Judith (Judy) Bosland recently retired from New Mexico State University after 27 years in institutional research. While at NMSU, she honed her skills in data analysis, data management, quality survey techniques, assessment and evaluation. In her role as Assistant Vice President for Institutional Analysis, Judy learned to appreciate productive committees, positive leadership, and the importance of attainable goals to drive action. Judy has a broad knowledge of post-secondary education, with a focus on student success initiatives. As a native New Mexican, and long-time resident of Las Cruces, Judy understands the challenges present in the southern New Mexico community, and has a strong belief that data has an important role in confronting those challenges.
Dawn is the Health Promotion Program Manager for the Southwest Region of the NM Department of
Health, Public Health Division and serves on the Southwest Region Management Team. She has a
Master’s of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Health Services Management form NMSU.She has worked for the NM Dept of Health for 20 years and for the past 10 years as the Health Promotion Program Manager. The Southwest Region includes the 8 counties in the Southwest corner of
the State to Hidalgo County on the Arizona border to the West, Otero County to the East and North to Socorro County. The Health Promotion Program is comprised of Health Educators who work and live in the communities they serve with a total of 10 staff comprising the SW Region Health Promotion Team. The current health priorities for the team include 1. A focus on healthy lifestyles with the promotion of healthful nutrition and physical activity and 2. Behavioral health promotion and substance abuse prevention. Another goal of the team is to develop local capacity in each county for self-actualization to address their needs and to create systematic change to encourage long term, positive health outcomes.
Rose Ann is a native Las Cruces and graduate of New Mexico State University. She earned a Master’s degree in Government with a focus on security studies as a Frontier Interdisciplinary experience (FIX) Fellow. She serves on various committees including the City of Las Cruces Health & Human Advisory Committee, Affordable Housing Land Bank and Trust Fund Advisory Committee, Curriculum Committee for Emerge NM, and the New Mexico Foreclosure Process Taskforce. Locally, she is the Treasurer for Peace Village, and as a parent is involved with the Community Cemetery project, graduate of Institute for Parent Engagement, and a parent representative in the Leadership Circle for Education with Ngage NM. She joined NM Comunidades en Accion y de Fe (CAFé) as a community organizer and Outreach Coordinator for the NM Attorney General’s Homeownership Preservation Program. Most importantly, Rose Ann is a single mother of 3 children and 2 grandchildren, and desires to continue to serve her community as a Latina activist.
Esther is the department head of the Family and Consumer Sciences Department and the Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Department in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Esther received her master’s and Ph.D. in Child and Family Development from the University of Georgia. She taught at Ball State University from 1989-1991 and then accepted a position at NMSU. She worked her way through the ranks, becoming an associate professor in 1997 and a full professor in 2006. She accepted the role of department head in 2010. In addition to her department head responsibilities, Esther chairs the steering committee for the Department Head Academy at NMSU. She also serves as a mentor to 3 faculty members in other departments as part of a formal mentoring program to support female and minority faculty members. She has brought in $13 million in federal and state grants, and has received several university-wide teaching and research awards.
Laura Gutiérrez Spencer was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, but grew up in Silver City. In college, she studied Spanish and Anthropology in Georgia and Colorado. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Spanish at New Mexico State University, then completed her Ph.D. at U.N.M. Laura served as an Assistant and then Associate Professor at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas where she founded their Spanish for Heritage Speakers program. She also taught courses in Latin American Literature, Chicano Literature and Women’s Studies. Laura then returned home to Las Cruces to take the position of Director of Chicano Programs at NMSU. She works on issues of educational access to minority, low income and first generation students. Spencer founded the Immigrant Student Issues committee at NMSU. She has partnered with schools, community organizations and churches in Southern New Mexico to provide educational outreach to our community.
Dr. Nissen received his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Sociology from Bowling Green State University. He obtained his Doctorate in Educational Administration and Sociology from Columbia University and Post-doctoral in Early Childhood at University of Nevada. Dr. Nissen has 38 Years of experience in Public Schools. Some of his experience includes teaching 3rd, fifth and sixth grades, Elementary School Principal in Caldwell, NJ and Spring Valley, NY, and Deputy Superintendent in Gadsden School District, NM. He has been DOD Elementary Principal in Africa and England, as well as Director of Elementary Education and Acting Superintendent in Pearl River, NY. Dr. Nissen has been a college Instructor at Western Nevada Community College, Embry-Riddle University, and 14 years at Dona Ana Community College. He is actively involved in the community. Some of his experience includes, Chair of Citizens for Responsible Representation, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Work Group, and Health and Human Services Committee for City of Las Cruces. He is part of the Board of Directors for NM Alliance for School Based Health Care and Area Health Education Council.
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Bill earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Psychology, and a Ph.D. (Interdisciplinary in Education and Psychology) from New Mexico State University. His professional experience includes working as an elementary and middle school principal for Las Cruces Public Schools, as an Academic Advisor, as a professor at New Mexico State University, and as Assistant Provost of Student Services at New Mexico State University-Carlsbad. He also taught math and AP statistics as a high school teacher. Bill served on the Las Cruces Public School Board and as President of the New Mexico School Board Association. He is currently serving in the New Mexico State Senate and is Vice-chairman of the Senate Education Committee.
