Oct. 22, 2021


Celebrating Administrative Professional Women on Campus

In honor of Administrative Professional Day April 21st, we would like to highlight a few of the Administrative Assistants that have been on campus for over 10 years. Learn a little more about them, their views on appreciation, and advice for other administrative staff.



Cassandra Davidson-Bryant, Administrative Assistant II

I moved here from Brooklyn New York in 2005, I started my career at UNLV that same year. My first job was as a custodian until 2014 when I was offered a position at the Academic Success Center as an Administrative Assistant, I still hold that position where I work with the most amazing co-workers who love helping the students here at UNLV. In 2017 I received my Associate of Applied Science in Culinary and Event Planning. I am now pursuing my BA in Urban Affairs.

 I believe that giving appreciation holds a much greater feeling than receiving. I enjoy seeing the expression on people's faces when I give without being asked.

 My advice to other Administrative Professionals is to always be a team player in your department, learn as much as you can from your co-worker’s and offer to show them what they need to know to become successful in their position.



Sonja Longoria, Administrative Assistant IV

I am an Administrative Assistant IV in the department of Accounting at the Lee Business School. My UNLV career started when I was a work-study student at the community college. I was asked to run an errand to UNLV to pick up a check. While I was there, I decided to fill out a job application. As a result, I was fortunate to be offered a job at the Department of Accounting. The hard part was making a choice between my degree and my job. As a single parent, I chose the job. My career at UNLV started as a clerical trainee 27 years ago.

I believe that in all aspects of our careers it is important to give and receive appreciation. Appreciation can have a powerful impact on performance and wellbeing in our careers. Showing appreciation at work can spark and sustain collaboration, engagement, and productivity. As others recognize the value of our hard work, we are willing to contribute more of our time. However, the important thing to remember about appreciation is that it is reciprocal: “it is good both for the person who receives it and for the person who expresses it” (Bolino & Grant, 2016). For this reason, a little appreciation goes a long way, reaping benefits in your performance, commitment, and happiness both for yourself and for your team.

My advice to other Administrative Professionals is to tell them to be involved. Learn all that you can learn. Think outside the box. Contributing to my success has been that I am able to think outside the scope of my job. Like LEE, work as a team and share all that you have learned with the other team members. Working as a cohesive team has been the key to our success.



Patricia Butler, Administrative Assistant III

I am an Administrative Assistant lll in the department of Finance at Lee Business School. I started work in the office that was known as reprographics on Sept. 10, 2001. The next day, everything changed.   "I remember at first not knowing whether to come to work (after hearing the news about the terrorist attack in New York City). Once I got there, the campus was so quiet. People gathered in the Student Union to watch the news, but out on campus it was just silent.

 Today, I've been on campus 19 and a half years, spending all but all my first year in what now known as the Lee Business School.  I think it is important to give back. It's better to give than receive and receiving appreciation is the moral motive of others.

 My advice to others is to know that happiness is a choice!!



Ann Drury, Administrative Assistant IV

In May I will be working for the State of Nevada 25 years. The first 11 years I worked at the UNR School of Medicine in Las Vegas. In 2007 I transferred to UNLV in the Lee Business School Office of the Dean. My position includes scholarships and events for our college. I love my job and plan on retiring in this position. Prior to working for the state, I had a 20 year medical career.

 Many people excel at their duties, by going above their required duties, by filling in voids and because they do this regularly it may just be taken for granted. Our college has been extremely supportive of recognizing ALL members of the LEE community who shine. It helps to set examples and goals for others that may possess a talent to bring something to the table that wasn't there before and makes others feel good about the decision to offer to help.

 Always try to learn something new. Keep your skills up and be willing to take on new challenges. Also find something you like (I love the scholarship process and events) and always try to perfect it. Don't forget whatever you do - your name is on it and it is a reflection of you.



Gerrie Cowden, Administrative Assistant II

I arrived in Las Vegas in November 2012, coming from the Bay Area. I started working for UNLV in December 2012 as a temp and became permanently employed around March 2013. I started as an AA1 and within three months was an AA2. I worked for the Boyd School of Law as a receptionist for about a year. This was my first entry into the academic world. After working at the Boyd School of Law I wanted something different and applied for the AA2 position at the Honors College and was accepted and I have been there for the last six years.

My hobbies include cooking, reading, hiking, traveling, sewing, and baking. If I was in the Bay Area, I would say taking long walks on the beach just before sunset. At one time I used to be an avid runner entering 5K’s, 10K’s, ½ marathons and I was able to run one full marathon. After that one marathon, I swore not to run another one. I can no longer run anymore, so I do a lot of walking. Not as much as I want to because I get bored with walking. I do it anyway because it is good exercise. I am organically from Anniston, Alabama, but left there to join the Army and saw the world which led to me visiting and staying in so many cities/states and countries until finally settling here in Las Vegas.

 Giving appreciation is just as important as receiving appreciation. It makes the person on the receiving end happy for the recognition. It also makes for a more relaxing working environment. But when you receive appreciation, always make sure everyone involved in whatever process it took you to complete a project, just make sure they received appreciation too. It also helps with the confidence you have for yourself and receiving appreciation reinforces your confidence. It allows you to be more creative. For me, I like giving appreciation to others; the same with compliments. But at the same time, I feel guilty about accepting appreciation because I feel I haven’t done anything to receive it.

 Be true to yourself. Be honest in all your dealings with co-workers. Give appreciation when needed. At times, we tend to be too competitive with each which can sometimes lead to resentment. Whenever you encounter someone like that, compliment them on the good work they do. Ask them if they can teach you some of the things they do. Always create an atmosphere of learning and teamwork. As an administrative professional, always look to improve upon yourself and your skills, because it will allow you to go further in your career.