By Jordan Beach
Reinhardt University recently welcomed two new leaders to the Enrollment Management team. Allyson Bianchi joined Reinhardt as director of admissions, and Joseph “Joey” Steelman now leads the Office of Student Financial Aid.
With 15 years in higher education, Bianchi holds experience in many facets of enrollment management, including marketing, recruitment, admissions, financial aid and academic advising. She finds Reinhardt’s campus to be a peaceful and inclusive environment where all are welcome.
“Reinhardt University is the university I would have chosen to attend if given the opportunity,” said Bianchi. “Campus leaders are passionate about students, collaborative and forward-thinking. The students are kind, intelligent and eager to learn.”
Bianchi chose to work in higher education after her positive experiences with work study positions during her time as an undergraduate student at the State University of New York.
“I have always enjoyed the campus environment and working with eager students to help them achieve academic and personal goals,” Bianchi said.
Since starting in her position at Reinhardt, she found her favorite aspect of campus is the Gordy Dining Center and its ability to bring people together.
“The Gordy Dining Center is a wonderful space to visit with students and professional colleagues. The dining center brings together people from across campus and the local community to reconnect and build friendships over a homemade meal.”
Bianchi views Reinhardt as a “hidden gem” that she wants all students to feel welcome in attending while feeling challenged academically.
“I hope to work with my university peers to maintain a community of inclusion and academic rigor, while strategically enrolling exceptional students who demonstrate our core values.”
When Steelman saw that Reinhardt University’s financial aid director position was open, he jumped at the chance to apply. Not only had he heard positive feedback from alumni and their families, he appreciated Reinhardt’s liberal arts approach.
“One aspect of Reinhardt that I relate to is the liberal arts style of education that provides much more time and attention to students than larger schools,” said Steelman. “I received my bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Georgia College, where I greatly benefitted from the liberal arts style, and I feel the smaller student-to-faculty ratio provides students with a greater opportunity to succeed.”
In his 10 years of working in higher education, Steelman worked at larger educational institutions where he only saw a portion of his colleagues in person, and said he has a great appreciation for the family atmosphere Reinhardt offers.
“I love the close-knit community of Reinhardt and the efforts of the faculty and staff in providing the best services possible to our students,” Steelman said. “I have been very impressed and pleased with the relationships I have seen among faculty, staff and students at Reinhardt and I’ve been glad to become a part of the community.”
Steelman recognizes how complicated a process financial aid can become for students and their families. He enjoys working with students and parents to help them see how financial aid can become a doorway into college, rather than an obstacle.
“My experience with financial aid is that it is perceived by many students and parents as an obstacle to education, and since I began working in financial aid, I have strived to provide the best guidance possible in navigating the process.”
As director, Steelman has students in mind with his goal to relieve as much of the burdens that may come along with financial aid as possible. Steelman has already worked to simplify Reinhardt’s financial aid processes and procedures, removing unnecessary steps for students.
“It is my goal to put our students at the focus of all our processes and procedures so that we can provide efficient and thorough service and allow our students to focus on their education.”