Debra P. Hicks
Term: March 2015 – December 31, 2020.
Debra P. Hicks, PE/LSI graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Debra started as a summer intern at Pettigrew & Associates in 1979. Upon graduation from NMSU in 1983, she joined the firm as an engineer intern. After several years of successful project completion, she purchased the firm in 1990 and is now President and CEO. Throughout her 30-plus-year career, her engineering experience has included mining, power plants, bio-diesel plants, multi-family housing projects, aquatic facilities, parks, education facilities, small and large-scale subdivisions, museums, hotels, racetrack/casino, roadways, infrastructure, trail systems, airports and numerous other commercial and industrial developments.
Hicks has been involved with community outreach programs such as The Boys and Girls Club, Junior Service League, MyPower Inc, Habitat for Humanity, Rotary Club, Palmer Drug Abuse Program and many others. Her community outreach focuses on organizations that support children, families, education and the arts.
In the education realm, Debra served as a Trustee for fourteen years at the University of the Southwest including a two year term as Chair, Director for New Mexico Junior College Foundation for two terms where she also served one term as chair, Regent for New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, member of NMSU 2013 Presidential Search Committee, and president for the Academy of Civil, Agricultural, and Geological Engineering at NMSU. Hicks currently serves as Director for Eagle Trust Foundation Inc., and secretary of the New Mexico Higher Education Regents’ Coalition.
Debra was appointed by Governor Richardson to the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission in 2005 and later appointed by Governor Martinez to serve on the New Mexico State Transportation Commission in 2011.
Hicks received recognition for Contributions in Economic Development for the State of New Mexico in 2008, was named New Mexico Woman of Influence by Albuquerque Business First in 2013 and Top CEOs in 2015.
As a part of her professional activities, Debra has served as director and president for the New Mexico Engineering Foundation, section chair and director for the American Council of Independent Laboratories, president for the Southeastern Chapter of the New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers, state MATHCOUNTS coordinator and Public Relations Committee for the National Society of Professional Engineers.
Debra has worked extensively to promote STEM education in New Mexico through initiatives including MATHCOUNTS, New Mexico Education Workgroup, New Mexico Higher Education Strategic Planning Committee, NMSU College of Engineering Dean’s Council, Hobbs Community Math Task Force, Tatum Municipal Schools WERC mentor program, and Lea County Women’s Network Mentor Program.
Hicks is President Elect of American Council of Engineering Companies New Mexico and President of Lea County Community Improvement Corporation.
After serving on both the New Mexico Transportation Commission and the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents, she returned to her alma mater being appointed in early 2015 by Governor Susana Martinez. Regent Hicks serves on the Regents Audit and Risk Committee and the Regents Real Estate Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Aggie Development, Inc.
Term Expires: December 31, 2018.
Kari Mitchell is the CEO and owner of Las Cruces Machine, Mfg. & Engineering and serves on the executive committee of the Bridge of Southern New Mexico. Mitchell is a member of NMSU’s Town-Gown Commission, which aims to strengthen ties between the university and the community. She is past chair of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance and was a founding board member of the New Mexico Economic Development Partnership. She holds an MBA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake as well as a bachelor’s in marketing and management from Adams State College. Regent Mitchell serves on the Regents Student Success Committee and Regents Financial Strategies, Performance and Budget Committee.
Term: March 2015 – December 31, 2020.
Regent Jerean Hutchinson is a Las Cruces native who was appointed to the NMSU Board of Regents in early 2015 by Governor Susana Martinez. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Systems Analysis at NMSU. She earned a Master of Science degree in Information Management from George Washington University.
Regent Jerean Hutchinson is the owner and manager of the famous La Posta de Mesilla Restaurant in Mesilla, New Mexico since returning to the area in 1996. The restaurant which has been in her family for decades is a destination and attraction in the Mesilla Valley and has been since its founding in 1939.
Regent Jerean Hutchinson is a graduate of Leadership New Mexico, Class of 2001. She has been honored with numerous awards on the local and statewide level. In addition to her NMSU accolades, she and her husband, Tom, were awarded the 2013 Restaurateur of the year Award from the New Mexico Restaurant Association. They were honored with the Governor’s New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award in 2014. Jerean and Tom are heralded for the service to their community and state.
Regent Jerean Hutchinson serves on the Regents Financial Strategies, Performance and Budget Committee, the Regents Student Success Committee, and will be the ex-officio member of The NMSU Foundation Board of Directors.
Christopher T. Saucedo
Term Expires: Adjournment of the next regular session of the New Mexico State Legislature
Christopher T. Saucedo grew up in Doña Ana County, graduated from Gadsden High School, earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from New Mexico State University, and obtained his law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law. He now practices law throughout New Mexico and West Texas specializing in commercial litigation, employment law, and complex civil litigation.
In addition to the NMSU Board of Regents, Saucedo serves as President of the Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, a center dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and advancement of Hispanic culture, arts, and humanities. He considers election law to be his professional hobby and serves as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Election Law for the American Bar Association. He is Past President of the Albuquerque Bar Association and a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association.
Saucedo serves on the NMSU Board of Regents’ Financial Strategies, Performance and Budget Committee and the Audit and Risk Committee.
Term Expires: December 31, 2018.
Margie Vela is a Ph.D. candidate at New Mexico State University and a USDA NIFA Fellow. She will finish her degree in Water Science and Management in May 2019. Her research involves interdisciplinary work and focuses on the social implications of water inequity, establishing the impact potable water has on diabetes and obesity rates and educational attainment for communities on the Southern U.S. Border. She is currently working with high school students living in these communities on a Youth Participatory Action Research Project to improve access to water in the colonias of the U.S.
Regent Vela is a native to El Paso and holds an M.B.A. and a B.S. in Business Marketing. She served in several professional roles including Assistant Director for the Science and Mathematics Initiative for Learning Enrichment at Delaware State University; and Project Director for the HIRED! Program at Child, Youth, and School Services for Fort Lee, Virginia. Regent Vela served as a consultant for rural organic farmers in Colombia regarding water use and organizational development. She currently conducts workshops for college students and researchers on various topics including interdisciplinary research, complex socio-environmental problems, and college success.
Regent Vela works for improving diversity and providing equity in education and in STEM. She values advancing education policy for improving outcomes for diverse student populations. She looks forward to a career where she will continue to create opportunities for students to pursue their educational goals as an administrator in higher education.