Governor Lujan Grisham nominates regents for New Mexico State University and New Mexico Tech
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday announced five appointments to the boards of regents for New Mexico State University and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
In an executive message to the state Senate, the governor submitted to the Rules Committee the following nominees:
• Dina Chacón-Reitzel to the New Mexico State University Board of Regents for a six-year term through December 31, 2024.
• Ammu Devasthali to the New Mexico State University of Regents for a six-year term through December 31, 2024.
• Luke Sanchez to the New Mexico State University Board of Regents for a two-year student regent term through December 31, 2020.
• Dr. Yolanda Jones King to the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents for a six-year term through December 31, 2024.
• Veronica Espinoza to the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents for a two-year student regent term through December 31, 2020.
Dina Chacón-Reitzel has been the executive director of the New Mexico Beef Council for 30 years, where she has maintained an active partnership with New Mexico State. Since 2009, she has also served as the NMSU delegate to the Council for Agricultural Research Extension and Teaching where she has advocated for federal USDA funding for the university; she has also held seats on several national beef industry committees and earned local leadership recognition. Chacón-Reitzel has a master’s degree in business administration from NMSU.
Ammu Devasthali has more than 15 years of dedicated service both working and volunteering and to promote the arts and community in Southern New Mexico, including time as a board member of the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico and the Las Cruces Art Fair executive committee. She is currently working on the renovation of Williams Hall at New Mexico State University, raising private funds to renovate the home of the NMSU Visual Arts Department, and she was also a member of the Downtown Las Cruces Partnership think tank tasked with creating a comprehensive community and quality of life model for downtown. Devasthali has a bachelor’s in Russian and a doctorate in Soviet literature.
Luke Sanchez is a student researcher at the NMSU Howard Hughes Medical Institute, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology. He has worked as an emergency department medical scribe at the MountainView Regional Medical Center and has various community service experience. A member of the NMSU Outdoor Leadership Program and a presidential ambassador, Sanchez is a graduate of St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque.
Dr. Yolanda Jones King retired in 2014 from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, where she served as the government advisor to the DSB Task Force on nuclear survivability and authored many reports and presentations. Since then, she has been a senior technical and programmatic advisor for the Engility Corp., providing insight and advice regarding the Air Force and Navy warhead projects and system-level survivability. She served in various high-level technical roles at the Air Force over a lengthy career. King earned a bachelor’s degree cum laude in chemistry and a doctorate in physical chemistry, both from the University of New Mexico.
Veronica Espinoza has worked on the New Mexico Tech research office’s Latin American Initiatives and as a translator on the school’s “Engineers Without Borders” pre-assessment trip to Xola, Guatemala. Espinoza is studying chemical engineering with a minor in explosives engineering. Her research includes technologies and designs that increase cybersecurity capabilities at cybersecurity and the effects of surface chemistry on twitching
motility in Shewanella oneidensis with the use of self-assembled monolayers.
The governor’s three regents advisory committee forwarded the names of these and the appointees for the University of New Mexico. Each committee center on different institutions, interviewing prospective candidates and vetting their backgrounds, using clearly defined criteria intended to determine what each institution must have in its board of regents to ensure consistent, impartial and sound leadership.