SJLW Award Winner


Dr. Maria R. Chavira has served the Diocese of Phoenix as the Chancellor since 2013. In her role as the Chancellor, she assists the bishop in the oversight of the official archives of the Diocese of Phoenix in accord with Canon Law. Dr. Chavira also assists in planning and is a key member of the administrative leadership staff of the bishop, giving counsel in various ecclesial, communication, and business matters.
She oversees the chancery staff at the Diocesan Pastoral Center and several other offices.

Dr. Chavira was a full-time professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Mesa Community College. In her tenure, she served as the chairman of the department, general studies faculty representative, Maricopa Community Colleges Institutional Review Board member, faculty developer, and various other appointments. She taught introduction to psychology, introduction to statistics, research methods, culture and psychology, adolescent development, and developmental psychology. She was a pioneer in online learning at Mesa Community College earning her the 2005 Faculty Excellence Award and many other accolades.

Dr. Chavira earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from The University of Arizona, and has taught at Mesa Community College, The University of Arizona, and in the Catalina Foothills District. Dr. Chavira has been involved in her community and is currently a Dame in The Sovereign Order of Malta, Equestrian Order of the Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre and served as chairman of the board of the Catholic Community Foundation. She currently lives in Phoenix with her husband Deacon Billy Chavira and their three children, Michael, Matthew, and Miranda.