Glen is a graduate of Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Mo. He also has a Master’s from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He accepted the position of Executive Director of University Broadcasting at New Mexico State University in 2006. He is responsible for the operation of KRWG TV (PBS), KRWG FM (NPR) and the Special Production Unit. In addition to over forty years in broadcasting he currently serves as Secretary of the National Education Telecommunications Association (NETA) Executive Board of Directors. In collaboration with the other two PBS stations in New Mexico, he is working to coordinate the educational television program assets to ensure that every household is taking full advantage of these opportunities. He and his wife, Susan, are originally from Wisconsin. They have four grown boys and just welcomed their first granddaughter.
Jane Asche holds an Ed.D. degree in Adult and Continuing Education (specialization in the management of nonprofits and voluntary action) from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Master of Arts in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University, and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Mathematics from Ball State University. Jane has been a national trainer, author, and curriculum designer for community- and business-education partnerships. She has taught at the elementary and secondary level in public schools in the United States. Jane served as a faculty member and community development specialist in the College of Education and the Extension Division at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. During the final years of her career, she served as the Director of Development and Vice President for Field Services of the National Association of PARTNERS IN EDUCATION.
Laura Gutiérrez Spencer was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, but grew up in Silver City. In college, she studied Spanish and Anthropology in Georgia and Colorado. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Spanish at New Mexico State University, then completed her Ph.D. at U.N.M. Laura served as an Assistant and then Associate Professor at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas where she founded their Spanish for Heritage Speakers program. She also taught courses in Latin American Literature, Chicano Literature and Women’s Studies. Laura then returned home to Las Cruces to take the position of Director of Chicano Programs at NMSU. She works on issues of educational access to minority, low income and first generation students. Spencer founded the Immigrant Student Issues committee at NMSU. She has partnered with schools, community organizations and churches in Southern New Mexico to provide educational outreach to our community.
Mary was born in Albuquerque, NM and moved to Las Cruces in 1985. She graduated from NMSU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education in 1991. She has spent the past 24 years teaching at Picacho Middle School in Las Cruces. After receiving a Master of Science in Education Administration in 2005 with a focus on language minority children living in poverty, Mary has been an advocate for all students and her profession. She has served as President of the New Mexico Council for the Social Studies and is currently President of the Board of the New Mexico Public Schools Insurance Authority (NMPSIA), and serves as the Vice-President for the National Education Association New Mexico (NEA-NM). Mary and her husband, also a middle school teacher, have 4 children, the youngest of whom is a graduating senior from Mayfield High School.
Dr. Morehead is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. He has a Bachelor’s in Education, a Master’s in Educational Administration and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Prior to joining the NMSU College of Education in 1992, he worked in administrative roles at Northern Arizona University and Emporia State University. He has been an educator since 1971, including teaching at the middle- and high-school level and serving as an administrator in secondary schools. Dr. Michael Morehead is the Dean for the College of Education at New Mexico State University. He has served in the dean’s office in the college since 1992. During his tenure at NMSU, Morehead served as interim dean on two occasions, first in 1999 and then in 2008 till April 2010 when he was appointed Dean of Education. Dr. Morehead’s primary research involves teacher education, program quality, student internships and accreditation. In the last several years, Morehead has been instrumental in establishing the Alliance for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning – a collaborative among New Mexico State University, K-12 education and other agencies that support teaching and learning in New Mexico.
Maria was born and raised In Los Angeles, Ca, and was a 2nd language learner. She attended 12 years of Catholic school. She went to Whittier College for her undergrad and Michigan State University for her MA. Maria and her husband have lived in Las Cruces for almost 27 years, and raised a family of 3. She is a certified Bilingual Elementary Level III Teacher in California and New Mexico. She has taught for 17 years, and has been on the Board of Education for 6 years with Las Cruces Public Schools. Maria has also been a part of the Children’s Reading Foundation of Doña Ana, as founding Board member, President for 3 years. CRF is a nonprofit that supports families and community in Early Childhood Literacy for children in our county.
Michael is Third Generation Army. He was born in Kansas. Michael has a MA in Management and Supervision from Central Michigan University. He studied Higher Education/Administration at NMSU. He graduated from the Italian War College and Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Michael completed two combat tours in Vietnam, three tours Pentagon, Washington, DC, two tours in Italy, and three tours in Germany. He retired as Colonel. His work experience includes Policy Analyst to the Mayor of Las Cruces, Staff Member for Senator Jeff Bingaman, and Political Consultant and Community Organizer. Some of his community involvement includes, former Chairman of Southwest United Way, Dona Ana County Maternal Child Health Council, and Dona Ana Action for Youth. Michael was former member of the Youth Challenge Group, New Mexico Advocates for Children and Families, Las Cruces Revitalization Project, Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board (Las Cruces), Mayor’s Veterans Affairs Board, Dona Ana Workforce Action Council, Mesilla Valley Youth Foundation (Court Youth Center). Currently, he is the President Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity Alumni Association, Member of the Empowerment Congress, and Volunteer Coordinator Anthony Teen Advisory Council.
Superintendent Rounds is a native New Mexican and has been an educator in the State of New Mexico for 43 years. He started his career as a teacher and coach with the Albuquerque Public Schools and has been a superintendent for over 19 years, spending 3 years in Des Moines, 4 years in Alamogordo, and 10 years in Hobbs before coming to Las Cruces in February 2007. In addition to his tenure as a teacher, coach, and superintendent, Rounds was the New Mexico Legislative Education Study’s Financial Analyst from 1982 to 1983 and the New Mexico State Department of Education’s Associate Superintendent of Finance from 1987 to 1991. Superintendent Rounds received his Bachelors Degree in Education, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Albuquerque in 1973, and his Masters of Arts in Educational Administration from the University of New Mexico in 1978. Superintendent Rounds currently serves on the following committees: Education Research & Development Institute; New Mexico Schools Superintendents Association; and New Mexico Athletics Association. He has two children and four grandchildren.
