Maria Lapetina ’04, chair of the JA Selection Committee with Dan Ohnemus ’04, was kind enough to answer my questions about the process. Here are the questions aloong with Maria’s answers:
0) Who is on the Selection Committee?
The committee is comprised of 25 students — sophomores, jrs,and srs. Some past and present JAs, some not. We try to make the diversity as diverse as possible (including all types of diversity — from extracurriculars to ethnicity, etc), but this is obviously contingent on the self-nominations that we get.
1) Who were the lucky winners?
The list will probably be printed in next week’s record. The choosen JAs have until wednesday to decide – then we need to move on to the waitlisted candidates.
2) How many people applied, and how does the number compare with the recent past?
We had about 140 apply this year — which is slightly higher than last
year. I think about 130 is average.
3) How was the process different this year, if at all?
Yes, the application consists of 3 recommendations — self, peer, and JA — and a 3 hour interview with scenarios and a group section. After all the interviews are conducted (usually over winter study) — the cmte begins to meet late at night to deliberate. we read every rec out loud then discuss the candidate’s interview – then people who know the candidate can speak. After the discussion, we vote. if the candidate has a majority vote- they move on to the second round. In the second round, we briefly re-cap everything that was said in the first round. Voicing additional concerns if necessary. After completing the second round, each committee member has 60 votes – 30 for girls, 30 for boys. after voting, the 38 candidates with the highest number of votes make the final ballot. The second round is split by gender. The final ballot is 6 tiers and each cmte member votes according to their preference.
Top 25 boy and 25 girls get it. The next 10 of each gender are waitlisted.
The main difference is that we now discuss and vote gender-separate. In
the past, it was just one big pool of applicants.
4) Does the Selection Committee write an after-action report of some sort?
No, the cmte, as of yet, has not discussed or written a report. the
advisory board (consisting of 7 former JAs and 2 present JAs) might
discuss to see how to the process should be revised. but, we haven’t done
this yet – we just got back from spring break!
Many thanks to Maria for taking the time to answer these questions. She and Dan, along with all the other members of the Selection Committee, are to be commended for spending so much time — much of it no doubt emotional and contentious — on such a project.