Members

Ammu Devasthali

Chair

Term Expires: December 31, 2022

Ammu Devasthali

Ammu Devasthali is a longtime artist, painter and philanthropist who has called Las Cruces home for more than 30 years. Originally from India, she and her husband, Rama, a physician, came to the United States in 1981 and lived in Chicago before relocating to Las Cruces in 1987.

As an undergraduate, she studied Russian language at Nehru University in New Delhi, earning a bachelor’s degree. Later, she attended Moscow State University in Russia and earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Soviet literature.

While raising her family in Las Cruces, Devasthali began taking art classes at New Mexico State University. At first, she only took a couple of classes “here and there,” she said. But eventually, she had accumulated enough credits to earn a Master of Arts in printmaking from NMSU’s Department of Art. She later earned a second MFA in painting.

Soon after, Devasthali opened her own art studio, Art Ventures, in Las Cruces, giving artists a space to work and create. She then started a jewelry business, Designs by Ammu, which she operated for a number of years. At this time, she become involved in nonprofit work.

For more than 13 years, she served as a board member for the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, having served as president for two years and secretary for four years. During her time at the community foundation, she helped establish a women’s fund, Springboard, which aims to improve the lives of women in southern New Mexico through scholarships that provide opportunities for advanced education.

Devasthali and her family have raised funds for many projects and scholarships in the southern New Mexico region. She spearheaded efforts to raise private funds to help build the ASNMSU Center for Performing Arts and NMSU’s new visual arts facility, Devasthali Hall, slated to open in the fall.

Ammu and Rama have been married for 42 years and have two children, a daughter, Vidusha, who is an NMSU alumnae, and a son, Vikram, who graduated from University of Southern California.

Regent Devasthali serves as the chair of the Regents Audit and Risk Committee, member of the Regents Real Estate Committee, and the Board of Regents liaison to NMSU Foundation.

Arsenio Romero

Vice Chair

Term Expires: December 31, 2026

NMSU_Regent_Romero_2021-2.pngArsenio Romero was appointed to the NMSU Board of Regents in 2020 and re-appointed in 2022. He has more than 25 years of leadership, managerial and executive experience. He also has a proven track record of leading large-scale initiatives focused on student achievement, financial management, human capital strategy, and other strategically significant areas.

Romero currently serves as superintendent at Los Lunas Schools and has previously served as superintendent and CEO of Deming Public Schools from 2017 – 2020. He was assistant superintendent for instruction and turnaround for the Roswell Independent School District from 2015-2017. Since 2013, he has been a lead performance coach/executive coach for the New Mexico Public Education Department. He has also served as an elementary teacher, a principal and as an adjunct professor.

In July 2021, Romero received the Administrator of the Year award from the New Mexico Coalition of Educational Leaders. Romero is also Turnaround Leader for Principals Pursuing Excellence. In addition, he was appointed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to serve on New Mexico’s Central Racial Equity Committee in 2020.

Romero has a bachelor of science degree in elementary education and a Ph.D. in educational management and development, both from NMSU. He also has a master’s degree in educational administration and leadership from the University of New Mexico.

Regent Romero serves as the chair of the Regents Student Success Committee and as a member of the Regents Audit and Risk Committee.

 

Neal Bitsie

Secretary/Treasurer

Term Expires: December 31, 2022

NMSU_Regent_Bitsie_2021-1-2.pngNeal Bitsie is a fourth-year student at New Mexico State University, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics with a supplemental major in Applied Mathematics and a minor in Aerospace Engineering. He expects to graduate from NMSU in 2022. During his time at NMSU, Bitsie has served as the chief elections officer for the Associated Students of NMSU and helped implement ASNMSU’s first fully online election. He also served as an ASNMSU Supreme Court associated justice.

Bitsie is an active member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, Atomic Aggies, NMSU Rotaract Club, ASNMSU, Engineering Student Council, Aggies Without Limits, Hall Council and other campus clubs and organizations. He participated in the Rotaract Club’s spring 2019 Guadaloupe Mexico orphanage project. In 2017, Bitsie earned the Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts of America. That same year, he was recognized for his efforts to improve the lives of shelter animals. He was part of a project that built more than 100 dog beds, increased adoption rates by 10 percent and improved the water quality of several shelters.

Bitsie is the 15th person in his family to attend New Mexico State University. He is honored to proudly represent NMSU on the Board of Regents. Bitsie encourages all aggies to become involved in the NMSU community and is ready to support any student through there collegiate carrier. He passionately believes that far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. Throughout his role as Student Regent, he will contribute to the continuation of excellence at NMSU.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment to meet with Regent Bitsie, please call his office at 575-646-2859.

Regent Bitsie serves as a member of the Regents Financial Strategies, Performance and Budget Committee and a member of the Regents Student Success Committee. He also serves as Position Director for Arrowhead Center Incorporated.

Dina Chacón-Reitzel

Term Expires: December 31, 2024

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Dina Chacón-Reitzel is a native of northern New Mexico, hailing from Cebolla in Rio Arriba County, where she grew up on her family’s cow-calf ranch, Pinãvetal Ranch. She is a graduate of Española High School and now resides in Albuquerque.

Seeking a “kinder, gentler” college experience that would give her a high-quality education with “personal attention,” she turned to New Mexico State University, where she received two degrees. In 1978, she earned a Bachelor of Science in home economics in business from what was then called the College of Agriculture and Home Economics. In 1983, she earned a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing and management from the College of Business.

Chacón-Reitzel started her career as a home economist for NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service, serving for six years in Eddy County and Las Cruces. In 1989, she became the executive director of the New Mexico Beef Council, the marketing, research and education arm of the beef industry in New Mexico.

Throughout her esteemed career, she has maintained close ties to NMSU. For 30 years, she has worked to implement educational programs with the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, the Agricultural Experiment Station, the Cooperative Extension Service and 4-H youth development. Since 2003, she has served as the NMSU delegate to the Council for Agricultural Research Extension and Teaching. In this role, she advocates for federal funding for NMSU and other land-grant universities across the country. Chacón-Reitzel was also a recipient of the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996.

Among her other professional accomplishments and accolades, Chacón-Reitzel also completed the Leadership New Mexico program in 2007, received the New Mexico Department of Agriculture Industry Partner Award in 2011 and was recognized by the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service with the Friend of Extension Award in 2015.  In addition, Chacón-Reitzel received the New Mexico Outstanding Leadership Award in 2015 which highlights recipients that are esteemed for conveying significant leadership contributions to agriculture in New Mexico.

In 2020, she was recognized by the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association as the recipient of the King Service Award, which is awarded to a member who admirably represents the State of New Mexico.

Chacón-Reitzel has also served on other national and regional boards and committees including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Beef Safety Research Committee, New Mexico 4-H Foundation, Saint Pius High School Foundation, and UNM Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Chacón-Reitzel and her husband, Jim Reitzel, have been married for over 35 years and they have two children, Elizabeth and Matthew, both of whom are NMSU graduates.

Regent Chacón-Reitzel serves as chair of the Regents Real Estate Committee and Position Director for Arrowhead Center Incorporated.

 

Christopher Saucedo

Term Expires: December 31, 2026

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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.

Regent Saucedo serves as the chair of the Regents Financial Strategies, Performance and Budget Committee.