Dunagan’s Next Move

Ex-admissions officer joins the college counseling team


Photo provided by Dunagan

Dunagan completes her first 5K at Disney

Jack Aaron, Staff Writer

   Katherine Dunagan is a first generation college student, who had to undergo the college admissions process alone. Her lack of support during this time made her passionate about helping others, which led to her becoming Trinity’s new college counselor.

   While Dunagan was receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Communications-Public Relations and French from Wisconsin-Stevens Point University, she studied abroad twice — a semester each in France and England.

   Before Dunagan became a college counselor at Trinity, she was an admissions officer for the University of Wisconsin in Madison. 

   “It was intense,” Dunagan said. “I worked for a school that had 60,000 applications last year alone, so it was really, really busy all the time. I was constantly reading students’ files, while also trying to recruit students out on the road.”

   Dunagan’s prior experience has benefited her ability to help students with the college admissions process.

   “I think [my experience] definitely helps because you’ve built a lot of connections at other universities,” Dunagan said. “So I would be out on the road with Notre Dame, with Wake Forest, with USC. I co-presented with the University of Florida, so I got to know admissions people very well. So that way, when you move to a new position and a high school, you can really connect more directly with counselors on the university side.”

   Along with her connections, Dunagan uses her own experience in applying to college as she counsels Trinity students.                             

   “I want to make sure that the student’s voice is in the conversation, even though the parents might be the ones making the decision,” Dunagan said. “Making sure that I’m working with students so that they feel engaged and empowered is something that I value because I didn’t necessarily have that from a counselor when I was applying to college.” 

   In Dunagan’s free time, she enjoys taking her 10 year old daughter to Disney World. In addition, Dunagan has been running for the last five years. 

   “I made a New Year’s resolution where I was going to do one 5k a month for an entire year,” Dunagan said. “And I made it halfway through, but I didn’t make it all the way. And then last year, I did my first 10k, so that was the longest one that I’ve done so far.” 

   Dunagan is still working to complete her New Year’s resolution, as she trains to run a half marathon in February of 2023. 

   “I want to set a goal,” Dunagan said. “And I want to work towards the goal and know that I can achieve it. And I know it’s going to be hard. But the feeling afterwards is what I’m looking for. Like I can set my mind to something and make it happen.”