December 10, 2019
Las Vegas, N.M. – For the new assistant director of admissions at New Mexico Highlands University, the position feels like coming home.
Reynaldo Maestas grew up on a horse ranch in Rociada, New Mexico, northwest of Las Vegas. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Highlands in 2006 and his MBA in 2008 with cum laude honors.
Maestas was a student recruiter at Highlands from 2006 to 2010.
“Reynaldo Maestas is very knowledgeable in admissions and recruitment,” said Jessica Hurtado, admissions director at Highlands. “He brings more than 13 years of higher education experience in admissions, recruitment, orientation and campus tours to his new position.
“Of even more importance, Reynaldo understands the student population we serve and how best to engage them. He is steeped in issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. This is important to me, as he will be an asset in expanding the diversity, equity and inclusion culture here at Highlands. Reynaldo’s primary focus will be oversight of recruitment and campus tours,” Hurtado said.
Previously, Maestas was the associate director of admission at New Mexico Tech from 2014 to 2019.
“At New Mexico Tech, probably my biggest accomplishment was restructuring the individual campus visits as well as group visits. Providing a better experience for prospective students and their families led to an increase in visibility and ultimately enrollment,” Maestas said.
Maestas said he is proud of launching a Customer Relations Management (CRM) program at New Mexico Tech; it’s the same system Highlands is starting to implement.
Previously, Maestas was a student recruitment specialist in the University of New Mexico School of Medicine Combined BA/MD program from 2010 to 2014.
“It was very rewarding at UNM to work with a diverse student population that was ultimately going back into their underserved communities in New Mexico to practice medicine,” Maestas said.
Maestas said he is thrilled to be back at his alma mater and former employer. In 2019, he returned to Rociada to help care for his parents. While he was home, Maestas heard about the assistant director of admissions opening at Highlands.
“What’s very attractive about this position at Highlands is it’s everything I’ve been doing for the last 13 years. I have an exciting opportunity to help Highlands grow in recruitment and enrollment. My goal is to bring a new visibility to Highlands statewide and beyond. As a former student, I can speak firsthand to the high quality education I received,” Maestas said.
Maestas is a leader in professional organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Association of College Admission Counseling, where he was the College Fair chair from 2017 to 2019. He served as president of the New Mexico Education Council from 2015 to 2016.
Maestas, 37, said he has a lifelong passion for mariachi music.
“The family story goes that my interest in mariachi started before I was born, when my pregnant mother would play old mariachi records and I would kick vigorously. I trained with mariachi professionals, called maestros, from a young age,” Maestas said.
Maestas said it was deeply gratifying to release his second mariachi CD at Highlands in Ilfeld Auditorium in 2006.
Then in 2012, he was a featured mariachi soloist at the London Summer Olympics.
“Being able to show the world mariachi at a global event like the Olympics was a very proud and exhilarating moment,” Maestas said.
Today, Maestas performs mariachi music throughout New Mexico and the Southwest.