Interview with Kristen Havens

Kristen Havens is the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions. She helps potential students through steps of the application process. Madison LaRoy, a junior, spoke with her to inform future students of this process. This information will make applying a breeze! 


LaRoy: What do you do as the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions?

Havens: Each of us in admissions wear multiple hats. It’s an extremely hardworking group. We meet with students and their parents both on and off campus, process application files, and work through financial aid.

We each have some individual responsibilities in addition to our counseling role. I am also the SHO Day Coordinator, (putting together the orientation days for our incoming freshman) and the Visual and Performing Arts Liaison.  That means I am the tie between our potential students and the VPA Faculty. That role allows me to be the point person to answer questions from potential students about our programs and offerings, discuss the process for earning these scholarships, coordinating auditions and portfolio reviews, assigning scholarships based on faculty feedback, and connecting these potential students with the appropriate faculty members. 

L: How can prospective students contact you?

H: I can be reached directly by phone (517-264-7182) or email (

L: What is the first step in the admissions process?

H: The first step in the admissions process is to apply! We have no application fee, it’s mobile friendly, and the application itself takes just about 15 minutes to complete.   The website for this is   Once the application is submitted, a student should request their most up-to-date transcripts be sent to Siena Heights University through parchment, email ( or fax (517-264-7745).

L: How do students sign up for a scholarship day?

H: Once a student has submitted their application, they will have a personal webpage created. On that webpage there is a “Visit Us” tab on which students can sign up for any events they are eligible to attend – including academic scholarship competitions, music or theater auditions, and art portfolio reviews.  We formally hold auditions and reviews on one Friday each month of the academic year. If a student cannot attend one of the formally scheduled days we have wonderfully accommodating faculty who are often willing to meet with students for an audition or review on an individual basis and that can be done by contacting me directly.

L: What can a future art student expect when visiting campus? What does the day involve?

H: When any student schedules an individual visit to campus they can expect a student guided tour of campus, an individual meeting with their admissions counselor, and about a half hour of time with any faculty member or coach that they had requested to meet with.

For the portfolio review days, a student can expect to receive a personalized itinerary by email a day or two before. Generally the students will have a brief check in with their admissions counselor followed by a faculty guided tour of Studio Angelico and the art facility (or performing arts center for those completing music and theatre auditions). They will then sit one on one with a faculty member to complete the portfolio review portion. There is a complimentary lunch for the students in our dining center, and we are happy to provide a student guided tour of campus afterward if it’s their first visit or they have new guests with them!   We do our best to have scholarship information to the students within the following week.

L: What should students have in their portfolios to show faculty?

H: Students should put together a portfolio that showcases a wide range of their abilities and medias. Include pieces that are your best and one or two pieces that were something new you tried but didn’t feel great about. Include a piece that you’re still working on to showcase your process.  The purpose of the review is to give our faculty a good sense of what media you’ve had any experience with and your current ability with each of those media.

L: What should students know before meeting with you?

H: It’s not scary so don’t be nervous! We really love to get to know our prospective students and we’re happy to answer your questions!

L: Do you have any other information that would be useful to prospective students?

H: Our incoming class has an extremely wide range of experience under their belt and all come in at varying levels of ability. Our goal here is growth and I believe our faculty members do a wonderful job of creating growth opportunities. It’s a wonderful family and community to be a part of.

For additional information about Art Scholarships at Siena Heights University, click here.

Peter BarrComment