She Wears Many Hats: Cody Mathis


Have you ever wondered why some of your classmates were never in class on exam day?

Well, besides the ones who just don’t show up because they don’t want to take it, they are most likely taking their exam in the Testing Center.  If students don’t know what and where that is, it’s in the back of the book stacks in the library. It’s somewhere students go to take their test for either accessibility needs and/or makeup a test they missed, etc.

Cody Mathis, who has only worked at Siena Heights for about 18 months, runs the show.

Even though she’s only been here for a little while, Mathis said she did a “short contract ASL Interpreting job in Adrian in 2015,” which gave her many connections to the University.

To help her be even more credible for the job, she said she also did “consulting with the previous Accessibility Coordinator, and she emailed me when she left that there was a position open.”

When asked about her position, she said, “Which one? I wear several hats here at Siena.”

One of them is ADA coordinator/Accessibility coordinator, where she works with many people to determine and approve the accessibility for all 10 of the school’s campuses (online included), with Resident Life and Title IX-Pregnancy as well.

She’s also the Student Support Services learning specialist/academic advisor, who helps the students in the program to provide financial, social, academic and life skills advice.

She’s also an academic advisor for freshmen and sophomores. However, she said one of the most important hats she wears is running the Testing Center, and overseeing the proctors (students).

First, Mathis said if any students believe they need to take exams in the testing center, or need anything else, Mathis suggests they go talk to her. Students can do that by emailing her at [email protected] She said there are some documents that students need to fill out, but don’t let that stop them from stopping by her office, as this “isn’t cookie-cutter. This is for you and what you need.”

She also has snacks if you’re hungry.

When Mathis first got to Siena Heights, she said there wasn’t really a designated place for students to take exams like there is now. They were being taken in nearby rooms, halls, lounges, etc. She said this was sort of a problem that really needed to be fixed, as those student accommodations that students were promised to get weren’t being met.

The back of the library behind the book stacks (the current Testing Center) is a big step, but she said her hope is that “within another year there will be an even more official space that Testing Center will call home, that will allow for even greater access, and also serve students beyond only those through Office of Accessibility.”

There are challenges and rewards to her job, she said.  The biggest challenge that she faces is miscommunication, especially when people don’t schedule an exam and they come saying they do have one, or when professors don’t schedule them or pick them up. Sometimes it’s even with the student proctors.

When she does have challenges, she said she tries to work through them as quick and painless as possible.

Speaking of student proctors, they were another thing that the center didn’t have before Mathis arrived.  Now that she has access to them, she said they, “have been a God-send!” But she loves that, “I find each one bringing their own uniqueness to the table, but I can trust them to get their tasks done.  All have a great set of skills that include self-direction, motivation, strong work ethic, integrity, attention to detail, and much more.”

The main reward she said she gets when juggling all these hats is that she gets to help make students feel more comfortable, and have the tools for success for the future.