By Eric Fergason
If you walk by the Patricia A. Bartlett building on a Friday morning, chances are you’ll see Dennis Haymore and a few Student Ambassadors prepping for the weekly “Taste of SALT” presentation. While waiting for the attendees to arrive, Dennis gets into conversations with students, genuinely inquiring about their week. As he welcomes prospective students and families to the SALT Center, he greets them with hospitality, making them feel comfortable. Walk by his office, and you’ll see him caught up in a good laugh or a deep conversation.
Dennis assists students, parents, and high school counselors with the SALT Center admissions process as the Admissions Team Office Specialist. The thing that always stands out about Dennis is the way that he connects with others. We asked Dennis a few questions about himself, his rapport with students, and his time at the SALT Center:
Q: Why did you want to work at the SALT Center?
A: I’ve worked on campus for nearly 16 years, mostly with graduate students that I never saw. I developed a preference for face-to-face interaction with students, parents, and counselors from my many years in retail, and the SALT Center provides me with plenty of that.
Q: There’s no denying that you are popular among students using SALT Center services. Why do you think that is?
A: I take the time to get to know them and their parents. I’ve been told that I am personable, and I feel that I make them comfortable while speaking with them. As Art Linkletter said years ago, when talking to young kids, you never talk down to them - speak to them on the same level, and eye to eye.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being at the SALT Center?
A: Watching students right out of high school accomplishing and doing things that they never imagined they would be doing.
Q: What do you see as the most common concern for incoming students?
A: Most students are concerned about being portrayed differently from the general student population. When I speak to them at my “Taste of SALT” and “Dash of SALT” presentations, I make sure to emphasize that they are University of Arizona students who uses our services, and are 100% mainstreamed. They are not attending special classes or living in a certain residence hall.
Q: What advice do you give to prospective students?
A: Wherever they decide to attend college, use the available resources, especially the instructor’s office hours. Secondly, take internships with their department of interest.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I love playing racquetball and teaching my son and daughter the game. In the past, I played in tournaments throughout Tucson, Phoenix, and Sierra Vista.
Q: What is your favorite Wildcat sport?
A: I am a huge baseball and softball fan!
After getting to know Dennis, his connection with students, families, and his coworkers becomes easy to understand. We thank him for his dedication, and hope he’s here to welcome students and their families for years to come.