María José Gómez-Quijano
María is a student in the Integrated Biosciences Master’s program at the Swenson College of Science and Engineering on the Duluth campus. She is originally from Bogotá, Colombia. She has an academic background in biology with a focus on population genetics and communication that led into a passion for environmental justice, science communication and community engagement. María currently serves as a Commissioner and Vice-Chair of the Energy Plan Commission for the city of Duluth. She is passionate about diversity, equity, cultural awareness and social justice issues which developed through her involvement and work in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and International Student Services at UMD. Maria’s personal goal is help others become leaders of their communities and create a meaningful impact by learning from other people experiences, engaging in the community and being proactive. María is looking forward to helping coordinate the Acara Graduate Changemaker Lab program and help graduate students between the Duluth and the Twin Cities campuses connect and work together as a team to pilot equity focused social and environmental projects.