Activity Report March 2-6

President Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.

  • NMSU Regents: NMSU has two new confirmed Regents – Jerean Hutchinson and Debra Hicks.  Jerean is will know in these parts as co-owner of the La Posta Restaurant and a graduate of the College of Business, and Debra Hicks is an engineering company co-owner with her husband Tres, both graduates of the College of Engineering and living in Hobbs.  Amanda Lopez Askin, a doctoral student and Department of Health employee from Las Cruces, is scheduled for confirmation early next week and then we will have a full house.  We will have the finest set of Regents in the State!
  • Honorary Doctorate: The Regents have approved awarding an Honorary Doctorate to Royal Jones, a local entrepreneur and businessman, who has been very generous to NMSU with his time and money.  Royal owns 14 companies employing over 1120 individuals.  His Mesilla Valley Transportation Company has a fleet of 1000 trucks and 3,500 trailers.  His most recent gift to NMSU was a transformation gift for renovation of the Coca-Cola Weight Training Center.  He will receive his degree at the May Commencement ceremony. 
  • Central Administration Response Team Meeting: The Central Administration Response Team (CART) met to do a “Hot Wash” of the two recent incidents at DACC – the threat of a shooting of a student and a bomb threat.  The purpose of the meeting was to evaluate the responses and identify opportunities for improvement.  One needed improvement is to build another entry/exit road to DACC East Campus as one road was problematic during the two evacuations of the campus.
  • Aggie Basketball: It has been a great season for our two basketball teams, both winning the season title and capturing WAC Coach of the Year honors for Coach Trakh and Coach Menzies as well as a number of awards to athletes on both teams.  NMSU capped the season with a sold out house for the final men’s came.  Congratulations to Athletics Director Mario Moccia and his team for “Packing the Pan Am” to recognize the four men’s team seniors.
  • 2015 Legislative Session: The Senate Finance Committee has performed their magic on House Bill 2 – the general appropriations act and soon to go to the Senate floor.  All in, NMSU would receive $2,773,700 new dollars with $1,228,700 for Instructional and General and $1,545,000 for non-I &G expenditures.  The Act restores the earlier cuts to the Athletics and Television Station budgets.  There is no conversation at all about possible increases in compensation for public employees, public schools, and higher education – probably representing the caution stemming from the decline in oil prices.  There was some expansion money for WRRI, Arrowhead Center, and nursing programs in the Senate Finance Committee recommendations.  


Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Dan Howard

  • Campus Safety Discussions: On Monday, the President and I met with Renay Scott and members of the CART team to discuss recent threats to safety on the NMSU Dona Ana East Mesa campus that had led to evacuations of the campus.  The evacuations took place without incident, but brought to light questions about communication, appropriate responses, and limited evacuation routes from the East Mesa campus.  The questions were thoroughly discussed and some new procedures identified that should improve communication and response times.
  • Salon Discovery: On Tuesday afternoon, the first Salon Discovery, which featured three short talks by prominent NMSU faculty members, was held in Domenici Hall.  Professor Stuart Munson-McGee discussed the Science of Chocolate, Associate Professor Carmen Gimenez Smith described the revolution in printing associated with Small Presses in the 21st Century, and Regents Professor Jim Peach expounded on some intersection points between Sports and Economics.  The talks were entertaining, interesting, informative, and a great kick-off to an event that is likely to become a highlight of the Spring Semester for the NMSU community.  Thanks are due to Associate Dean of the Honors College, Tim Ketelaar, for organizing the event.
  • Online Education: An Online Education Task Force has been meeting to discuss NMSU’s online education offerings and how to improve the quality, depth, and coherence of the degree programs that are offered.  The question I posed to the group was whether we needed to tweak the current system or to reconstruct the system from the ground up.  We will regroup in a couple of weeks to discuss this question further.
  • DNA Sequencing Facility: At the end of the day, I met with a group of graduate students who were concerned about the closing of the DNA Sequencing Facility in the Molecular Biology Program.  I noted that the expense of supporting a full-time staff member to run the facility could not be justified in light of utilization patterns and budgetary constraints of the university; however, it may be possible to keep the facility running for another couple of years with the help of a graduate assistant.  The Director of the Molecular Biology Program, Brad Shuster, and Dean of the Graduate School, Loui Reyes, are working with me to find support for a graduate student.  I was pleased with the “can do” attitude of the graduate students and their willingness to approach central administration directly with their concerns.
  • Compliance Training: At the Faculty Senate Meeting on Thursday afternoon, I briefly described the regulatory concerns that are leading NMSU to require compliance training of all employees.  The online compliance modules are short, easy to follow, and will take about an hour and ten minutes, in total, to complete. 
  • Advising First-Year Students: At the Faculty Senate meeting, I also described the initiative President Carruthers and I are about to undertake to improve first year advising at NMSU.  In brief, first semester GPA is the best predictor of student success at NMSU and the first semester is also when students qualify for the lottery scholarship.  Not achieving a 2.5 GPA means a student loses about $25,000 in scholarship funds over the course of the next four years.  Another sobering statistic is that NMSU has the lowest first year retention rate among its peer institutions. 
  • Support to First-Year Students: It is clear that we need to do more to support students in their first and second semesters, a period of growth that can be challenging for even the best-prepared student.  The President and I plan to provide more support by hiring a group of advisors who will work with our first year students and provide much more support than we have ever done before, including: prescriptive advising; monitoring of class attendance; monitoring of grades, help with tutors; help with information resources; and, advice on time management, study skills, and note taking.
  • Evidence in Numbers: We know this kind of intrusive advising works.  It is practiced by our Athletics Department and by our TRiO Student Support Services.  Our student athletes have a six-year graduation rate of 73%, and our TRiO students have a six year graduation rate of 59%.  In contrast, the six-year graduation rate for NMSU’s 2008 cohort of students was 46%.
  • Policy Change: My appeal to the Faculty Senate was to ask for help with this effort.  In particular, we requested a policy change requiring all instructors of 100 and 200 level classes to submit a grade for students that reflects all work completed as of the seventh Friday following the date classes begin in the fall and spring semester.  The grades reported will be used by advisors to target students most in need of help, early enough in the semester to make a difference in their grades.


