When Maritza Espina, PhD, joined St. Ambrose University as dean of the College of Business in July, she brought with her more than a decade of leadership experience and 16 years of scholarship in management research, publications, teaching, and service.
She plans to use her expertise to strengthen and grow the College of Business, which now includes eight undergraduate and four graduate programs, as well as the Professional Development Center.
Prior to joining St. Ambrose, Espina served as dean of the Business School for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Universidad del Este (UNE) of the Ana G. Mendez University System in Puerto Rico.
During her 11-year tenure, she led 19 academic programs; achieved international accreditation by ACBSP; created six new academic programs; and increased enrollment and course offerings to approximately 1,500 business students on campus and 1,000 off-campus.
"One of the major challenges facing business and higher education today is the gap between alumni skills set and industry needs," Espina said.
While at UNE, she addressed that challenge by securing $2.7 million from the US Department of Labor to launch the Center for Empowerment and Free Enterprise (CEFE). Its mission is to improve the quality of life and standard of living of undergraduates and help them develop skills for academic and professional success.
Espina said the St. Ambrose University mission of enriching lives was very appealing, as much of her work history reflects the same goals.
Espina earned a bachelor's degree in statistics from the University of Puerto Rico, and a master's in operations research and statistics and a doctorate in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.