Activity Report August 18 – August 24


Congratulations to Alumna Justine N. DeGruyter for being selected as a 2018 SciFinder Future Leaders by CAS, a Division of the American Chemical Society. This program offers Ph.D. students and postdocs from around the world the opportunity to learn about the chemical information industry and network with one another. DeGruyter graduated from the Chemistry Department with a Bachelor’s of Science in 2014. She is now a graduate student at Scripps Research Institute California. Her research is on functionalized peptides as targets for collaborative chemistry.

Recruiters from the US Customs and Border Protection are on campus in Breland Hall room 127! Dr. Dennis Giever and the NMSU Criminal Justice created the Mentoring Center for students to meet and discuss employment opportunities with different employers in the field. The center will be open from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm once a week alternating on Tuesday and Wednesday.


The New Mexico State University Library benefited from another successful fundraising year thanks to our generous donors. One of our donors established a new Library Student Employee Scholarship. Also, NMSU Library awarded the 2018 Elizabeth McKenney Titus Library Student Employee Scholarship awards.  For this academic year, four library student employees were awarded the scholarship.

Reception for Conroy Scholars   On Friday afternoon some of our new Conroy Scholars joined a few of their more experienced peers to enjoy a conversation about their adventures on campus as new students. The highlight of the event was a chance to meet Dr. Bill Conroy, former NMSU Provost and President who helped establish the William Conroy Honors College. The students who bear the name Conroy Scholars were selected for this designation because they were National Merit or Hispanic Merit Scholars while in high school.

Tea Party in the Honors Living Learning Community   Dr. Tim Ketelaar is both our Associate Dean and the Faculty Fellow for the Honors Living Learning Community (LLC). On Friday evening he hosted a tea party in the LLC that was attended by 25 of our freshmen, and by upperclassmen volunteers including our Honors Ambassadors Abby Kane and Kim Pestovich. Students discussed everything from study habits and the importance of getting to know your professors, to how to party safely in the university environment. It was a good way to start the academic year.

NMSU Presidential Ambassadors   NMSU’s Presidential Ambassadors are officially back on campus! These ambassadors are student leaders who represent NMSU at events throughout the NMSU community, reflect the diverse student body and represent all academic colleges, programs and class years. The ambassadors assist the NMSU President during events, support alumni relations and stewardship, promote NMSU as a top-tier research institution, endorse the impactful academic initiatives within the colleges and engage prestigious visitors while visiting our region. This program showcases NMSU student talent, linking influential partners with members of our exceptional student body.


The News and Media Relations team reported August 21 that The Travel Channel has included NMSU on its stunning college campuses in all 50 states (plus D.C.) list. Our post to let everyone know about this great news drew a big audience on the NMSU News Facebook page – reaching more than 13,400 people and drawing clicks, reactions, comments and shares from more than 1,870 people. See more at

Aggie Pathway continues to Grow   As of today, 957 students are coded as Aggie Pathway students, starting their academic careers at DACC and finishing at NMSU. The program has continued to grow from 300 the first year to 700 last year and almost 1,000 students this year. The number of students transferring to NMSU has also continued to increase. Final figures for transfer will be totaled on the census date.

The NMSU-Alamogordo campus is proud to announce the Student of the Year for 2018, Ronald Borunda.  Ronald works full time for the City of Alamogordo where his schedule is adjusted to accommodate his classes.  In spite of having a full time job, being involved as a volunteer firefighter, and participating in community athletics Ronald has a 3.6 GPA. His goal is to become a Civil Engineer so he is half-way there.  Congratulations Ronald!  Keep up the good work!

Book It & Launch El Paso program Through the month of August the Arrowhead Center team partnered with the CoWork Oasis and the El Paso Library to provide workshops on business development, and Innoventure Youth entrepreneurship programs in El Paso through the Book It & Launch El Paso program. The workshops included education on business development with the Business Model Canvas, Steve Blank’s Lean Launch methodology, customer discover and value proposition development. In addition to these workshops, Arrowhead’s Innoventure program was held in El Paso for the first time. Eighteen students ages 9-19 spent each Saturday of this month at the library, learning about entrepreneurship and developing products. This past Saturday, the students sold their products at the El Paso Down Town Artist and Farmers Market.