Dean, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences,

Dr. Lowell Catlett

Extension Plant Sciences:

  • 2015 Think Trees Conference: Natalie Goldberg, Extension Plant Pathologist and Department Head, presented an educational seminar at the 2015 Think Trees Conference. Think Trees New Mexico is a non-profit organization dedicated to promote education, training, and appreciation of arboriculture and horticulture throughout New Mexico and across the Southwest. The organization, with the support of the Bernalillo County Extension Service, organizes a two-day conference that provides education and training to over 300 greens industry professionals each year.  Dr. Goldberg’s presentation, “Diagnosing Tree Problems: A Step By Step Approach to Field Diagnostics,” was designed to assist landscape professionals understand and develop a systematic approach to plant problem solving. Part of the presentation focused on understanding the differences between tree problems caused by environmental or cultural stress and those caused by infectious plant diseases. Participants were also taught how to collect a good plant specimen for disease diagnosis and how to submit samples to the NMSU Plant Diagnostic Laboratory through their local County Extension Agents.

Animal and Range Sciences:

  • Friend of Safety Award: The NMSU Environmental and Health Safety Office honored Dennis Hallford (pictured) Dr. Dennis Hallford-Friend of Safety Awardwith the “Friend of Safety” Award for his exemplary years of service to promoting safety on campus through serving on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC; 24 years) and Radiation Safety Committee (30 years).  He was presented with an engraved globe, representing the impact of safety leaders make in the world, at the Department Heads Council meeting on February 24.
  • Legislators Day in Santa Fe: Kelsey Quinn, PhD student in animal science working with Dr. Ryan Ashley, represented the department and the NMSU Graduate School at the Legislators Day in Santa Fe. She has also been accepted for a six-week laboratory and lecture course at the Frontiers in Reproduction Molecular and Cellular Concepts Applications training at Woods Hole, MA on May 3 –June 14.
  • Society for Range Management meeting: Dave Stricklan, range science doctoral student whose advisor is Dr. Derek Bailey, received 2nd Place in PhD poster competition at the Society for Range Management meeting in Sacramento, California.  His poster was titled “Approaches to reduce cattle use of riparian areas through herding and strategic supplement.”

Cooperative Extension Service:

  • Professional Development Day: Steve Lucero, Sandoval County Ag/4-H Agent/County Director, and Desaree Jimenez, Rio Arriba County Home Economist/County Director, in partnership with the NM Food Protection Alliance, conducted a Professional Development Day for all CES county agents on March 5-6, 2015. The agents will have courses in Encouraging Shoppers to Use Food Dollars to Purchase Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, What You Need to Know to Deliver American Health Care Act Information to your Communities, Genomics, Food Allergy and Intolerance, Precision Agriculture, and Drones in Agriculture. The conference courses enhanced the agent’s skills to better serve the citizens of New Mexico.


Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Christa Slaton

  • Annual Appraisal Meetings: The College of Arts and Sciences held annual appraisal meetings with the heads of Aerospace Studies, Art, Astronomy, Computer Science, Geology, Military Science, Philosophy, Physics and Criminal Justice. 
  • Interviews: Associate Dean Brown interviewed candidates for faculty positions in Astronomy and Physics. 
  • A&S General Faculty Meeting: We held the  College of Arts and Sciences General Faculty meeting to announce college-wide awards and to discuss student recruitment and retention and budget cuts for the next fiscal year.
  • Outstanding Achievement: Recipients of Outstanding Achievement in Teaching are Kim Seckler (Government) and Mary Ballyk (Mathematical Sciences; Outstanding Achievement in Scholarship are Gary Eiceman (Chemistry/Biochemistry) and Michael Houts (Psychology); Outstanding Achievement in Outreach are Patti Wojahn (English) and Peter Kopp (History). Ti Wright (Biology) was named the 2015 Manassee Scholar.
  • Award: Michele Shuster (Biology) received a budget increase of $30,366 in her NIH science tools in the classroom award.  


