SAN MARCOS — Palomar College welcomes new Vice President of Student Services, Nicolas Mata. Mata originally was the Dean at Santa Monica College where he worked with staff and students there for almost 10 years.
Now Mata is currently residing in San Marcos county with his family, as he takes on the role of vice president here at Palomar.
Mata explains his upbringing in the new position as he wouldn’t have ever imagined being where he is now.
“As my career progressed, I told myself I felt ready,” said Mata when he applied for the position during Covid-19.
Since taking on this position, Mata has had to adjust to the new dynamics; from the way Palomar is structured to the issues that students and faculty may face that go unspoken.
A daily routine for Mata is attending meetings that consist of faculty gathering issues from students’ voices and ways they can be resolved or worked on.
“There are a lot of meetings…but these meetings are for the students, it’s many staff coming together to handle issues,” said Mata.
Even though Mata has back-to-back meetings, he will always find a way to help a student in need.
Another way Mata handles his inquiries is by working closely with those students coming from low-income homes, or simply not having the right resources; since he came from a low-income Latino home.
“I didn’t go to a community college, I went to a four year right away and you know being in a predominantly white university, it was very eye-opening. There were times where I felt like I didn’t belong here…an imposter syndrome,” said Mata.
Mata believes that by helping first-generation Latinx, Black, Chicano, whomever it may be, it will bring motivation to that community, and continue higher education in lower socioeconomic groups.
“Someone saw that I was struggling and asked if I needed help…it was nice to know that someone wants me to be here,” said Mata in hopes of being that type of leader for Palomar while encouraging students to take advantage of the services offered.
With that information, Mata explains a future project for the “MyPalomar” website for students to look forward to.
“We are updating MyPalomar, it’ll have a new look and will be a little more user-friendly. You know all those links you have to click on, yeah It’ll get a new update…we are launching the first module on October 1…it’ll be a more modern platform,” said Mata.
One last long-term change coming to Palomar overall is the way it is operating in different departments and how they can be of assistance to students.
“We are looking into hiring more staff and creating a more centralized student service department so students have it all in one place. I’m part of that team that is working on bringing good people here,” said Mata.
Mata encourages students to take advantage of all the services available, to ask for help when needed, and to be a part of the college community.
“Students should not only just come to class and leave, but engage in activities too like joining the newspaper, a club or even attending events like our upcoming home football game this Saturday. I encourage students to be proactive in their educational journey,” said Mata.
“Then they’ll feel like they didn’t miss out on that college experience,” said Mata.
- NickMata.jpg: Elizabeth Rivera Guevara | All Rights Reserved