Congratulations to Kathleen “Kathy” Matthies, Santa Rosa Junior College’s Employee of the Month for November 2015. Hired in 2007, Kathy dedicated several years as an STNC Administrative Assistant (AA) for departments such as Study Abroad, Career & Technical Education, Business and Professional Studies, and Community Education. In 2012, she became a Curriculum Technician before obtaining her current full-time position as an Administrative Assistant III for Curriculum and Educational Support Services. She works with faculty, staff and administrators to provide training or answers in lay terms to questions concerning highly technical issues. These issues range from explaining the details regarding the creation of a new course or certificate/major to evaluations of full-time and probationary faculty.
Abe Farkas, Dean III, Curriculum and Educational Support Services, commends Kathy for being a true humanitarian, and a dependable and concerned employee. “More than once she has been called upon to cover the responsibilities of two positions when the office found itself shorthanded due to resignations or promotions. Kathy is constantly answering many questions each day (both office and college related) and extending herself to help others. She is a valuable member of the College community,” said Dean Farkas.
Today, as an AA, Kathy is responsible for coordinating the functions of the Curriculum and Educational Support Services office and performing duties supporting Dean Farkas, regular and tenure evaluations, scheduling, Older Adults Program, and faculty office assignments. “She has been active in the Classified Senate and was recently elected President. She participates in shared governance, sponsors fund raising events for the Classified Senate and for her church, and is one of the organizers of the Giving Tree Secret Santa Program [which had its largest gift collection and distribution in the program’s history in 2014],” adds Dean Farkas.
Kathy tells us her greatest accomplishment, along with her greatest challenge, is getting hired full-time. “The challenge of knowing I am needed - the importance of my position – is what I enjoy most about my job,” said Kathy.
Kathy has also been an active member of College Council, Institutional Planning Committee (IPC), Program and Resource Planning Process (PRPP) Committee, Academic Calendar Committee, MIS Task Force, Day Under the Oaks Committee and much more. Aside from SRJC, Kathy enjoys spending her time sewing, craft-making, cooking (she is famous for her apple pies), event planning, textile art, helping at church, and volunteering (for over 40 years).
Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Kathy moved to Petaluma in 1971 and attended Casa Grande High School, where she served as student body president and graduated in the school’s first graduating class in 1975. Prior to SRJC, Kathy worked in the retail grocery business for 30 years.
Upon being notified of her selection for Employee of the Month, Kathy describes her reaction with the following three words: “Shocked, honored, and humbled.”
She celebrates this recognition with her three children, Alicia, Brandon and Chris; daughters-in-law, Tarryn and Kelly; and grandchildren Caleb, Nolan, and Madyn.
Kathy explains, “Eight years ago I made a life changing decision to take an early buy-out retirement and change careers. At age 50, I went back to school to upgrade my skills. With some help from Lori Derum, AA for the Emeritus Service Center, and Abe Farkas, who took a leap of faith in hiring me, I started my career and life change with SRJC, and working with amazing people every day on our beautiful campus. This institution and my career here became my family at a time when my family and marriage fell apart. The people and students have become the extension of my family. They support me. They love me. They inspire me and I am honored to return that support, love and inspiration.”