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President Burns Announces New Vice President for Strategic Enrollment and Retention


Mount Saint Vincent’s Robust Enrollment Continues to Grow Under New Leadership

The (soon-to-be!) University of Mount Saint Vincent is excited to share that, after a nearly semester-long search, Kristina Ortiz Donohue has been named the new Vice President for Strategic Enrollment and Retention, effective January 1, 2024.

Kristina comes to the Mount from LIM College in Manhattan, where she spent over two decades overseeing admission and enrollment services first as the Assistant Dean of Admissions, later as the Dean of Admissions, and finally as the Vice President for Enrollment Services, a position she has held since 2019. She will continue to use her expertise to shape the Mount’s enrollment strategies, enhance student recruitment efforts, and foster an inclusive environment for prospective students from all backgrounds.

“We are delighted to have Vice President Ortiz Donohue join us at the Mount,” said President Susan R. Burns. “Kristina has built a remarkable reputation as a dedicated, successful leader in the admission, enrollment, retention, and overall higher education communities. I am confident that our robust enrollment will continue to grow and flourish under her leadership and I look forward to expanding our soon-to-be University’s programs as Kristina helps to welcome diverse groups of learners from near and far.”

At LIM, Kristina found great success launching an international recruitment model. This program, which had a goal of meeting institutional enrollment targets for international transfer, freshmen, and graduate students, boosted enrollment by 150% between Fall 2013 and Fall 2022. As the Mount positions itself as one of the leading universities in the northeast, Kristina’s experience recruiting students from foreign nations will, without a doubt, help bring incredible numbers of international students to Riverdale.

Additionally, Kristina has experience leveraging recruitment and admission for online undergraduate and graduate programs at LIM. The Mount, too, has been meeting learners when, where, and how they need us through a growing number of online baccalaureate, graduate, and certificate programs. Kristina’s knowledge and skills will, again, aid the Mount in successful recruitment of online students through our existing partnerships with organizations like Academic Partnerships (AP) and Orbis Education.

“Kristina served LIM College and its students with distinction and brought abundant amounts of integrity, heart, and enthusiasm to everything she touched,” noted LIM President Elizabeth S. Marcuse. “She is an uncommonly smart, collaborative, ‘can-do’ individual whose unwavering support for both her own team and LIM as a whole was unmatched. The LIM community deeply appreciates her myriad invaluable contributions, but we wish her the best of luck in her new role.”

Kristina brings to the Mount an extensive list of qualifications, including experience in admissions and operations administration, student recruitment and counseling, academic advising, budget management, financial aid leveraging, enrollment projections, market research and analysis, retention strategies, and more. Her proven leadership, combined with her evident dedication to student success, is nearly perfectly aligned with the Mount’s mission and strategic vision.

“The mission of Mount Saint Vincent resonates with my personal and professional values,” Kristina reflected. “I am thrilled to be joining the Mount’s beautiful campus in Riverdale, and I am excited to be working for a Hispanic-Serving Institution—something I hold close in my heart as a Latina. Throughout my interview process, I carefully reviewed the specific job responsibilities and the Mount Saint Vincent Strategic Plan, and I became excited about the goals the Mount is looking to achieve within the very near future. I know my skills and experience can help move the institution forward, strengthening institutional growth, diversity, and access by designing an advanced, innovative, and student-centered enrollment management strategy.”

As the Mount transforms traditions and begins the official start of its university status in just a few short weeks, this is the right time (at the Right Place on the River) to grow its team of hard-working Senior Administrators.

Since 2016, Madeleine Melkonian has held successful oversight of the Mount’s admission and enrollment efforts—in what was only supposed to be an interim position—along with her two decades-long leadership of the Mount’s Advancement division. Her seven years of efficient and effective leadership in admission have proven to be an inevitable success, seeing enrollment numbers rise substantially through her efforts. However, with the Mount’s exceptional success in fundraising, coupled with the plan for a soon-to-be launched capital campaign and the university brand refresh all falling under Madeleine’s capable leadership, it only made sense to welcome a new team member dedicated exclusively to admission and enrollment management.

Needless to say, Kristina will have big shoes to fill, but we have every confidence in her abilities. She will ensure all Mount students receive the resources they need to find success—including generous scholarships and financial aid that enable them to receive the education they need to help launch their careers. We hope her leadership will help us continue to remain number one for social mobility in the northeast as determined by U.S News & World Report, as well as number four in the nation for economic mobility as outlined by The New York Times.

Furthermore, with the highly anticipated first cohort of students in Seton College set to begin in Fall 2024, Kristina will be tasked with helping to bring Seton College students to the Mount. While Seton College will have its own, designated team of admission professionals led by Dean Jason Ford, Kristina will share her expertise and aid in the recruitment of students for the new, two-year associate degree program.

“My 23 years of experience and education have prepared me to lead and achieve enrollment and retention goals at any institution—but, particularly, at Mount Saint Vincent. I am excited to begin my work and demonstrate a commitment to diversity, collaboration, humility, and compassion.”

Kristina holds a Master of Science in mental health counseling from Long Island University – Hudson Graduate Campus and a Bachelor of Arts in history from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Additionally, she holds a certificate in eclectic cognitive behavioral therapy.

Please join us in welcoming her to the Mount with open arms (or fins!).

About the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the University of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.