- BA, St. Catherine University
- MS, University Of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Though Career Advisor & Director of Nontraditional Programming is Maria’s official title, she wouldn’t feel complete without adding a few more descriptors: Student Retention Champion, Workforce Connector, Mentorship Matters Spokesperson, and ‘Bloom Where You are Planted’ Coach. Maria finds her passion in places where change and reinvention is happening. She holds that space currently for her students where she is supporting those who find themselves as ‘one of few’ in their newly chosen careers.
Maria’s gender equity & mentorship program, Be Bold- Break the Mold: Women Succeed in Nontraditional Careers was a notable program singled out at North Hennepin Community College for the National HEED Award 2021 (Higher Education Excellence in Diversity). In her work with Hennepin Technical College & North Hennepin Community College, Maria was recently presented with a MnACTE (MN Association for Career and Technical Education) Partnership Award for her mentoring and empowerment initiatives. In conjunction with Women’s History Month, she was co-awarded Campus Program of the Year. She was also the recipient of the National Academic Association for Academic Advising for an adult-learner orientation program.
Having experienced the need to re-direct her career numerous times, she can empathize and walk beside those who are brave enough to do the same.
Life and work are blended for Maria, but when not dreaming up her next career/workforce program you’ll find her: practicing yoga (a 20-year commitment & is a certified kid’s yoga instructor), traveling with her family, reading multiple books at once, gardening, taking pictures of her cats, and enjoying the great outdoors.