Vallejo named among Top 25 Women in Higher Education
Dr. Maria M. Vallejo, who has been provost of the Palm Beach State College Lake Worth campus for 16 years, is featured in the March 12 edition of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine among the Top 25 Women in Higher Education.
Editors at the Virginia-based publication selected the honorees for the Women’s History Month edition from among colleges and universities across the nation. The list includes several presidents and other college leaders. “I believe that Dr. Vallejo, as a woman of color in leadership committed to access and opportunity for all, exemplifies the best higher education has to offer,” said David Pluviose, executive editor of the magazine.
Vallejo, who has more than 35 years of experience in higher education, said she is honored to be chosen. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be among this group of distinguished women, especially because I’m being honored by Diverse Issues, a publication that I’ve respected for my entire tenure as a higher education administrator because of their timeliness in reporting as well as their ability to address the difficult conversations in higher education.”
Prior to becoming provost of PBSC’s largest campus in 1999, Vallejo served as vice president of academic and student services at Nassau Community College and vice president of student affairs at Rockland Community College in New York. She also has worked at private and public four-year colleges and universities. Among her achievements, she led PBSC on its quest to become a Hispanic Serving Institution, which allowed the College to apply for and receive a $2.58 million Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education last September.
She has become well-connected in Palm Beach County and has worked tirelessly for numerous boards and organizations. She currently is active with the local Women and Hispanic chambers of commerce as well as the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, where she forged partnerships that bring more scholarship opportunities to women and students of color. She is on the committee for the LINK program, which the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County recently launched to connect business and education. She sits on the board of ASPIRA of Florida, an empowerment organization for young Latinos, and has provided assistance with student conferences, summer camp and higher education opportunities for ASPIRA participants. She led the creation of the ASPIRA club at PBSC, the first college-level ASPIRA club in the nation, and helped to expand the college clubs to Miami Dade and Broward colleges. She is also on the board for ASPIRA’s charter schools in Miami.
Nationally, Vallejo sits on several boards which focus on leadership development and higher education. She is past president of the National Community College Hispanic Council, an affiliate council of the American Association of Community Colleges, and is currently on the national advisory board for the NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program.
She holds a doctorate in bilingual curriculum development/higher education from New York University. She earned two master’s degrees from Columbia University and her bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College.