The State Higher Education Department released the list of 25 New Mexicans who were nominated by Gov. Lujan Grisham and confirmed by the Senate to serve on Boards of Regents at public colleges, universities, and special schools across the state.
“This year’s cadre of regents includes individuals with a high level of experience and enthusiasm for higher education, which will be key for guiding our state institutions forward in the coming years,” Higher Education Department Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez said. “We look forward to collaborating with them and all higher education leadership to ensure that New Mexico’s students and schools succeed.”
Public four-year colleges, universities, and special schools are governed by boards of regents consisting of members who serve six-year terms and student members who serve two-year terms. The Board of Regents is responsible for governance of the school, including establishment of goals and policies, and overall operation and management. Other functions include approving degrees awarded and appointing the president of the institution.
The three new members on the WNMU Board of Regents are Brenda Hernandez Gonzalez, Dr. Mary Lyndon Haviland, and Dr. Daniel H. Lopez.
Brenda Hernandez Gonzalez is originally from Mexico and is pursuing a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at Western New Mexico University. She completed a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at the university in 2020 and is a student athlete on the cross-country team. As a student regent, she looks forward to representing the institution and promoting a safe and sustainable future. She intends to uphold her duties as a student advocate to represent the University at large and her community. Hernandez says she is thankful and honored to be a mustang and foresees a strong future for to university.
Dr. Mary Lyndon Haviland is a globally recognized public health leader, author, strategist, and educator. She holds a master’s degree and doctorate in public health from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and has completed advanced management and leadership training at the Harvard Business School. Haviland has worked in a broad range of professional environments including the World Health Organization, the International Medical Corps, and the United Nations. She is honored to serve as regent at Western New Mexico University and hopes to prioritize student-centered approaches to success to eliminate barriers and improve retention and graduation rates to build a vibrant professional community and a strong foundation for future generations.
Dr. Daniel H. Lopez holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of New Mexico. He currently serves on the board of directors for First Community Bank in Albuquerque. Lopez was president of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology between 1993 and 2016 and is a tenured faculty member. He previously served as cabinet secretary for the Department of Finance and Administration and senior staff analyst for the House Appropriations and Finance Committee for the New Mexico Legislature. Lopez is a recipient of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association’s Pete Porter Lifetime Achievement Award and the Barnard S. Rodey Award for Leadership in Higher Education from the University of New Mexico’s Alumni Association, among others.