Skip to main content

National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education

Latest News

Member Spotlight: Janel Santos

Member Spotlight: Janel Santos
Executive Office Administrator, Office of the President
Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Meet our Member: Janel Santos

Sunshine and Innovation

Two years into her role, Janel relishes the opportunity to do things differently and better every day. As you might imagine, it can be challenging when she comes up against old processes and systems, but she responds to colleagues’ reluctance by modeling a can-do attitude and a sunny disposition. Her biggest fans include the Chief of Staff and work-study student, who commend her for always having a smile on her face and describe her as a "ray of sunshine" whose positive demeanor lifts the mood of those around her. 

Janel's path to her current role began at Palo Alto College, a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) located on the south side of San Antonio. A former colleague who recognized her potential recommended her for the job at Texas A&M. Her experience within the Alamo Colleges District made her a prime candidate for the position. 

The selection process was quite comprehensive, including three Zoom interviews, two in-person interviews with a committee, and several meetings with the Office of the President team and the Chief of Staff. After three months of such assessments, she started her job during a presidential transition.

Like many NAPAHE members, Janel’s responsibilities are broad. She manages the president's calendar, oversees office operations, plans events, makes travel arrangements and processes reimbursements. Every morning she does a “standing, not sitting” check-in with her team of three, and this helps with clarity and prioritization before anything is brought to the Chief of Staff. 

Janel says there is no “typical day” in her office, but there are a few tools she uses daily: OneNote for task management, Teams for communication and Outlook for emails and scheduling. 

Last summer, Janel initiated monthly meetings with administrative support personnel, and a conversation about professional development led her to NAPAHE. She was delighted when her proposal secured funding for her institution’s NAPAHE membership. She believes NAPAHE is growing her professionally, especially through the eRoundtable discussions, newsletters and networking opportunities at conferences.

Janel finds immense joy in supporting and helping others, and she thrives in the dynamic environment her job offers. Common questions from her boss include, "What do I have going on for today?" and "What’s next?" Janel makes sure she always has the answers.

Janel's Quick Takes

Worst mistake: Double scheduling, and wearing two different pairs of heels

Advice to a newbie: Be adaptable to the changing landscape and make the impossible possible!

Three things that are always on my desk: Coffee, pictures and daily reminders about work and life on colorful post-it notes. 

Continue reading

The Fun Five List: Conversation Starters

The Fun Five List: Conversation Starters

June 2024 Newsletter

Click Here to read the June 2024 edition, featuring a message from the Executive Director, a call for board nominations, a featured NAPAHE Member, upcoming events, our Fun Five List, and more!