Marissa Vasquez - Estrella

Dr. Marissa Vasquez joined MANA four years ago, and is currently the Co-Chair for our Scholarship Committee! Since she is an Assistant Professor at San Diego State University, Marissa was instantly drawn to the Scholarship Committee.

Marissa shares how MANA has influenced her life both professionally and personally. She says, “Professionally, MANA has expanded my network of community leaders and advocates for social change. This network has come through for me on several occasions—as guest speakers for class, as professional references, and community referrals. On a personal level, the women within the organization continuously create positive spaces.” Marissa is reminded of MANA’s purpose when she reads this quote from Rupi Kaur’s poem: “We all move forward when we recognize how resilient and striking the women around us are.”

The isolating and dismissive attitudes that intuitions pose towards communities of color is an issue that inspires Marissa to continue the work she does at MANA. Her experience as a Latina faulty member made her realize, “how draining and psychologically exhausting it is to remain committed to our profession. A profession that values productivity, intellectualism, competitiveness, and solitude- as opposed to love, community, culture, wholeness, humility, justice, and familia.”

Despite these constant battles, Marissa expresses her appreciation for the herMANAs and hermanos within MANA that take the time to reach out and show genuine interest. She feels connected to the mujeres in MANA, because their acts of service align with Marissa’s values as, “a Latina, an educator, and a public servant.”

Most folks do not know that Marissa is allergic to cats, her first job was a cashier at Fuddruckers, and she loves taking herself to the drive-in movie theatre.

Marissa is a MANA Estella!