Rainforest Mentors

New Mexico Rainforest University Center provides Site Mentors to be available as an interface for any questions and to serve as a connection point for resources related to your entrepreneurial endeavors or training.

Please reach out to Cecilia Pacheco, Marketing and Ventures Assistant, STC.UNM at cpacheco@stc.unm.edu to further connect you to the appropriate mentor.


Sandra Begay

Site Mentor - UNM Gallup

A former regent of the University of New Mexico, Ms. Begay joined Sandia National Laboratories in 1992 and is now a Principal Member of its Technical Staff. She heads Sandia’s technical efforts in the Renewable Energy Program to assist Native American tribes with renewable energy development. Prior to this she also worked at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories and at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Ms. Begay is a former Executive Director of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), former chair of the AISES Board of Directors, and the recipient of the AISES Lifetime Achievement Award.


Susan Cornelius

Site Mentor - UNM Los Alamos

Susan Cornelius is the Principal of Accelerate2Solutions, an innovative, small, high tech company focused on creating successful, lean start-ups. Susan has coached more than 71 companies, and created seven start-up companies, ranging from $500M to $150,000, helping them emerge as successful high tech, and life and health sciences companies. Susan brings 30 years of experience in start-ups, mergers, acquisitions, and successful, entrepreneurship in healthcare, research, enterprise software service solutions, medical devices, national defense, and high tech sensing devices for homeland security.


Cecilia Pacheco

Site Mentor - UNM Main

Cecilia joined STC.UNM as an Innovation Intern in April 2017. She was brought on to STC’s staff as a Marketing and Ventures Assistant in July 2018 where she provides various forms of support to both STC.UNM and the Air Force Research Lab regarding marketing, commercialization, and economic development endeavors.

Cecilia has a B.L.A with a concentration in Spanish and Clinical Studies as well as an M.B.A with a dual concentration in Organizational Behavior and Strategic Planning and Policy from the University of New Mexico and Anderson School of Management.


Alex Roerick

Site Mentor - UNM Valencia

Alex Roerick joined STC in 2017 as an Innovation student intern and is now the Innovation Assistant. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Mexico.


Stacy Sacco

Site Mentor - UNM Taos

Stacy teaches entrepreneurial studies at the Anderson School of Management, serves as the Director of the UNM Small Business Institute and is President of Sacco Connections, a management consulting firm. Stacy previously held senior marketing management positions at several Fortune 500 companies in Orange County, Calif., for over 20 years, and locally, at the CNM Workforce Training Center, Kirtland Federal Credit Union and the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce. Stacy holds an MBA from Pepperdine University, a bachelor’s in marketing from the University of Arizona, and toured two years with the global leadership program Up With People.