Amy Smallwood
Assistant Director of Transfer Admissions & Recruitment
University of Oklahoma

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
I have always loved education and while I finished my degree at the University of Oklahoma I worked full time at the front desk of admissions. My mentor at the time was highly encouraging and I quickly fell in love with higher education, as well at the environment I found myself in. It felt like home. Once I completed my degree, I became a holistic admission counselor, which led me to transfer admissions and recruitment. In this role I have had the ability to be more connected to our incoming student population and continually grow. I have been able to help students transfer to OU, find their path, and find resources that were not apparent to me as a first-generation transfer student.

What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of my job is that I can help others get on the path to their future goals, specifically those transfer first-generation students who I share a background with. I get to meet someone new every day and/or week! Mentoring, whether I am working or in my personal life, is a highlight. I love empowering students to continually reflect so that they can find their passions and/or continue growing on their own journey.

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
NACAC has provided me with the opportunity to connect with other professionals, as well as hearing from students about their college admission process. Student stories inspire me, and I feel they drive me to become a better professional! The resources and network provided by this organization have encouraged me to reach new heights and advocate for my students in new ways.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
Affordability and credit mobility. These two challenges create hurdles for transfer students that seem never-ending. Affordability, alone, is a challenge we all may face at one point or on a consistent basis. I constantly find students in positions where they cannot afford higher education, but I hope to continue to lead in a way that empowers students to take that challenge into their own hands. I encourage them with the resources that I aware of and help them learn how to search for more financial assistance.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I am a huge supporter of OU football and love the tradition it brings to Norman, Oklahoma, and our campus. I am a sucker for live music, and love to attend the Norman Music Festival every year. I love to go hiking, kayaking, or anything in the sun if it is not 100+ degrees. I also enjoy going to church, making jewelry, and learning to play chess with my son!

What five words would you use to describe yourself?
Cheerful. Encourager. Determined. Resilient. Hopeful.


Published Sept. 25, 2023