Dean, College of Business, Dr. James Hoffman

  • Breakfast: The Epsilon Upsilon chapter of Delta Sigma Pi, our professional business fraternity, hosted breakfast for all college faculty and staff on Monday.  It was a great opportunity for us to engage with the Brothers of Delta Sigma Pi.
  • College of Education Dean Interviews: I attended the second of four lunch interviews for the College of Education Dean on Tuesday.  The second candidate was Osmon Alawiye (St. Cloud State University).
  • Conference Planning Meeting: Bruce Huhmann and Winnie Lee attended the March 3 planning meeting for the “Promoting Ethical Business Practices in the Not-for-Profit, Health Care, and Social Services Sectors” conference (October 16 at NMSU Golf Course Conference Center).
  • Salon Discovery: I attended Salon Discovery on Tuesday which featured three short presentations.  Our own Jim Peach was among the presenters at this unique event, who presented Who’s on First? Stories About Sports and Economics. 
  • The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine Open House: I attended an open house reception Thursday for New Mexico’s newest medical school, The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) at New Mexico State University.  It was an excellent opportunity to visit with the leadership team and learn more about BCOM’s mission timeline, curriculum and clinical training.
  • Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship Position: Interviews for the Bill and Sharon Sheriff Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship position continued this week.  The endowed chair was created through a gift of stock valued at more than $1 million from Bill and Sharon Sheriff and aims to attract and reward faculty who will provide leadership and expertise in cultivating a spirit of entrepreneurship in New Mexico and developing resources that will advance that goal in the state and region.  The faculty member awarded the chair will also collaborate with NMSU’s Arrowhead Center, which is an engine for sustainable economic development and entrepreneurship.
  • The College of Business Weekly Activity Reports: The College of Business weekly activity reports are available in their entirety at


Dean, College of Education, Dr. Michael Morehead

  • 2015-2016 Budget Discussions: Dean Morehead met with the college’s Administrative Council to discuss budget cuts and begin the planning for a reduction in the 2015-2016 budget. The review of information provided at the PAC meeting raised some questions from departments. The first was why is the university attempting to follow up on the Mercer allocations with a $2.2 million investment when the university is faced with cuts between five and eight million dollars. The department heads in Education were strongly opposed to moving forward with the Mercer allocations. Two major reasons were indicated, first only a select few will receive any raise for next year, and second departments will be losing positions and potential resources to offer classes for students. It is estimated that the college could lose up to five positions and reduce dollars for part time hires by as much as $200,000. This would likely mean even fewer credit hours generated and potentially a longer time to graduation for some students. 
  • Kellogg Foundation: The Alliance and BoCes outlined information with the Foundation Staff for potential talks with the Kellogg Foundation.  Discussion focused on community engagement with a focus on parent/school leadership training.
  • Scholarship Donor: Herb Wimberly dropped by to finalize the scholarship in memory of his wife Carleene, by doing so the college will be able to offer a scholarship to a graduate counseling major next academic year.  Thanks to Mr. Wimberly and his family and friends for supporting the students in the College of Education.   

James O’Donnell, Associate Dean:

  • Accreditation Retreat: Held a retreat with Advanced Programs for CAEP Accreditation

Dziwenka, Program Manager for Assessment:

  • Assessment Meeting: Dziwenka met with an SED Graduate Assistant and faculty to set up the key assessments for courses, and updated the “initial program assessment matrices” for SED.

Michelle Valverde & Karen Trujillo, Community Outreach

  • Arizona Future Educators Conference: Attended and participated in the Arizona Future Educators Conference with Adelina Rodriguez.  We made contacts with both state and national officials.  We also set up a table and Adelina was able to connect with numerous students.

Kelly Coffeen & Ashley Jurado, Advancement Team:

  • Myrna’s Children’s Village Expansion: Met with Greg Walke and Glen Haubold regarding expanding Myrna’s Children’s Village, will request that the C&I department follow-up with them for next steps.


Dean, College of Engineering, Dr. Ricardo Jacquez

  • Conference Presentation: New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation students and Undergraduate Research Scholars Mercedes Maldonado and German Montes attended the 2015 Emerging Research National in STEM Conference in Washington, D.C.  The conference took place February 19-21 and was aimed at students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, specifically undergraduates and graduates who are minorities or have disabilities.  At the conference, Maldonado, an aerospace engineering major who will graduate in May 2015, presented her research entitled “Studying the Gas Cycles that Govern Galaxy Evolution.” 
  • Improvements to El Paseo: Seniors from civil engineering and engineering technology presented their designs for improvements to El Paseo Boulevard at a public meeting at Las Cruces High School on February 28.  Members of the public were joined by the mayor of Las Cruces, the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, Board of Realtors members, and officers from the Public Works Department of the city of Las Cruces. The students made formal presentations and explained their ideas with their posters and graphics. Civil Engineering Department Head Peter Martin explained the distinction between a highway and a street and his graduate students Dusan Jolovic and Jelena KarApetrovic delivered the calculations.


Interim Dean, College of Health and Social Services, Dr. Donna Wagner

  • 41st Annual Conference of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education: Wagner presided over the 41st Annual Conference of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) in Nashville last week.  AGHE leadership is developing accreditation procedures for programs in gerontology to be rolled out sometime in early 2017.  

Associate Dean for Research, Dr. Joe Tomaka

  • CHSS Journal Club: Tomaka hosted a meeting with the CHSS Journal Club.  The Journal Club represents a partnership between the office of the Associate Dean for Research and the Interdisciplinary Obesity Research Group (led by R. Palacios) and the Southwest Institute for Health Disparities Research (led by J. McDonald). 

