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Interviews | Mar 23, 2018 |

Talking with … Roxanne Bonilla

Roxanne BonillaEvery “Talking with…” feature gives you a glimpse into the life of a different Gabelli School faculty member, administrator, or staff member. This week, we’re speaking with Roxanne Bonilla, administrative assistant in the academic advising office.

Can you briefly describe your day-to-day role?
I have the pleasure of being a team member in the academic advising office, where student development and the student experience are constant priorities. My day-to-day responsibilities include coordinating travel arrangements and approving room requests, and we have six wonderful graduate assistants whom I manage.

My greatest strength is my network. I use it to be as efficient as possible, getting important tasks done with the least amount of paperwork, phone calls, and roadblocks. One example of this is in my preparation for the Beta Gamma Sigma awards breakfast. Despite the honor society’s website going down recently, I was able to get all the students signed up for their inauguration by the deadline.

Does attending Fordham as a student help you in your everyday role?
I only have five more classes before getting my BA degree in history and am totally excited about this. This has changed my work life by giving me a greater understanding of why and how things are structured.

What’s one way you see evidence of graduate students learning to be “men and women for others”?
I can tell you many success stories of transformation with our first-time graduate assistants working with the advising team. We give them tools and projects to be more strategic and helpful to others.

Do you have any advice for students preparing to graduate this spring?
I will share what my advice is for my son, Gabe, who is graduating in March 2019. Now that you have your education, go out and see the world. Travel and see the different ways of life.

What do you think you would you be doing if you weren’t working at Fordham?
I will always be connected to Fordham, as I am certified in TNR—trap, neuter, return—with the Rose Hill Fordham Feral Cats organization. I am the caretaker of three feral colonies working closely with campus operations, Walsh Library staff, and a few pre-vet students. If I were not working in the advising office, I would be coordinating rescue and adoption for the homeless cats and dogs on a full-time basis.

Where can you be found when you’re not at the Gabelli School?
On weekends, I volunteer at the Yonkers Animal Shelter. I also enjoy interpreting ukiyo-e, which are Japanese wood prints from the Edo period. If you look closely, there is always a story behind the prints.

 

Fun questions

Do you have any plans for the Easter break?
I’ll be volunteering at the shelter and with Fordham Campus Cats.

If you could only eat one type of dessert for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
My colleague Manuela Rodriguez made my favorite dessert, flan from scratch, for a special occasion—it was the most delicious flan ever!

What was the first car you drove?
A 440 ’Cuda with Mickey Thompson tires, Gabriel air shocks, and an ear-piercing Thrush muffler.

What car do you drive now?
A Subaru Impreza.

Would you rather have free tickets to see Hamilton or Frozen on Broadway?
Neither. I would rather spend the time at the animal shelter or watch a UFC—Ultimate Fighting Championship—fight.

Would you rather go swimming in an ocean, lake, or pool?
Ocean. I am the best “dog paddler” in the world.

 

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