Eunice has 30 years of experience working in the US and internationally designing group processes and facilitating planning and learning sessions for a variety of audiences. As an educator and facilitator, Eunice guides groups in planning together and applying a variety of participatory methods and tools that fit their needs. She facilitates visioning sessions, values reviews, team building, community forums, school and community partnerships, curriculum development, conference designs, expert consultations, strategic and operational planning for the public sector, community groups, non-governmental organizations, and businesses. She works with policy level organizations like the United Nations and grassroots community projects. She is a founding member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) and served as international chair. She is a mentor-trainer for the Institute of Cultural Affairs, a Human Systems Dynamics Professional and works as an independent consultant. She currently serves as a co-chair of the Public Health Team of the National ToP® Technology of Participation Network. She lives in Centennial, Colorado with her husband and business partner, Sherwood Shankland.
Eunice has 30 years of experience working in the US and internationally designing group processes and facilitating planning and learning sessions for a variety of audiences. As an educator and facilitator, Eunice guides groups in planning together and applying a variety of participatory methods and tools that fit their needs. She facilitates visioning sessions, values reviews, team building, community forums, school and community partnerships, curriculum development, conference designs, expert consultations, strategic and operational planning for the public sector, community groups, non-governmental organizations, and businesses. She works with policy level organizations like the United Nations and grassroots community projects. She is a founding member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) and served as international chair. She is a mentor-trainer for the Institute of Cultural Affairs, a Human Systems Dynamics Professional and works as an independent consultant. She currently serves as a co-chair of the Public Health Team of the National ToP® Technology of Participation Network. She lives in Centennial, Colorado with her husband and business partner, Sherwood Shankland.
Sherwood has over 30 years of experience with group process facilitation, designing facilitated events,conducting planning sessions, and training new facilitators. His clients range widely: Community development agencies, community leaders of the Osage Nation in the USA, private sector leadership teams, government agencies such as the National Parks Service, state government agencies, not-for profit organizations such as RARE, local church re-development efforts, international agencies – notably the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. He is currently on the Advisory Team for Public Use Planning: Global Heritage Consortium. He has facilitated with executive teams of 20-30 members to groups of 200. The groups range in focus from a one-day economic forum to a town hall meeting during a strategic planning session. He also facilitated 200-300 citizens from Appalachian communities at 6 listening sessions collecting input on local needs to match with Federal programs. Shankland and Associates custom designs each event to meet the client’s needs and uses the Technology of Participation, ToP® Methods of Facilitation, along with many other approaches to draw out the best thinking of the participants and build consensus on issues that matter.
In her role as Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico over the last three years, Dr. Wagner Burn has built the philanthropic sector by engaging new donors, serving as a fiscal sponsor for emerging community groups and spearheading community initiatives. The initiatives include improving the quality of life for all residents of Doña Ana County, reduce underage drinking and substance use by youth and young adults, supporting health equity and providing accessible, affordable health care to adolescents in school settings. She builds nonprofit capacity through workshops and training that strengthens the skills and knowledge nonprofit staff need to succeed. She created a pilot Regional and County Advisory Board program in Grant County to help the Foundation serve communities across southern New Mexico. The local advisory boards identify local needs and raise funds to meet those needs through their nonprofit partners. As a member of the Coalition of New Mexico Community Foundations, she helped bring the first statewide giving day – Give Grande – to NM in 2014. The Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico serves as a vehicle for philanthropy and community initiatives across seven southern New Mexico Counties: Grant, Hidalgo, Luna, Dona Ana, Otero, Sierra, and Lincoln.
John is internationally recognized for his community and philanthropic involvement. Munoz is responsible for Sitel-Las Cruces  and Sitel-Albuquerque employing thousands of New Mexicans. He is involved with various organizations and sits on several boards. He has been a commencement key note speaker and was previously named a “Mover and Shaker” in Southern New Mexico by the Las Cruces Sun News. John has also received a White House invitation and recognition as a Champion of Change.  Previously Munoz served as Chair of the Hispano Chamber of Commerce and was invited to the Italian Regional Chamber of Commerce in Sassari, Italy.  He speaks Spanish, Italian, and English.  Additionally John serves on the Board of Governors as the Vice Chair of the New America School and the Chair-elect of Medical Memorial Board of Trustees..
Amanda López Askin, M.S., a native Las Crucen, currently works as the School Mental Health Advocate (SMHA) for the NM Department Health/Office of School and Adolescent Health in the Southwest Region, based out of Las Cruces.  The Southwest Region encompasses 8 counties and 24 school districts.  She has a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and prior to joining the Office of School and Adolescent Health 10 years ago, provided support and clinical services for youth and families in the private and non-profit sector. As the SMHA for the Department Of Health, she has worked to promote various school health issues, including school based health centers, suicide prevention, anti-stigma education, and bullying prevention in schools and in the community. Amanda has hosted several local radio talk shows over the last 8 years and is pursuing a PhD at NMSU. She was also recently appointed by Governor Martinez to serve as the Student Regent on the New Mexico State University Board of Regents, and is involved in the UP! Coalition, Community Unity Coalition Against Bullying, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition, and is an active Board Member for Action Programs for Animals.
