Middlesex Community College’s new Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Belonging Maria Isabel Gariepy was chosen by Amplify Latinx as a top 100 Latinx Leader in Massachusetts, championing and uplifting the Latino community.
“Ensuring that everyone feels like they belong at our institution and that they can be the best version of themselves is what I strive for in my personal and professional life, and what I want employees and students like to remember,” Gariepy said. “Now is an exciting and very important time to continue to be committed to and elevate equity work further and to weave it into all actions, planning, strategies and programming.”
Most recently, Gariepy was the Chief Diversity and Equity Office/Executive Director of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity at Worcester State University. At MCC, she looks forward to returning to a community college setting and focusing on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) work.
Born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, Gariepy received a bachelor’s degree in Finance and International Relations from San Martin University in Colombia and earned an MBA in Human Resource Management at Fitchburg State University.
She started her career in finance, working in private industry before transitioning to human resources (HR) and higher education. For six years, she worked in HR, diversity, inclusion, compliance, investigations, training and reporting at Mount Wachusett Community College before moving to Worcester State.
Gariepy recently completed an Executive Leadership Institute program, as well as the Latino Board Fellowship with Latinos for Education. A certified Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) trainer, she serves as the Chair of the ACE Women’s Network Massachusetts chapter, and previously served as Vice President for the New England Association for Colombian Children (NEACOL).
At MCC, Gariepy will help ensure the principles and framework of racial equity are embedded into the work happening at the college and community. A resource to MCC employees, students and community members, she will also help lead the college’s Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (CTRHT).
In her role, Gariepy hopes to provide candid conversation and conscious engagement throughout all departments, programs and initiatives at MCC. Maintaining an open-door policy for the community, she strives to be a resource and help deliver tools, research and best practices with a racial equity lens and framework.
“Having a position that centers racial healing, inclusion, belonging and the experiences of those historically marginalized in higher education is a significant institutional commitment that highlights the impact and outcomes we would like to continue seeing around retention, enrollment, hiring, and sense of belonging,” Gariepy said. “Together, we can explore how we can continue to center equity and belonging within the work happening in all departments and levels of the institution.”