Maria gained a BSc in Philosophy and Sociology at Swansea University and subsequently worked for several non-governmental organisations including Age Cymru where she led the age equality campaigns and policy work. Returning to Swansea in 2010, Maria began her academic career at the Centre for Innovative Ageing as Research Network Coordinator holding several research posts most recently with the Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research. Her current role with CADR involves supporting the development of collaborative research proposals and promoting the involvement of older people in research. Her research interests lie in older people, social policy, care, gender and equality. She combines work with her PhD which is a qualitative study exploring the concept of wellbeing for family carers within the context of social care.
Maria is actively involved in Athena SWAN at University and College levels. She coordinates the University Athena SWAN Carers Support Group, which meets monthly. As a qualified yoga teacher, Maria provides lunchtime yoga sessions for staff to enhance their health and wellbeing, and provided yoga as part of the University Family Fun event. Maria has a compassionate manner and is very supportive of her colleagues and always willing to help. She advocates for staff who are carers to ensure they are adequately supported and their caring roles are recognised by the University. She has a genuine commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of others. She combines all of this with her doctoral studies and raising two young children. She is an inspiration to all.
Maria’s role as co-ordinator of the Athena SWAN Carers Support Group is entirely aligned with the International Womens Day theme 'Each for Equal'. Increasing numbers of staff at the University are carers and through coordinating the support group she ensures that these staff are provided with support and have a forum for their collective views to be heard. This includes ensuring that all staff are aware of the University policies to assist carers in balancing their work and caring roles and advocating on their behalf with senior managers and the University Athena SWAN lead. Through her yoga sessions she promotes the health and wellbeing of staff which is immediately visible on staff leaving the sessions and the very positive comments she receives.