NMSU Foundation promotes four staff members to Assistant Vice Presidents and Deputy Chief of Staff

DATE: January 24, 2024

The New Mexico State University (NMSU) Foundation has promoted four staff members to the positions of Assistant Vice President and Deputy Chief of Staff, adding broad experience and deep institutional knowledge to its senior leadership team. These promotions pave the way for several organizational changes that will allow the Foundation to focus more closely on strategic philanthropy and alumni engagement, leading to greater agility and growth.

Each of the promoted staff members brings extensive expertise in alumni relations, annual and major gift fundraising, data analysis and project management. With this new focus, philanthropy and alumni engagement will be placed on an equal footing for future campaigns and strategic collaboration with NMSU’s next president.

The promotions include:

  • Jason Arvizu ’17, Assistant Vice President, Alumni Relations and Annual Giving
  • Stacey MacDonnell, Assistant Vice President, Advancement Services
  • Debra Marks ’91, Assistant Vice President, Philanthropic Giving
  • Heidi Parks ’15, Deputy Chief of Staff

“Through the promotions of these talented and dedicated staff members, we continue to align how we work in ways that best serve our alumni, donors, students and partners with the exceptional capabilities of our team,” said Dr. Sylvia Y. Acosta ’10, CEO of the NMSU Foundation. “This alignment is integral to the evolution of our strategic planning and processes—having people in place who are responsible and responsive to the needs of our constituents.”

The staffing changes come on the heels of a year in which awards to university programs and scholarships increased to more than $16 million, representing a 17 percent increase from the prior year. In addition, the Foundation raised more than $33 million in support for NMSU, which represents a significant increase over prior years. The Foundation continues to manage gifts of all types and sizes including a growing number of major gift endowments, with the goal of managing its long-term investment pool (LTIP) to provide predictable long-term support to every stakeholder.

Arvizu, MacDonnell, Marks and Parks will provide hands-on management to significantly increase opportunities for alumni connection, philanthropic growth and stewardship of donors and supporters at NMSU. In their previous roles at the Foundation, they have already grown alumni and donor relationships, produced numerous events, built fundraising campaigns and engaged with university partners to secure critical support for college priorities. A search is underway to fill the role of Vice President of Philanthropic Giving and Alumni Relations.

“Building a top-notch team is the bedrock of how we facilitate dreams—providing the framework that helps people achieve their philanthropic wishes and unleashing the potential of everything possible at NMSU,” Acosta added.

About the NMSU Foundation

Established in 1959, the NMSU Foundation operates in alignment with New Mexico State University leadership and the NMSU Board of Regents to secure, manage, oversee and protect sustainable sources of private financial contributions by nurturing long-term relationships with alumni, supporters and the community in support of the land-grant mission of New Mexico State University. A 501(c)(3) organization, the Foundation is committed to upholding and preserving public and private trust while protecting the privacy of donors and maintaining the confidentiality of its competitive strategies.