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Employee spotlight: Sami Snelling
 
Sami Snelling estimates she’s printed the majority of business cards sitting in the wallets and purses of the thousands of staff and faculty members who are employed at the University of Houston.

That’s because since 1999, she has worked in the UH print shop as an offset press operator, coming in every morning at 7:30 a.m. to work on the never-ending printing jobs that the various departments across the university need done.

“The majority of time I am usually running letterheads, business cards, envelopes, stuff like that,” she said.

When Snelling was hired nearly 14 years ago, she was a two-color pressman. She went from doing two-color work and running two presses to now where she can operate four presses and handle four-color printing jobs. On Mondays, she runs the four-color press.

“I set it up, load the plates, load the paper, put ink in it, set the job up, and align it to where it comes out correctly,” she said.

Snelling grew up in Galena Park. It was when she was a sophomore at Galena Park High School that she was first introduced to the world of printing.

“I took the printing class in high school on purpose because it was two credits. They shipped us from one high school to the other, so I got out of class for three hours,” she said. “I didn’t do it on purpose to learn printing, but I ended up liking the class. It was something that was interesting.”

After high school, she landed a job with the Port of Houston, where much of her job duties involved running the Xerox machine. The job didn’t pay much, so she ended up looking for employment elsewhere, eventually landing a copy clerk position with a local company. When the company’s pressman quit, Snelling filled in. Ever since then, she’s been doing printing work as a career.

Snelling has two grown children: daughter Rhiana is 24 and son Samuel is 23. Her daughter is two hours away from getting her associate’s degree and then may transfer to UH.

When not at work, Snelling likes to cook, watch movies and put puzzles together as a way for her to relax. But, she said, she often turns to work as a way to relieve stress.

“Printing for me, since I have done it for so long, is a way for me to relax. It allows me to do something where I’m not just sitting in a chair,” she said. “I just can’t sit there. I have to be doing something.”

She loves working for the University of Houston.

“I bleed Cougar red. I don’t plan on leaving until I have to retire,” she said.