A familiar face to anyone who was at Ohio State ATI between 1994 and 2006 has returned. Jill Byers, who served as coordinator of admissions during those 12 years, is once again on the admissions staff, this time in the role of admissions counselor.
A Loudonville native with a family background in the beef industry, Jill oversaw the admissions operation at ATI during a period of tremendous growth brought about in part by the initiation of the Associate of Science (transfer) degree program in 1996 and the construction of the Applewood Village student apartments in 1997.
During Jill’s tenure, she revamped and updated existing recruitment programs, such as the campus visit days, and instituted new ones, such an extensive telecounseling program that reached more than 5,800 students per year, a comprehensive series of promotional brochures for individual programs, and a strategic marketing outreach to “moms at the kitchen table,” as Jill describes it.
Jill left ATI to become director of admissions for medicine and pharmacy for the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), which had just begun its pharmacy program. “That was one of the most intriguing things I’ve done in my admissions career,” Jill said. “We built the pharmacy admissions program from scratch, from developing admissions policy to determining where to recruit students to designing an admissions interview process.”
From NEOMED, Jill went to University of Cincinnati where she led freshman student recruitment efforts, oversaw the visitor center, and contributed to a 14% increase in enrollment over a three-year period while also increasing the academic profile of the entering class.
Jill had already made the decision to move on from Cincinnati when she learned about the opening in ATI’s admissions office. She ran into ATI’s enrollment manager at a college fair and jokingly told him that he ought to hire her back. “We both laughed about it, then, the more I thought about it, the more serious I became.” As successful as she was at Cincinnati, she admitted that “my friends and family remained north of I-70.”
Jill began her second stint with ATI admissions last May and is currently in charge of recruiting students in 37 counties of southern Ohio, where she has attended 31 college fairs and visited 51 high schools and 33 Extension offices. She is also involved in the planning of program-specific preview days, writing copy for the prospective student newsletter, coordinating group tours, working with transfer, Academy, and out-of-state students, and serving as the admissions liaison to the horticulture division and OSU Extension.
“The admissions staff, the application system, the recruitment plan—they’ve all changed since I left eight years ago,” said Jill. “But what hasn’t changed is the way ATI has unique marketing opportunities, and those still excite me. It’s good to be back.”