Washington State University’s Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC) announces that Maria de Jesus Dixon is its new assistant director in charge of two key student-success programs: College Success Foundation Scholars and Passport Scholars.

“With a diverse career spanning more than 20 years in higher education, Maria brings a wealth of experience and skills to the position in ASCC,” said Terese King, center director. “She has been a leadership coach, a program manager, a teacher, an advisor, and volunteer. She is well prepared, and has the vision, to move the College Success and Passport programs forward.”

At WSU since 2015, Dixon was a retention counselor in the Office of Multicultural Student Services instructing in the Smart Start Program for first-year students, and most recently served as operations manager for the four WSU Culture and Heritage Houses. She also had programmatic management of the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center during its construction phase.

She was most recently chair of the university’s Martin Luther King Jr. Program, taught in WSU’s Smart Start, and serves as a member of several campus-wide committees, including the Crimson Achievement Pathway Team for undocumented students. She was recently elected vice chair of the Administrative Professional Advisory Council for the upcoming academic year.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Dixon worked at, and graduated from, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She earned an M.S. in criminal justice, and a B.A. and B.S. in political science and criminal justice. At UWM, she was a development specialist for Milwaukee Public Radio station, a teaching assistant for the Dept. of Criminal Justice, and an advisor assistant in the financial aid office.

She gained management experience by serving as an interim executive director for a charter school and as a pastoral executive assistant handling all facets of a mid-sized church including a capital campaign; she has managed budgets up to $1.5 million.

Dixon makes her home in Pullman with husband Brian, WSU’s assistant vice president of Student Financial Services, and their children Nathanial, Marquelle, and Melisenda. She is a treasurer at Grace and Glory Church in Pullman and currently serves as the chapter advisor for Kappa Delta Chi sorority, of which she is an alumna.

Through ASCC, the College Success Foundation Program awards scholarships and assistance to high-potential students from low-income families aspiring to earn a baccalaureate degree. CSF programming offers student success support, including peer mentors, academic advising, social activities, financial-aid planning and application assistance, and leadership development.

The Passport to College Promise Scholarship Program, launched in 2008-09, helps WSU students from the foster-care system to prepare for, attend, and succeed at college. Participants receive targeted assistance in academic, personal, social, financial, and career areas.

For more information, please visit ASCC.wsu.edu.