December 16, 2020
PSD’s December spotlight is Joel Matos, Production Specialist & Graphic Designer, PSD Graphic Arts. Joel has been with UChicago for nine years.
Joel was nominated for the “Bridge Builder Award” at the 2020 PSD Staff Awards, recognizing him as a staff member who maintains strong relationships across teams, promoting collaboration and transparency to achieve the best outcome. This individual is someone that others look up to and is consistently reliable and dedicated to their unit.
A member of the PSD community had this to say: "As Graphic Arts’ lead printing press operator and production specialist, Joel is somehow able to meet the incredibly diverse needs of hundreds of faculty and staff members across the Division, balancing print jobs both large and small. He does this while maintaining a calm and caring attitude, finding a way to meet strenuous deadlines.
From years of producing the course books needed for physics and chemistry, delivered on time for classes, to managing the last second requests for handouts and exams, Joel has been an instrumental figure in keeping the Division running behind the scenes."
We interviewed Joel about his interests and experiences below.
What do you enjoy about being a part of the PSD community?
I enjoy all of the familiar faces that I see being a part of the community. More importantly than that, I enjoy being a part of a community of very bright and talented individuals who value science and research. It makes me happy to be in a position that supports those who do research and work in the physical sciences.
Tell us a bit about you.
I was born and raised in the Southside of Chicago to parents who came from Puerto Rico. I'm really into buying vinyl records, salsa music, playing guitar, caring for my plants and my pooch, cooking, horror movies, and drawing/painting.
Who inspires you?
Everyday people who—despite many hardships and struggles—wake up every morning to do their part and get to work because they take pride in what they do and they have love for their families and friends. People (famous or not) who face adversity head on and don't give up and stand up for what they believe in.
What is the most interesting thing that you are working on lately?
During the months leading up to the election, I landed a freelance design gig working for a latino voter outreach organization with the goal to mobilize and register voters in key battleground states. It was interesting and meaningful work for me that I feel made a difference.
What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?
It means there is a space where people of all backgrounds and walks of life can coexist and collaborate and that different perspectives are valued and encouraged. It gives every person the right to participate.
What have you seen lately that made you smile?
Who had the most influence on you growing up?
My parents. My mother taught me to treat every human with kindness and to have empathy. My father taught me responsibility and the importance of working hard to be able to provide for myself and to become self-reliant.
What three words best describe you?
Introverted, creative, warm.