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OSA Fellowship

Meet the 2019 Fellows

Chris Brooks

Chris Brooks photoChris is a Student Activities Specialist in the UNM Student Activities Center.  While he is new to working on a college campus, he has spent most of his professional life in the fraternity/sorority field.  In fact, he has over a decade of experience working with fraternity students from across the country, and a significant amount of experience creating new curriculum for student learning and engagement and working with a diverse group of individuals. 

 “I’ve always had a passion for working with students and doing everything in my power to improve their college experiences.”

 Chris feels that the fellowship will offer him an opportunity to gain a better understanding and knowledge of the functional areas in the Division.  He is also planning to pursue a graduate degree in OILS.

Gregory Condon

Gregory Condon photoGregory is a Hall Coordinator in the Residence Life and Student Housing Department.  His experience working with Student Affairs has been through his current position and also while serving as a Residence Advisor during his time at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.  During his time there he formed a lasting professional relationship and connection with the Associate Dean of Students, and ultimately decided to follow in her footsteps.  Subsequently, he went through the Oshkosh Placement Exchange and attended Mississippi State University where he also had positive experiences with Student Affairs professionals. 

 “Every person that worked in Students from my faculty to the staff was overwhelmingly welcoming and helpful when it came to answering my questions and giving me opportunities to learn.”

 Gregory feels that the fellowship program will further expose to different offices in Student Affairs while helping him decide his career path in either housing or accessibility services.  

Paul Larribas 

Paul Larribus photoPaul is a UNM student majoring in Organization, Information and Learning Sciences.  Fifteen years ago, Paul, became interested in Curanderismo and subsequently has been a main fixture in the UNM class over the past several years either as a student or as a volunteer.  He credits the class and the medicine as leading him to an amazing transformation of body, mind and spirit.  Paul has become a Lobo not only through his classes, but by volunteering at UNM commencement, and participating in the SHAC Student Health Leadership Council.

 “I want to inspire people.  I want someone to look at me and say ‘because of you, I didn’t give up.’”

 Paul hopes that the fellowship will allow him to become an educator and role model for students by empowering them to become advocates for their health through outreach and awareness of the history, influences and concepts of traditional medicine.  

Alonzo Maestas

Alonzo MaestasAlonzo currently serves as the Director for the Veterans Resource Center at UNM.  In his current role he is highly involved and invested in the success of our students.  As the director, he has taken the initiative to broaden the scope of how the VRC serves its students.  He has helped to transform the Center into a multipurpose student center which aims to help not only student-veterans but any student.

“As a veteran and a minority, I bring a wide range of perspectives to the battle that our students go through on a daily basis.”

Alonzo feels that the fellowship program will help him continue his growth as a leader in higher education by exposing him to areas outside of veterans on campus.

Jennifer Pena

Jennifer Pena photoJennifer is a UNM student majoring in Liberal Arts, OILS and alternative medicine.  She recently worked with Dr. Torres as an intern during 2018 Traditional Medicine without Borders: Curanderismo in the Southwest and Mexico class where she enjoyed listening and learning from inspirational speakers.  In the distant future she sees herself as an administrator of alternative medicine school, or as a leader of a training organization, or in a policy advocacy role – all roles which support healers in doing their best work and keeping traditional medicine alive. 

 “In the end, what is most precious is not what we have collected, but what we have contributed. It is not what happens but how we respond that defines us.” 

Jennifer hopes that serving as a student fellow in the program will give her the opportunity to be an ambassador and to embrace the opportunities no matter what they entail.  She hopes it will also help her build and maintain professional relationships.  

Tina Zuniga    

Tina Zuniga photoTina is a Senior Student Program Advisor with the College Enrichment Program and supports the transition and retention of students who are currently underrepresented at UNM.  She has always had a passion for serving students in an advocacy role through her previous work through LoboRESPECT, and also during her time at Fort Lewis College. 

 “I have been fortunate to work closely with many first-year students from rural New Mexico, which is near and dear to my heart.” 

 Tina feels that the fellowship program will heighten her capacity to help students in their academic journeys while adding to her own educational endeavors and professional development.

About the Program

Every year Dr. Eliseo "Cheo" Torres puts out a call for applications for the Student Affairs Fellows Program.  The program is an opportunity for UNM staff to gain leadership and professional development skills while assisting the Vice President of Student Affairs on specific projects during a 15-month term.  The program is open to all UNM professional staff (grades 8-14); however, top priority will be given to Student Affairs employees.  The program also provides an opportunity for students to also become Student Affairs fellows on a 12-month basis