Student Speakers

aaron andersonAaron Kelly Anderson, Ph.D.

The Graduate Student’s Story Arc

Almost from the time he could hold a crayon, Aaron Kelly Anderson has been fascinated by the art and science of story. After studying creative writing for his Bachelor’s degree and English literature for his Master’s, both of them here at UNM, a graduate advisor alerted Aaron to the existence of the Organization, Information & Learning Sciences program. By the time he began at OILS in Fall 2013, Aaron was already entrenched in how omnipresent storytelling is in various fields: psychology, design, statistics, visual art, and even natural sciences like physics and astronomy. Throughout his doctoral studies in OILS, Aaron has specialized in storytelling as a learning dynamic, especially in terms of how it drives humanity.

Aaron has worked as a graduate student instructor in OILS and English and as a student employee at Accessibility Resource Center for several years. He has also served as the Vice President for the OILS Student Alliance over the past academic year. Most of all, he is incredibly grateful for the immense support and guidance he has received from family, friends, educators, and colleagues throughout his life—all of whom cheered him forward to this spot.


photo of chrisChristopher Larrañaga

Stand Out

Christopher (Chris) has nearly two decades of educating and advising adults in various fields and degrees. Finding his niche in working with students came about unexpectedly when he was offered a position in the College of Education as a Senior Academic Advisor. He found that he loved watching students grow, learning skills to complete their degrees efficiently and effectively, all while applying new knowledge to their personal lives. In 2015, Chris found the perfect job in the Organization, Information and Learning Sciences (OILS) program and has made it his home. In the fall of 2015 he took an OILS course to learn more about the program he manages, and then in 2017 he took the plunge and applied for his Master’s Degree. Chris fell in love with all the OILS program has to offer (especially in conducting research), so much that he applied to the OILS Doctoral program, got accepted and will be starting on his next journey towards his PhD in Fall 2021. Chris, who is originally from Santa Fe, has worked for the University while receiving his Master’s and is very grateful to UNM, the OILS faculty, his family, friends, and fellow peers during his academic career for all their support and encouragement. Chris feels his wife, Kim’s, spirit has been by his side during this whole time and can’t thank her enough for all her love and support. He also, has three loving and dedicated pups, Katie, Gracie and Dylan.

kaylin sanchezKaylin Sanchez, B.S.

Reach for Your Goal, Never Give Up!

Kaylin Sanchez, was born and raised in Albuquerque NM and is the youngest of three siblings. In 2012, she graduated from Sandia High School, and started her Educational Journey at CNM. In 2019, she graduated from CNM with a Certificate in Office Technology Concentration in OTEC, and an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts, and Communication. During her time at CNM, Kaylin got involved with the TRIO SSS program, and fell in love with the staff and all the program had to offer. The TRIO SSS Staff Magda Martinez-Baca and Rachel Giunta, as well as her Achievement Coach Jimi Sanchez guided, encouraged, and helped Kaylin to graduate CNM and assisted in her transition to UNM. In the Fall of 2019 Kaylin got accepted to UNM, and was excited to start her next Educational Journey by being a part of the OILS Program at UNM. Kaylin fell in love once again with the OILS Staff and Instructors, as well as that the program was offered fully online. She enjoyed learning about how to help adult learners learn, how to create effective workplace training programs, how to develop and create engaging instructional material, how to work efficiently within a team, and lastly gain a better understanding of LMS’s and which ones would be best implemented within an educational, professional, and personal life context. She couldn’t have achieved her goal of receiving her BS degree in Instructional Technology & Training alone. Kaylin was highly supported and encouraged along the way by her family, boyfriend, and OILS Instructor’s. She also had the opportunity to complete her Internship program with El Centro de la Raza at UNM. By working with El Centro de la Raza, this helped her to practice and gain the needed skills to apply within her future career, as well as help El Centro de la Raza achieve their overall goal of helping current and future UNM students to succeed in their Educational Journey. Kaylin is looking forward and excited to be participating in the 29th Annual Raza Graduation, as well as speaking on behalf of the OILS Program and graduating BS class at the OILS 2020-2021 Convocation. Kaylin also aspires to find her future career in Higher Education, by developing and creating instructional eLearning materials, and helping adult learners learn how to use our ever changing and evolving technology.