Southern Area Health Education Center Staff and Roles 


Angelee “Gigi” Shamaley, Ph.D., SoAHEC Director

Dr. Shamaley served as Interim Director starting October 2014 and became the official director in January 2015. She currently directs the activities of the center, manages senior administrative functions, and supports the organization’s strategic alliances and partnerships. She is also responsible for ensuring that the organization meets its performance goals. She will work closely with the Senior Advisor to sustain and grow programs and services through partnerships and grant writing. Her focus is on forming and maintaining relations with the public, key stakeholders, and state partners, as well as continuing and strengthening the liaison with NMSU faculty and staff within and across colleges.


Alma Gross, MPH, CHES, Health Programs Coordinator

Ms. Gross is from the El Paso/Las Cruces area and received a Master’s of Public Health in Community Health Education from NMSU.  She focuses on educating communities on healthy behaviors to prevent and manage illnesses and promote optimal health.  She provides direction, organization, and management of SoAHEC programs, including Stanford University’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Program and the Alzheimer’s  Association’s Cuidando con Respeto.  She serves as a lead trainer and liaison to community health workers and promoters, and assists with mandatory reporting to external funders.  Alma is committed to giving the Southern New Mexico community the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to be healthy.


Gena L. Trujillo, BCJ, Office Manager

Mrs. Trujillo became the Office Manager for the SoAHEC office in January 2015.  She has her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Business Management.  She is currently working on her Master’s degree in CJ.  She is a native of Las Cruces, NM and has been employed with NMSU for over 13 years.  She will be responsible for all administrative functions and will assist with health promotion activities as necessary.


Krysta Montez, BPH – Health Education Specialist

Ms. Montez began her involvement with the Southern Area Health Education Center as an intern in August of 2014.  During her time as an intern, she worked on developing and presenting the Health Careers Program.  This Program serves to educate young middle and high school students in the Southern New Mexico Region on the multitude of Health Careers that are available and the importance of the health field.  Starting January 2015, she joined the staff as a Health Educator.  She will be graduating in May with her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health and a Minor in Anthropology.


Joe Tomaka, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and Senior Advisor to SoAHEC 

Dr. Tomaka became Senior Advisor to SoAHEC in the spring of 2014. From October 2014 to January 2015, he led a major reorganization and re-staffing of the SoAHEC office. He currently oversees fiscal and personnel matters, as well as provides strategic planning and direction to the office. His vision for SoAHEC is as an organization that not only provides essential health promotion, education, and services to the region, as it does now, but also an organization that seeks to become a major NMSU center for health-related community outreach and engagement.



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