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Maricruz Macz De La Torre

Director of Academic Achievement Services

A proud first-generation, low-income Latina Maricruz Macz-De La Torre has over 8 years of experience mentoring college students both at a professional and interpersonal level. She has experienced first-hand the power of peer-led academic support in her role as both a tutor and Supplemental Instruction (SI) Lead. The passion she developed for helping her peers and being part of their success stories is what placed her on a path to pursue a career in higher education. Drawing from her experiences as an undocumented student, Maricruz brings a student-centered, equity minded approach to her work. In her role as SI Coordinator at Cal State Dominguez Hills, she helped reorganize SI as a single unit rather than one distributed between Student and Academic Affairs. She also led the effort in helping the CSUDH team earn SI certification through the University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC). She served as a member of the West Coast SI Conference Executive Planning team and is a UMKC certified SI Supervisor. In 2019, Maricruz then joined the Cal State San Marcos team as the SI Director and a few months later was promoted to be the Director of the Academic Success Center. In her leadership role as Director, Maricruz led multiple phases of programmatic transition for the Academic Success Center that included losing an entire team of professional staff to ensuring the continuation of services during a pandemic. However, among all the accomplishments Maricruz has been able to achieve in her career, the one that brings her the most pride is having completed her college education. Having grown up in the highest crime area in Los Angeles, South Central, Maricruz always dreamed of attending college and giving back to her community. Due to circumstances outside of her control, she was forced to drop out of college during her sophomore year and work full time. Five years later she was able to return and this time her story would be different thanks to all the mentorship and support given by faculty and staff. For this reason, Maricruz remains committed to providing mentorship to both students and professionals from underserved communities like hers.

Maricruz earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biology from CSU Dominguez Hills.  She graduated with honors with each degree. Upon completion of her master’s, she received the President’s Outstanding Student Award, the CSUPERB Crellin Pauling Student Teaching Award, and the 1st place for Thesis of the Year Award.