Meet our Admission Officers
Seth Allen, Vice President & Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
Greece, India, Turkey
Seth has been at Pomona since July 2011 as Pomona’s Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. Although he identifies Massachusetts as his childhood home, he’s also quick to point out he also lived in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Maine while growing up.
Seth arrived at Pomona by way of Grinnell College in Iowa where he served as Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. Prior to Grinnell he was the Dean of Admissions at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and served in admissions at The Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. Seth served on the Board of Directors of The Common Application for five years and was President from 2008-2009. He currently serves on national committees for both the National Association for College Admission Counseling and The College Board.
During his time in admissions he has overseen recruitment in New England, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Texas, Asia and Europe. Seth holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics as well as a master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science from The Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.
Art Rodriguez, Senior Associate Dean & Director of Admissions
Boston Area, Hawaii, Rhode Island
California: City of San Francisco, San Mateo, Los Altos
Art arrived at Pomona in July 2000, as an Assistant Dean and Coordinator of Latino Student Recruitment. Over his time at the College, Art has also served as a Senior Assistant, Associate, and Acting Dean of Admissions, with responsibilities ranging from managing the day-to-day activities of the Office of Admissions to developing and implementing admissions policy for the College. As a first-generation to college student, Art's interest in admissions pertains to college access and affordability. He also has interests in issues related to admissions policy and practices, student diversity, and trends in college admissions.
Prior to arriving at Pomona, Art served as Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and of the Pre-Freshman Math & Science Program, a summer bridge program for underrepresented, first-generation, and low-incomes students, at Carleton College in Northfield, MN.
Art received a bachelor’s degree from Carleton and a master’s degree from Harvard University.
David Brunk, Associate Dean of Admissions
Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC
All International Applicants not otherwise assigned
David enters his sixth year at Pomona College and his sixteenth year in college admissions. He has bewildered his colleagues by eschewing Claremont's Mediterranean climate and instead settling among the seasons and snows of the San Bernardino mountains - perhaps as a nod to his native homeland of upstate New York. He used to enjoy contemplating the wry musings of Italo Calvino and Paul Auster while accompanied by a musical backdrop of The Moody Blues or classic new wave synth pop in his spare time. Since he and his wife welcomed their second child in 2012, however, he no longer has any spare time. Although it has been years since he cleared a hurdle, he remains an active runner and follows professional cycling and Burnley FC. David received his A.B. from Hamilton College in 1996.
Tamina Mencin, Associate Dean of Admissions
Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa
International: Africa, Central and South America
Tamina arrived at Pomona in 2003 after spending most of her life on the East Coast and living abroad. Tamina attended Haverford College where she got her first taste of working in higher education as the Multicultural Intern in the Haverford Office of Admission. She has continued to develop her interest in access for underrepresented students in higher education, overseeing the MSAP program and diversity initiatives in the Pomona Office of Admissions. During her 11 years at Pomona, Tamina has worn many hats, including running selection committees, acting as liaison for the arts and science departments, and supervising the Senior Interviewer Program.
Tamina continues to enjoy all the advantages of working in the Southern California area and keeping up with current students and alumni.
Joel Hart, Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions
California: West Los Angeles and West Beach, East San Fernando Valley
SE Asia and Eastern Europe
Joel finds it easier just to tell people he grew up in “The South,” rather than listing out the four states he lived in there at one time or another. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a double major in political science and religious studies and a minor in European history. After stints in the admissions offices of his alma mater and the University of Pennsylvania, Joel moved to beautiful Southern California to join Pomona College. In his spare time, Joel’s interests can be summed up with “good food, black coffee, and world travel.” He lives in Los Angeles with his husband and a retired racing greyhound. He has a master's in education from the University of Southern California.
