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Danita Reaves: Employee of the Month

By monét cooper

In the decade Danita Reaves has worked in the Admissions Office, she has heard many voices reach out to her through the telephone: the angry tenor of the father whose son was refused admission; the soft pleas of a mother whose son dreamed of attending Morehouse College; the ebullient praise for her help with a high school senior’s admissions process.

Reaves, an admissions specialist, has heard it all and takes the calls in stride.

“I know they’re calling because they’re concerned about their children,” said Reaves, who has an 8-year-old son. “But whether they’re outraged or calm, we’re here to help them, and so I have to remain calm.”

Throughout the peak admissions season—when her days start when she walks through the door and ends whenever she manages to handle that last phone call—she has remained a model of cool resolve, often helping parents and students who return to talk with her after the hectic admissions process is over and later when they become graduates.

“Sometimes they just want to talk,” she said.

The conversations are usually about academics and the pressures of school.

“It’s easy to get out there and party, but you have to keep your focus,” she said she tells them.

Reaves is taking her own advice. She is currently finishing an associate’s degree in business.

After she leaves Morehouse for the week, where she spends most of her time handling calls and processing enrollment paperwork, she wakes up at 7 a.m. to make the 2-mile drive from her Decatur home to Georgia Perimeter College in Stone Mountain.

“I like helping students get into college because you definitely need education right now,” Reaves said. “Without it, you can’t get anywhere.”

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