University of Vermont

College of Education and Social Sciences

Doctoral Programs in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Maria Mercedes Avila (Ph.D. Program)

Maria Mercedes Avila
Maria Mercedes Avila

Maria Mercedes Avila grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina and completed a BA in English and a year-long Teaching as a Foreign Language (TELF) training program in the United Kingdom. She was sponsored to come to the U.S. to teach English as a Second Language and coordinate the first Family Literacy program for refugees and immigrants in Vermont. She completed a Master’s in Educational Leadership at UVM, with a PreK-12 administrator’s licensure. She further worked for 6 years in Market Research for a leading U.S. company; and was then hired by UVM’s College of Medicine (COM) as a Program Evaluator for the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program and the Vermont Interdisciplinary Leadership Education for Health Professionals program. Since joining UVM’s COM, she has been involved in several federal programs, including:  SAMHSA Youth Suicide Prevention, HRSA Health Careers Opportunity Program, MCH Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, and Vermont Department of Health’s State Implementation Grant for Improving Services for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other Developmental Disabilities. In addition, Mercedes provides consultation on Cultural and Linguistic Competency to the Department of Mental Health’s Vermont Child Mental Health Initiative and has trained more than 500 providers. She is Adjunct Faculty in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS) where she developed and teaches the CNHS’s D1: Racism and Health Disparities in the U.S. course. Mercedes is currently pursuing two degrees: a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and a Certificate in Graduate Studies in Interdisciplinary Studies of Disability. She lives in Burlington, Vermont with her husband Thomas.

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