By Melissa Mendez-Conchas
Photo of Jose Alamillo by Ella Torres
Interested in campus involvement but unsure how to start? Chair and Professor Jose Alamillo of the Chicano/a Studies Department is here to guide you.
Does his name sound familiar? Well, that would not be surprising as he has been everywhere! With almost sixteen years teaching at CI, Alamillo has been one of the most active faculty members on campus in creating ways for students to engage in campus activities and programs.
From participating as a faculty mentor in multiple undergraduate research projects like the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURF), to being a faculty advisor and representative on multiple student organizations and being part of various CI’s committees that focus on creating opportunities for students and to also just happening to appear in most of the events at CI, are the ways that Alamillo has taken an extra step as a professor to become a known advocate of active involvement at CI and most students happen to know him.
Alamillo has made clear that his role as a professor goes beyond teaching in class or being in his office, rather to go out there and interact with students. He said “it is important to me to reach out as much as I can; that is why I try to get involved not just in my class but in activities and events at campus because I feel that’s another way of engaging students. If they see me at an event or some kind of program, they know I’m around, I’m here, and not just tucked away in my office doing my research and writing”.
Most importantly, Alamillo shared that there are two main things students who seek to start a more active role around campus should do and those are the following:
Get to know your professors. Whether it be inside or outside class, getting to know your professors opens new ways of involvement as they can directly recommend you to programs, events, clubs and even job opportunities by just interacting with them. After all, professors are also here to support you and connecting with them is another way to network and meet new people.
Attend campus events. “Show up, make yourself known and present,” said Alamillo. It can be as simple as a movie night, a play, a book event or club meeting, the important thing is to show up. You may be surprised to know that any type of campus events often will end up with you meeting other people with similar interests and at the same time add to your sense of involvement on campus.
All in all, the idea of getting out there can be intimidating. However, Alamillo encourages you to take these first steps to ease this transition so you can have a sense of belonging and connection to the school. It is about letting you know there are ways to be engaged in campus activities and programs and that faculty like Alamillo are here to help you with that and make your experience at CI a better one.