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Spotlight- Maria Agnew

“I always thought working in higher education was great way to give back to the community.” Maria Agnew

WVC alumna dedicated to keeping college community safe Maria Agnew

When you meet Maria Agnew, you instantly get a sense of who she is and what she is about. Her direct style of communication and career history in law enforcement makes her a perfect fit for her role the safety, security and emergency manager at Wenatchee Valley College (WVC).

An alumna, Agnew attended WVC in the 80's on an athletic scholarship with the women’s basketball team. She was on the roster when they won their fifth NWAC championship under Coach Sellers in 1981-82. After WVC, Agnew went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in law and justice and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Bastyr University.

After 25 years in law enforcement, Agnew returned to WVC as adjunct faculty for the criminal justice program. In November 2017, she transitioned to her current role, overseeing WVC’s contract security team and managing issues related to personal safety, occupational safety and safety training for both WVC campuses.

“I always thought working in higher education was great way to give back to the community,” Agnew said.

Agnew is an organizer for the Chelan County Emergency Operations Center and was instrumental in developing the partnership to house their new location in WVC’s newest building Mish ee twie. She is also a member of the WVC Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) which helps track and assess behavioral issues to keep students and campus safe.

Agnew said WVC’s best quality is the personal atmosphere of the campus community. “Faculty and staff are genuinely interested in students’ experience and success” stated Agnew.  In her current role, Agnew cultivates relationships among employees and students alike. Knowing people around campus and building relationships is one of her favorite things about working at WVC.

“The people in the WVC family are treasures in the WVC community,” she said. “It is the personal relationships that make our community college so special.”

Agnew said she supports the mission of the WVC Foundation due to the support it provides for students and employees and its ability to create partnerships, build relationships, and fundraise to support student needs. The foundation has supported Agnew’s department as well, funding campus safety trainings.

In June 2022, Agnew was awarded the WVC Outstanding Exempt Staff Award. Employees are nominated and selected annually. After review by a committee, three finalists are given to the WVC president for the final choice. A monetary award of $1,000 is provided to the award recipient by the Wenatchee Valley College Foundation.