By Samantha Georgson
“There are so many different types of leaders,” says Masaya Xiong, student and career adviser at Madison College. “Sometimes it’s great to be in the spotlight, but I feel most empowered working from behind the curtain.”
As an adviser, Xiong’s primary role is working with students who are in designated non-traditional occupation programs. “Everything I do, I do for the success of my students,” she says. Xiong focuses on getting her students connected with the community by introducing them to potential employers and other networking opportunities. “I want to make sure my students have some support there, so they have the confidence to navigate their career path or academic journey, whatever it might be.”
This year, Xiong is particularly excited to take that same momentum and put it toward creating an affinity group, or employee resource group, for women of color at Madison College. “We want to create an inclusive space where we can thrive and really grow, personally and professionally,” says Xiong.
“Masaya makes everyone feel at home,” says Lucia Nuñez, one of Xiong’s colleagues. Nuñez is also an adviser at Madison College, and she is one of the sponsors of this employee resource group. “She is dedicated to making sure that everyone feels welcome, supported and engaged, whether it be our students or our staff.”
Xiong is incredibly humble in her work. “I get my satisfaction from knowing that I have done all that I can to really support my students,” she says. “I truly love what I do, and I love the students that I’m with.”