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Milwaukee Area Technical College has appointed Eva Martinez Powless as the college’s first diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) executive. Martinez Powless is a seasoned DEI practitioner with more than 18 years of combined experience in higher education and nonprofit administration. She has served as Marquette University’s assistant dean of admissions/multicultural outreach, director of intercultural engagement, and most recently as director of diversity and inclusion.
She will report directly to MATC President Vicki J. Martin. This new position was created as part of a reorganization to improve the student experience and help ensure student success.
“We are very pleased to welcome an experienced leader in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion to MATC,” said Dr. Martin. “DEI initiatives are of paramount importance to the college. We are one of the most diverse two-year colleges in the midwest and our efforts in this regard are imperative to our college and community. We are dedicated to promoting equitable outcomes for all students and employees by creating an inclusive and supportive college environment. Equity is one of MATC’s four top priorities in our five-year strategic plan and inclusion is one of our plan values. Working with Ms. Martinez Powless to help lead these initiatives will help MATC further support, expand and strengthen our efforts in an intentional and effective way.”
“My background as a first-generation and low-income college student propels my commitment to college access and success,” said Martinez Powless. “I am the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants. My personal mission is to lead authentically and do work que valga la pena (that matters). I look forward to bringing my experience and passion to enhance MATC’s DEI efforts.”
Martinez Powless earned a bachelor of arts degree from Alverno College; and a master’s degree in public service (leadership specialization) from Marquette University. She currently is a doctoral candidate in Marquette’s interdisciplinary Educational Policy and Leadership doctoral program.
While at Marquette, Martinez Powless Director led the development and growth of the Center for Intercultural Engagement and LGBTQ+ Resource Center and was instrumental in refining processes, policies and programs that supported a welcoming and inclusive campus environment. Some highlights included founding Marquette’s Latinx Faculty and Staff Association, Undocumented Student Task Force, Mi Casa Es Tu Casa Open House and RISE Multicultural Student Orientation. She co-founded the Dreamers Gala/Ignacio Ellacuria Scholarship. She led the design and implementation of more than 450+ DEI programs designed to improve the climate for diversity, break down equity barriers, and address disparities.
Wisconsin’s largest technical college and one of the most diverse two-year institutions in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. Nearly 35,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers more than 150 academic programs; and transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees with more than 35 four-year colleges and universities. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.