Maria was raised by her grandparents who were Genocide survivors from Trapezounta Pontos. Their strength of character, honor and compassion for others, continue to be a driving force for Maria. After graduating from Anatolia College in Thessaloniki, she studied Microbiology at Washington State University on a full scholarship.
Her professional career included medical research at the Oregon Health Science Center, the Oregon Primate Center and clinical work at the Immunopathology lab at Evanston Hospital.
Her lifelong passion for Fine Art inspired her to earn a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was instrumental in organizing the Caillebolte Exhibit and the Monitors Exhibit. Maria has worked with world renowned artists such as Catherine Arnold, Daphne Zepos, Weiling Zhao and others. Her belief in civic duty has resulted in serving as a board member at the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center, at the Gene Siskel Film Center and Art Encounter.
She is currently serving as a docent at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center and for the past five years, she has been fully committed to fulfilling the mission of the Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center. Maria takes a stand for human rights and injustice.