Activity Report May 4-8, 2015

President Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.

  • Summer Activity Reports: During the summer period, be advised that the Provost and I will provide an activities report periodically but we will not be providing the full NMSU weekly report.  When the fall semester begins, we will then gear up to include all units of the NMSU system, including reports from the four NMSU community colleges.  Have a great summer!
  • Spring 2015 Commencement Ceremonies: The Board of Regents met on Friday and authorized the granting of over 2200 degrees to our newly minted Aggie Alums.  This is one of the larger classes to graduate from NMSU.  For the first time, we had three commencement ceremonies – one for the Ph.D. recipients and two for undergraduates and graduate students.  The separate ceremony for the Ph.D. graduates seemed to be much appreciated by all.  The faculty advisors proudly walked on stage with their advisees, hooded them as is customary, and the graduate’s dissertation titles were read.  We followed the ceremony with a reception for the 51 doctorates, faculty, family and friends.  I believe this will become a new tradition at NMSU.
  • NMSU Athletics Champions: This spring, NMSU athletic teams won seven championships and one athlete won the cross country title.  Our men’s golf, women’s track, and women’s softball teams are still in action.  I treated the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the men’s golf team to lunch, thanking them for representing NMSU so well.  I will catch the remainder next fall when they return from the summer competitions.
  • We Bought the Farm: Several of our colleagues and I met with Secretary Gonzales of the Cultural Affairs Department to discuss the transfer of their Los Luceros farm in Northern New Mexico to the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences – Ag Experiment Station division.  The State has been working for some time to make this transfer as it is difficult for them to manage an agricultural property.  It consists of about 140 acres of land, several buildings including a conference center and two homes which are/can be occupied, and an old adobe two-story historic home that must be preserved and open to the public.  We do farming well, have some folks who do adobe well, but we are not as versed in running distant conference centers and historical sites but it looks like we are going to learn.  A requested capital outlay request for the farm is still bogged down in Santa Fe but is critical to our ability to operate the property.  My sense is, however, that we “just bought the farm!”


Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Dan Howard

  • Promotion and Tenure Reception: One of the highlights of my week was the Promotion and Tenure Reception at the Fulton Center on Tuesday afternoon.  The reception honors faculty members who were awarded tenure and/or promotion this year across the NMSU system.  Tenure and promotion are momentous milestones in the life of a faculty member and it is fitting that we recognize the occasion with a celebration.  Attendance was good, and I was especially pleased at the large turnout from NMSU Carlsbad.  During my address to the faculty and their families, I advised the newly tenured members of our faculty to take advantage of tenure to be more daring in their scholarship and their teaching.  With regard to scholarship, explore new problems, seek new opportunities, and establish new collaborations.  With regard to teaching, explore inquiry based learning and give more attention to incorporating writing into courses.  In the final part of my address, I described the new proactive advising model that will be initiated in the fall of 2015, and I asked for help from this group of faculty in making this initiative work.  The faculty is key to the initiative as only the faculty can monitor class attendance and alert the QuickConnect system when students begin to miss class. Also, the faculty can take the lead in engaging students who are struggling in class and in encouraging greater utilization of office hours.
  • Board of Regents Meeting: At the Board of Regents meeting on Friday, there was a great deal of focus on the budget and the implications of our declining enrollment.  It is important for everyone to understand that because of the very large entering classes in 2010 and 2011, NMSU will decline in enrollment, even if the size of the entering class this year is larger than last year, which seems likely.  One way to offset smaller entering classes is to focus on student success and retain a higher percentage of students than in years past.  At the end of the meeting I provided the Regents with a brief overview of the new proactive advising model, which is designed to enhance student success.  I also noted that when introduced to the new model, faculty and staff have unfailingly expressed a willingness to work with the new Student Success Navigators in implementing proactive advising at NMSU.
  • Commencement: The festivities began on Friday night with the hooding of our doctoral graduates. By moving the hooding ceremony to Friday night, we were able to have a more intimate ceremony and focus more attention on each graduate. The response to this change was favorable.  Family and friends especially appreciated being able to celebrate with their favorite new doctor at the reception following the ceremony.  The next day we were blessed with cool temperatures, bright sunshine, and two outstanding ceremonies celebrating the achievements of all of our spring graduates. There is no happier time than Commencement, and it is always one of the highlights of the year for me.  Kudos to Vice President Bernadette Montoya and her team for organizing a marvelous series of events.


