Olivia Moss is a student graduating with a Bachelor of Science in health education. After moving to New Mexico from Colorado, Moss found a home in Albuquerque and plans to continue immersing herself in the community she’s found a love for.

Originally from Denver, Colorado, Moss came to UNM on a scholarship and has since fallen in love with the culture and landscape of Albuquerque. As a foodie and social butterfly, Moss enjoys New Mexican food and loves exploring the city’s restaurant scene with friends. Knowing that her family is just a phone call away, Moss plans on staying in New Mexico for the near future.

Moss characterizes herself as very empathetic, drawing her moods from those around her.

“I love being around people, and I think that’s how I gain my energy,” Moss said.

Moss is grateful that she spent her final undergraduate semesters as senior student ambassador for the Lobo Prevention Pack Program, a student COVID-19 prevention team. She said she’s never felt more involved on campus than she does now, despite the pandemic, and a highlight of her year was when the Lobo Prevention Pack received UNM’s Lucy Outstanding Pack Award in June.

“COVID really allowed me to do my internship … We were able to hand out masks and protective equipment to students. This semester we’ve focused on a lot of policies and protocols to put into place. So COVID has really allowed us to be on campus,” Moss said.

Moss said the direct outreach on campus was an interesting learning opportunity for her, and she enjoyed being able to gain a broader perspective.

“We got a lot of insight from those conversations: the ones that weren’t the praises, the ones that were kind of negative … I didn’t have any choice in that mandating conversation, but it’s nice to be thinking of both sides and why (people were) against this at first,” Moss said.

Sami Sosa, a senior majoring in community health education, met Moss through their mutual work in the Lobo Prevention Pack. Sosa said Moss was the senior-most member of the group when she joined and was impressed by Moss’ leadership skills.

“She felt comfortable enough walking up to someone who wasn’t wearing a mask, and she’d kindly give them a mask and say, ‘These are our protocols for UNM, if you don’t mind putting your mask on.’ … (She) was usually professional enough and respectful enough to be able to get them to put their mask on or put their mask over their nose, even if they didn’t agree with it,” Sosa said.

Still, the pandemic created a lot of challenges for Moss as a student, especially last semester when “we hardly knew anything” about COVID-19. 

“I didn’t even have my vaccine until April … There was definitely a big hurdle of anxiety of coming back in person,” Moss said.

Though Moss is graduating this semester, she plans to walk in the spring commencement ceremony so she can walk with her boyfriend and friends.

“Since my freshman year, we’ve gone through everything together, and I want to walk with him; I want to walk with all of my friends that I’ve made these years,” Moss said.

After graduation, Moss hopes to receive her Master of Business Administration at UNM. Though still unsure about career paths, Moss is interested in hospital administration.

Moss said she feels pulled in two different directions; she very much enjoys her work in the health sector, but she also feels drawn to the social nature of her sales job, and is considering marketing as a career path.

“I don’t know what the next step is in my life, which is kind of crazy, but at the same time, I’m okay with it, I think,” Moss said.

Currently, she volunteers with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, where volunteers are matched with children they mentor and create connections with. Moss has made very strong bonds with the young girl she mentors in the program.

“We met when she was 10, and she turned 13 two weeks ago, so it’s been so fun to watch her grow up over the years,” Moss said.

After seeing Moss act as a guiding but understanding force to others in the Lobo Prevention Pack, Sosa envisions a bright future for her friend.

“She has this trait about her where she really likes to take charge. She really likes to be a leader, but she’s also really kind and really friendly,” Sosa said.

No matter what direction her career path takes her, Moss hopes to remain involved in her community.

Zara Roy is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @zarazzledazzle