He will receive an associate of arts degree in business office technology during commencement on Thursday, May 11 at the Pan American Center on the New Mexico State University (NMSU) campus. Coté has dedicated his life to public service, education and advocacy for his community.
The NMSU Board of Regents conferred the degree for the many contributions he has made to education and the Doña Ana County community including his public service as a state representative, his service to his country, his teaching as an adjunct faculty member and his efforts in establishing the Manual Tapia Memorial Scholarship at DACC for disabled American veterans and their families.
He was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives in 2006 where he served three terms. As a legislator he sponsored bills to help all New Mexicans as well as his constituents in Doña Ana and Otero Counties. Some of his legislation included assistance for the military, veterans and their families, economic development in Doña Ana County, a bill to help expand needed medical services in the state and a bill to help victims of domestic violence. While serving, he developed ethics training for newly elected legislators.
Coté spent much of his career as a civilian human resources manager with the U.S. Air Force in Europe and Asia. While with the Air Force he negotiated several management – labor agreements, served as a guest instructor at Air University and set up alternative dispute resolution plans at three major Air Force installations. As a civil servant, his last job was as human resources director at Kirtland Air Force Base and upon his retirement he became an academic director and assistant professor for the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
A Navy veteran, Coté served on the aircraft carrier, USS Saratoga. As a former commander of the Disabled American Veterans Mesilla Valley No. 10, he was instrumental in establishing the Manuel Tapia Memorial Scholarship.
Coté was raised in Northern Maine where he developed a love of the outdoors by exploring expansive forests. He is an accomplished hiker backpacking trails, parks and forests in Korea, Europe and the United States.
Coté is a graduate of the Air War College and has several other graduate degrees including a doctorate. He has served as adjunct faculty at several colleges and universities and has been honored with awards throughout his career including personnel management specialist of the year for the Pacific Air Command and civilian personnel officer of the year three times for the Tactical Air Command.
More than 1,600 DACC students are expected to graduate with associate degrees or certificates. Approximately 750 students will participate in graduation ceremonies this year.