Dean, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences,

Dr. Lowell Catlett

  • ACES Sam Steel Ceremony: 240 ACES students graduated this Spring. The following students received an award for their outstanding achievements during their college career. They were recognized at ACES Sam Steel Ceremony Friday, May 8.
    • NMSU Alumni Outstanding Senior- Jeremy Witte
    • Outstanding Student in AEAB- Julianna Wilbanks
    • Outstanding Student in ANSC-Joslyn Beard
    • Outstanding Student in AXED- Morgan Pinnell
    • Outstanding Student in EPPWS-Spencer James Golden
    • Outstanding Student in FCSC-Cara Lea Miller
    • Outstanding Student in HRTM-Susana Alcaraz Gonzalez
    • Outstanding Student in PEVS-Aiessa Wages
    • Dean’s Award of Leadership Excellence
      • Jeremy Witte-Undergraduate
      • Brittany Johnson-Graduate
    • Dean’s Award of Excellence for Undergraduates
      • Jessica Lucero-AEAB
      • Rhaela Staff-ANRS
      • Samantha Fisher-AXED
      • Marshall Zimmer-EPPWS
      • Kristen Griffith-FCSC
      • Jacob Naranjo-FWCE
      • Liliana Covington-HRTM
      • Audrey Smith-VEVS
    • Dean’s Award of Excellence for Graduates
      • Whitney Stewart-ANRS
      • Kassandra Williams-FCSC
    • Dean’s Award of Academic Achievement
      • Florence Davis-HRTM

Agricultural Experiment Station

  • Agricultural Science Center at Clovis: Crop Physiologist, Dr. Sangu Angadi, and Curry County Extension Agent, Mr. Dunlap Luther, Agricultural Science Center at Clovisarranged a Winter Canola and Wheat field day at Clovis on April 28, 2015. Nearly 60 people from the surrounding area learned about a potential alternative crop, canola. Agronomists weed scientists, and entomologists participated in the field day. Representatives of different industries also participated in the program. In spite of the bad weather, a field tour was arranged after lunch for interested clientele. A graduate student, Mr. Chris Landau, presented his research on canola weed management.

Cooperative Extension Service

  • Western Region State Liaison Representative/Commodity Liaison Committee Meeting: Extension Plant Sciences Cary Hamilton, Director/State Liaison of the IR-4 Project, traveled to the Western Region State Liaison Representative/Commodity Liaison Committee (SLR/CLC) meeting in Portland, OR, April 20-23, where water, pesticides, biopesticides, weeds, and insect issues were discussed.  Field trips included visits to local farms, organic production facilities, and nurseries; Cary is the State Liaison for New Mexico representing the pesticide needs for farmers, growers, and ranchers in the state. 
  • Santa Fe Children’s Water Fiesta: Christina Turner of the Santa Fe County Extension Office recently participated as a presenter for the annual Santa Fe Children’s Water Fiesta.  Her session included a slide presentation and a hands-on activity on “Agricultural Uses of Water” in which she addressed methods in which farmers are addressing water conservation.  She repeated her presentation nine times reaching approximately 200 fourth grade students.

Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology

  • Additional Grants: Gary Roemer, and James Cain recently received an augmentation to their grant entitled: “An Assessment of the Landscape Genetic Structure of the Western Continental Golden Eagle Population”. The augmentation was for an additional $93,444—bringing the total received for this project to $120,043. This work involves a consortium of academic and agency scientists and resource managers whose collective goal is to determine the connectivity of golden eagle populations to minimize the impacts of proposed wind energy developments in the U.S.


