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Meet Cyrus Nichols

Cyrus Nichols
University of Oregon

Twitter: @CyNichols

How did you become the Associate Director of Recruitment & Outreach at the University of Oregon?

After I graduated college I really didn’t know what I wanted to do and applied for a lot of different jobs. My first job was at Principal Financial group where I helped companies manage their retirement portfolios, then after a few years I became a recruiter for my business unit. That allowed me to travel to colleges across the Midwest to recruit new graduates to the company. Then out of nowhere I received a call from someone in the admission and financial aid office who knew me from when I was a student asking if I would be interested in an admission and financial aid position. I went in for an interview, liked what they had to say, they liked me, and I was offered the job. My first year at the University of Northern Iowa I worked in both the admission and financial aid offices to fill voids they had in both areas. I had more interest in admission field and eventually managed to secure a full-time job as the admission counselor for multicultural recruitment. I also served on the College Day/Night committee for the Iowa ACAC.

I spent 4 years at Northern Iowa before I made the transition to a new position – Assistant Director for Diversity Outreach & Recruitment at the University of Iowa. There I led the office’s diversity outreach and recruitment efforts, served on the Iowa ACAC Exec Board, Conference Planning committee, and was the chair of the Inclusion Access and Success committee. I loved my time at Iowa. The staff was great, but after four years I wanted to try something new, take on more leadership, and move into a role that could help me reach my goal of being a director one day. So I applied for associate director job openings at several different institutions, and I was blessed to be hired for my current position at the University of Oregon, where I’ve been serving as the Associate Director of Admissions for the past two years.

What made you decide to get into this field?

I got in this profession for the potential to help students and change their lives. There are so many students who don’t think college is possible and need help navigating the occasionally difficult college search process. It’s an awesome feeling knowing you have helped a student get into college so they can pursue their dreams and reach their goals.

What is your favorite part of the job?

Meeting all kinds of people from various backgrounds and helping them go from where they are to where they want to be. I truly love meeting families and new students; they are all different and unique in their own way. Being able to make a difference in a student's college search is the best part of my day.

How has NACAC played a role in your career?

I credit a lot of my professional success to my membership in NACAC and Iowa ACAC. The relationships and opportunities for professional development have been invaluable. Throughout my professional journey I’ve been very fortunate to have directors who valued professional development, and my exposure, and involvement with NACAC early on in my career really opened my eyes to all the opportunities and different areas in the admission profession. I’m very passionate about what I do and being involved in NACAC allows me continue to meet and network with other like-minded professional to help drive that passion, get new ideas, and help our students. Through NACAC I have also built lasting relationships and cultivated new friendships. Last fall I was appointed to the NACAC Member Relations Committee and I’m excited to continue to give back to our profession in any way that I can.

How did you get involved with NACAC’s Guiding the Way to Inclusion conference?

My first GWI was the summer of 2012 in Houston, Texas. I was new to my role as the Assistant Director for Diversity Outreach & Recruitment at the University of Iowa, and was looking to connect with others who did similar work at other institutions. I had a great time at that conference, got some great ideas, and met some individuals who have become mentors and who have helped me get to where I am today. For the 2017 GWI conference in Las Vegas I am on the Faculty Committee, and I have presented at the last two GWI conferences with people I met back in 2012. GWI is my favorite conference to attend.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?

I like to work out, run, golf, watch TV, and hang out with friends.

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?

Batman. He is intelligent, helps people, wealthy, has the best gadgets, and doesn’t do that bad with the ladies. He is different from other superheroes because he is the only one with no superpowers. However, he always outthinks the enemy and wins every time.

Describe yourself in five words.

Competitive, Outgoing, Positive, Fun, Reliable

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