Meet our Amazing Staff

The majority of the work of CESOSS is carried out through volunteer-driven efforts that includes our director, board members, our Leadership Institute interns, and the larger community.  We are proud to say that we are a community-driven and community-supported organization. We are striving to think of creative ways of building our resources so that we can one day secure full-time staff.

Dr. Virginia Necochea, Executive Director

"I've had the honor of serving as the Executive Director of CESOSS since 2013 and it has been one of the most important roles I've had.  My primary work is in the field of education and to me, there is nothing more powerful than to use education as a tool for transformation and empowerment. Throughout my life, my abuelitos and mentors taught me the importance of the land and of water.  When it is said that water is sacred, it is not just a saying. This is a statement reflecting a deep-rooted philosophy connected to land and water based traditions and that is what I keep at the forefront in the work that I do."

 

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Dr. Virginia Necochea has been working in the field of education for over 15 years.  She began her formal teaching career in Oakland, CA and has continued to work with youth and young adults in the formal classroom setting and through community work.  Dr. Necochea completed her doctoral program at the University of New Mexico's Educational Thought and Sociocultural Studies (ETSS) Program.  Her main research areas include analyzing the structural foundations of race as it relates to the educational system, educational programs and research as tools for transformation, and critical teacher education.  She is the proud mother of 3 beautiful daughters and a wonderful son who provide her with the hope that transformation is possible.

Stefany Olivas, Program Assistant/Fundraising/Education and Outreach

Stefany Olivas is a Chicana Chicano Studies and Biology major at UNM. She is a foodie, community organizer, and gardener. Originally from Bernalillo, NM, she has been working for six years with the SouthWest Organizing Project's food justice initiative, Project Feed the Hood. Over time she has built relationships with and learned from thousands of youth, elders, educators, farmers, policy makers, and other community organizers throughout the city and state. Stefany is currently a Team Lead and Project Assistant with CESOSS and has been connected with the CESOSS Leadership Institute for over two years.

Laramie Sorensen, Program Assistant/Communications/Education and Outreach

Laramie Sorensen, is a student of Environmental Planning and Design. As a former water treatment operator, the use and protection over our water is a passionate subject of his. He desires to continue learning and developing his skills and knowledge to help influence sustainable community development. He is from the Four Corners area of Northern New Mexico and a member of the Navajo Nation. Laramie intends to work to protect water and the environment everywhere.

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