As students, we know all too well how hard the transition from life at home to college can be. Many students often lean on newfound friendships to help get them through the transition, friendships that are sometimes found in unconventional places. Geneseo maintenance worker Antoinette Maggio––also known as Marie––is one of those unconventional friends for many students. For Maggio, working at Geneseo is truly a family affair. Her son Justin is also a maintenance worker in Livingston Hall on campus. Not only does she work with her own son, but Maggio has also developed close relationships with many of the students here. “I treat them like I would treat my own kids,” she said.
Maggio noted that her favorite memory of her time here at Geneseo was when she comforted a mother as she said goodbye to her daughter on move-in day. “I told her that her daughter was in good hands,” she said. She added that the student whose mother she reassured often tells Maggio that her mother asks about her to this day.
Marie attended Connetquot High School outside of her hometown of Ronkonkoma, New York. Prior to her employment as a maintenance worker at Geneseo, she worked in the food service industry at assorted delis and as a cook at various restaurants. The career transition occurred 11 years ago when her brother-in-law––who at the time was employed by Geneseo––alerted her to openings for maintenance workers. After applying online, Maggio was accepted for the position. She moved upstate to Retsof, New York, approximately 10 minutes off campus.
In her free time, Maggio said that she loves to garden and work outside in warmer months. “I’m a big outdoorsy person,” she said. “I hate sitting around, I need to get up and do something.” Her husband also helps her in the garden, where they grow both vegetables and flowers.
True to her Italian heritage, Maggio stated that she loves to prepare and jar homemade sauce with tomatoes from the garden. “We love cooking with the vegetables that we grow,” she said. “We spend a lot of time in the kitchen.” Emphasizing her love of being with her family, Maggio also noted that spending time with her 8-year-old granddaughter is one of her favorite activities.
In addition to her easygoing, caring personality, Maggio’s outgoing nature makes it easy to see why so many students consider her to be a great friend. “I love getting to meet new people along the way,” she said.