It’s difficult to think of a more familiar presence on the Wentworth campus than Claudio Santiago. The 32-year Institute veteran lends his expertise to all facets of event planning—from early brainstorming to day-of troubleshooting— all with good humor and his trademark smile. In 2017, Claudio was honored with the Wentworth Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
- What is your favorite campus event? Why?
I enjoy being a part of so many events on campus, but orientation week and the Commencement ceremonies are dearest to me. Being a part of the beginning stages of a student’s academic career, and later watching them toss their caps and tassels into the air in celebration is an awesome experience. I’m like a proud papa. Those events are the bookends for everything else.
- What is the most high-pressure event you’ve been a part of at Wentworth?
I try not to put any more pressure on myself than necessary when handling events, which especially helps ease the tension around my staff as we plan and perform the setups. Multiple events in the same day can be challenging, but that’s when you must trust in your planning process and believe in your team.
- How did you get your start at Wentworth? What was your first position?
My sister worked at Roxbury Community College—when it was housed across the street—and she told me about an open position in the Communication Center at Wentworth. I was coming from sales and I said I would apply. I planned to stay for a year. It’s now been 32 years! Wentworth has really become my home away from home—an extended familia.
- What is your favorite spot on campus?
Wentworth Hall. It’s where it all started. Seeing all the additions to this one building that makes up the landscape of this great campus- it’s incredible.
- What’s your number-one piece of advice for someone planning a big event?
Plan early! Once the date and time have been selected for an event, schedule a meeting with the key people you need to work with. This will form the team who can assist in making an event a successful one.
— Greg Abazorius