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NNMC’s Patricia Trujillo and Stephanie Montoya join the leadership at NM HED

NNMC’s Patricia Trujillo and Stephanie Montoya join the leadership at NM HED

We are excited to make a special announcement. Dr. Patricia Trujillo, Director of Equity & Diversity, and Stephanie Montoya, Staff Reporter and Public Relations Specialist, are leaving Northern to join the staff of the New Mexico Department of Higher Education.

Dr. Trujillo has been appointed by Governor Michelle Luján Grisham as Deputy Secretary of Higher Education. She has been with Northern for over 10 years and has contributed greatly to the campus in her role as the founding director of the Office of Equity and Diversity and as a faculty member in the Department of Languages and Letters.

Among Dr. Trujillo’s many accomplishments are bringing college and community partners together for such events as the ¡Sostenga! Garlic Harvest festivals, the Historias de Nuevomexico conferences, and this year’s Dr. King Legacy Breakfast. She was diligent to her charge of bringing awareness to equity, inclusion and belonging to NNMC. Trujillo was a leader on campus who directed policy, climate, and curriculum initiatives. She was a tireless advocate for the ¡Sostenga! Farm, and a thought leader throughout our community.

When asked for a comment, she shared, “I love Northern and my heart is always with the Española Valley. I am excited for this opportunity and take with me the lessons and the support I developed in our beloved community.”

Stephanie Montoya has been appointed the Public Information Officer for HED. Stephanie first joined Northern from 2013-2015 and then returned in 2019 after working at GEAR UP, a college readiness program based out of the NM HED and earning her M.A. in Communication & Leadership at Gonzaga University. Ms. Montoya made lasting contributions to Northern’s Communications and Marketing team, including our successful Mill Levy Campaign for trades education, as host of Live @Northern on KDCE, and writer of feature stories and press releases celebrating student success and the mission of our College.

Stephanie shares, “The experiences and support I have had in my time at Northern have really helped me to grow my capacity as a professional, and increased my dedication to raising awareness about the power of education to New Mexico’s communities. I greatly miss Northern, but am excited to lead communications around higher education on a statewide level.”

Dr. Trujillo and Ms. Montoya will bring their creativity, innovation and determination to NM HED where they will work with HED Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez and Governor Luján Grisham to keep initiatives in higher education moving forward. When you have a team of superstars shining brightly, with everyone working toward a common purpose, it is not uncommon for opportunities to appear. While the departure of Dr. Trujillo and Ms. Montoya is certainly bittersweet, we must also celebrate and be grateful for their amazing service to our students and our institution, and support them in their new roles.  They are flying like Eagles, and we are incredibly proud.

Let us all take a moment to congratulate Patricia and Stephanie on their new positions, thank them for their service to Northern, and wish them all the best in their new careers. Two more reasons to be #NorthernProud!


Rick Bailey, PhD
President, Northern New Mexico College

Sandy Krolick, MA
Creative Director, Communications & Marketing
Northern New Mexico College

Northern offers over 50 bachelor's, associate and certificate programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math); Nursing and Health Sciences; Liberal Arts and Humanities; Arts, Film & Media; Business Administration; Teacher Education and Technical Trades.
Northern New Mexico College is the most affordable 4-year college in the Southwestern US. Choose us for our value, our quality degree and continuing education programs in diverse areas of study, and our experienced faculty. We provide students with unique opportunities for academic, personal, and professional growth, small class sizes, personalized attention, and strong hands-on experiences from day one.
The Northern Foundation remains committed to stimulate leadership, promote equity, and grow resources and philanthropy in the Española Valley and surrounding rural areas. Over the past twenty years, we have granted $1.3 million to support over 1,250 NNMC students.