WNMU Staff Senate Members


Rhonda McCallRhonda McCall, Staff President

I am a mid-western, small-town girl who has enjoyed a professional life including travel to cities throughout the US. After years of travel, I was pleased to help my parents retire in New Mexico. I had no idea I would stay in Silver City, however, once decided, I knew I would work at WNMU. I admit my surprise at the joy of working in higher education and learning more about the different aspects of higher education. I spent ten years opening restaurants, from conception to VIP parties and grand openings, across the country. With my background as Director of Human Resources, Director of Training, and a business owner, I have been able to utilize my experience, strengths and positive attitude to assist WNMU in several capacities. I began with the School of Education and found myself offering my time and experience to coordinate the academic departmentís involvement at Orientation and the Mustang Showcase. I realized my experience and strengths might be better utilized in the Student Affairsí division. After several months, of patiently waiting, the ideal job came along as the Executive Administrative Assistant for the VP of Student Affairs. My passion for training and professional development for faculty, staff, students, and community members continue to present themselves at WNMU. I am currently co-chairing the Career Development & Training committee with our Director of Human Resources. We are very excited to provide staff with opportunities to be motivated and inspired, regarding their professional and personal lives. Serving as Staff Senate President has allowed me to work with other individuals across campus, learn more about the divisions and mission of the university, and become more exposed to legalities of higher education. I am very pleased to spread my wings, at WNMU, by utilizing my strengths, implementing new ideas and continuing my education. I am honored to be your Staff Senate President, excited daily to be a WNMU staff member, and proud to be a student obtaining her degree at Western New Mexico University! GO MUSTANGS!


Ken LeupoldKen Leupold , Staff Senator

I am a relative newcomer as a staff member to WNMU and very pleased to have been selected to be on the staff senate. I have been here in Deming as the director of WNMU Deming for 2 Ĺ years, but I taught computer science, English and tennis for WNMU here in Deming from 1990-2000. I grew up in Deming, graduated from Deming High and then graduated from NMSU. I consider myself blessed to have been able to get my Masterís degree from Bread Loaf School of English in Middlebury, VT.

I taught high school for two years in Animas, nine years in Socorro and then 14 years back in my fatherís old room at Deming High School, teaching a combination of English, PE, journalism and computer science. I then spent 10 1/2 years in Florida teaching high school English and reading, along with some online college reading classes. I coached volleyball, basketball and tennis for all ten years in Florida and for many of those in New Mexico. I am a desert rat and glad to be back in Deming on my two-acre mini-farm.

musDonna Rees, Staff Senator / Vice President

Donna Rees transferred to WNMU in 1979 and earned two degrees from WNMU, a bachelorís of business administration and a masterís of business administration. She has been employed at WNMU since 1984.


Karyn NeilKaryn Neil, Staff Senator

Being a native of Maine and after years of exploring the US, I have been enjoying life here in Silver City for 19 years. WNMU has become my home away from home as I work with devotion and enthusiasm for the students and faculty of the Expressive Arts department as the Academic Administrative Secretary. Past careers before working at WNMU include 16 years as Ophthalmic Medical Technician/ Surgical Assistant and Student/ Family Counselor at a private emotional growth boarding school in northern Idaho.

I am also fulfilling a dream by earning my Bachelors of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in Painting. Other interests are traversing the Gila Wilderness with my dogs and friends, cycling, birding, music, and splashing in northern waters during the summer. I am honored to be an active participant in the WNMU community and Staff Senate.


Merritt ReedMerritt Reed, Secretary/Treasurer

Silver City is the most recent of many wonderful places I have called home and my job at WNMU is one of several career changes in life! I love working in the Departments of Allied Health and Behavioral Sciences and feel truly lucky to be here.

Outside of work, I especially enjoy photography, music, and travel by train. But my overwhelming passion is for scuba diving and the exploration of the underwater world. As a dive instructor, I have had the ability to work at something I love. I believe that we should seek employment which keeps us happy, and my job at WNMU fits right into my philosophy of life!!!


Geraldine RiveraGeraldine Rivera, Staff Senator

Hi. I have grown up in, although I am not a native of Silver City. I have been working at Western New Mexico University for almost three years and have been a member of Staff Senate for almost one year. I have a Masterís Degree in Counseling and spent many years as a high school guidance counselor and now work in the Outreach Services and Dual Enrollment Office of WNMU. When Iím not at work I spend my time with family and friends. I enjoy a good book and a good movie.


Phillip CavePhillip Cave, Parliamentarian

Hello! I have been with WNMU for 7.5 years. Currently, I am the Assistant Director, Curator of Education and History for the WNMU Museum. I grew up in the big town of Cliff, New Mexico before earning my Bachelor and Master degrees in Secondary Education. From 2001 to 2007, I taught and coached in Morenci, Arizona. This is my first time to serve on the Staff Senate and I am pleased to serve staff members of WNMU.

Susan GarlandSusan Garland, Staff Senator

Hi all! I have lived in Silver City since 1982. I obtained my bachelorís degree in Computer Science & Sociology from Western New Mexico University in 1992. While obtaining my degree, I worked as a work study and have dedicated many years of service to hold my current position of Assistant Registrar. I enjoy cooking, especially outside on the grill, camping, fishing (although I am not very good at it), and just hanging out on the back porch on a sunny day. I have one daughter and 2 grandchildren and enjoy spending time with my family and friends.


Dean FosterDean Foster Staff Senator

I have been working at WNMU for over 15 years. I have two degrees from WNMU and I am the Director of Online Learning. This is my second time serving on Staff Senate. I am passionate about online education and I enjoy helping students improve their lives because of the opportunity to take classes anywhere, and anytime. Outside of work I enjoy fishing and being with my family.