Super Saturday Super Volunteer Raquel Salinas

May 29, 2004

From blowing up balloons to setting up booths to taking charge of the poster design this year, Raquel has been a Super Saturday volunteer for nearly two decades.

If actions speak louder than words, then Raquel Salinas wouldn't need to talk for a very long time. Renowned for her strong community service ethic and commitment to students, Raquel has been a stalwart volunteer for many of the events and activities at Evergreen.

Her story begins in 1987, when she entered the college as a freshman. She earned her bachelor's and master in teaching degrees here in the '90s, and since then has put to use what she learned. For the past six years, Raquel has served as the coordinator of student support services for First Peoples' Advising Services, part of the Student Academic and Support Services family. Her job covers considerable territory, but it all boils down to serving students.

In graduate school, she learned "how to be service-oriented in a way that is student-centered. I love to see students empowered and empower others, and I love their energy," Raquel explains.

Holly Colbert, director of First Peoples' Advising Services, says that Raquel has a "gift" of connecting with students and others, and that she "freely shares this gift with the college. She believes deeply in what Evergreen stands for and puts those beliefs into practice. Raquel is dedicated, compassionate and hard working."

Phyllis Lane, dean of Student Academic and Support Services, describes Raquel's ability to take what may be just an "idea" and "transform it into a creative and artistic masterpiece." Phyllis remarks that Raquel's art is widely admired.

Raquel is widely respected among her colleagues, too, for the countless hours she volunteers in activities from student organization meetings and events held at night ("I want to stay in touch with what they're doing") to a Hispanic women's group to Super Saturday. "When help is needed, Raquel is happy to lend a very capable and creative hand," says Vice President for Student Affairs Art Costantino. "She is one of our mainstays. I'm astounded at how often she pitches in, never drawing attention to herself. She's all about getting the work done."

It's that deep sense of service to community that propels Raquel. "Wherever I can help out, I try." And Evergreen is a richer community for her efforts.