BY AMANDA SOTELO
Texas State Technical College students call her a cheerleader, a role model, motivator and confident. Supervisor of Student Activities Belinda Palomino is repeatedly chosen as the one person at TSTC who is the biggest influence in their lives.
“She is definitely a role model when it comes to women in leadership positions and inspiring others to reach their full potential,” said Lisa Marie Garza, an Education and Training technology student and Student Government Association vice president. “She has helped me personally, opening my eyes to a world of opportunity and helping me realize I can do so much if I stay confident and determined.”
Palomino has worked at TSTC for nearly four years. She oversees Student Government Association, Student Leadership Academy, Operation Mustang Vote, TSTC Service Squad, all clubs and organizations and campus events. In addition to working full-time, she is also a graduate student through Colorado State University working toward her Master of Science in Student Affairs and Higher Education.
As a TSTC alumna, Palomino said she always knew in her heart she wanted to come back to TSTC and work as a higher education professional.
“TSTC left this really good impression on me,” said Palomino. “I knew I was going to come back, so when my current position became available I was hoping I would get it. I was so excited when I did.”
Palomino graduated from San Benito High School in 2007 and immediately enrolled at TSTC. After a short break and a reevaluation of her education goals, she returned in 2009 and completed her Academic Core in 2010. During her time at TSTC, she was selected as Ms. TSTC 2009, motivating her to run for Student Government Association president. She won the election and served her term from 2009 to 2010.
In 2010, Palomino transferred to the University of Texas-Pan American where she pursued and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Criminal Justice in Spring 2012, becoming the first in her family to graduate from a university. While at UTPA, Palomino remained active on campus by working at the Student Union as an event planner and being a member of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc., a community service and academic based organization.
It is through both her experiences at TSTC and UTPA, and working closely with students, that Palomino said she found her interest and love for leadership development and student affairs. “I’ve received so much support from everyone during my higher education experiences,” said Palomino. “So being a student life professional allows me to provide that same support. I want students to feel like they have a cheerleader all the time.”
Palomino said her favorite part about working in student affairs is seeing students gradually change, grow, find who they are and explore their interests.
“When I first realized that students were choosing me as their college role model when they filled out their student success profile forms, I was pleasantly surprised,” said Palomino. “I just come to work every day and try to do my job and help them the best I can. So when you hear something like this it really makes me want to work harder because I don’t want to let them down.”
Dillon McCameron, a computer science and simulation programming student and SGA parliamentarian, said Palomino should not worry about letting anybody down.
“She’s always giving 100 percent and helping us realize the potential we don’t see in ourselves,” said McCameron. “She doesn’t accept the limitations we set on ourselves. She sees past our masks and believes we can be something greater. We all want to live up to that.”
In addition, to her work at TSTC, Palomino is also an active member of the Junior League of Harlingen and serves as the entertainment committee chair for Kid Fit, a free community festival held annually to education children and their parents on living healthy lifestyles through good diet, exercise and safe play. Palomino said she loves serving her community.
“We’re all in this life together and it’s our job to be kind to other people,” said Palomino.
Palomino also does programming for the TSTC campus in Fort Bend County. For more information on TSTC’s Student Life Department or community sponsorship opportunities call 956-364-4370.