We Are UNCW Telling our story, one Seahawk at a time.

Daniella Murray ’15M, Executive Assistant to the Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

April 24, 2018

Utilizing UNCW’s staff tuition waiver, Daniella Murray ’15M earned her M.Ed. in higher education one class at a time. The advanced degree helped fulfill her passion for working with college students.

Murray’s job as executive assistant to College of Arts and Sciences Dean Aswani Volety includes advising the Dean’s Student Leadership Council, supervising student workers in the office and serving as outreach coordinator for Seahawk Success, an initiative to encourage former students to return to UNCW to finish their degree.

“My experience, energy and character really connect me to the education environment,” she said. “I feel fortunate that Dean Volety has opened up this position to give me opportunities to work directly with students.”

Murray, who has been a full-time employee for more than 10 years, helps students in another important way: She contributes to UNCW financially, splitting her donations among the areas where she’s worked at UNCW – CAS, the Office of the Registrar and the Department of Sociology and Criminology. As a UNCW alumna and employee, she is motivated to support the university’s academic mission.

“Ever since I started here, I just felt like it was my small way of contributing,” she said. “I give back to the places where I’ve worked because I have gained and grown so much from those experiences.”

A first-generation college student when she enrolled at East Carolina University as an undergraduate sociology major, Murray worked her way through school. “From the time I stepped on campus at ECU, I was looking for work,” she said, listing jobs she had in the library, as a bus driver and as a tour guide.

Murray’s upbringing involved frequent moves because her father was in the Navy. She spent part of her childhood in Scotland and Italy before moving to Elizabeth City when her father was assigned to Norfolk Naval Station.

“It made me a very adaptable person,” Murray said, a characteristic that has helped her transition to positions with different missions and responsibilities, including her current job, which requires a great amount of flexibility.

When she’s not on campus, Murray can often be found browsing through the inventory of Wilmington’s plentiful thrift and consignment shops.

“I love the thrill of the hunt! I find that strolling through these places is very calming, my own version of retail therapy,” she said. “I actually find and sell – and sometimes create, when I am feeling extra crafty – what I call ‘treasures’ at a local retailer here.”

-- Tricia Vance