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Alumni Spotlight: Angela M. (Grigsby) Espada '79

Angela '79 (far right), and her husband, Jose, with their daughter, Maya, traveled to Dublin after Maya graduated from UNC Chapel Hill.

Name: Angela M. (Grigsby) Espada
Year of Scecina Graduation: 1979
College/University: University of Indianapolis, Indiana University Bloomington, and Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Degree: Bachelor of Arts and Associate of Arts (UIndy), Master of Science in Higher Education and Student Affairs (IUB), and Juris Doctor (IU Maurer School of Law)
Recent Position: Formerly Associate Vice Chancellor of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at IUPUI, prior to that Associate Dean of Students at IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law

By Rose Timpe

Angela Espada, a 1979 graduate of Scecina Memorial High School, is a leader in our community and was the first in her family to attend college and later law school. She has inspired countless future leaders throughout Indianapolis and beyond. Angela attributes her four years at Scecina and the guidance of two wonderful nuns, Sister Dolores Jean Nellis and Sister Lavonne Long, with aiding her in pursuing her dreams of a higher education.

Angela most recently was the Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) at IUPUI. She assisted graduate schools and University College with creating and advancing their diversity initiatives. At the same time, Angela was the Director of a Diversity Scholars and Leadership Program, In addition to directing the program; she also mentored undergraduate and professional school students. In all of her positions, Angela has strived to help students realize their full potential.

Scecina was an important part of Angela’s success, from the small class sizes to the opportunities it provided outside of schooling. “The fact that the classes were small meant that you could not hide in the crowd. This taught me to always to be prepared,” she said. “That has served me well, personally and professionally. And all of the teachers knew us by name. They also knew my interests and this was helpful when applying to colleges.” At Scecina, Angela was an editor for the yearbook and newspaper as well as a member of the track team.

The unique experiences that Scecina provided off campus were helpful as well. “I was a member of an all-city leadership cohort that was sponsored by Lilly Endowment, which culminated with a trip in the summer to Michigan. I also attended Hoosier Girl State and the Richard Lugar symposium at the University of Indianapolis. All of these experiences gave me opportunities to meet new people and learn new things.”

Her faith grew at Scecina, too. “I took my faith for granted until my senior year when I attended the senior retreat,” she recalls. “Later, when I was able to be a group leader for other seniors, this deepened my appreciation of my faith.”

Angela still communicates and has a connection with many fellow Scecina alumni. “It played such an important part of my development.” Additionally, she fondly remembers, ”there were teachers who took a genuine interest in my success. I feel that this laid the foundation for my interest in higher education and my wanting to help others reach their full potential, just as my teachers had done for me.”

Angela has won many awards for her work in higher education, most notably, in 2014, the State of Indiana Torchbearer Award – the highest honor given to a female by the state in recognition of those who make Indiana a better place to live and work.

Angela has been happily married to her husband, Jose, for 29 years. Their daughter, Maya, an honors graduate from Harvard, is a Fellow at Dana Farber Cancer Research Institute in Boston, MA. Maya was selected for this prestigious fellowship after graduating from UNC Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Public Health, Masters of Science program. Angela is currently consulting on diversity and educational issues, and investing time in caring for her family.

Rose Timpe is Scecina's Donor and Alumni Relations Coordinator. Contact her at

10 comments (Add your own)

1. Dan BRUNO '77 wrote:
Remarkable lady! Thanks for your amazing contributions to the community and being such a great role model for our students.

Sat, January 30, 2016 @ 7:05 AM

2. Bridgett m. Kyser '77 wrote:
God has shown his Love and Blessed you and your beautiful Family! Felicidades! You are a true Crusader and an empowerment to all our young people and especially our young and gifted in all our minority communities. May God's blessings continue to shine upon you! You Rock Girl!

Sat, January 30, 2016 @ 9:44 AM

3. Mary (Bates) McCaslin wrote:
Way to go Angela! You were always a leader. With a smile always at the ready. You are an inspiration to all of us. Congratulations on your truly deserved award.

Sat, January 30, 2016 @ 12:22 PM

4. David J Seay OD wrote:
Great job, Angela. I always knew you would be successful in any endeavor you chose.

Sat, January 30, 2016 @ 5:03 PM

5. Rachelle Jordan wrote:
What a remarkable testimony! Angela, I would love for my daughter to meet you one day. She is aspiring to go into law, also. Congratulations for you and your daughter! Many more blessings for you!

Thu, February 4, 2016 @ 10:31 AM

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