Maria has extensive management, leadership and training experience in non-profits, higher education, student, and community organizations. She is passionate and committed to the success of our youth’s future and mentoring youth about the importance of education. Maria is currently the Assistant Director for the Pre-Collegiate Development Programs, which mission is to prepare and motivate prospective first-generation college students to pursue a postsecondary education. As a first generation, past pre-collegiate student she knows the many struggles that first generation students must overcome.
Maria currently serves as the President of the Doctoral Students of Color at the University of Colorado at Denver. The mission is to support and enhance the academic and professional achievement of doctoral students of color throughout their tenure at the University of Colorado Denver by providing a sense of community, a forum for collegial support, empowerment, exchange of ideas and discussion of critical issues related to the doctoral programs. Maria has served on various boards such as: Board of Directors for the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s Denver Chapter for the past 9 years as the Treasurer, Executive Vice President and President of the organization. Maria is also the co founder of the Women’s Leadership Network for the NSHMBA. She believes strongly in the vision of NSHMBA which is to be the premier organization for Hispanic business professionals. Maria has served as the past president of Chic Chicana, a nonprofit organization that offers professional development and scholarships to high school students. She is also served as past president of the Latino Faculty & Staff Association for Metropolitan State College of Denver. Maria is the past chair and volunteer for the La Raza Youth Leadership Conference. The mission of the conference is to empower over 1500 Colorado’s Latino youth to achieve their educational and leadership potential and instill the desire to give back to the community. She has volunteered her time with the Boy Scouts of America Urban Scouting Camporee, the Colorado Women’s Cancer Initiative, Goodwill Industries of Denver’s School to Work Program and Servicio de la Raza Youth Experiencing Success and a mentor for the Circle of Latina Leadership.
Maria served as the founding mother and president of the first Latina sorority, Pi Lambda Chi Latina Sorority, Inc. at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Pi Lambda Chi’s attributes its continued success in developing a strong sisterhood and educational support network that preserves Latina culture. Maria co developed the National Board and continues to assist the chapters as needed.
In addition to her volunteer work, Maria was one of 20 women in the United States to be selected for the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) Fellowship Program. NHLI vision is to “create positive global change through personal integrity and ethical leadership.” She is also a graduate of the Harvard University School of Government Executive Program and the Center for Creative Leadership. Maria holds a Doctor of Education in Leadership for Education Equity, Latinx School Communities, a
Master of Science Certificate in Human Resource Integration and a Master of Science in Management degree from Regis University and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications, with a minor in Management from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She enjoys playing tennis and traveling with her husband Gus and daughter Alicia.