Maria Fernandez

Academic Director

Maria Fernandez is an Academic Director at ACUE.  She has more than 25 years’ experience in the information and educational technology industry, working with and leading teams from across the country in instructional design, distance learning and faculty development.  

Maria has worked alongside ACUE’s mission since 2015 as her role as lead facilitator at California State University Los Angeles where she served as an Instructional Designer for the Center of Effective Teaching and Learning.  As a first-generation Cuban immigrant, Maria has the lived experience of a diverse personal and professional background which serves to help meet ACUE’s mission of creating an environment where all members of the community can thrive.  

Maria’s previous work has focused on designing effective team assignments in online courses predominantly in STEM Master’s Degree online curriculum. In addition, she provided direction and mentorship on ensuring the quality assurance of online courses that include accessibility standards and universal design. As the Assistant Director of Distance Learning at California State University Northridge, Maria was the lead Instructional Designer for multiple fully online Master’s programs.  Maria also served as the lead instructional designer at California State University Los Angeles, where, working in the faculty development center of the university, she spearheaded the creation of hybrid and online course development and served as the quality assurance of online courses coordinator for the campus.   As Senior Instructional Designer at Miami Dade College, Maria designed online courses across multiple academic disciplines, and managed and taught webinars in online instruction.  She was appointed by the college president as a member of a team that was tasked to deliver a research proposal for a 24-month grant to develop a three-pronged Information Technology education program for the U.S. Embassy in Cuba.  

Maria began her career as a software developer at National Broadcasting Company (NBC) in New York, where she developed software to manage engineering projects. She then moved to Miami, Florida where she worked as a Systems Analyst for the Miami Dade County Criminal Justice System.  


Maria holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Saint John’s University, New York, and a Master of Science in Media Education from Nova Southeastern University, Florida.