Soon after graduating from Union last June with a degree in sociology, Elena Montoya ’22 found herself back on campus.
Since September, she has worked as an assistant dean of Admissions. She also serves as the multicultural recruitment coordinator.
“In this role, I am committed to continuing to create a comforting and supportive environment for all interested and prospective students, especially BIPOC and first-gen students, as they go through the application process,” Montoya said. “I have really enjoyed my time in the office. Getting to know Union as a staff member has been fun!
Originally from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County, Calif., Montoya’s coming to Union was her first time on the East Coast. She fell in love with Schenectady.
“Still, I deeply miss my hometown and its heavy presence of Mexican culture," she said. "I miss the food, music and classic low-rider car shows! Most importantly, I miss my parents and twin brother, as well as the rest of my very big family. We are all very close, and they have been incredibly supportive of my journey here at Union.”
FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING:
My alarm, if I’ve been lucky and remembered to set it the night before. I am an incredibly forgetful person! Other than that, I usually open up Spotify and get ready to my morning playlist.
ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES:
I am not someone who re-reads books, as I think it takes a bit of the magic away from that initial experience. I am currently reading “Not a Game” by Kent Babb, which chronicles the rise and fall of Allen Iverson’s life and career. I love reading biographies about any celebrity or athlete who has made big waves in pop culture.
BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED:
My Nino Martin would say, “Find out what they want, and give it to them.” This advice can be applied in so many different ways, and has definitely helped me as I’ve started my professional career. Whether it’s working on projects or getting tasks done, learning to not make excuses or take shortcuts has been a hard and valuable lesson.
FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS:
I love the space and community that the Unity Room provides on campus. I was there all the time when I was a student, and even though I’m not there as much now, it still holds a special place in my heart.
I have gotten into the good habit of eating breakfast, something I did not do very often as a student. My standard meal is avocado toast with turkey bacon and an iced matcha.
Moth Radio Hour. Each episode has a group of stories that surround a central theme. The storytellers cover the span of the human experience and they are always so entertaining. I used to go to school far from home and spent the mornings and afternoons listening to NPR radio with my dad. This was a segment on the station and we’ve listened to the podcast together since.
ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD:
For two years in high school, I played on the varsity softball team. Played is an overstatement. I actually rode the bench and was promoted to the role of scorekeeper. I love the game; I just wish I were good at playing!
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU:
I am an avid crochet-er. I love learning new patterns and taught myself via YouTube videos. It is a great stress reliever and one of my favorite things to do in my free time.
THREE DINNER PARTY GUESTS (living or deceased):
I was incredibly close with both sets of my grandparents, and was very lucky to have them in my life. My maternal grandmother was an amazing cook and my paternal grandmother was an incredible baker. So bonding over making a meal would make an unforgettable dinner party. I miss them dearly.
I listen to a lot of different music. My favorite genres are G-funk and alternative hip-hop/soul. My first memories of concerts are of my parents taking me to see some of their favorite artists, ranging from Latin soul and jazz, mariachis and Motown. My first concert with friends was One Direction!