Meet a Deac – Alta Mauro

As we continue our look at notable Wake Foresters, today we’ll introduce you to Alta Mauro, Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA).  The OMA strives to foster an inclusive and welcoming campus environment marked by an appreciation of diversity.  Alta and her staff work to recruit and retain students of color, and engage members of the University community in meaningful cross cultural interactions.

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What is your official job title?
Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs

How long have you worked at WFU?
After college, I went to work for Procter & Gamble for a short time. I went back to graduate school and then worked for four years at Lehigh University, which is quite similar to Wake. I spent one year at UNC-Greensboro, and am now in my third year here at Wake Forest and really enjoying it!

In laymen’s terms, what do you do at WFU?
I work with colleagues in Admissions to recruit students of color, students who are the first in their families to go to college, or students who have high financial needs. Once those students matriculate, I lead my team in making sure that those students are connected to the resources that they need to be successful at Wake Forest, including mentoring, financial aid, information about study abroad, internships, etc. We try to provide a home-away-from home for students, so that they can focus their energies on academics and making the most of their collegiate experience.

How would you characterize Wake Forest students?
Wake Forest students are incredibly bright, generally hard-working, and invested in being successful. I also find them to be genuinely interested in the world around them (which is particularly cool when they define this world broadly). Many of them are committed to seeing the world become a better place when they leave it than when they found it, which is inspiring.

What advice would you give to students?
The advice I would give to students is: think critically about what you want to get out of college. What skills do you want to develop? What experiences do you want to have? Once you have an idea of the person you want to become, work backwards from there, to ensure that you are moving toward that goal. Next, I would encourage students to engage in a broad set of experiences and really take advantage of all that Wake has to offer. Meet people who are different from you in multiple ways, and challenge yourself to get out of your cultural comfort zone. This will help you to prepare for living in an interconnected world.

What do you like best about working at Wake Forest?
There is a sense of community that exists at Wake Forest and it is really comforting. I work with good people who are committed to seeing students be successful, so I know I am in good company.

Let’s move to the bonus questions!

Book you’re reading now:  I have an infant son, so reading is a luxury that I simply cannot afford! Professor Beth Hopkins sent me a book called “Little Bee” when I was on bedrest with him, and I have yet to crack it open. I hope to get to it over the winter break.

What music are you listening to these days: The Roots’ new album, Undun, just dropped last week and my husband bought it for us. We’re big fans. I am also listening to Michael Buble’s new Christmas cd, and the newest Carl Thomas cd (but I forget the name of it!)

Favorite movie: My favorite movie of all time is probably Coming to America. It is just so hilarious, I could watch it over and over again. I just saw the first Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movie last month, so I am super excited for the second one to come out this month. As a matter of fact, Robert Downey Jr. is becoming a favorite of mine lately. I loved him in The Soloist, Due Date, and Tropic Thunder. (Yes, I watched Tropic Thunder… and I liked it)!

Websites you frequentjbhe.com (Journal of Blacks in Higher Education), insidehighered.com

Guilty pleasure: Bread… of almost any kind. And cheese.

Favorite place to be on campus: I like the Mag quad… It’s gorgeous, especially in the spring or fall. I also enjoy being in Brendle, because that means that I’m likely at an awesome musical event. And of course, Shorty’s, if there is a Cobb Salad or Mr. Wake Forest burger involved!

What most people don’t know about you: I am the youngest of 14 children – 7 boys and 7 girls.

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