While not new to campus, Las Vegas native Elizabeth Jost, ’07 BA English, is new to the Graduate College and excited about the opportunities she has found there.
I was a student worker at the law school while I was working on my English degree. When I graduated in 2007, the director of admissions asked me to apply for the admissions and records assistant position that had recently opened. Happily, that launched me on a career path in higher education admissions. I was promoted this month to senior admissions analyst after only working (in the college) for 10 months.
What are some of your job duties?
I manage all aspects of the office of admissions at the Graduate College from the application to process to eventual decision processing. I have the privilege of keeping the admissions trains running on time and making sure all the moving parts are working in harmony. Delegating to my team and managing priorities is a very important part of my duties. I make autonomous admissions decisions for students applying to and completing graduate and professional degree programs, based on a high-level assessment of Graduate College documents and data.
What is the biggest challenge in your field?
The sheer volume of applicants and inquiries. Not only are we serving more than 3,000 applicants per year, but we also have close to 150 graduate programs now. Facilitating student and departmental requests is an all-day job and I’d be lost without my trusty student workers and my all-hands-on-deck team.
Tell us something people would be surprised to learn about you.
I am a fairly avid cosplayer. I usually make five or more cosplay projects throughout the year and am constantly researching, learning new techniques, and hitting thrift stores all over town when putting together my looks. I usually choose characters based on their strong characteristics and ability to be role models. I joined a few charity groups in Las Vegas that dress up as screen-accurate Star Wars characters or superheroes for various events in town like children’s hospital visits, movie premiers, and kids' groups. Nothing is more rewarding than having a little girl stop me at a con or event for a picture or a hug because she recognizes me from her favorite cartoon or movie.
It sounds boring but my proudest moment was living in an apartment on my own for a year. Having moved from a difficult relationship for much of my 20s into transitioning to truly being independent really taught me the value of knowing yourself. I attribute that year to many milestones in discovering who I was as a woman and an individual. I made my best friends during that time, overcame many challenges, and nurtured my strengths while working on my weaknesses. I tried new things and broke out of my comfort zone.
Professionally, I think my proudest moment was spearheading the paperless transition for application and file review at the law school in 2008. I got to develop the procedures and practices and the nuts and bolts of making this transition. It was also really exciting to go green!
Tell us about an object in your office that has significance for you and why.
A shadow box I made of props and programs from when I was in a musical production of Dr. Horrible, a Joss Whedon play. I had never done anything so crazy and outside my comfort zone in my life, and it’s my reminder that I can be brave and handle scary situations while still having a good time.
Geek culture is incredibly important to me and all of my hobbies revolve around it. If I’m not running a Dungeons and Dragons group for my friends, I’m attending a cosplay event or binge-watching Lord of the Rings with my boyfriend. I think it’s an important avenue for creativity and friendship and I’ve taken it upon myself to make my home a safe space for geeks to be themselves. Role models can be found everywhere but those that have spoken to me have been powerful women in geek culture, and you’ll find them represented on my desk here at UNLV and in my home and cosplay. From Princess Leia, to Dana Scully, to Buffy, to Furiosa, to Anna from Frozen — I think it’s important for young girls to have women represented in pop culture and their favorite things.