As a College Data Coach, Mary Ann Matta DeMario, Ph.D., supports the work of the Data Collaborative for a Skills-Based Economy and the Community College Growth Engine. The role gives Mary Ann the opportunity to blend her interests in creative problem solving, collaborative team building, and building a community of practice with her knowledge of data systems, data governance, data policy, and data design. As a nationally recognized leader on how colleges can design data systems to identify student-parents (college students who are parents), Mary Ann’s role as a College Data Coach allows her to continue to support college data capacity while facilitating shared experiences aimed at supporting students. The crux of her work is helping to design of a system of higher education that is more flexible, affordable, and inclusive for new majority learners.
Prior to working at the Lab, Mary Ann spent 17 years as a specialist in the Institutional Research Office at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y. Monroe was the first college in the nation to deliberately collect data on students’ marital and parental status, and Mary Ann was the first researcher to analyze that data. The result was a seminal study that demonstrated that campus-based child care helps student-parents with young children persist in and graduate from college. Following that and other studies on Monroe student-parents, Mary Ann helped Monroe apply for and receive the Education Design Lab’s Single Moms Success grant in 2019. She was the original project lead and served as its principal investigator until she left Monroe for the Lab in March 2023.
Mary Ann considers herself fortunate to be able to do work that supports underrepresented college students. She has worked alongside distinguished organizations such as Ascend at the Aspen Institute, Generation Hope, the State University of New York (SUNY), the Urban Institute, College Promise, and ETS. She is most grateful, however, for working closely with the Lab on the Single Moms Success initiative. That experience allowed her to witness the transformational power of human-centered design.
Mary Ann has a bachelor’s in psychology from SUNY Potsdam, and a master’s and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While in graduate school, she worked as the assistant to the editor for a regional women’s magazine. Her most treasured memory of that time is interviewing writer, poet, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. Following graduate school, Mary Ann worked in New York City for several years as the coordinator of research and development for a nonprofit organization. She then spent 17 years as an institutional researcher at Monroe Community College. Mary Ann currently lives in suburban Rochester, N.Y., with her husband and son.