President Neal Smatresk presenting award to Melissa McGuire

March 16, 2021


When the federal CARES Act funding came through to help students during the COVID pandemic, Dr. Melissa McGuire, associate vice president for Student Affairs, was there to help them in any way possible.


The federal guidelines were vague so McGuire worked well beyond normal hours, including evenings and weekends, to respond to student questions and process awards.

For that hard work and dedication, she was named UNT's Brand Ambassador for March. The UNT Brand Ambassador of the Month Award is given to faculty and staff who demonstrate many of the attributes of the UNT brand promise — being a caring and creative community that empowers our students to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

“Melissa continuously goes above and beyond to care for our students,” Dr. Elizabeth With, vice president for Student Affairs, says. “Her tireless work on their behalf is an inspiration to all of her colleagues.”

McGuire, who came to UNT in 2005, was surprised and grateful to receive the award Monday morning.

“I'm speechless,” she says. “I love everything that I have the opportunity to do at UNT — truly, like serving the students, serving the campus. It is truly a great place to be. I'm kind of shaking. I'm so excited.”

At the award presentation, President Neal Smatresk told her, “It's so well-deserved. Everyone loves working with you.”

In the nomination letter, Dr. Joey Saxon, associate vice president for Student Financial Services, describes McGuire as someone who “consistently demonstrates the caring and creative attributes that empower all of our students to thrive.”

“I work with Melissa on a regular basis to assist students with difficult financial situations,” he says. “She is compassionate with each student and their individual situation. Her communication with them is always positive and supportive. Melissa often works ‘behind the scenes' to seek solutions for students facing financial difficulties and helps keep them enrolled and pursuing their degree. She is dedicated to student success and works with colleagues across the university for student success.”