2021 graduating employee

Maria Amezquita

What is your current role and department at UM?
I am an annual giving associate for Development and Alumni Relations.

What degree will you be receiving at graduation?
Master in Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Arts in International Administration (MAIA) Fun fact: they created the dual MPA/MAIA track for me!

How long have you been at the University?
Five years

What were some highlights of your time as a student and employee? 

I don’t get to interact with students in my employee role, so volunteering at commencement has always been a highlight for me. It truly is a joyous occasion for everyone involved, and I have always been happy to do my part to make sure it’s a great experience for the graduates and their guests. 

As a student, I loved being included in the interview process for new faculty members in the MPA program. It was a really interesting experience, and I just love that the program took student feedback into consideration when making such an important decision.

What is a favorite UM memory? 

A favorite memory was finding an abandoned newborn kitten in the parking lot. It was heartwarming to see so many of my colleagues immediately spring into action. It was quite a bonding experience to care for this tiny creature as a team. It truly spoke volumes about everyone involved.

And a favorite sports memory: the 2017 football game against Notre Dame! It was insane and the energy at the stadium was incredible.

Have you received any awards, honors, or special achievements? 
I was invited to join the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. I represented the MPA program at the 2020 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition on Sustainable Cities.

Please share advice for employees looking to go back to school.
It is absolutely worth it, so get started now! You will kick yourself one day when you look back and realize how far into it you would be if you had just started when you first thought about it.

Learn about other 2021 graduating employees.