Title: Administrative Assistant III, Housing and Residential Life
Years at UNLV: 15
Family: Super Auntie: 3 young kings (nephews) and 1 young queen (niece)
What is your favorite thing about working at UNLV?
My favorite thing about working at UNLV are the folxs I work with. I do work with very daring, diverse, and different types of individuals on a daily basis. I love the culture and the environment of this campus; it is very open and inviting. We are a very diverse group here at UNLV. This is what makes my job exciting. The UNLV environment allows for great conversation, a discussion and a debate all in the same day. Student, staff and faculty; we all have our views and opinions. It is fascinating to see and hear the opinions and views of others. I learn something new every day just from a simple conversation. The fact that we are different is my favorite thing about working at UNLV
What trait do you most like about yourself?
My personality. I am very easy going and can get along with everyone. I am a team player — not just in my professional life, but also a team player in my personal life. I love helping people.
If you could learn to master one thing, what would it be?
If I could learn to master one thing, it will be not to let my emotions take over. There are some things that I am very passionate about and at times my emotional side gets the best of me.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
My fitness journey, my struggle, the battle of the bulge. There are a handful of folxs that still work here at UNLV from when I was first hired back in 2005; those are the folxs that know the “311-pound Demetria.” Losing weight inspired (me) to become a certified group fitness instructor and a certified personal trainer.
What inspires or empowers you?
Helping others inspires me. Maybe it is the big sister and eldest child in me but that is my niche. Helping others is the one thing that you can do that does not cost a penny. Taking time out to say hello to a person, asking a person how their day is, boosting someone’s morale just from a few simple words can turn the day around. Seeing folxs address their issues and then overcome their issues, gets me teary-eyed. It brings me joy; it puts a smile on my face. It takes a lot for an individual to come out and say they are struggling or they need help. The fact that this person took the time out of the personal day to reach out and ask for help, activates my “big sister” powers. Sometimes folxs just need a person to listen to them or a shoulder to cry (on) without any commentary or just a hug. I am here if you need a hug!
Tell us about a woman who has been a mentor to you.
My grandmother, Luella Bonner. She was a single parent that raised four boys in rural Mississippi during the segregation era. My grandmother was a maid, elementary school teacher, Sunday school teacher, and very active in her community. I can only imagine the challenges that my grandmother experienced during that time — the hate, the discrimination, the uncertainty of your house being set on fire because of the color of your skin. Yes, these things still happen to people of color today; unfortunately, my grandmother did not have the resources nor the support that we have today to combat these matters. Through all of that, my grandmother persevered and still manage to raise four boys in turmoil, be a pillar of her community, and live life to the fullest. She was my mentor; through adversity still live your life to the fullest. That was my grandmother, my teacher, my counselor, my heart.
Any advice for young women starting careers on campus?
Stay strong, stay focused, You will face challenges as you climb the proverbial ladder of success just as would with any job you take. That should not stop you from continuing your journey to success. You may get knocked down a couple of times, which is OK. Get back up, dust yourself off, and stay true to your path. Be the brightest star out there. Shine bright.