WOU Alum Heads Back to Campus as Coordinator for Conduct and Community Standards

WOU's Maria Bonifacio-Sample stands in front of lush greenery. Maria is smiling widely and wearing professional-style clothing.

WOU is a place where many feel at home. Sometimes, graduates even head back to campus to fulfill a title other than student: employee. One alum who did just this is Maria Bonifacio-Sample, a 2003 WOU grad who majored in Interdisciplinary Studies. Now, she’s back at the university as the Coordinator for Conduct and Community Standards. We had the opportunity to ask Maria about her position, as well as her favorite aspects of WOU. Check out her answers below! 

Can you describe your current position?  

I am currently the Coordinator for Conduct and Community Standards. I work with students who are in crisis, providing them with resources. I also hear cases of alleged policy violations of the Code of Student Responsibility and/or the Guide to Living On Campus – which could include, but is not limited to drug, alcohol or academic violations. 

What is an average day for you like?

 It just depends really- I do not have a set 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. position. Some of my days are empty… but then I have days that have back to back meetings. Not only am I seeing students (who are either the reporter or the respondent) but I also am a part of some different committees and then I attend some meetings within the Department of Housing. 

How long have you been at WOU? 

This is my second time working as a professional at Western. My first go around was from 2004 to 2006. Most recently though, I started in October of 2019. 

Why did you choose to work at WOU?  

I am coming full circle. I started my professional journey in Higher Education/ Student Affairs here at Western Oregon. I have now come back to hopefully end my journey here. I also have the opportunity to work with my mentor, Tina Fuchs. That was also A HUGE factor in my move back to Oregon. 

What are you looking forward to you during your time at WOU? 

Getting to work with some folks that I worked with my first time here. That has been amazing and will be for as long as we are all here at Western. I also am looking forward to being a part of the traditions here at Western and being a part of a small school again!

Favorite place to grab lunch or coffee? 

Well… I love Yang’s. I miss that Rice Time isn’t here anymore. Something new that wasn’t here when I was a student… Yeasty Beasty. It is quite good! And then I am a Dutch Bros fan… didn’t have it in Alaska or Alabama. So it is nice to be back at Western… or in Oregon!

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