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Las Cruces Hilton employee is Best Mentor for 2004

Local businesswoman Bernadette Pena was recognized as Best Mentor for 2004 by the Department of Communication Studies Internship Program at New Mexico State University.

Daniel Ash, left, a senior communication studies major at NMSU, with Bernadette Pena, recipient of the Best Mentor for 2004 award. (Courtesy photo)

part-time student at NMSU, is the executive assistant to the general manager and director of sales and marketing at the Las Cruces Hilton. She was nominated by Daniel Ash, a senior communication studies major who worked with Pena during a spring internship.

Ash said Pena was always patient and willing to answer questions and guide him. He also cited Pena's ability to mentor him while learning about her new position at the Hilton.

"We feel that it is important to honor those individuals who help our students apply the skills they learn as communication majors," said Walter Zakahi, head of the NMSU communication studies department.

"Our interns learn more than just a career from their mentors, they learn how to handle problems and how to be successful," said Anne Hubbell, director of the internship program. "Pena is one of many outstanding mentors we have and we are so grateful for the time and effort they put into our students."

Other individuals who have supported the internship program include Jerry Laws and Lori Hungate-Diehl of Citizen's Bank of Las Cruces, Amy Getchell and René Yoder of Memorial Medical Center and Rosalie Moralez of Sen. Jeff Bingaman's office. These organizations have mentored students since the program began two years ago.

Organizations that also participated in the spring internship program were Families and Youth Inc., the District Attorney's Office, T-Mobile, Art of Birth and Wellness Clinic, Community Foundation of Southern NM, First Church of God in El Paso, Toy Box Preschool and several programs at NMSU.

For more information on the program, contact Hubbell at (505) 646-1603 or ahubbell@nmsu.edu.