Betsy Cahill, Ph.D., is the J. Paul Taylor Endowed Professor of Early Childhood Education at New Mexico State University and serves as the Director of the BA, MA and Ph.D. programs in early care and education. She is the Principal Investigator of over $1 million in grants including Head Start and NM PreK. Dr. Cahill is a member of the NM Early Childhood Higher Education Task Force, a legislatively appointed committee of the NM Early Learning Advisory Council. Through the NM Office of Child Development, Dr. Cahill has written policy statements on statewide alignment of early care and education, work force needs, curriculum and readiness. Dr. Cahill received her doctorate from Kent State University and prior to her academic life was a teacher of young children (3 years old to 3rd grade) and a child care center administrator.
Mr. Bill Allen was appointed President and CEO of Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce in December 2010. He is on the Executive Board and current president of the New Mexico Chamber Executives Association, the boards of Mesilla Valley Development Alliance, the Bridge of Southern New Mexico and the Western Association of Chamber Executives. He is also part of the Statewide Adult Education Advisory Council for the New Mexico Higher Education – Adult Basic Education Division. Mr. Allen has over 20 years of experience in business. During his careerhe has held various upper management positions with both large and small businesses including Controller for both Mercer Consulting and Xerox Corporation. At Xerox, he was part of the team that kicked off their Xerox Global Services Division as a Business Development Manager on the manufacturing and energy team. He also has experience in the commercial real estate industry serving as Director of Operations and VP Accelerated Sales for Insite Commercial Group. He moved into the not-for-profit sector, first with the Greater Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce [Royal Oak,MI] and now in Las Cruces. Mr. Allen has both a BBA and an MBA from Northwood University in Midland, MI.
Irene Oliver-Lewis has some 40 years as a theatre artist, arts producer-administrator-educator-advocate, and humanities scholar. She recently retired in June 2014 as the Artistic Producer/Founder of Court Youth Center (1996) and Alma d’arte Charter Arts High School (2004) both housed in the Court Charter Complex. She has been honored with numerous national, regional, and local awards including the NM Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts; the Doña Ana Arts Council award called the Papen Award, and recently received the Education Team Leadership Award from the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce for creating a countywide youth conference called FUN—for unity now! held every June. She also is part of a countywide arts integration project using health, youth leadership, and arts called Ignite which culminates with festivals, performances, public art, and exhibits in Anthony and Las Cruces. Currently she is an artist in residence at Desert Hills and Fairacres Elementary Schools in a program called the Kennedy Center Partnership, an arts integration educational partnership between the Doña Ana Arts Council, Las Cruces Public Schools, Court Youth Center and Alma d’arte. She has a BA and MA from NMSU in theatre and journalism.
Cindy Corona serves as the Executive Director of the Ocotillo Institute for Social Justice. Cindy grew up in the small mining community of Mammoth, Arizona. She earned a Bachelors Degree from the University of Arizona in 2002 and a Masters Degree in 2007. Cindy has worked at several non-profits in Arizona including, Pima Prevention Partnership, Arizona Youth Partnership, and Luz Social Services. Ms. Corona has worked in communities across the southwest and internationally to create capacity to address needs at the root cause through practice, program, and policy. Cindy also provides consulting services to non-profits working with youth and communities. She has sat on various boards in the community including the Latina Institute, the Arizona Women’s Conference, Amistades, Inc. Segundo de Febrero Planning Committee and Arizonans for Prevention. Cindy has participated on over 15 coalitions in rural areas and helped develop their strategic plans and visions. In 2011 she was recognized as a “Top 40 Under 40” recipient for her professional and personal accomplishments.
Carrie is originally from El Paso, Texas. In 1992, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from UTEP. She earned a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies in 1995 and a Masters of Public Administration from NMSU in 2014. She began working as a student employee at KRWG, the NPR affiliate at NMSU, in 1992 and was promoted to Operations Manager in 1997. In 2012, Carrie became the Executive Director of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, an organization that focuses on creating support for local businesses and creating more awareness about sustainable communities. Carrie serves as the liaison between the Green Chamber and private, nonprofit, and governmental entities. The Las Cruces Green Chamber has been a strong advocate for protecting open spaces, tourism, and local businesses.
Wendi Miller-Tomlinson, Ph.D., grew up in Truth or Consequences and is a long-time resident of Las Cruces. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Rice University and earned Master’s and Doctoral degrees from New Mexico State University. While working for the El Paso Independent School district as a teacher and administrator, Dr. Miller-Tomlinson developed a keen interest in border issues. Currently she is the Director of Secondary Instruction for the Las Cruces Public Schools.
Maria de Lourdes Valencia-Glenn (Luly) was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador. She came to Las Cruces in 1993 to continue her education. Luly became an American citizen in 2007. Her educational background includes: a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Psychology (which I obtained in Quito, Ecuador), an associate’s degree in Occupational Business from DACC, a bachelors degree in Psychology, a master’s degree in Educational Management Leadership and a doctoral degree in the same field from NMSU. Luly is the director of the Mesquite Neighborhood Learning Center of DACC, a position she have held since 2001. She was the recipient of NMSU Millionaire research award, 2010. Luly has served as a co-chair of a criterion committee for accreditation of DACC and as a board member for the Weed and Seed program and Las Esperanzas. She participated as reviewer in HUD’s Office of University Partnership (OUP) grant peer-review, Washington, DC, 2010. She is married and has two daughters.
