Welcome to the University of Richmond Admission Office blog! We know that the college search process can often seem a little overwhelming, sometimes anxiety-inducing, other times like yet another hoop you have to jump through. But we want to offer some hope. At Richmond, we are hoping to inject some personality and humor into your college search. Please take time to get to know us. Ask us questions. Tell us what you like and what you don’t like. We hope this blog is a good way to get the conversation started.

About the Bloggers

Hello out there! My name is Tom Nicholas, and I’m an Assistant Director of Admission for the University of Richmond. Like many in this profession, I didn’t plan all along to work in college admissions, but rather came upon the opportunity during my senior year of college. And I love it! Traveling, reading files, selecting a class, and meeting wonderful high school students from across the country – it’s exciting work.

A brief bit about myself: I grew up in Lancaster County, PA (famous for the Amish), and after high school I went on to study German and English at none other than the University of Richmond. I am a proud alumnus of this university – during my undergraduate years I came to love and appreciate so many different aspects of Richmond, from its quality academics to the beautiful campus to an outstanding financial aid program. I am thrilled at the opportunity I now have to represent and contribute to my alma mater, and I find the admissions profession to be an exciting and rewarding field of work.

Outside of the office, I enjoy reading, running, and amateur astronomy. I’m also a bit of a language nut – I speak fluent German, moderate French, and broken Arabic, while language history is also an area of interest (I love reading Old and Middle English poetry). I also enjoy spending time in the city of Richmond; there’s a lot to do, from cafes and coffee shops to museums and theater to great festivals throughout the year.


Hi, I’m Maria Cedeno and I have one of the best jobs around—Assistant Director of Admission at the University of Richmond. Sure, things didn’t start off that way. Just like most of you, I grew up with a couple of potential jobs in mind, none of which happened to be admission officer at a top tier university. Honestly, I sort of stumbled into my first job in admission just before I graduated from college. At the time, I had no idea that I’d have the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world, read applications, travel to exotic destinations recruiting the best and the brightest, participate in selection committee and plan outreach events.

So where do I start? Okay, well, I’m a native Virginian—yes, that means born and raised in the South. But most people tell me I lack that quintessential Southern accent; maybe that’s because my parents are Dutch and Puerto Rican. Who knows? Living in the South has this special allure. If you’re a fellow Southerner, you already know exactly what I’m talking about, but if you’re new to Virginia then you’re in for a treat. Growing up, my family moved around a lot which was great because I was able to meet a lot of people and see a lot of the state. That’s definitely when I developed my passion for traveling and people watching.

When I’m not in the office or traveling for the University, I love reading (I’m currently into historical fiction and memoirs), taking pottery classes, hanging out with friends, and playing with my dog. And, of course, surfing Facebook and blogging.


  1. Sasha
    Posted September 27, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I have a quick question about your admission process. When submitting counselor and teacher recommendations, can they be sent by mail? Or should they be submitted electronically using the common application?

    • Tom
      Posted September 30, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Permalink


      Good question. For Richmond, you are allowed to submit one recommendation online through the Common Application – this is because we only require one recommendation, ideally from a high school guidance counselor. Additional recommendations (we accept up to three total, but two is usually the ideal number) can be sent in the mail. Or all recommendations can be sent through the mail – they don’t have to come through Common App. We’ll receive them either way.


  2. Lisa Cohen
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Do you still want profiles or additional info from the parents regarding their child.

    • Tom
      Posted March 5, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      You’re still welcome to submit a parent letter, if you were invited to do so; but at this point we’re already in the thick of admission committee, and we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to take it into account. Most of our reading applications is done, and now we’ve moved on to begin shaping the Class of 2014!

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