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Aaron Salas

Practicum Instructor

Contact Info
(575) 646-2143



Born in Las Cruces, NM, and raised in the Berino and San Miguel areas in Dona Ana County, NM. Aaron Salas graduated from Gadsden High School and obtained a Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Social Work at New Mexico State University (NMSU).  At the start of his social work career, he worked for eight years as a school social worker in the Gadsden Independent School District, working with vulnerable migrant and homeless populations in the county, and also specialized in working with high-risk youth. Developing and implementing a district-wide prevention program aimed at helping middle school and high school high-risk students build emotional intelligence and improve self-efficacy to reduce suspensions and dropouts among that population.  He then worked as a case worker and supervisor in the Children’s Youth and Families Department Child Protective Services (CPS) Division for ten years. He most recently served as the County Office Manager for Dona Ana County CPS. In 2019, he relocated to Napa, California, where I served two years as Assistant Deputy Director for Napa County Child Welfare Services. After his first grandchild was born (and the pandemic subsided), he moved back home to New Mexico to spoil his grandbaby. He started a new journey with NMSU as the Director of Disability Access Services and has been serving there for the past two years, developing and growing that department. In 2023, Aaron joined the Title IV-E Child Welfare Scholar Program as the Practicum Instructor, teaching SOWK 5180-M80 and SOWK-U82 during Fall 2023, and is set to teach SOWK 5290 during Spring 2024 while guiding students during their practicum. He will also be a guest speaker for the Child Welfare Scholar Program’s ongoing guest speaker series, Lunch and Learn.