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Camille Nicolai saying goodbye after 37 years

Camile Nicolai shares some of her experiences in her 37 years here at MATC.

Camile Nicolai shares some of her experiences in her 37 years here at MATC.

Photo by Asiya A. Mohamed/Times

Photo by Asiya A. Mohamed/Times

Camile Nicolai shares some of her experiences in her 37 years here at MATC.

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Camille Nicolai, director of admissions and financial aid, says goodbye after 37 years at MATC.

Nicolai’s journey at MATC started on Jan. 7, 1981 when she got a starting job as a library clerk. She graduated from Alverno College with a major in sociology and a minor in library science, and this job was just the beginning of her 37 years of assisting students to reach their educational goals.

After a period of time in the library helping students with resources, Nicolai wanted to experience more. Her desire to continue helping students led her to the class scheduling department. This department allowed Nicolai to gain the opportunity to learn the importance of how courses are scheduled to meet the needs of students.

Nicolai left the academic side and moved on to “evening school registration” in the student service side of MATC. “I remember the day we went live with the computer system. We had a celebration because it was truly a landmark day,” said Nicolai. She recalls back in the late 1980s when the computer system was introduced, making it easier for students to register for classes.

“I am a believer of lifetime learning so I once again wanted a new experience, so I transferred to the West Allis campus student service department.” This new experience at West Allis lead to many exciting challenges from admissions, testing, class scheduling, registration, part-time teaching, meeting facilitator, Covey facilitator, and interim student service coordinator. With all these experiences Nicolai was ready to grab the right opportunity life had to throw her way.

Luckily, the right opportunity came up here at the Milwaukee campus Financial Aid office. Camille moved from manager of the Financial Aid office to the director. In 2015 she also became the director of the Admissions office.

“I believe the Admissions and Financial Aid offices are really the hello and goodbye of MATC. We are the starting point of students’ dreams.” Nicolai and her co-workers help students through the admission process. They assist students in navigating through the financial aid process from their first semester up until they graduate.

This leads us to Nicolai’s fondest memory of her time here, which is being a marshal at the graduation ceremonies. It is truly rewarding for her to see the students she served walk proudly and confidently as they cross the stage with their diploma in hand.

MATC has provided Nicolai with wonderful colleagues and has given her not only the ride of her life but a lifetime of friendships.

Nicolai has worked under the leadership of seven MATC presidents, went from library clerk to director of admissions and financial aid, and now we say our final goodbye to her. As she wraps up her final week here, Nicolai gives us all advice from the author Vivian Greene: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Thank you, Camille Nicolai, and goodbye from myself and the rest of MATC.

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Camille Nicolai saying goodbye after 37 years