What are our Alumni up to now?

Garrett Sheldon (1977): I retired as a Professor from the University of Virginia, holding an Endowed Chair; but I continue as a part-time Church minister. The UNM Honors College was the best undergraduate experience! It led me to a PhD in Political Theory at Rutgers and Visiting Professor at Oxford, the University of Vienna, Austria; Moscow University; Istanbul; and Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. I've published 10 books in my fields of Political Philosophy, Religion and Law. Received numerous awards including the Outstanding Faculty in Virginia (and the UNM Bernard Rogey Award). I hope the fine, Interdisciplinary studies at UNM Honors College continue and bless many more students as they did me.

Jessica Julian (1987): After practicing law (UNM ‘1990) for 25 years, I retired in 2014 and begin painting. In 2020, at the start of the pandemic, I began writing and illustrating a children’s middle grade book called Ebby, the Magnificent, Tails of an Elusive Baby Bunny. I recently completed it, and I am self-publishing it. It is an adventure story about friendship and kindness, curiosity and bravery, as experienced through the eyes of a baby bunny, traveling through the Land of Stones. It contains over 80 full-color illustrations. My book launch will occur on July 7, 2023 in Vancouver Washington. More details about my book can be found at www.jwjulian.com or on my Facebook Author page J.W. Julian.

Anna Nogar (2000): Promoted to full professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in 2022. Published El feliz ingenio neomexicano: Felipe M. Chacón and Poesía y prosa in 2021 with UNM Press; it won a Bronze medal in Fiction Translation: Spanish to English from the International Latino Book Awards in 2022. 

Danielle Gilliam (2007): Appointed Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Operations, New Mexico Environment Department

Amaris Ketcham (2007):  I have a new book coming out this year. Unfiltered: A Cancer Year Diary is a collection of diary comics following the year that my husband was diagnosed with and treated for kidney cancer. My other recent books include Best Tent Camping: New Mexico, Glitches in the FBI, and A Poetic Inventory of the Sandia Mountains. You can learn more at amarisketcham.com.

Sarena Ulibarri (2007): My first book will be published in May! Another Life is a science fiction novella set in a near future where a "23 and Me" type test can reveal who a person was in their previous life. It will be published by Stelliform Press, and available at online booksellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as locally at Bookworks. Here's the link to the publisher's page: https://www.stelliform.press/index.php/product/another-life-by-sarena-ulibarri/

Sarah Parro (2012): This isn't the most recent news, but in the last year I made a significant career change (amidst other big life changes) that I am proud of and excited to share. After graduating from UNM with an English degree (technical writing concentration), I spent several years working as a writer, editor, and publisher. After a while I felt ready for a change, and I enrolled in a bootcamp program for UX/UI product design training. It was a good start but not enough to break into a new industry. Then 2020 happened, I was laid off, started a second bootcamp, had my second baby, and began an 18-month long job hunt. After submitting countless applications and getting *almost* hired a few times, I landed a job as content strategist for product communications at an awesome tech education company. It was the perfect fit and combination of my previous work experience and more recent skill acquisition.

Diego Montoya (2016): I started my position at CNM as an Outreach Specialist (Navigator) May 31st. We support students through every step of the process at CNM, from application to graduation.

Keriden Brown (2017): I graduated from UNM in 2017 with a minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, however my focus in the Honors College was mostly a mixture of literature, writing, and editing. I've worked hard to use what Honors gave me in every aspect I possibly can. With that, I'm pleased to announce I've recently been hired by Booz Allen Hamilton as a Technical Writer and Editor. I work with documents created by mechanical, chemical, and software engineers frequently and I get to use my editing and writing skills every single day. It's such a dream come true and I would not be here without Amaris Ketcham or Dr. Leslie Donovan. I have so much appreciation for all of my honors professors and I'm grateful I've been given the opportunity to share my successes with the college that helped me achieve so much. Good luck future alum! I hope Honors gives you wonderful opportunities, too.

Andrew Cartigiano (2017): Attending the University of Denver to obtain my masters in library science and information. 

Jillian Kovach (2018): Almost exactly one year after graduating from UNM, I moved to the Netherlands, having fallen in love with the country’s beauty, people, and safety after studying there for a year. I now work as a self-employed copyeditor/proofreader and revise everything from business emails to 40K-word dissertations. I attribute most of my business success to the Honors College and especially Scribendi, which taught me the tools of the trade and allowed me to open publishing doors that otherwise would have remained shut. I also want to give a shout-out to Dr. Donovan, who in her course What Worlds May Come and through her general demeanor taught me that the future is not as terrifying as we all might think it to be. And really, it’s not.

Cedar Yelvington (2018): I live semi-nomadically, usually in Oregon although I travel outside Oregon quite a lot for work/life/play. My main work is outdoor education instructor, which generally means I life outside with teenagers for a few weeks and we all learn how to co-exist, communicate, work through conflict, and also do cool and challenging things like go rock climbing or backpacking. I work for several organizations including: the Northwest Outward Bound School, The Venture Out Project, Adventures Without Limits, and more. In addition to instructing, I'm also involved in Risk Management, Policy Development, and training with TVOP. I also work as an EMT with Adventure Medics, usually at outdoor events such as races or concerts. Outside of work, the things I spend the most time and energy on are: rock climbing, Buddhist/meditative practice (I recently did a 10 day meditation retreat and took the 5 precepts), and spending time with my partner and friends, probably playing board games.

Faith Montaño (2020): Since graduating, I have been teaching 7th grade science at a middle school in the South Valley. This year, I began working as an instructional coach, and next year, I will also be helping build and implement our school’s SEL program. I am so grateful to have been a part of the Honors College. It prepared me for my current roles in unexpected ways—from learning how to manage a team with Amaris and Scribendi, to using the knowledge gained in Myrriah’a class to build a rigorous and culturally responsive New Mexico History curriculum for my school. I love what I do, and I wouldn’t have made so much progress if it weren’t for the Honors College.