Service to the Community Award Presented to Suarez for Efforts Following Hurricane Maria

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Maria Lourdes Suárez (Marilú), administrative professional senior in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, received the Service to the Community Award at the 2018 Faculty and Staff Honors Luncheon for her efforts following Hurricane Maria.

In the Nunn School, Marilú is known for her institutional knowledge and go-getter attitude. If there is an administrative problem that needs to be resolved, she can find a solution.

Because of dedication to the Nunn School and service to Georgia Tech, Marilú was nominated by two separate groups at Georgia Tech to receive the Service to the Community Award.

Marilú came to the Nunn School 13 years ago, after submitting applications across the southeast. She moved her family to Georgia from Miami, Florida, after working seven years as the administrative assistant in the Gulliver Schools.

In September 2017 following Hurricane Maria, people from across Georgia Tech got to meet Marilú.

“Shortly after the hurricane, I started contacting members of our Georgia Tech community for assistance in the organization of a hurricane relief effort,” said Legna Figueroa-Cosme, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “Marilú did not have second thoughts about helping me when she heard the news about the event.”

Marilú, who is the events coordinator in the Nunn School, has managed event logistics for multiple events, including the biannual Nunn Policy Forum, which brings in over two hundred participants. Because of her involvement with event planning, Marilú knew how to handle the logistics to collect donations for the victims of Hurricane Maria.

She helped organize meetings, communicated with local Puerto Rican leaders, cataloged donations and, most importantly, found a way to transport the items. Finding a way to deliver the items to Puerto Rico was the tricky part because of the damaged infrastructure.

Marilú, in collaboration with Laura Paige, academic advisor in the Bioengineering program, was able to find Mr. Julio Canales, a Delta pilot, to transport the donations to Puerto Rico. In the end, the group gathered over 10,000 lbs. of donations and over $9,000 for Puerto Rico.

“Marilú Suárez embodies the Georgia Tech motto of ‘Progress and Service’ through her actions,” said Shamecia Powers, administrative manager II.  “She actively worked to raise awareness and collection donations to aid in Puerto Rico’s progress toward full recovery from Hurricane Maria.”

For more information on the Faculty and Staff Honors Luncheon and a full listing of faculty and staff awards and nominations, visit the Faculty and Staff Honors Luncheon webpage.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: jpalacios9
  • Created: 04/27/2018
  • Modified By: jpalacios9
  • Modified: 06/11/2018


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