New Admission Director Has Background Similar to Many of Our Students
Northern Essex Community College’s new Director of Recruitment and Admission Monzerrath (Monze) Stark-Magaña traveled all the way from Idaho for the opportunity to work at Northern Essex.
Stark-Magaña spent most of her life in rural Idaho, more recently Moscow, where she was associate director of multicultural recruitment for the University of Idaho.
In order to succeed in her work, she needed to connect with multicultural students and families and individuals with diverse backgrounds, which was often difficult to do in northern Idaho.
“There are parts of Idaho where there’s a high level of diversity — where people of all walks of life come together. I just wanted to be more immersed in it.”
Soon after earning her master’s in adult, organization learning and leadership last December from the University of Idaho, she saw the posting for the open position at Northern Essex.
“What attracted me most was the opportunity to work for a Hispanic-Serving Institution,” says Stark-Magaña. “It’s been beautiful seeing individuals with my same background and color.”
As the daughter of migrant workers who immigrated from Guanajuato, Mexico to the United States and a first generation college student, Stark-Magaña takes great pride in helping others who are like her achieve their educational dreams. Her approach is to communicate frequently with prospective students, creating personal relationships that support them through the admission process and make them feel welcome.
“We can’t be afraid of reaching out to students,” she says. “We want them to feel like they are wanted.”
To foster this, Stark-Magaña promotes a personal touch, frequently sharing stories about her own life with her husband and seven-year-old son on social media including Instagram and, more recently, TikTok, as well as content to help prospective students navigate the admission process.
She is also focused on building relationships with community organizations, such as local Boys & Girls Clubs and Top Notch Scholars, a youth leadership organization.
In her new position, Stark-Magaña oversees a staff of three recruiters and is responsible for recruiting students and guiding them through the admission process.
In addition to her master’s, Stark-Magaña has a bachelor’s in sociology with an emphasis in criminology, also from the University of Idaho. While in Idaho, she received two community leadership awards—the Rosa Parks Human Rights Achievement Award from the Latah County Human Rights Task Force in January 2020 and the Mujer del Año by Mujeres Unidas de Idaho in March of 2020.
Because of her own experiences, Stark-Magaña understands the struggles that students undergo in pursuit of a degree. “Often access to education is genuinely impacted by cultural beliefs, financial stability and literacy, familial support, and citizenship status,” she says. “I’ve gone through this and want to help walk others through the process step-by-step.”