Meet Alaina Names-Mattefs

Alaina Names-Mattefs
Thursday, March 21, 2024

Alaina Names-Mattefs is director of graduate programs for the College of Humanities & Earth and Social Sciences and the College of Science. Learn about her role, advice when considering graduate school and how her two children inspire her. 

How long have you been at UNC Charlotte?

I began at UNC Charlotte teaching Introduction to Sociology in the fall of 2019, after moving from Texas. Since then, I have continued to teach and serve full time as director of graduate programs.  

Can you describe your role at UNC Charlotte?

As the director of graduate programs for both CHESS and COS, I have the privilege of working with nearly 50 doctoral, master’s and graduate certificate programs ranging from English, psychology and organizational science to biology, chemistry and mathematics.  

Where did you go to school?

I graduated from the University of North Texas with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology.  As part of my graduate studies, I studied in London, UK, during one summer. I highly recommend studying abroad while you’re in college, if it’s a feasible option. As a first-generation college student, I am also a proud community college graduate from Collin College.  

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is the people. I enjoy the relationships I have built in my position, as I have a general passion for people.  

What are three words to describe UNC Charlotte?

Three words that describe UNC Charlotte are a change agent.

What advice would you give to someone considering graduate school?

Get connected. And I am not suggesting that is necessarily easy! Connect with alumni, current students and faculty of graduate programs you are interested in. Find out about the program and what people are doing after they graduate. Using platforms like LinkedIn can help.  

Additionally, if you’re a current UNC Charlotte undergraduate and considering graduate school, be sure to check out the early entry program.

What do you like to do when you aren't working?

I enjoy hiking, traveling and having living room dance parties with my kids.  

What's a fun fact about you that many people may not know?

My favorite sport to play is field hockey. If you’re unsure what that is, it is like a mashup of soccer, lacrosse and hockey.  

Who inspires you the most?

My 2-year-old and 6-month-old. Watching the world through their developing eyes inspires me to be the best version of myself. They constantly remind me to be present and to quote Ted Lasso, “Living in the moment, it’s a gift. That’s why they call it the present.” 


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Full Article Available on Inside UNC Charlotte