Office of the President Staff
Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice President for 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, 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, United Way and CASA of the South Plains.
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 in the Office of the President. In her role, Mikki supports the Chief of Staff and assists with communications and the daily operation of the President's Office. 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. The joy of her life is found in her husband and daughters, Brooke and Kendall.
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
Barron serves as the Coordinator of Presidential Services and Communications in the Office of the President. In her role, Sarah coordinates the president's events, public appearances, communications and outreach activities. Prior to joining the president's staff, Sarah attended Tarleton State University where she received a B.S. in Communication Studies and recently graduated from Texas Tech University with a M.Ed. in Higher Education. She is also an active member of the Lubbock community and serves on the Advisory Council for the Margaret Talkington School for Young Women Leaders, Total Resource Committee for the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, and is an Account Executive for the Lubbock United Way.