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Samaryia Magee has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for July 2022. She has worked as a program/student advisor for the UIS Diversity Center since 2018.

Magee’s nominator calls her a “passionate advocate and mentor for students at UIS.” Magee coordinates a variety of programs, including those that specifically support first-generation college students.

“In the time I have been privileged to work with Samaryia, I have continually been impressed by her dedication, creativity and tenacity to bring programs and events to life,” said her nominator. “Magee is a dynamic leader in helping to coordinate cultural history month programming and in coordinating the Necessary Steps Mentoring Program and living-learning community.”

Amid the myriad of demands on her time, she is also a leader in communication, marketing and event coordination for the UIS Coalition Builders campus affiliate team of National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI).

Magee’s supervisor, Justin Rose, echoes the praise of her nominator, calling her “an employee who has demonstrated collegiality not only within her department, but to the division of student affairs, and the wider campus community.”

“I have witnessed Samaryia go the extra mile with her work by staying late evenings to engage in educationally-purposeful programming and coming in on the weekends to support students who may need her to support them in some way,” Rose said. “She is a true champion when it comes to being ‘student first.’”

Rose said Magee stays current on the literature about first-generation college students to be able to deliver best practices that will enhance and support their college experience.

“Her knack for understanding the individual needs the students have allows her to support them in unique ways,” Rose said. “It is never a question as to if Samaryia will be there to listen to a student, host a programmatic event that will engage the community, or even provide advice that instills hope and empowerment in their journey. She continuously proves that her heart is in the work.”

Rose adds that Magee’s level of professionalism “sets the tone” for others, making them feel welcome and open to engagement.

“Samaryia is an individual who comes through the door and greets everyone in the space (from professional staff to student employees, and even students who are just there using the services),” Rose said. “Her bubbly sense of humor keeps difficult moments light-hearted, allowing us to find strength to get through challenging situations that face us in our work.”