I recently did a focus group exercise with the Presidential Ambassadors. When I asked for their top of mind and immediate response to NMSU, most wrote Aggies or their major. But one young lady, a Native American student, wrote “home.” I asked her, why did you write home? She said she had ventured south to attend NMSU Dona Ana Community College and then transferred to the main campus. All along the way, she found friends, mentors, excellent professors, and had become active in campus organizations. So commented “this just feels like my home.” This started a discussion where other students chimed in with similar comments. One student from Albuquerque said when she was there for the holidays, upon needing to return to her studies, told her parents she needed to go “home” e.g. NMSU. We are a caring community when our students call this “home.”
We continue to work on the San Luis Potosi NMSU campus project. We are now vetting the project, to include looking for any legal prohibitions for NMSU entering into this proposed campus in Mexico. While there are challenges, my visit with the Attorney General, Legislative Council, and members of the legislature suggest there will be a way forward. All seem to think this is an exciting opportunity for NMSU to take a big step in internationalizing our university. There can be faculty and student exchanges and because the curriculum will be taught only in English, we would expect more Mexican students from San Luis Potosi to transfer to NMSU for their graduate education.
My focus for the period of time left on my contract will be development and alumni relations. Last week I visited South Carolina and Arizona with Andrea Tawney in search of investors. The NMSU story is a good one, particularly to our successful alums. If you have any we should check in with, send the names to Andrea or me, and we will try to visit them as well.
The most important event of last week for me was the meeting of the Board of Regents. The meeting began with a discussion of the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support (CAASS) and University 150 courses. Eventually, we moved on to a presentation of the university’s budget for fiscal year 2019. Among the topics of discussion was a compensation increase for university employees. The Board approved a flat payment of $1,000 for non-exempt employees making less than $50,000 a year, and a 2 percent compensation pool for exempt employees and faculty. Raises for exempt employees and faculty will be merit based and unit directors will be responsible for developing plans for allocating raise dollars. In order to allow the next Chancellor to play a role in approving these plans, the Board approved a motion that provided for compensation increases to go into effect no later than September 1, 2018.
Dr. Sonja Koukel, health specialist, and Leah Platero, NMSU Tribal Extension, were invited speakers at the 2018 Shiprock Agriculture Days. Close to 100 attendees participated in the event held at the Shiprock Chapter House. Koukel presented, “A Guide to Food Storage Guidelines for Emergencies.” Platero incorporated native foods into a “Kitchen Creations” presentation.
NMSU Model UN Team wins in New York! Congratulations to our Model United Nations team. We are excited to announce that the MUN Team received the title of Outstanding Delegation, which is the highest award a team can receive at the National Model United Nations competition in New York where over 130 teams compete and address global issues! This places NMSU in the top tier of schools, which attended this international event!
DeMers wins Wheeler Peak Lifetime Achievement Award Congratulations to Dr. Michael DeMers, professor in the Department of Geography who received the Wheeler Peak Lifetime Achievement Award from the Board of the New Mexico Geographic Information Council. This award goes to those who have served the geospatial community and the state of New Mexico to a degree well above and beyond the line of duty!
Dean Jim Hoffman and Director of Development, Anthony Casaus met with COB alumnus, Ross (`74) and Patty McCallister Monday, March 26. Ross McCallister spoke to Dean Hoffman’s Management 461 New Venture Creation class in the Business Complex. Ross and Patty McCallister are co-owners of MC Companies, which is a full service real estate investment and property management company in Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma. In addition to Dean Hoffman’s entrepreneurship class, Ross McCallister spoke to Professor Shanelle Marie Trail’s ECON 252 Principles of Microeconomics class.
Lori Badenhop, advisor, Treasury Risk Management for FedEx Corporation, met with Dean Hoffman during her visit to NMSU as the “Risk Manager in Residence” on April 4. She also spoke to several classes during her visit. The RMIR program is made possible by a grant from the Spencer Educational Foundation.
I have been visiting with our core Accounting and Economics lower division courses to discuss our Student Ambassador program. Students are encouraged to apply in order to interact with the business community as well as be provided with the opportunity to be mentored and serve as mentors.
The Office of Engineering Research hosted Dr. Geoffrey Fairchild, computer scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, who spoke about “Real-Time Social Internet Data to Guide Disease Forecasting Models,” on April 5. He presented a framework that combines clinical surveillance data with social Internet data and mathematical models to provide probabilistic forecasts of disease incidence and will demonstrate the value of Internet data and the real-time utility of our approach. Social media has recently played a crucial role in informing and changing the response of people to the spread of infectious diseases. Recent events, such as the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic and the 2015-2016 Zika virus epidemic, have highlighted the importance of reliable disease forecasting for decision support. Fairchild’s expertise is in activity based intelligence and large-scale data analysis. He has played a key role in developing LANL’s social internet-based disease forecasting capability, building statistical and machine learning models using data sources such as Wikipedia, Google Trends, Twitter, Yelp, Instagram, and Flickr.