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

  • Student Awards Ceremony: The College of Arts & Sciences recognized outstanding students with its Student Awards Ceremony. The awardees for this year are:
    • Dean’s Graduate Award for Excellence: Marco Ortigoza (CJ and Public Administration) and Bonny Wells (Government)
    • Dean’s Undergraduate Award for Excellence: Kathryn Sanchez (Biology) and Cole Tobin (Anthropology and Biology)
    • A&S Outstanding Graduate Award: Nicholas Eckhart (Communication Studies), Emilly Haymans (English), Madelyn Stoltze (Communication Studies), Cindy Unger (Psychology)
    • A&S Outstanding Undergraduate Award” Jazmin Harvey (CMI), James W. Herndon (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Brandon Xavier Johnson (Government), Theadora Quigley-Trejo (Government)
    • A&S Outstanding Student Service Award: Deborah Blalock (CJ), Norma Hartell (Anthropology), Arryn Robbins (Psychology), Samanta Ruiz (Government)
    • A&S Outstanding Senior Award: Cole Tobin (Anthropology and Biology)
    • A&S Highest Honors: James W. Herndon (Chemistry)
    • A&S Outstanding Student Groups: A&S Student Ambassadors, Alpha Phi Sigma, Model UN
    • A&S Special Acknowledgment: Winners of the 3-minute Thesis Competition – Yuliana Zaikman (Psychology, 1st place), Trenton Haskell (Geological Sciences, 2nd place), Ronny Forney (Geography, 3rd place)
  • Award: Charles Bruce (Physics) has received $100,000 from the U.S. Army/Edgewood Contracting Division.
  • Writing Contest Winner: Bernard McNamara (Astronomy) won the top prize in this year’s Joan and Arnold Seidel Griffith Observer Science Writing Contest.  It is the oldest and most prestigious writing contest in astronomy.  McNamara’s article, “Tsien Hsue-shen and China’s First Satellite: A Collision between Politics and Technology,” will be published in the Griffith Observer in August.  William Maio (Chemistry & Biochemistry) and co-authors have won the 2014 Jack L. Beal Award for “Detailed Analysis of (-)-Palmyrolide A and Some Synthetic Derivatives as Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Antagonists” for the best paper published in the Journal of Natural Products in 2014.  Tad Conner (Government)’s article “Representation and Collaboration: Exploring the Role of Values and Beliefs in the Collaborative Process” has been accepted by the best journal in public administration, the Public Administration Review.
  • Discovery Scholar awards: The following faculty members received College of Arts and Sciences Discovery Scholar awards to recruit an undergraduate researcher to conduct research during Summer 2015 or Summer-Fall 2015 under faculty guidance:  Mary Alice Scott (Anthropology); Nancy Chanover (Astronomy); Erik Yukl (Chemistry & Biochemistry); Neil Harvey (Government); Daniel Chand (Government); Peter Kopp (History); and Michael Hout (Psychology). 
  • Research Awards: Geological Sciences undergraduates Shoshauna Farnsworth-Pinkerton and Brent Jackson won awards of $1,500 each to support their research from the New Mexico Geological Society.  Ms. Farnsworth-Pinkerton’s project analyzes tourmaline sand grains in sedimentary rocks that have been metamorphosed in order to discover the geographic source of the sand grains.  She will use a new generation of analytical equipment that is being used by NASA on the Mars Curiosity rover.  Mr. Jackson’s research examines mineral calcite in caves.  Using the same new equipment, his project builds on work by Arriana Chavez (Geological Sciences), an undergraduate who demonstrated that she can distinguish calcite precipitated by bacteria from calcite that was precipitated inorganically.  Mr. Jackson and Ms. Chavez’s work is an important first step towards calibrating calcite on this planet and analyzing calcite on another.
  • NMSU Women’s Club President: The NMSU Women’s Club has elected Susan DeMar (Geography) as its President for next year.


Dean, College of Business, Dr. James Hoffman

  • Promotion/Tenure Reception: Congratulations to our faculty who received promotion and/or tenure for the next academic year.  I had the opportunity to recognize them at a reception on Tuesday hosted by the Provost’s office.
    • Dale Spencer, Accounting and Information Systems – promotion to College Associate Professor
    • Tim Query, Finance – promotion to Professor
    • Jim Bishop – promotion to Professor
    • Bruce Huhmann, Marketing – promotion to Professor
    • Michelle Jasso – promotion to Professor
    • Mihai Niculescu – tenure and promotion to Associate Professor
  • Colombia’s Universidad de La Salle Summer School: Chris Erickson (Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business) and Mark Clark (Management) are two of the five professors selected to teach at Colombia’s Universidad de La Salle this summer.  Erickson will teach environmental sustainability and the economy, and Clark will teach the actual experience of socially responsible and sustainable new product development and organizational design.  This is the third summer that NMSU has sent professors to La Salle.  This group of five professors will be the largest foreign group of faculty participating in La Salle’s annual summer school.
  • Outstanding Graduate Award Luncheon: I attended the Outstanding Graduate Award luncheon hosted by the NMSU Alumni Association on Friday.  The college’s Outstanding Graduate this semester is Amanda Ball, management major.  Amanda was selected by Faculty Council among nominations received from all majors.  Congratulations to all nominees!
    • Paige Darwin, Accounting
    • Emily Powers, Economics
    • Jens Schubert, International Business
    • Jericho Trianna, Finance
    • Amanda Ball, Management
    • Patrick DeSimio, General Business
    • Marcus Anderson, Marketing
  • Spring Graduate Celebrations: The end of the week was very busy with the various celebrations recognizing our spring graduates.  Friday evening the Accounting department hosted a Master of Accountancy hooding ceremony while the first ever Doctoral hooding ceremony was held at the Pan American Center.  Many thanks to Bill Smith, Management, who represented the College of Business at the Doctoral hooding ceremony.  It was a pleasure to be able to personally congratulate all business graduates at commencement.
  • 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

