October 8, 2012
Paul Quinn College has promoted alumna Jessika Lara to the newly created position of Director of Recruiting. Lara, a 23-year-old graduate of the PQC class of 2010, will be the first Hispanic and the youngest member of the senior staff at the 140-year-old historically black institution and will report directly to President Michael J. Sorrell.
“This is such a proud moment for Paul Quinn College. Jessika was the second student that I ever recruited and my first Presidential Scholar to graduate,” said President Sorrell. “She is the personification of the institution we are building. She has always been more than a student to us; she is family and has earned the right to lead our efforts in this area. This is ‘Quinnite Nation-building’ at its finest.”
In the new role, created with Lara’s tenacious spirit and demonstrated abilities in mind, Lara will oversee all student recruitment operations and the enrollment management staff, and lead the charge to increase enrollment by 30 percent for Fall 2013.
Until now, Lara has served as a recruiter at the college, a position she accepted after earning a degree in Business Administration from PQC in 2011, which she completed in three and a half years. She joined the staff in March 2011. Within six months, she recruited more than 50 percent of the incoming freshmen class. Her efforts increased the number of applications from Hispanic applicants by 300 percent. Along with her duties in the enrollment management space, she also serves as the campus advisor for the Paul Quinn College Latino Student Association, which was chartered on the campus this year and is playing a large role in the diversification of the college.
Lara’s journey with PQC started in 2007, the year she graduated from Molina High School and was ranked No. 7 in her class. She enrolled in PQC the same year as a Presidential Scholar, a beneficiary of the institution’s most prestigious scholarship program for students with a high school grade point average of 3.5 or higher. She was a member of the first Presidential Scholar class appointed by President Sorrell. As a Presidential Scholar, she successfully maintained a 3.5 college GPA and participated in the college’s exchange program with SMU. She was also married in the college’s chapel.
“The team at Paul Quinn has always been like family to me, “Lara said. “I feel ready to assume the responsibility of making a great impact, so that other students can experience the nurturing and encouragement that I received as both a student and now an employee.”
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