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Graduate School hires new director of graduate admissions

Jonathan Perez, an Indiana University alumnus who has more than 20 years of experience in graduate admissions, recruitment and enrollment management planning, has been named Indiana University Graduate School Bloomington’s new director of graduate admissions, effective March 25. That experience and his fresh perspective will help the campus meet the graduate program growth goals of the IUB 2030 strategic plan.

“As the office of record for graduate admissions, our office plays a critical role in ensuring accurate and responsive admissions practices for graduate programs at IUB, and I am thrilled that Jonathan is joining our admissions and recruitment coordinators in doing so,” Graduate School Dean David Daleke said. “He comes with a deep understanding of national best practices in admissions and a commitment to excellence that will help us build capacity and grow graduate enrollments.”

Perez’s responsibilities in this inaugural role include:

  • Implementing a holistic recruitment plan.
  • Working with and offering training to campus departments.
  • Developing outreach partnerships.
  • Participating in the IU Admissions Council.
  • Managing the IU Graduate CAS electronic applicant portal.
  • Working with the assistant dean for academic affairs in advising on new academic program development.

Jonathan Perez. Photo provided by Jonathan Perez Jonathan Perez. Photo provided by Jonathan Perez“To be able to come back to IU Bloomington is an incredible feeling that words really can’t describe,” Perez said. “I’m energized by the ways in which the Graduate School here has committed to building a strong team that can deliver holistic support to students — through the Graduate Mentoring Center, the GradGrants Center, career coaching and so much more.”

Most recently, Perez advised student clients with Solomon Admissions Consulting. Before that, he was director of student life and health career programs at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. There, he led enhancements including student life and community engagement services, graduate student government advising and the health career programs central application process. He also prioritized recruitment to underrepresented populations, academic progress tracking and connection with faculty mentors. For this work, he was awarded Student Government Faculty/Staff Leadership Awards in 2018 and 2019.

After six years of professional soccer, Perez began his admissions career in 2002 as an admissions outreach counselor for the University of Evansville. He went on to direct admissions at the Stanford University School of Medicine and University of South Florida College of Medicine — another inaugural role.

Across these positions, he managed large-scope applications processing, holistic admissions training, interview processes and major technical admissions data software transitions. He also orchestrated national targeted recruitment initiatives and created pipeline programs for underrepresented and international student populations. In 2007 and 2008, he received the Stanford Medical Student Faculty/Staff Recruitment Leadership Award.

Perez said one of his favorite elements of admissions work is connecting with people from all backgrounds. He advocates for a broad understanding of diversity and belonging and said he is interested in listening closely to understand who a person is, beyond apparent markers of identity.

Throughout his career, Perez has sought opportunities to counsel prospective applicants who are navigating admissions processes, scholarly research endeavors, volunteering activities, community engagement and leadership opportunities. He also emphasizes interunit collaboration and served as an active member of the American Medical College Application Services advisory committee.

“Building strong partnerships is essential to providing comprehensive admissions planning and resources to prospective students and applicants from a variety of backgrounds,” Perez said. “If you aren’t connected with people and don’t have the right team, you’re going to have a hard time getting things done. But here, I’ve already observed a growing foundation of collaboration, and I’m looking forward to building partnerships across campus.”

After three years in the United States Army — during which he was awarded an Army Commendation Medal for meritorious military service — Perez attended IU Bloomington, earning a Bachelor of General Studies with a concentration in arts and humanities and later a graduate certificate in health studies. In 2014, he pursued professional development through the Stanford University Manager Academy.