Dr. Marquez was born and resides in El Paso, Texas. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Texas at El Paso, 1977. He received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University at San Antonio, 1980 and earned a Doctorate degree in Higher Education Administration from New Mexico State University, 2010. He is the former Director of the Student Leadership and Community Educational Development Program at El Paso Community College where developed college and community partnerships for the educational, social, and economic benefit of both. He is currently the Director of the Engaging Latino Communities for Education at New Mexico State University. He oversees the development and implementation of an institutional pathway model consisting of parent engagement, high school college preparedness and transition to the University. His experience in the classroom has consisted of teaching the following courses: Freshmen Experience, Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, Social Policy, Cultural Learning and Academic Achievement in a Diverse Society, and Sociology of Chicano Communities.
Tim Hand is the Director of Assessment, Analysis and Research for the Las Cruces public schools. Tim’s team focuses on gathering artifacts of student learning and then researching and analyzing how these artifacts identify successful programs and learning opportunities for Las Cruces Public Schools students. Tim’s true claim to fame is that he is also the Head tennis coach for the boys and girls district champion Hawks at Centennial High School. For many years he directed programs that supported new college students and first generation low income students at NMSU and taught courses ranging from Critical Thinking to Math and Science supplemental courses for at risk students. Before joining LCPS, Tim also spent a year in San Antonio teaching math and science intervention at two high schools in the San Antonio public schools as Director of Upward Bound Math and Science. His doctoral studies are currently in Educational Leadership at NMSU.
Frank René López is the Executive Director of Ngage New Mexico. He has over 20 years working with nonprofit and community organizations. His experience in capacity building includes: strategic planning, leadership, board development and social enterprise. His experience as an attorney and CPA includes working for some of the largest firms in the country. He is a “teacher” at heart. He has delivered hundreds of workshops and has taught at several universities, including the University of California at Berkeley, Golden Gate University, UTEP Texas Tech University School of Law and recently at New Mexico State University (teaching high impact nonprofit organizations). His work has provided extensive public speaking opportunities. He has delivered presentations all over the country including Washington D.C., Atlanta GA, New Orleans LA, Dallas, Houston TX and Palm Beach CA. Speaking topics include: Nonprofit Sustainability, Social Entrepreneurship, Community Partnerships and “Education & Diversity.” Lopez has published articles in the areas of Corporate Social Responsibility and Teaching Race & Law.He is also a Coach/Mentor for the W.K. Kellogg foundation. He has a BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and a JD from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Texas and California.
Roberto is currently Chief Officer of Equity, Innovation, and Social Justice for the Las Cruces Public School District and is also an adjunct faculty member in the College of Education at New Mexico State University. Dr. Lozano has had an array of educational leadership experiences in the K-12 spectrum. He has experience as a teacher, high school assistant principal, elementary principal, and central office support administrator. His current role within the Las Cruces Public School District encompasses overseeing the Special Student Services Department, Bilingual and Migrant Education Department, and working collaboratively with the district superintendent to implement specific initiatives. Dr. Lozano’s research interests include Latino students in the K-12 educational system and issues related to immigration and its implications to educational leadership.
Originally from Oklahoma, she has been in New Mexico since 1984. Ms. Moore and her husband have family in both Doña Ana and Alamogordo. She began working with chambers of commerce in the early 1980s in Waxahachie, Texas, where she earned degrees in business administration and education at Southwestern College. She worked with the Hobbs Chamber of Commerce from 1990-95, serving as administrative coordinator and then executive vice president. From 1997-99, she worked with the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.
From 1999-2002, Moore worked at the American Diabetes Association New Mexico area office, developing income through events and fund raising.
Moore was the president and CEO of the Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce for 14 years. Moore worked on boards and councils serving several organizations, including Central New Mexico Community College, Sandoval County Small Business Development Center, Rio Rancho Community Foundation, Lovelace Westside Hospital, YWCA, the Governor’s Small Business Task Force and many more.
She has been president and CEO of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce since May 2016.
Dr. Michael Morehead is currently the Dean for the College of Education at New Mexico State University. Upon his retirement from NMSU in 2015, he will join BCOM’s leadership team.
Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Morehead has a bachelor’s in education, a master’s in educational administration and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Prior to joining the NMSU College of Education in 1992, he worked in administrative roles at Northern Arizona University and Emporia State University. He has been an educator since 1971, including teaching at the middle- and high-school level and serving as an administrator in secondary schools.
Morehead’s primary research involves teacher education, program quality, student internships and accreditation; all of which will benefit the growth and development of BCOM. Morehead has been instrumental in establishing linkages and outreach initiatives that foster collaboration between higher education and public schools. Morehead has been instrumental in establishing the Alliance for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning – a collaborative among New Mexico State University, K-12 education and other agencies that support teaching and learning in New Mexico. Additionally, Morehead has been instrumental in the planning for the Early College High School in Las Cruces.
In the area of teacher education, he has assisted in creating a more field based teacher education program where students increase their time in classrooms prior to graduation. He has also led the college in developing more business partnerships and in expanding collaboration with community agencies that provide services to children and families. During his tenure as an educator Dr. Morehead consistently seeks collaborative and innovative strategies to meet the needs of the communities he serves.
