For Immediate Release —March 24, 2009
David Irwin
Media Relations Manager
(585) 245-5516


SUNY Geneseo Diversity Lecture to Feature Educational Advancement Leader from Denver

GENESEO, N.Y. – Maria Guajardo, director of the mayor’s Office for Education and Children in Denver, will deliver the annual President’s Diversity Lecture April 7 at 4 p.m. in SUNY Geneseo’s Newton Hall Room 204.  Guajardo will address “Navigating Across Cultures.”  The lecture is free and open to the public.

Guajardo is a licensed child psychologist who has served as executive director of the Latin American Research and Service Agency.  She also is the founding executive director of Assets for Colorado Youth, a $10 million positive youth development initiative. 

Guajardo’s educational experiences range from preschool to higher education.  She began her career in education as a teaching assistant in a trilingual classroom.  Her current duties range from overseeing Head Start programs to providing high school students an even start to college.  A licensed child psychologist, she received a congressional commendation in 2005 for her contributions to Latino education.

She has served as an adjunct professor at Metropolitan State College and the University of Colorado at Denver and is a trustee for two universities:  the University of Denver and Soka University of America. Her research in dropout prevention guided her work at the Colorado Department of Education as the Dropout Prevention Coordinator and as co-director of the Colorado Preschool Project.  Her publications include “The Power of Parents:  Parent Engagement in Schools” and “The Developmental Assets.” 

The daughter of migrant parents, Guajardo graduated with honors from Harvard and earned her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Denver.  She also is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government and was a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow from 1991-94.