Dr. Brandon Kempner
Search Committee Chair, Dean of Arts and Sciences
Bio: Dr. Brandon Kempner is currently the Dean of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico Highlands University. He joined NMHU in 2006 as an assistant professor of English, and he has held a variety of different roles at the university, including department chair, chair of the faculty senate, Director of HLC Accreditation, and Director of Emergency Operations during COVID.
Dr. Lauren Fath
Associate Professor, Chair of English Department/Chair of Faculty Senate
Bio: Dr. Lauren Fath is an associate professor and chair of the English department at New Mexico Highlands University. As a faculty member at Highlands since 2015, she has served in varying capacities, including as an executive committee member, vice chair, and now chair of the faculty senate; the president’s leadership development fellow; and chair of the outcomes assessment committee.
Dr. Kim Blea
Dean of Students
Bio: Dr. Kimberly “Kim” Blea currently serves as Dean of Students and senior student affairs officer at New Mexico Highlands University. She has worked in academic and student affairs throughout her 17 years at NMHU. Dr. Blea proudly earned a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in Public Affairs from Highlands, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of New Mexico.
Dr. Barbara Perea-Casey
Bio: Native Las Vegan, BA & MA from NMHU; Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Learning from UNM. Former NMHU School of Education adjunct professor, retired public school superintendent. Served on NMHU Foundation Board of Directors for over a decade. Retired public school superintendent. Former NM State Representative. Served as Educational Commissioner for Education Commission of the States as national vice chairwoman for 9 years. Current City Councilor serving 2nd 4 year term.
NMHU Co-Athletic Director
Bio: Shanna Halalilo is currently the Co-Director of Athletics at New Mexico Highlands University. She came to NMHU in 2018 as an Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Services, and was most recently the Athletics Fundraiser with the Highlands Foundation.
Dr. Sylvester Perez
Bio: Sylvester (Syl) Perez is a native of San Antonio, Texas. He received his B.A. from NMHU in 1972 and his M.A. in 1978. He later received his Doctorate in Education Administration from Texas A&M, College Station, Texas in 1995.
He retired as Superintendent of Schools in the San Antonio Independent School District after serving more than 41 years in public education.
Dr. Perez has been recognized as an NMHU Distinguished Graduate and is also a member of the NMHU Athletic Hall of Fame.
Bio: Mr. Cassidy is currently a member of the New Mexico State Board of Finance and the New Mexico Military Base Planning Commission and serves on numerous non-profit boards including the NMHU Foundation Board. He and his family reside in Albuquerque and Cleveland, New Mexico.
Director of NMHU Santa Fe and Farmington Centers, President of Staff Senate
Bio: Robert A. Anaya is currently the NMHU Staff Senate President and Co-Chair of the President’s Council on Diversity Equity and Inclusion. Robert is the Center Manager for Farmington and Santa Fe Centers, and has served on various campus committees during his time at NMHU. Robert is NMHU Alumni, he received both his BA and MA, has worked in the public and private sectors, served on several non-profit and community, state, regional, and national organizations, and is a former elected official.
Bio: Jeannae Leger has been a member of the NMHU Alumni Board since 2016 and serves as Immediate Past President of the NMHU Alumni Board and a current member of the NMHU Foundation. Ms. Leger was born and raised in Las Vegas and a proud NMHU alumni.
Bio: Was a graduate of Robertson High School in Las Vegas and I graduated from New Mexico Highlands University in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree. Was a member of the Foundation Board for 12 years and a past President of the Foundation. I have lived in Las Vegas since 1973 and have been a member of several committees with the City of Las Vegas as well serving on the Finance Board of Immaculate Conception Church. I am a local business person and have had my own company since 1986 with offices in Las Vegas, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
Dr. Rebecca Moore
Professor of Social Work
Bio: Dr. Rebecca Moore is a professor of Social Work at New Mexico Highlands University.
Dr. Rodney Rock
Associate Professor of Education
Bio: Dr. Rodney Rock is an Associate Professor of Education at New Mexico Highlands University.
Student Member, President of Student Senate
Bio: Kayl Rainer is the president of the student senate at New Mexico Highlands University and is majoring in Forestry.