Alaina Dunn, Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions
Minnesota, Washington, Alaska
California: Marin County, Greater Sacramento
Alaina grew up in beautiful Olympia, Washington, and still occasionally misses the rain (but not too much!). She attended Western Washington University where she received a BA in Journalism and minor in Art History, and then headed to the mountains for two years and received her MEd from Northern Arizona University in Counseling with a focus on Higher Education. After spending a few years at the University of Redlands, she moved to Pomona College in 2011 where she now coordinates the Office of Admissions website and publications. Her professional interests include the use of social media in college admissions, improving college preparedness in public high schools, and communicating the value of the liberal arts in the modern world.
When she's not at work, she might be at home with her two slightly neurotic and destructive cats, trying out new "healthy" experimental recipes on her reluctant friends (ask her about cauliflower pizza), or enjoying a tall Americano with heavy cream.
Conor O'Rourke '03, Assistant Dean of Admissions
Connecticut, Western Massachusetts, Oregon, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Missouri
California: Pasadena, Glendale
Originally, from Oregon, by way of Alaska, Conor is a Pomona graduate from the Class of 2003. After graduation, Conor headed to New England where he worked for an educational enrichment program based out of Boston before heading back to school for his master’s in Higher Education Student Affairs from the University of Connecticut. Upon completion, he opted for a temporary hiatus from higher education to pursue his interest in gourmet coffee roasting by moving to a small town in Western Australia and working at a small coffee shop located just a few steps from the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean. After perfecting his roasting skills, he headed back to U.S. where he worked as a middle school history teacher at an all-girls school in Los Angeles before finally making it back home to Pomona College and joining the Admissions staff in 2010.
In his spare time, Conor continues to search for the perfect LA coffee shop where he keeps the U.S. Postal Service in business by hand-writing letters to friends, family, and noteworthy figures (he’s sent over 600 in the last three years). Conor also claims to own not a single pair of plain white or black socks and opts instead for the wildly colorful variety. His favorite is his green penguin pair.
Will Torres, Assistant Dean of Admissions
Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi
California: Inland Orange County, South Bay, Long Beach, Hollywood & Wilshire
Will joined the Office of Admissions at Pomona College in 2010. A proud Ohioan, Will grew up in Lorain, Ohio where he attended a large public high school. After graduating, he attended the College of Wooster where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in both Black Studies and English. At Wooster, worked in the Office of Admissions as a Tour Guide and Receptionist. After graduating from The College of Wooster, Will worked with students and families to help them gain access to college, financial aid, and scholarships as College Counselor of Oberlin City School District. Will also worked as Assistant Director of the Ninde Scholars Program, where he gained experience in grant writing, fundraising, and event planning. After five years of working with high school students and families, Will came to Pomona College to learn about “the other side of the desk” through the Office of Admissions.
At Pomona, Will works closely with the MSAP Program (diversity recruitment), overseeing Advisory Board Meetings and Overnight Hosting. He is also responsible for the Email and Email intern position as well as a program that encourages current students to share their experiences in their hometowns called Take Pomona Home. Will is also the point person for Athletics recruitment in the Office. In the summer, Will enjoys working with the students of Pomona Academy for Youth Success (PAYS). Will also has interest in better utilizing Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) in Pomona College’s recruitment efforts.
In his spare time, Will enjoys Skyping, visiting, and spoiling his many nieces in Ohio. He also spends many hours discussing and revisiting what he calls "the Classics" (Funk music and favorite books), trying new restaurants in Los Angeles, and volunteering. As a former athlete, Will tries hard to play pick up basketball with students, run themed 5K's, and surf Malibu a few times a year.
Looking forward, Will hopes to continue work in the areas of education, counseling, and/or philanthropy in the future.
Will Hummel '12, Admissions Officer
Dallas, North Texas, Nevada, Utah, Chicago Suburbs, Downstate IL, Wisconsin, Colorado
California: Conta Costa County, Oakland, Alameda, San Gabriel Valley
After graduating from Pomona, Will joined the admissions team in the fall of 2012. Originally from the northern suburbs of Chicago, he decided to abandon his dream of being a stormchaser in favor of the endless summers of Southern California. While at Pomona, Will worked as a tour guide, photographer, senior interviewer, and innertube water polo hired gun. He graduated with a B.A. in environmental analysis, and a minor in philosophy.
