Applied Sciences’ Je’Lisa McGee Wins Staff Member of the Year
For Je’Lisa McGee, coordinator of advising, recruitment and retention in the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Mississippi, the lyrics to Mahalia Jackson’s “If I Can Help Somebody” sum up her lifelong mission in higher education:
“If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a word or song, if I can show somebody that he’s traveling wrong, then my living shall not be in vain.”
McGee was recently honored with the university’s Staff Member of the Year award for EEO Category 3. Since the Staff Council created the award in 1990, the organization has recognized one person each year, per EEO category, for their contributions to the university.
McGee was recognized for her lifetime commitment to the university in staff roles across campus, including the Central Ticket Office, School of Education, School of Law and the School of Applied Sciences. She is also an instructor for EDHE 105: Freshman Year Experience.
McGee said her favorite part of the job is the relationships she has built with co-workers, staff members and students across campus since 1994.
“I started here when I was 18 years old, and I am still in contact with faculty and many students that have crossed my path,” McGee said. “It makes my heart smile with joy to know that I played a small part in them reaching their educational goals. It is important that students receive what they are here to achieve.
“It means a lot to be honored for this recognition because it shows the work that I have done and continue to do within this university is being recognized by others. I am also paving the way for someone else. I am setting an example for my children on a daily basis. I have had challenges along the way, but I thank God for my praying family. I am seeing my sacrifices of home and work life pay off.”
McGee’s passion for helping students makes her a perfect selection for this honor, said Kelley Jenkins, assistant to the dean in the School of Applied Sciences and McGee’s supervisor.
“She takes a no-nonsense approach,” Jenkins said. “This makes her the staff member of the year because while she is helpful to our students, she does not try to sugarcoat things. She tells the students what they need to hear, even if it is hard for them to hear it.
“Even though she has to convey bad news sometimes, she then takes the student under her wing and helps them develop a plan to right the ship. When they do, she is their biggest cheerleader. She treats our students like they are her own kids.”
McGee looks forward to continuing her service at the university while growing her own skill set.
“My future here at the university has no expiration date,” she said. “My hope and aspiration is to continue to give this university and students the best knowledge and guidance, while continuing to improve my experience and skills levels.”
To learn more about Staff Council awards and activities, visit https://staffcouncil.olemiss.edu/.