Board of Directors
Dr. Dan Arvizu
NMSU Chancellor and Chief Executive
Dr. Dan Arvizu became Chancellor and the 28th Chief Executive of the New Mexico State University System (NMSU) on June 1, 2018. NMSU is New Mexico’s land-grant institution founded in 1888 and is presently one of the nation’s foremost Hispanic-serving universities. NMSU is a NASA Space Grant College and is home to the very first Honors College in New Mexico. Dr. Arvizu is the second alumnus and first Hispanic to be hired as the NMSU System Chancellor and Chief Executive. He previously served in various roles at Emerson Collective including Chief Technology Officer, STEM Evangelist, and Senior Advisor. He also currently serves as a Venture Partner for Sustainability for Ridge-Lane Partners, Ltd. and as a Precourt Institute Energy Scholar at Stanford University.
Dr. Arvizu has had a long distinguished career in advanced energy research and development, materials and process sciences, and technology commercialization. He started his career in 1973 at Bell Labs, and after four years transferred to Sandia National Labs, where he spent the next 21 years, 14 years in executive roles. In 1998 he joined CH2M Hill Companies, Ltd for 6 years, his last two years as a CTO. In January of 2005 he was appointed the 8th Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado and became the first Hispanic Lab Director in the history of any of the 17 U.S. DOE’s National Labs. He retired in December of 2015, and is presently Director Emeritus.
NMSU Student Regent
Neal Bitsie is a fourth-year student at New Mexico State University, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics with a supplemental major in Applied Mathematics and a minor in Aerospace Engineering. He expects to graduate from NMSU in 2022. During his time at NMSU, Bitsie has served as the chief elections officer for the Associated Students of NMSU and helped implement ASNMSU’s first fully online election. He also served as an ASNMSU Supreme Court associated justice.
Bitsie is an active member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, Atomic Aggies, NMSU Rotaract Club, ASNMSU, Engineering Student Council, Aggies Without Limits, Hall Council and other campus clubs and organizations. He participated in the Rotaract Club’s spring 2019 Guadaloupe Mexico orphanage project. In 2017, Bitsie earned the Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts of America. That same year, he was recognized for his efforts to improve the lives of shelter animals. He was part of a project that built more than 100 dog beds, increased adoption rates by 10 percent and improved the water quality of several shelters.
Bitsie is the 15th person in his family to attend New Mexico State University. He is honored to proudly represent NMSU on the Board of Regents. Bitsie encourages all aggies to become involved in the NMSU community and is ready to support any student through there collegiate carrier. He passionately believes that far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. Throughout his role as Student Regent, he will contribute to the continuation of excellence at NMSU.
Dr. Andrew Burke
NMSU Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance
Burke served in various positions at DACC for 30 years before retiring in 2014. Burke served longest as DACC’s vice president for business and finance where he was administratively responsible for not only business and finance but also facilities, information technology and human resources. He also served twice as that campus’s interim president and chief executive officer. During his last year at DACC as interim president, the college completed a self-study report for the Higher Learning Commission comprehensive site visit and subsequent institutional accreditation.
NMSU Vice Chair
Dina Chacón-Reitzel is a native of northern New Mexico, hailing from Cebolla, New Mexico, where she grew up on her family’s cow-calf ranch, Pinãvetal Ranch. She is a graduate of Española High School and proudly calls herself a “Valley Girl.”
Seeking a “kinder, gentler” college experience that would give her a high-quality education with “personal attention,” she turned to New Mexico State University, where she received two degrees. In 1978, she earned a Bachelor of Science in home economics in business from what was then called the College of Agriculture and Home Economics. In 1983, she earned a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing and management from the College of Business.
Chacón-Reitzel started her career as a home economist for NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service, serving for six years in Eddy County and Las Cruces. In 1989, she became the executive director of the New Mexico Beef Council, the marketing, research and education arm of the beef industry in New Mexico.
Throughout her esteemed career, she has maintained close ties to NMSU. For 30 years, she has worked to implement educational programs with the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, the Agricultural Experiment Station, the Cooperative Extension Service and 4-H youth development. Since 2003, she has served as the NMSU delegate to the Council for Agricultural Research Extension and Teaching. In this role, she advocates for federal funding for NMSU and other land-grant universities across the country.
Chacón-Reitzel and her husband, Jim Reitzel, have been married for 35 years and they have two children, Elizabeth and Matthew, both of whom are NMSU graduates.
Dr. Luis Cifuentes
NMSU Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School
From 2012-2017, Cifuentes was vice president for Research, Commercialization and Outreach at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi (TAMUCC). Before moving to New Mexico State University in July 2018, he served as special assistant to the president.
