Executive Director

Dr. Kate O’Neill has been the UNM-Taos Executive Director since 2006. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Tufts University (1981) as well as a master’s and doctoral degree in education from Harvard University (1990; 1997). She has been a teacher, program chair and academy head at UNM-Taos. Dr. O’Neill maintained a private counseling practice in Taos (1994-2006) in addition to consulting for many human services agencies and non-profits. Prior to that she was a graphic designer in Boston for a wide variety of publications (1980-1993). A tenured Associate Professor of Psychology, her academic interests focus on socio-cultural psychology, mindfulness, and creativity, with a special emphasis on community college education. For recreation she reads widely, plays steel string guitar, writes poetry and  fly fishes the Cimarron River every chance she gets. Click here to view her curriculum vitae.

The rich and varied landscape of Northern New Mexico has long held a special place in my heart. My grandparents, on both sides, were Irish immigrants, and I grew up in a small artist’s community---New Hope, Pennsylvania---very much like Taos. In many ways my personal biography resonates quite naturally with the Taos region. 

With its hundreds of years of Native American, Hispanic and European history, combined with a legacy of cultural, ethnic and intellectual cross-pollination, it’s no surprise that Taos has attracted creative souls throughout time; it speaks to the heart of what makes us most human.

 Today UNM-Taos is an incredible mix of creativity, curiosity and caring. Our college combines the friendliness of a rural community with cutting-edge educational opportunities geared to the workforce needs of tomorrow. Our faculty is extraordinary. Fully 62% have advanced degrees---far more than you would expect even at most state universities. Our campus is completely powered by the largest solar array in the state. In 2010 Community College Week designated us as one of the top 25 community colleges of our size in the nation for growth. Combine these facts with the enthusiasm and personal attention that teachers bring to the classroom and you have a blueprint for academic, vocational and personal success. Finally, our students are 17 to 85 years old, 54 percent Hispanic and 7 percent Native American. A large percentage are first generation college students. All of them benefit from small class sizes and hands-on learning with passionate, experienced practitioner-educators. 

Unique, determined individuals sharing academic and life experiences in a great creative and natural setting---that’s the UNM-Taos model. We hope you will find a way to make it work for you.

Kate O’Neill