Search form

You are here

Geraldo “Jerry” Maldonado

Director of Marketing & Institutional Advancement, Centro Las Americas

Although Geraldo Maldonado had taken a course at QCC when he was a student at Burncoat Senior High School, he was very concerned about going back to school.

“I was afraid of going back to school and QCC transformed my life by allowing me to get over my fears. I didn’t know how easy it would be,” he said. “I then encouraged many others in turn.”

“As a single father of two girls, I encouraged both of my daughters to attend QCC. Kristina, the older one, lives in Vermont and works full-time for FedEx. Aimee, the younger one, just graduated from QCC in May 2014 and is currently attending Nichols College.”

Mr. Maldonado was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. When he was 6 years old, his family moved to Lowell, Mass., searching for jobs and better opportunities. At age 9, his family moved to Worcester. After high school, he joined the Air National Guard, and then started working. When he enrolled at QCC years later, he was in his late 20’s and a parent. “I was working a full-time job, a part-time job, and taking two to three classes per semester,” he said. “I needed the flexibility QCC offered.”

He graduated from QCC in 1995 with an associate’s degree in Business Administration. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Worcester State University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Anna Maria College.

Mr. Maldonado recently started at Centro Las Americas in Worcester as the Director of Marketing & Institutional Advancement. Prior to that, he was a financial advisor for First Niagara Financial Group in Putnam, Conn.

“I have been involved with Centro Las Americas as a volunteer in the past, and I am very excited to start this new position,” he said of the community social services organization, of which his mother, Julia Vargas, was one of the founders. Centro Las Americas was established in 1977, as a multi-service, non-profit Latino organization whose mission is to serve, empower, and advocate in the Greater Worcester Community.

Professor Maldonado teaches Intercultural Communications at Becker College and Financial Management at Anna Maria College. He also teaches a variety of courses at Quinsigamond Community College, including Marketing, Management, and Finance.

“My experiences as an adjunct professor have been very rewarding. My first semester teaching was the spring of 2011 at QCC. Almost four years later, I’m still in contact with many former students,” he said. “Recently, a student had an opportunity to apply for a teaching position in Spain. We spent about two hours on the telephone discussing the pros and cons of her applying for the position. She decided that it was a good idea, with a little nudge from me. I wrote a letter on her behalf to the Spanish Embassy in Washington, D.C. She was accepted to the program and she temporarily moved to Spain in August 2014. She sends me updates regularly. Many other students have called me to discuss furthering their education, changing jobs, and changing careers.”

He also has been an active volunteer in his community. He volunteered at Worcester State’s Upward Bound program for many years. As a former Upward Bound student, he knows the importance of positive role models. “I remember the impact of meeting Director Sidney Buxton, the first minority professional male most of us ever met,” Mr. Maldonado said.

When his daughters were younger, he served as the Chairman of the Site Council at the Jacob Hiatt Magnet School in Worcester and as the President of the PTO. “Jacob Hiatt’s principal was Anthony J. Caputo. Mr. Caputo was my 5th grade teacher and the first teacher to believe in me and encourage me,” he said.

At the time, he was also a very active Brownie Leader with the Montachusett Girl Scout Council, “At the time, I believe I was the only male Girl Scout leader in the area,” he said.

He was President of the Multicultural Affairs Alumni Council at Worcester State, Director and Treasurer of the Worcester Public Library Board, and other community groups.

 “It is an honor to be named a QCC Guardian. My mother learned English at QCC back in the 1970s. In the ’80s, I took a class as a high school student. In the ’90s, I became an alum. In the 2010s, my daughters became part of the QCC family,” Mr. Maldonado said. “Unfortunately, too many Puerto Rican boys from Great Brook Valley drop out of high school, but somehow, I continued my education and earned an MBA. QCC was the first door I had to walk through. Teaching at the very same college I was so afraid to matriculate in many years ago is an incredible feeling. I hope earning this award empowers students and others to follow their dreams.”