By Shawn Johnson
After transferring to Lynn from Rome in 1993, Stefano Papaleo has achieved far greater things as the director of undergraduate admission than he could have ever imagined.
Prior to becoming a Fighting Knight, Papaleo attended the University of Rome, one of the oldest universities in the world. In Italy, Papaleo was given the chance to see a school significantly contrasting Lynn’s student-to-teacher ratios. Founded in 1303, the institution had roughly 200,000 students during his time there.
Papaleo’s journey to South Florida began when he was offered a scholarship to be a part of the Fighting Knights’ tennis team in 1993. Mike Perez, who continues as the brain behind Lynn tennis today, saw something special in Papaleo. The Italian-born student savored the opportunity before him and made the move to Boca.
“My initial thought was to spend a year at Lynn as an exchange student and eventually go back to Rome to complete my undergraduate degree,” said Papaleo.
However, he quickly realized the idealistic nature of the Lynn campus in his educational situation compared to Rome. Papaleo came to appreciate the collaborative learning experience he had encountered at Lynn, which was in stark contrast to his time in Rome.
“Coming from such a large university, I had no idea that learning was not just studying from a book on your own to then go take a test, eventually receiving a college degree,” said Papaleo. “It is the inclusive environment that strengthens the learning process.”
After Papaleo graduated, he began his work in the Office of Admission as a graduate assistant in 1998, the first year of the grad assistant program at Lynn. In just two years, he was invited to become an admission counselor, which led him to eventually reach directorial roles in the department.
Currently, Papaleo serves as the director of undergraduate admission for the Office of Admission while also handling domestic first-year recruitment for much of the west coast of Florida. Through these roles, he has been able to fully engage the Admission team in their ongoing goal of assisting prospective students.
“In the Office of Admission, we have the distinct pleasure of working with students to help them make one of the most important decisions they will ever experience – selecting a college they believe will help them get to the next step in their future,” said Papaleo. “There is nothing more rewarding than contributing to students’ lives in the way we do in our office.”
In order to cater to all types of future Fighting Knights, Papaleo and Vice President of Enrollment Management Gareth Fowles have formed a truly diverse team of academic counselors. As so many changes are occurring across campus, Papaleo is confident in the continued appeal of becoming a Fighting Knight.
With innovation at the forefront of Papaleo’s agenda, the future looks bright for the Office of Admission.