Assistant Dean for Advancement, Jennifer Cervantes

  • Thank-A-Giver WeekThank a Giver Week: The College of Health and Social Services participated in Student Engagement and Philanthropy Month by celebrating “T.A.G. Week.”  “T.A.G.” stands for “Thank a Giver.”  Our student ambassadors sprinkled “TAGs” throughout the Health and Social Services building in an effort to thank our generous donors and raise awareness of philanthropy and the gifts that support student scholarships, faculty professional development, and much more.
  • Nursing Recognition Wall: The Nursing Recognition Wall has officially been started by alumni, faculty, staff and community members that joined the Nightingale Circle.  These pioneers purchased beautifully inscribed Baltic birch plaques, to honor a special nurse in their lives, which are now hanging on the first floor of the Health and Social Services building.  The plaque includes the honoree’s name, a short quote, and a photo.  In addition, a booklet will be created that includes longer narratives for those featured on the wall so individuals can learn more about each nurse’s legacy.  Plaques are now being sold for $1,000 (with photo) and $500 (without photo) and all proceeds go to a nursing scholarship fund.  For more information or to purchase a plaque, contact Jennifer Cervantes at 575-646-5985 or by email Please note space is limited.     

           Nursing Recognition Wall          Nursing Recognition Plaque

 School of Nursing

  • A Level Headed Approach to the Stateside Nursing Curriculum Conference: The School of Nursing presented the “A Level Headed Approach to the Stateside Nursing Curriculum” conference at the Las Cruces Convention Center.

School of Social Work

  • Meeting with Memorial  Hospital Family Medicine Center: The school’s faculty met with the staff of the Memorial  Hospital Family Medicine Center on Monday, March 2, to identify mutual interests in areas of clinical educational, practice based research and interdisciplinary practice.  
  • Alumni Event: The School of Social Work held an alumni event in Albuquerque, NM Alumni Eventon Wednesday, February 25 at the Sandia Resort and Casino in conjunction with the annual NASW-NM Conference.  The event attracted over 60 attendees.  Attendees consisted of retired and current faculty members, alumni and students.  A short presentation provided audience members with SSW updates, ways to reconnect and stay engaged, as well as information about a new emergency fund that was created to support social work students.         

Department of Public Health Sciences

  • 2015 Rural Multiracial and Multicultural Health Conference: Cindy Kratzke, Department of Public Health Sciences, and Dr. Kris Robinson, Nursing, were selected to present their research at the 2015 Rural Multiracial and Multicultural Health Conference in Philadelphia. 


Dean, Honors College, Dr. Miriam Chaiken


  • College of Education Dean Interviews: The search committee for the Dean of Education hosted the second candidate on campus, Dr. Osman Alawiye from St. Cloud State University. Dr. Alawiye met with members of the campus community during his two days here, and was able to enjoy weather very unlike Minnesota and renewing acquaintances with several individuals that he knew while pursuing his doctoral degree here and teaching in the Gadsden school district.
  • Upcoming Events: We met with several individuals from UComm to discuss publicity and public awareness about two upcoming events, the spring University Lecture Series featuring Sherman Alexie, and the Undergraduate Research and Creative Arts Symposium, both scheduled in April.
  • Budget Discussions: We had our first meeting with the full staff of the Honors College to discuss strategies and priorities for dealing with likely budget cuts in the next fiscal year.
  • Honors College International Research Scholarship: Dean Tim Ketelaar organized all of the applications for the Honors College International Research Scholarship and submitted those to a panel for review that includes faculty and members of our college Advisory Board, the Circle for Excellence. I reviewed and ranked the applications over the weekend and Dr. Ketelaar will compile the responses from all reviewers to determine who will be interviewed as finalists in this competition.
    Associate Dean, Timothy Ketelaar:
  • Fulbright Recruitment Meeting: Met with Fulbright Alum Dr. Michelle Williams and Kristian Chervenock (Director of NMSU Education Abroad Office) to discuss Fulbright recruiting strategies.  Dr. Williams visit to the NMSU campus was arranged by Lee Rivers of the Institute of International Education (IIE).
  • 2015 Honors College Scholarship for International Research: Received Five complete applications for the 2015 Honors College Scholarship for International Research.  These applications were delivered to the initial screening committee whose task will be to select two finalists to be interviewed by the Final Selection Committee the week of March 16-20.  We hope to announce the 2015 winner that same week.
  • Scholarship Applicants: Met with two students interested in applying for competitive national scholarships including the Fulbright and Truman Scholarships.


Dean, University Library, Dr. Elizabeth Titus

          No Activity to Report


Associate Provost, International and Border Program, Dr. Cornell Menking

  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities 11th International Conference: Cornell Menking and Imelda Olague attended the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) 11th International Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico.
  • Interviews: Menking recently gave two interviews.  One to Hispanic Outlook magazine for a feature piece on the “Go Yachay” project that trained 14 Ecuadorians in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, and the other a feature piece by the Las Cruces Sun News on the reconstituted Las Cruces International Festival.  The Las Cruces Sun News piece is scheduled to be in the March 20 edition, the day before the event itself on March 21.
  • Upcoming International Festival: The March 21 International Festival preparations are nearly final.  This year’s event is the first truly be co-organized with community members.  More info here:
  • Data Management: A representative from Terra Dotta, a software company specializing in addressing the data management needs of international higher education offices, met with a large group of IBP staff as well as NMSU staff involved in ICT, Banner and institutional analysis.  IBP is working to consolidate all of its data management using this provider, which will result in highly more efficient and accurate data management.

