Admission Counselor

(812) 866-7033


Hometown: Madison, IN

What did you do prior to Hanover? Prior to attending Hanover College as a student, I attended Madison Consolidated High School; volunteered at our local Girls Inc. teaching self-defense classes for girls; became a Master of Tae Kwon Do at Taylor’s Tae Kwon Do Academy; worked at a local gourmet chocolate shop Cocoa Safari; and completed several engineering internships at Grote Industries. My work experience post-graduation included corporate document translation to Spanish, as well as insurance sales.

What do you love about Hanover, and why did you come back to work at here? Hanover is home. As an area local—or “townie”—I really did not want to want to come to Hanover due to its location. I toured several schools until FINALLY giving in and checking out the liberal arts college next door. I fell in love immediately; I knew it was the place for me. My work experience has been similar. I graduated with a job already lined up from connections made through the college’s Business Scholars Program, completed my contracted responsibilities, and then tried something brand new: insurance sales. While fascinating, I learned quickly that insurance sales did not interest me the way I had hoped it would. After some time, I saw the job listing for admission counselor at Hanover and knew that this institution was something I believed in, something I could proudly advertise, and something that I loved. I wanted to come back home.

Who was your favorite professor here, and why? Miriam Criado was my absolute favorite professor here at Hanover. She helped me complete my proposal for the Richter Grant that I earned during my time here—which allowed me to go to Spain (ALONE!) and interview government leaders, university professors, and voters about the political climate following the recession. She and I would meet for hours at a time discussing literature, politics, history, and ourselves. She was my natural choice for an academic advisor and I was devastated when she retired. It is amazing the connections students will make with professors here! It is a true mentor/mentee relationship. Every Hanover grad, alum, and student that I know has their own Miriam Criado.

What's your favorite place on campus or in Madison? Well, I’m a bit biased. My now-husband and I fell in love here at Hanover and we spent quite a lot of our time at the co-ed/kissing rock. It’s near The Point and overlooks the Ohio River. According to campus legend, for those love-stricken Hanoverians who share a kiss there it will seal their love for a lifetime. Some might say it’s only a legend but for me, it has a 100% success rate.

What are some of your interests, and what sort of things keep you busy? Outside of work I spend my time writing novels, researching mafia history, and collecting DC Comics memorabilia. My collection consists mostly of Wonder Woman, but I do have a mint-condition first print of The Killing Joke that I hold in high regard. However, my most prized possessions are my Golden Age Wonder Woman comics.

What's your pump-up song? There is no way I can pick just one. Any number of Disney songs will do the trick—I’ll Make a Man out of You” from Mulan is great for workouts—but as far as emotional pump-ups, I would say “Sisters Are Doin’ it For Themselves” by the Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin always puts me in the right state of mind to get work done!

Is there anything that you've always wanted to do but never have? Skydiving is definitely on my bucket list.

If you could visit one place in the world, where would it be - and why? Italy. Not only is my own heritage mostly Italian, but my interest in mafia history draws me to the region—specifically Sicily.

What's something that your coworkers might not know about you? I’m a pretty mellow, soft-spoken person so many people would be surprised to learn that telenovelas—Latin American Soap Operas—are my weakness!

What advice would you give to students who are navigating the college search process? This is going to sound self-promotional, but talk to your admission counselor! We’re here to help you. There are so many things you don’t know that you don’t know during your college search. There are also a ton of tasks that you can complete early to make sure the admission process is a smooth one. Utilize your admission counselors because they’re basically free college agents who will help you with anything you need!

Jessie Riley