Jennifer Aamodt selected Director of University Admissions

Aamodt to lead admissions merger, assumes role after serving in interim capacity since September 2018

Jennifer Aamodt is the newest Director of University Admissions. She has been with UND’s admissions office since 2012 and will oversee a merger of graduate and undergraduate admissions this spring. Photo by Shawna Schill/UND Today.

After being at the University of North Dakota for the past 19 years, there’s something Jennifer Aamodt must love about UND.

“UND is where I’ve spent my entire adult life,” she smiled. “What is it that I don’t love about UND?”

It’s where she earned her bachelor’s degree in social work, got her first job out of college and pursued her master’s degree in counseling while working full-time. The Michigan, N.D., native worked hard, ascended the ranks and never looked back.

Announced Wednesday, Aamodt assumes the duties of director of university admissions March 1, where she will oversee the recruitment and admission of undergraduate and graduate students. She has served in the role on an interim basis since September 2018.

Aamodt has been with the University Admissions Office since 2012. Before that, she first worked in Continuing Education’s certificate programs, then moved up to assistant director of customer relations.

“I’ve had fabulous mentors through the years and there are so many great people around campus that have made my work here full of opportunities to advance and grow,” she said. “This is an exciting step.”

Integral role

Aamodt will report to Janelle Kilgore, interim vice provost of strategic enrollment management. Kilgore says the enrollment landscape is getting more challenging every year, and people like Aamodt will help UND thrive, not just survive.

Janelle Kilgore

“The loyalty and compassion Jenn has for the University makes her the perfect fit for this position,” she said. “Jenn is a phenomenal person and hard worker.”

During her interim directorship, Aamodt credited both the admissions team and Kilgore, Senior Vice Provost Debbie Storrs and Provost Tom DiLorenzo for recognizing the integral role admissions plays on campus. The work done behind the scenes, in engaging students and bringing them to UND, is life-changing.

“A person’s outcome is different because they came to be a student here,” she said. “Through a quality education and great student experiences, they have the ability to go out and change the world. It’s exciting to be on the front end of that and bring in tomorrow’s leaders.”

No small feat

Creating leaders in action is no small feat, and Aamodt will hit the ground running to create a new and efficient admissions structure.

Her first major project is in the reorganization of admissions. Her team’s goal is to complete a merger of undergraduate and graduate admissions processes for all new and prospective students by May. This merger will align the full force of the admissions staff to support graduate enrollment goals and graduate admissions processes.

All graduate admissions operations will be housed in the University Admissions Office, once the transition is complete. The graduate school will continue to handle its current-student processes after their students are admitted, through graduation.

Tom DiLorenzo

Tom DiLorenzo

“Creating those efficiencies and streamlining our processes so students have a smooth experience, regardless of how they’re coming in as a student, is a great service for both our students and staff,” Aamodt told UND Today.

Other immediate focuses include implementing a new customer relationship management tool, providing more ways to communicate with students attending and interested in UND. Aamodt says it does more to address what students are used to in today’s web technologies – fast, intuitive and personal. She’ll also lead the University in becoming the first North Dakota institution to implement the Common Application, which will put UND in front of more students as they apply to universities.

“I am thrilled that Jenn was willing to embrace this important position and help enhance the prospective student experience,” DiLorenzo said in yesterday’s campus-wide announcement. “I look forward to working with her.”

First day on the job

Jennifer Aamodt

But even before leading reorganizations and implementations of variety and number, her first day on the job marks Admitted Student Day at UND – a way for newly admitted or undecided students to have a different experience from the normal campus visit.

Prospective undergrads can see what it’s like in the classroom and explore a day in the life of a UND student. They can explore their academic areas of interests and talk with a student panel about any questions they have regarding the University.

Aamodt will play emcee for the day – making sure everyone is where they need to be and helping moderate panels geared toward curious parents. It’s the beginning of a new chapter in a growing tale of dedication and service.

“I look forward to working with not only the great folks in admissions, but everyone across campus to help elevate the UND experience,” she said.