The LKC Communications team has come up with an idea to showcase the LKC leadership team. We call it, the "Why I" series. We want to share with our Latinx/a/o community who members of the LKC leadership team are, our roles, and what inspired us to follow our career paths. Our goal is to increase the visibility of not just the LKC, but to the leaders who make the LKC what is to us all.
Nestor I. Melendez is the Director of Student Leadership & Campus Life at Guttman Community College, LKC Co-Chair for Leadership Development, and LKC Region 2 Co-Chair for Mentoring
Why did you join the LKC?
Initially, I was looking for a space where professionals looked like and spoke like me within the profession. Later, It became a space that honored and recognized my NuYorican spirit and identity. Currently, it helps to keep me in check and connected to some of the most amazing, gifted and talented people I know.
Why did you choose your higher ed career path?
I come from a time in the profession where I can say, “I didn’t choose Higher Ed., Higher Ed. chose me”. My mentor, Harvey Delaney, from undergrad helped me to see the value in this profession as critical to ensuring success for students, especially for those from marginalized communities. My entrance into this field is to honor his legacy and continue the fight for my brothers and sisters.
Share with us a fun fact. It can be silly, funny, random, or anything you want to make it.
When the zombie apocalypse comes, I want for everybody to meet me in the Walmart located in Oneonta, NY. We will establish our first headquarters there and hold up until we have enough people to head further north, because zombies don’t do well in the cold. Together we will become the United Human Resistance and reclaim the zombie infected areas, one region at a time.
Also, practice your survival 101 skills, we are going to need them.