By Kristyn Pankiw
It’s not every day that you meet a resident assistant as engaging and kind-hearted as Pamela Santamaria. From the moment I stepped onto campus last fall, Pam has been there to make me feel right at home. But I quickly noticed that her bubbly demeanor and positive influence stretch far beyond her RA duties. This girl is doing big things at Flagler.
Pam, an international student from Ecuador, is a business and Spanish double major, as well as a marketing, advertising and math triple minor. Yeah, you read that right—triple. But that’s not all: in addition to being an RA, Pam serves as a math tutor on and off campus, is founder and president of the International Student Club and has an internship with Alumni Relations.
How—and why—does she do it all? Pam has always been a go-getter. She transferred to Flagler after her freshman year but applied too late. Instead of giving up, she called and was given 5 days to send in all of her paperwork.
“I didn’t let it stop me,” she says. “After those 5 days, I accomplished my objective and the following Monday I got my acceptance letter.”
Pam admits that she enjoys being actively involved on campus—hence the busy schedule. Two weeks ago, Pam simultaneously planned a chocolate fondue extravaganza for her residents while organizing a fun Valentine’s Day event for her club. She jokes the only reason she can balance it all is because of her trusty planner.
“I just love being surrounded by people,” she says. “That’s part of the reason I wanted to be an RA, so I could really help others and get to know many different people at Flagler.”
This love for people and commitment to help those around her spurred her interest in creating a club on campus, especially for international students like herself. The club made its debut this semester and meets regularly on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in the Student Center.
“Flagler is increasing its number of international students,” Pam explains. “So I thought a club would be a great way to bring together both international and national students while celebrating all of our cultures. I want everyone to feel welcome.”
Pam says she herself felt welcomed at Flagler from the first day she arrived and has come to call this place home. Next year will be Pam’s last on Flagler’s campus. While bittersweet, she’s hopeful that her impact on the campus will continue on.
“I want my positive attitude to leave its mark here,” she says. “Take things one step at a time with a smile on your face—that’s my motto, and I hope it shines through!”
You can find out more about International Student Club here: http://www.facebook.com/InternationalStudentClubFlaglerCollege