Earlier this month, Christy Salinas joined the Manhattan College community as the campus’s new registrar.
Originally from Texas, Salinas attended the University of North Texas where she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is currently completing a M.E. in higher education administration at Boston University.
Before making the move to Riverdale, Salinas lived in Boston for 11 years. She most recently worked at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, which is another small, Catholic institution.
“Boston’s great, but it’s no New York City,” Salinas joked. She frequently visited NYC and always kept an eye out for a job opportunity that would cause her to pack her bags.
“I thought it would be a great place to be and it definitely is. It’s a great institution; everything I’ve read about Manhattan has lived up to its name,” she said.
The registrar’s office oversees all of the college’s academic records, including grades, courses, transcripts and any other documents that need to be organized and kept for compliance purposes.
“We have to make sure that your record is kept forever and that you can always find it or your descendants can find it in the future if they want to look it up,” Salinas said.
Another main job of the office is thinking about how they are going to keep data and how to store records so that they can be easily accessible in the future. In the 1960s, for example, the recording of grades and transcripts was typed out on pieces of papers and when someone completed a course a sticker was placed on the paper. But as the document started to age, the glue on the stickers wore down and they gradually started falling off.
Salinas is trying to bring some of her technical background on things from her previous work experience and implement them here at Manhattan. That includes streamlining processes, such as putting more things online and replacing paper forms with online forms.
When asked why she wanted to work in higher education, Salinas said that she likes the “problem solving of it and helping students achieve their goals.”
She also noted that the registrar’s office is unique in that it is constantly connecting with all other departments, both academic and nonacademic. Salinas also enjoys being involved with students from their orientation until they are handed their diploma.
“One of the draws to coming here was how student-centered all of the administrators and faculty are. It was more than what I had seen at other schools,” she said. “I am a big advocate of student support, I see our office as mainly a support office for students. We’re here to help you accomplish your goals. I like seeing other departments have the same values.”
Salinas joined the MC community at a busy time, just as students are preparing to register for classes for the spring 2018 semester. Her office was responsible for creating the course catalog that appears on Self-Service, working with the department chairs across all schools to facilitate the process of creating classes and finding classroom spaces.
Salinas, however, doesn’t mind the hecticness.
“I like it. We never slow down,” she said. “We go right from the beginning of the semester to the registration period to preparing for the December graduation… We’re there through it all.”
When fully-staffed, the registrar’s office has seven employees total. While she is still getting to know everyone, Salinas has already noticed the passion her office has for working with the student population.
“We love working with students and the whole staff here is very positive and supportive for the students and that is something I haven’t seen at a lot of places to this degree. I really like being amongst people with the same values,” she said.