Selene Chavez, who is studying business administration with a major in information systems and a minor in accounting at Eastern New Mexico University, wants to become a data analyst at NASA. She enjoys collecting data and putting it into an understandable format that businesses can use for better decision making.
“I think NASA is one of the most interesting places to work and I would love to contribute my knowledge and skills to help this agency succeed in its future plans,” she shared. “I want to make a difference and contribute as much as I can so that one day I can end up training students like me who dream of being part of something big and amazing like NASA.”
The eldest became fascinated with data analysis and technology when she worked as a computer lab manager for Clovis Municipal Schools. “Being able to help teachers understand their data to improve our students’ learning was a great feeling,” she explained. “I learned the importance of data security and accuracy to ensure quality and consistency of information.”
Selene, who currently works as a full-time network and computer support specialist for the City of Clovis, chose to attend ENMU after many important people in her life told her she should go back to school. and get a degree.
“I had dropped out after being a nursing student because of the added stress of being a young single mother,” Selene shared. “After researching ENMU and realizing that I could complete my degree completely online, I decided to take up the challenge.
“I am grateful that ENMU takes into account students like me who have family and professional obligations and who are unable to attend classes on site. ENMU saved my life; just when I had lost all hope of finishing college, ENMU became the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Selene credits her advisor, Dr. Veena Parboteeah, with facilitating her time at ENMU. “I’m always looking for ways to improve my education, and she’s always there to listen and advise on how to achieve my goals. She’s shown genuine faith in me and my accomplishments, and I appreciate every little help she has been given to me since the beginning of my teaching career at ENMU,” Selene shared.
The senior, who made the Dean’s List last semester and received the Peter Kaunitz Memorial Scholarship this year, appreciates ENMU’s sense of community. “I love being part of a group that is dedicated to raising them and pursuing their dreams. Being a Greyhound has given me the joy of looking to the future, knowing that many of us struggle in similar situations and share all the vision of becoming something better.”
Selene advises students interested in pursuing their field of study to be “very focused and determined on what you want at the end of it. Technology is our future and with it constantly changing, it is imperative that we kept learning every step of the way. Our learning doesn’t stop when we graduate, we just keep going. It takes a lot of dedication and a willingness to learn to be successful in this field.
She is also keen to emphasize the importance of getting training based on her experiences.
“I was a straight student until high school, and when I got pregnant at 15, I was sort of stereotypical. I was told I wouldn’t finish high school, let alone college. However , I graduated from high school at the top of my class as a valedictorian. I continue to face many difficulties, but I have overcome many too and will continue to do so, because to be a teenage mother is not what defines me. My daughter was the blessing I needed to show me that I believed in myself, and I still see her as my engine to succeed.”
Selene grew up in Hatch, New Mexico. She is the youngest of five sisters and four brothers. Her father was a farmhand and her mother was a homemaker until Selene was old enough to go to school. After that, her mother helped support the family while caring for the children. “My parents showed me how difficult life is without an education, but also how rewarding it is to work hard and pursue your dreams,” she said.
She shared that her husband and two children have been “extremely supportive on this trip. [to pursue a degree]. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have to look forward to them every day.”
The Greyhound enjoys reading Nicholas Sparks’ mystery books and novels, doing puzzles, and spending time with his family. She considers her extracurricular activities to be all of her children’s activities, including soccer practices, games, music concerts, and Bible school.
She volunteers with Centraide as a fundraising assistant. She also participates in “Reality Check Day” to help teach freshmen in high schools how to manage their finances.