• Feb 27, 2013
  • alliedow

We had many qualified applicants for the Class of 2013 and are thrilled to announce the list of class members who will commence training on April 6th:

Angelica Rubio-

Angelica Rubio was raised by immigrant parents in the same community she now serves as an Activist and Community Organizer. Angelica’s commitment to collective impact, civic engagement and immigrant rights advocacy has been key to her success and that of her own community in Roswell and south valley of Chaves county over the last two years. Ms. Rubio returned to southeastern New Mexico after receiving degrees from New Mexico State University’s Government Department and a Graduate degree from California State University in Los Angeles.

Ann Barudin-

Ann Barudin is from Kewa Pueblo, New Mexico. She enjoys campaigning for democratic candidates, especially organizing and recruiting new volunteers and registering and educating potential voters. She is a current Board Member serving on the Native American Voter’s Alliance. She is a graduate of the Institute of the American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM and the University of New Mexico. Ann is the Office Manager of Barudin Law Firm, Albuquerque, NM, a plaintiff’s only law firm focusing primarily on personal injury matters. She is married to Ted Barudin and has three daughters and five grandchildren who will become registered democrats once they reach voting age.

Carmen Lopez-

Carmen López was born and raised in northern New Mexico. She champions public schools and is committed to the success of children. She credits her grandfather, Carlos Lopez, for teaching her and generations of other children that education can support students in ways that honor their cultural and linguistic diversity and prepare them to participate in rigorous college experiences and meaningful careers. After high school Carmen left home to attend undergraduate school at Mt. Holyoke College and to complete a Master in Public Policy with a focus in education at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Her experience working in the education field-in schools and the local, state and federal levels has shown her the importance of more closely connecting the needs of students, families and teachers with the intentions of the elected leaders that make critical decisions about education. Carmen is an active board member and volunteer in education-focused, non-profits that work in northern New Mexico. She currently works for a progressive non-profit organization.

Caroline Bass-

I grew up in a lower middle-class home; my mother was a secretary and my father was a welder. He had only an eighth grade education. That said, my parents encouraged me to obtain a good education, and made sure that I had music lessons and other activities. My undergraduate degree is in psychology. I finished in three years and attended a year of graduate school in psychology. In my twenties I served as president of our local chapter of the National Organization for Women. I was working as a clerk midnights in the freight yard of a railroad when at the age of thirty-one I decided to go to law school. I obtained a full tuition scholarship. During law school I was president of the Women’s Law Caucus. While in law school, I began serving on the board of the local domestic violence shelter, a position I held for a number of years. Currently I volunteer for our alternative dispute resolution program that assists litigants who represent themselves to resolve their family law issues. I believe I am uniquely qualified to seek appointment and election for the family law judicial position opening in our jurisdiction.

Cholla Khoury-

P. Cholla Khoury was born outside of Seattle Washington but considers New Mexico her home.  Attending Moriarty High School, Cholla became aware of the various cultural and diverse influences on the political landscape of New Mexico.  Thanks to the Moriarty We the People program, her passion for civic education and politics was ignited.  She attended Briar Cliff University in Sioux City Iowa where she majored in Political Science and founded the Briar Cliff chapter of College Democrats.  Cholla attended law school at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.  She returned to New Mexico in 2010 to start a career in public service at the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.   She believes that “because we’ve always done it that way” is not an excuse for refusing to make things better.

Courtney Weaks-


Courtney Weaks is a native New Mexican and was born in raised in Albuquerque. After graduating from the Albuquerque Academy in 2000, she moved to Lawrence, KS and graduated from the University of Kansas in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature. Courtney returned to her native State of New Mexico to attend the University Of New Mexico School Of Law where she obtained her J.D. in 2007. Courtney began her legal career as a prosecutor in Bernalillo County where she mainly concentrated on the prosecution of DWI offenses including great bodily injury and vehicular homicide cases. She opened her own law firm in 2009 focusing her practice on criminal defense work. In 2012, Courtney permanently joined the firm of Collins & Collins P.C. where she practices both domestic relations law as well as criminal defense. Courtney is married to her fellow attorney Jason Weaks. They live in the North Valley with their two dogs Oscar and Zeus.

Dell Washington-

Delegate to 2012 NM Pre-Primary Nominating Democratic Convention
Community Service Delegate to 2008 Denver Convention
Hopewell Township, NJ Democratic Chairman
Board member:
Valencia Literacy Council
Princeton YWCA

Diale Fomukong-

I am part of the National Society of Black Engineers that encourages African-Americans to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. I seve in the Developemnt and Outreach Team at Rio Rancho Presbyuterian Church whereby we participate in Sunday is Funday at the Rio Rancho High School to advertise the church. We also participate in Trade Shows organized by the Chamber of Commerce. I am currently attending the Leadership Sandoval County class of 2013 organized by the Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce. I have served as a Public Member with the New Mexico Board of Nursing, appointed by the Governor from June 2009 to April 2011.

