Training and Education Committee


Chair: Shannon Saavedra


Shannon started as an academic advisor in the University College Advisement Center in 2006. Upon completing her Masters in Organizational Learning Instructional Technology from the University of New Mexico in 2010 she became the academic advisor trainer for all undergraduate advisors. She received her Bachelors of Business Administration in 2005 from the University of New Mexico. She has developed an online advisor training program for new advisors, LoboAchieve and Banner trainings, policy updates, continuing education, etc.



Nancy Cabreras Duran


Nancy Cabrera is a graduate Academic Advisor at the College of Population Health. Prior joining UNM, she worked at a College Readiness and Family Engagement Program where she supported first-generation, Latino families navigate the pipeline from pre-k to higher education. Nancy is a first-generation college graduate who received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Spanish with a minor in Chicana/o Studies from UNM. In her free time, she enjoys walks/runs along the Rio Grande, CrossFit and spending time with family and friends.



Jennifer Chamberlain Payne


Jennifer has been a staff at UNM since 2016 and currently serves as the Sr. Student Success Specialist for URAD (Undergraduate Research, Arts & Design Network), where she works with undergraduate students of all majors and backgrounds to secure research opportunities at UNM. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Richard Stockton College in NJ, a Master of Architecture from UNM and a Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Michigan. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the experiences of underrepresented students in architectural education (first-gen, low-income, female, ethnic/racial minority) and she is passionate about all students engaging deeply in their educations.


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JJ Conn


My personal pronouns are she/they. I received my BFA in Illustration, Printmaking and Photography from Atlanta College of Art and completed my MA in Art Education and my BA in Religious Studies at UNM. I recently completed my MFA in Creative Writing at UNM as well. I have worked at UNM for 16 years—some of you may know me as Jen from my start in UCAC back in 2006. I am now a Senior Academic Advisor with Mechanical Engineering. As a creative person with a deep interest in education of all types, I decided to become involved with the committees that organize Advising Matters and the Advisor Institute many, many years ago. What began with creating the information program for each institute over 14 years ago has transitioned to a more active and integrated role for more than 10 years now. On the personal side, I have a spoiled pitbull and two cantankerous kitties—my fur babies. When I am not at UNM, I am a Girl Scout Leader and in my spare time I read and collect books for my library, write poetry, make art, geek out on sci-fi and game (let me know if you would like to terraform Mars with me).


Kendrick Daly


Kendrick Daly (they/them) has a Masters of Education in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Arizona State University and a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Science with a minor in Chemistry from Northern Arizona University. Before joining the Anderson School of Management as a Sr. Academic Advisor, Kendrick worked at California State University, Sacramento as a Residence Hall Director and Arizona State University as a Management Intern in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. In their free time, Kendrick enjoys watching sports, gaming, reading, and traveling with their partner.



Sarah Peceny

Sarah was born in California but is New Mexico grown! She received her BA in Latin American Studies and Spanish and an MA in Hispanic Linguistics here at the University of New Mexico. During her time at UNM, Sarah has really enjoyed serving our student population as a former north campus research coordinator, an instructor and visiting lecturer, an assistant program coordinator of a language program, and most recently as an advisor! After working as an Academic Advisor for the Accelerated Online Programs offered by the College of Arts & Sciences for over a year and a half, she is very excited to begin her new position as the Education Development Manager of the Arts & Sciences Center for Academic Success.



Olivia Torres Jojola


Olivia (she/her) is a Sr. Student Success Specialist at UNM Online who assists online students in resource and university navigation. She got her start working for UNM in 2017 as a Program Coordinator and Advocate at the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center where she assisted students and was responsible for the Lobo Food Pantry operations. The UNM alum and first-generation student received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Art History and is currently enrolled in the Organization, Information, and Learning Sciences Design for Online Learning master’s program. In her free time, she enjoys the local restaurant & brewery scene with her husband and balancing travel and home projects with caring for her cat and two dogs.



Grace Willerton


I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in University Scholars-Psychology from Baylor University, and I am taking graduate coursework in counseling through UNM. I grew up in New Mexico, but I started my career as a high school math and special education teacher in New Orleans and Denver before returning home to Los Alamos. I have served UNM-Los Alamos as an academic and career advisor since 2012. I hold a certification as a Global Career Development Facilitator and recently completed a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certification, too.  

I am inspired by my students’ stories and am excited to guide them to graduating and attaining their dream jobs. I am delighted to be a part of the Training & Education Committee for advisors, so that I can contribute to the personal and professional development of our UNM advising family and, in turn, the growth and success of our students.  


krystalz.jpg Krystal Zaragoza


Krystal (she/her) is a native New Mexican and was a first-generation college student at UNM where she earned her bachelor’s in journalism and English, and master’s degree in communication. She has worked with students since 2007, and still teaches communication courses online. She started her advising career in the Division of Dental Hygiene on North Campus in 2021, where she is the Sr. Academic Advisor. She considers working with students to be a kind of extension of her original passion for journalism, which she was taught and believes should be a public service, much like education.