February 15, 2011 by Minerva Baumann @NMSU
A handful of New Mexico State University alumni and employees have been tapped by Gov. Susana Martinez to fill various positions in her administration.
Martinez nominated NMSU government professor Jose Z. Garcia to serve as her secretary of higher education. Garcia has been a professor at New Mexico State University since 1975. He was the director of the NMSU Center for Latin American Studies from 1991 to 2003 and also was a member of the New Mexico Border Authority.
Former Gov. Garrey Carruthers, dean of the College of Business, is among those Martinez has appointed to evaluate Spaceport America’s finances and readiness for business. Carruthers also will serve on a search committee to fill the executive director position for Spaceport America.
NMSU alumni Bill Burt from Alamogordo and Bob Wooley from Roswell have been appointed to fill two vacant legislative seats. Burt, owner of Burt Broadcasting, will serve as senator from Senate District 40. Wooley, currently a pipeline inspector and safety specialist after retiring from a career with Allstate, will serve as representative from House District 66. Burt graduated from NMSU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications while Wooley received a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural business.
Amy Orlando was appointed district attorney for the 3rd Judicial District of New Mexico, the position Martinez had held since 1996. Orlando has worked with Martinez as a prosecutor for 17 years and has been chief deputy district attorney since 2006. She graduated from NMSU with a bachelor of social work degree, earned her juris doctorate from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and is a member of the New Mexico Bar.
Martinez also has nominated Las Crucen Alvin Dominguez to become the Cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Transportation. Dominguez has worked for NMDOT for 15 years. For 10 years, Dominguez was a field engineer for the city of Roswell before joining NMDOT. Dominguez was NMDOT’s district engineer for southern New Mexico, the department’s top field administrative position, from 2000-2007. For the past three years, he has been NMDOT’s South Region design regional manager. Dominguez graduated from New Mexico State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering technology.
The governor nominated Lupe Martinez (no relation to the governor) to become the first woman to lead the New Mexico Corrections Department as a Cabinet secretary. Martinez was the warden at the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Grants. Prior to that, she served as the warden at the Roswell Correctional Facility and as deputy warden of administration and deputy warden of operations at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Las Cruces. She earned bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and social work from NMSU.
Martinez has yet to make a number of appointments. The governor’s Cabinet nominations are subject to confirmation by the state Senate.