Brandman News

What’s on your desk? Niki Villaneuva Santo

October 26, 2015
Niki Santo, campus director at Walnut Creek

Niki Santo, campus director at Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek Campus Director Niki Villaneuva Santo’s desk is a study in contradictions. There’s the fountain pen and ink  (“I still believe in pen and ink,” she says) but there’s also a smart phone. There’s also the undergraduate degree in molecular biology from Harvard University and the master’s in science, religion and ethics from the University of Cambridge, symbolic of both her varied education and the years spent way from California. It was the urge to return to her California roots that took her first to the Modesto campus and then this fall to Walnut Creek.

Back in early high school, Santo never thought she would go to a four-year college. “Education for me has been a transformative process. It takes you from one place to a society of educated men and women,” she says, adding that’s as true for Brandman as it is for Harvard and Cambridge.

Transforming her desk are her “ubiquitous” tea set, an architectural drawing of Cambridge’s famous buildings (bought for $8 at a junk shop in the Bay Area) and a variety of decorations selected over time that have followed her from one office to another.

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