By Christina Latham
Matthew Santos, 29, has returned to Whatcom Community College this year. Once a student at Whatcom, Santos now joins the ranks as a faculty member. He became the new Student Life coordinator in early December.
The Student Life coordinator position is new to Whatcom this year, and includes duties in the Student Life department as well as the Athletics department, Santos said.
“It is really, really great to have Matthew Santos on board. We are utilizing his talents,” said Kris Baier, director of Student Life. “Creating this position provides more support for students and allows [us] to create more bandwidth to help serve Whatcom.”
Santos said his position will help support Student Life and the Athletics Department.
He said he helps the Athletics Department with budgeting and game management, while his work for Student Life includes redesigning and updating the Student Life website and social media accounts as well as Orca Card management. He said he is also the adviser for the Student Ambassador Program.
“I hope to continually develop an outstanding team of students who will be some of the best representatives of Whatcom,” he said.
Santos said in his time at Whatcom he would like to see more activities and clubs on campus. “There are so many resources that we should be promoting,” he said.
Santos said Whatcom has a diverse student body that he would like to see more students experience.
After attending Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way, Santos said he joined the United States Marines Corps Reserves and worked as a field radio operator for six years, part of which he served in Iraq.
Returning home, Santos said he got his associate degree at Whatcom in 2007 and went on to Western Washington University to earn a bachelor degree in communications in 2009. He said he met his wife, Midori, during his time at Western.
After graduating Western, Santos said he was an intern at KOMO 4 News in Seattle.
After his internship was finished, Santos said he joined KING 5 News in Seattle and worked as their assignment editor for four years.
While he enjoyed the work, Santos said he realized he was ready to change direction in his life.
Santos said he and his wife wanted to move back to Whatcom County, with their year-old daughter, to be closer to family.
In his spare time, Santos said he likes to watch and play football. He said he also enjoys cooking, eating, singing karaoke, and being a father to an “awesome daughter.”
Santos said he is excited to be back at Whatcom and to be a part of the school he once attended. As Student Life coordinator, he said he will be promoting student engagement.
“I want to contribute to the continued growth of student programs and athletics through engaging students, faculty, and staff and strengthening those connections,” he said.
Santos said he is still learning about his position and how he can best help the Whatcom student body continue to grow.
“I try and do what I can to fit the mission and life of the students,” he said. “I want to get people as stoked about Whatcom as I am.”