Nicole Matos

professor and Writer in Chicago, Illinois

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As a former community college student, and throughout my more than 15-year teaching career and position as a national voice on community college teaching, learning, administration, and innovation, I have centered my life on what I consider to be the slightly-secret jewel of the American higher education system. I now offer my services as a career coach for community college job seekers at

As both a faculty member and an Associate Dean, I have served on many search committees for full-time faculty positions and have also been a hiring manager in charge of part-time hires. I have published numerous articles about job-seeking and other aspects of community college education policy in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, Pedagogy Unbound, and Medium's The Synapse. I am a down-to-earth, frank but approachable person who will offer you candid feedback and pragmatic, actionable suggestions for immediate career success.

In addition to my career coaching work, I am a writer, retired roller derby skater, and special needs mom. My work has appeared in Salon, XOJane, American Short Fiction, The Classical, The Rumpus, The Atticus Review, The Hairpin, Quiddity, Chicago Literati, Hip Mama, Full Grown People, Brain Mother, and many others.

I have published three chapbooks of poetry: Oxidane (2014: Blazevox Books), The Astronaut's Apprentice (2015: Dancing Girl Press), and Skate/Glove (2016: Finishing Line Press).

My first full-length book of poetry, The Unbroken Child, began as a short story and was selected by Junot Diaz as a runner-up for The Best American Short Stories of 2016. It also was a Finalist for the Rose Metal Press 2015 Poetry Open, a Semi-Finalist for the 2015 Mary Ballard Poetry Prize, and a Glimmertrain 2015 Fiction Open Honorable Mention. It will be released as a full-length manuscript by Negative Capability Press in 2017.

  • Work
    • College of DuPage
  • Education
    • Ph.D. University of Massachusetts Amherst