At TAMUCC, Cifuentes oversaw increases in sponsored research and led the drive to have the university designated as one of the national FAA test sites. His research background is in oceanography and he has been a leader on research grants totaling more than $5 million. In addition to administration, he has been active in research with over $5.5 million in grant moneys awarded. Most recently, he served as PI on an NSF research coordination network project that built a network in South Texas, which includes eight Texas universities (five HSIs) and the Southwest Research Institute, and has organized international conferences in Scotland and Mexico. Prior to serving at TAMUCC, Cifuentes was on the faculty of Texas A&M University College Station (TAMU),where he rose from assistant professor to professor in the Department of Oceanography.He also served as executive associate dean and associate dean for research in the College of Geosciences at TAMU.
Cifuentes has a bachelor’s with honors in chemistry from Swarthmore College as well as a master’s in marine studies and a Ph.D. in oceanography, both from the University of Delaware.
Roy Collins III
NMSU Chief Legal Affairs Officer
Collins is a native of Galveston, Texas. He worked at the University of Hartford since 2010, focusing on compliance and enterprise risk management, intellectual property, commercial contracts and transactions and other areas. He previously served as associate general counsel at Idaho State University and assistant general counsel at Texas Southern University. He also served as commercial counsel for Chrysler Corporation and had his own private law practice.
Collins has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Southern University, a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and a Master of Laws degree in intellectual property from the John Marshall Law School. He also has more than seven years of experience as an engineer, primarily in the aerospace industry.
Dr. Sonya Cooper
NMSU Interim Dean, College of Health and Social Services
Cooper joined NMSU in 1994 as a faculty member in the College of Engineering. She has a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University, a master’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. from NMSU. From 2005 to 2010, she served as the department head for Engineering Technology and Surveying Engineering – a department that offer six majors, six minors and seven concentrations.
In 2011, Cooper was named associate dean of academics for the College of Engineering, a role she held until her appointment as CHSS interim dean. Cooper, a practicing civil engineer, also is involved in the historic preservation of significant landmarks in New Mexico and Texas.
Dr. Rolando Flores
NMSU Dean, Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences
Dr. Rolando Flores is the Dean and Chief Administrative Officer for the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University. Dean Flores holds a doctorate in Grain Science and Industry with specialization in international trade from Kansas State University, a master’s degree in agricultural engineering from Iowa State University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Universidad de Costa Rica. Flores served as faculty at Iowa State University and Kansas State University where he taught food processing courses and conducted research. He has also worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service in process risk modeling and has served as administration director for the National Production Bureau of Costa Rica Dean. Flores’ research focuses on optimizing water use in food processing operations, developing new uses for grains and other agricultural products and their by-products. He has over 85 scientific publications, 150 technical presentations and has obtained over $2.5 million for his research program while at Iowa State University and Kansas State University. Prior to coming to NMSU, Dean Flores was Professor and Department Head for the Department of Food Science and Technology; and Director of The Food Processing Center, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Dr. John Floros
Renowned food scientist and academic leader John Floros became President of New Mexico State University on July 1, 2018. Prior to his current role, he was dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension at Kansas State University, where he led the development of a strategic plan, guided the college to record student enrollments, retention and graduation, and nearly 100% placement. As director, he steered K-State Research and Extension – an entity with faculty and staff in five colleges: Agriculture, Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Human Ecology, and Veterinary Medicine – to record extramural funding, with annual research expenditures of more than $105 million. Under his leadership the College of Agriculture established the first ever NSF supported Center on Wheat Genomics; and four new Feed-the-Future Labs from USAID on wheat, sorghum and millet, postharvest loss reduction, and sustainable intensification, for a total investment of more than $100 million in five years.
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognized him for his “distinguished service to the people of U.S.A.” as a member of the Science Board to the FDA. In 2017, he testified in front of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry on “Agricultural Research: Perspectives on Past and Future Successes for the 2018 Farm Bill,” and he recently co-chaired the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Executive Committee on Science Breakthroughs 2030: A Strategy for Food and Agricultural Research.
Dr. Floros served as professor and head of the department of food science at Pennsylvania State University (2000-12), as professor at Purdue University (1988-2000), and worked as an international industry consultant for more than 35 years. He earned his PhD in food science and technology from the University of Georgia.
Director and Chief Executive Officer, Arrowhead Center, Inc.
Kathryn Hansen, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Arrowhead Center, Inc., has extensive experience in management of programs and in business and technology development. She has managed large technology development contracts for both the private and public sector. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Texas at El Paso. She has served NMSU for over 25 years in several positions, including Co-Director of the Aerospace and Autonomous Systems Laboratory and Business Development Director for the Physical Science Laboratory. Kathy’s latest hobby is running – during this last year she ran the 10K at Leadville and the half- marathon at Disneyworld.
