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Melissa Sena
Melissa says she enjoys working at ENMU because she gets "to meet so many people and learn about them and their culture. I really enjoy working with the students, helping them and learning about them also."

Melissa Sena alternates between two jobs at Eastern New Mexico University: library technician for the Golden Library and senior secretary for Alumni Affairs.

melissa with daughters and granddaughters
Melissa with her daughters and granddaughters.

In the former, she handles interlibrary loans, which includes borrowing books and articles for students and faculty from other libraries for up to three weeks. The Golden Library returns the favor to other libraries.

"One of the things I enjoy most about working at the library is knowing how to access information anyone may need through books, journals and databases," Melissa said.

In addition to day-to-day responsibilities, her Alumni Affairs job includes assisting with keeping alumni connected with several events throughout the year.

One event she helps with is the Homecoming Parade. Melissa obtains city and state permits, then asks ENMU organizations and city groups to participate.

Her office also handles the graduate reception in the fall and spring after each commencement ceremony. She orders food for the reception, makes sure tables and chairs are set up and helps serve.

Melissa helps with the Alumni Scholarship Golf Tournament in Albuquerque to raise money for scholarships for children of alumni each July. She also arranges food for the reception at the Tamaya Resort on the Santa Ana Pueblo.

"In the Alumni Office I really enjoy putting on the events. I like making all the plans—ordering, food, venue and meetings," Melissa said.

She worked for Roosevelt County Insurance in Portales from 1991-93, then worked for Northern Insurance in Las Vegas, Albuquerque and Santa Fe. She moved back to Portales in 2007 and started working at ENMU in 2009.

Melissa is also pursuing a degree by taking basic classes, and ones in psychology and sociology.

"Criminal justice interests me because I want to see how the justice system works. I also want to learn about all the different laws that we have," she said, adding that her favorite crime show is "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit."

Born and raised in Portales, Melissa said, "I like it here. It's not too big of a town and that makes it easier to know people. I like the way the community pulls together in times of need.

"I have experienced this in my own family when my granddaughter got leukemia — twice. We had raffles, car washes and the community helped out greatly even though I had moved away for 15 years."

Melissa’s son and one of her daughters.
Melissa’s son and one of her daughters.

Melissa says she enjoys working at ENMU because she gets "to meet so many people and learn about them and their culture. I really enjoy working with the students, helping them and learning about them also. Sometimes, you get attached to the students."

A Portales High School graduate, Melissa "didn't do sports," but was involved in Distributive Education Clubs of America.

When she moved back to Portales in 2007, there were not too many insurance agencies in town. She went to work with Farm Bureau, but, after about a year, business slowed down. She started applying with Eastern and successfully landed the job at Golden Library.

Her fantasy career goal is to be a translator in a court. She is fluent in Spanish, but says she still has a lot to learn.

Melissa's main hobby is reading, but taking classes makes it hard to find time. Her favorite author is Danielle Steele.

Melissa says her "happiest moments were when my granddaughters were born, and when my oldest granddaughter went into remission from leukemia. It has been three years now.

"My saddest moments were when my parents and my sister passed away."

Melissa, born and raised in Portales, is the youngest of three, with two older sisters. Her father was a farmer and her mother was a custodian at ENMU.

Her three children are Amanda, Chantel and Mario. Her granddaughters are Jaelyn, Jalyse, Jarynn and Zoey.

"I want to be able to retire and still enjoy life," Melissa said.

Something she lives by is that, "I think you need to respect other people and their feelings and opinions."