WW Staff Spotlight: Maria Stigale

Maria, second from left in the front row, has been with the Foundation for more than 30 years.

For many years, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has taken pride in telling the stories of its distinguished Fellows. Now, in this new series, WW Perspectives will also spotlight the people who keep the Foundation running behind the scenes. The various members of WW’s small staff brings distinctive experiences and interests to their roles.

Maria Stigale has been with the Foundation for a long time. She’s the first person to greet visitors who walk into the Princeton, NJ, office. She’s and the first one to offer help with a new project or information about a past program.

WW: How long have you been working at WW?
Maria: It will be 33 years in December 2020!

WW: What kind of work do you do at the Foundation?
MS: I am the receptionist and development assistant.

WW: What is the most rewarding part about working here?
MS: It’s a combination of things.  Being a part of something bigger, knowing that we’re helping to improve and change how teachers from middle school to college are learning, and presenting their subjects in order to improve the way students are receiving and learning the information.  But also knowing that we’ve played a part in their lives and can celebrate with them the highlights of their careers and the many awards and prizes they’ve received!

WW: Do you have a favorite WW moment or Fellow story?
MS: How about one of each!  The many times watching the History Channel or a news story and recognizing, hey, he or she is one of our Fellows, part of our WW family!

I also remember a time when a Fellow was in need and going through a very rough time personally, a group of us got together to lend a helping hand. I remember how much that Fellow truly appreciated this act of kindness.

WW: When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
MS: My husband and I like to get outside and enjoy the parks in the surrounding areas.  I also enjoy reading, watching old movies and, most of all, spending time with family!

WW: What’s the one thing you would tell people outside of the Foundation about your colleagues here?
MS: That they are smart, warm, and kind—they’re dedicated to what they do and ready to be of service whether in the office or out.


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