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A Bold Future: Former Students Support Current Students in Boise State Admissions

by Lily Tindle-Hardy

While working a stint at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in 2020, Allyanna Wintermote (Anthropology, ’14) thought, “I miss the university setting.” A then-former enrollment counselor at Boise State University, she saw a new opening in Admissions Counseling where she works now, one of 10 alumni who have graduated in the last decade — in an office of 13.

“The presence of BOLD in Admissions has added fresh perspective and energy to the office,” she said. “We’ve become a dynamic team, leveraging our experiences to enhance communication and connection.”

“BOLD” stands for “Broncos of the Last Decade,” Boise State’s largest recent cohort of graduates. Forty percent of Boise State graduates are members of this cohort, and, in a form of employee retention uncommon for a university, close to 700 of them have returned to serve their alma mater professionally.

Evelyn Hernandez (’22) and Allyanna Wintermote (’14)

“Alumni passion for Boise State is big, and it shows,” Director of Student and Graduate Programs Sydney Montgomery said. “Our students find a sense of home here on campus, with Boise State and fellow Broncos. I’m not surprised we’ve retained many of them as employees.”

Case in point: Admissions Counseling. At Boise State, BOLD alumni are stepping in and stepping up in Admissions, rising beyond the mere recruitment of prospective students. Providing resources for connection and transfer credits between institutions, these counselors guide current and future Broncos in envisioning themselves at Boise State.

Connection keeps these three in the office, and the culture is the selling point on campus. Regional Admissions Counselor Bailey Mallard (English, ’21) said Boise State’s down-to-earth campus helped her thrive, form relationships, and eventually come to work in Admissions. As an undergraduate student, working in orientation helped her land her first position in Admissions as a student recruitment specialist. After graduating, the skills she developed in the office led her to her current role and informs her work now, even as she studies for her Master of Education in Educational Leadership, which she expects to complete in May of ‘24.

Now, she brings perspectives from both sides of the student/alumni fence. The student life and her work as a counselor combined is a “tremendous benefit,” she said. Being a student and alum simultaneously helps her relate to the people she serves, making them feel more comfortable.

“Speaking from personal experience makes the whole thing feel more human and less salesperson-like,” Mallard said. “It allows me to place myself in the students’ shoes, reflecting on their feelings, points of excitement, and even challenges they may be encountering.”

One of the most pronounced features of BOLD is its diversity, and the diversity of Boise State’s transfer student population energizes Admissions Counselor Evelyn Hernandez (’22). Hernandez’s experiences as a rural, first-generation Latina student fuel her passion for supporting underrepresented populations pursuing higher education. This drive led her to Admissions Counseling, where she guides students toward their academic goals.

Hernandez, who graduated from Boise State with a Master of Education in Educational Leadership, previously worked for her alma mater in Extended Studies. Being BOLD, she said, “doesn’t have one lens.” To her, the BOLD cohort is flush with all kinds of upbringings and perspectives. As a first-generation student, going to college for the first time intimidated her, and she said bringing compassion to students of similar backgrounds is an important part of her job.

“Being a first-gen student, the process was overwhelming, and I was doing that alone,” she said. “To help support students through this process and ease their fears is nice.”

Whether in the transition from out-of-state to in-state or balancing student and personal life, Admissions counselors are at the forefront of supporting students, decade to decade. On a foundation of connection and perspective, these three are giving back to the university by creating a space dedicated to success and lasting relationships for Broncos, by Broncos.

Bailey Mallard (’21)

“Being a member of BOLD helps me to contribute to the growth and success of Boise State,” Wintermote said. “I take pride in highlighting the experiences of my BOLD colleagues, showcasing the thriving community and boundless opportunities that await incoming Broncos.”