Meet the Staff : Shannon Zottola, VP for Enrollment Management 

Ninety days in, Shannon Zottola reflects on her first impressions of the University and her plans to establish lasting connections with Open House attendees.
Shannon Zottola, vice president for enrollment management at The University of Scranton, is excited to take part in her first Open House event at Scranton, coming up on October 23. 
Shannon Zottola, vice president for enrollment management at The University of Scranton, is excited to take part in her first Open House event at Scranton, coming up on October 23. 

This article is part of an occasional series spotlighting staff throughout the University community. Suggestions for future articles should be directed to

Shannon Zottola, vice president for enrollment management at The University of Scranton, is excited to take part in her first Open House event at Scranton, coming up on October 23. 

This summer, Zottola joined the University as a member of the President's Cabinet, bringing 17 years of leadership experience to the position of chief enrollment officer. A native of Scranton, Zottola had most recently served as vice president and dean for enrollment management and marketing at Ursinus College in Philadelphia. 

How doEs your background strengthen the Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions teams here?

"I had been working in enrollment in various capacities at numerous institutions for nearly 20 years before coming to The University of Scranton. My experiences at these other institutions, both in the Scranton region and in the Philadelphia region -- one of the most competitive higher education landscapes in the nation -- give me an advantage when thinking about the short-term and long-term strategies that we need to execute to be successful in our enrollment efforts. This will be powerful when combined with the experiences and historical knowledge of my colleagues who have been at the University for a long time."

In your experience, what is the key to developing a good team?

"This is the part of my work that I love the most. It really comes down to finding what motivates each individual staff member and where their specific strengths lie and aligning the two.

I'm also a relational person, so my goal is to get to know the people who I work with every day.  I want to show them that we all have big jobs to do, but we can have fun doing them and love coming to work every day. It's important to note that to build a great team, you can’t be afraid of conflict. The work that we do requires continual change and sometimes that’s really hard for people. We need to work through that and find a way to be our best selves together. This is where the magic happens!"

which aspects of the University impressed you during the college search process?

"I remember bringing my son to a Royal Day event in February. What struck me the most: The very beginning of the presentation, led by Father Keller, regarding the Jesuit tradition at The University of Scranton....I had visited other institutions that tended to shy away from leading with their religious affiliation. I was impressed that the University was deeply committed to our Jesuit tradition, and proud to lead with this.

That happened to be the day before my Zoom interview for this position and it reaffirmed how much I missed working at a Catholic institution. This is just one example of many, like the amazing tour at the onset of our college search process here, or the impressive academic programs and campus."


key piece of advice you recommend to prospective students:

"Having just been through it, the college search process is stressful for both students and parents. Given my work, I thought it would be so wasn't!  It’s hard to separate out the feelings of stress and anxiety to get to a place where you can really understand finding the best fit.

My advice for everyone is to take a deep breath, understand that there’s an endpoint where a decision will be made, and know that nothing is forever. There’s a lot of pressure to get it right at the beginning, whether that’s about the college you pick or the major you select.  We can always change our minds.

When it comes to financial aid in particular, if there is an institution that you are interested in, and you think that financially it is out of your reach, please don’t give up. There are a lot of resources out there that can help make the college of your dreams a viable option. On the flipside, I would caution students from taking out large amounts of debt to attend a certain institution. There are a lot of options out there and I would suggest that they consider them before going down that path."

What has kept you enchanted With Enrollment Management after 16 years?

"I am still here because we are doing important, life-changing work, and I love the newness of every day in enrollment.

A career-affirming moment?

"The number of colleagues who have worked for and with me who have asked me for references or professional advice. This always affirms that I must be doing something right if these relationships continue to remain strong after so many years."

Get to know... Shannon Zottola

Undergraduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh, B.S. in Psychology

Graduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh, M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration

High School: Bishop Hannan

Favorite Quote: “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the game.” -Randy Pausch

Favorite TV shows: "Game of Thrones," "Mad Men," and "The Office," to name a few.

Favorite Pastimes: "Spending time with my husband John, son Aidan (class of 2026), and daughter Vivian, plus our large family on both sides, including 11 nieces and nephews! Traveling, walking, reading, watching the sunset, big family vacations to the beach."

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