He became Ursinus College’s new Vice President for Enrollment Management in January. He’s passionate about helping students find their path and passion through an undergraduate college experience, and he loves reading, music, and has been known to attend a concert or two. Get to know Mike.
An avid music fan, he attended his first concert in 1988 (Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith at Philadelphia’s Spectrum) and has been to at least a half dozen concerts per year since—with COVID the only thing slowing him down.
I was in middle school in ’88 and went for Guns N’ Roses [the opening act] and they were good, but Aerosmith ended up being even better! Music is a big thing for me. I spend a lot of time listening to different genres, styles, and eras, particularly if it’s guitar driven. I play guitar, too, but not as much as I used to.
Speaking of guitar, his favorite musician is one of the most influential guitarists and songwriters of all time—Jimi Hendrix.
He’s been my No. 1 since 1987, when I was in seventh grade. And I’m also a lefty like him! His guitar playing is so revered, as it should be, and I’m of the opinion that any guitar player in the 20th and 21st century is influenced by him whether they’re familiar with him or not. He just had such a unique and revolutionary approach, in many ways operating within the blues tradition of his heroes like Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf, but he kind of flipped it around and did all sorts of crazy things with it. He’s also tremendously undervalued as a songwriter and a lyricist—he wrote many of my favorite lyrics.
He initially wanted to be a professor, but quickly discovered a passion for college admissions after starting in that field in Boston at Wentworth Institute of Technology. From there, he worked at Northeastern University, Haverford College, and Drexel University.
I had such a positive and transformative undergraduate experience, so when I was put in a position to help students find their match in an institution, it brought me a lot of joy and passion. I’ve come to appreciate just how transformative an undergraduate college experience can be and when I think of that, I think about not only how it can prepare you for life after college, but how being part of an intentional community and meeting people with all different points of origins and perspectives can contribute to one’s personal growth. I have no doubt that my undergraduate experience helped put me on a path that led me to where I am today. I like being able to help students realize their own path, promise, and potential.
He was immediately struck by Ursinus’s strong sense of community.
I spent 11 years of my career at Haverford College before going to a larger university, and what I missed about it was seeing everything up close and personal. I gained an appreciation for the small liberal arts college environment and the way it really affects students who experience that kind of educational environment. At schools like Ursinus, students, faculty, and staff have a shared ownership of the collegiate experience that is not easily replicated outside of the context of a small liberal arts college. The word “community” can be overused at smaller schools, but here, the concept of community has really exceeded my expectations.
He met his wife at a college fair and has six tattoos—one of which is a tribute to his children.
They’re both Aries—so I have a big Aries ram’s head with their names on the top and bottom of it. It’s hard to pick a favorite of my tattoos, but that one is the most personal…so far.