NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program Names New Director

June 1, 2023 – For Immediate Release: Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, former Chancellor of Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona, has been selected as the new executive director for the National Community College Hispanic Council Leadership Fellows Program. 

Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick is a national leader in higher education and a strong advocate for equitable access to opportunity and student success outcomes.  She served the Maricopa Community College District, one of the largest in the nation, for almost 30 years in a variety of leadership roles, including as Chancellor for the system.  She is a Senior Fellow for the College Excellence Program at The Aspen Institute and a Guided Pathways Coach for the Texas Success Center.  She is also an Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow and a Distinguished Fellow of the ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy.

Dr. Harper-Marinick is very committed to service in the community and has actively engaged in national and local boards.  She currently serves on the Boards of Excelencia in Education, UnidosUS, Creighton University, Valley of the Sun United Way, Teach for America Regional Board, New Pathways for Youth Advisory Board, and Valley Leadership Impact Makers Advisory Council.  She was active as a Chancellor in ACE, AACC, HACU, and League for Innovation in the Community College. She served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistant by appointment of U.S. Secretary of Education. 

Dr. Harper-Marinick has been the recipient of various awards and recognitions, including:  2022 NCCHC Chancellor of Excellence Award- in recognition of exceptional support and advocacy of Hispanic student success in higher education, 2020 Chicanos Por La Causa Cause For Change Award, 2018 Most Admired Leaders in the Valley, 2018 YWCA Tribute to Leadership, 2018 Leon Grant Spirit of Community Award for service to Native American students, 2017 Valley Leadership Woman of the Year, 2016 Athena Public Sector, 2017 One of the Valley’s Most Admired Leaders, 2017 One of the top 10 CEOs in the Valley, 2016 Valle del Sol award for having taken a dramatic and courageous stand on an issue affecting Hispanics, 2016 Community Service Award from FBI and LULAC for outstanding serviced to the community, 2015 Woman of the Year from the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Diamondbacks Hispanic Community Leadership. 

Dr. Harper-Marinick was featured in Diverse:  Issues in Higher Education magazine as one “25 women who have made a difference in the world by tackling some of higher education’s toughest challenges and exhibiting extraordinary leadership skills”, in the “Women Making their Mark” issue of International Educator, in in Arizona by the AZ Business Magazine AZ Business Magazine as one of 25 Most Influential Hispanic Business Leader.

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Dr. Harper-Marinick came to the USA as a Fulbright Scholar to complete graduate work at Arizona State University (ASU).  She holds Master and Ph.D. degrees in education from ASU.  She has been a teacher and a mentor to many, especially women; has authored scholarly articles and chapters; and is a sought-after speaker at national conferences.

The Dr. Ted Martinez Jr. NCCHC Leadership Fellows goals aim to provide the nation’s community colleges with an increasing supply of potential leaders who meet rigorous standards of essential competencies identified by the American Association of Community Colleges while also addressing severe under-representation of Hispanics in top leadership positions.  The Leadership Fellows Program pipeline has become increasingly important as Hispanic enrollments continue to skyrocket on the campuses of higher education, now comprising 27 percent of community college students.

Results indicate exceptional levels of program success: of the 61 current Latino community college presidents, 17 are alumni of the NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program.  On average, 30 alumni receive administrative promotions each year and many are headed for the executive office.  Since 2017, program Fellows received promotions in 22 states, including seven vice chancellors; 17 presidents; 8 provost/vice presidents, 31 vice presidents; 30 deans and 21 directors, plus 39 other appointments. The program was named a finalist in the 2018 “Examples of Excelencia” showcase.

Kimberly Andosca, Executive Director
One Capitol Mall, Suite 800
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 231-8970