Ahhh summer. That time of year where campus seems to quiet down. Most of our students have left campus for a well-earned break, or have found an internship or research project to sink their teeth into before classes begin again. Many seem to think, with the students gone and much of the recruitment year behind us, that the admission office also gets a chance to slow down and enjoy a bit of a break. I can categorically say, that is not the case. Sure, we may fit in a week vacation here and there, but the days of enjoying a slow summer are well behind us. In fact, this is one of my busiest times of year, especially as I work, almost exclusively, with transfer students. Transfer applicants that are planning on starting this fall have a deadline of July 1st. This means that I am working with the whole spectrum of applicants - from those planning coursework to take now to transfer in the future, to those trying to finish their applications, file review, working with admits to go over credit evaluations and next steps, and following up with deposited students to make sure they are getting registered for the classes they need. I have not left the office before 6 in quite a while, but that does not mean I can’t sneak in some fun.
Everyone in our office works hard, but we also take that same attitude towards our sense of play. My most recent example of this was joining the Salesforce team in the Bike MS weekend. Admittedly, this was a last minute decision on my part. It was only the Tuesday before the ride that I realized I actually could take part in the ride, as other logistics had fallen into place. Unfortunately, good intentions aside, this means that I had not actually prepared physically for a two-day ride (of roughly 150 miles). Luckily, this year they offered a 45 mile ride that allowed a start with the team, but I would finish at lunch, while most riders would continue on for another 32 miles. As I had only ridden a max distance of 6 miles on my bike so far this summer, this seemed like the best option for me. I have ridden this distance before, so I wasn’t totally clueless about the distance... I just had not had a chance to ride that far this year. I can tell you now, that 45 miles was just over my comfort limit for the day – and I did get a bit sore, but the hotel hot tub really helped.
My husband (the one with the half beard) has done this ride with his company for the last four years. For the last two years, he has been in the top 100 fundraisers for the Colorado Ride. I am immensely proud of him, and felt like I was riding with a bit of a celebrity, as his number indicated his fundraising rank (#54) so people would call out to him during the ride. His half beard (and half shaved head) is what allowed him to earn that much money for an amazing cause ($6,220 so far). The willingness to look strange for donations has paid off. I am inspired by him, and I have decided that next year I will train so that I can ride both days, and I will also put half my hair up for auction. If I raise enough (the going rate is $6,000), I too will look like a fool for the week of the ride.
I did see a few people affiliated with DU during the ride. One was my friend and colleague – McKenzie Mohler (in the yellow jersey). McKenzie is one of our Daniels College of Business advisors, and my go-to person for all things business. McKenzie has also being riding for MS for the last four years. She is part of the RawHinies team, which is one of the top four fundraising friends and family teams across the county, raising $275,593 this year so far! McKenzie has raised almost $2,000 towards MS research. As McKenzie’s mom has MS, this organization is near and dear to her heart. I was thrilled to see McKenzie finish day 1 of the ride, and to catch her in the after party tent.
It is not every weekend that I will “play” this hard, nor will every weekend have a “public good/fundraising” element to it. I can say that this particular weekend of riding and fundraising has left me feeling a bit better about how I choose to spend my time – both in and out of the office. I hope that you will also find ways to work hard and play hard this summer, with hopefully a little work/play for the public good mixed in. Enjoy your summer!
For more information about Bike MS, click here.
Jennifer Lipke - Associate Director & Transfer Coordinator, Undergraduate Admission