By Patricia Brennan
Sitting in her office, visitors will see many of Madere’s own photographs lining her desk and walls. Daily life in India plays itself out on the walls. Images from around the world surround Madere, as if she has tried to capture the whole earth in an office space.
“I’ve taken beautiful images of things that most people would call dirty or rundown, but it’s allowed me to see the beauty in everyday life and just the little things,” Madere, director of Student Life, said.
Madere grew up only twenty minutes away from the University of Dallas and graduated from The Highlands School, yet never imagined herself working for the university someday. In fact, she said, growing up, her dream career was to become a chef. Though she did not end up a chef, cooking has remained one of her favorite hobbies. Madere attended the University of Miami and then the Georgia Institute of Technology. She studied mechanical engineering before switching to global economics and modern languages.
Madere found her way to UD when she was hired as the head cross country and track and field coach.
There were some adjustments Madere had to make when she came to UD. “To have everyone know me, to have people know who I am, that was different. I was shy in school, and I very much am introverted, so I was never the one to have a lot of people around me, so, to have a lot of people know me, that was an adjustment … What I really liked [about the University of Dallas] was how nice everyone was. I know that’s what everyone says, but that was the thing I could identify most with, and then just kind of kept me.”
She stated that her position eventually evolved through a gradual process, as she made the decision to step away from athletics and take a more active role in student life.
“I always saw myself as a coach, and I still do that in my day to day job, as far as helping people, helping improve people,” she said. “I never saw this as a profession, but everything I like to do, all of my strengths, it does fit well for this position that I’m in.”
Athletics have always been a large part of Madere’s life. She began dancing at the age of three, and continued to do so until she was 16. She played basketball in junior high, and discovered track in high school, in which she excelled and chose to make a large part of her college career. She did track and field for three years in college.
“I felt I was able to get a well-rounded experience as a non-athlete, but I got a good experience being an athlete,” she said.
She still helps coach the throwers on the track and field team and enjoys working out every day.
Madere’s experiences, both professional and personal, have been varied and unique. “I work a lot,” Madere said. “I’ve always worked a lot, ever since I was very young, so I’ve had a lot of jobs.”
She said her most interesting job was with a marketing team contracted exclusively with Nike, which allowed her to be a part of the team that introduced Nike Plus.
“I was literally driving a bread truck across the country, talking with runners and athletes, explaining to them the Nike Plus technology, talking to them about running,” she said.
The most grueling job Madere ever had was making gelato for 13 hours a day.
“Jobs like that just inspire you to work harder and truly find your niche and find something that suits you,” she said.
If Madere could have any job in the world, she would return to her childhood dream of working with food.
“I would be like Anthony Bourdain,” she said. “I would have a travel food show. That’s my dream job, where I just get to travel around the world, and see people and eat with them, and see how they live, where they invite me into their homes and make me their special meal of their region, of their culture.”
“I’d still love to open a bed and breakfast somewhere on the beach, and just host, do that six months out of the year,” she said.
Though Madere stated her favorite place to vacation is “anywhere with a beach”, she has traveled all over the world. Just this last summer she visited UD’s Rome campus, and her travels have taken her to places such as Dubai, India, France, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain and Greece. She said she is hoping to go to Rio de Janeiro next summer for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
“I think traveling and seeing how other people live has made me more forgiving,” she said. “Just being able to see how another person lives and their world view helps. There’s a lot of good in this world, a lot of beautiful in this world, and the good and the beautiful don’t always come in the packages you would expect.”
Madere has been busy with student life and developing organizations and events for the future.
“We’re trying to make sure there’s enough weekend and evening events to keep people busy. I’d rather have something fun on campus versus people going elsewhere and possibly getting in trouble or making a bad decision. I do want to have more positive programming here on campus.”
Above all, Madere said she enjoys the students UD serves, who embrace the same philosophy she does – striving to be the best possible version of themselves.
“Everyone here is very gracious, and the students do pursue excellence, and that is very rewarding,” she said. “It’s easy to work hard for someone who’s willing to work hard themselves,” Madere said.