About Anita Gonzales

Las Vegas, New Mexico is home. I was born here and it’s where I am raising my 12-year old son today.

I am a multi-generational Northern New Mexican with a deep love and connection to this area and this community.  I was raised to be proud of my family, our community, our culture and way of life. I was raised to work hard, take action when action needs taking, and to help others along the way.

For my family, education, and hard work has been the foundation for how we have built better lives for ourselves and our future. I was pushed to take my education as far as I could, inspired by my grandmothers who fought for their education and self taught themselves literacy and language when, in some cases, they were deemed unimportant to learn.  And yet, with determination and grace, they managed the full expectations of motherhood and homemaking while also going to school, working and helping others. It is because of them that I learned we must fight for change in order to improve our lot in life. 

I have spent the last twenty years of my professional career working to uplift young girls, Hispanic and other minority students from lower income communities through education in fields where they are underrepresented—namely math, science, and technology.  

As the Deputy Director for New Mexico Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (NM MESA), Inc, I have worked with STEM leaders, students, teachers, administrators, public school, and higher education institutions throughout the state to improve and change the lives of kids from rural and small town communities in New Mexico. 

I have always been involved in our community—as a volunteer and on the Boards of groups like the San Miguel County Family & Community Health Council or the Rotary Club of Las Vegas. As an acequia commissioner, I strongly understand how water is central to our lives, local agriculture, and culture. In addition, I have worked with state and national organizations like the Hispanic College Fund, to bring opportunities to our home communities. Today, I am an active mom involved in my son’s school and sports, namely football.

My Family

“Who are your people?” I am asked. And because I know that means someone is trying to find ways to connect with me, I tell them:

“I come from the Lopez family of Villanueva, the Gallegos family of Las Vegas, and the Gonzales family of Las Vegas. I am the daughter of Lucille and Ross White and Clarence Gallegos and Anna Vigil and the grand-daughter of Rudolpho and Bersabe Lopez, Arturo R. and Cecelia Gallegos, Eloy and Enedine Gonzales, and Jack and Betty White.”

PROVEN TRACK RECORD

Education

  • Masters in Business Administration. Concentration in Sports Administration, New Mexico Highlands University, 2007
  • Bachelor of Arts. Human Performance & Sport, Leisure Services. Minor in Business Management, New Mexico Highlands University, 2004
  • College of Agriculture. Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, 2002

Certifications

  • Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Licensure
  • State of New Mexico Substitute Licensure

Work Experience

  • Deputy Director, NM MESA, Inc. (Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement); Las Vegas, NM, 2020-present
  • Program Coordinator, NM MESA, Inc. (Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement); Las Vegas, NM, 2003-2020
  • Recreation Department, City of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NM, 2002-2005
  • Intern, Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Washington, DC. Summer 2001, 2002
  • Volunteer Staff, National Institute for Professional Development – Project Uplift; Albuquerque, NM, 1989-1996

Volunteer/Community Service

  • President/Commissioner, Acequia de los Madres Vigiles, 2015-present
  • Commissioner, Grzelachowski Ditch, 2015-present
  • Member, NM Acequia Association, 2020-present
  • Volunteer, Meadow City Havoc, Northern NM Children’s Football League, 2017-2023
  • President, San Miguel County Federation of Democratic Women, 2020-present
  • President, Las Vegas Rotary Club, 2021-present
  • State Chapter Executive Committee Vice Chair, Rio Grande Chapter, Sierra Club, 2020-present
  • Board Member, San Miguel County Family & Community Health Council; 2023-present
  • United World College Getaway Family; 2020-2023

Professional Membership

  • State Delegate, MESA USA National Engineering Design Committee (NEDC), 2007-present
  • National Regional Manager, NM Hispanic Youth Symposium/Institute, 2007-2013
  • Member, NM PED Math & Science Bureau, 2006-2010
  • Member, National Science Teachers Association, 2015-present
  • Member, Computer Science Teachers Association, 2022-present
  • Northeast Rural Rep, Fuerzas Unidas Caucus, 2022-2023

Awards

  • Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce; Public Service Honoree, October 2014
  • President’s Volunteer Service Award; June 2009