Michelle is the Director of the Thrive Center and has a passion for student success. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, she began her professional career with Student Support Services/TRiO at the UA, a federal grant working with students who are first-generation, low-income, or have a disability to graduate from college. Michelle later became the director of the grant and remained in that position for seven years. She became involved in the national TRiO community and served six terms on the board of directors for the Western Educational Opportunity Personnel Association advocating for educational equity. In 2013, Michelle was provided the opportunity to expand her role when she became the associate director for Academic Success and Achievement. With this role she took on Arizona Assurance and the Cultural Learning Communities further expanding her work with underrepresented students.
Her passion for working with first-generation, low-income students continues with work in the community. Michelle served on the "Adelante, Nuestro Futuro" steering committee for nine years--a conference for middle school and high school Latinas in the Tucson area. She has also been recognized as mentor of the year through the UA’s Commission on the Status of Women, and received recognition from the Guerrero Center for her support of and dedication to the Latinx community. Michelle has a master’s in educational leadership, and is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at Northern Arizona University.