Maria Hernández teaches mathematics at NCSSM. She has taught a variety of courses ranging from Algebra to Modeling with Differential Equations and Complex Systems. Her work is focused on using mathematical modeling, discovery-based activities, and technology to engage students as active learners and creative problem-solvers. Maria also provides professional development for teachers in local, national and international arenas and has served on the NCTM/SIAM Joint Committee on Modeling Across the Curriculum, the US National Commission on Mathematics Instruction, and the organizing committee for the Critical Issues in Mathematics Education Conference. In 2009, Maria received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching and, in 2013, the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. Maria hopes to support underrepresented students in gaining access to quality STEM education through her work with Teachers2Teachers Global, the NC Hispanic Education Summit, and the Women and Mathematics Math Mentoring Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from North Carolina State University, and a master’s degree in mathematics from UNC-Chapel Hill. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the fiddle and hiking.