Alumnae Spotlight: Samira Payne
It takes a dedicated alumna to continue living our pillars post-graduation. No longer participating in chapter meetings, socials, events, etc., it can be easy to let the values we hold dear slip by the wayside and take a less prominent role in our lives. We’d like to shine a spotlight on Samira Payne, an alumna of the Eta Chapter at Marquette University, for her constant dedication to one of our more important pillars: the advancement of women. We went to one of the people who knows her best to learn all about her commitment to this pillar.
“Samira Payne is the most intelligent, innovative, and inspirational person I know. Nothing can truly capture the immense appreciation I have for her vision, creativity, and commitment to Girls On the Run Michiana. When we were growing up in the inner-city, most working poor, publicly educated, poor girls saw their futures in the women depicted in the Diego Rivera murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts in uniform, working the assembly lines. However, when programs like Girls On the Run Michiana exposes impoverished girls to the benefits of running, they can finally find the jogging path in which they need to change their stars. In person, I have observed her abilities both to solve problems and adapt to shifting priorities. While studying to obtain her second master’s degree in nonprofit administration at the University of Notre Dame (ND) and working as an Assistant Director of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement at Saint Mary’s College (a women’s college), she helped plan and led the 6th annual Girls On the Run Michiana 5K.”
In addition to ensuring a brighter future for young women and advancing in her academic field, Samira has chosen to devote herself to providing students with opportunities to better their academic experience and counsel them down the right path.
“Today, she has currently been rewarded with a learning specialist and academic counselor position at the University of Notre Dame. Samira is 100% sure that her life calling was to be a high school/ college academic counselor because she really likes school… like way more than normal. Her current position is really fitting because I must also note that Samira Payne has been a Kaplan tutor for last several years and continues to do exceptional work helping student find their way to college.”
It is evident that Samira has continued to live by the pillars of Delta Xi Phi as a driving force in her life.
“Her choice to pursue the Master of Nonprofit Administration program at ND was motivated by a desire to better serve youth, families, and the greater Community. Her undergraduate work in Social Welfare and Justice and graduate work in Education gave her the knowledge and skills needed to provide quality programming to youth and families. As she began working as a program coordination, she recognized a need to build business and administrative skills to better serve my community. In 2015, she joined the staff of Girls on the Run Michiana as the 5k Director. Girls on the Run is an organization that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident through physical activity. Her particular interest in working with Girls on the Run extends from her experience as a Delta Xi Phi woman. Inspiring women and girls to live their best lives and share their unique and valuable talents with the world is extraordinarily powerful. For Samira it has been particularly important to extend that experience to girls from underrepresented backgrounds. In her role as Assistant Director of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement at Saint Mary’s College, Samira worked specifically with students to identify opportunities to engage in community service and cultural events, learn more about the community, and become an advocate for those in need.”
Samira shows us that dedication to the pillars of Delta Xi Phi does not end at graduation but rather becomes ingrained in who we are and how we lead our lives. And with her as our example, we can all take pride in carrying our pillars with us everywhere we go.