Skip to main content

Student & Alum Updates

Student Briefs

March 24th 
Astorga and BergCongratulations to Daniel Astorga (MHA Candidate) and Stetson Berg (MHA Candidate) on winning the student scholarship from New Mexico Healthcare Executives (NMHE). They will be attending ACHE's annual congress on healthcare leadership. Astorga (left) is a first-year student in the MHA program at UNM. His concentration is in hospital and clinic administration and currently works as a Clinical Quality & Compliance Specialist for the UNM Medical Group. Berg (right) joined ACHE in 2016 and has been active in the Programs and Communication Committees for NMHE. He works at UNMH, the state’s trauma hospital out of Albuquerque, NM, as a Clinical Analyst, specializing in Information Technology. He is currently pursuing an MHA degree from UNM and anticipates graduation in spring of 2018.



March 23rd 
Brian VineyardUNM ROTC senior student success specialist, Brian Vineyard (MPA Candidate), recently was honored by the Air Force ROTC Southwest Region with its University Civilian of the Quarter award. Nominated by Lt. Col. Neal B. Kleinschmidt, UNM Air Force ROTC commanding officer, Vineyard was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the three UNM ROTC detachments and his work with Animal Humane Association (AHA). He’s plotted 200-degree plans for cadets and midshipmen with a hundred percent on-time graduation rate; teaches a university financial literacy class and has streamlined the class registration process for cadets and midshipmen; and volunteers at the AHA of New Mexico Thrift Store. Winning this award makes Vineyard one of the four top civilian finalists in the nationwide Air Force ROTC University Civilian of the Quarter.

Alum Tidbits

(most recent)

September 10
Meribeth Densmore
Meribeth Densmore (MPA '16) has been recruited by the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration, State Budget Division, in Santa Fe, NM as the new Senior Executive Budget and Policy Analyst. Her main goal is working to affect change in the public sector through budget and policy analysis. Cheers, Meribeth!

August 25
Victoria Otero
Victoria Otero (MHA '15) unanimously was elected to serve as the Villa Therese Catholic Clinic (VTCC) Executive Director in Santa Fe, NM as of August 25, 2017. Ms. Otero is a graduate from the MHA program at UNM SPA and a member of the New Mexico Healthcare Executives (NMHE). She served admirably as the Interim Executive Director and the organization is looking forward to her continued leadership to strengthen VTCC as they prepare for their future. Congratulations from the School of Public Administration Victoria! You will be a great leader for VTCC!

April 24
William Easom (MPA '10) is the new Director of Quality Improvement at Maxcare, Inc. in New Mexico. He graduated with a concentration in human resources management and currently analyzes and interprets data regarding incidents and implementation of the Individual Service Plans; ensures that direct support personnel complete necessary trainings to stay with NM's guidelines, and reviews grievances filed by employees and the individuals being served.

April 1
Jose Flores (MPA '13) is the new Placement Case Worker with CYFD in the State of New Mexico. Mr. Flores coordinates and facilitates the placement of children in CYFD custody by studying families interested in becoming foster and adoptive families. As well, he provides expert case consultation in the area of foster care and adoption services and provides services to foster and adoptive families requiring specialized skills or expertise. "My Master's degree... gives me the knowledge necessary to conduct quantitative and overall research [to better my community]."

April 1
Amy Miller
Amy Miller (MPA '93) is a well-rounded senior level public affairs professional that is now the Director of External Affairs at The Nature Conservancy in Albuquerque. Additionally, Mrs. Miller volunteered with The Nature Conservancy for over nine years as Board President and Board Member. She helped led efforts on outreach and awareness of the Rio Grande Water Fund project to increase the health of New Mexico forests and water supply and assisted with identifying new fundraising and membership opportunities. As well, Amy Miller is currently a member of the SPA Advisory Board.

April 1
Zach Lardy
Zachary Lardy (MPA '14) was announced Battalion Commander at Bernalillo County Fire Department. Prior to this position, Mr. Lardy was Captain at Bernalillo County Fire Department for over eleven years.

March 23rd
Danielle Gilliam
Danielle Gilliam (MPA ’10) is one of the recipients awarded a “Roaring Louie” from the Division of Student Affairs Fellows for Outstanding Service Providers at the Global Education Office. As Administrative Officer, she was recognized for her outstanding performance (outside of regularly assigned duties) that significantly enhance some aspect of student life at UNM. Nominated by members of the UNM community and chosen by a committee compromised of a diverse group of people from various UNM departments, Ms. Gilliam was presented with a coveted gold statue of UNM's mascot, Lobo Louie. Congrats on your recognition Danielle!

January 23rd
David Campbell
David Campbell (MPA ’81, JD ’86) is the recipient of UNM Alumni Association's prestigious James F. Zimmerman Award for the 2017 Winter Awards. Campbell has had a long and distinguished career filled with contributions to the community, New Mexico, the University and the world. After a lifetime of service to New Mexico, Campbell joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 2011. He served as vice consul at the U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil, Ecuador and as the political officer for the U.S. Embassy in Mauritius and Seychelles. Currently, Campbell is serving as East Africa Affairs desk officer at U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

Stephen Ciepiela
Stephen Ciepiela (BA ’77, MPA ’80) is the UNM Alumni Association's 2017 Winter Awards recipient for the Erna S. Fergusson Award. President of Charles Stephen, a firm he co-founded in 1983, Ciepiela is at the helm of one of the oldest and largest independent financial planning firms in New Mexico. One of the first 75 Certified Financial Planners in the United States, he has been a recipient of many honors and awards including being chosen by his peers in a special issue of “Money Magazine” as one of the top 200 financial planners in the country. Ciepiela also is a successful author, writing “When A Partner Dies.” Currently, he is writing “Going Part Time – The New Exit Strategy.” 

December 22nd (2016)
Rick Snider and Ron Aldrich
Rick Snider (MPA ’15) was appointed as county administrator in March 2016 and was responsible for the evaluation of performance and strategic options for a troubled county nursing home in Champaign County, IL (one of the ten largest counties in Illinois) in late December“I never thought I’d be applying my healthcare knowledge so soon after graduating, but the coursework has proven invaluable,” Snider commented. “My work at the SPA enabled me to attain this position as county administrator. More importantly, I appreciate the relationships with UNM upon which I am now able to draw to help formulate a solution.”

Send your 

stories and photos

 to: spadvise@unm.edu!