The Boy Scouts of America Yucca Council and the NMSU College of Engineering collaborated on the Boy Scouts Merit Badge University, an event designed for scouts to have an opportunity to earn badges in areas that are not always available to them with assistance from highly trained professionals in the various fields offered. The focus of this Merit Badge University was on STEM-related badges. More than 240 scouts attended the event, achieving badges in everything from composite materials, energy and robotics to citizenship in the world. The full-day event was supported by faculty members and students from the College of Engineering as well as merit badge counselors provided by the Boy Scouts.
The Office of Engineering Research awarded seven $10,000 mini-grants to engineering faculty. Judged by four faculty members, each mini-grant application received three individual reviews and scores, composite scores were computed, and each application was discussed. The following received awards:
- Reza Foudazi (chemical) and Douglas Cortes (civil): Environment and Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering
- Jessica Houston (chemical) and Hongmei Luo (chemical): Biomedical Applications
- Catherine Brewer (chemical) and Delia Valles-Rosales (industrial): Energy and Energy Storage, Environment and Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering, and Water
- Sang-Yeon Cho (electrical) Communications: Sensing and Signal Processing
- Andreas Gross (mechanical): Aerospace, Environment and Infrastructure, and Water
- Craig Newtson (civil): Autonomous Systems and Robotics, and Manufacturing and Systems Engineering
- Pei Xi (civil): Energy and Energy Storage, Environment and Infrastructure, and Water
During spring break, 22 chemical engineering majors traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, to attend the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Rocky Mountain Regional Conference. They competed in CHME Jeopardy, earning third place, and the CHME Car competition earning seventh place as well as the Golden Tire Award (people’s choice for CHME Car). The conference attendees brought lots of team spirit to the competitions. Two members, Stephanie Richins and Esai Lopez, presented papers on their research.
National Library Week is April 8- 14. It’s a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and library workers and to promote library use and support. From free access to books and online resources for families to library business centers that help support entrepreneurship and retraining, libraries offer opportunity to all. This year marks the 60th anniversary. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is observed each April by the American Library Association. Established in 2003, the purpose of National Library Workers Day is to acknowledge all library workers, including librarians, support staff and others who make library service possible every day. It is held annually during National Library Week. We like to acknowledge NMSU Library with a delicious cupcakes!
Our Aggies have been making their mark in athletics and beyond for more than 120 years, and we want to make sure future Aggies have the opportunity to learn about the athletes and hall-of-famers who wore crimson before them. To aid with the process, Aggie Athletics has partnered with the Zuhl Library to create the Aggie Sports Archives. Currently, the archives has nearly 170 boxes that contain a treasure-trove of Aggie athletics memorabilia such as player information, 16mm film reels for more than 1,100 games, 475 VHS tapes and approximately 50,000 photographs that span from 1890 to 2007. And, that’s just the beginning. Your generous support of the Aggie Sports Archives helps further the mission of the library archives to preserve and protect NMSU’s athletic past. By giving, you are investing in the creation of jobs for NMSU students who will safeguard the history of student-athletes of the past and those to come. https://mas.nmsu.edu/project/7060
Campus Traditions Chancellor Carruthers participated in a time honored tradition of painting a portion of the “A” on A Mountain this week. The Greek community will be painting the “A” later this month as part of Greek week.
Life on Campus Thanks to an upgrade to the campus housing software, students can access MyHousing link inside the student tab of MyNMSU. This upgrade provides a seamless experience for students.
From Passwords to Passphrases Beginning May 22, NMSU will transition from passwords to passphrases. A passphrase is an easy to remember but hard to guess sequence of words that will replace current complex password requirements. Passphrases have two main advantages over passwords. First, passphrases are much more secure. Second, once passphrases have been implemented, mandatory password resets will only be required once every two years as opposed to the current standard of resetting them every four months. ICT will be updating the NMSU community as the implementation date draws near.
Student Success Center Chase Scholar Mentors Sarah Ferguson and Shayna Gallacher were awarded with the Crimson Leadership Award and 1888 Leadership Award on April 3, respectively (please see https://deanofstudents.nmsu.edu/student-awards/). Both Sarah and Shayna have an outstanding record of academic achievements through their leadership service at NMSU and with assisting students to make the transition to NMSU. Both Sarah and Shayna will graduate Spring 2018 and continue their education by studying law and business. The following photo is of Shayna Gallacher, Diana O’Brien-Student Success Center Student Program Coordinator, and Sarah Ferguson.
