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Unity Environmental University Announces Key Hires in Support of Continued Institutional Growth

Unity Strengthens its Enterprise Ranks with Accomplished Industry Experts

Unity Environmental University announces the appointment of four highly accomplished professionals to key Enterprise-level positions within the organization. These strategic hires represent a significant step forward in enhancing the university’s capacity to drive innovation, excellence, and sustainable impact in the field of environmental studies.

“These talented individuals possess a shared commitment to advancing environmental awareness and solutions, aligning seamlessly with Unity Environmental University’s mission and vision,” said President of the Enterprise, Dr. Erika Latty. “Each brings a wealth of experience. Their diverse backgrounds and commitment to breaking down barriers traditionally associated with higher education  will enhance student experiences and contribute to shaping future environmentally, and socially competent professionals.”

A man with black glasses and a red coat smiles at the camera.

Ángel Martínez Loredo is a seasoned higher education administrator with a career spanning over three decades. With an unwavering commitment to equitable education, Ángel’s journey has been defined by innovative leadership, advocacy for diversity and inclusion, and a deep belief in the power of education to transform lives.  He proudly considers himself a Chicano activist in higher education.

As the Dean of Student Success, he is responsible for designing, implementing, and providing on-going support to enhance the student experience and enabling access and inclusion.  Advocate for institutional resources to create and maintain high-quality student success programs. Loredo continually assesses and strengthens all aspects of student success to improve processes and efficiencies.

Having navigated various roles, Ángel’s impact is felt across institutions and communities, ensuring that postsecondary education remains a vehicle for positive change. Throughout his journey, Angel has passionately advocated for historically underrepresented students, cultivating inclusive campus climates and pioneering initiatives that celebrate diversity.

From the University of Maine to the University of Houston Clear Lake, Ángel brings his legacy of empowerment, education, and the unwavering pursuit of a more inclusive academic landscape to Unity Environmental University. Ángel holds a Master of Liberal Arts from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Arts from St. Mary’s University. He is currently expected to complete his PhD in Higher Education Administration with the University of Maine.

  • Why did you choose Unity?

    I chose Unity because of its state-of-the-art academic programs and offerings to students.  I was very impressed with the leadership and direction to evolve traditional academic programs to connect with the modern world.  With this model, students are central in the decision-making process of the University and the model also provides broad access to environmental programs that in the past only could experience.  My educational philosophy is that all people should have the opportunity to participate in rigorous academic programs to become leaders in positive environmental change and Unity mirrors my beliefs.

  • How do you hope to make a difference at Unity in the years to come?

    My contributions to Unity center on providing opportunities for students to excel in their academic programs by lifting barriers that they may experience along the way.  Since many of our students are working and have families, I hope to develop policies that would support their lifestyle and their academic pursuits.

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?

    I am very active in Latino/a/x Community and most recently the President of CHISPA Centro Hispano, the only Latino/a/x organization in Maine.  When people ask me where I am from, I say that I am a Mexican-American Chicano from Texas.  Also, I am very active in my church, my wife is a Spanish teacher at Brewer High, and that I have two kids who are both graduates of the University of Maine.

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Dr. Heidi Wilkes joins Unity as Chief Learning Officer. As CLO, Dr. Wilkes works with colleagues across the Enterprise leading efforts related to academic policy, assessment, and compliance, and overseeing library and digital resources planning and operations. She also works closely with student success and other leaders designing and delivering quality programming that prepares environmentally competent professionals to shape and safeguard sustainable ecosystems and formulate solutions for our most pressing global, ecological, economic, and societal challenges.

Dr. Wilkes is an academic leader with a proven track record of driving innovation and growth in higher education. Her expertise lies in designing and implementing workforce-relevant academic programs and learning solutions that meet the evolving needs of students and the dynamic educational landscape. With a strong blend of academic and business acumen, Dr. Wilkes excels in fostering innovation, strategizing for enrollment and retention, managing partnerships, and achieving growth targets.

With a Doctorate in Law and Policy from Northeastern University, an M.B.A. in International Business from Bentley University, and a B.A. in International Relations from Boston University, Dr. Wilkes brings an interdisciplinary perspective to her role of Chief Learning Officer. Her ability to lead high-performing teams, manage complex projects, and cultivate positive organizational culture has been shaped throughout her career in higher education in New England, including recent academic leadership roles as the Associate Dean of Academic Operations at the University of New England and the Associate Vice President of Learning Solutions at Southern New Hampshire University.

  • Why did you choose Unity?

    I chose Unity because I was fortunate to have met Dr. Melik Khoury professionally a few years ago and admired his deep commitment to expanding access to higher education, brave and authentic leadership style, as well as his accomplishments in growing Unity’s portfolio of programs. I would say we connected over a shared sense of values, appreciation for radical candor, a sense of loyalty, a strong work ethic, and wanting work to be fun as well as rewarding. The environment and culture at Unity make me happy to be here every day and I really enjoy my work and my colleagues.

  • How do you hope to make a difference at Unity in the years to come?

    I hope to help expand access to vitally important environmental education that will enable a safer, healthier, more sustainable future for us all, and for many generations to come.

