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Staff Spotlight: Valentina Allen

Panhandle State Communications on 06/30/2021

An Arrey, New Mexico native, Valentina Allen, came to Panhandle State because of the familiar environment of home. She took the new position as Director of the Hispanic Student Center, also known as El Centro.

Allen has pursued several degrees throughout her career, but most recently graduated with honors from Eastern Illinois University with a Master’s in Cybersecurity. She has been able to utilize her skill sets to build El Centro into a place for all students to come to on campus.

Panhandle State has been a great fit for her family and knowing the importance of family and life balance. Her wife, Julie, accepted the Head Volleyball Coach position which brought them to Goodwell. Allen said, “Julie and I both believe that everyone should do what they love and work with people they enjoy being around. That was instantly obvious here at OPSU. Everyone accepted us with open arms and has been so supportive in every way. Growing up in the southwest, I’m familiar with the ‘everyone is family’ mentality, but OPSU just takes the trophy. “

Allen has many favorite things about the university, but the administration’s engagement is at the top of the list. She said, “. I’ve never worked anywhere that you can be walking down the sidewalk and the CEO/President comes walking up to you and wants to talk about Jeeps. I’ve seen the Dean of Students offloading donated groceries from her car to ensure that our food pantry remains filled for students in need. Our administrators are at every single event on campus. You don’t see that anywhere else.”

If you can’t find her busy on-campus teaching and advising groups, you’ll find her off-roading in her Jeep with her wife and pets. One of the unique facts about her would be that she had a long career in the criminal justice field where she was a Special Agent and certified Sharp Shooter.