Meet Our Staff

Please look below to meet our staff and find out who will be your contact for any questions.

We look forward to getting to know you and hope to see you on campus soon!

Kyle F. Allwine, Admissions Counselor

Kyle AllwineAt UMW since: 2012 (UMW Class of 2012)
Recruitment areas: Pennsylvania and in Virginia - Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, King George, Madison, and Orange
Favorite place on campus: The Flex Room in Monroe Hall, a collaborative and flexible learning space, was the location of my favorite course, “History of the Information Age.” We used blogs, virtual timelines, documentaries, infographics, and several other resources to leverage a greater understanding of the Information Age.

Office: 540/654-1668
Cell: 540/273-0139

Sarah Cotter, Admissions Counselor

Sarah CotterAt UMW since: 2013
Recruitment areas: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington,Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and in Virginia – Alexandria City and Tidewater

Office: 540/654-1908
Cell: 484/716-6998

Carol Descak, Associate Provost for Admissions and Financial Aid

Carol DescakAt UMW since: 2012

Office: 540/654-2000





Cris M. Hairston, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions

Cris HairstonAt UMW since: 2005 (UMW Class of 2004)
Recruitment areas: Recruited athletes, North Carolina, South Carolina, and in Virginia – City of Fredericksburg, Loudoun, Spotsylvania, and Stafford
Favorite place on campus:  The Anderson Center because it’s home to our basketball program. I’m an assistant men’s basketball coach and I enjoy seeing students come together to share in the success of our team.

Office: 540/654-1676
Cell: 540/498-6269

Shelley Marie Hillberry, Assistant Director of Admissions/International Recruiter 

Shelley HillberryAt UMW since: 2011 (UMW Class of 2010)
Recruitment areas: Delaware, New Jersey, and in Virginia – Caroline, Richmond, and the surrounding counties, and International
Favorite experience: As an undergraduate student I had the opportunity to build leadership skills as a co-founder and Vice President of a UMW student organization and club. Through this experience I was invited as a UMW representative to speak at the U.S. Department of Health and meet Vice President Joe Biden.

Office: 540/654-1680
Cell: 540/850-8962

Sarah Lindberg, Assistant Director of Admissions

Sarah LindbergAt UMW since: 2013 (UMW Class of 2008)
Recruitment area: New England and Transfer students
Favorite place on campus: The pool in Goolrick Hall because I was a member of the women’s swim team. Some of my favorite memories from Mary Washington are the many hours I spent at the pool with other members of the team.

Office: 540/654-5971
Cell: 703/615-7577


Cassandra Ratti, Assistant Director of Admissions 

Cassandra RattiAt UMW since: 2010 (UMW Class of 2010)
Recruitment area: New York and in Virginia – Ablemarle, Allegheny, Amherst, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Botetourt, Buena Vista, Campbell, Charles City, Charlottesville, Clarke, Craig, Cumberland, Essex, Fluvanna, Frederick, Gloucester, Goochland, Greene, Harrisonburg City, Highland, King William, King & Queen, Lancaster, Lexington, Louisa, Lynchburg, Mathews, Middlesex, Nelson, Northumberland, Page, Prince Edward, Rappahannock, Rockingham, Richmond County, Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Rockbridge, Salem, Shenandoah, Staunton, Surry, Warren, Waynesboro, Westmoreland, Winchester City, Southside, and Southwest Virginia (South of Roanoke)

Favorite place on campus: The cartography lab. I spent many long nights there working on papers, maps, and other GIS related projects – and it has a great view of the fountain and campus walk.

Office: 540/654-1673
Cell: 571/435-0056

Beth Searcy, Director of Special Events

Beth SearcyAt UMW since: 2009
Recruitment focus:  Planning special events and initiatives to showcase the UMW experience to prospective students and their families.
Favorite experience:  Co-leading a UMW education-abroad experience in Tanzania.  Our group met political and cultural leaders, visited a Masai village, picked coffee on Mount Kilimanjaro, camped on the Serengeti, and volunteered at an orphanage.  The UMW students were outstanding ambassadors and represent all that is special about this University.

Office: 540/654-2151


Current Vacant Position – Assistant Director of Admissions
Recruitment area: Maryland and in Virginia – Arlington and Prince William. If you’re a student who lives in this area and has questions or would like more information, please call our main number and another director will be happy to help you until this position has been filled.

Office: 540/654-2000


Melissa Yakabouski, Director of Admissions

Melissa YakabouskiAt UMW since: 1994 (UMW Class of 1994)
Favorite thing about working at UMW: Our fabulous Washington Guide student volunteers AND reading applications!

Office: 540/654-2000
Cell: 540/842-6276