Executive Director of Community Outreach & Services
By: Anna-Kate Weichel
The percentage of Latinos who receive their Master’s degree in Oklahoma is shockingly less than 10 percent. Erica Alvarez-Stanton is beating those odds — and now she’s helping MACU students do the same.
Alvarez-Stanton grew up in Brownsville, Texas, just a few miles from the border of Mexico. All of her classmates were Hispanic, the career paths were limited and she had to teach herself English through primary school. Upon graduating high school, she knew she was ready for a change. She moved 12 hours away to attend college in Kansas, where she found herself surrounded in diversity. After she graduated, she knew she was ready to make a difference in the world.
Within two years, Alvarez-Stanton made the decision to move to Oklahoma City to take a job and be closer to her sister. She started exploring her career path by working as a translator, in higher education and then in human resources. She was excelling in her full-time career while also finishing her Master’s degree. Soon after receiving her graduate degree, she had her beautiful daughter, Alexa.
Just as everything in her life was moving along, her nephew was diagnosed with cancer. She constantly drove back and forth to Texas to be with her family. But during that period of darkness, she found a light in the form of the man who would become her husband: Brett Stanton, MACU’s head baseball coach. “Out of this insane tragedy came my biggest blessing,” Alvarez-Stanton said. As their relationship blossomed, she felt the call to return to higher education, feeling ready to challenge herself and make better use of her skills in a more diverse environment.
“I needed to get back to higher education,” she said. “I felt such a passion to mentor students and when you have that passion, it’s not really work.”
She began her position as Executive Director of Community Outreach and Services at MACU in December of 2021 and has been moving full speed ahead ever since. Alvarez-Stanton is already a mainstay on campus and recently organized the Latino Youth Empowerment Conference which was held in March. She said she looks forward to continuing to reach all of Oklahoma City and beyond to represent MACU and its diverse campus community.
“I know firsthand how important it is for Latinos and members of other marginalized communities to have role models in various fields,” she said. “I really think this is where God has led me and I am so excited to make an impact on student’s lives”.