Center for English Language Programs

  • Accreditation Application: In a major milestone, CELP submitted its Application for Eligibility to the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA).  Over the past two years CELP has completely redesigned its curriculum and added numerous staff and faculty.  If accredited, NMSU will be the only intensive ESL program in New Mexico.
  • Go Teacher: On March 28 the 54 “Go Teacher” participants visited Mesilla, and on March 8 they attended “Cowboy Days” at the NM Farm and Ranch Museum.

International Student and Scholar Service

  • Thursday Global Meet-Ups: The first and second “Thursday Global Meet-Ups” were held in the Faculty Senate Chambers in Garcia Annex.  Every Thursday at 11:30-1:30 a brown bag event will be held to offer international and domestic students a chance to interact, have fun, and make friends.

Office of Education Abroad

  • Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship: The Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship supports underrepresented Pell eligible students in education abroad. As an HSI, NMSU takes advantage of this award and this spring boasts 8 recipients (15 applicants, >50% success rate) garnering $32,500 in funds. OEA just completed applications for the Summer, Fall and AY 2015. Thanks to workshops, the utilization of returning Gilman scholars, and outreach efforts, 36 students are in this session’s Gilman scholarship pool, more than any other previous group. OEA will also be matching ASNMSU funds designated to assist students with studying abroad with those of the Department of State and the Institute of International Education.
  • Growing Education Abroad: The Office of Education Abroad met this week with Clayton Harrington, Director of University Relations for International Student Exchange Programs, or ISEP, to discuss ways to innovate and expand our partnership, which has existed for over 30 years. 
  • Study in Mexico: On March 5 representatives from OEA attended the Study In Mexico (Si Mexico) Fair at UTEP to meet with more than a dozen universities from Mexico that are interested in more actively engaging with US universities.  The event is part of a national initiative to attract Americans back to Mexico.  It was hosted by UTEP in collaboration with the Consul General of Mexico in El Paso and the Consul General of the United States in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

The Confucius Institute

  • Confucius Institute Event: The Confucius Institute hosted its first CI Chinese Language at NMSU New Year celebration at Domenici Hall on February 26.  The event was open to public and attended by over 100 people.Chinese New Year Celebration
  • Chinese New Year Celebration: The NMSU Chinese Students and Scholars Chinese hosted its own New Year celebration at Atkinson Hall on February 28.
  • Volunteer Translators: The institute’s Co-Director, staff and teachers volunteered to help with interpretation for two events last week.  They translated for for Mandarin-speaking parents and students at parent-teacher meetings at University Hills Elementary School, and also for a NM Department of Ag – sponsored  Chinese delegation at the Western Pecan Growers Association annual meeting at Hotel Encanto (also toured pecan orchards, dined, etc.).
  • Confucius Institute Meeting: CI staff met with the new Asian Studies Director at UTEP, Pratyusha Basu, to discuss and explain our satellite relationship with the CI at NMSU and its Chinese language program in El Paso. 


Senior Vice President Administration and Finance, Angela Throneberry

  • Undergraduate Learning CenterUndergraduate Learning Center: The North end of Hardman and Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center is taking shape as the structural steel is being erected.  This portion of the building will house the Student Success and Upward Bound on the first level and a SCALE-UP classroom and Active Learning classroom on the second level.  The structural frame for the West colonnade is in place.  Once steel is up on the north side, the contractor will begin on the south side which will be home to the Student Technology & Planning and Technology Support for NMSU ICT.
  • Kick it Up a Notch” Program: Facilities & Services Custodial Operations “Kick it Up a Notch” program for 2015 has recently introduced a new time and staffing analysis program called CleanOPsStaff-3ed. CleanOpsStaff-3ed will assist with efficient benchmarking of time and staffing standards. It is important that the mission of the custodial services be linked with the mission of the institution.
  • Green Hornets: Our Facilities & Services Recycling group, Green Hornets, has been busy these last few weeks collecting recyclables for the annual Nationwide Recyclemania competition. Out of the 600 Colleges and Universities that are participating we are currently in 8th place in the Grand Champion category.
  • Pan Am Event Center Entertains the Community: 2Cellos concert on Wednesday, March 3 sold over 3,000 tickets for their highest single-day tour attendance to date.  The Brad Paisley concert on Friday, March 6, sold out with close to 8000 in attendance.  And another sell-out for the final Men’s Basketball game on Saturday, March 7, with Chicago State. 
  • direct to be Piloted in March:, an advanced academic planning application, is scheduled to be released in a pilot program in March 2015. integrates features into U.achieve, the degree audit reporting system (STAR), which is in use across the NMSU system.  Once live, will enable NMSU to take existing degree audit data and create term-by-term degree plans for NMSU students. Working with their advisors, students will be able to create personalized academic roadmaps that provide a clear path towards graduation. The pilot program is scheduled to be completed by September 2015, with a full release of to follow shortly thereafter. Credit goes to the Registrar’s office and ICT for making the project a reality.
  • Room Renewal Rodeo: Housing and Residential Life in partnership with Sodexo/campus dining kicked off their annual Room Renewal Rodeo with a themed dinner, Rodeo team demonstrations and a mechanical bull. The event provided students an opportunity to learn about housing options and the space selection process for next academic year.  Campus Housing Room Renewal begins on Monday, March 9.
  • Power Plant Operations: Plant Operations’ personnel toured the University of New Mexico (UNM) power plant this week.  Mark Blachford, Supervisor, Daniel Carrera, HVAC Mechanic Lead, Gilbert Perez, Operator, and Pat Chavez, Interim Director of MEP, toured the plant and discussed operations with the UNM staff.  The visit was very informative and the team brought back some ideas that may be implemented at NMSU.  The team extended an invitation to the UNM staff to visit the NMSU campus.


