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Executive Panel - UNM-ASA Conference 2013

Have you ever aspired to work side by side with the executive leaders of UNM? Want to know what qualities, skills and abilities an executive looks for in an assistant? What are the qualities and traits they need in a successful administrative professional at the University of New Mexico? They will explore what it takes to be a highly productive, dynamic, and engaged member of the support staff. Get advice on how to build your skills, understand what qualities you need to embody and what qualities you need to possess. Bring your questions. Prepare to engage. Leave with practical advice.

  • When: 9:45am - 10:45am
  • Where: SUB Theatre

Jozi De Leon - VP for Equity and Inclusion

Jozi De Leon

PANELIST HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nationally known for work in the teaching and assessment of underrepresented students with special needs.
  • Received a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU)
  • Obtained a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

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  • Dr. De Leon also served as first Deputy Secretary for Academic Affairs, Planning and Research for the state of New Mexico when Governor Richardson created the New Mexico Higher Education Department in 2005. She oversaw the Educational Equity Division within the Department.

ABOUT

Dr. Jozi De Leon began her academic career at UNM as an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education. She has served in many capacities, including the first Deputy Secretary for Academic Affairs, Planning and Research for the NM Higher Education Department.

In serving as UNM’s Vice President for Equity and Inclusion she focuses on valuing all forms of diversity including gender, disability, ethnicity, race, culture, and sexual orientation. She believes that creating an environment that embraces diversity in all of its manifestations will greatly enhance excellence in the academic enterprise.

During her time at UNM, she became nationally known for work in the teaching and assessment of underrepresented students with special needs.

In 1992 Dr. De Leon joined the faculty of New Mexico State University as an associate professor in the Department of Special Education Communication Disorders. She became the department head in 1998.

During her tenure with the Department, she helped shape policy to create greater accessibility to higher education for all New Mexico students. She worked closely with the NM Public Education Department on matters impacting the transition of students from secondary to post-secondary institutions. Her work within the Department maintained a focus on New Mexico’s diverse and underserved populations.

Eliseo Torres - VP Student Affairs

Eliseo Torres

PANELIST HIGHLIGHTS

  • Served as Vice President for External Affairs at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
  • Elected as an advisor to Mexican President, Felipe Calderon for improving lives of immigrants in the United States
  • Teaches the Traditional Medicine Without Borders :Curanderismo is the Southwest and Mexico class during the summer semester at UNM

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ABOUT

Dr. Torres has served as Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of New Mexico a four-year state research university, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, since January 2, 1996. Before he came to the University of New Mexico, Dr. Torres served as Vice President for External Affairs at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He also taught in the Bilingual Doctoral Program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He has served as Interim President, Vice President for Student Affairs and Special Services, Director of the University’s Center for Continuing Education, and also as Assistant to the President. For two years preceding his appointment to the Texas A&M University-Kingsville staff, he was with the Texas Education Agency in Austin.

Among other initiatives, Dr. Torres has been involved in or been elected as an advisor to Mexican president, Felipe Calderon for improving lives of immigrants in the United States.

He also teaches the Traditional Medicine Without Borders: Curanderismo in the Southwest and Mexico class during the summer semester at UNM. This popular class is cross-listed with four departments and brings practicing Mexican healers to the UNM Campus.

He initiated a project more than ten years ago with the Office of Special Programs at the University of New Mexico in which students participate in work and study programs to allow them attend school and earn wages at the same time. The most prominent of these takes place in partnership with L.A. Works of Los Angeles County, in which dozens of inner city students are brought each year to the University of New Mexico for residential work-Study programs.

Liz Metzger - University Controller

Liz Metzger

PANELIST HIGHLIGHTS

  • New Mexico Licensed CPA
  • 24 years at UNM in the Controllers and Contract & Grant Accounting Offices, Budget Director UNMH, Exec. Director of Financial Analysis and Planning
  • Formerly the Director of Accounting Services for Austin Peary State University in Tennessee.

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ABOUT

Elizabeth (Liz) Metzger is currently University Controller for the University of New Mexico. In addition to fiscal stewardship at the University, Ms. Metzger oversees the UNM Department of Controller Administration, Credit, Collections & Merchant Services, Purchasing, Unrestricted Accounting, and the University Bursar.

Ms. Metzger holds a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and is an active licensed New Mexico CPA. She has over 26 years of increasing accounting responsibility in higher education institutions.

Ms. Metzger worked at UNM from 1986 through 1993, in the Controllers and Contract & Grant Accounting offices, but she left the state to take the position as Director of Accounting Services for Austin Peary State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.

She returned to New Mexico in 1999 to work for UNM Hospitals as Budget Director and then Executive Director of Financial Analysis and Planning. She returned to the University of Mexico in 2001.

Valerie Romero-Leggott - Vice Chancellor for Diversity

Valerie Romero-Leggott

PANELIST HIGHLIGHTS

  • Received her BA and MA from Harvard. Medical Degree from UNM SOM.
  • Years of experience working with diversity and disadvantaged populations.
  • Former member of the US Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Minority Health.
  • In 2012 received Hispanic Health Leadership Award.

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ABOUT

Dr. Valerie Romero-Leggott received her B.A. degree at Harvard University of Cambridge, MA in 1982. Shortly after, she went on to attend the University of New Mexico, School of Medicine from 1987 through 1992 and received her Medical Degree. She has been a primary care provider for many years on the forefront of treating populations burdened by socio-economic and racial and ethnic disparities. Presently, Dr. Romero-Leggott is Vice Chancellor for Diversity at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Associate Dean of the School of Medicine Office of Diversity and Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She also serves as the Executive Director of the School of Medicine Combined BA/MD Degree Program, a unique program to promote the recruitment of a diverse group of graduating New Mexico high school seniors interested in New Mexico healthcare and in practicing medicine in our areas of greatest need in the state. Her office promotes inclusivity and diversity throughout the Health Sciences Center and creates opportunities to address the health disparities that affect all New Mexicans. One of her major duties is to provide multiple fora for discussing issues concerning underrepresented and disadvantaged populations.

She is a role model for young female students and other professional women in the health sciences, especially Latinas and Hispanas. She works to link diversity with academic excellence using the skills and knowledge she has developed as an administrator, female ethnic minority, and native New Mexican. She believes that understanding diversity and cultural issues are integral parts of achieving better health outcomes for our communities and our nation.

Steve McKernan - Chief Executive Officer UNMH

Steve McKernan

PANELIST HIGHLIGHTS

  • 17 years as UNMH CEO.
  • Fostered significant growth at UNMH.
  • Serves on numerous Medical Boards and the Boy Scouts of America Southwest Chapter.
  • Serves as COO for Health Systems at the UNM-SOM

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ABOUT

Mr. McKernan is the Chief Executive Officer for the University of New Mexico Hospitals, Albuquerque, New Mexico, a position that he has held since 1996.

Under his leadership, the hospital has expanded significantly in the volume of patients it serves and the breadth and depth of the programs it supports.

Mr. McKernan serves as a board member of New Mexico Hospital Association, TriWest, National Association of Public Hospitals, and the Great Southwest Council of the Boy Scouts. He is also an active member of the Rotary Club.

Mr. McKernan and his wife, Rebecca, a pediatric nurse practitioner at UNM, have three daughters and a son.