Ellen Kim, director of Undergraduate Admissions, Homewood
"March and April are an intense time in our office. Admissions officers are reviewing regular-decision files and learning about applicants from across the globe as we select the right mix of talent, ambition, personalities, and passions to construct the incoming freshman class.
"This is an 'all hands on deck' time of the year. While our full-time staff is deeply entrenched in the current admissions cycle—letters and packages were mailed out March 28—we have many students who volunteer in our office to answer phones, give tours, welcome guests, and support our upcoming events. The lights in Mason Hall [where Admissions is located] are on until very late into the evenings as we put the finishing touches on the class. The students' presence is a great reminder to what makes this process so worthwhile.
"Turning applicants away can be a difficult part of the job as we see so many students who are incredibly smart, accomplished, and deserving. Yet we only have a limited number of available seats. These acceptance packets represent the students we feel are the best-suited to grow, contribute, and make an impact during their Hopkins education.
"One of the best things about this time of the year is in April, when many of these admitted students are visiting campus for our events. Putting a face to the names and stories you've spent months reviewing is an extremely rewarding part of the job.
"While no two admitted students are the same, each brings a mix of qualities that we believe will add to the Homewood campus. They are community leaders who have started their own nonprofit organizations, nationally competitive athletes, high-level researchers representing all academic areas, published authors, documentarians; the list goes on and on, and it is quite humbling when you see what 18-year-olds are capable of doing when they are passionate about something."