  • Dean’s Academic Excellence Awards Ceremony: Dean Morehead hosted the Dean’s Academic Excellence Awards ceremony where the top students in the College of Education were honored. He also hosted the Dean’s Doctoral Tea where the college students earning their doctoral degrees were honored.

Gladys De Necochea, Assistant Dean for Budget & Planning

  • College of Education Employee Service Awards: Presiding over the College of EducationCOE Employee Service Awards Employee Service Awards reception held on Thursday, April 23, Dr. De Necochea recognized faculty and staff who by the close of 2014 had completed a milestone in their years of service to NMSU. Service milestones were measured in five-year increments.  A total of 26 faculty and staff were honored for a combined work effort of 280 service years.
    • 25 years – Rudolfo Chavez Chavez
    • 20 years – Elizabeth Cahill, Flora Franco, Lori Perez, Michael Waldo
    • 15 years – Susan Brown, Deborah Gouldsmith, Kathrine Puckett, Jennifer Villa, Elisa West
    • 10 years – Elsa Arroyos, Rocio Benedicto, Federico Marquez, David Soriano
    • 5 years – Christopher Adams, Patricia Carden, Yihong Chavez, Lida Uribe-Florez, Kenneth Korn, Pamela Nelson, Irma Ontiveros, Marlene Salas-Provance, Graciela Salazar, Darlene Taylor, Terri Von Wolff, Robert Wood
  • CoEd Faculty Leadership Training Program: Coordinated by Dr. De Necochea, the year-long CoEd Faculty Leadership Training Program culminated with a final interactive exchange between Provost Dan Howard and the cohort of three faculty participants, namely Dr. Julia Parra (Curriculum & Instruction), Dr. Linda Spencer (Special Education/Communication Disorders), and Dr. Ivelisse Torres Fernandez (Counseling and Educational Psychology). 
  • CoEd Sustainability Committee:   De  Necochea and Dr. Amelia Medina Rau facilitated the year-end evaluation of College of Education sustainability initiatives undertaken by the CoEd Sustainability Committee (Ruby Estrada, Alma Meza, Anna Lopez, Cecilia Hernandez, Amelia Medina Rau, and Gladys De Necochea).   Recognition was brought to both planning and implementation efforts of the committee.  In addition, a special recognition was brought to the along to Green Award honorees, Gary Ivory (2015) and David Rutledge (2014), for their ongoing efforts to promote best practices in sustainability within the college.
  • College of Education Dean’s Academic Excellence Award and Outstanding Senior Reception: De Necochea presented 16 top graduating seniors who were recognized with academic excellence awards for having earned the highest or second-highest cumulative GPAs in their respective academic programs.  Of these students, three earned an impressive 4.0 GPA.  The academic award recipients included:
    • Jordan Marks – Athletic Training (Recognized as graduating with Highest Honors in the College of Education)
    • Robert Sosnowski – Athletic Training
    • Emily Wagner, Counseling & Community Psychology
    • Victoria Adriana Garcia – Communication Disorders
    • Scheryiah Romero – Communication Disorders (Recognized as the College of Education Outstanding Graduating Senior)
    • Karina Fonseca – Dance and Anthropology (Double Major)
    • Morgan Taylor – Dance and Psychology (Double Major)
    • Amber Bre’Nae McCluney – Early Childhood Education
    • Taryn Israelson – Elementary Education
    • Frank Serna – Elementary Education
    • George Guadarrama – Elementary Special Education
    • Ethan Arthur Prairie – Kinesiology
    • Kristie Thatcher – Kinesiology – Exercise Science
    • Scott Kelley – Secondary Education
    • Nathan Heinritz – Secondary Education / K-12 Physical Education
    • Holly Cannon – Special Education / Elementary Education