Elizabeth Bardwell-

Beth Bardwell lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico on the Rio Grande with her husband and two daughters. Beth has a Masters of Science in Biology from New Mexico State University (1999) and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oregon School of Law (1987). Her legal practice included labor law, Indian law, and criminal law, including work for the Navajo Nation and the City of Flagstaff, Arizona. After seven years practicing law, she fell in love with birding and returned to school to study biology. While at NMSU, Beth completed her Masters’ research on the adaptive significance of bill shape in Western Scrub Jays. Since receiving her Masters, Beth has been working to conserve freshwater and rivers within New Mexico and the Rio Grande basin through on-the-ground restoration and water policy reform at the local, state and federal level. In cooperation with the Elephant Butte Irrigation District, she spearheaded New Mexico’s first public-private partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to develop and implement a cooperative, market-based environmental water transaction program on the Rio Grande in Southern New Mexico. The objective of the water transaction program is to acquire water rights from willing sellers to benefit riparian habitat at 30 sites totaling over 500 acres by 2019. Prior to her current position at Audubon, Beth was a Program Officer for the Chihuahuan Desert Program of the World Wildlife Fund.

Genevieve Mitchell-

I am the oldest daughter in a family of five children.  I was the oldest sister of four brothers.  After I married I had four sons.  I am a member of two very extended families.  My sibling and fathers family as well as and my husbands extended family. I attended high school in Albuquerque, NM.  I left and attended New Mexico State University, attended graduate school at the Lyndon B. School of Public Affairs and did post graduate work in Herbology, Naturopathy and Homeopathy. I had a private wellness practice for five years, and recently moved to Albuquerque to be closer to my 80 year old father.  I am now looking for employment in the non profit sector, while i continue my health practice.

Jennifer Burrill-

I am a member of the Supreme Court Rules of Evidence Committee, a board member for the Hartley House (the local domestic violence shelter), and vice chairman of the local Democratic county party. It has always been important for me to be involved in my community. I make every effort to make sure I do what I can to be the catalyst for postive change.

Joanne Ferrary-

Joanne Ferrary is formerly the DWI Program Director for NMDOT, Traffic Safety Bureau (1990-96) and was instrumental in setting up the checkpoint and community DWI programs across the state. She continued her passion after leaving NMDOT through volunteer work with MADD (1998-2005). She fulfilled a two year project with Latino Council for Alcohol and Tobacco for Hispanic Outreach in Southern NM. She helped establish the Underage Drinking Prevention Coalition that includes Doña Ana County groups collaborating to promote DWI and Underage Drinking Prevention policies. She was a board member of Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition 2003-2006 and was the Area Coordinator for DWI Resource Center for the NM Six County Project for three years. Since 2005 she has been a member of the newly formed Mesilla Valley DWI Resource Center, coordinating events, assisting victims and administering the Victim Impact Panels, held monthly and other projects for DWI and Underage Drinking Prevention. She was a Board Member of the DAC Action For Youth Program. She also has been a volunteer since 1997 with Make-A-Wish Foundation of NM as a Board Member for ’87-2001, Wish Grantor ’98 to present and also supported fundraising events in the Las Cruces area. Since adopting her boxer in 2009, she has fostered and facilitated the adoption of many others through the Las Cruces group of Albuq. Boxer Rescue. She ran for NM State Representative for District 37 in the 2012 election and won, tied and then lost in a recount, her bid for the position in a very close race with the incumbent. Her desire to support community improvements through the legislative policy change is being fulfilled through lobbying efforts for CAFe, Community Action and Faith.

Latifah Phillips-

Ms. Phillips began her professional career working at the California Trade Office in Mexico City, Mexico, before transitioning to the field of education where she has spent the last 12 years.  She taught English in Japanese public schools for three years and continued to teach in the United States for an additional four years.  Her first US teaching assignment was in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, where she taught 8th grade reading before becoming the reading department head.  While in Texas, Ms. Phillips earned a Master of Education at the University of Texas, Pan American, and later earned her second master’s degree in International Education Development from Teachers College, Columbia University.  In New York City, Ms. Phillips continued her career in education as the Director of Assessment for the Mercy College New Teacher Residency Program.  Most recently, Ms. Phillips worked at The School District of Philadelphia as the Executive Director of Non-instructional Professional Development and Performance Management. As a first generation college graduate, Ms. Phillips believes that education is one of the greatest equalizing factors in society.  She is driven by a personal mission of helping to create educational opportunities for all children which will enable them to successfully explore and pursue their life options.  She is honored to serve the children and families of Santa Fe.

