It's a great time of the year every May and December when Lobos walk the graduation stage at University Arena, The Pit to receive their diplomas. It's a bittersweet time for the campus community as it watches our rising stars aim for great heights as they pursue their dreams. Given the circumstances of the past two+ years, these accomplishments show the incredible resilience and grit of The Pack at The University of New Mexico.
As part of Spring and Fall commencement, the University Communication and Marketing team highlights Lobos who demonstrated exceptional leadership, courage, dedication and perseverance 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 have shared.
Although it is impossible to showcase every student, we hope these stories are a slice of the diversity, innovation, and personality of the Class of 2022.
Sara Jaramillo | BBA, Marketing
When the pandemic hit nearly three years ago, Sara Jaramillo found herself contemplating what was next. While some people took up new hobbies and others simply tried to move forward, she decided it was time to knock off one long-standing item from her to-do list — finish her degree. This week, she will graduate with a bachelor’s of business administration with a concentration in marketing.
Kiana Frederick | BS, Political Science
Just after her freshman year in 2020, University of New Mexico student Kiana Frederick decided to take a course with associate professor Sarita Cargas in the Honors College. Cargas was looking for students who wanted to explore food and housing security of college students in New Mexico. Frederick found herself fascinated by the subject and even as she prepares for graduation this month with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, she plans to continue to work on the issue.
Rylee Brachle | BS, Population Health
Rylee Brachle has had her sights set on higher education since she was a child. When she was in elementary school her single mother finished her bachelor’s degree at The University of New Mexico. “She brought me to class a few times,” she recalls. “I thought UNM was huge back then – a place that I kind of wanted to be.” Brachle will graduate with bachelor of science degree this fall from the UNM College of Population Health with a second major in psychology. She hopes to take a few months off before applying for the new accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program at the UNM College of Nursing.
Jenilee Jao | MS, Computer Engineering
It’s two degrees down and at least one more to go for University of New Mexico student Jenilee Jao. “I wouldn't be here now if I wasn't grateful. I would have stopped at bachelor’s, but here I am now, finishing up my master's and pursuing my Ph.D. because I don't see any reason to not pursue my higher education here,” Jao said. Jao is graduating this fall with a Master of Science in Computer Engineering, from the UNM School of Engineering.
Carla Santos | MBA, Business Administration
Carla Santos always knew she wanted to pursue higher education. This year, that dream came true. Santos completed her Master’s of Business Administration over the summer. The degree represents the finish line in a five-year pathway, known as the 2+1+2 Program, offered by University of New Mexico in partnership with Central New Mexico Community College, but for Santos the achievement has been more than twenty years in the making.
Gerald Lovato | BA, Fine Arts
Born into a cycle of addiction, University of New Mexico senior Gerald Lovato was a child when he first realized the power of creating art to escape and heal from trauma. Lovato, who majored in Fine Arts with a studio concentration in Painting and Photography and minored in Arts Business + Leadership, officially graduates this month but walked in the spring ceremony held by El Centro de la Raza.
Nehemiah Cionelo | BS, Computer Science
He was once told that a University of New Mexico student-athlete could have two of the three: an academic life, a social life, or an athletic life. Fall 2022 graduate Nehemiah Cionelo redefined that statement during his time at UNM, becoming a triple threat. Cionelo is graduating from UNM with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, as well as with two minors– Liberal Arts and Integrated Studies.
Yiling Ling | Ed.S., Educational Specialist
She speaks Taiwanse, Mandarin Chinese, English, and is learning Japanese and Navajo. It’s no secret Yiling Lin is a master of all trades. This fall, she is earning her third degree in 12 years from the University of New Mexico. The Educational Specialist Licensure in Educational Leadership, comes out of the College of Education and Human Sciences (COEHS).