Vice President Student Affairs / Enrollment Management, Dr. Bernadette Montoya

  • Loan Default Rates: Montoya met with a representative from Inceptia on Thursday, March 5 to discuss NMSU’s loan default rates. Our loan default rate continues to be a challenge that we take very seriously.
  • Peer-Mentoring Program: Met with Justin McHorse and Michael Ray from the American Indian Program on Friday, March 6 to learn more about the peer-mentoring program for our American Indian students.
  • Workshop: Conducted a workshop on Friday, March 6 for the Advancing Leaders Cohort of the Teaching Academy entitled “Responding to Organizational Change”.

University Admissions, Ms. Delia De Leon

  • Campus Tours: The University Admissions Aggie Student Ambassadors facilitated a day of campus tours for over 900 students who were here for the NM MESA Conference and manned an information table throughout the day.

University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services, Ms. Janie Merchant

  • Financial Aid Spring Training 2015: Janie Merchant, Financial Aid Director, hosted the annual system-wide Financial Aid Spring Training. Over 60 financial aid staff members from all five NMSU campuses participated. Police Chief Lopez presented on campus security, a representative from NMSU’s student loan default prevention vendor, Inceptia, presented on loan repayment options, and various staff presented policy and process updates.

Student Engagement, Dr. Terry Cook

  • Family Involvement: Terry Cook met with Gena Bermudez Aggie Family Outreach, and Nigel Holman and Darlene Nelson, from University Advancement, to discuss establishing an NMSU Family Association and other programs to help engage families with the NMSU community.
  • Aggie Family Weekend: Family Outreach Coordinator Gena Bermudez, met with Athletic Director Mario Moccia, Dr. Andrea Tawney, and Dr. Kelley Coffeen to discuss Aggie Family Weekend for Fall 2015. Programming and events to introduce families of new students to the NMSU campus are being planned. The Aggie Family Outreach office has been established to develop relationships and provide support to families throughout their students’ college experience. The office will serve as a centralized resource and a liaison from the university to families, with a focus on communication, events and partnerships.
  • Money Management Workshop: The Red to Green Money Management Workshop “College is Going to Cost Me How Much?” was held on March 3 in Pete V. Domenici Hall. The workshop taught students how to find grants and scholarships offered through NMSU and other external funding sources, and how to responsibly take out loans. 
  • Daniels Fund Boundless Opportunity Scholarship Program: The Student Success Center, in collaboration with the NMSU Foundation, was awarded a $40,000 grant for the Daniels Fund Boundless Opportunity Scholarship program. Elaine Stachera and Tony Marin are the co-principal investigators for the grant. 
  • 2015 New Mexico Academic Advisors Association Conference: In collaboration with the College of Business staff, Student Success Center staff presented at the 2015 New Mexico Academic Advisors Association conference. The presentation entitled “College of Business and Student Success Center: Building an Online Academic Workshop” was presented by Debra Cardinali, David Melendez, and Michelle Adames. 

Diversity Programs

  • .Latino Week: Chicano Programs supported the student leaders in this year’s Latino Week events, funded by ASNMSU. This year’s events were proposed and arranged by the CAMP Student Council and Mexican American Engineers and Scientists. Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute Visit
  • Campus Visitor: On Thursday, March 5, Justin McHorse and Michael Ray gave a presentation on NMSU and the American Indian Program at the American Indian Student Center to seven students and two staff members from the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) located in Albuquerque.


Vice President Economic Development, Dr. Kevin Boberg

  • IP and Legal Advising with Steve McLary: This week Arrowhead Center hosted Steve Mclary, an attorney at Peacock Myers, P.C. in Albuquerque, who also serves as an intellectual property and legal advisor. Mr. McLary offered one-on-one meetings this week to members of Arrowhead’s various programs. The meetings provided NMSU students and researchers the opportunity to receive preliminary advising on legal documentation that every startup needs to limit its liability to creditors, allocate ownership among founders, offer stock options to employees, protect intellectual property, and prepare to raise working capital. 
  • Models to take University or Lab IP to Market with John Chavez: This week, Arrowhead Center hosted John Chavez, president of New Mexico Angels, who gave a presentation entitled Models to take University or Lab IP to Market. Attended by nearly 20 people, the presentation offered participants the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge from the president of one of New Mexico’s top investment groups and learn what NM Angels can do for startup companies in the region. Afterwards, Mr. Chavez held one-on-one advising sessions with Arrowhead Center incubation program clients.
  • Studio G Networking Hour: Mark Clark, Assistant Professor of Management in the College of Business and Enterprise Advisor at Arrowhead, led discussion of High Performance Work Teams with 15 attendees. 
  • Press Release on CO2 Capture Technology Provisional Patent: This week NMSU Communications issued a press release about a provisional patent being issued for a CO2 Capture Technology that was developed by an NMSU doctoral candidate in the chemical engineering department (Nasser Khazeni), with faculty support (Abbas Ghassemi, Reza Foudazi and Jalal Rastegary). The research team worked in partnership with the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office at Arrowhead Center to obtain a provisional patent and the article was featured in 15 web publications throughout the US and internationally. 


