SANTA FE – Dr. Patricia Trujillo has been appointed as deputy secretary for the New Mexico Higher Education Department.
Trujillo formerly served as founding director of the Office of Equity and Diversity at Northern New Mexico College since 2013, where she oversaw programming to address access and inclusion for historically underrepresented populations in higher education. Key initiatives included leading development of co-curricular assessment and student learning outcomes for cultural sustainability, creation of student support groups such as the Hermanas Juntas and Black and African American Student Organization, and oversight of the ¡Sostenga! farm.
“The New Mexico Higher Education Department is excited to welcome Dr. Trujillo in support of our ongoing commitment to increase access to higher education and support student success for all New Mexicans,” acting Higher Education Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez said. “Dr. Trujillo brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and connection to community that will help us better serve students from culturally diverse and historically underrepresented populations.”
As Deputy Secretary, Trujillo will work to increase collaboration and communication with other state agencies and community partners, and further agency priorities related to student equity, access, and college readiness.
She has a Ph.D. in U.S. Latina/Latino Literature from the University of Texas San Antonio, an M.A. in English from the University of Nebraska, and a B.A. in English with a supplemental major in Law and Society from New Mexico State University.
Born and raised in the Española Valley, Trujillo has dedicated her career to improving social engagement via critical education, social justice, and community-building. She has served on multiple commissions and boards, including the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area, Tewa Women United, NewMexicoWomen.Org, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation. Trujillo also has more than 15 years of experience in higher education, and is a tenured professor at Northern New Mexico College. She has taught in the areas of Chicana/Chicano studies, Southwest literature, Indigenous history, and New Mexico history, and has published work in multiple academic books and journals.
“Higher education empowers students and their families to envision beautiful lives and to be a critical part of building the communities we need. I have always been driven by a professional commitment to create opportunities for students and families in New Mexico, and I am honored to join the New Mexico Higher Education Department to continue this important work,” Trujillo said.
Since 2019, the New Mexico Higher Education Department has prioritized expanding access, affordability, and preparedness for New Mexicans from low-income, rural, and historically underrepresented populations. Top initiatives include the creation of an Indian Education Division at the agency, overseeing the GEAR UP college readiness program, expanding access to adult education, creation of the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship, extension of the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship to Tribal Institutions, and the development of a longitudinal data system to support student’s transition into college and career.
For more information about the New Mexico Higher Education Department and New Mexico’s higher education institutions, visit www.hed.state.nm.us.