Marisa Herrera, formerly an assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions at Stanford, has joined the UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMA&D) staff as the new director of the Ethnic Cultural Center (ECC)/Theatre, effective Dec. 15.
“Marisa brings a great deal of experience and knowledge to the position from her previous work in student services, housing, and admissions at institutions such as Stanford, Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, and UCLA,” Gabriel Gallardo, OMA&D associate vice president for Student Services and Academic Support Programs, said. “This breadth of experience at different institutions will certainly enrich our work at the ECC and in OMA&D through the introduction of new ideas and approaches to our student development model.”
Bilingual in Spanish and American Sign Language, Herrera recently completed a doctorate degree in higher education administration from University of Southern California. She also received a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in business management from Northern Arizona University.
“My goals in this new role are to continue the legacy of excellence that has come to be synonymous with the Ethnic Cultural Center and to be a leader that honors the struggles of all those who have come before me to create this wonderful space for students,” Herrera said. “I also want my work to reflect the broad goals of the center to educate and empower students while they are here on the UW campus. The most important thing is to never lose sight of the original intention of why the ECC was created, to get students to graduation day.”
As an assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Admission at Stanford, Herrera oversaw the largest territory for the office. During her time, she developed a relationship with the University of California Office of the President to collaborate on the Gear Up Program, an early outreach program geared toward ninth grade students from first-generation and lower socioeconomic backgrounds. She also oversaw the program development and implementation of partnerships with Community Based Organizations (CBO) and non-profit organizations.
Herrera previously worked as assistant dean of students for the Semester at Sea program at the University of Virginia, where she served as a part of the senior administrative team and worked alongside Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Herrera co-managed a facility dedicated to the academic success, cultural engagement, and leadership development of Latino, first-generation, and low-income students as the associate director for El Centro Chicano in an earlier stint at Stanford as well. Prior positions also include serving as resident hall director at UCLA and Northern Arizona.
“I’m excited to have Marisa at the UW, especially as we enter the final phase of the ECC construction project and the unveiling of a new building next year,” Gallardo added.
OMA&D’s ECC, currently undergoing an extension renovation, provides a learning environment where students and student organizations collaborate, develop, and implement programs while building leadership and organizational skills.