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María L. Villagómez taught Spanish Language and Literature courses at Napa Valley College for over 20 years, a role for which she won the McPherson Distinguished Teaching Award in 2015. Having joined the Napa Valley College faculty in 2000, Maria has been a strong advocate for the Modern Languages Department and has developed new curriculum for the Spanish for Heritage Speaker’s Program including an Associate of Arts Degree and transfer degree for Spanish Majors. She has served on numerous Napa Valley College committees including the Curriculum Committee, the Professional Development Committee, the Faculty Ethics Committee, the Faculty Senate Executive Board, and the Faculty Association Board. Mrs. Villagómez has dedicated her career to teaching and promoting the Spanish language, Hispanic Culture and Civilization, and Hispanic Literature. To help expand her students’ knowledge of Spanish-speaking cultures, she has led numerous Spanish language summer programs to Mexico and Spain as well as cultural excursions to Peru, Costa Rica, Cuba, Spain, and other European countries. In 2016, she joined the administrative team at NVC by becoming the first Mexican-American Academic Senior Dean. Currently, she is the Senior Dean of Language Arts, Library, Social Sciences and Distance Education. In 2017, she completed ACCCA’s Great Deans Program and USC’s Enrollment Management Academy. She has also received extensive training related to the importance of cultural competency. She serves on the board of ACCCA (Association of California Community Colleges Administrators) as a state-wide representative.