Dr. James Hoffman
NMSU Dean, Business
Jim Hoffman earned his bachelor of science degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in business administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he focused on business strategy and operations management. His research interests also include entrepreneurship, family business, value creation and assessment and health organization management.
He taught courses in strategy, management, leadership and information systems for 15 years at Texas Tech, eventually serving as associate dean for MBA Programs and Executive Education. Prior to his time at Texas Tech, he taught at Florida State University.
Jim was a professor and former associate dean in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University prior to becoming the NMSU College of Business Dean.
Alicia J. Keyes
Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Economic Development Department
Prior to joining Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s cabinet, Alicia J. Keyes was the Director of the Albuquerque Film, Television and Media Office under Mayor Tim Keller. During her time with Keller’s administration, Keyes was instrumental in initiating and closing the recent deal with Netflix in which the company purchased ABQ Studios and committed to spend $1 billion in production.
Before her time with the City of Albuquerque, Keyes was the Executive Director of Worldwide Acquisitions and Co-production for the Walt Disney Company. She was responsible for the acquisition of theatrical motion pictures for distribution including domestic and international rights. Keyes began in the entertainment business working for Joel Fields and Len Hill developing television movies.
Keyes grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She graduated from the Albuquerque Academy in 1993 and then received her bachelor’s degree at Claremont McKenna College in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She adopted twin boys, Charles and Alexander Touche, who followed in their mother’s footsteps and graduated from the Academy in 2017. They now attend Cornell and Penn.
Dr. Carol Parker
NMSU, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Provost Parker joined New Mexico State University in July of 2019. Previous to this appointment, she served as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas at El Paso (2017–2019) and Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of New Mexico (2013–2017), where she also served as Associate Dean and Director of the School of Law. As an administrator, Provost Parker has focused on student success, faculty recruitment and development, academic program development and review, accreditation, budget and finance, capital projects and facilities, economic development, fundraising, policy development, compliance and risk management, information technology and data governance, and strategic planning.
As a first-generation college student, Provost Parker understands the power of higher education to change lives. Parker received her Juris doctorate from Wayne State University Law School, a master’s degree in information science from The University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Michigan State University’s Honor’s College. Parker maintains her license to practice law in Michigan, where she worked as an attorney.
Dr. Henrietta Williams Pichon
NMSU Interim Dean, College of Education
Dr. Henrietta Williams Pichon was named Interim Dean in the College of Education at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, September 1, 2020. Prior to accepting the Interim Dean position, Dr. Pichon held the position of Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Education from August 2018 to August 2020. Before that, she was a faculty member in the Educational Leadership and Administration unit since August 2013, which is now housed in the School of Teacher Preparation, Administration, and Leadership. Dr. Pichon has worked in academia since January 1994. She has experience as a student retention administrator, faculty member, program coordinator, and college administrator. She earned a B.A. in English and a M.Ed. in secondary English education from Louisiana Tech University. She earned a Ph.D. in education administration (higher education) from the University of New Orleans.
Dr. Pichon began her career in higher education as a retention counselor at the University of New Orleans and worked her way up the ranks to become the director of several retention programs: special admission, Summer Bridge, and academically suspended students. In 2005, Dr. Pichon joined the faculty ranks at Rowan University teaching in the Educational Leadership doctoral degree program where she taught research tool courses as well as courses within the higher education master’s degree program. She joined the faculty at Northwestern State University in 2007 where she earned the rank of Associate Professor in 2012 and recommended for tenure in 2013 prior to leaving. In 2013, she joined the faculty at New Mexico State University. As a student retention administrator and faculty member, her research, administrative, and teaching interests have always centered around access, development, and persistence of historically underserved persons in higher education to include students, faculty, and staff.
Dr. Enrico Pontelli
NMSU Dean, Arts and Sciences
Dr. Enrico Pontelli received his Laurea degree in Computer Science from the University of Udine (Italy), an MS in Computer Science from the University of Houston and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from New Mexico State University. He joined the faculty of NMSU in 1997, receiving tenure in 2002 and promotion to Full Professor in 2005. He was recognized as Distinguished Achievement Professor in 2012 and appointed Regents Professor in 2014. He served NMSU as the Head of the Computer Science Department from 2009 to 2014, as an Associate Dean from 2014 to 2016 and he is currently the Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. His research interests are in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (specifically knowledge representation and reasoning), logic and constraint programming, high performance computing, bioinformatics and assistive technologies. He has also embraced challenges related to computer science education research with particular emphasis on broadening participation in computing for students from traditionally underrepresented groups. He has published over 250 peer reviewed publications and he has secured close to $14 million in research funding. Some of the recognitions received include best paper awards at several international venues (e.g., Conference on Computers Usability, International Conference on Logic Programming, and Frontiers in Education), an NSF Career award and the NMSU Donald Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching. He serves on the editorial boards of several international journals, he is the Editor in Chief of the quarterly newsletter of the international Association for Logic Programming, and he is the founder and director of the NMSU Center for Research Excellence in Smartgrids Technologies. Dr. Pontelli has served as advisor for over 40 master’s students and he graduated 14 doctoral students.
