March 19, 2004
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.- Katharine L. Fretwell, director of admission and senior associate dean at Amherst College, has been recognized as an outstanding mentor by a consortium of organizations for student affairs professionals.
Jennifer O'Connor, a 2000 graduate of Amherst and a doctoral candidate in higher education at Boston College's Lynch School of Education, nominated Fretwell for the award. In an essay, O'Connor wrote, "Katie was my greatest champion and supporter during my four years at Amherst. Her constant belief in me gave me the confidence to flourish at Amherst. She was more than a dean; she was a personal friend whom I admired. She inspired me to become a member of the admissions team, which was truly a highlight of my college experience."
O'Connor recalled that when she graduated from Amherst, "Katie questioned why I was not considering education as a career choice. It was not until I worked for a year in the corporate world that Katie's words resonated loudly. Katie helped me to secure my first position in higher education and has always been an advocate for me as my career has advanced."
After graduation from Amherst in 1981, Fretwell was a fellow in the Amherst admission office for a year, then went on to receive an Ed. M. degree from Harvard University. A secondary school teacher and guidance counselor before entering a career in admissions at Williams College in 1985, Fretwell has been at Amherst since 1989.
The consortium meets annually to help support new professionals and graduate and undergraduate students prepare for careers in student personnel administration. This year's sponsors include the Association of College Unions International, Association of Student Judicial Affairs, Boston Area College Housing Association, Maine Association of Student Affairs Practitioners, Massachusetts Association of Women in Education, Massachusetts College Personnel Association, National Association for Campus Activities, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (Region I), Northeast Association of College and University Housing Officers, Northeast Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls, and National Orientation Directors Association.