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The Executive Vice Prez

News Story

SGA Executive Vice President Natalie Holguin ’19 first majored in psychology, but when that didn't fit, she set her sights on taking advantage of Pace's unique health science program.

Natalie Holguin ’19 is a health science major on the PLV Campus elected as the Student Government Association’s (SGA) Executive Vice President. She also has extensive experience as a mentor through her work for the AALANA program, outreach for the Center for Community Action and Research (CCAR), and as a peer leader to first-year students. Recently, Holguin started working as a commuter assistant for Student Development and Campus Activities (SDCA).

It didn’t take long before she was getting involved on the PLV Campus, which is part of the reason why she chose Pace in the first place. “I wasn’t sure if I should stick to what I knew and pick a school in the city or try a more suburban school away from the city; I hadn’t heard of many schools that offer the best of both worlds when it [came] to a campus.”

Initially, she majored in psychology with hopes of someday becoming a doctor. That changed pretty quickly. “I realized that I wanted more interaction with patients, so I looked into different options.” While it was too late to join the nursing program by then, Holguin saw a great deal of potential in Pace’s health science program. “It’s preparing me for an accelerated nursing program when I graduate, and after I get my BSN and some experience as a nurse, I intend to go back to school [to] become a nurse practitioner. Later, I hope to get a PhD in nursing.”

Not only has Holguin taken advantage of the opportunities available in the health science track, but she’s also run for office—the SGA office, that is. “Being elected as the Executive Vice President was one of my biggest accomplishments at Pace,” she told us. “I want students to realize that they have the ability to make a change [here].”

She’d like to see an increase in attendance at SGA senate meetings, which are open to every student, as well as a decrease in transfer rates. “Studies show that students are more likely to stay at a school if they are involved in a club or organization. Therefore, if a student does not see a club that they are interested in, I [want] to encourage them to make their own.”

And Holguin would know about student involvement. Her work as a peer leader meant she was the person first-year students could approach if they had any questions or concerns while settling in at Pace. “My approach to working with first-year students was definitely to provide a comfortable environment. I always told them: ‘This is your journey. I am just here to help you along the way.’”

Taking what she learned at that position, Holguin joined CCAR—and discovered her passion for volunteering. “I was [part] of something bigger than myself; I was the drop of water that was making waves,” she enthused. “Whether it was removing invasive species, getting students registered to vote, or repairing/rebuilding homes that were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, it [made] me realize that small actions make a big change.”

As active as she is on campus, Holguin still carves out time in her busy schedule to pull an Iron Chef. She loves cooking! “About a year and a half ago, I decided to make a drastic change in what I ate and cut out all meat and dairy products. I knew nothing about being vegan at the time.” While Holguin found the vegan selection in the cafeteria to be helpful, she said learning how to cook vegan meals was a necessity. “I really enjoy it [now], and my friends ask me to pack them lunch sometimes.”

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