Q&A with Jason Merryman: Southern’s new Vice President for Enrollment Management

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Jason Merryman was recently appointed as the new Vice President for Enrollment Management. He is a Southern alumnus, ‘98,  and worked as the Director of Financial Aid and Enrollment Services from 2005 to 2012. Get to know him in this interview with the Accent, where he shares some of his plans as the new VP of Enrollment Management.  

Q: How do you feel about rejoining the Southern family?

A:  Ecstatic! My wife and I have been praying for an opportunity to return to Southern when the time was right. The Southern family is an extension of our family, so rejoining has felt like coming back home.

Q: What are some of the things you are looking forward to?

A:  Besides pasta day?  I’ve missed working with like-minded believers and doing little things like praying before a meeting. There is so much value in asking for God’s guidance to assist in the workplace – especially in the work that we do in enrollment management. I’m also looking forward to seeing my daughter start her freshman year here at Southern!

Q: How are you going to apply your previous experience to the fulfillment of this job?

 A: Great question. Experience is a great teacher, so I plan on using my experiences in recruiting/admissions, financial aid, operations management, and customer service to help lead the enrollment team. I also learned the importance of considering multiple viewpoints on an issue and to listen to those viewpoints without pre-judgment.

Q: As you take on the position of Vice President for Enrollment Management, what are some of the plans you’re most excited to put into action?

A:  Some of the plans I’m most excited about putting into action are improving and streamlining the enrollment process for incoming students as well as finding creative ways to connect with prospective Adventist students that attend public schools and homeschool.

Q: What are some of the challenges you expect and how do you plan to tackle them?

A: I think the biggest challenge that we are all facing as a University staff is staying healthy (as well as doing our best to keep students healthy when they arrive this fall) in the current environment we are in. I am working hard with our President and cabinet members to prayerfully and thoughtfully consider all options that are both safe AND maintain the Southern experience for our students. I plan on remaining flexible, praying for God’s guidance, and continuously monitoring the pandemic while adjusting accordingly.

Q: What is something you want students to know about you? 

A: I’m approachable and I care deeply about your experience here at Southern. I’m a Southern alumnus and have experienced first-hand all of the great things Southern provided for me, and so many others, personally, spiritually, and academically. This is why I am so passionate about sharing how Southern can provide a Christ-centered, quality Adventist education that is relevant in today’s world. By the way, I am usually wearing a bowtie. So, when you happen to spot me on campus, I’d love to connect and learn more about you and your journey!

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