The UNM Office of the President just announced the winners of the 2021 Sarah Belle Brown Community Service Award.

In honor of his wife, UNM Board of Regent’s President and former dean of the Anderson School of Management Doug Brown created the Sarah Belle Brown Award. Sarah Belle Brown has demonstrated exemplary community service for over 30 years of her life.

Every year, the Office of the President awards one faculty member, staff member, and student the award. Recipients receive $1,500 scholarship awarded by Doug ad Sarah Brown. The awardees have contributed a great amount of their personal time to UNM’s public service mission.

Since COVID prevented a celebration last year, on Nov. 17, an in-person awards dinner will be held in honor of both the 2021 and 2020 recipients.

2021 Recipients

Wendy Greyeyes

Wendy S. Greyeyes, Assistant Professor, Native American Studies

From the nominations:
“She has made it a priority and commitment to community service. She constantly is involved in variety of areas impacting Native peoples, students, and the state of New Mexico. What I share is only a small glimpse into her community service. She helped initiate and organize the Native American chapter of the UNM Alumni Association. The Native American chapter never existed prior to her initiative and commitment.”

“Her impact on Navajo, the student community, and the Native education community is tremendous. She continuously stays involved and is aware of numerous activities on the Navajo Nation…”

“She continuously stays involved and is aware of numerous activities on the Navajo Nation ranging from education, health, wellness, and political engagement. She regularly travels to the Navajo Nation to help with these activities such as the face covering drives, volunteering her work and time to the Navajo-Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief fund effort, leading the effort for the Navajo Nation's to run its own schools, helping her home community of Kayenta on variety of areas, and many others.”


Celeste A. Cole, Financial Analyst

From the nominations:
“Celeste Cole serves as example of social responsiveness. Her 20+ years of dedicated community engagement is reflected in her daily lifestyle and values.”

“I have worked with Celeste for 9 years. She donates considerable personal time and effort to advance The University of New Mexico’s public service mission. She does not limit her effort to only attending committee meetings. Celeste is the committee member who signs up to do the additional tasks. She sends out the request letters for donations from generous community businesses - that she has built a trusted relationship with over the years”


Rick Rockett, student

From the nominations:
“He has always been incredibly generous with his contacts, his time and knowledge. He created an outline of topics he thought should be covered in a transition book, gave me contact info to UNM and community SME who could assist with our projects. He offered to create some data capture tools, etc. Additionally, he suggested ways our museum could be more involved with local organizations that help with food insecurity and sustainability.”

“Over the years, I saw Rick at various veteran organizations' functions, and he seemed to be everywhere, participating and volunteering.”

“Rick is interested in making his slice of the world better, as well as bettering himself. He balances school, volunteerism and self-development.”

2020 Recipients

Robert O. Valdez | Associate Director of the Office of Community Health, RWJF Professor of Family Community Medicine and Economics
Amy Beggin | Director of Compliance for Athletic
Mirella Galvan De La Cruz | UNM School of Medicine

For a related story on the last year's winners, visit 2020 Sarah Belle Brown recipients.