Adelina Rodriguez, College of Education Recruiter

  • New Mexico Leadership Institute Luncheon: Rene Guillaume and Adelina Rodriguez coordinated a luncheon this week to recognize the New Mexico Leadership Institute (NMLI) scholars for completion of their first year at NMSU. Students provided feedback on the success of the program as it facilitated to their transition into college, as well as constructive critique for areas of improvement.
  • Freshman Outreach: In the area of recruitment, Adelina Rodriguez, created an electronic invitation to encourage incoming freshmen to live the College of Education Living Learning Community.


Dean, College of Engineering, Dr. Ricardo Jacquez

  • Student-Industry Night Dinner: Industrial engineering students held their annual Student-Industry Night dinner event; about 70 students and professionals attended.  It was held at the NMSU Golf Clubhouse and featured speakers from ExxonMobil, Becton Dickinson, Raytheon and MFG Solutions.  Industry representatives from Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Johnson & Johnson attended as well.  This event helps students develop their business and career skills.
  • Various Awards: A number of Chemical and Materials Engineering Department students have received awards:
    • John Schutte has been recommended by the Graduate Council Fellowships Committee to receive the Preparing Future Faculty Graduate Assistantship Award beginning the fall 2015 semester.
    • Tom Nakotte will receive the Graduate Assistant Tuition Fellowship from the Graduate College.
    • Kaylin Beeman and Gen Chen were both awarded $4,000 merit-based enhancement fellowships.
    • Litan Yao and Sahar Qavi were awarded Outstanding Graduate Assistantship awards of $2,000 for the 2015-2016 academic year.
  • Robo Rave Robotics Competition: Tracey O’Neil, program manager for the Engineering New Mexico Resource Network, participated as a judge and presenter at the annual Robo Rave Robotics competition in Albuquerque.  More than 1,200 students from across the country gathered in Albuquerque for the competition.  In addition to serving as a judge, O’Neil presented a booth on robotics prototyping and promoted various NMSU robotics events (NM BEST and NM VEX).
  • Border Manufacturing Meeting: The Engineering New Mexico Resource Network hosted the University of Arizona, Yuma Economic Development, and Arizona Workforce Solutions for a meeting on the Border Manufacturing Innovation Frontiers Southwest grant with U.S. Economic Development Administration.  The group was provided with an overview of manufacturing in the region by Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance, the Border Industry Alliance, TRAX International and Jacobs Technology, and were also provided a tour of the NASA Johnson Test Facility. The group is working to collectively develop a strategic initiative to advance manufacturing in the southern NM-AZ region to support defenses, aerospace and security technology development.
  • Extension Presentation: Engineering technology Professor Tom Jenkins made a sell-out presentation to a group of 55 on Solar Water Pumping and Off-Grid Lighting at the Southwest Center for Rangeland Sustainability in Corona, New Mexico. The presentation was made in partnership with the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service. Jenkins work has been supported by the Engineering New Mexico Resource Network.
  • Guest Lecturer: NMSU chapters of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society, as well as the Department of Civil Engineering, hosted John Lindsay, PE for a guest lecture.  As a professional civil engineer and former judge and senator for the state of Texas, as well as an alum of NMSU, Lindsay’s presentation “A Weird Engineering Career” highlighted public works projects in Texas including Harrison County medical facilities and the Houston toll-road system.
  • Order of the engineer/Sociedad de Ingenieros Ceremony: On Friday, May 8, the College of Engineering held the Order of the engineer/Sociedad de Ingenieros Ceremony for graduates.
    • Receiving Highest Honors was mechanical engineering student Ember Krech is the Highest Honors undergraduate student in the College of Engineering, maintaining a 4.0 throughout her undergraduate career. Krech will attend Kansas University to research joint biomechanics and prosthetic development.
    • Outstanding Senior is civil engineering student Daniel Franco. During his time at New Mexico State University, Franco has participated in the Alliance for Minority Participation. Franco will continue studying at NMSU while pursuing his master’s degree in civil engineering while working with Terracon.
    • NMSU’s Outstanding Graduate is industrial engineering student Brendan Sullivan. Sullivan has a master’s degree in political science. Sullivan served as the project lead for NMSU’s PACE team, a multi-national engineering competition. Sullivan will pursue a Ph.D. in industrial engineering.
    • Department Outstanding Seniors include:
    • Ember Krech, Mechanical Engineering
    • Daniel Franco, Civil Engineering
    • Varayini Pankayatselvan, Chemical Engineering
    • Maria Gabriela Solano, Industrial Engineering
  • Also honored at the ceremony as Ingeniero Eminente was Terry C. Price who attended New Mexico State University and received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1971.He recently retired from the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Station and has been on campus every year for spring and fall career fairs for the past ten years to talk, recruit, interview and hire NMSU Engineers.


