Kyle Allen, recruiter for Prospective Student Services at OSU Institute of Technology, has won the Oklahoma College Recruitment Association/Great Plains Association for College Admission Counseling Rising Star Award at the GPACAC Summer Institute Conference, the only nominee with multiple nominations.
The Rising Star Award is awarded to a professional with no more than five years of experience who has made significant contributions to their organization, demonstrated a commitment to professionalism and shows OCRA/GPACAC leadership potential.
“Allen is an exceptional recruiter and employee, said Sable Vasquez, director of Prospective Student Services. “In the two years that he has been at OSUIT, he has seamlessly acclimated to working in his first professional environment, working on the road, transitioning to working remotely during the pandemic and then transitioning again to create new opportunities to engage with students, counselors and technology centers during the pandemic.”
From the small community of Mason, Allen graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Science from the University of Oklahoma in May 2019. After deciding against graduate school, he found out about this position.
“It was never in my plan to be a college recruiter, but I have really enjoyed the job,” said Allen. “I enjoy traveling around to different places and making connections with high school students and seeing those connections grow into college students on our campus.”
Allen’s role as a recruiter means that he spends most of the year on the road, either at college and career fairs or giving classroom presentations at high schools or CareerTech centers. His recruitment territory includes schools in southern Oklahoma and special events in Texas. In addition to his role at OSUIT, he also serves as the Southeast Fair Coordinator for OCRA.
Each recruiter at OSUIT is responsible for knowing six different presentations offered to schools, ranging from information about OSUIT, Resume Writing or even Cyber Communities. The role of a recruiter is to generate leads and interest in OSUIT, then the office of Prospective Student Services helps students commit to OSUIT.
“He has created new relationships with K-12 school partners in his recruitment territory, maintained current relationships and has increased applications from his territory by 5% in the last year, during a global pandemic!” said Vasquez. “Allen is the definition of a team player. He has on many occasions stepped in to lead the department without being asked and without complaint, when necessary. He always carries himself professionally and easily navigates processes and issues for prospective students and their families. Allen is the ideal person to represent OSUIT at events and school visits.”
Allen said he was unaware that he was nominated for the award and felt shocked but humbled to win.
“It means a lot that the hard work I put in is recognized. I never knew a future in higher education would be for me, but after working in this field with these students, this is something I enjoy,” said Allen. “As far as moving forward as a recruiter or moving into a different role in higher education, the future is exciting, and I am ready to see that road no matter which way it takes me.”