Born in Santa Monica, California into a very close Mexican familia (dad from Michoacán & mom from Chihuahua), Veronica identifies as a bilingual, bicultural Latina mom of three biracial teenagers. Raised with a lot of love, support, encouragement, and a belief that she and her sister could accomplish anything, especially when it came to higher education, Veronica strives to be a culturally responsive STEMista.
Veronica’s journey was influenced early on by a middle school field trip to UCLA. Her high school years were focused on animal husbandry, 80s hair, fashion and music, family parties, her camera, good friends, and getting into college. That’s where Veronica realized that working in museums was a realistic option. She ultimately received a BA in Art History from UCLA and an MA in museum studies from John F. Kennedy University, where she investigated how museums can create effective partnerships with urban Latino families. It all came together for Veronica when she got a job at the UCLA Wight Art Gallery on campus as a bilingual gallery educator for a Chicano Art Resistance and Affirmation exhibition, bringing together her newfound interests in museums + art history + education. That experience eventually led Veronica to move to the San Francisco Bay Area to start grad school in museum studies with an emphasis on education and social responsibility.
Today, Veronica is the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the Exploratorium. She has more than 20 years’ experience researching and developing programs and exhibits to increase access to STEM learning opportunities for non-dominant communities. She has co-led the Latino Audience Engagement Initiative at the Exploratorium and most recently served as Co-PI on several equity focused National Science Foundation grants including: Ciencia Pública: Co-creating Public Outdoor Learning Spaces with Latino Communities; EDGE: Exhibit Designs for Girls’ Engagement, and GENIAL: Generating Engagement and New Initiatives for All Latinos.