COD Welcomes New Student Trustee Omar Escamilla

Student Trustee Omar Escamilla

By Brian Kleemann

Omar Escamilla of Hanover Park will represent the student perspective as the new Student Trustee at College of DuPage.

Escamilla was elected by his peers this spring and will serve through April 2015. Good friend and outgoing Student Trustee Stephanie Torres provided plenty of pointers before he was sworn in at the April 17 Board of Trustees meeting.

"I feel like I'm equipped, and I'm really excited to start my work," Escamilla said. "I want all current and future students to get the best of out their college experience, and I want to represent all student opinions in the board room." 

In addition, Escamilla has been named to the U.S. Department of State's Gilman International Scholarship Program. He will study abroad this summer on COD's month-long language program to Siena, Italy.

College of DuPage was not originally Escamilla's first choice. He was accepted at Loyola University and was in the process of applying for loans and selecting a room and board package. But he was uncertain about a major, and he was concerned about wasting time and money. With COD in the back of his mind, he came to campus and spoke with other students about their experiences.

"I didn't feel ready for a four-year university. I was confused as to what direction I wanted to take with my life," he said. "When I decided on College of DuPage, I only planned on staying here for one year."

During his first semester, Escamilla immersed himself in college life. He became active in five different clubs and was vice president of Phi Theta Kappa. He also took a job working in the Academic Computing Center. 

"I've learned more during this academic year than I have in my whole life. I've interacted with faculty members who have provided an education that went beyond the books," he said. "I used to be a really shy person. Now I've had the chance to represent the College as part of a student delegation that met with state lawmakers in Springfield."

Escamilla also discovered a career path: communications. His dream is to transfer to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and then find a job in marketing and communications at a community college. He wants to work in education in order to make that connection with students. 

If he could go back in time, he would not change his decision about enrolling at College of DuPage. 

"I want to give back to College of DuPage because of all the opportunities the College has given to me," he said. "One of my goals is to get students more involved, because the most important thing after academics is student life. Too many students are unaware of our many clubs and organizations, so every person I meet, I try to figure out their interests and match them up with a club. 

"College is that place where people take what they learn and apply it to the rest of their lives. I want to make sure College of DuPage leads students to success."