Vice President Research, Dr. Vimal Chaitanya

  • Oak Ridge Associated University Annual Meeting: Vimal Chaitanya attended the Oak Ridge Associated University (ORAU) annual meeting in Oak ridge, TN as council member for NMSU. The theme this year was “Big Data Science and Engineering”. Professor Huiping Cao from Computer Science Department joined me at this conference. There was considerable encouragement from Government entities and industries to develop and offer Data Science and Engineering curriculum. Presentations and discussions focused on partnership and funding opportunities.
  • National Academy of Inventors Chapter Member Recognition: The VPR office organized NMSU Chapter meeting of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The membership requires faculty or staff to have at least one approved patent. Dr. David Rockstraw was inducted at the meeting as additional member of the Chapter. Discussions regarding future activities, role of the Chapter and leadership took place.
  • Wastewater TreatmentWastewater Treatment: The NMSU algal team has just completed deployment of an algal-based wastewater treatment system for pilot-scale demonstration at the Las Cruces Wastewater Treatment Facility. The Utilities Division of the City of Las Cruces has been most cooperative in getting this project off the ground; they will also provide in-kind support in providing power to operate the system and in conducting third-party verification of the performance of the system. The project is funded by multiple Federal agencies such as NSF NM EPSCoR, DOE RAFT and NSF ReNUWIt to demonstrate energy-positive wastewater treatment.  Van Voorhies and Khandan are the co-leads on this project. A proposal based on this with the City of Las Cruces to the NSF AIR-RA program is pending. The completed system is now ready for testing. Samples will be taken daily to monitor algal growth and removals of organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphate.
  • Washington D.C.: Pat Hynes and Joylynn Watkins traveled to Washington, D.C., and met with all members of our Congressional delegation to update them on the progress in New Mexico of the NMSGC and NASA-EPSCoR programs. They also attended the National Space Grant College and Fellowship two-day meeting.
  • Award: The Department of Defense (DOD) awarded a new RDT&E effort valued at $3.2M to PSL.  Another new DOD requirement was received and a proposal is in process.
  • Site Visit: PSL staff visited the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Remote Sensing Laboratory to explore further collaborations.
  • Border Report Email Newsletter: NM WRRI Project Director Erin Ward published the first edition of the Border Report email newsletter for U.S. and Mexican readers both. The newsletter announces border water projects, shows readers where to apply for water infrastructure program funding, and summarizes recent meetings between U.S. and Mexican environmental officials.


Vice President University Advancement / Foundation Executive Director,

 Ms. Cheryl Harrelson

          No Activity to Report


Athletics Director, Mario Moccia

  • Schedule Discussions: I traveled to UTEP and met with Athletics Director Bob Stull and Senior Associate AD Chris Parks to discuss future football and men’s basketball scheduling as well as establishment of a rivalry series.
  • Donor Meetings: Met with donors who are considering a ½ million facilities gift to athletics and toured different facilities.
  • Santa Fe: Traveled to Santa Fe on Tuesday and had dinner with Senators Mary Kay Papen and George Munoz along with Lou and Mary Henson. I had breakfast with Senator John Arthur Smith and David Abbey and a few others. Met with numerous legislators at the Capitol where Coach Lou Henson received his proclamation. Attended the Legislative basketball game, Hoops 4 Hope.
  • Travel Discussions: I met with City of Las Cruces manager, Robert Garza, Assistant City Manager, Brian Denmark, and Lisa Murphy, Airport manager to discuss the ability to fly Aggie football charters as well as visiting teams out of the Las Cruces International Airport. The meeting went spectacularly well.
  • Equipment Transport: Had a very productive get-to-know-you meeting with the owner of a national trucking firm. We discussed a possible loan of a truck to transport our equipment on away football games.
  • Dinner with WAC Commissioner: Had dinner with Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Commissioner Jeff Hurd on Friday evening. We discussed the future of the WAC as well as future sites for the WAC Conference Championship. I discussed NMSU’s interest in hosting a future conference championship. 
  • Pack the Pan Am: Pack the Pan Am was a great success. It was the first sell out since the renovation of the Pan Am in 2006. The US Bank Hall of Fame reception, WAC Championship trophy presentation, and the post-game celebration of four Aggie seniors were very successful.

Associate AD, Marketing- Steve Macy

  • Aggie Success: Three Aggie teams are on amazing winning runs. The men’s basketball team has won 11-straight games, tied for the fourth longest in the country and heads to the WAC Tournament as the number one seed. Softball has won 10-straight games, including sweeping the field in Las Vegas and Las Cruces in back-to-back tournaments. The NM State women’s basketball team finished the season with a 13-1 WAC record and has only lost twice since Dec. 1, 2014, a span of 22 games.


