Picture of Miriam Chaiken, Dean

Dean, William Conroy Honors College
Distinguished Professor of Anthropology

Dr. Miriam Chaiken

Miriam Chaiken became the new Dean of the William Conroy Honors College on August 1, 2014, following the retirement of William Eamon. Dr. Eamon created a vibrant organization in the Honors College, and she will continue that legacy of fostering excellence and opportunity for students at NMSU. She joined NMSU in 2009 as a new Department Head in Anthropology, after having worked for more than 20 years at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Chaiken is an applied nutritional anthropologist who has combined professional activities in academia with research and consulting in international development in Africa and Southeast Asia. She has collaborated with humanitarian organizations such as Save the Children and UNICEF to help create effective and culturally sensitive programs to address hunger, malnutrition, food security, and gender equity in developing countries. She is committed to helping improve well-being for rural populations through participatory strategies in planning humanitarian response.

Her publications range from examples of traditional scholarship in academic journals and books to more popular accounts of her adventures in anthropological fieldwork. Her years of fieldwork internationally have provided her with many tales to tell, feel free to ask her about traffic lights on toast, pig bombs, monitor lizards in her Kenyan kitchen, penguins in South Africa, Balinese temples, Mozambiquan mosquitos, or life as a slash and burn farmer in the Philippines.

As an anthropologist, she finds people endlessly fascinating and looks forward to working with students and faculty in the Honors College.

mchaiken@nmsu.edu  |  575-646-2005


Picture of Dr. Tim Ketelaar, Associate Dean

Associate Dean, William Conroy Honors College

Director, Office of National Scholarships and

International Education (ONSIE)



Dr. Tim Ketelaar

Dr. Tim Ketelaar is the Director of the Office of National Scholarships and International Education (Conroy Honors Center room 204) and the Associate Dean of the Honors College.

Dr. Ketelaar works with NMSU students who are applying for national scholarships at all stages of the process. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and has been teaching in the honors college since 2003.

Email Dr. Ketelaar at onsie@nmsu.edu with your questions about scholarships or to make an appointment, or just drop by my office any afternoon in Room 204 William Conroy Honors House.

onsie@nmsu.edu   |   (575) 646-2051 or (575) 405-3729 [Text/Voice] 




Valerie Torres, Executive SecretarySenior Administrative Assistant



J. Valerie Torres

Valerie Torres has been with the Honors College for 17 years and with NMSU for 27 years. She loves her job and is always willing to help Honors students with registration problems or to connect you with another department or instructor. She is also very helpful in finding an available Honors course and is able to register you for that semester. Valerie also provides Notary Public services to students, faculty, and staff.  You can contact her either by email or phone.

vatorres@nmsu.edu   |   575-646-2005



New Mexico Leadership Institute Coordinator



Abby Nayra

Abby Nayra is an NMSU alumnus who joined the Honors College team in 2017 as the Student Programs Coordinator. She is also the Scholarship Coordinator for the New Mexico Leadership Institute, which is also housed by the Honors College. She received her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with a TESOL endorsement and her Bachelors in History with a minor in music performance.

If you have any questions on advising specific to Honors courses, feel free to contact her.

anayra@ad.nmsu.edu  |  (575) 646-2542. 



Photo of Roman Gutierrez

Crimson Scholar Coordinator



Roman Gutierrez

Roman Gutierrez began his job as the Crimson Scholar Coordinator in the Honors College in April 2016. He joined NMSU from Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque. His primary responsibility entails assisting all Crimson Scholars with determining if they qualify for Crimson status, as well as answering any and all questions the Crimson Scholars may have.

rgtz129@nmsu.edu  |  575-646-2542

Bio and photo courtesy of NMSU Hotline



Student Assistant



Olivia Perez

Olivia is currently a student assistant for the Honors College. Her duties include making coffee, printing things, and assisting students with questions. On the rare occasions, she has free time, Olivia likes to drink tea and listen to music. She has recently begun a venture into the world of quilting and is loving it! If you ever have any questions feel free to stop by and ask because she just might be able to help.




ONSIE Student Assistant



Amanda Pando

Amanda Pando is a student assistant in the ONSIE office at the Honors College. She loves to bake and do crafts in her free time. Amanda hopes to someday get a Masters and become a Marriage and Family Therapist. 




Honors College Ambassador Coordinator



Yael Cano

Yael Cano is currently one of the coordinators for the Honors Ambassador Program in the Honors College. At the same time, she’s working to get her masters degree in Anthropology with a focus in museum studies at NMSU as she hopes to work in a museum in the future. Though she may look serious, don’t let that scare you off as she likes to talk to everyone about everything and anything. She also has a deep love for all dogs and hopes that you bring your dog when you come to visit her. 

yaelcano@nmsu.edu  |  575-646-2005



Honors College Ambassador Coordinator

Ana Cárdenas

Ana Cárdenas is one of the coordinators for the Honors Ambassador Program in the Honors College. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Medical Anthropology and researching doctor-patient interactions in rural Mexico. She likes books, cats, tea, and traveling. If you have questions or require assistance, feel free to reach out!

acarde10@nmsu.edu |  575-646-2005



Computer Technician


Dominick Cordova

Dominick Cordova is the Computer Technician at the Honors College. Dominick is pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Philosophy. His responsibilities are the maintenance of the Honors College website, classroom technology, and lab computers. If you encounter any issues with these things, feel free to contact him, or fill out a tech issue form located here.

dom1n1ck@nmsu.edu  |  Contact Webmaster