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Inside DELTA: 5 Questions with Samantha McCuen

Inside DELTA: 5 Questions with Samantha McCuen
Samantha McCuen has a passion for education. In her current role as Project Coordinator she actively engages colleagues in the prioritization, definition, and coordination of DELTA projects. (Photo by Thomas Crocker)

For numerous projects, ranging from Application and Course Development, Service and Outreach, Instructional Tools, Training and Support and Marketing and Communications, behind the scenes is Samantha McCuen.  

McCuen works hard to ensure others around her are succeeding. Her dedication and willingness to facilitate the best work in others helps DELTA to succeed as a whole.

If you were explaining your position to someone unfamiliar with DELTA, how would you describe what you do?

McCuen serves as project coordinator for DELTA. Her position is multifaceted and allows her to assist others in a variety of ways. But McCuen goes beyond the traditional role as a project coordinator. Through tools such as TeamworkPM, consultation services and training sessions gleaned from conferences attended, McCuen helps to facilitate projects to be transparent, collaborative and timely.

“One thing that I love about my job is that no two days are the same. I can wear many hats, I can meet with people across the organization, I can show them how to improve their projects,” said McCuen.

What has been your most recent favorite project you’ve worked on?

Since no two projects are alike, McCuen enjoys projects for a variety of reasons.

“I like when a team comes together and develops a strong dynamic. Having a great camaraderie can make a project really fun. Then, there are the projects I love working on because we are meeting all deliverables on deadline. Staying within the project scope and on the projected timeline is always exciting for a project coordinator,” said McCuen.

McCuen specifically enjoyed working on innovative projects such as the DELTA Grant for PY 205. The project team worked closely with the Primary Instructor to develop the MyTech app.

“It was exciting to see how the project team, with various expertise, worked together to make an instructionally sound application for the course,” said McCuen.

The Virtual Physics Tutorial Center was also a favorite for McCuen since it had not been done before and offered a unique online service to students.

What awards or achievements have you received?

In 2011 McCuen received the Pride of the Wolfpack Award. This award recognizes NC State employees for a special or unique contribution to their college, unit or the university as a whole.

She participated in the Teaching, Training and Educational Technology (TTET) program offered by NC State, which is a program focused on utilizing technology in a variety of educational environments.

McCuen was also able to receive her master’s degree in Training and Development from the College of Education at NC State.

I was encouraged and supported by my colleagues to pursue higher education. I knew that entering the program as a full-time employee would be difficult. Throughout my time in the program, I lost my mom, was married and had my two children, which made it even more challenging but also why I consider this degree one of my biggest achievements,” said McCuen.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

When asked about the most enjoyable aspect of her job, McCuen is quick to mention her coworkers and the family-friendly environment DELTA provides.

“I really think DELTA is a fantastic place to work. I am surrounded by innovative people who aren’t just colleagues but are also my friends. It’s a great environment to be in. It is so unique, and I really don’t think any other place is like DELTA,” said McCuen

What do you like to do in your spare time/outside of work?

McCuen in Japan with her students
A photo of McCuen with her students during her time in Japan.

McCuen previously worked as a high school English teacher and later taught English in Japan for a year. This experience led her to want to continue to be around education and travel.

“Coming from an educational background has been incredibly helpful. I am inspired by education and work with people who are passionate about the field,” said McCuen.

McCuen and her husband have previously traveled to St. Martin, Costa Rica, Amsterdam, London, Paris and Bruges. Now with two young children, the McCuens have traded days of worldly adventure for date nights exploring Durham and taking family trips to the beach and mountains.