Q&A: Dennis Gagaoin

How is work in the University of Washington Bothell’s Office of Admissions?

Dennis Gagaoin, director of admissions, answers a few questions from Maria Lamarca Anderson, director of communications.

Dennis Gagaoin, director of admissions at the University of Washington Bothell

Q. How do you try to innovate?

A. I’m always looking to innovate, especially if it leads to efficiencies that improve experiences for students and staff. I like learning about different experiences and perspectives — and finding out what can be improved so that I can work with my team to figure out solutions.

One example of an innovation is customized electronic viewbooks for prospective students. We are developing this online tool that will allow them to choose the content they need and receive it instantly, rather than waiting for us to send them the traditional generic viewbook. This personalized, immediate approach is more sustainable, allows staff to focus on other student supports and saves on postage.

Q. What is the core of your work?

A. My main work is centered around helping students access higher education. We work with our prospective students to determine their interests, needs and goals, then see how UW Bothell can support them in manifesting their future vision.

Q. How do any or all of UW Bothell’s three strategic priorities fit into your work? How do you advance this part of our shared work within your unit or across campus?

A. I believe our recent Admitted Student Day is a perfect embodiment of UW Bothell’s strategic priorities. It was an event that required community engagement across several campus departments and involved students, staff and faculty. It showcased the diversity of our campus community to attendees and involved faculty demonstrating cross-disciplinary scholarship through the mock courses they held. These are the kinds of events my team and I strive to provide that help support our campus’ strategic priorities.

Q. What are you working on today?

A. As of this writing, I’m in the middle of emceeing and leading our virtual information sessions which are an extension of our Admitted Student Day. They allow students who could not attend ASD to learn more about UW Bothell and provide those who did attend additional information they may have missed. I’m also hiring and training staff, making final admissions decisions on pending applications, advising prospective students, responding to inquiries, analyzing our admissions data and making projections for our autumn quarter 2022 new-student enrollments.

Q. How does who you are show up in your work?

A. I like to think that I’m a very supportive person who wants the best outcomes for everyone. I try to provide as much flexibility for my team so they can be their best selves and to offer assistance wherever I can to help alleviate their workload and stress. I’m also big proponent of professional development: I share opportunities for them to grow in their work and encourage them to seek conferences and trainings that will add to their knowledge and skill set.

Q. Where is your favorite spot on campus, and why?

A. My favorite spot on campus is the Plaza because it’s in the center of campus where students gather and do activities and where special events happen, like Admitted Student Day!

Q. What is your favorite thing about working at UW Bothell?

A. I love working with our students and collaborating with staff. We have so many talented, dedicated and amazing people who make up our community that it makes me proud to be part of UW Bothell.

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