Meet Dave Kraus who is the Director of Admission and Senior Athletic Liaison at Davidson College.
What led you into admission/college counseling?
Directly out of the University of New Hampshire, I was a middle school then high school English teacher and coach at a public school district in New Hampshire for 10 years. When the opportunity presented itself to take an admission counselor at my alma mater, it seemed an interesting possibility to try for a few years. Now, here we are 34 years later. I have been incredibly fortunate in those years to work with two giants in the business. I was hired at UNH by Stanwood Fish, now Dean Emeritus, and could not have had a better role model and mentor for my early career. Stan’s vision, professionalism, ethics and calm laid the foundation upon which I have drawn many times through the years. When I moved to Virginia accepting a position at Radford University, I had the privilege of working with and getting to know Jack Blackburn, Dean of Admission at UVA. Jack was simply an icon in the admission world. His intelligence, commitment to access, inclusiveness, and warmth are characteristics that I try to emulate daily. I am no Stan Fish nor a Jack Blackburn but I like to think I have positively influenced my younger colleagues over the years.
What do you love most about your job?
Much has changed in the work since the mid ‘80’s, most notably marketing materials and certainly technology. But the core of what we do remains the same, that is working with students and their families in an anxious and stressful time and helping them understand how the process works as they seek that good fit in their college choice—and reassuring that they will find that fit. That remains the most enjoyable part of the work for me.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue leadership in PCACAC and/or NACAC?
I have always felt the admission/college counseling field in general attracts positive, can do people. That is certainly true in the membership and leadership of PCACAC many of whom have gone on to important roles and leadership in NACAC. So, my advice if you are thinking of getting involved is simply DO IT!!
What's one thing that most people don't know about you?
I am most definitely an “I” on the Myers Briggs Personality test.
How do you balance work/life?
Balance? What’s that? I am afraid that my junior colleagues do a better job on this than I.
What's a current trend or future issue you're passionate about right now?
Higher ed faces many challenges on the horizon but I would have to put affordability at the top of the list. When I was a college student, one could work hard during the summer and pretty much earn the year’s expenses. That certainly is not the case now. The indebtedness with which students graduate presently is frightening. Wish I could say I have the solution but this must be addressed.
What advice would you give to someone considering entering the admissions/college counseling profession?
This is good work and important work. We are privileged to do what we do every day. Join us!