Pathway to Feinberg: Anita Munoz
My path to FSM began more than 10 years ago, when a former director of what was then the Office of Multicultural Affairs reached out to me regarding an open position. At that time I was pursuing a degree in elementary education and had been working for the Chicago Public School system for 11 years. After a series of interviews, in June 2005 I joined FSM. In addition to my new role, 2005 was filled with a number of major life changes: I had a baby, bought a house and graduated from college. My 10 years in the office have included more phenomenal life changes: I had a second child, completed my Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration and beat breast cancer.
My primary goal is to create a welcoming, comfortable environment for FSM students within the walls of our office. I support them personally and professionally. In fact, I want them to feel that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is their home away from home. Everyone knows that medical school is challenging on a number of levels; having a place where you can stop by to grab a snack, a cup of coffee or merely engage in small talk can make a tremendous difference in the overall experience. Professionally, I am cognizant of keeping students abreast of available resources and professional development opportunities. Toward that end, I practice an open door policy. Most offices operate 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for students – not so for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Students know that they can reach me at any time.
Not only has my time at FSM changed my life, it has changed my children’s, both of whom have a goal to attend Northwestern University and become doctors. During my 10 years at FSM, I have met some of the most amazing people ever to attend medical school. I have been honored to witness them becoming doctors, parents and leaders. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!