2018 graduate, Brenda Gomez Solis has been going non-stop since she graduated. After a series of successful jobs across the Midwest, Brenda made her way back home to Georgia as the Multicultural Admissions Counselor at Georgia Southern University. The entire journey she remained on the higher education route. “I didn’t know I’d be staying in higher education this long,” Brenda started. “I really like the work I do, though, so I can see myself doing it for a long time.” Brenda has spent all her professional career engaging with a wide variety of diverse communities and has found great success working with Spanish-speaking and first-generation communities. Her drive started with her work in the Intercultural Programs Office (now Center for Inclusion and Advocacy), but it’s the excitement she sees daily that keeps her motivated. “I get to inform people on institutional knowledge that many people aren’t aware of.” Between her time spent educating and advocating, Brenda has found great joy in serving the community around her.
Although Brenda has countless examples of her successes, her fulfillment boils down to something quite simple: getting students to where they’re going to be to have the best future possible. “As long as students and families are successful, that’s all I need to make my heart happy.” She did admit, though, that she would love to see the students that she works with end up at Loras College. “Loras College will always be my home away from home.”
One common trend she has seen across her career is a commute to and from work. Brenda has found that the separation between her job and her home has really helped her find a healthy work-life balance. Despite her ability to find peace in her drive time, she has been able to grind while she’s in the office. However, her nonstop work ethic started much earlier than her current role in Georgia. During her time at Loras, she held jobs both on and off-campus. “It’s one thing to be a student, but it’s a whole different thing to be a professional off-campus,” Brenda started. “I do have a very strong work ethic, but it’s nice to be able to learn out in the real world while you’re taking classes.”
Despite only being an alumnus for a short period of time, she has come back to campus as a speaker, held three different influential and important campus positions across the country, and has done it all with enthusiasm. It all stemmed from her Loras experience. Sharing her insights with students that are starting their Loras journey, she said: “Find your support group: friends, staff, faculty, and other mentors within the city of Dubuque.” Although Brenda’s not sure she can make it back to Homecoming on October 7, 8, and 9; she will be celebrating from afar with her community of Duhawks!