Deryl is a founder and the clinical director of Amistad Family Services. He is a Licensed Independent Social Worker and Level III Infant Mental Health Practitioner in the state of New Mexico.
Deryl has over 17 years experience in the behavioral health field, including school social work, family therapy, early intervention, behavior management, and child advocacy. Deryl practices with a relationship focused, strength based, and Christ centered approach to counseling. He believes that every individual and family has unique strengths and that relationships are the catalyst for change. His vision is to create an agency that serves the community by supporting a team of competent and compassionate therapists who provide relationship based, trauma informed therapies to individuals, couples and families.
Pope-Davis has been a faculty member and served in high-level leadership positions both at DePaul University and the University of Notre Dame. He has also been a faculty member at the University of Iowa and the University of Maryland. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and theology from Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, his master’s degree from Indiana University and his doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Stanford University.
Pope-Davis has been an educator for more than 25 years and has co-authored three books and written several research articles about multicultural counseling, education and psychology. The Journal of Counseling Psychology recently ranked him third in the country as one of the top research contributors in his area of specialization. The American Psychological Association acknowledged his scholarly contributions by awarding him the distinction of fellow in the Society for Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, and in the Society of Counseling Psychology.
He has also served on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Committee on Academic Certification and is currently on the Advanced Placement Higher Education Advisory Council.
Dr. Renay Scott became the 9th President of Doña Ana Community College on June 1, 2014. Dr. Scott earned her Bachelor degree at Calvin College. She attained her Master’s degree from Michigan State University and her Ph.D. from Wayne State University.
Dr. Scott previously served as Provost at Owens Community College. Other positions she held in academia included dean, department chair and tenured professor in teacher education. Her areas of scholarship include curriculum, instruction, assessment, education, and history with an emphasis on American history.
As Vice President of Community Outreach, Guillermo Silva is responsible for promoting and managing El Paso Electric’s reputation and relationships in our community as well as working on and educating the community on key issues critical to the EPE’s success.
Mr. Silva has had an extensive 33-year career at EPE. Prior to his appointment to Vice President of Community Outreach, he served as Corporate Secretary to the EPE Board of Directors. He has also held various positions within the company, including Vice President of Information Services.
Mr. Silva is active in numerous community organizations. He is a founding member and Vice President of External Affairs for CommUNITY En Accion (CEA) where he also serves on the Corporate Governance Committee and is Chairman of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Committee. Other organizations for which he serves include: the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce Education and Workforce Division member, the Project Arriba board of directors, the El Paso Community College Accounting/Business Advisory Committee, the Ysleta Education Foundation (board member and Vice President Development), the Policy Council for the Education Service Center Region 19 Head Start Program, and the Paso Del Norte Group Education Committee Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development. Silva is a former member of the Audit Committee of United Way, the American Heart Association, the Northeast Civic Association and the Ysleta Independent School District Steering Committee.
Mr. Silva earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Finance from U. T. El Paso. He is a member of the American Society of Corporate Secretaries.
Dr. Karen Trujillo is the Director of K-12 Outreach for The Alliance for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. As an educator for the past 23 years, Dr. Trujillo has served as a teacher, an administrator, a researcher, a professional development specialist, grant writer, and a project director. Her background in mathematics and technology integration, along with her experience with students and teachers in the classroom provides the STEM Outreach Center with expertise in school based outreach and research.
Dempsey became Superintendent of the Gadsden Independent School District in October 2017. Dempsey is the former superintendent of Cloudcroft Municipal Schools, where he worked for five years. During his tenure he helped guide two successful bond issues each for $4 million. In addition, Cloudcroft Middle School was designated by the U. S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School under his tenure.
Dempsey has been a lifelong resident of New Mexico and is completing 18 years of public education holding other positions such as principal of Mountainair High and teaching elementary, middle, high school as well as adult students in a GED program.
Dempsey has been active in numerous regional, state, and local organizations. He was recently elected as an officer in the New Mexico Superintendents Association, was the treasurer of the Otero County United Way and has been a member of the Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he has served as the honorary commander for the 54th Fighter Group at Holloman Air Force Base.
Dempsey is married to Lori Zamora Dempsey and they have two daughters, ages 19 and 16.
Connor, ​a lifelong Las Cruces resident, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from New Mexico State University. Upon graduating from NMSU, Connor went to work for El Paso Electric and has served in various roles of increased responsibility.
He retired from El Paso Electric after a 37-year career to take on his new role with the United Way. Connor has been active with other civic organizations, including the American Red Cross, the March of Dimes, the American Cancer Society, Las Cruces Home Builders Association, the Doña Ana County Legislative Coalition, and as a board member of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance. He is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizen’s Academy.
Connor has served as board chairman for the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce and is a past president of the NMSU Alumni Association Executive Council, the Southwestern New Mexico chapter of the American Red Cross, the White Sands International Film Festival and the Las Cruces Public School Foundation.
Currently, he is chair of the chamber’s Military Affairs Committee, a member of the Alliance for Regional Military Support, is a commissioner on the New Mexico Military Base Planning Commission, and is a board member of the New Mexico Border Authority.
Connor became the CEO of Southwest New Mexico in February 2017.
Dawn Z. Hommer is the Chief Executive Officer at the Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico (CAASNM). She was appointed by the agency’s Board of Directors in 2011, after a distinguished, six-year tenure with New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center. Ms. Hommer brings a wealth of managerial experience to CAASNM, in addition to her excellent leadership skills and seemingly boundless energy. Ms. Hommer holds an MBA from New Mexico State University. She is a gifted public speaker, most recently giving presentations at the Community Action Partnership National Association and National Community Action Foundation conferences. In addition, she is an officer on the New Mexico Association of Community Partners’ Board of directors and serves on the Community Action Association Region VI Board of Directors.
