Featured Alumni: Maya Carter ’96

Maya Carter ’96


Maya CarterAccording to Maya Carter, life after Rio “has been a roller coaster.” But that hasn’t stopped this 1996 graduate from becoming the Assistant Director of Campus Recreation/Aquatics Director for the University of South Carolina Upstate.

Involved in just about everything while at Rio, Carter has fond memories of getting her first job on campus as a lifeguard. She worked every year while being a student, and was even Resident Assistant in Boyd Hall, Lyne Center Student Supervisor, Statistician for the Men’s Basketball team, and manager of the Women’s Volleyball team. She said that Rio truly offered her a great sense of work ethic; something that she teaches her students today.

A native of Dayton, OH, Carter currently lives in Spartanburg, SC. She is in year third year of doctoral studies, Carter is pursuing a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Higher Education and a certificate in Educational Leadership. She hopes to graduate in 2020.

1.     What made you choose to pursue a college education at Rio Grande? 

Parental persuasion. I had no choice, lol.

2.     How were you involved on Rio’s campus?

Oh goodness!! What didn’t I do?!  First job I had on campus was a lifeguard. And  I had that job all the years I attended Rio,  I was an Resident Assistant in Boyd Hall (when it was all girls); Lyne Center Student Supervisor.; Statistician for Men’s Basketball; and manager for Women’s Volleyball Ball with Coach Billina (Cooper) Donaldson.

3.     What did Rio offer you besides an education?

A WORK ETHIC! Supervisory skills, management skills, conflict resolution skills (learned that from being an RA), customer service skills, etc. – all the things that I currently teach my students at my University.

4.     What are some of your favorite Rio memories?

The road trips with Men’s Basketball and Women’s Volleyball.  The Volleyball team taught me how to play Euchre – Good Times! Being the Volleyball teams’ personal cheerleader and always saying, “STAY LOW!” There is no standing in straight in V-ball!

5.     Was there any teacher, advisor, coach, etc. that made an impact on your life? How?

Gene and Betty Moore – They showed me what not to do as an RA.  And they showed that young lady from the city how to survive “Down on the Farm”.

Dr. Randy Price (Counselor) – Yea…I’m sure he owns part of my diploma. He helped me get in and out of Rio.  He is still helping me today to with this degree I’m trying to get.

Dr. Carl Hoffman (Degree Counselor) – He thought I was never going to graduate, I had been there so long.

Every Lyne Center coach that was there until I graduated in ’96. They couldn’t get rid of me up there.

6.     What did you learn about yourself during college?

That I can drive a stick shift in snow. That snow was no joke!! And that I can multi-task and maintain decent grades.

7.     Tell us about life after Rio.

Life after Rio has been a roller coaster. I have learned that you always need a skill to fall back on. Rio taught me that.

8.     How did Rio prepare you for your career?

What I did at Rio, I am doing today. Hanging around the gym talking to students. This time as an administrator.

9.     Why are you proud to be a Rio Alumna/Alumnus?
For one – I graduated. The friends that I have gained from Rio have been priceless. While at Rio, I use to go over Amy (Bennet) Weaver’s mom’s house to get home cooked meals. That is a true friendship. And we are still friends today. I am proud to tell people that the school I went to is across the street from Bob Evans Farm.

10.  Do you have any advice for current students?

The education that you receive at Rio will prepare you for TODAY’S workforce. (In all aspects). The world does not care how long it takes you to get a degree – just get the degree!  Enjoy college life while you can.

11.  Is there anything else you would like to add?

R-I-O to the G…G-R-A to the N…N-D-E with R-I-O-G-R-A-N-D-E…RIO GRANDE! WOOO!! Thanks Billina!!

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