19:36 PM

New Role Adds to Extraordinary Celt Experience

Student engagement leaders at University of St. Thomas – Houston are busy planning exciting new activities to further enrich campus life. They have added a new role to help get the job done, and Gladys “Eveleny” Plata ’21 brings ideas and enthusiasm to the position.

Director of Student Leadership & Engagement Shundeez Faridifar, M.Ed, MBA ’19, said, “Eveleny has joined us in a dual role as Student Activities and Residence Life Success Coordinator. She brings valuable first-hand knowledge and perspectives to our mission. And we’re confident that this new collaboration will lead to exciting programs for an extraordinary Celt experience.”

Having been a highly involved UST student leader, Plata understands the importance of getting students fully engaged in Celt life. She highlighted an all-time favorite event of hers.

“Neewollah is a Halloween celebration and is the longest standing tradition held on campus,” Plata said. “Students are exceptionally excited to take part in all the entertainment like costume competition, photo booths, food trucks, a student-created haunted house, dance floor and DJ. Oh, and here’s a fun fact: The event name is Halloween spelled backward.”

Plata looks forward to the rewards from the new collaboration this year between the Office of Student Activities and Campus Ministry. The two teams will host more feast day Masses followed by community socials to encourage discussions. All, she said, contribute to an outstanding and memorable student experience.

“If I were describing the Celt experience to a prospective student, I’d say that it’s a rewarding mix of hard work, endless support and an emphasis on the ‘why’ in all of our lives. At St. Thomas, you’ll meet professors who want you to succeed, students who enjoy welcoming everyone, and staff that support you to be the best person you can be. You get to be yourself and be accepted and challenged to keep doing better.”

The list of Plata’s live-on-campus job duties is as long as your arm. It includes the daily operations of the Residence Life Office and residence halls.

Director of Residence Life and Conference Housing Ana Alicia Lopez ’10, M.Ed ’15, said, “We are delighted to welcome this important new combined role. It’s going to support first-year success and help commuters feel more welcome in the residence halls through events designed to bring the community together.”

Plata joins UST teams that work to make every day at St. Thomas extraordinary.