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Maria D. James is the external communications manager for Magellan Health. She is an award-winning journalist and public relations professional. Her work has been published in local, regional, and national publications such as Black Enterprise Magazine and the Virginian Pilot. Maria joined Magellan Federal in 2019 and was promoted to her current role in 2021. In the State of Maryland, Maria is the first African American and longest-tenured managing editor for The Hyattsville Life & Times and the co-founder of the College Park Here & Now community newspapers. Maria’s work has earned industry awards from the Public Relations Society of America, PRNews, the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals, and the National Newspaper Association. In 2022, she became a contributing author of the Amazon best-selling book “The HBCU Experience – HBCU Band Alumni 2nd Edition.” Maria serves her community as an active member with leadership roles within several organizations, including the Public Relations Society of America, Toastmasters International, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. Prince George's County Chapter, Inc., the Junior League of Prince George’s County and the Virginia Union University National Alumni Association (VUUNAA). In 2007, she was selected as Young Alumna of the Year by the VUUNAA and in 2021 she was honored with the Rising Star award by the Junior League. Maria received a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Virginia Union University and a master’s degree in Strategic Public Relations from Virginia Commonwealth University.