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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: September 16, 2002
Volume 38, Number 5


Moya connects youth with UNM

By Laurie Mellas-Ramirez

John MoyaFirst generation college graduate John Moya learned the value of education from his mother – sole sibling of 14 in her family to graduate from high school.

“My mom pushed education. She told us, ‘they can take your car, take your house, but no matter what anybody takes from
you, they can’t take your education away,’” he recalls.

As a UNM student recruiter, Moya ensures that other youth hear a similar message. “Our philosophy is, it doesn’t matter where students go to school, as long as they go to school,” he says.

Moya earned his degree in organizational psychology from the College of Santa Fe. “It’s half business related, half psychology,” he shares.

Balance appeals to Moya. At UNM, his work schedule is split between travel and office. As the recruiter for the northeast quadrant of the state, he will visit about 35 schools and log seven weeks on the back roads this year.

Moya gives presentations “about what kinds of opportunities await students at UNM,” he says. He covers everything from the admittance process to scholarships and financial aid and information about programs offered. “Many rural families can’t afford college and some students may not know about scholarships or financial aid or how that works,” he says. “I always tell them, I am your first connection to the University.”

Before coming to UNM, Moya worked for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Education Center planting the seeds of higher education in the minds of middle and high school students. He remains on the LULAC board of directors.

He is president of the New Mexico Education Council and in that role sets up college fairs across the state. The group also awards four student scholarships each year. He says the organization plays an important role statewide. “Students don’t always get the correct information or all the information they need to make a decision about college. In most communities where I visit there are about 400 kids to one counselor,” he notes.

When Moya does take time for himself he doesn’t venture far from routine. “Believe or not I like to travel,” he laughs. “I go to Colorado, Las Vegas, New York.”

With three years under his belt at UNM, he is beginning to see youth who benefit from his wanderlust and are taking the high road to a college education. “When I hear of students who weren’t sure they were even coming to school and then I hear that they entered, I’m proud,” he says.