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Maria is one of the most impactful climate educators and leaders that I have had the pleasure of working alongside. She led the SFU Climate Literacy Education and Skills Working Group that I was part of, to advance the institution’s Strategic Sustainability Plan. This project is essential to building the capacity for climate leadership at SFU, by empowering staff, students, and faculty to lead meaningful action on climate change. I was particularly impressed by Maria’s ability to lead an equity-centered process of engaging these diverse groups of stakeholders. She led ideation, consultation and planning processes that gave everyone a voice and led to strategies that can form the backbone of transformative systems-level change at SFU. Not only did Maria advance sustainability education at SFU, but she also created a community of practice to bolster the sustainability ecosystem across Canada. Maria mobilizes folks from every corner to become climate leaders, making her an asset to any team. 

Jill Eddy, Career Educator | Changemaker Lead | Career Liaison for Faculty of Environment, SFU

I had the distinct pleasure of working with Maria on university-wide initiative to understand and advance our work toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and subsequently develop an SFU SDG Framework for Global Engagement. I found Maria to be an exceptional colleague and thought-partner. She has deep academic and applied knowledge about the SDGs, systems change and decolonized approaches to engagement. She is a generous and committed collaborator and took leadership as required. I would jump at the chance to be able to work with Maria again.

Shaheen Nanji, Executive Director, SFU International

Maria holds the delicate balance in showing up as a true ally while navigating nuanced conversations and ever-shifting priority areas in moving towards equity-centred processes and outcomes in climate literacy and education. Her systems-wide approach and core belief in empowering youth and students at large to take action is paired with her ability to tenderly hold safe spaces for youth and students to voice their vision, concerns, and desire for climate action and system change. Maria is one of the most genuine and passionate people that I have had the pleasure to work with and I look forward to when our paths inevitably cross again. 

Nelly Leo, Executive Director, Embark Sustainability

Maria is an incredibly thoughtful and inclusive collaborator. Driven by her values, she approaches her work through a systems lens and navigates complex projects with confidence and skill. Maria strives to authentically ‘walk the talk’ whenever she can, centring equity and justice in her project design and work plans. She is a pleasure to work with and an asset to any team.

Lindsay Bunce, M.Ed., Director, SFU Sustainability



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