Most will recognize Deanna Kincheloe Delgado, who graduated with a bachelor's in biology with an emphasis in pre-medicine from Eastern New Mexico University in May 2017, from a slew of tagged pictures on Facebook surrounded by her Chi Omega sisters.
"I believe the work that student affairs professionals do is critical for college students," she explained.
"There are so many opportunities available to students through their university. The more they take advantage of those opportunities, the better their overall learning will be."
Having a big heart for the college-aged demographic, Deanna decided to pursue a career in student affairs in higher education because of her extracurricular experience at ENMU.
"If you ask high school Deanna why I chose ENMU, it is vastly different than why I would choose ENMU now; it had a good biology program, and it was close enough to my hometown (Albuquerque, New Mexico) but far enough that I could be independent," she said.
"I spent a lot of time around medicine growing up [as both my aunt and mother are nurses], and I was naturally good at math and science, so it made sense to pursue a career in medicine," explained Deanna, who considered extracurricular activities to be her "second major."
While she was a student at ENMU, Deanna was a member of Chi Omega where she served as a new member educator and chapter president. She was a member of the Caduceus Health Society and served as the treasurer, secretary and vice president, and volunteered in the physiology lab.
She played intramurals and was on the volleyball team for two and half years, was the Student Athlete Advisory Committee representative and was a Student Senator for the 50th Student Senate.
She was awarded "Outstanding Member of Chi Omega" in 2015, "Symphony Sister" in 2016 and "Outstanding Senior" of 2017 for her involvement in Chi Omega. She was also first runner-up for homecoming queen and initiated into the Rho Lambda Honor Sorority.
Deanna was selected as one of the 12 collegiate Chi Omegas from across the country to attend the prestigious Nancy Walton Laurie Leadership Institute of Chi Omega in 2017 for a session on resilient leadership.
Considering her background in student affairs, she couldn't see herself pursuing a career in medicine [although she loved it] because she greatly admired the administrators at ENMU and her involvement in every opportunity the University had to offer.
After graduation, she applied for a few positions in the student affairs division of higher education.
Now, Deanna is the student activities coordinator at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She applied for the position in mid-July after graduating, and within two weeks she received an offer, accepted and made the 1,000-mile move to Louisiana from New Mexico.
"Landing my current position is a huge personal achievement. I am the only administrator in my department that does not yet hold a master's degree, and my experience and involvement in college helped qualify me for my current position," she said. "I am younger than all of the graduate assistants in my department, and it is pretty surreal to hold this position at my current age."
Deanna works in the Student Union and Activities Office is responsible for planning events centered on the department's motto "E3 of Enhancing Education through Engagement" for the student body. She is required to attend several conferences to advance her knowledge of student affairs.
She oversees an office of student employees and a graduate assistant who assist her in planning events within three pillars of leadership, multicultural and entertainment.
Her office collaborates on large initiatives and events like the extended freshman orientation called Cowboy Camp, the Homecoming Parade, Pep Rallies and the Annual Spring Crawfish Boil. Deanna also co-advises the Panhellenic Council and works with the Greek Life coordinator and multicultural coordinator to advise the Greek community.
For her position, she created and presented on hazing prevention for the new members of the Greek Life community. Deanna was selected to present to over 300 students, which is the biggest group she had ever spoken to yet. The governor of Louisiana began pushing for hazing prevention initiatives because of the loss of a college student in Louisiana last year.
"I most enjoy the interaction I have with the students at McNeese. I get to see how my work directly impacts their college experience. I mentor students and help them achieve their goals," Deanna said.
As a result of her involvement at ENMU, she felt prepared for everything at McNeese. Being involved on campus helped her to develop organizational skills, time management, resilience, leadership skills, public speaking skills, interpersonal communication and helped her to learn about the structure of higher education institutions.
"Through my involvement, I met some of the most influential and authentic people. [I found the best support system in Chi Omega]. I met bridesmaids, best friends and made life-long bonds and memories."
In Deanna's most humble opinion, "Eastern is the best university in New Mexico" because it seems like Portales is a simple farming town, but it is much more than that.
She says that Portales has character and Eastern has some of the best people you will come across in life. "That is coming from someone from a big city," said Deanna.
"Don't go home [for the weekend], you will miss so many experiences, so go to the edge of your comfort zone. Just go. Go to the ASAB events, go Greek, go to the athletic games and the parties. Go meet the people who you want next to you at your wedding."
This coming fall, Deanna will begin her master's degree in student affairs in higher education, and she will be continuing with her current position, as well. She is interested in leadership development and Greek Life, but she is excited to see which portions of student affairs she will work in throughout her career.