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President’s 2016 Classified Rookie of the Year

Mayara Cueto-Diaz of the Boyd School of Law arrived at UNLV as a student, but liked the university atmosphere so much she decided to find a full-time campus job after graduation.

People  |  Jun 29, 2016  |  By Diane Russell
Mayara Cueto-Diaz

Mayara Cueto-Diaz is the President’s Classified Rookie of the Year. (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services)

Editor's Note: 

This is the first in a series of stories about the 2016 winners of the President's Classified Employee of the Year awards.

While Mayara Cueto-Diaz qualified in the Rookie of the Year category, having only been a full-time UNLV employee since 2014, she in fact has been at UNLV since enrolling as a freshman. One degree not being enough, the administrative assistant III plans on staying and pursuing a graduate degree.

How you came to be at UNLV

I enrolled in August 2010 and began working toward a degree. I was a student worker at the Lincy Institute and Brookings Mountain West all four years. When I received my bachelor of arts degree in sociology in 2014, I knew I wanted to stay here. I love working on campus. After graduating, I got a part-time job in the geoscience department, but needed something full-time and was able to get the job at the law school. Someday I plan to get a master’s degree in either business administration or public administration, using my employee benefits.

Describe your job duties

I provide support to about 14 full-time faculty members at the law school. I help with correspondence, payment vouchers, editing publications, and arranging travel, lodging, and food for guests who come to campus as part of the faculty enrichment program. This year, I also helped coordinate a health law conference that was hosted by the law school and brought about 80 people to campus from around the world.

Your favorite part of the job

Helping others do their jobs well. That’s the best part, if I can do my job well and ensure they are successful.

Best piece of advice you received at UNLV

My supervisor, Annette Mann, taught me about “closing the loop” and how important that is. That means communicating clearly and getting each assignment done quickly and efficiently so people are not waiting on you. I make sure to follow up when working on an assignment so they know what is going on and don’t have to wonder. It is efficient and it saves time.

Advice you would give a new employee

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Even if you have (similar) work experience, every job is a little different. Listen to what people who have more experience in your area tell you.

I couldn’t make it through the day without

Help from my coworkers, especially at the beginning and end of a semester. It is good to know that I have people around me who can help me when needed. For instance, recently I was helping a professor with her grades, which had to be submitted by the end of the day. Another professor needed a letter to go out immediately, so I asked my supervisor for help and she was glad to pitch in.

Tell us about your first job

It was at Little Caesars. I was the cashier. I learned a lot about customer service and the importance of adaptability and patience. Every customer is different, so it's important to adapt to their needs and provide excellent service every time.

Recommend a favorite book or movie

The Shawshank Redemption. That movie does an excellent job at portraying the idea of hope and the importance of not giving up even in the worst conditions — of fighting for your dreams even when they may seem unattainable.

A perfect vacation would be

A tropical vacation — going to the beach and watching the sunset is one of my favorite things.

What Those Nominating Her Had to Say

Mary LaFrance, professor at the Boyd School of Law:

"In my 27 years of law school teaching, Mayara already is one of the very best support persons I have ever had. She excels in every aspect of her work. She is intelligent, conscientious, and extremely well organized. She accurately anticipates my needs and offers the assistance I need even before I get around to it.

"Even when I am forgetful or distracted (which is often), Mayara reminds me of tasks that need to be done (such as book orders), and decisions I need to make (such as attendance records and seating charts), and does so in plenty of time for me to meet my deadlines."

Max Gakh, professor in the School of Community Health Sciences:

"As a faculty member with a home across campus but who works very closely with Mayara and faculty at the UNLV Boyd School of Law through the UNLV Health Law Program, I have witnessed time and again Mayara's dedication to UNLV, her positive, can-do attitude, and her thoughtful and detail-oriented job performance.

Mayara is committed to making UNLV a great place. She has been integral in helping launch the Health Law Program, providing faculty with support and going above and beyond in the process. She has come to work in the early morning hours to help prepare for 8 a.m. meetings with key stakeholders. She has stayed late into the evening hours and come to campus on weekends to ensure that our conferences and events run smoothly and seamlessly. And even when Mayara is here late and early and on weekends, she is always helpful, courteous, and collegiate — always with a smile on her face."

Additional Nominees for the Award:

  • Marie Arroyo, Department of Management, Entrepreneurship, and Technology
  • Valearia Clark, School of Community Health Sciences
  • Sharon Goins, School of Allied Health Sciences
  • Susan Hall, Lee Business School Advising Center
  • Cynthia Irwin, Department of Geoscience
  • Christopher Lane, Landscape, Grounds & Arboretum
  • William Mattos, Student Recreation and Wellness Center
  • Brianna Silverio, Department of English
  • Danielle Wilson, School of Nursing