Many people describe Jennifer Matisi ’98 as a low-profile, large-footprint kind of woman. As the administrative executive coordinator for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, she works closely with the dean, Kenneth A. Gould, managing a complex range of demands with sometimes scarce resources. Her workload includes everything from planning conferences and events to handling payments and paperwork.

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in accounting and working on a trading desk at a securities firm and then as a stay-at-home mom for about 10 years, Matisi came to Brooklyn College in 2015. She started as a college assistant who helped with the logistics of launching the CUNY–Haitian Studies Institute and became Gould’s assistant after about a year.

“She treats everyone with respect and good humor, and she’s a creative problem solver when coordinating with other offices,” says Gould. “Jennifer is a terrific team player and has served a critical role in keeping the HSS staff and faculty connected to the HSS Dean’s Office throughout the pandemic.”

BC: What brought you back to Brooklyn College after having a career and then a family?

JM: I live in Queens now, but I felt comfortable with this campus. It felt like coming home. I love it here. I love the position I’m in, I love the office, and I love the campus. I enjoy talking to all of the faculty, going to the events, and hearing the speakers. I’m learning new things all the time.

Anytime anybody asks about Brooklyn College, I tell them it’s an oasis in the middle of this urban area. I have a daughter who’s looking at colleges and I tell her to look for something that makes her feel like she belongs. That’s what I found here.

BC: If you ask anyone about Jennifer Matisi, the first thing you will hear is “she is the nicest person.”

JM: Just being kind to people gets you so much in return. That’s how I am with everything: Kill them with kindness. If a student’s call comes to me, I always keep in the back of my mind that I remember what it’s like to be a student and to get a little frustrated. I want to help in the best way possible, especially students. If I hear, “You’re the fourth office I’ve been transferred to,” I tell them, “OK, then this will be the last.”

BC: What do you like to do outside of work?

JM: I like to craft. I like to take road trips with my family in the summer along the East Coast. I like to plan parties. I’m putting one together for my mom’s 75th birthday; we’re doing a Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme. I also love going to Broadway shows and concerts. And don’t tell anyone, but I like to watch corny Christmas movies.