Dr. Lakshmi Reddi
NMSU Dean, Engineering
Dr. Lakshmi Reddi, Dean of the College of Engineering, has over 25 years of academic experience as an educator and researcher in interdisciplinary themes related to civil and environmental engineering. He has secured extramural funding of $15 million from sponsors at all levels—federal (NSF, NASA, FHWA, EPA) and state agencies, regional centers, and local industries. His funded activities include basic and applied research, tech transfer and outreach, integrated research and education, and interdisciplinary research spanning numerous disciplines within and outside engineering. Dr. Reddi has received recognitions not only for his academic accomplishments (teaching, research, advising/mentoring, service) but also for his administrative skills. Dr. Reddi’s administrative experience includes serving as department head/chair at two research-intensive universities—Kansas State University and University of Central Florida. Prior to joining New Mexico State University, he served as the Dean of the University Graduate School at Florida International University (FIU). Dr. Reddi received his bachelor of technology in civil engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India, and an MS and PhD in civil engineering from The Ohio State University.
Eric L. Sanchez
NMSU Director, Physical Science Lab
BG(R) Sanchez officially retired from the Army on November 30, 2018. He assumed his duties as the Deputy Director, Physical Science Laboratory, NMSU in October 2019 and was announced as the Director on June 16, 2020.
He began his career as an enlisted Soldier in the New Mexico Army National Guard. He is a 1987 Distinguished Military Graduate of New Mexico State University ROTC.
BG(R) Eric L. Sanchez assumed command of White Sands Missile Range on 25 August 2016 and relinquished command on 10 August 2018. He additionally served as Commanding General, 94thArmy Air and Missile Defense Command, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
Additional Command assignments include: Battery Commander, D/2-43 ADA, Fort Polk Louisiana and Operation Southern Watch (Southwest Asia); Battalion Commander 1-7 ADA Battalion, Fort Bliss Texas and the Republic of Korea; Brigade Commander, 35thADA Brigade, Osan Airbase, Republic of Korea. He additionally held numerous staff level positions.
His military education includes the Air Defense Artillery Basic and Advance Courses, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff College, and the Naval War College. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education from New Mexico State University, and Masters of Science degrees from Central Michigan University, and the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
President and CEO, Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance
Prior to coming to Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance in February, 2009, Davin Lopez served as Vice President of the New Mexico Partnership, joining the Partnership at its inception in 2003. Lopez spent five years in corporate real estate with General Growth Properties and the Macerich Company, where he held roles as Director of New Business Development and Strategic Planning. He also spent two years in private business, consulting and advising smaller, high-growth companies. Lopez holds a master’s degree from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, San Diego, and is also a licensed real estate Broker in New Mexico.
James C. Manatt, Jr.
President, Providence Technologies
James C. (Jim) Manatt Jr. is a former President, NMSU Board of Regents, is Chairman/CEO of Thrust Energy, Inc, Roswell, NM. His energy companies conduct exploration for oil and gas. He is the co-inventor and owner of US Patent 8,077,547, “Directed Beam Seismic©,” an advanced applied field method and apparatus for geophysical exploration. His companies have conducted computational/geophysical R&D with both Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, and have worked under contract with Gas Research Institute for advanced technology commercialization in the energy field. He is an NMSU Distinguished Alumnus and Distinguished Military Graduate having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in university studies with an emphasis on business and marketing. Arrowhead Center was conceived and developed as a result of his leadership and advocacy while an NMSU Regent.
Jackie Kerby Moore
Executive Director, Sandia Science and Technology Park (Retired)
Jackie Kerby Moore recently retired from Sandia National Laboratories after 35 years, where she was serving as Manager of Technology and Economic Development. In this role, she led several results-oriented technology transfer programs for the Labs, including New Mexico Small Business Assistance (NMSBA), Entrepreneurial Separation to Transfer Technology (ESTT), Sandia Science and Technology Park (SS&TP), and the Center for Collaboration and Commercialization (C3) located in downtown Albuquerque. During the 2020 NM State Legislature, Jackie successfully lobbied for a new Technology Maturation tax credit program for Sandia.
Jackie is a Past President of the Board of Directors for the Association of University Research Parks (AURP). She chaired AURP’s inaugural Washington Summit, resulting in the first Science Park legislation introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House.
Don't Be Shy. Get In Touch.
If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!