Mark Ruff Jr., Staff
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Mark Ruff Jr.’s passion for working with college-age students and watching them fulfill their dreams is a calling, as is his dedication to Bloomfield College.
“The Bloomfield mission of serving first generation and low-income students who may not otherwise have access to higher education is one that has become a part of my heart and soul,” said Ruff, who currently serves as Associate Director of Admission and Campus Visitation at the College.
Since his first position at Bloomfield some eight years ago, Ruff has been involved with the Admission team’s Student Ambassador Program. “I was the first Campus Visitation Coordinator at the College when I first worked part-time in what was then a new role. I trained and supervised eight student ambassadors at the time, and created the Ambassador Handbook. I also coordinated campus tours and helped input prospective student information into our database, among a number of additional Office of Admission needs.”
Ruff’s exceptional work at Bloomfield is well recognized by both his supervisors and peers. He has been successfully promoted a number of times within the Office of Admission, each time taking on additional responsibilities, with the coordination of Student Ambassadors has remained under his leadership since its inception.
In February 2017, Ruff was offered his first full-time position at the College as Admission Counselor and Campus Visitation Coordinator. In this role, he managed the out-of-state student territory, recruited and counseled prospective students through the enrollment process, and established and maintained important relationships with high school guidance counselors and teachers.
In June 2020, Ruff was promoted to Assistant Director of Admission and Campus Visitation, and in January 2022, he was promoted into the position of Associate Director of Admission and Campus Visitation. In his current role, Ruff recruits freshman and transfer students to Bloomfield College, manages the Student Ambassador budget, supports admission application review and scholarship decisions, assists with a streamlined onboarding process for new students, and helps plan and implement New Student Orientation. He is also a main contact for scheduling Deacon at campus events.
“Bloomfield is a special place with faculty and staff who show their commitment to students every day. It is a very inspiring environment,” said Ruff. “Interacting with students, faculty and staff, gives me the motivation to continue making an impact on the next generation of leaders. Seeing the students work hard and reach their dreams of a college degree is incredibly fulfilling, especially when they tell me that I helped them reach this important milestone.”
According to Ruff, interacting with students is by far the most impactful part of his role at the College. “I learn more about myself from them,” he said. “I learn how I can become a better leader and offer a better support system. Sometimes I do the smallest thing that is just a part of my position, but it’s the biggest thing that I later learn impacted a student in continuing or even entering their program of study.”
He states, “Graduation is definitely a full circle moment. I know how much the College pours into the students while they are with us—watching them persist even when perhaps they were once told that college was not for them, or that they could not afford it or even felt it was too hard for them to continue forward—it’s a special kind of fulfillment.”
Ruff said he has a number of key messages he often imparts to the students he brings into the College, that help support them through to graduation. He tells them to ask for help, and to utilize the various resources available to them, including academic and career advising, financial aid advising and counseling support. Importantly, he also provides encouragement, adding, “Don’t give up. Follow your dreams, and don’t stop. There may be speed bumps you face and different paths you may try, but whatever you encounter, in the end, you will ultimately reach success.”
Ruff earned a Master of Science in higher education administration from Southern New Hampshire University, and a Bachelor of Science in mathematics with a business minor from Montclair State University.
While a student at Montclair, Ruff served as Executive Treasurer on the SGA Programming Board where he managed a $1.4 million corporate budget, and held additional roles as SGA Legislator. Most rewarding, he says, was his role as an Undergraduate Admissions Ambassador where he had the opportunity to meet and support so many prospective students and their families. “This early work in an Office of Admission left an imprint on me and continues to provide me with great rewards into the present day,” he said.