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Staff Snapshot: Mayté Frías, staff advisor designate to the Regents

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Mayté Frías
Mayté Frías on campus at UC Davis

“I’m not trying to be cheesy and say everyone I work with is great, but the people I work with are great,” says Mayté Frías, staff advisor designate to the Regents. “I’m surrounded by people who are not only experts on their subjects but also are advocates for our students. They deserve to have an advocate themselves.”

Mayté’s transition to a staff role was an unexpected but natural shift. “I came to UC Davis from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico as a graduate student in 2009, and then returned as a postdoctoral scholar. Joining the Center for Student Affairs Assessment as a senior research associate allowed me to continue the research I love and see the direct impact of my work. Every day, I see the students that my work is designed to help, whether I’m walking around campus or getting coffee.”

Mayté’s commitment to serving the staff community also developed quickly and naturally. “One of my colleagues told me about the UC Davis Latinx Staff and Faculty Association [LSFA], and I happily accepted her offer to sign me up on the spot. Shortly after I joined the board, the co-chair had to step down and I volunteered to take over. Later I advanced to chair. I had been looking for a way to serve my community, and this was the perfect opportunity.”

Equity is one of Mayté’s core values and a critical factor in her decision to apply for the role of staff advisor. “When I did outreach for LSFA, I met many people who don’t use email in their daily work and don’t have the chance to step away to attend events during the day. Staff in these roles may not know that organizations like LSFA exist — so we’re not getting their feedback. As staff advisor, I’m committed to looking for ways to ensure that staff in all types of positions across UC are heard and represented.” 

“I feel fortunate to make my living working for an organization that not only aligns with my values but that continuously educates me and helps me develop my understanding of those values. I can’t wait to see what I’m able to learn and contribute during my term as staff advisor to the Regents.”

Meet Mayté

Name: Mayté Frías

Title: Senior Research Associate

Department/Unit: Student Affairs Assessment, Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs

Location: UC Davis

When did you start working for UC? I joined UC as a staff member in 2015, after spending time at UC Davis as a graduate student and postdoctoral scholar

Describe what you do at UC in five words or less: Advance equity through student data

Why do you love working for UC? Equity

What’s something people don’t know about you? How much I care.

Who’s your dream dinner guest (living or dead) and why? Regent José Hernández! I’ve been fascinated by Regent Hernández’s story since I first learned about him — an immigrant from Michoacan, a neighboring state, to my tiny home state of Colima, who became a U.S. astronaut. Regent Hernández’s persistence and unbreakable spirit have always been incredibly inspiring to me. He was told “no” so many times, and for every “no” he figured out what he needed to do, and he did it.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? Step out of your comfort zone.

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