Physical Science Lab   PSL was awarded a contract in the amount of $188k for the fabrication and testing of patch antennas. We also completed a new antenna design and delivered it to a customer.  The new antenna will be used to support upcoming research rocket missions. The new frequency design is more robust and has a wider usage of frequencies. PSL currently has six personnel supporting a target launch at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai Hawaii.  With Hurricane Lane in sight, they are working to store the hardware to prevent flooding damage.  Finally, we were awarded a subcontract from Los Alamos National Laboratory for $40,000 for engineering support.

Research ICT   A new communications tool was demo’d to the Vice President for Research (VPR).  The application will help the VPR enhance communications with researchers and principle investigators.  Further assessments will be performed to identify other use cases.  The IT support for TAAC continues with a focus on revamping the current TAAC website.  The Maestro support team gave a presentation on Maestro to the MBA capstone class as part of a commercialization assessment.

Water Resources Research Institute   The NMSU Water Science and Management (WSM) Graduate Program hosted the Fall 2018 Kickoff Meet & Greet at Corbett Center on Friday, August 17. Around 20 WSM graduate students attended the event along with Vice President for Research Luis Cifuentes and eight NMSU faculty members affiliated with the WSM program. Dr. Sam Fernald, WSM Program chair, gave a welcome speech that described the five academic departments and three academic colleges that support the program. Dr. Fernald said that 38 students are enrolled for Fall 2018 including 25 PhD and 13 MS students. Students and faculty introduced themselves and their research backgrounds. Dr. Chris Brown and Dr. KC Carroll, WSM executive committee members, also talked about how inspiring and important WSM graduate students are to research at NMSU. Marcus Gay, WSM Student Program coordinator, and WSM Graduate Student Organization president Chris Kubicki also welcomed students back.

NMSU receives new estate gift from 1888 Society member   An 1888 Society member’s estate closed for $280,000 to support existing endowed research funds that the donor sponsored in the Colleges of Business and Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences (ACES) in 2004.


Thank you to APTIV for working with NMSU! They are providing some of their research and development projects to students at NMSU as part of their student capstone projects. APTIV is a multinational industry in the automotive and automation sector and recently opened a big facility in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Enrico Pontelli recently met up with Steve Williams, Chief Product Officer of Customers First Now, and NMSU alumnus! Steve was visiting campus to explore collaborations with NMSU and had an opportunity to meet with Dean James Hoffman, Gift Officer Mark Gladden and Director of Admissions Seth Miner.


The New Mexico State softball program put on a free youth clinic. Over 70 Las Cruces children took advantage of the free clinic where they had an opportunity to interact with the team and learn techniques.

KRWG TV production staff traveled to Alamogordo to produce a segment of “Living Here,” which is a feature that includes profiles of communities, organizations and people throughout our viewing area.  This segment focused on the American Armed Forces Museum in Alamogordo whose mission is “To preserve, protect and perpetuate the honor of those who served.”  It will be airing soon on KRWG Public Media.  The “Living Here” archives are available at

September is Underwriter Appreciation Month at KRWG – Our staff is visiting businesses and organizations in the community to say “Thank you for supporting KRWG Public Media!” Their patronage allows us to continue our mission of service to southwest New Mexico and far west Texas.

Upcoming Legislative Related Events

Land Grant Committee
August 28 – 29, 2018
Tecolote Community Center
NMSU Business Acceleration Programs

*Arrowhead Center Introduction (Dr. Kathy Hansen)

*Innoventure K-12 Program (Amanda Bradford, Director)

*Arrowhead Community Entrepreneurship Program and Rural Community College (Dr. Kathy Hansen)

Science, Technology & Telecommunications Committee
August 30 – 31, 2018
Bataan Hall
The Use of Broadband to Help Meet Renewable Energy Goals

Challenging Students to Create a Twenty-First Century Workforce

Creating Local Jobs and Preventing Brain Drain: Promoting New Mexico as the Best Value in the U.S. for Software Development.

