Throughout the academic year the Staff Council randomly selects a staff member to celebrate in our Spotlight on Staff. Our recipient for the month of February is Erik Coloma.
Not even our winning Forensics Team could debate that Erik Coloma loves Saint Mary’s College.
Erik’s deep regard for the college began nine years ago in his freshman year when faculty, counselors, and other staff noted his shy nature and kindly guided him to clubs and activities that helped him connect with fellow students. Club activities helped Erik develop enough confidence to emcee at Asian Cultural Night, serve as APASA Vice President for Student Affairs, as ASSMC Vice President for Student Affairs and eventually as ASSMC President. The nurturing attention he received and his resulting personal growth made a big impression on Erik and shaped his career decisions and the way he does his job today.
After graduating in 2009, Erik went to work for the admissions office where he is currently a Senior Admissions Officer and Coordinator of International Recruitment and Alumni Admissions Programs. He meets with students at their high schools and at College Fairs, giving them a first-hand account of Saint Mary’s attributes. He reviews student applications during the winter and in the spring uses his best Seminar skills to convince accepted students that Saint Mary’s is their best choice. Erik particularly enjoys international recruitment, which exposes him to various cultural perspectives. He also feels right at home working with fellow alumni who love the college enough to volunteer their time to help with admissions tasks. Erik says, “… colleagues in my office and around campus really make me excited to come to work each day. I get re-energized by our passion to serve our students.”
When he finishes his admissions work for the day, a five-minute commute lands Erik at De La Salle Hall where he lives with his wife Karina (Salgado) Coloma, Class of 2008, and 40 freshmen. As a resident director Erik clocks some long days, but he says that he doesn’t mind most of the time. He feels privileged to provide first-year students with the same level of care that he received and enjoys “shaping young minds” and “instilling the values” he learned here. Erik especially enjoys the opportunity to meet a student during the application process, live with them in the dorms for a year, and then watch them blossom over their remaining years at the college.
Erik and Karina, whom he married last May, share their passion for continuing education and for working with students. Karina is currently enrolled in a special education credential program and Erik is enrolled in Saint Mary’s Master’s in Leadership program.
Second on Erik’s list of favorite places to be is Disneyland, where he and Karina like to unwind and “be kids again.” They try to get to Disneyland at least once a year, and they are looking forward to a trip to Disneyworld in July.