Tranquilino “Kino” Hurtado New Career Services Director


Las Vegas, New Mexico – Tranquilino “Kino” Hurtado is on a personal mission to be a catalyst for helping launch Highlands University students into rewarding and successful professional careers.

Hurtado, a Mora, New Mexico, native, is the new interim career services director at New Mexico Highlands.

“My philosophy as a career counselor is designed to encourage students to explore career path possibilities, enhance self-discovery, and further develop their own individual concept and understanding of self-identity,” Hurtado said. “I work individually with each student to help identify strengths, gifts, talents, values, personality traits, and skills as they relate to making decisions about academic majors and career paths.”

Hurtado said his top new initiative for spring semester 2019 is to offer formal career assessment to students using a variety of standardized testing tools.

“These assessments will identify students’ interests, abilities and opportunities. Combining this strategy with meaningful internships will develop employable graduates in careers they truly love,” Hurtado said.

Hurtado will complete his master’s degree in counseling from Highlands in May 2019. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of New Mexico.

“My grandfather, Elias Hurtado, earned his master’s degree in counseling from Highlands and inspired me to pursue counseling. Like him, I want to empower all students to maximize their potential and accomplish their goals. I also want our Highlands graduates to inspire others along the way,” Hurtado said.

Hurtado said that in addition to career counseling, some of the other services his office provides include resume writing assistance, interview coaching, teaching job search strategies, coordinating internships, organizing career fairs, and presenting employer information sessions.

Previously, Hurtado worked at Highlands as the student engagement coordinator for the university’s award-winning Achieving in Research Mathematics and Science (ARMAS) Center. One responsibility in this position was to coordinate the university’s Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP).

“Through (the improvement program), I gained the ability to earn students’ trust, help them find success in the classroom, and motivate them to believe in themselves. It also gave me the confidence to pursue this career services director position,” Hurtado said.

Hurtado is a community leader in Mora. Since 2015, he has served as a publicly-elected school board member for the Mora Independent Schools. He chairs the board.

“This school board position is an opportunity to work collaboratively with my Mora community to ensure a vibrant education for our children,” Hurtado said.

Hurtado is a seventh-generation rancher in Northeastern New Mexico.

“My family’s legacy of agriculture and education taught me the value of hard work and helping others.  Growing up in this area I have an insider’s perspective on our Highlands students who were raised in rural settings,” Hurtado said.

Hurtado said the Career Services Office services are available to current students and Highlands alumni. For more information, contact him at or 505-454-3251.