Economic & Rural Development Committee
September 04 – 05, 2018
Rohovec Theatre, Otero County Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Project Update

The NMSU Carlsbad campus hosted a meeting with representatives from XTO (Exxon-Mobil).  Great discussion took place regarding proposed programs of study for XTO and the other oil and gas companies who are expanding their operations in Eddy County.

The NMSU Carlsbad President John Gratton traveled to Santa Fe in order to meet with NMJC President Kelvin Sharpe and NMHED Secretary Barbara Damron.  Secretary Damron has received numerous inquiries from companies wishing to relocate in Eddy and Lea Counties and she wanted to discuss program opportunities for these companies in Southeast New Mexico.  The meeting was extremely positive and between NMSU Carlsbad and NMJC, the companies will be provided significant programs of study.

NM FAST Workshop  On Wednesday, the NM FAST team held a workshop at Arrowhead Center on SBIR/STTR Award Accounting for Your Startup. This workshop featured guest speakers were George Moker of Moker, CPA and Karen Medina of NM PTAC. The presentation aimed to help pre-award and awardees see beyond the numbers and shed light on useful data that provides guidance in making effective business decisions ranging from general strategy to development initiatives. The event was a great success, attended by 30 people in person and online. This workshop and other helpful SBIR/STTR resources can be seen on NM FAST’s YouTube page

Studio G at NMSU Carlsbad   On Thursday, the Arrowhead team was on the NMSU Carlsbad campus for Welcome Week sharing information about opportunities with Studio G at their campus. Carlos Murguia spent the afternoon speaking to students and faculty about the opportunity to launch a startup and become an entrepreneur through Studio G. At this event 20 students and faculty expressed interest in working with Studio G to build a business. NMSU Carlsbad Business faculty Jon Strahan, who has worked with Studio G on the Carlsbad campus for 2 years, provided introductions to faculty, staff and students. Studio G is currently supporting student businesses at 15 colleges and universities in New Mexico.

Innoventure Backpack delivery This week the Arrowhead Innoventure team embarked on a tour across the state delivering Innoventure Jr. backpacks to elementary schools. The backpacks include interactive workbooks with Innoventure’s entrepreneurship curriculum in English and Spanish for grades K-5.  At each stop, Innoventure Director Amanda Bradford and Outreach Specialist Cassie McClure discussed with teachers and administrators how to use the backpacks, along with corresponding resources that are available online at To date 1,000 backpacks have been delivered at schools across New Mexico. 

NMDA Staff shared a New Mexico (chile) tradition with NMSU alumni, other New Mexico ex-pats, and Fresh Market customers in the Washington DC/Alexandria area. The weekend events started with a green chile cheeseburger and quesadilla dinner for all local NMSU Alumni Chapter members, New Mexico State Society of Washington DC members, and guests (approximately 80 attendees total). Dinner was at the American Legion Capitol Hill. Pre-orders for roasted New Mexico green chile were taken and were available for pickup at the Fresh Market on King Street in Alexandria, Virginia. Between the pre-orders and all other store sales, approximately 300 cases of roasted New Mexico green chile were sold.

See attached video:


NMDA Director Jeff Witte attended the 2018 Annual Plenary Meeting – New Mexico Sonora Commission. New Mexico hosted this annual meeting with Sonora, Mexico. These meetings are to increase cooperation between neighboring states and share ideas. One of the main topics was Economic and Agro Industrial Development.

Governor Martinez hosted the NMDA representatives their counterparts for the 2018 Annual New Mexico Sonora Commission meeting.

NMDA Staff presented information about the Chile Advertising Act at the Chile Field Day sponsored by the Los Lunas Agricultural Center.

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