1994 Inductee - Maria Elena Serna

1994 Inductee - Maria Elena Serna

Politics, Women’s Issues

Maria Elena Serna has been a community activist involved in San Joaquin County political, educational and social activities for the past 22 years. She was elected to the San Joaquin Delta College Board of Trustees in November of 1990, thus becoming the first Hispanic woman elected in San Joaquin County as well as being the first Hispanic woman elected to the Board of Trustees. She has served as President, and Vice President of the Board and Chair of the Board’s Committee on Relations with Minority Communities. She has been the Board’s representative to the San Joaquin School Board Association and member of the City Council Organizations, City of Stockton. In addition, Ms. Serna has been a member of the Statewide Latino Trustee Association and California Community College Trustees Association.

Ms. Serna has been a professional educator since 1973, after receiving the Helen Danner Award, the Association of Mexican American education scholarship and a National Teacher Corp scholarship. Ms. Serna transferred from Delta College to the University of the Pacific where she earned a BA in Political Science and her teaching credentials. In 1975 she pursued legal studies and attended McGill University Faculty of Law in Montreal, Quebec. In 1979 Maria Elena was awarded a bilingual fellowship from CSU-Sacramento and attended graduate school and earned a bilingual, cross cultural specialist credential in 1981. From 1979 to 1984 Ms. Serna lectured in the Ethnic Center at CSU-Sacramento. She joined Lodi Unified School District in 1978 and worked as a history and government teacher at Bear Creek High School. In addition, she was selected twice by her peers and district administrators as a district mentor teacher, and is a past member of the San Joaquin Mentor Advisory Committee.

Maria Elena has served on numerous community organizations that include chairing the local chapter of the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1980 and served on the NWPCS State Board of Directors in 1981. She was a founding member of the National Organizations for women in 1971 of the local chapter. She served on the Community Action Council Board of Directors from 1969 to 1971 assisting low income people to obtain educational training, job opportunities and is dedicated in assisting people in civil matters. In 1968 through 1975 Ms. Serna served on the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. As the Director she served as Legislative Chair for San Joaquin County.

In 1978 Maria Elena Spearheaded the first Neighborhood Watch Program in Lodi. She was instrumental in founding the Lodi Historical Society in 1989 and was the Society’s founding president. She is a chartered member of the local Chapter of Comision Femenil del Contado de San Joaquin, and has been a member of the Stat of California Latina Pac, the Hispanics for Political Action, Delta Kappa Gamma, and the Business and Professional Women’s Club. She served on the Board of Directors of the Delta Health Care Program and the San Joaquin Family Law Services Agency Advisory Committee.

Maria Elena Serna has received the “Community Service Award” from San Joaquin County in 1971; received the “Commission on the Status of Women, Susan B. Anthony Award” and was recognized by the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Lodi with the “Woman of Achievement Award” in 1988. She is a 1991 Lodi Leadership Program graduate sponsored by the Greater Lodi chamber of Commerce. In 1993 Ms. Serna was recipient of the “Council for the Spanish Speaking Community Service Award”.