Five characteristics within a New Mexico State University staff member’s work lead to becoming the recipient of the “A” Mountain Award: diversity and inclusion, accountability, excellence, discovery and engagement.
Valerie Torres, Honors College executive administrative assistant, demonstrated these qualifications to be selected as the 2017 A Mountain Award recipient. On Oct. 19, NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers presented Torres with the award during the annual employee picnic at Preciado Park.
Torres has worked at NMSU for 27 years, as administrative assistant to the director for 10 years at the Center for Learning Assistance/Upward Bound Program and senior executive assistant to the dean for 17 years at the Honors College. Torres from a very young age dreamed of working in an office setting and always had a desire to be a part of NMSU’s staff.
“Being part of the NMSU family has always given me a sense of pride,” Torres said. “Whenever I’m out in the public and I’m asked where I work, I always feel so proud to say that I work for NMSU.”
As the Honors College executive administrative assistant, Torres has many important obligations. She oversees the daily operations of the office: answering Crimson Scholar and honor students’ questions, verifies eligibility for graduating students, coordinates scholarships for Scholar Dollar, manages budgets and supervises learners who hold work/study positions.
Torres was asked about the best part of her occupation.
“I am honored every day to help such high-achieving students here at the Honors College,” Torres said. “They always amaze me on how determined and diligent they are every day, studying for hours here in the commons study area.”
Torres loves interacting with the Honors College faculty and other departments at NMSU.
She mentioned how good it feels to her that NMSU can provide scholarships to hard-working scholars. She speaks of her team of co-workers and student employees highly, implying that they are a strong team, and have created sturdy relationships through their teamwork on many great tasks.
“I look forward every day to come to work with such an awesome team of co-workers and student employees. We all make the Honors College ‘Team Honors,’” Torres said.
Torres is pursuing her degree in Family and Consumer Science. She has been married to her husband for 40 years, has three daughters, three sons-in-law and 10 grandchildren. Torres volunteers with the Holy Cross Catholic Church as an adult confirmation instructor, Eucharistic minister and a Marriage Enrichment Program helper. She also spends her free time volunteering at Mesilla Valley Hospice by crafting floral arrangements for the assisted living area. Torres loves spending time with her parents, children, grandchildren and husband.
“I also recently have completed instruction on Transcendental Meditation, which achieves perfect stillness, rest, stability, order and a complete absence of mental boundaries,” Torres said.