Adriana Almanza values the personal relationships she formed as both an undergraduate and graduate student at Grand Valley and is proud to be making similar relationships with students in her current role as assistant director of Multicultural Affairs.
“Grand Valley is a really great place for students, faculty and staff to get a small-base feel,” she said. “We are able to create relationships with students. We have a lot of resources and opportunities for students, but the relationships that you create here go beyond that.”
Almanza was born and raised in Greenville, but her family is from Mexico. After earning a bachelor's degree, she volunteered for nonprofit organizations then worked in Grand Valley’s admissions office for almost eight years before moving to the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Almanza also teaches a US 102 course designed to help students develop a plan suited to their needs, goals, and career choices.
At OMA, Almanza serves as a contact person for students on campus who may need support. She provides success coaching, career planning and social justice training for students. She is also involved with Latino student initiatives on campus such as Laker Familia, Hispanic Heritage Celebration events and the Latino graduation celebration. She assists in creating intentional programing that benefits student, faculty and staff at Grand Valley and working collaboratively with other departments on campus.
In 2015, Almanza was named the Hispanic Advocate of the Year by the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan. She said she continues to strive to bring awareness and activism to social justice issues; her area of passion is undocumented student access to higher education opportunities.