In this cabinet-level position, Manzanares-Gonzales will oversee all academic programs and faculty, as well as library services, the registrar and all academic-support functions on campus.
With 21 years of experience in higher education, Manzaneres-Gonzales has developed a range of skills and insights as a professor and administrator. She has worked with multiple constituencies, led two institutions through the rigorous reaccreditation process and implemented new academic programs.
"We are fortunate and delighted to have Dr. Manzanares-Gonzales join us as Western's new provost. I greatly look forward to working with her as part of Western's leadership team,” remarked WSC President Jay Helman.
Most recently, Manzanares-Gonzales has served as a professor and dean of the School of Education at Western New Mexico University, where she was responsible for 12 undergraduate and seven graduate programs across multiple campuses for more than six years.
Manzanares-Gonzales began her full-time career in higher education in 1994 at New Mexico Highlands University as an assistant and associate professor of educational leadership. She also held various administrative roles at NMHU, including director of Educational Outreach Services, director of Continuing and Professional Education and Community Programs and graduate coordinator for the School of Education and Educational Leadership Program. While at NMHU, Manzanares-Gonzales started the Distance Education Program and expanded the university’s instructional programming to school districts and community colleges, as well as state and non-profit agencies.
In addition, Manzanares-Gonzales is a member of a number of professional organizations, where she has served on advisory boards and held leadership positions. She was recently named as a member of a high profile national commission, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, to raise standards for teacher preparation across the nation. CAEP is the new accrediting body being formed through the unification of two organizations charged with assuring quality in educator preparation – the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. Furthermore, Manzanares-Gonzales is the president of the Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities for 2012-13.
Manzanares-Gonzales also has provided consulting services to local, national and international education organizations, including an appointment by New Mexico Gov. Richardson to the Hispanic Education Advisory Panel for the Public Education Department. She also was the higher education commissioner from 2008-10 for the New Mexico/Chihuahua, Mexico Governor’s Bi-National Summit- International Collaborative with Mexico.
As a research scholar, Manzanares-Gonzales has published articles and presented nationally and internationally at conferences and forums on educational leadership, diversity issues and accreditation. Her current research focuses on international exchange and academic programs between neighboring countries.
Manzanares-Gonzales holds three degrees from NMHU: B.A. in elementary education with a minor in geology; M.A. in elementary education – reading emphasis; and M.A. in educational administration. She also earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.
“I am extremely excited to be affiliated with Western – a wonderful, progressive institution that’s committed to serving students, the Gunnison community, western Colorado and beyond,” noted Manzanares-Gonzales. “I’m particularly pleased that I will be working with people who are interested in advancing the mission of Western.”