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

  • College of Health and Social Services Conference: The CHSS Conference “A Beautiful Death:  What Will You Choose?” convened on May 1 at the Las Cruces Conference Center, attracting more than 400 attendees.  The event was sponsored by the HRSA Grant to strengthen aging services in the border region (housed in Nursing) and through sponsorships and gifts from local businesses and health facilities.  Peggy Battin, a bioethicist from University of Utah was the keynote speaker.  Attendees selected from more than 25 workshops led by faculty from NMSU, UNM, and the Family Medical Residency at Memorial Hospital. Lunch was a “Death Café” designed by Gail Ruben (Albuquerque). Dionarap Dr. David Grube (MD) was also featured during lunch.
    School of Nursing
  • Sigma Theta Tau Induction Ceremony: Sigma Theta Tau National Nursing Honor Society, Phi Omega Chapter, held their induction ceremony on May 7.
  • Nursing Recognition Ceremony: Nursing held a Recognition Ceremony for undergraduate and graduate students on May 8 at Atkins Recital Hall.

School of Social Work

  • Fellowship Recipient: Graduate student, Krystyna Gonzalez, was selected by the Graduate School to receive a $4,000 merit-based enhancement fellowship.  The award will be used for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Department of Public Health Sciences

  • Cancer Patient Education Network Meeting: Cindy Kratzke attended a three day Board of Directors Cancer Patient Education Network Meeting/Retreat at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.


Dean, Honors College, Dr. Miriam Chaiken

  • Graduation Celebrations: Exam week is fraught with stress for students, but also celebrations for those who are graduating. We held the graduation ceremony for our students who were graduating with University Honors on Thursday afternoon, and our 15 top students received their graduation certificate and medal denoting their achievements. Most had family and friends in attendance, and it was a festive occasion for all. The students’ senior capstone projects range from inquiries in STEM fields, to production of a film, to writing a series of short stories, to examining policy about autism in public education. The students who completed these senior capstone projects and are graduating with University Honors are heading to bright futures, some to graduate school, some to their first professional positions, and some to the Peace Corps. We are very proud of the achievements of these students, and grateful to the faculty who have supported them through their academic endeavors.
  • Graduation Student Activities: As it was the last week of the term, graduate students were also squeezing in important events before the summer recess. I participated in two MA defenses for internship projects and two MA proposal hearings for students in my home discipline of anthropology — all of whom did a splendid job.
  • Commencement: Saturday was the main commencement ceremonies, where we were able to watch 1600 students receive their degrees. Everyone was in high spirits and both the morning and afternoon commencement ceremonies were truly celebratory events for students, staff, faculty, and most especially the graduates’ families. A good time was had by all.

Associate Dean, Dr. Tim Ketelaar

  • Various Student meetings:  Met with several potential Fullbright Applicants and continued meeting with our Rhodes Scholar Applicant to begin planning the logistics of several mock interviews that we might schedule this summer.
  • Fulbright Fellowship: Worked on the first draft of a News Release announcing Katie Young’s offer of a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship.
  • Website Revisions: Met with Zachary Abbot, the new Honors College IT staffer, to review planned revisions to the ONSIE Website.

