“No longer able to travel to meet prospective students or bring them to campus to meet faculty or be wowed by Duke University Chapel, the job of Duke Divinity School’s admissions team got harder when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
But, the group explored new methods to connect prospective students with the work of the school. That brainstorm yielded the idea for Divcast, a podcast offering an inside look into Duke Divinity School.
‘We are so lucky to have such an amazing team that’s creative, flexible and eager to lean into new roles and new ideas about what admissions can be right now,’ said Todd Maberry, senior director of admissions, recruitment and student finance and the host of Divcast.
The first episodes, which are being released throughout the fall, focus primarily on the Duke Divinity School’s eight new faculty members. Conversations cover areas of research and lives away from work. Other episodes feature prominent alumni, as well as some other bonus episodes with insider tips for navigating the admissions process at Duke Divinity School.
‘This gives us a place to forge real, genuine connections and give a human side to faculty members who can seem very intimidating, especially to folks who aren’t yet part of our community,’ said Morgan Hendrix, Duke Divinity’s director of admissions operations and the executive producer of Divcast.
With no podcast experience, the team had to learn new skills.
Hendrix oversaw production while Maberry learned how to write and host the podcast. Brandon Holmes, a senior admissions assistant, got up to speed on sound editing so he could turn the interviews into polished podcasts. Meanwhile, Admissions Assistant Kinsley Whitworth edited the show’s transcripts, while Admissions Officers Ashley Cross and Minoka Gunesekera provided ideas and served as guests on an episode covering application strategies.
‘One of the things I really like about this team is that we find challenges in our work and see them as opportunities for growth,’ Holmes said.
The podcast, and the team itself, has earned praise from prospective students, alumni and colleagues around Duke.
Emily Herbert, director of programs for the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development and Division of Geriatrics, nominated the team to be included in the Dedicated Devils series.
‘They have been creative and proactive during this totally disruptive and disconnected time to find new ways to connect with prospective students and give them a real sense of what Duke is all about when folks can’t visit in person and meet all the people that make this a special place,” she said.’
Originally published at https://today.duke.edu/https%3A//today.duke.edu/2020/03/dedicated-devils-rising-challenge-during-covid-19 on October 26, 2020