When he’s not busy dislocating his shoulder, Will likes to take advantage of California’s unique geography by rock climbing, backpacking, and eating donuts.
Frances Nan '12, Admissions Officer
Houston, South Texas, New Jersey, Oklahoma
California: San Mateo County, Greater Palo Alto, Greater San Diego
Frances joined the Admissions Office in the fall of 2012, too. After living 15 years in Sunnyvale, California, Frances moved to Beijing, China, where she attended an international high school. She received her B.A. in English and Philosophy-Politics-Economics (PPE). Her favorite memories from college involve her sponsor groups (including transfers!), shifts at the Writing Center, and backpacking trips with the outdoors club. After graduating, she spent a brief summer in the southwest of Houston, TX, teaching 4th grade, learning to fix bicycles, and trying new ethnic cuisines every Friday night.
In the office, Frances helps with the MSAP Program (diversity recruitment), organizing fly-out weekends during the school year; promoting high-touch contact with students, families, and community-based organizations (CBOs); and running college application workshops through the PAYS program, a summer academy that supports high-achieving, low-income students from the Los Angeles area. Additionally, she assists with the senior interviewer and intern programs, so that she can stay connected with current Pomona students.
Outside of exploring the mountains, valleys, beaches, forests, and deserts near Claremont, Frances loves bursts of laughter, avocados, and book-learning'.
Julian Howard, Admissions Officer
Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Kentucky
California: Greater San Jose, Monterey, West San Fernando Valley, Coastal Orange County, California north of Napa County, Valley of the Moon
Julian recently joined the Office of Admission at Pomona College in 2013 after working at his high school alma mater, Bellarmine College Preparatory, in San Jose, California. At Bellarmine, Julian worked closely with the school’s service program and was able to help facilitate local, national and international service trips for students. At Pomona Julian will be working closely with the MSAP Program. In his spare time he enjoys writing books and playing basketball. Julian obtained his Economics degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also worked in Admissions and Financial Aid as a student.
Michelle Gonzalez, Admissions Officer
Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Nebraska, Wyoming, West Virginia
California: Central Valley, East Los Angeles, Riverside, Ontario, San Bernardino, and South Central Los Angeles, Contra Costa County, Greater Imperial Valley
Michelle joined Pomona College in the Summer of 2013, shortly after completing her Masters in Higher Education at California State University, Fullerton. Although Michelle is a proud born and raised Angeleno, she opted to go out of state for her bachelor’s degree. She received her B.A. in Spanish at Colorado College. During her time at Colorado College, she served as a Minority Recruitment Intern for the Admissions Office, where her interest in admission, higher education and diversity emerged. These experiences led her to pursue her masters degree in higher education. During her time in this program, Michelle was able to conduct a research with some of her peers to discover what are some of the factors that motivate first-generation Latino males to go to college. She also served as a co-lead to plan an education fair for the City of Maywood to promote and create a college going culture. As a member of the Pomona College Admission Office, she is part of the MSAP team and joins the efforts of the college to increase diversity on this campus.
Michelle enjoys finding hidden gems in Los Angeles and trying different restaurants. She loves burgers, tacos, sushi, and her mom’s cooking. Scarfs, boba (bubble tea), sandals, sunsets, mugs, the color pink, coffee and on-line shopping are among some of her favorite things. On a more serious note, she will be furthering her education in the near future by pursuing her doctorate in education in hopes of working with her community to increase the number of underrepresented, first-generation students going to college.
Our admissions staff does a bit of everything! From visiting high schools to reading applications, officers help build each year's incoming class, and are happy to assist you with any part of the application process. Please select your admissions officer by your high school location.