Associate Vice President University Communications, Maureen Howard

  • Las Cruces Sun-News Eye on Research:This week’s Eye on Research in the Las Cruces Sun-News highlighted a new, provisionally patented technology from a New Mexico State University researcher that could revolutionize carbon dioxide capture and have a significant impact on reducing pollution worldwide. The Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center is working to protect and commercialize the technology, which was developed by chemical and materials engineering doctoral candidate Nasser Khazeni.
  • Las Cruces Sun-News Sunday Feature: This week’s NMSU feature in the Las Cruces Sun-News profiled Timothy Ketelaar, associate dean in the William Conroy Honors College and director of the NMSU Office of National Scholarships and International Education. He is an avid competitive cyclist, spending eight to ten hours per week training and competing with a local club, Zia Velo Cycling Team. Ketelaar will split his time as associate dean between guiding students through the process of applying for top national and international awards like the Fulbright, Goldwater and Gates Cambridge scholarships and continuing to teach courses and conduct research.
  • Sports information: The Athletics Media Relations team chronicled the continued success of the Western Athletic Conference champion men’s and women’s basketball teams. The Aggie men have won 10 straight games (second longest win streak under coach Marvin Menzies) and the Aggie women won the WAC outright last Saturday. Both teams play their final regular season game on Saturday before next week’s WAC Tournament in Las Vegas. Coverage also included WAC championship coverage of indoor track and swimming.
  • Advertising Update: The spring recruitment ad campaign is in full swing with digital boards in Albuquerque and Las Cruces during February and March. Facebook and Google Search campaigns are also underway.
    Advertisement 1    Advertisement 2
  • KRWG: Glen Cerny and Adrian Velarde journeyed to Santa Fe to meet with members of the Senate Finance Committee Monday morning. Along with staff from KENW (Portales) KNME (Albuquerque) and NMSU Government Relations, the group met to discuss funding proposals for FY 16. Good support was found to maintain current levels for New Mexico Educational TV. Previously, the House had passed a 10% cut.
  • Web Communications: Working with the Office of the Vice President for Economic Development (VPED), a database of NMSU experts has been developed to assist with collaborations across campus. The team met this week to review the draft. The application includes advanced search features allowing users to locate individuals with similar specialization.  


Assistant Vice President Government Relations, Ricardo Rel

  • 2015 Legislative Session: We are attending the 2015 Legislative Session in Santa Fe, NM, through March 21, 2015.  Stay updated on current news regarding the legislative session by visiting their website


Director/Secretary New Mexico Department of Agriculture, Jeff M. Witte

  • Conference Participation: This week was conference week. I spoke at the New Mexico Food Protection Alliance, New Mexico Wine Growers Association Annual meeting and the Emergency Preparedness for the Home Fair Conference. Each had a great turn out and were attended by NMSU employees from NMDA and the Cooperative Extension Service.
  • Tours Around the Mesilla Valley: Staff escorted six pecan buyers and a representative from the Agricultural Trade Office in Shanghai, China, on a buying mission throughout the Mesilla Valley.  The buyers were able to meet one-on-one with local growers, as well as tour several farms and processing facilities.
  • Western Pecan Growers Annual Conference: Staff participated in the Western Pecan Growers annual conference in Las Cruces.  The conference draws equipment dealers and pecan growers from Mexico and the western pecan growing states.  Staff shared a vendor booth with their federal USDA-Animal Plant Health Protection Services counterparts with displays on invasive species and information on export procedures for New Mexico grown pecans.  Staff was also invited to speak on pesticide toxicology, and on current insecticide topics relevant to the pecan industry.  The event was attended by approximately 400 people.
  • Guest Lecture: Staff guest lectured in NMSU Animal Science 220 (Careers) which consisted of 109 students.  Provided an overview of NMDA’s structure, roles, professional job opportunities, student jobs, and interacted with student questions.
  • 2015 Legislative Session: Staff and I continued to track and review draft and filed legislation for the 2015 legislative session, and attended various committee meetings. We also researched various subject matter for background material necessary for legislation, conducted bill analyses and interacted with other agencies regarding common legislation.


Chief, NMSU Police, Stephen Lopez

  • Update: There were 37 police reports created, 17 supplements filed, and 13 traffic citations issued.
  • Records & Evidence Office: The Records & Evidence Office processed 23 items of evidence, and fingerprinted 23 people.
  • Emergency Dispatch Center: The Emergency Dispatch Center handled 277 calls for service (11 of which were 911 calls), resulting in 191 police calls (6 of which were mutual aide), 1 public assist, 1 agency assist, 1 call for natural gas odor, 1 animal control call, and 7 emergency medical calls.
  • NMSU Events: Special Events Staff worked 301.75 hours, reviewed 3 Events, and assisted 2 victims with services.   Also assisted with OVW Grant paperwork and wrote Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Canine Training: Officer Ottersland has been training Officer Jake Capraro this week on Basic Handling Training with Canine, Roxy.  Training will continue over the next four weeks.
  • Interviews: Final interviews for the Emergency Dispatcher Position were conducted and an offer for employment was presented.
  • Policy Review: A group of administrators was brought together to discuss updates on the NMSU Alarm Policy.  Recommendations will be sent forward for consideration by senior administration.


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