Marg Elliston-

I recently managed the re-election office for President Obama in Rio Rancho, NM. As a result of our successful efforts, a number of people have asked me to run for County Democratic Party Chair because they could see that I am able to bring a diverse group of people together to achieve a common goal. I am now pursuing the race for County Chair and feel that my years of experience in campaigns, public policy development and administration provide a solid foundation for this effort. I have been an active participant in the political process at the precinct, county and state level since college. I joined the “women’s movement” in the 70’s working to improve state support for child care so that women could be full participants in the work force. I lobbied for the first increase in state funding for child care in 1978 at the New Mexico state legislature. I joined and trained many moms to join me in advocating for better programs for young children and their families. I was part of the team with the late Patty Jennings and Polly Arango who developed important programs for children with disabilities. I developed strategies and designed programs as an advocate and then a manager of several small non-profit agencies. In 1983, I joined state government, serving in Governor Toney Anaya’s Office of Children and Youth. I went back in to state Government, managing the Child and Adolescent Service System Project for Children’s Mental Health and became part of the Children, Youth and Families Department when it was created. Long an advocate for electing women, I have contribute to, worked for, knocked on doors, phone-banked, cheered, cried and commiserated with women candidates and office holders. I worked in campaigns of women running for State Senate, managing Janice Paster’s first effort and helping Danice Picraux in her first win for the NM House of Representatives I served on the Board of Las Adelitas, a precursor to Emerge.
I have been a precinct chair, a delegate to the Atlanta Democratic National Convention and accompanied my husband to many other national conventions. I’m a voter registrar and even registered voters in the Bernallo County Jail (MDC). I’ve served on many community Boards and now Chair the Board of the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty.
The Democratic Party has been my home since my father took me to meet Estes Kefauver in 1952.(I was young then.) I’ve been privileged to meet many Democratic luminaries since that time. I continue to be committed to increasing the number of women in elective office. I have been happy being a worker and advocate. Now it is time to step up to the challenge of running myself. I need Emerge’s help and training for this new role.

Mariaelena Johnson-

Mariaelena spent her early childhood in El Paso, Texas until moving to Chaparral, NM with her parents where she was raised.  She later focused her organizing efforts in the South Valley concentrating on immigration rights and policy reform.  Mariaelena has successfully collaborated with state wide organizations and other CAFe community leaders in organizing multiple actions, lobbying efforts, and engaging youth in civic participation.  She is currently pursuing her degree in political science.  She enjoys volunteering for the betterment of our community and supports the protection of our natural environment.  Mariaelena is a part of the NMSU community, where she lives with her husband, Mark, and son, Hudson.

Marie Julienne-

As a professional educator, I have forged lasting alliances and partnerships with agents aligned with the values of Emerge.  Recently, I had the opportunity to intern with the UNM Center for Education Policy and Research (CEPR).  This experience provided me an outlet to share my passion and interest in supporting policy formulation, as well as molded me professionally into a policy entrepreneur.

Pam Cordova-

My name is Pamela M. Cordova, and most refer to me as Pam. I am a native New Mexican and was born and raised in Belen, NM. I graduated from Belen High School in 1975 and pursued my education that fall at the University of New Mexico. It was my sophomore year when I transfered to Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM and finished with a BS in Education. I majored in English and Social Studies and graduated in 1979. I taught high school for ten years and moved to the parks and recreation field where I managed Los Padillas Community Center in Albuquerque, NM. In 1997 I decided to return to education and finished my career in Belen, my hometown. During the years of my employment I acquired 45+ graduate hours from UNM, ENMU, and WNMU. I earned an MA Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix in 1997. Two positions that I am proud to currently hold in a volunteer position are President of the Democratic Women Valencia County and Communications Dircector Democratic Party Valencia County. I was also the Organizing for America Neighborhood Team Leader 2012 Election. I enjoy politics, swimming, gardening, reading, and traveling.