Dean, University Library, Dr. Elizabeth Titus

  • Finals Coffee: Co-hosted by the NMSU Alumni Associate, the NMSU Library once again held their Finals Coffee event – free coffee served to patrons at both Branson and Zuhl Libraries from May 3 – 6.
  • Power Towers: The NMSU Library has acquired mobile Isle Power Towers for patron use to expand electrical access and device.
  • Honor with Books: The “Honor with Books” program celebrated our graduating student employees with the NMSU Library selecting a book which would receive e-book plate in their honor. The students received keepsake certificates as well.
    Power Towers   Honor with Books

Associate Dean, NMSU Library, Norice Lee

  • Awards: Southwest and Border Cultures Institute has awarded a total of $5,000 to the New Mexico State University Library for two grants. The first grant, awarded $3,000, is titled “Expand Library Collections in the History and Future of Native American Education in the Southwest Border Region.” This grant is designed to expand and maintain the NMSU Library’s research collections regarding the intersection of Native American education, anthropology, literature, along with other topics, and will continue NMSU’s history as a trainer of Native American educators in the border region. The second grant, awarded $2,000, is titled “Celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros 2016.” A workshop planned at the NMSU Library for 2016 national event will focus on the readers of children’s literature who have a talent to make a story come alive for students, which can ignite a love of books and reading in children.
  • LibCal Implementation: Phase two implementation of the LibCal calendar and events modules is underway. LibCal is part of a larger suite of Springshare products the library licenses to improve user services and staff efficiencies and effectiveness. The two new modules will allow for online room bookings and event calendaring internally and externally. 


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

  • Education Abroad Webinar: IBP sponsored a NAFSA webinar on Education Abroad Research which was attended by a few faculty from around campus as well as IBP staff.

    NMSU Grants CommencementMenking attended the NMSU Grants campus commencement. 

International & Student Scholar Services (ISSS)

  • Outstanding Graduate Spring 2015 Awards Luncheon: The Outstanding Graduate Spring 2015 Awards Luncheon sponsored by the NMSU Alumni Association was held on May 8, 2015.  The International & Border Programs Outstanding Graduate Award recipient was Claudia Higuera-Medina.  Claudia has earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree and will be working at the Dona Ana County Headstart.  She completed an internship with Headstart in her final semester.   Claudia’s family moved from Mexico to Deming when she was a child and she hopes to assist and empower children, as her childhood caseworker did for her.   Mary Jaspers represented IBP at the luncheon.

 Office of Education Abroad (OEA)

  • Ambassador Fundraiser: The Study Abroad Ambassadors, in partnership with the Office of Education Abroad, hosted their annual fundraiser. This year Nuit de Musique was hosted at Art Obscura, and featured student musicians. The Ambassadors raised almost $200.
  • Farewell Banquet: The Farewell Banquet for departing exchange students, hosted by Education Abroad and the Study Abroad Ambassadors, took place on Thursday night at De La Vegas. The students received completing certificates, as well as awards and raffle prizes. The students reflected on their stay with a slideshow, and an open mic session.
  • Orientation: Last weekend, the Office of Education Abroad held their largest Pre-Departure Orientation to date, with over 170 students slated to depart in the summer and fall semesters. Keynote speaker Dr. Eric Morgan started out the morning with a dialog on culture shock. The Office of Education Abroad then gave students an overview of all things international travel, as well as pertinent details on credits, transcripts and insurance.
  • Fall 2015 Exchange Students: 69 students representing 17 countries will be attending NMSU as exchange students beginning Fall semester. This is the largest cohort of exchange students ever to attend NMSU.
  • Gilman Scholarship Appointee: Clint Hourigan, a study abroad advisor with the Office of Education Abroad, was selected to serve as a Gilman Scholarship reviewer by the Institute for International Education (IIE) in Houston last week. 


