After bringing in a new director, the Admissions Office shifts gears

The Truman State University Admissions Office is implementing new projects, such as expanding the marketing of the University’s graduate programs.

Admissions Director Ryan Myzak began last November. The Admissions Office is marketing in new ways. Submitted photo

Truman appointed a new Director of Admissions, Ryan Myzak, who began Nov. 30, 2020, who has been heading these changes. There are several projects that Myzak and the Admissions Office have been working on, such as the marketing for the graduate programs and changing how prospective students learn about Truman during the pandemic.

Myzak has over 10 years of experience in higher education recruitment. His expertise spans from athletics recruitment to traditional undergraduate recruitment and overseeing transfer and articulation admissions. 

Myzak’s most recent position was at the American University of Rome as the assistant director of United States admissions operations, which he began March 1, 2020. Because of the pandemic and international lockdown, he returned to the United States.

Myzak also worked at California University of Pennsylvania as the director of undergraduate and international admissions.

Myzak said a professional contact at the Missouri Commission of Community Colleges recommended Truman.

“He said Truman would be a really good fit for me,” Myzak said. “That’s actually how I came and found Truman. I came here and had an incredible interview experience. I was very impressed with the executive leadership. I’ve worked at schools with very weak executive leadership, and it makes all the difference when you’re trying to institute change.”

Myzak said the Admissions Office is trying to increase enrollment in Truman’s graduate program by targeting students who have finished their undergraduate schooling at other institutions. The marketing of the graduate program used to be done solely by the academic departments. The Admissions Office is now connected to the marketing of the graduate programs.

Myzak said he has also been working on changing how Truman communicates with different marketing strategies. One of the strategies Myzak has been using is drip marketing, which provides drips of information that pushes behavior and activities.

“If we know a prospective student is coming in and they want to be a math major and study abroad, we can talk a little about math and study abroad, and change how we send that message to really meet what the consumer is looking for,” Myzak said. “At the end, there is always a call to action, like ‘Hey, you should come visit us’ or ‘Hey, we have an event.’”

Myzak said he has also been looking at how to change the visiting experience during the pandemic. He said he has been trying to take the typical messages and experiences during a college visit and modify them to be done safely. 

One of the ways this has been done is by creating an app that allows prospective students and their families to watch a prerecorded student ambassador giving a tour of the various buildings across campus.

Tyana Lange, vice president for enrollment management and marketing, said part of why Myzak was chosen for the director of admissions position was because of how well he researched the market of Kirksville, Truman and Truman’s competitors. There was a pool of 40 to 50 applicants for the position and four applicants were chosen from that pool to come to campus for an interview.

“One of the things from my point of view that I also found to be incredibly exciting is that every challenge that the University has, he sees as an opportunity,” Lange said. “He understands that we control our own destiny and that we can’t change things overnight, but that we can work towards changing them long term and get to where we need to be.”