Maria came to the Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship in 2013 after teaching English in France for several years and working at the University’s Pace Center for Civic Engagement. Maria listens to community partners to learn about their research and information needs in order to develop course projects, summer research internships, and independent work research questions. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University with a triple major of English, French, and Theater and her master’s degree from Drexel University in Global and International Education. She is a 2016 recipient of the University's Donald Griffin '23 Management Award and in 2017 she was a Lead NJ Fellow. Maria has served on the boards of the Cherry Tree Club, a preschool for children with housing instability, and The Father Center of New Jersey, a Trenton-based organization that strengthens families by serving and supporting fathers. She taught English to non-native adult speakers for several years in Lawrenceville and Trenton with the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) and The English School at LRPC.
Maria and her husband, Bobby, live in Bucks County, PA with their toddling son, Sebastian. While these days they spend most of their time outside of work getting to know him better, they make some room in their calendars to pursue things they enjoyed before Sebastian's 2019 arrival like traveling, hosting loved ones, visiting museums and gardens, and going to concerts.