As exciting as it is to see Lobos walk the graduation stage – it is a bittersweet time for the campus community as we watch our rising stars take their place in the constellation of life.
Every May and December, the University Communication and Marketing team highlights Lobos who showed exceptional leadership, courage, dedication and endurance during their time at UNM. These inspirational graduates come from all walks of life – different colleges, programs and extracurriculars. In finding these students, the UCAM team relies on those working directly with them on a daily basis. Each of these graduates were either put forward by a faculty or staff member or chosen based on the stories they shared in their graduation paperwork.
Although it is impossible to showcase every student, we hope these stories are a slice of the tenacity, innovation, diversity and personality of the Class of 2021.
Lora Church aims to help people in need with Juris Doctor
Lora Morgan Church listed the factors that make her a non-traditional student: She joked that she got her first degree “five hundred years ago,” then received her MBA and an MS in Health Education. She had a career and she and her husband Casey have five children. This month she’ll add a Juris Doctor degree to her resumé and looks forward to the future.
Army experience drives UNM student Jacinto-Temilotzin Sanchez to graduate
Oftentimes, it’s a thankless job – serving and protecting your country. The long-term effects of a deployment – combat or non-combat, can result in Iife-changing circumstances even for those who manage to handle the stress of serving in the military. As a combat Veteran, Jacinto-Temilotzin Sanchez has experienced many of these effects including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, when Sanchez crosses the dais to receive his diploma from The University of New Mexico this May, it will be a far different experience than the road he traveled to get to Albuquerque.
Ansely Emeanuwa | Anderson School of Management
UNM Homecoming King, Clauve Outstanding Senior Award and African American Student of the Year – Ansely Emeanuwa radiates life and joy and has had an immeasurable impact on the UNM community.
Aaron Anderson | Organizational, Information & Learning Sciences
Aaron Anderson is a proud Lobo graduating with his third degree from The University of New Mexico. Anderson credits his mother for this most recent accomplishment as he celebrates being a graduate of the Class of 2021 with a Ph.D. in Organizational, Information & Learning Sciences.
UNM Medical School graduate is working hard to follow his passion to be an orthopedic surgeon
Fermin Prieto grew up in Janos, a small border town in Chihuahua, Mexico. But when he was 14 his parents decided the future for their children would be brighter in the United States and they arranged for him and his 19-year-old sister to immigrate to Las Cruces. It wasn’t an easy start, but graduating University of New Mexico medical student Fermin Prieto knows now that hard work pays off.
Dan Huynh | College of Arts & Science
Hailing from Houston, Texas, Dan Huynh developed a deep connection to the University, not only through the Biology and Chemistry departments, but also through UNM's vibrant Asian American community. Huynh is receiving his Bachelor's in Biology this month.
Friend and family support made all the difference during a tragic time for nursing student Megan Davis
Megan Davis always knew she wanted a career in health care but wasn’t sure about the role she would play. Once enrolled in The University of New Mexico College of Nursing, everything seemed right – until tragedy struck – not once but twice in 2020.
Sahana Ummadi | School of Medicine
A first generation American, cultural advocate and proud Lobo, Sahana Ummadi is graduating from the UNM B.A./M.D. program and will attend UNM School of Medicine this Fall.
Kaitlyn Norman | College of Fine Arts
Emerging from a turbulent childhood and years in the foster care system, Kaitlyn Norman discovered a passion for opera and found a nurturing, supportive community at UNM. She is graduating with her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance this month.
Persistence pays off as Krissa Chavarria earns her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree
After 11 long years, Krissa Chavarria will don a hard-earned white coat when she graduates from The University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy in May with a doctor of pharmacy degree. Her educational journey entailed retaking classes, learning new ways of studying, or finding the courage to ask for help. But at the end of it all, she knew her persistence would pay off.
Muskin Amin | Anderson School of Management
Having travelled all the way from Vadodara, Gujarat, India to become a Lobo, Mia Amin indulged in every aspect of what campus life has to offer; her latest feat includes leading students as president of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico.
Taylor Lillian Busch | School of Engineering
Taylor Lillian Busch saw the need for better infrastructure and cleaner water in Native American communities. She wants to use her B.S. in Civil Engineering from The University of New Mexico to find solutions.
Intercultural immersion lays groundwork for UNM grad
UNM student Marisa C de Baca will be graduating this spring after spending time in Mexico, working within another culture, improving her Spanish and learning the art of jewelry making. She will be graduating with a degree from the UNM Communication and Journalism Department with an emphasis in Intercultural Communication and a minor in Anthropology. It was one thing to learn about cultural studies through the intellectual design for her degree but another to have an enriching learning experience and to spend time living and applying the learning, teachings and working within another culture – and she made a tough choice right before graduation.
Lynsey Pinto found her calling in The College of Population Health
Being away from family, losing a beloved grandmother to COVID-19 and finding her place at the state’s largest university are among the many challenges Lynsey Pinto, 22, faced during her undergraduate years. Through her perseverance and her family’s support, Pinto will graduate this May with a bachelor of science degree from The University of New Mexico College of Population Health. She double majored in population health and political science.