Q&A with Associate Dean of Admissions Andrew Moe
NACAC: Meet Andrew Moe
Andrew Moe, who serves as an associate dean of admissions and the director of access and programming at the College, recently talked with the National Association for College Admission Counseling about his efforts to promote diversity, inclusion, and access during the admissions process. On Thursday, Moe will welcome high school counselors, community-based organization leaders, and admissions staff from local colleges and universities as Swarthmore hosts the inaugural College Access Summit, which aims to build on our ongoing efforts to increase college access for underserved students.
How did you become the Associate Dean of Admissions and Director of Access and Programming at Swarthmore? What made you decide to get into this field?
I met my current supervisor, JT Duck, at the Pennsylvania ACAC Conference during a networking lunch while I was still employed at my previous institution. Being prepared to make a professional move, I jumped at the opportunity to apply for this new and novel position called, “Director of Access and Programming.” Swarthmore has prioritized finding hard-to-reach populations, such as first generation and low-income students, and the person filling this position coordinates the Access and Multicultural Recruitment Team, and helps the office think strategically about recruiting, admitting, and enrolling underserved students. It was exactly what I was searching for as my next professional step.
I grew up in a small, isolated city in southern Wisconsin, and since I am first in my family to attend college, I have always been interested in working with students who come from similar backgrounds. My personal search for college informs my work in numerous ways today, so my current work is a natural extension of my goals, identities, and passions. Just like many other admission folks, though, I fell into the position after graduate school, taking my first role at Vanderbilt. Now that I’ve been doing this work for the better part of a decade, I can’t imagine doing anything else more impactful than what we get to do in the college admission field.
What is your favorite part of the job?
It would be easy to say “travel” as an answer to this question. I’ve been privileged to travel around the country and throughout the world for this career. However, I think my favorite part of this job is getting to see the wheels turn inside a student’s mind as they contemplate the possibility of attending – and affording – my institution. I didn’t know how I would pay for college when I was in their shoes, so being privileged to work at a place that meets full financial need makes my job incredibly rewarding when I talk with bright and talented low-income students.
How did you get involved with NACAC’s Guiding the Way to Inclusion conference?
I had heard a bit about GWI from former colleagues. They raved about their experiences attending the conferences and made sure I knew this was not simply like any other conference. While we discuss important issues affecting our students – namely diversity, inclusion, and access – GWI also serves as a lifeline to new and veteran colleagues who want to make a difference in the world and also want to be their true, authentic selves in their professional roles. Bringing your identity and background to any office can be challenging, perhaps more so when you work in an educational setting that constantly engages with issues of diversity and inclusion. GWI is a network of committed professionals working to support one another. Every admission professional should consider attending.
Describe yourself in five words.
Amateur chef consumed by wanderlust.