Maria was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the US in 1999. She joined the US Navy and served on active duty as a hospital corpsman from 1999 to 2009, the served in the US Navy reserves until her retirement in 2021.
Maria commitment to health care and public health has always been her priority. She completed a Bachelors in Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Psychology. After completing her Bachelors, she went on to complete a Dual Master’s program at UAB in Public Health and Public Administration concentrating on Policy development, Research, Health Administration and Disaster Response. Research completed in grad school included an internship in the Be-heard project in Birmingham, AL. This project helped establish services in the BAO (Birmingham AIDS Outreach) that serve the needs of the community.
Her experience covers everything from in-patient care, out-patient care, biotech and chemical industries, military health care, and project management. Currently Maria works as a Payload Operations Intergration Specialist at MSFC in Huntsville, AL.
Volunteer work has always been in her life as well. She volunteered as a teenager with the Red Cross in the Dominican Republic. While in the military she was involved as an athlete mentor for Special Olympics for Military Dependents. In Huntsville, Maria is a Military/NASA Docent at the Space and Rocket Center.