Maria Hesse serves as vice provost for academic partnerships, helping to create and sustain productive relationships with community colleges and other institutions, on behalf of students who wish to complete their baccalaureate degrees. She has been at ASU since July 2009. Prior to that, Professor Hesse served as president and Chief Executive Officer for Chandler-Gilbert Community College, one of the 10 Maricopa Community Colleges in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Hesse began her professional career at the Judson School in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she served for seven years as a teacher, dean, and high school principal. She was with the Maricopa Community Colleges for more than 25 years working for Mesa Community College, South Mountain Community College, the District Support Services Center, and Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Her early years in the Maricopa Colleges included positions as director of student activities and services, coordinator of the Ford Foundation funded Transfer Opportunities Program, and manager of faculty employment for the Maricopa Colleges.
In 1987, she became the first chief student affairs officer for Chandler-Gilbert Community College. She then served for a decade as a faculty member in the Business and Computer Information Systems division, where she also made leadership contributions as the college accreditation coordinator, co-coordinator of the service learning program, and founding faculty member at the Williams campus. As chief academic officer for four years, she helped double enrollment, significantly expand workforce development programs, and enhance teaching and learning initiatives in cooperative learning, service learning, learning communities, and instructional technology.
Hesse served as president of CGCC for seven years, during which time the college was recognized with many awards and recognitions such as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) campus sustainability national leadership award, the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the National Council for Instructional Administrators (NCIA) award for best practice in assessment of student learning, the National Council on Student Development (NCSD) award for best practices in student services, the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACTEPP) exceptional colleges award, and the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) High Performing Colleges in Active and Collaborative Learning.
She is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Educational Management, and has served as a consultant to other colleges from Florida to California on service learning, learning communities, technology, and accreditation. She is also actively involved in the community and serves on the boards of Positive Paths, Friendly House and Arizona Women in Higher Education.