Gov. Lujan Grisham Nominates regents for ENMU, Highlands, NMMI, Northern New Mexico College and WNMU
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday announced nine appointments to the boards of regents for Eastern New Mexico University, New Mexico Highlands University, New Mexico Military Institute, Northern New Mexico College and Western New Mexico University.
In an executive message to the state Senate, the governor submitted to the Rules Committee the following nominees:
• Lance A. Pyle to the Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents for a six-year term through December 31, 2024.
• Joseph William Gergel III to the Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents for a two-year student regent term through December 31, 2020.
• William Garcia to the New Mexico Highlands University Board of Regents for a six-year term through December 31, 2024.
• Cedric Daniel Page to the New Mexico Military Institute Board of Regents for a six-year term through December 31, 2024.
• John Garcia to the New Mexico Military Institute Board of Regents for a six-year term through December 31, 2024.
• Erica Rita Velarde to the Northern New Mexico College Board of Regents for a six-year term through December 31, 2024.
• Porter Swentzell to the Northern New Mexico College Board of Regents for a six-year term through December 31, 2024.
• Mary Hotvedt to the Western New Mexico University Board of Regents for a six-year term through December 31, 2024.
Lance A. Pyle has been county manager of Curry County since 2007. He was mayor of Melrose from 2006-2010. He has extensive community and volunteer experience, including as a board member of the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce and on the board of the Hartley House, a domestic violence safehouse center. He earned a bachelor’s from Eastern New Mexico University.
Joseph William Gergel III is studying political science at Eastern New Mexico University. He has interned at Lee Engineering and in the university president’s office. He has been active in student government and is vice president of the pre-law club. Gergel is a graduate of Rio Rancho High School.
William Garcia is a former Secretary of Economic Development and manager of New Mexico public affairs for Intel. He is a longtime member of the Highlands board of directors and has served as its president; he has also been president of the Highlands University Foundation and St. Michael’s High School board of trustees. He earned a bachelor’s from Highlands and a master’s in business administration from Arizona State University.
Cedric Daniel Page is the former executive director of UNM-Los Alamos who also served as the school’s SUN PATH site coordinator and dean of instruction. Page is currently a professor emeritus in geography at the Los Alamos campus and has four decades of distinguished experience teaching in higher education, including at the University of Colorado at Denver and the U.S. Air Force Academy. Page earned a bachelor’s from Syracuse, a master’s from Rutgers and a doctorate from Rutgers, in urban and social geography, as well.
John Garcia is the district director of the Small Business Administration. He was formerly the deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and also served as the first secretary of the Department of Veterans Services under Gov. Bill Richardson, in addition to his work as secretary for the Office of Economic Development under Governor Bruce King’s administration.
Erica Rita Velarde is an energy engineer in the General Services Department within the Risk Management Division. She has also worked as an engineer and program manager at the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department and Department of Transportation. She was named the New Mexico Association of Energy Engineers’ energy engineer of the year in 2017. She earned an associate’s degree from Northern New Mexico College and a bachelor’s from the University of New Mexico.
Porter Swentzell has been an assistant professor of indigenous liberal studies at the Institute of American Indian Arts since 2013. He has worked as adjunct faculty at Northern New Mexico College and as an instructor at UNM-Los Alamos. He won “Faculty of the Year” at IAIA in 2018 and has various publications in addition to serving as chair of the Indigenous Liberal Arts Department at IAIA and as an advisor on the city of Española’s community relations commission, among other community and academic service. Swentzell earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern, a master’s from Western New Mexico University and doctorate in philosophy from Arizona State University.
Mary Hotvedt is a licensed marriage and family therapist and adjunct professor at Western New Mexico University where she has taught for nine years. Over the course of many decade she has taught at schools in Arizona, Illinois, New York and Italy, and has many publications related to her area of expertise. Hotvedt is also currently a supervisor and member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She earned a bachelor’s from the University of Wisconsin and both a master’s and doctorate from Indiana University.