Alma was born and raised in San Diego, earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from UCSD and then a Master’s in Experimental Psychology from CSU San Marcos. Alma moved to Texas to continue graduate school, earning a PhD in Social Psychology with an emphasis in ethnic minority health from the University of Houston. After completing her degree, Alma began working as a Behavioral Health Program Evaluator for UCSD, eventually beginning her career in Institutional Research with the San Diego Community College District as a Research and Planning Analyst. In 2018, Alma and her family decided it was time for a change of scenery and planted roots in the Coachella Valley. She worked for College of the Desert as a Research Analyst before being hired at CMC as the Dean of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness in 2020.