Latino Education Institute

  • Meet the Staff

    The staff at the Latino Education Institute of Worcester State University strives to improve the academic achievement and well-being of Latino students and their families.
      

  • Mary Jo Marión
    Mary Jo Marión
    Executive Director
    508-798-6507 ext. 101
    MaryJo.Marión@worcester.edu

    During Mary Jo Marión’s tenure as the executive director, the Latino Education Institute of Worcester State University has developed new programs, served greater numbers of youth, increased external funding, and taken a more active role in public policy issues affecting Latinos.

    She has considerable experience with a wide range of education issues, and co-authored “Creating the Will: A Community Roadmap to Achieving Educational Excellence for Latino Students in Worcester” on behalf of the Mayoral Commission for Latino Educational Excellence of Worcester. She currently serves as principal investigator on a number of externally funded grants examining the condition of education for urban youth.

    Prior to Marión’s appointment at Worcester State University, she was the special assistant and chief policy advisor to the president of MassBay Community College, where she served on the cabinet in an executive position. Marion was also the associate director of the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston and also served as a program director for the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s premier Latino advocacy organization, where she directed research, advocacy, and legislative efforts.

    Marión earned her bachelor's degree from Suffolk University, her master’s degree in public policy studies from the University of Chicago, and completed leadership training at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She immigrated to the United States from Bolivia and committed much of her professional life to advancing policy issues affecting Latinos in the United States.
    Hilda Ramirez
    Hilda Ramirez
    Assistant Director
    508-798-6507 ext. 102
    Hilda.Ramirez@worcester.edu

    Hilda Ramirez is the assistant director of LEI, where she implements new programs and directs policy initiatives. She is a passionate, strategic leader who is committed to improving public education. Ramirez holds a Master in Education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.S. in Business from Lesley University. She has participated in the National Hispana Leadership Institute, the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado, and the Executive Leadership Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Ramirez has been recognized with the Erskine Award for Arts and Humanities and the City of Worcester Humanitarian Award. In 2013, Hilda was elected to the Worcester School Committee and is serving a two-year term.
    Kathy Orengo
    Kathy Orengo
    Secretary
    508-798-6507 ext. 105
    Kathleen.Orengo@worcester.edu

    Kathleen Orengo began working at WSU in 2001 in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department and joined LEI in 2002. As the administrative assistant, in conjunction with the executive director, she ensures the day-to-day operations of LEI. Orengo coordinates and facilitates college access programs, working with students and their families to help them reach academic goals, and supports these same students when they arrive at Worcester State. Orengo has over 20 years of youth development experience and enjoys working with the Latino community. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from WSU in 2006. She is bilingual and bicultural.
    Program Coordinators
    Steven Favulli, Jr.
    Club E Program Coordinator
    508-798-6507 ext. 106
    Sfavulli1@hotmail.com

    Isabel Muniz
    LIDER Program Coordinator
    508-798-6507 ext. 109
    Isabel.Muniz@worcester.edu

    Roberta Mayo
    ISLA Program Coordinator
    508-798-6507 ext. 105
    Mayo@worc.k12.ma.us

    Elliot Rivera
    ENLACE Program Coordinator
    508-798-6507 ext. 105
    erivera4@worcester.edu

    Jose Saavedra
    ENLACE and LASOS Program Coordinator, Springfield Site
    508-798-6507 ext. 105
    jose.d.saavedra@gmail.com

    Maria Palmieri
    LASOS Program Coordinator and Facilitator
    508-798-6507 ext. 105
    mpalmieri@worcester.edu

    Katherine Esparza
    ELL and Family Educator
    508-798-6507 ext. 103
    kesparza@worcester.edu