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Professional Staff


Sophia Alvarez, College Administrator

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

Sophia Alvarez is the College Administrator for the UNM Honors College. She earned her B.S. in Marketing and Management from the University of Montana and earned her M.B.A. from Gonzaga University. After completing her M.B.A. in 2011, Sophia and her family decided it was time for a change of scenery (and weather) and moved from Rocky Boy, Montana to sunny Albuquerque where she started working at the University Honors Program as the Program Coordinator. In addition to working, Sophia is a UNM Management Academy graduate and spends most her time with her husband, Zane, and their three children (Rebecca, Aidan, and Claire).


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.

aj-odassoA.J. Odasso, Administrative Assistant III

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

A.J. is the newest member of the UNM Honors College team.  She earned her B.A. in English from Wellesley College, as well as an interdisciplinary M.A. in Medieval Studies from the University of York (UK) and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Boston University, where she spent a year as a Teaching Fellow.  She's a published poet and writer of short fiction; she has been serving as Senior Poetry Editor at Strange Horizons magazine since 2012.  In addition to co-supervising the Student Data Entry and Peer Advising Teams and departmental finance processes, she is also part of the Honors Part-Time Faculty

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


Christine Anderson,  Peer Advisor & Data Entry Clerk

Christine Anderson is currently a Junior majoring in English and minoring in Interdisciplinary Studies. Originally from Portland, Oregon, she moved to Albuquerque in order to attend UNM. In addition to work and classes, Christine enjoys spending time with friends, baking, and participating in church events.


Shayla Brooks,  Peer Advisor

Shayla is a junior double majoring in Psychology and International Studies, and minoring in Interdisciplinary Honors. As a native New Mexican, her future goal is to be a social worker or counselor in Albuquerque to help her community. She loves reading books and comics, petting her dogs, and playing Minesweeper. 

bradyBrady Beard,  Data Entry Clerk

Brady is currently a freshman with an undecided major, but hopes to one day be in Education. Brady is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma and moved to Albuquerque for school at UNM. While she is not in class, studying, or working, Brady enjoys hiking, camping, photography, hanging out with friends, and laughing.


Rebekah Goldblatt,  Data Entry Clerk

Rebekah Goldblatt is a sophomore studying Chemical Engineering. She is from Winnemucca, Nevada, but mostly grew up in the southeastern United States. She finally settled in Albuquerque in order to attend UNM. When she’s not in class or at work, Rebekah likes to curl up with a warm blanket and watch Netflix, eat delicious food, and hang out with her closest friends.  


Serena Mickens,  Peer Advisor & Data Entry Clerk

Serena is a Junior majoring in Languages (Russian and Italian) with minors in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies and Communication. She is a native New Mexican who loves to experience new things and dreams of traveling the world. While she is not in class or working, Serena enjoys music, baking, photography, and spending time with friends and family.


Samuel Shoemaker-Trejo, Peer Advisor

Samuel Shoemaker-Trejo is a junior at UNM, acting in the capacity of Peer Advisor for the Honors College. He majors in Honors Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts and minors in Theatre. He has worked with Albuquerque’s Fusion Theatre Company and owns a small theatre contract-work business entitled Cobbled Creations Theatre and Film. Alongside his diverse academic, creative, and professional interests, Samuel also enjoys spending time with his loving friends and family, playing the occasional game of Ultimate Frisbee, and protecting a well-earned position in the nearest Magic: The Gathering™ tournament.