Campus News - February 11, 2002
Alumni's Chavez recognized as Advancement Employee of the Year
By Carolyn Gonzales
Chavez, associate director of Alumni Relations, was recently named the Ed Sengel
Advancement Employee of the Year. The award, presented to an employee in Advancement,
recognizes outstanding contributions to the unit.
Chavez first came to Alumni in Feb. 1983, when they and Development were located
on the second floor of the Student Union Building.
She recalls, I hit the ground running. We had a Legislative reception
in Santa Fe I became responsible for it from day one, she says,
noting that she handed off responsibility for the reception about 10 years ago.
She also handled Homecoming, but passed it over, too.
Currently she is involved with the various alumni chapters around the country
and oversees the travel program. We organize trips that alumni and others
affiliated with the university can take part in, she says, noting that
they have held recent journeys to Holland, Belgium, Greece, Italy and Great
She also arranges activities for alumni and the campus community if the Lobos
go to a bowl game or participate in NCAA post-season games. She coordinates
Alumni graduation activities, including helping to organize the reception held
at University House following the May commencement ceremony. In December,
we have an open house in Hodgin Hall. We also have a booth at The Pit
where students can pick up their pins and miniature diplomas. They can also
join the Alumni Association, she says.
A UNM alum herself, she earned a bachelors in Fine Arts, concentrating
on theater. After graduation, she went to New York to pursue a career in theater
production and, while waiting for a break, worked for Simon & Schuster Publishing
Company. I stayed four years, but had to return when my roommate, who
was a regular on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow, lost her role
on the show. I couldnt afford to live there alone, she says.
Chavez spent four years working as Sen. Harrison Jack Schmitts
personal secretary. A supporter of his, she sent him her résumé
and was hired here in Albuquerque, then went on to work in his Washington, D.C.
offices. After he lost an election, she won the job with Alumni.
With her parents, a brother and his family here, and another brother and his family in Dallas, Chavez has plenty of family ties.
Away from UNM she does woodworking and crafting. She used to make costumes and sets for Albuquerque Civic Light Opera Association, but in recent years she became involved with the Presbyterian Healthcare Foundations Laughter is the Best Medicine program and Southwest Arts and Crafts Fair.
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