Kimberly Blea

Institute Co-chair, Small Colleges and Universities Division

Dean of Students
New Mexico Highlands University

Kimberly J. Blea, Ed.D, is the Dean of Students (SSAO) at New Mexico Highlands University, a regional public comprehensive Hispanic-serving institution. Blea has worked in academic and student affairs throughout her higher education experience, and most notably developed NMHU’s advocacy program (CARES) from inception after being funded through the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women Campus Grant in 2009. Currently, she oversees housing and student conduct, career services, campus life, CARES, student relations, outdoor recreation, campus radio station, Ilfeld Auditorium, student union, natatorium, fitness center, compliance/Title IX, student medical and behavioral health services, food service operations, and the campus bookstore. Blea has additional experience in administering federal, state, and private grants in which the focus has been on prevention education and service to vulnerable populations. Dr. Blea has a long-standing commitment to social justice and making the lives of students better by working to make systems, policies, and programs more equitable. She currently serves on many social service community boards and is extremely dedicated to increasing the overall health of the community and state in which she lives in. She earned a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in Public Affairs from Highlands, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of New Mexico. Her dissertation research focused on the experiences of senior student affairs officers at small colleges and universities as they implemented federal campus safety mandates. Dr. Blea is active in NASPA, specifically the Small Colleges and Universities Division, for which she currently serves on the advisory board and is the region IV-West representative