Richard Aguilar is currently the Vice President of Tresco Inc., the Chairman of the Las Cruces Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and President of Aguilar Accounting Inc. Aguilar has over twenty years of combined experience in Management, Accounting, Administration, Manufacturing, Training, and Non-Profit environments. He is involved in March of Dimes Team Zane, in local church activities, community events through LCHCC and Tresco Inc., and sponsors local sport events and youth conferences.
Dr. Daniel Howard has been New Mexico State University’s Executive Vice President and Provost since August of 2013. He is the chief academic officer of NMSU, and the Provost’s office is dedicated to all aspects of instruction, student success, research, extension education, and public service.
As the Provost, Dr. Howard directs efforts critical to the strategic interests of NMSU and its land grant mission. The academic success of NMSU students continues to be a top priority, and the Office of the Provost supports their success through efforts such as Student Success Navigators and the Aggie Pathway to the Baccalaureate.
Dr. Howard started his career at NMSU as an Assistant Professor of Biology in 1988. A distinguished member of the faculty, he earned recognition as a Regents Professor and served as Head of the Department of Biology. Under his leadership, the Biology Department’s home in Foster Hall was renovated and expanded, and the department secured the first Howard Hughes Medical Institute Improvement of Undergraduate Science Education grant at NMSU. Before becoming Provost, Dr. Howard spent five years at the University of Colorado Denver as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Currently the Superintendent for the Las Cruces Public Schools. Prior to being appointed the LCPS Superintendent, Dr. Ewing served as the chief accountability and research officer with the Cobb County School District in Marietta, Georgia. He has a total of 29 years of educational experience as a teacher and administrator. The Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents named Ewing the Hispanic Serving Administrator of the Year in 2016. He also received the Special Educator Award in 2016 from Univision. Ewing’s experience also includes 10 years as the district’s curriculum and instruction supervisor. He is also an assistant professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, where he has taught for 20 years. He also has experience as a district administrator for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), foreign languages, international welcome centers, intensive English language program schools, and dual-language programs. He has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Classics, and a Master’s of Science degree in Social Foundations of Education, both from Georgia State University in Atlanta. His Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology is from the University of Sarasota in Florida.
Is currently the Director of Dona Ana County Head Start. She has been employed with DAC Head Start since 2011. Amanda holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Ms. Amanda is the ultimate team player. Forever holding the needs of the children above all else, she fosters communication between centers, staff and the NMSU community. Ms Amanda loves knowing that her work makes a difference to so many in the community, including the children, families and staff.
Is the president and CEO of The Bridge of Southern New Mexico. Bryan served as the organization’s executive director from 2010 to 2013 — a time that saw the launch and implementation of Arrowhead Park Early College High School. The school, one of the keystone projects of the nonprofit organization created to “bridge” education and workforce development through public/private partnerships, has become a model for several other early college high schools across the state. She left The Bridge in 2013 and moved to Washington, D.C., where she served as vice president for PreK-12 Education for Widmeyer Communications, working with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. When Denni Cheney stepped down as The Bridge’s president in the summer of 2016, Bryan was offered the opportunity to return to the position and accepted it.
Pastor Jared Carson serves as the Senior Pastor of Peace Lutheran Church. Jared was born in the San Francisco Bay Area. Later, he along with his family moved to Carmel, Indiana. In 2002, he graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN with a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications. His college studies also focused on Business and Germanic Studies. In May 2009, Jared graduated from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in South Carolina with a Masters of Divinity. Pastor Jared was ordained as an ELCA Pastor in August of 2009. He received his first call to serve as the Associate Pastor and Director of Serving Ministries at First Lutheran Church and School in Torrance, CA in 2009. Pastor Jared enjoys leading worship, building relationships, and equipping the community to live out their baptismal calling. He likes being outdoors in God’s creation, hiking, skiing, and spending time with family and friends. He is married to Laura Carson, Associate in Ministry at PLC, and they have two boys Andrew and Aaron.
Abel Covarrubias is the Chief Executive Officer for Aprendamos Intervention Team, a program providing early intervention services in Dona Ana County in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
He also oversees several other clinics for children including Esperanza Children’s Clinic, Mariposa Autism Service Center, and Alegria Family Counseling. He is the lead administrator for the 3rd Judicial Dona Ana County Infant Mental Health Team. He has a master’s degree in special education/communication disorders from New Mexico State University. Abel is actively involved in various boards, including Hearts for Autism, Jardin de Los Niños, Health Advisory Council, US Bank Community Advisory Board, and the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico. Abel is co-founder of the Hearts for Autism Fund at the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, which is dedicated to supporting children and families with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a Paul Harris Fellow/Rotary Foundation of Rotary International and received the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico Salud Award for his significant and outstanding commitment to improve health care in Southern New Mexico. Recently, Aprendamos Intervention Team received the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2013 Business of the Year award under the leadership of Mr. Covarrubias. Abel is passionate about philanthropy and has completed mission trips to Ecuador and Nicaragua. Abel enjoys running half marathons during his spare time. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Monica, and his three amazing daughters. His favorite quote is one by Mother Teresa: “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.”
