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Adrienne AmadorAdrienne Oddi, Director of Admission

Hometown: Woodstock, Georgia
Degrees: B.A. in Mathematics, Kenyon College  
Master's of Arts in Educational Measurement and Statistics, The Ohio State University

I have always been enchanted with college. Because neither of my parents finished college, they instilled the value of education in me from an early age. They filled our house with books and ensured that I was comfortable in an academic setting. When it came to the search for college, though, we did not know what we were doing. I did not go on official campus tours. I did not interview with admissions representatives. I did not make list after list of pros and cons. I read the rankings, applied to the best schools, avoided admissions officers and went with what felt right.

What is poetic now is that I have become one of those admissions officers that I avoided. I enjoy working with families and helping them navigate the college search and application process. I love helping students figure out what feels right for them. I have spent my career working for private colleges that emphasize a liberal arts experience because I believe it is the best education to provide students. As a person who has drawn on many disciplines in my career, I constantly fall back on the fabulous liberal arts education I received. I am here at Berry College specifically because its students, faculty, and staff genuinely care about ideas. This entire community is comprised of people interested in pushing themselves beyond their comfort zones, be it in the classroom, work place, athletic field, or otherwise, and I had to be a part of it!

Now, as I look back on those years of searching and applying to colleges and the stress and anxiety that filled them, I think about all the things I would like to tell my former self – relax, slow down, enjoy the moments, be open to surprises, it will be ok. It will be OK. I look forward to working with you as you conduct your own college search and application process!

What’s your best dining hall creation? 
I’m a huge fan of open faced sandwiches comprised of toasted wheat bread, hummus, sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, onions, spinach, and provolone cheese.  That meal got me through college and graduate school, and I’m happy to pass it along to the next generation of creative (and hungry!) college students!  
What is your favorite book?
It’s so hard to pick a favorite book when there are so many from which to choose!  I love the poetic writing of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, the way I feel classy after reading Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, the questions Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom got me to think about concerning relationships and consumption, and the girl power vibe I get of Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes!  I’m a big fan of reading and always have a book with me.  I’m currently reading The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker and on tap I have David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.  Prospective students and families – feel free to send recommendations my way! 
What is the best piece of advice you can give about applying to college?
A bit of advice for students going through the college application process – start with a clean slate!  What I mean by that is THROW AWAY your preconceived notions about schools.  Spend some time thinking about the environment in which you thrive.  Do you need to be seen and heard?  Do you like classes that demand you participate? Would you prefer to have some space to hide?  Do you want professors who will show up to activities of yours?  Do you want to learn more independently?  Start first with what type of environment will allow you to grow and develop and then find schools that give you that kind of environment.  There are so many different educational opportunities before you.  If you put in the time on the front end getting to know yourself, you’ll find something that clicks.