Valerie is a social worker by training, but started her career teaching and establishing an English program in Ecuador. She later held several K-12 educational positions that addressed the non-academic challenges that impacted classroom achievement. She transitioned to higher education with a dual role as a Lecturer and the Masters of Social Work (MSW) Field Coordinator for Texas State University School of Social Work where she taught undergraduate and graduate students on campus and online. In addition, Valerie co-facilitated Project Know Your WORTH (Woman Offering Resources, Truth + Heart), an endeavor that brought awareness to the gender pay gap and trained women and BIPOC on salary negotiation skills.
Valerie has always seen the application of technology in social services, specifically in artificial intelligence. She completed a Certificate in Artificial Intelligence, Strategies for Leading Business Transformation at Northwestern Kellogg. She was a visiting scholar to universities in Bogotá, Colombia where she taught the course, The Human Side of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The course introduced the foundation of AI and embedded personal bias identification and the ethical implications of the technology.
She holds a Bachelor's degree (BSW) from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master's degree (MSW) from Texas State University. She loves to travel, cook, eat tacos and noodles, and sing karaoke (loudly and very badly!).