For UNM Staff Council President Crystal Davis, working at UNM isn’t just another job. She doesn’t see the UNM community as just coworkers. A second-generation UNM employee, Davis spent many years visiting UNM with her mother and aunt before she ever thought about working at the university. She saw the university grow and change before her eyes, and became friends with many on the university’s staff.
While she knows it sounds cliché, she sees her fellow staffers as family.
“As staff members, I feel like we really look out for one another. We look out for the community. If you go to Staff Council meetings, it’s not just about what we’re doing for ourselves. It’s about what we’re doing for the university and the community. As a staff member we touch the lives of students, we touch the lives of faculty and retirees, and we have a lot of work that we do in the community that you can really be proud of.
“I love working at the university, I love learning about all of the new and interesting things that are going on, and it’s good to give back. UNM has given me so much. I’ve learned so much from so many different people here on campus. They are not just coworkers anymore. I know it sounds cheesy, but they’re like family to me. It’s important for me to do something to give back.”
Davis had the opportunity to give back to UNM when she stepped up to take over as UNM Staff Council President-Elect last year. In what turned into a crash course on leadership, Davis had five months to prepare to lead UNM’s Staff Council and represent the university’s 5,200 staff members.
“I always think of my dad who always told us, ‘lead, follow, or get out of the way.’ So it was a good opportunity for me. I’ve been on main campus, north campus. I’ve been off campus. I think I have enough perspective that I could lend something positive to this role.
“When you work in a campus environment you get to see the whole spectrum of career opportunities. You get exposed to different learning environments and different career options that you may not necessarily see when you are 18, fresh out of high school and wondering ‘Is something that I want to do for the rest of my life?”