Hi! My name is Leslie Braat (a good Dutch name pronounced like bratwurst - thankfully it's my married name so I didn't grow up with people calling me a brat :-). I grew up in a nearby Cleveland suburb but did not attend Oberlin (for me it really was too close to home). But I am thrilled to have been part of Oberlin's Admissions team for the past 10 years. It's funny...when I interviewed, I distinctly recall being asked to commit to staying at Oberlin for 2-3 years; obviously, I've made good on that promise! In fact, if I play my cards right, I'll be here long enough so that my own sons can attend Oberlin (they are only 8 and 6 now; that means another16 years, so it's a good thing I love Oberlin).
Part of why I love being at Oberlin so much is the students. I know that sounds cliche, but the students are really what make Oberlin so distinctive. And I certainly get to know the students well through the application process! Even though I haven't met a lot of them before they arrive on campus their freshman year, I know an awful lot about them after reading their applications.
This is really my main role in Oberlin's Admissions Office. I run our selection process, so you'll be hearing more from me throughout the application and reading seasons which run from November until we mail decision letters at the end of March. I also travel to New York's five boroughs and Westchester County in the fall and spring. In addition, I have the privilege of traveling with friends from other colleges to various cities each spring. Last May we visited Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland and San Diego. This year we'll travel to Phoenix, Los Angeles and Honolulu (where I hope to spend some extra time enjoying the Big Island).
On a personal note, I have 2 sons, Jonathan and Aidan. While they are only in elementary school, they keep me busy. I'm sort of a quintessential soccer mom, though they prefer football, basketball and baseball. Honestly, my husband Steve and I spend 9 months of the year sitting in the stands cheering for our boys and loving every minute of it. When we aren't on the athletic field, our family loves to get away on the boat (great boating on Lake Erie and Steve is a pretty good fisherman - there's perch in my freezer year round) or to our vacation paradise of Carolina Beach, North Carolina. Come visit me in my office and you'll find me surrounded by all things that remind me of family time at the ocean and beach.