Adams State event showcases work of new alumni relations director
NEVER mind that Ashley Maestas has only been on the campus of Adams State since July as its new director of alumni relations and engagement. And never mind that she is staging her first homecoming this weekend in her new role.
You would think the San Luis native would be a tad nervous about leading Adams State’s alumni nation, but if you knew Ashley Maestas, you would know she has a confidence and coolness about her that has allowed her to tackle big challenges her entire life.
“It’s been great. I feel like a lot of my background has prepared me for this role in the sense that I’m getting to still lead a team and be responsible for a lot of different aspects,” Maestas said Wednesday as she assembled a group to begin decorating ballrooms for Friday night’s alumni awards banquet.
“It’s been a really fun time,” she said. “I feel like I’m fitting in great. I love my team, I love everybody around me. I’ve had a lot of support and it’s been fun preparing for this homecoming for sure.”
Maestas, herself an Adams State graduate with bachelor and master’s degrees, took over the Adams State alumni relations office on July 1 after running the Colorado Workforce Center in Monte Vista. She earned the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Leader of the Year in 2020, but then again awards and accolades are nothing new for one of the San Luis Valley’s rising leaders.
She’s a former Colorado student of the year for the Latin American Educational Foundation, a Gates Millennium Scholar coming out of high school in San Luis, and she became a mother at a young age that pushed her to grow even more.
“With family support to continue to pursue my goals, I never gave up on my dreams,” she said. “I completed my undergraduate and graduate degrees while navigating motherhood, my personal life, my full-time job, and serving on various community committees. I hope one day to be an inspiration for my daughter as she pursues her own dreams.”
Adams State has added new twists to its Homecoming of the Century, billed as such to recognize that it’s been 100 years since Adams State was established in 1921. A fireworks display from near the Adams State softball field will follow the Friday night awards banquet and bonfire.
Then on Saturday the Homecoming parade, which Maestas bills as the biggest parade Alamosa has seen, begins at 10 a.m. down Main Street Alamosa, followed by a carnival staged on the campus green in front of Rex Field beginning at 11 a.m. and ahead of Adams State’s homecoming football game.
Maestas, in her role, builds engagement for Adams State alumni through events and other programs. She’s embarked on a strategy to engage a greater number of more recent graduates of Adams State through a young alumni ambassador program which she hopes will help the school reach more of its graduates.
“Adams State has amazing alumni. I didn’t realize we had over 32,000, but when we check the numbers it’s there and it’s growing,” she said. “We have a lot of engagement. We’re getting our young alumni ambassadors together so we’re starting to get that younger engagement as well.
“Just a lot of great people. I’ve had a lot of fun meeting them, having them on campus, doing tours with them. It’s only been a couple of months but I hope to get many more through all of our different events.”
A full list of Adams State Homecoming of the Century events is here.