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?

    I hope anyone who is passionate about making a difference by addressing environmental challenges and contributing toward building a more sustainable world will consider what Unity has to offer in support of these goals and join our educational community.

A woman in a grey dress and white sweater smiles at the camera.

Elizabeth Barron joins Unity as the Director of Development and Grants. In her position Barron plays an important role in advancing Unity’s mission and goals by helping Leadership strategically cultivate relationships with donors, Alumni, Foundations, businesses, and other collaborators; identify and engage prospective supporters; secure funding through grants; and by overseeing fundraising initiatives.

Throughout Barron’s career, she has navigated the crossroads of financial stewardship and community engagement. As the Director of Philanthropy and Community Engagement at the Maine Children’s Home (MCH), they spearheaded donor relations, fundraising, and strategic planning.

Barron holds a Master of Business Administration from Thomas College and is pursuing a Michigan State University Social Work Master Track certificate. With roles such as Vice-Chair of the Maine Community Foundation Kennebec County Grant Advisory Committee and leadership positions in organizations like the United Ways of Maine, Barron consistently advocates for positive change and community resilience, making a meaningful impact.

  • Why did you choose Unity?

    While I have been intrigued by Unity Environmental University for years, the growth and refocus over the past few years totally captured my attention. In a time when many small colleges are closing, Unity has found a way to stay relevant and accessible and grow. As people are vociferously challenging the value of a college education, Unity offers tangibly valuable opportunities. In a time when the world is literally and figuratively burning, Unity is committed to growing a workforce of leaders who are poised to find solutions.

    For someone like me who wants their life to be purpose-focused, Unity is a natural choice. I love the idea of being a part of a team of people focused on discovering and implementing new and better ways of doing things.  Being an integral part of “a multifaceted organization recognized as the thought leader in global ecological, economic, and societal solutions.” And the team of people working here are amazing – I am truly charged to be a part of this grand undertaking.

  • How do you hope to make a difference at Unity in the years to come?

    I am bringing a strong skillset from my varied roles and life experiences – I hope to be a key contributor to strengthen Unity’s foundation and build a robust framework around which Unity’s vibrant future can be solidly developed.

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?

    I am very happy to be here!

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Cayla L. Winn is a dynamic professional celebrated for her exceptional leadership and transformative impact across diverse industries. As Director of Talent Acquisition, Cayla works closely with hiring managers and University leadership to determine hiring needs. In her position, Winn recruits faculty, and staff from all backgrounds and all skill sets while ensuring outreach is equitable and inclusive.

With a BS in Mass Communications from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Cayla’s journey is a testament to her unwavering commitment to operational excellence and community empowerment. During her tenure as Programs & Operations Manager at Hopebound Mental Health, Cayla adeptly managed regulatory compliance and operational intricacies. Her strategic ingenuity fostered community engagement through mental health workshops and outreach initiatives.

Cayla’s resolute commitment to driving innovation and fostering connections underscores her role as a catalyst for positive change at Unity Environmental University.

  • Why did you choose Unity?

    I chose Unity because of its mission. I have always been the one amongst my friends and family, complaining about climate change and how we need to all do better on a small level. Coming from a minority and low-income background, I am a first-generation college student. I never knew what I wanted to do other than not struggle like my parents had and to help others. Going to college was the only option. At Unity, I am constantly amazed at how we keep the tuition as low as possible and we will not turn anyone away who is looking to get an education. Our approach is rooted in accessibility, meeting individuals where they are in their educational journey.  The work I do at Unity can be hard and some days challenging, but I am grateful for my position and the impact I get to make every day. I am excited to see the University grow and continue to make a broad impact on the environmental sciences.

  • How do you hope to make a difference at Unity in the years to come?

    My aspiration at Unity is to enhance our diversity figures and boost the overall employee experience. Throughout my workdays, I’m reaching out to candidates, not only pitching roles but also recounting my own journey. What truly resonates with me is how Unity discovered me and took a leap in relocating me to take on a Director role. Being able to share my love of the work I do, university culture, and Maine as a whole is something I cherish. Moving to Maine was a happy accident and I’ve embraced every moment of my time here. I enjoy being able to share my story and love of Maine with other BIPOC individuals in the hopes that they see themselves in my story and are ready to take the leap. Unity is for everyone.

“Unity offers an exceptional work environment and Maine provides an outstanding quality of life – an ideal combination to contribute to our employee’s professional growth and personal fulfillment. As we grow, so too do our employees. We are earning a reputation as a sought-after destination for employees in higher education, thanks to our hard-working and dedicated team,” said Unity Environmental University President and CEO Dr. Melik Peter Khoury.

The Unity Environmental University Enterprise plays a pivotal role in supporting both our current and future subsidiaries through centralized shared services and quality assurance measures. By consolidating essential functions such as finance, human resources, and IT at our headquarters, we ensure efficiency, standardization, and cost-effectiveness across our entire organization. This centralized approach allows subsidiaries to focus on their core operations while benefiting from streamlined support services.

To learn more about career opportunities at Unity Environmental University, visit our website –