The University of New Mexico Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs announced its annual award winners to several staff members and an outstanding work group for extraordinary service. The Provost Committee for Staff awarded the 2022 Outstanding Staff Awards to María C. Anchondo, Ana Parra Lombard, and Dee Dee Lopez, while the Engineering Student Success Center in the School of Engineering was named as 2022 Outstanding Workgroup Award winner.

Anchondo, a senior student success specialist in the College Enrichment and Outreach Programs and Education Opportunity Center Special Programs, was cited for her “high degree of professionalism and integrity, always showing great respect to her colleagues, program participants and community partners.”

Lombard, a program specialist at the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was praised as “warm, friendly, and overwhelmingly competent,” as well as “an amazingly skilled and efficient administrator, while still maintaining an incredible devotion to helping each individual student, no matter the size and weight of her other responsibilities.”

Lopez, senior scheduling coordinator at the College of Arts and Sciences Department of English “made a real difference in the lives of our students. She listened as they explained their interests and outlined their goals; then, she offered a wealth of advice about how to negotiate the bureaucracy that is UNM successfully,” according to the PCS press release.

The 2022 Outstanding Workgroup Award winner, the Engineering Student Success Center, is comprised of Elsa Castillo, Yadeeh Sawyer, Nada Abdel Hack, Anyssa Romero, Doug Williams, Toby Tafoya, and Jenilee Jao.

Nominators praised the group, saying…

“… By some estimates the group has helped reach several tens of thousands of students over the duration of the program. It has been cited as a textbook model of outreach and retention by NSF program managers and by the ERC leadership.”

“The ESS workgroup has had significant impact on the underrepresented community, with strong recruitment and support efforts targeting ethnic minorities, racial minorities, sexual orientation minorities and women. There is also a lot of support from ESS for students who are from economically disadvantaged families”

“The ESS Center has connected my research group to many undergraduate students. Many of the students have achieved invaluable opportunities thanks to the research and networking experiences provided through the ESS Center. The support to students from under‐represented minority groups is essential to the success and sustained efforts to increase representation in STEM.”

“There have been universal praises among our graduates about their experience with ESS while at UNM. Many of those alums volunteer to join the ESS activities (even from out of state) to help current students, share their experience and provide professional advice. The work that ESS does and its impact on student success have been truly amazing.”

“The transition into a virtual environment is a perfect example ESS extraordinary services and dedication to our students’ success. They are one of the few programs at UNM that have unanimously offered on their own to forward all their calls from their office to their personal cell phones. They have set up a 24/7 hotline to assist our students in need as they do not want students to feel isolated during this pandemic.”

A reception will be held to honor the awardees, as well as kindness awardees and academic support scholarship recipients from 2020, 2021, and 2022 since the event from 2020 and 2021was postponed due to the pandemic. Awardees will receive plaques and have already received monetary awards. Scholarship recipients will receive certificates. Another reception will be held for the 2022-2023 awardees in the spring.

The PCS is now issuing a call for applications for the Fall 2022 Academic Support Scholarship. Complete the online form.

These scholarships are designed to help support staff that utilizes their tuition remission benefit. UNM employees now have an opportunity to apply for a financial support scholarship to help cover the costs of academic books, course fees, and other related course supplies. The scholarships are for UNM employees who are using their tuition remission benefit to obtain a degree or professional certificate as well as professional development classes. This scholarship will be awarded each semester and recipients of this award will be selected by members of the PCS. To provide this opportunity for all staff, the scholarship will not be available to the same student in successive semesters.

For more information on applicant criteria and eligibility requirements, visit the PCS website.