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Professional Staff


Jeannie Baca, Operations Specialist

Email: || Phone: 277-4208 || Rm: Honors College 21C

Dr. Baca has over 18 years of experience at the three major Hispanic-Serving Institutions in New Mexico as an administrator and adjunct faculty with extensive experience in providing an array of academic and support services. She has led multiple initiatives to increase enrollment, retention, and graduation for diverse populations. She is committed to supporting and guiding students so they may realize their potential and achieve academic success. Her undergraduate degrees are in Government, and Psychology, her Masters is in Organizational Management and her doctorate is in Educational Leadership Administration.


Kiyoko Nogi Simmons, Scholarship & Outreach Manager

Email: || Phone: 277-0428 || Rm: Honors College 30

Kiyoko directs the Center for Academic Excellence & Leadership Development (CAELD) as a part of UNM Honors College. She is originally from Yokohama, Japan. She received her B.A. in American Cultural Studies from the Keisen Jogakuen College in Tokyo and her M.A. in Sociology from the State University of West Georgia. Kiyoko moved to New Mexico in 2001 with her husband, Bill. She has been working for the University of New Mexico since 2004. Prior to managing CAELD, she coordinated Family Connection, an orientation program for parents of incoming first year students. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Organization, Information, & Learning Sciences.

luisLuis Rocha, Coordinator of Education Support

Email: || Phone: 277-4211 || Rm: Honors College 21

Luis is a native Texan who is now happy to call the the Land of Enchantment home.  He loves breakfast tacos, barbecue, and live music.  On weekends, Luis can usually be found on the soccer field reliving his high school glory days (only to find himself limping into the office on Monday mornings). 

Student Staff


Grace Cairo, Undergraduate Assistant

Grace is a freshman at UNM and has not yet decided on her major, but has an interest in psychology. She is from Rio Rancho, New Mexico. In her spare time, she like to go shopping, spend time with friends and family, and play with her four dogs. 


Olivia Leyva,  Undergraduate Assistant 

Olivia is currently a sophomore majoring in Population Health and minoring in Chemistry and Biology. She is from Pueblo West, Colorado and aspires to continue to travel to new and exciting places. She loves scary movies, basketball, Bruno Mars, and spending time with friends and family.