Student Success Center staff have spent the last two weeks meeting with students who are enrolled in UNIV Mid-Semester courses. The Mid-point meetings serve to enhance the dialogue between the students and their instructors to discuss any concerns or additional support that can be provided to increase student success. Students are always encouraged to schedule additional meetings to help support them throughout the remainder of their academic career. For many students, the mid-point meeting is an opportunity to visit the Student Success Center, discuss programs that are available, and to build a mentoring relationship with Student Success Center staff.
Aggie Welcome and Orientation student employees spent the past two weeks (six nights) calling all admitted students who are not already signed up for a summer orientation program. A total of 190 additional reservations were made over a course of five nights of calling. The metrics are below:
The top three student OL staff callers are listed below, as soon as all freshman admits have been called, they will switch to calling the admitted transfer students.
- 1st Rachel Kenney 526 total calls
- 2nd Amber Sedillo 412 total calls
- 3rd Shelby Rigtrup 406 total calls
University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services For FY2018/2019, 6,911 incoming new students have received scholarship offers, and 3,686 have been informed of their eligibility for federal financial aid. Customer service metrics:
- In person – 188
- On the phone – 98
- Via emails – 158
- At the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support (CAASS) – 17
This past week WAVE reached approximately 500 students with health and wellness education. They rolled out their Keep State Safe themed golf cart offering free cross-campus rides to students who could correctly answer questions regarding violence and sexual assault prevention actions and definitions. WAVE also assisted WAVE Rx in a tabling event promoting the proper disposal of prescription drugs.
Over spring break, the NMSU Aquatic Center passed its annual New Mexico Environment Department inspection. The New Mexico Environment Department requires all public pools to go through an inspection each year and obtain an annual operating permit. The Aquatic Center goes through a rigorous inspection of water quality, appropriate safety equipment, proper filter maintenance, record keeping, and more. This year the Aquatic Center received their most impressive report to date. The Aquatic Center is open Monday thru Thursday 6:00 am – 8:00 pm, Friday 6:00 am – 7:00 pm and Saturday 7:00 am – 5:00 pm. You can check lane space availability at recsports.nmsu.edu or call 575.646.3518. Pictured are Mark Kimpel, Athletic Equipment Manager and Michelle Mason, Sr. Intramural/Recreation Coordinator.
On Tuesday, April 3, Student Life, in collaboration with Campus Activities, Health & Wellness, and LGBT+ Programs hosted the Fourth Annual Student Leadership Awards Banquet. Sixteen awards were announced to an audience of over 50 students, friends, and family. The winners of the Student Life awards were the following:
- Pioneer Leadership Award (Freshman or Sophomore level student who demonstrated leadership qualities) went to Jessie Linder
- Trailblazer Leadership Award (Junior or Senior level student who demonstrated leadership qualities) went to Alexander Warner-Garrett
- Crimson Leadership Award (graduating Senior or Graduate Student who demonstrated leadership qualities) went to Sarah Ferguson
- Aggie Leadership Award (demonstrated a commitment to community service) went to Jerry Tuttle
- 1888 Leadership Award (demonstrated a balance with academic excellence, leadership, and community service during their full time at NMSU) went to Shayna Gallacher
- Dean of Students Leadership Award (student who sees a problem and implements a solution) went to Adrian Llanez
- Social Justice Program of the Year went to Critical Multicultural Educators, GSO for their program Education Beyond Borders
- Student Organization Advisor of the Year went to Zooey Sophia Pook
Health & Wellness honored eight students at the Leadership Awards Banquet. Recipients were chosen for their commitment to excellence, dependability, leadership qualities and work ethic. The award winners are as follows:
- Paul LaPorte Excellence in Rec Sports – Luis Martinez
- Jack Welch Excellence in Aquatics – Kaela DeArmond
- Vaughn Corley Excellence in Intramurals – Pam Natera
- Outdoor Leadership Lead Facilitators – Garret Laney and Adrianna Sanders
- Outdoor Leadership Golden Trowel Award – Garret Laney
- Aggie Health & Wellness Center Student of the Year – Maddy Lewis
- Steven Judd Memorial Scholarship – Ryan Flinn
- Health & Wellness Courageous Acts in Our Community – Erik Roche
Innoventure Jr. This week the Innoventure team held a classroom visit at Mesilla Park Elementary School. The team spent the afternoon conducting an Innoventure Jr. activity with Ms. Darci Deschamps’ 4-5 grade dual language class. The students were challenged to create an invention that helps someone who is forgetful. The students formed teams, some working in Spanish and some working in English to create their inventions. The Innoventure Jr. curriculum is offered both English and Spanish. This classroom visit is part of an expansion of the Innoventure Jr. program supported by a gift from the Daniels Fund.
