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ASU employees named to 'Forty under 40' list

September 09, 2009

Three Arizona State University employees have been named to the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's 2009 Hispanic Leaders under 40 list.

The list recognizes 40 key Hispanic business and community leaders who are making significant contributions to the greater good of the community. ASU's Maria Luisa Ramos, David R. Garcia and M. Denise Quiroz were included on the list.

Ramos has served as director of the American Dream Academy at ASU's Center for Community Development & Civil Rights Ramos since 2006. In this role, she has been instrumental in the program's growth as one of the signature initiatives of the ASU Center for Community Development & Civil Rights, located in the College of Public Programs at the Downtown Phoenix campus.

The American Dream Academy's educational focus starts with the beginning of life, helping parents to instill the value of education within themselves and their children. Through the American Dream Academy, parents are given the tools to guide their children through K-12 grades and into higher education. This type of school-based intervention empowers and trains parents to become effective advocates and partners in their children's education.

The program is seen by university and K-12 officials as a key resource in preparing families for successful completion of high school and college. For more information, visit

Garcia is an assistant professor of education policy, leadership and curriculum with the Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education. Garcia's professional experience includes extensive work in state education policy development and implementation. Prior to joining the faculty at ASU in 2004, he served as the associate superintendent of public instruction for the state of Arizona and worked for the Arizona state legislature. His research interests include school choice, accountability and the study of factors which facilitate or distort policy implementation in public education. 

Garcia was selected as a 2008-2009 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow to research the convergence of school choice and school accountability with the diversification of the Latino population in the United States.

Quiroz has been the director of communications for ASU's Office of the President for nearly six years. Her duties include managing all incoming and outgoing correspondence on behalf of ASU President Michael Crow, overseeing constituent relations, and developing a presence for Crow online, in presentations and through social media.

Prior to this role, she worked in ASU's Office of Institutional Advancement, where she co-coordinated the launch of the ASU César E. Chávez Leadership Institute, a program designed to inspire high school students to pursue higher education and to give back to their communities in the spirit of the late civil-rights leader. The program is now in its 15th year at ASU.

Quiroz also previously served as the law enforcement liaison and director of intergovernmental relations for the Arizona Attorney General's Office, and was appointed the executive director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission by former Governor Janet Napolitano.