Staff & Administration

ASCAS includes over 20 Academic Advisors, housed within their departments for one-on-one interactions with students. We believe that the best place for a student to meet their advisor is in their department for easier access to faculty, relevant information, and special events.
Meet your advisors ⇒

We utilize our central ASCAS office for collaborative work, staff training and development, mandatory workshops, registration labs, and numerous specialized services. In our Center, we also assist students with general inquiries or urgent matters when their advisor is unavailable. If you are ever unsure where to go, please contact us!

Our Central Office staff consists of the Leadership team, administrative assistants, recruitment and retention specialists,  and work study student employees.

Leadership

Stephanie Hands

Director  ♦  ssmith@unm.edu

Stephanie Hands

Advisors are teachers – they teach students how to navigate successfully through the university system. Advisors are navigators – they give guidance that enhances students’ educational journey and personal development. Advisors are translators – they articulate for the student the language of higher education.

Stephanie has been at The University of New Mexico since she was 19 years old. She has worked in student success for over 30 years and specifically in Arts & Sciences for over half that time. She has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master of Business Administration degree from UNM. Her goal is to expand student opportunities through the Arts and Sciences Center for Academic Success. She strives to continuously improve its practices and policies to enhance the experience for all students. She believes that student success is best delivered through a community of supportive individuals, as advisement is an active partnership between students, staff and faculty.



Academic Advisement

Joanna M. Camacho

Supervisor  ♦  Humanities & Interdisciplinary Studies

jmcamachoescobar@unm.edu

Joanna Camacho

Pronouns: she / her / ella
I believe academic advisors should meet students where they are; focus on their needs and goals to be successful at UNM and future career goals. I consider academic advisement centers as the anchors for student academic success in higher education institutions, especially for underrepresented students pursuing Arts and Sciences degrees. Academic advising is key to help you navigate UNM, we will show you the resources available to you and help you understand the requirements for your academic goals.

I earned a B.A. in Secondary Education of History from the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras and M.A. in History and Ph.D. in Borderlands History from the University of Texas at El Paso. I taught U.S. and Latin American history in universities in Texas and Ohio, and found my passion for academic advising in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. I’m from Puerto Rico, the “Island of Enchantment” (La Isla del Encanto), and I fell in love with the “Land of Enchantment.”

Beth Elkin

Supervisor  ♦  Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Social/Behavioral Sciences

belkin@unm.edu

beth-elkin-2021.jpg

Pronouns: she / her
As a first-generation college graduate from a rural community, I understand the challenges that many of our students face and understand that each academic plan needs to be accompanied by specific guidance tailored to the individual student. Advisors help students transition to college and guide students toward program completion by assisting students in identifying academic and career goals and creating plans for reaching those goals.

I am originally from Pennsylvania, attended college in New Hampshire, and moved to New Mexico in 2007. While in New Hampshire, I was worked at a high school where I taught US History, Geography and World Cultures and Research Methods, I also led group and individual tutorial sessions, and coached soccer and kayaking. I have a Master of Science in Academic Advising with a concentration in advising administration from Kansas State University and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in cultural studies from Dartmouth College.


Success Curriculum Development

Sarah Peceny

Education and Development Manager

speceny2@unm.edu

Sarah Peceny

Pronouns: she / her / ella
You don’t know what you don’t know until you know – so, all you have to do is ask! Lack of support and understanding, whether it be institutional, academic, technological, financial, emotional, etc., is often one of the greatest roadblocks to succeeding in higher education. I see it as my job to help guide you, the student, in understanding institutional information and requirements and share information on available resources, which can help you make educated decisions and navigate your own experience here at UNM!

The University of New Mexico has played a significant role in my entire family’s life. In fact, I grew up in Albuquerque and on UNM campus (from the age of 5 years old) due to the fact that my father received a faculty position here at UNM way back in 1992. My family has been here ever since, and all of us have benefited from the amazing opportunities that this institution has to offer!

I received a BA in Latin American Studies and Spanish and later returned to complete my MA in Hispanic Linguistics. I spent time here as an undergraduate student teacher, a graduate teaching assistant, and finally as a Visiting Lecturer I and Assistant Program Coordinator in UNM’s Spanish and Portuguese Department where I created and taught both face-to-face and online courses in lower-division Spanish. I am very excited to now occupy the role of Academic Advisor, so that I can continue to teach and serve UNM students and watch them pursue their dreams and reach their full potential, just as I did!


Operational Support

Amy Zuverink

Administrative Assistant III

azuverin@unm.edu

portrait---amy-zuverink.jpg

Being one of the first points of contact a student has at the ASCAS front desk requires knowing a little bit of everything to get students the answers they need. I take pride in being able to answer and direct questions with both promptness and compassion.
I graduated from UNM in 2016 with a BA in English and a BA in Theatre, and I'm excited to be back in Arts & Sciences to give current students the same hands-on assistance that I received. Getting to help students along their educational journey is a privilege, and I enjoy assisting in every way I can.

Recruitment and Retention

Cameron Langner

Supervisor, Student Success ♦  Student Recruitment and Retention

clangner@unm.edu

cameron-langner.jpg

Pronouns: she / her

Advises: students with special circumstances (e.g. students returning to school after a hiatus and those on academic probation or suspension)

Exploring the World requires a critical lens--school will help you create that lens so that you can truly see the world.

I love school! As a former teacher, I find that school gives me the greatest sense of purpose. I am working on my Masters degree in Special Education. In my free time, I spend as much time with my weenie dogs and playing out-of-doors.

I am part of the A&S Support and Success Group (SSGs):  SSGs support all departments, students and advisors by working on special retention and graduation projects and covering advising availability for vacant major advisor positions while A&S hires and trains new student support professionals.


 Danielle Berrien

Education Specialist  ♦  Transfer Student Recruitment

dberrien@unm.edu

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Advisors wear many hats – that of guide, educator, and go-to resource person. As an Education Specialist, I have the great privilege of working with graduate assistants, staff, and faculty at both UNM and CNM in creating a pathway for students to more easily transfer to UNM’s College of Arts & Sciences.

I was an advisor for 13 years in Tucson – at both the University of Arizona and Pima Community College. I have taught courses in student success, major exploration, and transfer strategies. In addition, I was a Career Services Director at a college in my home state of Vermont for two years. My participation and contribution to student services is an abiding passion! Lastly, I earned a BS in Family & Consumer Sciences from U Maine-Farmington and an M.Ed. in Counseling from Northern Arizona University. In my off-time, I enjoy nature walks, attending jazz or world music shows, crafting, and finding the next “best” gluten-free muffin or cookie recipe to bake!

 


Work Study Student Employees

Our work study student employees are a valuable part of our team! If you're interested in working with us, our postings will be under Student Jobs on unmjobs.unm.edu.

Past and Current Student Employees

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Ali Jurado

Major: Chicana/o Studies and Spanish
From: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Why UNM?: I chose to come to UNM because it's where I grew up. I've been coming to UNM since I was a child and would sit in on classes my mother would attend when she had no one to look after us. And when I had the opportunity to transfer from CNM I did.