Andrew Moralez, Executive Director

Andrew is a longtime public servant in southern New Mexico.  Before he was the city manager for Sunland Park, he was the executive director of the New Mexico Border Authority, working with state Legislators and Mexican officials to develop infrastructure needed to attract businesses creating jobs for New Mexico. Andy also served as southern New Mexico’s representative for Governor Bill Richardson and Director of Constituent Services.  He is a past member of the Gadsden School Board.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Education and Curriculum, both from New Mexico State University.  Andy is the founder and executive director of 21st CAEP which is currently servicing New Mexico and neighboring El Paso, Texas.

Cristina Abeyta, Programs Coordinator

Cristina Abeyta is one of the STEM training coordinators and provides her services for Grants research and development for the 21st Century Academic Enrichment Programs. Cristina lives in Las Cruces, NM and has worked in the STEM fields since 2007. She worked for New Mexico State University under STEM educational grants as STEM program and summer camps coordinator, program specialist, curriculum developer, data analysist, professional development specialist and ascended to become program assistant director of the STEM center. She received her BA in Bilingual Education and her MA in Curriculum and Instruction with emphasize in Science.  Cristina developed a strong sense of devotion for the nonprofit sector since her collaboration with the Gadsden School District 21st Century grants developing safe centers for the afterschool programs. Working with the STEM Center at NMSU for 7 years gave her a deep appreciation for how programs like 21st CAEP improve quality of life for our region; one program at a time.

Lawrence J. Hittle, Grant Writer, Fiscal Agent

Lawrence is a lifelong resident of New Mexico and is dedicated to improving the quality of life within the state he is proud to call home.  Lawrence is a graduate student at New Mexico State University (NMSU), working on his degree in public administration where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in government and a minor in communications.  He is also a former president of the Residence Hall Association – a position that allows him to lead advocacy and represent the needs of on campus residents.

Lawrence is actively involved in community advocacy and volunteers with local organizations providing mentorship to at risk youths.

Russell Alderete, Finance and Investments

Eileen Moralez, Events Intern

Rodrigo Ontiveros, Research Intern

Rod is a senior at Gadsden High School in Anthony, New Mexico and ranked at the top of his class.  Currently, being number one on the boys’ varsity tennis team, he acts as team captain and mentor to younger players. Rod is fluent in English, Spanish and French and began his experience with 21st CAEP as a volunteer before officially becoming a research intern.  He will be attending New Mexico State University and is interested majoring in criminal justice and forensic science.

Samuel Ochoa, Research Intern

Joshua Neubert –Institute of Competition Sciences Partnership Representative

Mr. Neubert has extensive experience managing non-profit organizations, incentive prize competitions, and startup enterprises. He has been creating competitions in science, technology, and education for over 10 years. Most recently, he launched a $1.5 Million dollar energy storage competition with the Cleantech Open and NASA’s Office of Centennial Challenges. In 2012, Mr. Neubert founded Zozude to help increase the impact of educational competitions for teachers and students across the globe.

Through these initiatives, Mr. Neubert developed a Summit on Incentivized Innovation, launched the first collaborative community for challenge-based-learning, and helped develop high-profile prizes providing over $10,000,000 in awards through partnerships with the Cleantech Open, Lemelson Foundation, NASA Centennial Challenges, Ideas42 and the Robinhood Foundation, Goodwill, the Methuselah Foundation, and others.

Previously, Mr. Neubert led a team of over 500 volunteers and staff at the X PRIZE Foundation to create a STEM education program reaching 12,000 students. During this time, he developed the Spirit of Innovation Awards for high school students and later joined forces with the wife of late Apollo 12 Commander Pete Conrad to spin the program out into its own foundation. He then served as the Conrad Foundation’s founding Executive Director for its first 3 years.

Mr. Neubert has designed and led grand challenges, hackathons, gamejams, and other incentivized innovation programs for over 10 years and is passionate about using science and technology to change the world for the better. He holds a BS and MS degree in Planetary Science from MIT and has a strong belief in “Think, Act, then Talk” operations. Through it all he holds a deep passion for space exploration – striving to live off the planet in the not too distant future.

Laura Garcia-Garcia


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