Patricia Galindo-

Patricia M. Galindo is a native New Mexican.  Ms. Galindo attended New Mexico State University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Government (Political Science).  While receiving her undergraduate degree, Ms. Galindo was an intern with U.S. Senator Pete Domenici’s office.  She was also selected to participate in the prestigious Governor’s Fellowship Program under then Governor Bruce King.  Ms. Galindo received her Juris Doctor at the University of New Mexico School of Law and has been licensed to practice law in the state of New Mexico for almost 16 years. Ms. Galindo is a former prosecutor for the First Judicial District Attorney’s office where she appeared in Magistrate and District Courts in Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties.  Ms. Galindo was also a prosecutor for the Second Judicial District Attorney’s office, practicing in both Metropolitan and District Court in Bernalillo County.  As a prosecutor, Ms. Galindo primarily handled domestic violence cases.  Ms. Galindo has served as lead counsel on numerous bench and jury trials throughout New Mexico.  Ms. Galindo also previously worked with the Albuquerque City Council as a Policy Analyst for over five years. Ms. Galindo is fluent in Spanish and volunteers her time for several community outreach legal clinics sponsored by the State Bar of New Mexico.  Ms. Galindo has spoken at seminars and conferences on the dynamics of family relationships and estate planning issues.  She is also trained in family law mediation. Ms. Galindo has been a member of the State Bar of New Mexico’s Committee on Women and the Legal Profession for ten years, previously serving as co-chair for four years.  She is also a member of the Albuquerque Bar Association and the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association.  Ms. Galindo is also a member of the State Bar of New Mexico’s Elder Law, Real Property/Trust/Estate and Trial Practice sections. Ms. Galindo currently practices in the area of adult Guardianship and Conservatorship matters, probates, and estate litigation.  She recognizes the importance of acknowledging the special family dynamics involved with these types of cases.  Ms. Galindo is a strong proponent of assisting her clients successfully mediate or resolve contested matters which ultimately helps preserve the delicate balance of the family structure.  Ms. Galindo also utilizes her prior prosecutorial experience at trial and is a dynamic litigator and advocate for her clients.  Ms. Galindo is listed as a Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of Litigation (Trusts & Estates) and Trusts and Estates.

Shiloh Taylor-

Shiloh Taylor grew up in WY, but fell in love with New Mexico 15 years ago and since then, made it her beloved home.  She attended the University of New Mexico and has owned 3 different small businesses in the Albuquerque area.  Starting off in the family business 15 years ago, she was vice president of a family owned construction company.  She then opened 2 other small businesses, one specializing in business services, bookkeeping, accounting and HR, along with a short adventure featuring an online retail business. After feeling the call of politics, Shiloh took turn from business and took a position as a Congressional Aide.  Currently, Shiloh is a government liaison and budget analyst for the US House of Representatives, a mother of three wonderful kids and a happy cat owner.  It’s an honor for Shiloh to be chosen for the 2013 Emerge class and is a fitting stepping for someone with big dreams of making a difference in the lives of many.

Sylvia LaMar-

Judge Sylvia LaMar, a life long Democrat, was appointed to the bench in December 2012.  She presides over one of the two Family Law Dockets for Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos Counties and hears cases of domestic violence, custody, grandparents’ rights, and divorce, as well as a small portion of the civil and criminal dockets.  Judge LaMar is committed to ensuring that the First District Court makes a positive impact on the families, and particularly the children, of Northern New Mexico. Judge LaMar received her B.F.A. from New York College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1978.  Following graduation, she worked at, and then directed, a 24-hour Crisis Center and a Safehouse for Battered Families in upstate New York.  In 1980, she entered Law School at American University, graduating in 1983 after spending her third year as a Visiting Student at the University of New Mexico School of Law. Prior to assuming the bench, Judge LaMar practiced law in the First Judicial District for nearly 30 years.  Her private practice focused on the needs of children and families. As a lawyer, Judge LaMar was active in providing pro bono (free) legal assistance to those who could not afford attorneys.  She was instrumental in creating “Resolution Day,” a program that since 2007 has been providing legal assistance to pro se Family Court litigants. Judge LaMar is married, and has two children and two young grandchildren, all of whom reside in Santa Fe and enjoy the weekly family dinners she prepares.

Virginia Perez-Ortega-

Virginia Pérez-Ortega is the Domestic Violence Prevention Director at Enlace Comunitario, an organization working in Central New Mexico to eliminate domestic violence in the Latino immigrant community and to promote healthy families. In addition, as an independent contractor she conducts outreach to Spanish speaking immigrant communities to enhance access to services for victims of sexual assault. She also coordinates all programmatic aspects of NMCADV LEP Project grant addressing language access issues in the state. Virginia’s prior work includes her position as a Victims’ Rights Advocate at the New Mexico Victims’ Rights Project and her role as Project Coordinator with the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She coordinated and managed all aspects of a community engagement, New Mexico Rural Promotora Project; at this position, she was also responsible for building capacity of several service providers in New Mexico to effectively prevent and respond to violence against women in ways uniquely suited to the physical and socio-cultural environments of the state. Her work also consisted of the coordination and development of a statewide culturally and linguistically relevant Domestic Violence public awareness Cambia El Estatus campaign.
Ms. Perez-Ortega is an immigrant from Mexico. She holds an AA on Human Resources Administration and an AA on Business Graphics and Communications degrees. She has been involved in leadership development for adult students in New Mexico Adult Basic Education. Throughout the years she has developed a passion to advocate on behalf of immigrants’ victims of domestic violence.

Congratulations and welcome to the Emerge sisterhood!