Sarah Bombard (left) is Lehigh’s senior associate director of admissions, working with prospective students in New Jersey and Southeast United States, coordinating the IBE and IDEAS honors programs, and managing the matriculation of all students to the university.
What was your major and class year?
SB: Psychology, 2006. Secondary School Counseling, 2008.
As an undergrad, what organizations/clubs were you involved in?
SB: Marching 97, tour guides, STAR tutoring, symphonic band, admissions fellows, Kappa Kappa Psi, and SAE Mini Baja.
Why did you decide to attend Lehigh?
SB: I chose Lehigh because no required gym class, there were more men than women (60%/40% when I was a student), and good dining hall desserts. Also, people looked genuinely happy to be here. When I was taking my tour, I saw students interacting with one another when they were going about their daily lives. I could tell who the students were, and they weren’t all heads-down on their cell phones. I was “allowed” to be undecided, and also encouraged to participate in the music ensembles, despite not majoring or minoring in music.
When did you realize that you wanted to work in Admissions?
SB: About halfway through my Master’s in Secondary School Counseling, I realized that I really loved helping with the college process, and I wasn’t necessarily in the best place (22 years old, fresh out of college) to tackle the mental health portion of the job. At the same time, I was working as an interviewer (fellow) in the Admissions office, and had the lightbulb moment of the “other side” of the desk.
If someone was on their first trip to Lehigh, and you had to tell them one place to visit, where would that be?
SB: Linderman. It’s the showstopper that I send all the visitors to. Not everyone “gets” Packard, but the rotunda resonates with everyone.
BONUS QUESTION: In seven of the last ten years, Lehigh football has defeated rival Lafayette. In that span, Lehigh basketball upset Duke in the NCAA tournament (2012). If you were forced to pick one of these accomplishments, meaning the other never happens, which would you pick and why?
SB: This is a hard question, because I recruit in North Carolina, and that win absolutely put us on “the map” for a number of students and parents in that region. So, professionally, it’s been a huge help! But, my hatred of Lafayette is really strong, so in the end, I’d pick those wins against the Leopards.