Mesa Community College leader receives award for distinguished leadership

Wooden carving/award, along with program from presentation. MESA, Arizona – Sept. 13, 2023 – Nora Amavisca Reyes, Ed.D., a senior associate vice president at Mesa Community College currently focused on the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) Innovation Internship program, is the recipient of the Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education award from the Pete C. Garcia Victoria Foundation.

Reyes received the award at a reception at the Helios Foundation Campus in Phoenix on Sept. 6.

Based in Phoenix, the Helios Foundation was established in 2008 to improve conditions in impoverished Arizona communities through neighborhood action and involvement and academic scholarships. In the past 15 years the foundation has awarded nearly 1,600 academic scholarships representing $1.9 million to Latinx students pursuing college degrees.

“I became a teacher and a leader in education to help students move toward their academic goals and to help them make their hopes and dreams a reality, so I am honored to receive this award for leadership,” said Reyes. “As a first generation college graduate from a small Arizona town, I understand the level of commitment and persistence it takes to overcome challenges and achieve success, particularly when resources and relatable role models are limited. It has been a privilege to work with students and communities in efforts that empower them for the benefit of all.”

Reyes’ role in the MCCCD Innovation Internship program is to establish a foundation for expanding experiential education programming, building partnerships with international institutions of higher education to increase international student enrollment, develop student teaching exchange programs and expand opportunities for language learning in alignment with workforce needs.

Named vice provost of the MCC Red Mountain Campus in 2016 prior to serving in her current position at the Southern and Dobson Campus, Reyes has served in multi-faceted leadership roles at MCC since 1997. She chaired the college’s Education Studies Department, MCC Department Chair Association and the Education Instructional Council and Articulation Task Force. She served as the director of the Guanajuato and Xalapa Study Abroad programs, the administrator of the TL3C Grant Project and acting dean of Innovative Learning and Academic Affairs.

Her first professional experience was as a bilingual second grade teacher in South Phoenix.

Throughout her career Reyes has worked to enrich the college’s relationships among numerous organizations and governmental entities with a talent for working collaboratively with leadership, faculty and staff to advance the college’s academic mission, promote educational excellence and improve learning outcomes.

Her many awards recognizing her dedication and success include the Ronald McDonald House Charities Excellence in Education and the League of Latino American Citizens Outstanding Latino Educator.

Reyes earned a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in bilingual education, a Master of Education in Multicultural/Bilingual Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, all from Arizona State University. She graduated valedictorian from Antelope Union High School in Wellton, Ariz.

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer,, 480-461-7892.

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. Host to more than 24,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. MCC is transforming student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution. Nearly 50% of MCC students are the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges. The American Indian Institute serves students from 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes and out-of-state tribes. Our diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

MCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC),

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Tuesday, September 12, 2023