Steven Michael Quezada 

Las Vegas, N.M  — Renowned New Mexico actor and comedian Steven Michael Quezada will be the master of ceremonies April 21 at the New Mexico Highlands University President’s Gala: Dollars for Scholars.

The gala is a scholarship fundraiser that will also celebrate Highlands President James Fries’ five-year anniversary. It will begin at 6 p.m. at the university’s Wilson Complex, 1241 9th St.

A veteran of New Mexico’s rising film industry, Quezada plays DEA agent Steven Gomez in the Emmy Award winning drama series Breaking Bad. Now in its fourth season on AMC, the series is set and produced in Albuquerque.

“Scholarships support children and their dreams, and that’s what makes me tick,” Quezada said. “In my opinion, our children in New Mexico are our most important resource. We need to help them however we can, especially the ones who come from poverty and have fewer opportunities. I’m honored to be the MC for this Highlands scholarship fundraiser.”

Quezada, a 49-year-old Albuquerque native, is a generous humanitarian who has worked for decades to help New Mexico’s youth through organizations like Youth Development, Inc., an Albuquerque nonprofit. His wife, Cherise, also helps Youth Development. The couple has four children aged 11 — 18.

Quezada has taught numerous acting and filmmaking classes for New Mexico youth. He serves as vice president of the governing council for the Public Academy for the Performing Arts, an Albuquerque charter school.

Some of Quezada’s film credits include the action drama Blood Brothers, the drama Kites, and a new independent film, Warrior Woman.

Quezada received international acclaim when his role in the short film Milagros earned him a nomination for best actor at the Tenerife International Film Festival in Spain.

Quezada is also a writer. He is the creator, scriptwriter, executive producer, and leading actor for the upcoming television drama series Duke City. Quezada said shooting for the Duke City pilot begins in Albuquerque in July, when there’s a break in shooting for Breaking Bad.

“It’s been a long road for me, and I’m excited that with the growing success of our film industry in New Mexico, young people today are able to dream realistically about getting into the business locally, and staying in the state,” Quezada said. “New Mexico is very strong in what we’re putting out in filmmaking and television.”

Quezada is also one of the most accomplished comedians from the Southwest, and has toured comedy clubs across the nation since 1987. He has also appeared on HBO, Showtime, and the Latino comedy feature Que Locos.

Quezada is a five-time winner of the New Mexico Hispanic Entertainers Association Comedian of the Year Award.

In 2010, Quezada launched his own late-night talk show, The After After Party With Steven Michael Quezada, in partnership with executive producer Mark Padilla. The talk show has garnered the number- one ranking on the CW network. It will begin airing internationally in September.

“Mr. Quezada has earned the distinction of being one of the most charitable celebrities in New Mexico,” said Sharon Caballero, executive director of the Highlands University Foundation. “Now he’s helping us raise money for scholarships for students at Highlands.”

Other highlights of the President’s Gala include a roast and toast of Fries, a dinner and dance, a silent auction, and a raffle.

Individual tickets for the gala are $100, with options for sponsors to reserve tables. More than 100 tickets have already been sold, and $65 of each ticket is tax deductible.

Tickets and more details are available online through the foundation’s “Dollars for Scholars” website www.purpletieaffair.comor in person in the Alumni Office in Margaret Kennedy Alumni Hall, 905 University Ave., or call 505-454-3248.