Sprint Accelerator programs This week, the Arrowhead team kicked-off two business accelerator sprint programs, Aggie I-Corps and AgSprint. On Friday, seven business teams comprised of Studio G clients from across the state, and eight business teams with Ag based technologies participated in the first of five sessions of the I-Corps customer discovery and value propositions development courses. At the end of five weeks the clients will have a better understand of their customers. Arrowhead Center offers a host of accelerator sprint programs that are supported by the New Mexico Gas Company and grants from the EDA and NSF.
CraftBox Design Hour On Friday, Arrowhead hosted its monthly CraftBox Design Hour speaker series. The last event of the academic year, this session hosted a round-table discussion of issues and challenges facing the design market in New Mexico. Student and community designers attended this session and discussed the design industry, success stories of local design firms and lessons learned throughout the year. CraftBox Design Hour is held on the first Friday of each month during the academic school year and is open to the public.
Office of Grants and Contracts OGC submitted sic large-scale proposals requesting approximately $29 million in externally-funded research this week. The proposals were submitted on behalf of the College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences and the College of Arts & Sciences. Proposal sponsors included U.S. Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and National Science Foundation.
Space Grant Dr. Oemig, sr. research scientist for the Consortium, presented the current funding opportunities to faculty of the Colleges of Engineering and Arts & Sciences. This is the once a semester meeting we have with faculty, convened jointly by Drs. Deleon and Murphy.
NM WRRI issued the March 2018 edition of the New Mexico Water eNews. The newsletter included an announcement that NM WRRI Student Water Research Grant proposals are due on April 20, 2018. A former recipient of a student grant, NMSU undergraduate Nhat Nguyen, was highlighted in the newsletter. Nguyen and his faculty advisor, Dr. Antonio Lara, both from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, are studying the use of natural clays to absorb contaminants in water, like uranium. Read about the project and learn about other important water information by viewing the New Mexico Water eNews here.
NM WRRI recently issued a Request for Proposals for its 2018 Student Water Research Grant Program. Funding for the program was made available through the New Mexico State Legislature. The program provides students with up to $6,000 to conduct water-related research. These grants are available to university students statewide. During the previous student grant competition, ten NMSU students received awards. The deadline for proposals is April 20, 2018. For program guidelines, click here.
1888 Minutes of Giving A new opportunity for student-led, student-focused causes, programs and funds to receive alumni and community support begins on Tuesday, May 1 – but only for 1888 Minutes! From the Aggie Cupboard and Veteran Scholarships to Aggie Athletics and Study Abroad programs, a variety of causes impacting students across the NMSU system are using matching dollars and timed challenges to drive donations for 1888 Minutes. Learn more about the event and become an Aggie Social Ambassador at give1888.nmsu.edu.
New Active Learning Center receives funding Steelcase Education awarded $67,000 in furniture and classroom equipment to the College of Engineering to create an Active Learning Center. The new classroom space will support student success in first-year engineering courses. Out of 1000 applicants, NMSU is one of eight higher education institutions to receive the award in 2018.
$20,000 grant supports local research The Thornburg Foundation awarded a $20,000 grant to support research by Dr. David Johnson/Institute for Sustainable Agriculture Research on regenerating healthy soils in New Mexico. The research shows potential impacts on improving food production, water conservation and atmospheric carbon reduction.
Former New Mexico State football player and three-time Super Bowl Champ Roy Gerela was inducted into the NM Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday, April 8, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
News and Media Relations Chancellor Carruthers’ trip to the top of “A” Mountain April 2, to help repaint the “A” generated a lot of traffic on both the NMSU News and NMSU President Facebook pages. The photos, video and new cover photo we posted about the event had a reach of more than 11,300 and generated more than 2,788 likes, comments and shares.
Marketing Services and Web Communications The Extension/Experiment Station Publications Facebook page just reached 3,000 likes! We have followers from New Mexico, the U.S. and the world who are interested in our resources on gardening, cooking, livestock and range, and farming. Many of our followers live in parts of the world with arid climates, and our agricultural publications are particularly useful to them. We also share information on research and outreach activities provided by the College of ACES. Some of our most popular posts/resources include “Home Vegetable Gardening in New Mexico,” “Using Chile to Make Ristras and Chile Sauce,” “Cake and Mix Recipes for High Altitudes in New Mexico,” “Poisonous Plants of New Mexico Rangelands,” “Electronic Logging Devices and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations,” and “Managing Organic Matter in Farm and Garden Soils.” To learn more about our publications, like our page at http://www.facebook.com/NMSUExtExpStnPubs?ref=mf.
