Maria Garlock

Head of College
Office Phone
001C Forbes College

Dear Fobesians,

Welcome – this is my sixth year as Head of Forbes College and I am so excited to meet all of you!  I mean that quite literally, and while approaching me might sound intimidating to some of you, please do not hesitate – it would bring me so much joy to converse with each and every one of you.  In fact, if you approached me you would help me do my job.  And what is my job as Head? Good question! I am here to oversee that all of you feel welcome and part of a close community.

Before we meet, let me introduce myself.  I was born in Argentina.  My family moved here in the early 70’s, when I was a toddler.  Since my family believed for many years that we would eventually move back to our birth country, I attended the Argentine School every Saturday in Queens NYC while growing up in NJ. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge, which we would cross en route to school, fascinated me!  And the views of Manhattan with the huge skyscrapers – wow!!  By the age of ten I knew that I wanted to be an engineer and design and build these fantastic structures – and I did.  Before coming to academia, I was a designer in NYC and had the experience of designing some really tall or really complex buildings.

I am not going to rewrite my CV here, so let me summarize by saying that I have been at Princeton since 2002 as a faculty member in Civil and Environmental Engineering.  My largest course CEE262 (nicknamed “Bridges” by the students) is where I pour my enthusiasm for structural engineering to students of all majors – consider checking it out! My research is about how to design these structures to withstand extreme loads such as earthquakes, fires, and storm surges.

Studying awesome structures is only one of my interests.  For example, while I am not a chef, I enjoy eating all kinds of foods and cooking.  And while I am not an athlete, I enjoy short jogs, brisk walks, and friendly backyard soccer games.  Recently, I’ve also taken an interest in gardening in the wonderful student run garden next to Forbes.

But my greatest passion is my family.  I have been married to Richard for 27 years and we have four children: our daughter is the oldest, and then we have three sons, all of whom play ice hockey – so look for me at Baker Rink!  Our two oldest have graduated from college, one is in his first year of college, and our youngest is in high school. I love being a part of a large family – and my definition of ‘large family’ has evolved while at Forbes. I am excited that you are a part of this strong community, which to me and many others feels like an extended family.


Maria Garlock