Working with students has been one of the highlights of Dorene DiNaro’s work in the UNM Student Affairs Division.  When she’s not providing students with information about what the Division can provide for them or working on student events across campus DiNaro still connects with UNM’s students over the department’s social media accounts.

“Even if I’m not working with students one-on-one, I feel like I’m making a difference in their time at UNM.”

But she didn’t always plan on working at the state’s flagship university. Originally DiNaro’s dream was to work in the legal system. First as a court reporter, and then as a paralegal for the New Mexico Public Defenders Office.

“I went to school for court reporting for a while but I didn’t pass the state test and I got discouraged. So I went on and got my associates degree in Paralegal Studies from CNM. I always thought that I wanted to work for the Public Defenders office.

“I thought it would be interesting and that it would be something different every day. So initially I was trying to get in with the state, but I had a friend who worked at UNM and she kept telling me it’s a great place to work.”

It maybe an overused phrase, but state government’s loss really was UNM’s gain. DiNaro started working at UNM shortly after talking with her friend and has enjoyed her time on campus ever since.

“I know it sounds cliche, but I think what we do is really important. Higher education is important to our state’s future. Maybe I believe this in part because I’ve been a career student, so I feel like I’ve always been in school. Education is important to me, you should never stop learning.”