KRWG/SPU KRWG’s Edmundo Resendez has secured another business underwriter for the station. He added Mt. Integrity Services to sponsor a new show, “The Wellness Confidential,” debuting on May 31. This is the third new underwriter Resendez has signed, which is impressive because selling underwriting is outside of his job duties. He brought on White Sands Federal Credit Union for “The Gardening Confidential,” and they later became a regular underwriter of “The Marketplace Morning Report.” Resendez also secured PicQuik as an underwriter of the KRWG-TV show he hosts, “Fronteras: A Changing America.”
The FY18 omnibus appropriations bill that was signed by the President includes funding increases for many research and education programs. The NSF received an increase of $295 million over the previous year, as well as increases for USDA, NIFA, the Department of Defense basic research account, and the NEH and NEA were not terminated as previously proposed, but instead grew by 2 percent.
The budget also includes a $15 million increase for the Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions program, and the maximum Pell Grant rose by $175 for the 2018-19 year.
Upcoming Legislative Related Events:
- Legislative Education Study Committee
April 23 – 24, 2018
State Capitol, Room 322
- Legislative Finance Committee
April 25 – 27, 2018
State Capitol, Room 307
Fire/Arson Investigation Class Lt. Texeira has successfully completed the 2-week Fire/Arson Investigation Essentials class sponsored by FEMA and ATF, and located at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. She joins Deputy Chief Andy Bowen as a fire investigator within the NMSU Police Department in order to investigate possible arson cases. Both work closely with Capt. Kellen Tarkington of the NMSU Fire Department to work as an arson investigation team on all suspicious fires.
All Hazards Emergency Plans for K-12 Chief Lopez taught workshops to the Las Cruces Public School elementary, middle, and high school principals on how to implement personal, school, and district safety plans for all hazards, and how to integrate them into the curriculum and across grade levels so the skills taught are cumulative throughout a student’s education.
National 911 Telecommunicator Week This week, the NMSU Police Department joins communities across the nation in recognizing the important work performed by the 911 Dispatch Center staff. National Telecommunicator Week only comes around once each year, but the work of the dispatchers to provide police, fire, and emergency medical assistance takes place every minute of every day during the year. During 2017, the NMSU emergency services dispatchers handled over 25,000 calls for service and alarm calls, showing how much they do behind the scenes to help protect and serve the university community. If you get a chance to thank emergency services dispatchers, whether at NMSU or another dispatch center, please let them know how much you appreciate their dedication and service.
Pell Grants Available for summer semester Finally, the Department of Education has reinstated year round Pell grants. Eligible students can receive up to 150 percent of their Pell Grant within an academic year. What this means is a quicker way through school for NMSU-Doña Ana students. Students are being encouraged to take up to 6 hours to accelerate their graduation.
On Thursday, March 29, NMSU-A hosted an Accelerator Workshop. The workshop was open to all NMSU-A students and the Alamogordo community. This workshop was designed to help start-up businesses with information about how to overcome obstacles. The workshop was presented by Studio G Business Incubator and Small Business Development Center at NMSU-A.
On Friday, April 6, five NMSU-A faculty and staff members flew off to Chicago for the 2018 Higher Learning Commission Conference. The staff and faculty members were Dr. Joyce Hill, Cathy Aguilar-Morgan, Sherrell Wheeler, Greg Hillis, and Dr. Ken Van Winkle. The conference is a great way to learn about accreditation issues and network with other institutions of higher learning.
President Prieto and Chief of Staff Casey accompanied Chancellor Carruthers up to A Mountain for the opportunity to paint the “A.” Chancellor Carruthers shared about his first trip up to A mountain as a NMSU freshman.
ASNMSU held a tailgate for the NMSU Softball game against UNM. We passed out 200 NMSU hats and encouraged students to support or NMSU Softball team! President Prieto threw the first pitch at the game.
The ASNMSU Supreme Court held their Legal Speaker Series on April 4. Three distinct panelists that have worked in the legal field provided advice and their story for aspiring lawyers and those who are interested in the justice system.
ASNMSU and Corbett Center Student Union held their month Pete’s Party in the Aggie Alley. Students could come hang out in the patio between Taos and Aggie Underground to enjoy some food, drinks, and games.