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First-generation college student chosen to lead William Conroy Honors College

Phame Camarena, a first-generation college student and native Californian, is the new leader of the NMSU William Conroy Honors College, having been named the college’s third dean in July 2020 by NMSU Provost Carol Parker.

“I am excited for the opportunity to build on the exceptional foundation of high-quality honors education already offered by the William Conroy Honors College at New Mexico State University,” Camarena says. “At this time of historical crisis, I understand the importance of ensuring that the Honors College serves the needs of the whole university, while supporting students in the honors community so they can aim higher and achieve more meaningfully.”

Camarena has more than 15 years of administrative experience, most recently as director of the Central Michigan University Honors Program, a position he held for the past 10 years. Camarena says that as leader of the Honors Program at CMU, he drew upon his personal experiences as a first-generation college student in an honors program.

“Honors education helped to transform my life and now it is my sincerest privilege to continue that same spirit of transformative learning as the dean of the William Conroy Honors College,” Camarena says.