October 27, 2020

Christy Pack: Master of Admissions

Director of Graduate Admissions Christy Pack, who also serves as the Staff Advisory Council president. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Director of Graduate Admissions Christy Pack. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Director of Graduate Admissions Christy Pack has always been a fan of the quote: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” These poetic words were penned by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince, a novella about a young boy who leaves his tiny planet to explore the universe. It’s quite fitting for Pack, who helps aspiring students reach for the stars.

With more than 15 years of experience in enrollment management under her belt, Pack oversees admissions and recruitment for UMW’s graduate programs in education, business and geospatial analysis. Along with Assistant Director David Harger, she spends her days recruiting and holding information sessions, orchestrating communications and marketing plans for each program, and collaborating with the Undergraduate Admissions and Continuing and Professional Studies teams.

“I never get tired of talking about advancing your education and investing in yourself,” said Pack, who also serves as president of the University’s Staff Advisory Council. Since coming to Mary Washington in 2015, she has witnessed an uptick in graduate applications, which she credits to competitive strategies developed to attract prospective students. “It’s been exciting to watch the profession evolve through technology and acclimate to the ever-changing landscape of higher education.”

Working full-time while completing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business primed her to address the needs of adult learners, said Pack, adding that Mary Washington accommodates students juggling busy lives by offering evening and online classes and full- and part-time enrollment. She cited a graduate education student she recently met who’s currently completing practicum assignments.

“He said he can’t imagine a more rewarding experience than being in the classroom,” Pack said. “He’s building the foundation of a successful career right here on UMW’s Stafford Campus.”

 

Pack has been a member of the Staff Advisory Council since coming to UMW in 2015, and now serves as its president. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Pack has been a member of the Staff Advisory Council since coming to UMW in 2015, and now serves as its president. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Q: You were instrumental in establishing the long-anticipated agreement to offer business classes at UMW’s Dahlgren Campus. Can you tell us more about it?
A: This was a team effort all the way. We received over 50 applications and pulled together to get the first cohort set up in less than four months. We’re planning for a second one this fall.

Q: A master’s degree is a plus for today’s job-seekers. What are you doing to attract prospective students?
A: We are currently implementing a new application process. This technology is a huge transition for our office and will help us create dynamic strategies to reach and engage adult learners.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: For me, it’s graduation day. Watching a student begin their journey, overcome obstacles and become the person they’re meant to be keeps me motivated.

Q: What’s most challenging?
A: Responding to the changing pace of the job.

Q: You’ve been involved in Staff Advisory Council (SAC) since you came to UMW and now you’re president. Tell us why you love being part of the organization.
A: At Mary Washington, I’ve sought opportunities – such as Leadership UMW – to be professionally engaged in ways that can serve others and continue my skill development. As SAC president, I’ve enjoyed working with my colleagues who share this common mission of promoting collaboration and communication across our campus community. One of SAC’s final activities this year will be supporting UMW employees during Virginia Public Service Week in May. Stay tuned!

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I love fishing. Two years ago, I caught a 35-pound blue catfish on the Rappahannock River in Port Royal.

Q: What’s the most inspiring book you’ve read?
A: Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg. She provides great perspective on women and leadership that I’ve valued in my own journey.