Marty Apodaca, senior counselor for The University of New Mexico Student Health and Counseling, has been elected the 105th President of the National Career Development Association (NCDA) for the 2024-25 calendar year. Apodaca will be the first UNM alumnus, New Mexican and Hispanic person to hold the position.

NCDA aims to empower career counselors by providing members with professional development, scientific research and other resources. Apodaca said he has formed many meaningful relationships with the organization’s members and is eager to lead.

“Honestly, I am still kind of in awe, because this was a huge professional goal of mine and now a career milestone,” he said. “A kid from Dexter, NM will become president of a national organization that represents some of the most prominent voices in career counseling, development, education, and research.”

As a senior counselor at SHAC, Apodaca helps students explore the intersection of career and mental health. 

“I’m thankful to my current supervisor, Lesley McKinney, for her support,” he said. “Working at SHAC has allowed me to pursue and grow my knowledge of career counseling, as this directly affects the students I work with.”

Apodaca said he is honored the members of NCDA trust him with the association’s highest role. He hopes his time as president will benefit the work being done in the Division of Student Affairs and across UNM.  

“The mental health of many UNM students is impacted by career uncertainty and concerns,” he said. “Having access to continuing education around career and mental health provides an opportunity for me to bring back knowledge and tools for the UNM community.”

Apodaca previously worked as a career development facilitator under the leadership of Jenna Crab, director of UNM Career Services. In that role, he supervised and trained individual and group counseling interns. It was then that he attended his first NCDA conference. He knew immediately he had found his people.

Apodaca credits the career milestone to his ten-plus years of training from Crabb and the UNM Career Services staff.

“Being President-Elect–Elect for NCDA truly speaks to the stellar work that Jenna and her team do for the UNM community,” he said. 

Crab spoke highly of Apodaca.

“I am very excited for Marty and this opportunity with NCDA. Marty has always been an inspiration and role model to anyone he meets,” Crab said. “I know he will make a huge impact in this position and represent UNM and New Mexico on a national level,” Crabb said.

Visit for more information on the National Career Development Association.