Chatila Joins the Records Team

Photo of Chatila

Mariam Chatila was hired in March as a records technician in the Office of the Registrar. Her work focuses on rushing transcript requests and maintaining student records. She verifies each transcript before it is sealed and mailed, updates students’ records, handles email and phone requests, and helps resolve issues that arise.

Chatila obtained her bachelor’s degree in math education for intermediate and secondary with a minor in psychology at Lebanese American University (LAU) in Lebanon in 2003. She taught mathematics for four years in Lebanon and two years in the United Arab Emirates where her classes consisted of 30-35 students in grades fifth through eleventh. She loved teaching the students, even with the different levels of learning going on. But since she had her own kids at home, she didn’t like to put in a lot of hours outside of the school day.  She decided to stay in the educational field and help students in a different way through her work at a college or university.

Chatila made the decision to come to California in 2009. When asked what brought her to Chico, she smiled and said, “I got married and my husband lives in Chico.”  

Photo of Chatila and husbandHer husband, Balil Ghalayini, works for EXL Healthcare in Chico. The couple have been married for six years and have two daughters. Raneem is 5 years old, and Aya is now 1 year old. Chatila is proud that both girls are learning to speak both English and Arabic. The family recently visited family in Lebanon and Raneem’s Arabic improved greatly from being immersed in the language for five weeks.

When Chatila originally arrived in Chico, she went to work at Butte College as a temporary employee. She worked in the International Student Services and the Culture and Community Center offices, which allowed her to provide front-line assistance to students related to admission, orientation, and registration processes. She continued looking for a permanent position, and the timing was right when she applied for the records technician position in the Office of the Registrar at California State University, Chico.

Future educational plans include getting a master’s degree in administration and leadership. For now, Chatila shares her teaching experience with her daughter’s kindergarten class. She has developed a “holidays around the world” presentation with other parents for the kids and will be teaching the class Arabic numbers and letters.

Photo of Chatila kidsShe has also started sharing family traditions with her neighbors. For Ramadan, her family decorated jars of dried fruits and nuts, which are family favorites. Chatila and her girls personally delivered jars of the goodies to neighbors who responded with gifts of their own to the family. Chatila also enjoys cooking and indicated she is willing to give lessons to those who are interested.

Chatila’s family enjoys the farmers markets on Thursday and Saturday mornings. They have started traveling around the state and make a point of attending Sacramento area events, such as the Pomegranate Festival in Madera, California. They also enjoy making regular trips to San Jose on Islamic holidays to visit her uncle.

Be sure to drop in and welcome Chatila to Chico State and find out when she is offering a cooking class. It likely will fill up quickly.