Every month the Administrative/Professional (A/P) Council highlights an A/P staff member through a series of questions as another way for the Illinois State community to connect. This month readers can get to know Guadalupe Montalvo, assistant director for residence life in University Housing Services.

As an assistant director for University Housing, what are your responsibilities?

I oversee the assignments, contracts, online housing database, student housing portal, and other duties as assigned (the best part). I spend a lot of time trying to fine-tune the student process for room selection, contract creation, and the overall portal experience for our residents.

How long have you been an employee at Illinois State?

Eleven years.

What do you love most about working at Illinois State?

It sounds cheesy, but it’s always the people, hands down. Everyone from our students, to my colleagues, supervisors, and team members. We have some pretty amazing folks on this campus. Our students are passionate about change, social justice, and their futures in general. Our team is just amazing. Everyone is committed to promoting student growth, development, and experience, and I couldn’t ask for more.

When you’re not working, what are you most likely doing?

Playing with my toddler or napping! Right now she loves to go down slides and play in the water so we spend a lot of time outdoors. We like going up north to visit with family and enjoy playing tourist in Chicago even though that is my hometown.

What is your favorite spot on campus?

Fusion Brew and Coffee Hound. Okay, they aren’t really on campus, but I spend a lot of time there, and they are just off-campus. On-campus, I have to say I love the top floor of any of our residence halls. They all have a lounge on the top floor, and the views of town and campus are just beautiful no matter the season. In the winters the town looks like a snow globe!

What is one thing people would not know about you?

I am slightly obsessed with Hamilton. You can walk into my office any day, and that’s what I am listening to. It motivates me!

If you could have dinner with one famous person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Oh gosh, this one is hard. I was a journalism major and because of that I really had some folks I aspired to be like in the field of journalism. One of them was Jorge Ramos, an anchor and investigative broadcast journalist of Mexican origin. For a more modern reference, he is the journalist Trump had removed from the room at one of his early press conferences when he was running for president in 2016. I grew up watching him on the news and the “special” segments and shows he did on different social justice, war, or criminal topics, and I wanted to be him in a skirt! Of course, I took a different route and am not in journalism, but I still think the work he did and the stories he tells are important not just for the Spanish-speaking communities in the United States but our society as a whole. Most journalists who have a true passion for investigative journalism play this role.

Soledad O’Brien, who will be our Illinois State Latino Cultural Dinner speaker, is another example of someone I love.