Steven Soba Tabbed as Vice President for Enrollment Management
The Sunday before his first official day on the job, Steven Soba, Moravian College’s newly appointed vice president for enrollment management, set out for a closer look at the College’s home, the city of Bethlehem. It should come as no surprise that Soba, an avid runner, triathlete and two-time Ironman, went by foot, starting from his residence just off campus and traversing the city’s historic streets block by block.
“During the run, I just sort of meandered my way,” he said, recalling that at one point he crossed over the Lehigh River on the New Street Bridge. His momentary pause when saying “New Street Bridge” befitted a person still getting acclimated with his new surroundings.
Soba’s jog eventually led him to the chain link fence surrounding the Bethlehem Steel plant on the city’s south side. At that sight, he stopped and stared up at the ironic Steel Stacks that once helped produce nearly 3,000 tons of iron a day and were a towering symbol of the region’s economic strength before the plant’s closure.
“I just stopped and stood there in awe of them,” Soba recalled. “I would give anything to go back in time and see them fully functioning.”
It seems fitting that Soba, now charged with helping lead Moravian College’s future, has already started familiarizing himself with the region’s history. Although he’s still finding his way around campus, Soba explained he feels a sense of comfort already. “I have been here a short time and I’m already falling in love with the College and the Lehigh Valley,” he said.
Undoubtedly some of that comfort comes from Soba’s more than 20 years of experience in higher education. For the past 11 years, he worked at Southern New Hampshire University, a quaint New England campus home to 2,750 undergraduates, serving as assistant vice president of marketing and student recruitment and director of undergraduate admission.
Soba’s roots in higher education can be traced back to his first job as an admissions counselor for his alma mater, Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. (He earned his bachelor and master’s degrees from Salve Regina and has completed some doctoral studies at the University of Vermont.) Coincidently, Soba was responsible for the recruitment of students in eastern Pennsylvania, though his work concentrated in Philadelphia and its neighboring suburbs. In fact, he never ventured north of Villanova.
“What I kept telling everyone I knew was that the people here at Moravian were just unbelievable to me. So many people were willing to go out of their way to make me feel comfortable, and they made a lasting impression.”
– Steven Soba
There are a number of similarities between Moravian and his previous stop, said Soba, especially the institutions’ undergraduate day programs and their respective approaches to admissions and financial aid.
Soba proudly stated that his arrival in Bethlehem is the “product of an authentic, true-to-life job search,” having found the vice president position posted online and applied without any formal introduction to the College. Following extensive phone and on-campus interviews with the College’s search committee, Soba said he was elated when President Bryon Grigsby ’90 called to offer him the position.
During the interviewing process, Soba came away impressed with the people he met at Moravian, and those first encounters played a large role in his acceptance.
“What I kept telling everyone I knew was that the people here at Moravian were just unbelievable to me,” he recalled. “So many people were willing to go out of their way to make me feel comfortable, and they made a lasting impression.”
“The search committee and I could not be more pleased and excited with the appointment of Steve as our new vice president of enrollment management,” said President Grigsby. “Steve comes to Moravian with a proven track record of success in student recruitment and his enthusiasm for higher education and student development will be a great addition to our leadership team and our College community as a whole. We see great things in his future, and in the future of this great institution.”
During his initial visits on campus, Soba said he clearly saw the quality of the education offered at Moravian, which prepares students for the real world and “the job that they’ve always wanted.”
“Our job in enroll management is to inform students that when they come to Moravian they will receive a top-tier education from a world-class faculty,” he added. “Moravian also does a great job of providing the social experience to complement the academic side. When students graduate from here, they are prepared to be well-rounded members of society.”
While reflecting on the College’s long history – calculating the years to himself as someone a few days on the job might – Soba said it’s equally important to acknowledge the College’s many accomplishments today.
“With a history as long as Moravian’s, some people will say, “They must be doing something right over there,’” Soba reasoned. “But we don’t want people having to guess what we are doing. We want them to know it. We are going to do an even better job of getting the word out there and making sure that people, both near and far, know what a Moravian education is all about. And what it means to be a Greyhound.”
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