by HANNAH NELSON//Staff Writer
Although she has recently taken on a new position, Kathryn Perez is no stranger to South Plains College.
The new associate dean of students was born and raised in Levelland. The South Plains College community was always a big part of her life growing up, even before she was a student herself. When it came to her family, SPC played a huge role.
“My dad has always worked here,” says Perez, “so a lot of our traditions revolved around things like the Christmas Tree Lighting, or the Halloween Carnival, or going to Texan basketball games.”
She has always had a connection with the college.
As an associate dean, Perez has a wide variety of responsibilities.
“I’m basically responsible for housing on campus and everything that entails,” she explains.
For Perez, this can include student discipline, facility maintenance, working with wing advisors, supporting hall directors, and much more. She also has a role in the processes and policies that are present within the housing complexes.
Perez earned her degree at SPC before transferring to Texas Tech University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Development. She worked for a year with Head Start, a pre-k program for 3 and 4 year olds. However, she knew that she did not want to stay in that position forever. That’s when she applied for a position that was available at SPC.
Before becoming the new associate dean, Perez worked for nine years for Marketing and Recruitment at South Plains College. She served as the recruiter and coordinator of new student programs. Through her previous job, Perez learned many valuable skills that she brought with her to this new position.
“As overwhelming as a new job can be, at no point have I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m in over my head,’” Perez says. “I am very well prepared. My journey to this point has prepared me for this job.”
She has also just recently received her master’s degree in Student Development and Leadership. This degree has helped her in her work in higher education.
When she gets time away from her job, Perez is with her family. She is married with two kids, and also has all her family in Levelland.
“House chores, that is pretty much what my life consists of,” says Perez.
When she gets time, she also enjoys running to relieve stress. Her family also enjoys traveling to different places when they can.
Perez says she knows how important a community college can be for students.
“Community colleges are cool places,” says Perez”, and I can’t imagine working anywhere other than a community college because of the opportunities that we can give to students that may not otherwise have that.”
Perez says she knew she always wanted to be involved in impacting the lives of people. Working at SPC has given her the ability to connect directly with students. Her passion for students is something that allows her to make such an influence.
“I go home worrying about students,” Perez says, “and I’m home thinking, ‘Man, that was the coolest experience today because I got to impact a student’s life.’”