Dr. Artiaga’s professional career began over 30 years ago. Her passion stems from her experiences in the field of early childhood. Her core values focus on providing children with a safe and nurturing environment and the exposure to developmental appropriate learning activities.
Dr. Artiaga’s initial introduction to the field of education began as a Head Start parent and educational assistant at La Escuelita Head Start Program in Lordsburg, New Mexico. Her full-time employment in Lordsburg sparked her curiosity to begin taking early childhood courses at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Artiaga commuted from Lordsburg to Las Cruces for a year and a half. Her determination to complete a college degree, led to relocating her family to Las Cruces. Since then, she has received a total of five degrees, all of which are in education.
Her extensive academic background knowledge, followed by career paths in Head Start and early childhood, were the foundation for her professional educator positions. Artiaga has had careers as a Head Start kindergarten teacher, Head Start Home-Based Facilitator, and Head Start Director.
In 2002, Artiaga began teaching prospective early childhood educators, in higher education, at Doña Ana Community College in Las Cruces. Since then, she has been instructing bilingual early childhood courses. Within the past two years, she has extended her best teaching practices to graduate students at NMSU. Her ultimate goal is to support all students (pre-K-graduate school) to prosper in education and life.
Is currently a Third Judicial District Court Judge. Previous to taking the bench, she practiced law for 31 years, working for governmental and nonprofit agencies, and also as a member and partner of law firms and several times as a sole proprietor. She has been involved in many volunteer activities related to services for the disadvantaged, voter protection rights, culture and the arts and women’s issues. Currently, she is working on projects to improve outcomes for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. She and her husband have lived in Las Cruces for 15 years. Her son is a student at NMSU and her daughter and son-in-law live in San Diego.

Tricia Heffelfinger is the Director of La Clinica de Familia Family Services. She received her A.A. and B.A. from New Mexico State University and her M.A. from Western New Mexico State University. Tricia’s passion for working with young children began when she was just a teenager, babysitting for many families in the community. She has now been working with children and families for over 25 years.

From 1992 through 2012, Tricia taught preschool at Alpha School for Young Children, where she gained a deep understanding of child development and appropriate practice.

Upon joining Early Head Start in 2012, Tricia realized her true passion for program leadership and management. With a focus for continued improvement and quality, Tricia utilized her creative problem solving skills to monitor staff, aggregate program data, and strategically create program goals. She brings her expertise to Healthy Start as the new Director for Family Services, the LCDF department that encompasses both Early Head Start and Healthy Start.

Tricia has presented at the Office of Head Start Region VI conference twice. She serves on several committees for Ngage NM/Success Partnership and is a facilitator for Fathers Moving Forward, a community collaboration. She recently joined the Board of Directors for Mesilla Valley Community of Hope.

Dr. Mónica Torres is the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) at Doña Ana Community College. She officially began in the position in December 2014 after serving in the interim role for a year and a half.
Originally from Las Cruces, Torres earned a BA in English (1982) and an MA in English (1984) in English from New Mexico State University and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico (2002).
Torres has worked in higher education for more than thirty years. She began her career in 1982 as a composition instructor. She served in several administrative roles early in her career including as coordinator of the developmental education program at Doña Ana Branch Community College (1987-1993) and as dean of adult and developmental education at Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute (1993-1997). After earning her doctoral degree (2002), she became a faculty member in the English Department at NMSU. Her research and teaching interests included documentary film theory, cultural studies, and rhetorical criticism. Torres returned to administrative work in 2008 as head of the English Department (2008-2013).
As VPAA, Torres works with faculty and staff to plan, develop, implement, and assess instructional programs at DACC.
After graduating with a degree in Mathematics, Erika Graf-Webster spent most of her forty-plus-year career in computer science, systems analysis, project management and technology consulting. She has worked on numerous government contracts, briefly for her own small consulting firm, and then for several of the major corporations in the defense and intelligence industries. In the last 20 years of her career, her roles were those of a Senior Systems Engineer and Project Manager, with emphasis on the development and teaching of standardized systems engineering processes. She retired in 2007, when she moved to Las Cruces.
In Las Cruces, Ms. Graf-Webster quickly became involved in the community and local political issues. This led to her joining the League of Women Voters of Greater Las Cruces. As a League member, she served two years as Director of Voter Services, followed by a year as Vice President and then two years as President. During this time, she participated in a major-League study of the local education system that investigated school funding, common core standards, teacher preparation, mandated testing, early childhood education, business involvement and the charter school program, and led to a solid League position for advocacy on education issues. She also led a study identifying impediments to voter registration in the Hispanic community, which led to the development by the League of targeted voter information stressing the importance and value of voting. Ms. Graf-Webster was also appointed by Mayor Ken Miyagishima to co-chair a committee that developed a revised campaign finance ordinance for the city of Las Cruces.
In 2014, Ms. Graf-Webster founded the League’s Youth Engagement Committee, which she continues to chair. The mission of this committee is to motivate and engage young people to become active members of the community, active citizens and voters. The committee’s aim is to work with high school and middle school students to develop a curriculum that stresses civic engagement and the responsibilities of citizenship. The committee is participating in an on-going Civic Engagement Project with the Las Cruces Public School system to enhance the civics and government curricula at all levels.

*This is an incomplete list of the members of the Leaders Circle, which is currently in formation. If you are interested in serving on the leaders circle, please email info@ngagenm.org.

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