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Michael Chicarelli (’97 BSN, ’11 MSN), executive director of UNM Hospitals’ Emergency Services and UNM College of Nursing alum, recently received the UNM Alumni Association's Inspirational Young Alumnus Award. Chicarelli began his career as a nurse in 1997 in the emergency department at UNM Hospital and quickly worked his way up the ranks to become executive director of Emergency Services in 2010. Currently Chicarelli oversees 350 full-time employees and a $30-million budget.

During his tenure at UNM Hospitals and under his leadership, Chicarelli has made numerous advancements and improvements to the Emergency Services Department. He is chair of the hospital’s Emergency Department Operations Work Group and considered a national expert. Chicarelli uses his time to offer his expertise, including participating in lectures and published works and mentoring nurses and those seeking to enter the health profession. 

The UNM Inspirational Young Alumnus Award honors emerging leaders, age 40 or younger, with significant contributions through professional achievement or community service. Recipients have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in post-academic life and an ongoing commitment to professional work, research, multicultural relations and/or volunteerism, while being recognized as an emerging leader. Chicarelli was presented with his award at the All University Breakfast Sept. 27.

Chicarelli was one of several UNM Alumni Association award winners, but the only Inspirational Young Alumnus Award recipient. “The talents, accomplishments and passions of these recipients are astounding,” said Karen Abraham, executive director of the UNM Alumni Association. “The awards celebrate these amazing people who have made significant contributions to the community and to the University.”