Episode 11 of Podcast 'The Search': Shaping a Community

Dartmouth's Lee Coffin talks about the college admissions process.

One of the most important jobs of any school admissions team is also among the most difficult to describe: shaping a vibrant college community. In this episode, Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid, invites two other deans to help him explain how they do it.

"What do we really mean by 'diversity?'" Coffin asks.

"It means looking at students within their own individual context and realizing that the path that one took to get to this point might look different than the path someone else took to get to that senior year in high school," says Liz Cheron, assistant vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions at Northeastern University.

Diversity is also about populating a campus with many points of view, says Coffin.

"Some of my most memorable moments came during late nights in my dorm room, having ordered a pizza, and we would be debating something, either a movie that just happened on campus or a speaker or a political event, or something in the news," he recalls. "And the difference of opinion we all brought to the conversation was the part that helped me grow the most. And, you know, I think for community building, that's something I try and proactively bake into the DNA of every Dartmouth class."

The episode ends with a compelling compilation of student voices as they describe themselves in their own applications.

"The Search" is now available on SoundCloud and the Undergraduate Admissions website, and will also be available on Spotify, Apple Music, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio, Pandora, RadioPublic, iHeart Radio, and Google Podcast.

For the latest information on Dartmouth's response to the pandemic, visit the COVID-19 website