Office of the President Staff
Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President of Administration
As Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice President for Administration, Grace Hernandez reports directly to the President and serves as the liaison between the President and other members of the senior staff. In addition, Human Resources, Institutional Research, Payroll and the Office of Communications & Marketing report to Grace. She has a long history working in higher education and previously served as Chief of Staff and Affirmative Action Director at The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Prior to UMKC, she served as the Director of Diversity & EEO Office at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Grace earned her B.A. in English from UTSA and received a M.A. in Human Resources Development from Webster University. She is also an active member of the Lubbock community and serves on the boards of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, the Science Spectrum and United Way.
Executive Assistant to the President
Jessica Carrillo serves as the Executive Assistant to the President. In her role, she provides total support to the President, which is vast in responsibility. Jessica has been honored with the Top Techsan and Distinguished Staff Awards. She has been employed at Texas Tech University since 1996, working in the Department of Biological Sciences, the Natural Sciences Research Laboratory, and the Provost's office prior to transferring to the President’s office in the fall of 2000. Jessica received her bachelor of science in university studies in May 2012, and is currently working toward her MBA in management. Jessica enjoys spending time with her family who mean the world to her.
Director of External Relations
Suzanne Taylor serves as the Director of External Relations in the Office of the President. In her role, Suzanne coordinates community and governmental relations for the President. Prior to joining the President’s staff, Suzanne coordinated the Government & Public Service Internship Program and served as the Student Regent on the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents. She has past experience working for Congresswoman Kay Granger, the Appellate Division of the Lubbock District Attorney’s Office, and the Association for Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU) in Washington, D.C. She attended Texas Tech University where she received a B.A. in Advertising and recently graduated with her J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law. Suzanne is married to Brandon Taylor, who works for the university in Undergraduate Admissions as the Manager for West Texas Recruitment and the Visitors Center.
Executive Administrative Associate
Mikki Swaffar serves as the Executive Administrative Associate and assists the Chief of Staff, as well as the Senior Assistant to the President. She supports many administrative functions, human resources needs, the university’s preparations for Board of Regents meetings, and executive position searches. Mikki has been with the university since 1996, working for vice presidents before transferring to the President's Office. Mikki is a graduate of Texas Tech with a B.A. in English. Her family, husband and daughters are the joy of her life.
Senior Administrative Assistant
Cheryl Stephenson serves as a Senior Administrative Assistant in the Office of the President. In her role, Cheryl is responsible for management of the front office. She is the initial point of contact for all visitors and inquiries, while also providing administrative support. Cheryl holds a bachelor's degree in English from Texas Tech, which she earned while employed on the Tech campus from 1976-1982. Prior to joining the president's staff, she worked for the Lubbock Conventions and Visitors Bureau as servicing director and staff writer, then for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal as editor of the Business and Industrial Review. Cheryl returned to Texas Tech employment in 2006 when she joined the staff of the CASNR Dean's Office. Cheryl has one daughter, Meagan, who is also a Tech alumna.
Coordinator of Presidential Services and Communications
Sarah Wilson is the Coordinator of Presidential Services and Communications. In her role, Sarah is responsible for managing the President’s events, public appearances, communications and outreach activities. Prior to her current position, Sarah worked as the Associate Director of Corporate Engagement for the Texas Tech University System. She has past experience working for the Development and Alumni Relations Office in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and serving as a student recruiter for the College. Wilson graduated from Texas Tech University in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural communications, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural education from Texas Tech. Outside of her professional interests, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching baseball, and being outdoors.