Joni Huff, assistant director of the Health Professions Advisory Board at Yale Undergraduate Career Services, has been awarded the position of dean of admissions at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago.
An Illinois native, Huff will begin at the Pritzker School on Oct. 18. Her duties will consist primarily of making decisions involving potential medical students’ applications.
Ed Miller, director of the Health Professions Advisory Board, said Huff has been a major asset to the program, chiefly in organizing the Annual New England Health Professions Career Fair. The third annual fair will take place on Oct. 7 — the day before Huff finishes at Yale.
“She’s really the one who spearheaded the Health Professions Career Fair for me,” Miller said. “I told her, ‘This is what I’d like to do,’ and she ran with it … Now it’s the biggest health professions career fair in the country. We have 24 schools involved. It’s going to take a lot to replace her.”
Huff said she will have a number of responsibilities in her new position.
“One of the main duties is going to be reviewing applications and helping to make decisions on who we invite to the campus to interview and who we would like to accept to the medical school,” Huff said. “I will also be working with advisors … across the country to make sure everyone knows what the Pritzker School of Medicine is all about — what we can offer students and what types of students we’re looking for.”
Huff said she chose Pritzker for its efforts to find students who will most enjoy the school and for its attention to students’ needs.
“The thing that I really like about Pritzker is that they have a very student-oriented focus,” Huff said. “They’re not cold in the admissions process … They make sure that Pritzker is the right fit for the students … and they encourage students to take classes outside of the medical school to get a full education.”
Both Huff and Miller said Huff’s in-depth knowledge of the Yale community in assessing potential candidates for admission will be an asset to Yale students applying to the Pritzker School of Medicine.
“I think it will [be useful] in the sense of being able to understand the applications that come in and being familiar with Yale coursework and the type of activities students get involved in — what the typical student does,” Huff said. “I’m going to try not to have any bias for or against Yale students — but in terms of understanding applications as they come in, my experience will help.”
Miller said the department will soon begin searching for a replacement. Miller said candidates will be considered both from inside Yale and from other institutions. Huff will not be involved in the search.
“We’re looking for somebody with experience and who can step right in,” Miller said. “There may be somebody at Yale who has the experience … We’ll look into that group and canvass nationally. We’re going to try to spread the net as wide as possible.”
Huff said she has been met with an outpouring of well-wishes, and that while she will miss Yale students, she looks forward to her new position.
“It will be a great challenge, but at the same time, I’m very sad to go. I’ve loved being at Yale and all the students I’ve worked with,” Huf said. “Ever since the announcement, I’ve gotten so many nice e-mails from students saying they’ll miss me.”