Las Vegas, NM — New Mexico Highlands University re-established the career services director position and appointed a longtime Highland’s career guidance professional, Ron Garcia, to the job. “Ron Garcia has 20 years of experience working in advising and career services and has an incredible amount of passion for this field,” said Judy Cordova, vice president for student affairs at Highlands. “Re-establishing a full-time career services director position will enhance job placement services for our students. A major goal for the position is to create stronger links with public and private sector employers locally and nationally.”Garcia has worked for Highlands for 20 years helping student succeed in college and prepare for entering the workforce. Most recently, he was the tutor coordinator/academic adviser in student support services for three years. He was a career/academic adviser for seven years, helping students determine their major and explore different careers. Prior to that, he worked for 10 years in the career services office as the assistant director, teaching students effective resume writing and interview preparation. Garcia also helped place students in highly competitive state and national internships, cooperative education programs, and career employment opportunities. “Building our employer partnerships will help students get more internships and land better jobs in their fields after graduation,” Garcia said. “I also want to improve the quality of our students’ job search preparation and implement career services technology through partnerships. Ideally, I’d like to see students and employers have 24/7 access to our services online. “Career services is a vital link to creating relevancy between academics and careers,” Garcia said. “Meaningful experiential education programs are just one example where students have an opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge and learn about a profession first hand. I’m a big believer in experiential learning.” Garcia said a strong career services program is an excellent recruiting and retention tool for the university. It helps students to better explore majors and careers, and be more focused in earning their college degree.Garcia earned a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Highlands and bachelor’s degree in political science, also from Highlands. Over the years, he has had numerous professional affiliations, including the National Association of Colleges and Employers, National Career Development Association, New Mexico Employment and Training Association, and the College Reading and Learning Association, to name a few.