Kloeppel Retires after 25 Years of Service to UNM

June 12, 2020 - Dorene DiNaro

Kim_football_playersDr. Kim Kloeppel—or Dr. K. as she’s sometimes referred to—is retiring at the end of June after 25 years of service to the University of New Mexico.  And while she’s retiring from her current role as Associate Director for Finance and Administration in Student Affairs, she’s filled multiple roles along the way.

“I enjoyed working in several Student Affairs departments where I could provide leadership, and develop and implement programs that provided student resources and promote student success,” Kloeppel says. 

Her career at UNM began in Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) where she worked for ten years as the department’s program manager and Associate Director, and most recently as its Interim Executive Director in 2019.  After that, she worked for 15 years in Student Affairs, where she took on the additional role as the Interim Dean of Students for three years. 

“Being interim in both these roles was extremely gratifying and allowed me to increase my direct service and personal interaction with students,” she says. “The passion that each department has for helping students—whether through New Student Orientation or health care—was amazing and instrumental to the success of each program.” 

In addition to her official duties, Kloeppel has always been a firm believer in the power of kindness.  One of her favorite initiatives was the Random Acts of Kindness team that started while she was in SHAC and evolved into the BeKind UNM committee when she moved to the Vice President for Student Affairs office.    

“This a great collaborative effort between several UNM departments including Student Affairs, Athletics, Children’s Campus and many other departments and students who served on the committee,” she says.  “We collaborated with the City of Albuquerque, Albuquerque Police Department, and Albuquerque Fire and Rescue through the distribution of kindness pins, magnets, and stuffed animals.”

While employed at UNM, Kloeppel earned both a Master’s in Public Administration and a Doctorate of Organizational Learning and Instructional Technology.  She was also the recipient of the prestigious Sarah Bell Brown Community Service and UNM Gerald W. May Distinguished Service awards. 

Throughout her career she’s taken pride in her involvement in several crucial projects at UNM including the Lobo Food Pantry and UNM Campus Safety Committee, but probably the most rewarding was the renovation of Smith Plaza.  Kloeppel was instrumental in the planning, securing funding, implementation and the final outcome for the project.

“The ‘heart of UNM’ was transformed into a ‘great room’ where students can study, socialize and hold a variety of events,” she says.  “I love walking across campus and seeing students, staff, faculty, and community enjoying the enhanced atmosphere.”

She’s served on numerous committees both on and off and off campus and collaborated with a UNM campus-wide committee and the both Alumni Relations and Association to develop and launch the Student Transitional and Engagement Program (STEP) class. Kloeppel was the class’ primary instructor.

“This new life skills class for UNM undergraduate students helped them to develop the knowledge and skills to be successful upon graduation,” she says. 

I enjoyed the opportunity to engage, mentor, guide, provide resources, and letters of recommendations for these students as they entered the ‘real world.’”

“It has been a pleasure working with Kim over the past 15 years,” says Dr. Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, Vice President for Student Affairs.  “She has been one of the most dedicated and loyal Lobos I have worked with.”

Over the past 25 she’s seen student success become a top priority on campus.  And, has witnessed the ongoing efforts and stronger collaboration between Student Affairs and Academics to provide additional resources, support, and access for students to be successful and graduate in a timely manner.

As she heads to retirement, she says she’s grateful to have had the opportunity to work with amazing staff and administrators throughout the University. Torres says that Kloeppel has left a legacy with the creation of Random Acts of Kindness, the planning of Smith Plaza, advisor to the Student & Review Board and her involvement in so many university programs and activities.  And, as a proud supporter of Lobo Athletics over the years and an avid Lobo fan, she’ll continue to hold season tickets for both the men’s basketball and football teams. 

Kloeppel says she’s thankful for 25 years of working with outstanding departments and staff. “These are some of the most passionate and dedicated individuals who know the importance of student success inside and outside of the classroom and promote our Lobos’ ability to succeed as UNM Alumni,” she says. “I will always be a Lobo for Life!”

Congratulations Dr. Kloeppel and best of luck in your new endeavors.