Maria serves as the director of the precollege bridge program under the Office of Precollege Outreach & Engagement. She is a first-generation, past precollegiate student and knows the struggles that first generation students must overcome. Maria has more than 20 years management, leadership and training experience in nonprofits, higher education, student and community organizations. She is passionate about and committed to providing access to higher education for first-generation underrepresented students. Maria was born and raised in Colorado and prides herself on being a Colorado native.
Maria has served in various roles to enhance the academic and professional achievement of students of color. She recently served as the president of the doctoral students of color at the University of Colorado at Denver, as the chair of the Colorado Educational Services & Development Association and on various boards serving the Colorado community.
Maria served as the founding mother and president of the first Latina sorority, Pi Lambda Chi Latina Sorority, Inc. at the University of Colorado Boulder, a sorority that focuses on 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 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 doctoral degree in leadership for education equity in Latinx school communities, a master of science certificate in human resource integration, a master of science degree in management from Regis University and a bachelor of arts in speech communications, with a minor in management from Metropolitan State University of Denver.