August 2014 Archways

Campus Buzz


Pelema I. Morrice, Chief Enrollment Officer

Pelema I. Morrice, Chief Enrollment Officer

In July, the College welcomed Pelema I. Morrice as its new chief enrollment officer.

“Pelema is a highly successful enrollment professional with a deep understanding of the demographic and cultural trends impacting liberal arts colleges and the entire higher education sector,” says President Kim Cassidy. “Under his leadership I expect Bryn Mawr’s commitment to both excellence and access not just to continue, but to reach new heights.”

Morrice comes to Bryn Mawr from the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO), where he served as associate vice chancellor of enrollment management. At UNO, he led a best-practice enrollment unit with an emphasis on developing key campus partnerships to enhance efforts in shaping each class.

In 2013, these efforts resulted in the most socioeconomically, racially, and ethnically diverse incoming undergraduate class in UNO history. In addition, the university achieved gains in high-achieving new student enrollment, student retention, and net tuition revenue.

Morrice earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in higher education from San Jose State University and a Ph.D. in higher education from the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan.

“Bryn Mawr is an institution of rare distinction and rigor,” says Morrice, “and a community my family and I can’t wait to call home.”



The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a one-year planning grant to the Bryn Mawr College Library to develop the History of Women’s Education Open Access Portal Project.

The digital portal will provide researchers access to the trove of letters, diaries, and scrapbooks—personal documents created by students in the days before email and Instagram.

The collaborative project includes the libraries of Barnard, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, Wellesley, and the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. It is being  directed by Eric Pumroy, associate chief information officer and Seymour Adelman Head of Special Collections, and developed out of the work of the Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education at Bryn Mawr.




Elizabeth Kolbert’s latest book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, offers a sobering account of the widespread species loss currently underway.

Elizabeth Kolbert (photo by Nicholas Whitman

Elizabeth Kolbert (photo by Nicholas Whitman

A staff writer for The New Yorker, Kolbert will be on campus in November for this year’s Emily Balch Speaker Series. The series is part of the Emily Balch Seminars, Bryn Mawr’s

discussion-oriented, reading- and writing-intensive courses for first-year students.

The Sixth Extinction begins with the history of the catastrophic events that brought about the disappearance of creatures large and small: the American mastodon and “an ammonite that disappeared at the end of the Cretaceous alongside the dinosaurs.”

The “unnatural history” Kolbert explores is the current mass extinction, the one being fueled by human activity. Traveling around the globe, she describes the die-off taking place, as she explains, “very much in the present—in the increasingly fragmented Amazon rainforest, on a fast-warming slope in the Andes, on the outer reaches of the Great Barrier Reef….Such is the scope of the changes now taking place that I could have gone pretty much anywhere and, with the proper guidance, found signs of them. One chapter concerns a die-off happening more or less in my own backyard (and, quite possibly, in yours).”




Undergraduate applicants to Bryn Mawr now have the option of submitting standardized test scores. In the past, scores from tests such as the SAT or ACT were required for consideration.

“We have always conducted a holistic review of a student’s application and that will continue,” says Director of Admissions Peaches Valdes ’99, M.S.S. ’03, M.L.S.P. ’03. “This new policy will make our pool of applicants even stronger as a wider range of academically talented students will be able to consider Bryn Mawr.”

The decision was made after careful review by senior admissions staff, the Faculty Admissions Committee, and the Office of Institutional Research.

“This was a very deliberative process,” says Psychology Professor Marc Schulz, a member of the admissions committee. “We looked not just at the national data, but also at our own data over the last several years. It was clear that the standardized tests added very little predictive information after accounting for the strength of applicants’ academic work in high school and the admissions staff’s review of the whole application.”

Other top liberal arts colleges to adopt a test-optional policy include Bates, Bowdoin, Hamilton, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Wesleyan.

Bryn Mawr has had a “test flexible” policy since 2009. Under that policy, students had a variety of options regarding which combination of standardized test scores to submit.

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents are still required to submit standardized test results, and some, depending on language of instruction, may also be required to submit English proficiency test results.

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