker’s admissions department.

“Baker doesn’t only care about its students, but it also cares about its employees,” Doster said. “[The job] really encompasses everything that I want in a career. I get to travel and tell people about something that I’m really passionate about.”

The fourth and final Baker graduate now with admissions is Associate Director of Admissions Brian Boyle. After graduating in 1996, Boyle continued at Baker to earn his master’s degree in liberal arts in 1999.

“When I was at Baker, I liked the camaraderie among students and the family atmosphere,” Boyle said. “That has always prevailed here.”

Having coached football at Baker for eight years, taught in the history department and worked in various places in education, Boyle always knew that working in a university setting was something that he enjoyed. However, before his return, he found himself working in the mortgage industry for the past 10 years.

“I’m returning to what I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for many years. I really enjoyed admissions work when I had done it previously.”

Being a Baker graduate and living in Baldwin City with his family, Boyle has many ties to the university. Although it has experienced changes over time, he believes that, “who [the university is] and what [the university is] made of is still the same.”

“I care deeply about this university,” Boyle said. “I want to see Baker University into the future. I’m personally looking forward to working with young people and helping them to see their future.”

As all four return to Baker, they hope to help future students experience what they have experienced.

“I’m looking forward to meeting students and learning about their stories,” Doster said, “Not to mention helping them do everything they can to get here to campus.”