Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Britt Hochhausler
PORTALES – Eastern New Mexico University students become leaders, even before they graduate. Just ask Tracy Henderson, secretary/treasurer for the Eastern Board of Regents, the governing body for the University.
Tracy, a 1999 Tucumcari High School graduate, came to Eastern because of the reputation of the Department of Communicative Arts and Sciences. "I came to Eastern because I knew I wanted to major in public relations, and I heard Eastern had an outstanding communication program," Tracy noted.
She has been involved in many activities at Eastern, most for which she has excelled and received well-deserved awards. This year, she won the award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Public Relations and was appointed by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to the Board of Regents, an honor given to only one student every two years.
"Hands-on experience is what you get when you attend a smaller school like Eastern," Tracy said. "I know the generous opportunities I've taken advantage of at ENMU will give me an edge when I'm competing with other new graduates for positions."
Tracy definitely has taken advantage of the opportunities as she works as an intern in the Office of Communication Services, is the workstudy supervisor at Services for Students with Disabilities; she was the founder and president for the Students of Public Relations club, and was a movie critic and graphic designer for The Chase, Eastern's student newspaper.
Tracy believes that the quality of the professors at Eastern have contributed to her success. "The professors in the communication program have kept me going and always make sure I am on track; I really feel like the professors are preparing us for our careers. I think the overall personal touch at Eastern really complements the high quality education and student success that you receive here."
Tracy's husband, Toby, is also an ENMU student. They met while Tracy was attending Tucumcari High School, and following his time in the U.S. Air Force. He asked Tracy to marry him, and decided to major in computer science Eastern.
When Tracy graduates, she is going to attend graduate school at Eastern. "I am staying because of my great experience here. I feel Graduate School will be the same rewarding experience I have had as an undergraduate."
Tracy plans to get her master's in communication and pursue a career in event coordinating. While her career will keep her busy during the day she would like to teach introductory communication classes at night at a nearby community college. She says she would love to be able to come back to Eastern and use her degree as a professional, continuing the tradition of excellence that continues to draw new classes of students at ENMU.
(left photo by Britt Hochhausler; right by Ronnie Birdsong)
Branching out into summer internships (photo by Richard Salas)