Meet the Staff

Center Director

Maria Dykema Erb, (she/her/hers), 617-353-3424

Make an appointment with Maria

Maria is a natural collaborator and community builder who is passionate about helping first-generation students succeed. She joined the Newbury Center as its inaugural director in December 2020, bringing nearly three decades of experience in diversity and inclusion work, student recruitment and retention, academic and student affairs. Most recently, she was co-director of diversity and student success at the Graduate School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Maria received her MEd in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Vermont and her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire. One of five siblings raised on a Vermont dairy farm, Maria is the first person in her family to have gone to college and the only one to have completed a four-year degree. “Having been a first-gen student myself,” she says, “I want to be the person I needed back then.”

Center Assistant Director

M.C. Damm, (STH ’21) (they/them) 617-353-3401

Make an appointment with M.C.

M.C. is a community-minded educator who strives to make higher education accessible, hospitable, and inclusive.  Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, M.C. received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish from Hope College before moving to Boston, where they completed a master’s in global and community engagement at BU’s School of Theology.  Having worked with preschool-aged children, grad students and everyone in-between, M.C. uses their training in developmental psychology to create programming that is innovative, practical and fun.  They say, “as a student, I needed the support of friends and mentors to navigate the highs and lows of undergraduate and graduate education. It is an honor to support our first-gen students and to walk alongside them on their educational journeys.”

Student Staff

  • Andy Zheng (QST) (he/him/his)
  • Brianna Bourne (CAS) (she/her/hers)
  • Curille McKenna (SPH) (she/her/hers)
  • Daija Miller (CGS) (she/her/hers)
  • Hector Rivera (CFA) (he/him/his)
  • Jairo Zelaya (CGS) (he/him/his)
  • Kat Quach (COM) (she/her/hers)
  • Manegabe Bujiriri (QST) (he/him/his)
  • Valerie Sanchez Covaleda (CGS) (she/her/hers)