Senior Vice President Administration and Finance, Angela Throneberry

  • Finals Night Breakfast: Nearly 900 guests celebrated the finale of another semester at the Taos Restaurant on Tuesday.  Students enjoyed a festive breakfast, danced to music, enjoyed games and prizes, and interacted with administrators.
  • DACC Main Campus Infrastructure Upgrades: The DACC Central Utilities Upgrade project passed a major milestone on April 30 with the installation of a new cooling tower and chiller on the southeast side of Building 341.  Once the new cooling tower and chiller are operational, the computer controls will be integrated.  The system will provide DACC Central Campus with the redundant cooling and automated switching capabilities necessary during times of maintenance or repair.  This construction project began in late January and is expected to be completed by the end of July.
  • De-stress Fest: Barnes & Noble at NMSU provided an opportunity on Wednesday for students to de-stress.  They gathered to enjoy video game competitions and gift card prizes.  Students received a free stress ball to help them get through finals week.
  • ICT’s Marquita Calderazzo is 1st Quarter 2015 Asprey Award Recipient: The Asprey, which recognizes the most outstanding employee of the quarter, was awarded to Marquita Calderazzo.  Known as a “go-to” staffer in the Administrative Management group, Marquita develops data models and reports to help clients around the university get their jobs done. She’s been integral to the success of university-wide initiatives such as the implementations of EPAF, Research Initiative, Employee Evaluation, Payroll Process Improvement and Cognos 10.2.2 upgrade.  Not only is she a great worker, Marquita is a wonderful person as well; she’s quick with a good word and a smile that illuminates the computer center.
  • Golf Course: The Bunker renovation project continues on schedule as the NMSU Golf Course prepares to host the West Texas / New Mexico Amateur Championship in June.  The Players Grill provided a festive atmosphere during Cinco de Mayo week.
  • Intramural Field: The upper Intramural Field located south of the NMSU Activity Center, on the corner of South Locust street and Wells street, will be fenced off beginning May 8 through August 8, allowing the Grounds department to perform various maintenance activities. During that time, the field will undergo aerification, fertilization, topdressing, and irrigation repairs. Normal activity will resume August 8.
  • Job Shadowing:  Middle School students participated in job shadowing with the Barnes & Noble general manager and learned the ins and outs of being part of a business.  Job shadowing provides the student an opportunity to gain knowledge in the areas of customer service, stocking, and the managers responsibilities.
  • Hazardous Waste Processing: Environmental Health and Safety completed the quarterly hazardous waste processing and shipment.  They are now ready to accumulate campus waste for another shipment in three months.


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

  • Ally Award: Montoya was awarded with the Sexual and Gender Diversity Resource Center Ally AwardAlly award for her support and dedication to the NMSU GLBTQ+ Community.

University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services, Ms. Janie Merchant

  • Financial Aid Award Letters: Almost 7,000 complete 2015/16 financial aid award letters were issued. These letters include all aid that a student qualifies for including federal and state grants, subsidized and unsubsidized loans, federal and state work study and institutional and donor designated scholarships. Packaging and repackaging will occur nightly, as new students are admitted and existing students change the courses they are registered for.

University Registrar, Dr. Cassandra Lachica-Chavez

  • Student Letters: For the first time ever, academic sanction notices will be sent to students via email, rather than via USPS mailed paper letters. On average, 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students system-wide receive these notices at the end of each semester. This change will create a cost savings of approximately $1,000 to the University Registrar’s office and will provide immediate notification to students.

Diversity Programs

  • Hispanic Academic/Leadership Stole Ceremony: On Wednesday, May 6, Chicano Programs partnered with the Hispanic Faculty/Staff Caucus (HFSC) in the Hispanic Academic/Leadership Stole Ceremony held at the Center for the Arts. Forty-four graduating seniors were honored along with Cesar Montelongo, who was awarded the HFSC’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award.
  • Hispanic Heritage NightHispanic Heritage Night: Chicano Programs collaborated with Athletics for a Hispanic Heritage Night during the baseball game against UNM on el cinco de Mayo. Athletics provided Mariachis and special food on sale at concessions. Chicano Programs provided free food and an info table during the pre-game rally. The Regents Jerean Camunez Hutchinson and Amanda Lopez Askin were recognized on the field before the game along with Dean Ricardo Jaquez, Vice President Angela Throneberry, and Bea Duran, Treasurer of the Hispanic Faculty/Staff Caucus, as well as the staff of Chicano Programs.


Vice President Economic Development, Dr. Kevin Boberg

  • Startup Tax Advising: On Tuesday, Arrowhead Center hosted its monthly one-on-one startup tax advising meetings with startup accounting advisor James Ortiz, who offers service to members of Arrowhead’s various programs. These monthly meetings allow Arrowhead members the opportunity to discuss the essentials of startup finance such as bootstrapping or venture-backed, pre-funding or post-funding, pre-revenue or turning a profit. Mr. Ortiz offers valuable advice on all the steps needed for startups to stay on top of their finances, maintain compliance, and establish the foundation they will need to scale.
  • Visitors: Cruz Ramos, Economic Development Specialist, City of Las Cruces, was given an Arrowhead briefing on Tuesday by Director Kathy Hansen; collaboration opportunities were discussed. On Thursday, Alice Loy and Roxanne Blair of Creative Startups Inc. met with Director Hansen, Griselda Martinez and Zetdi Sloan of Arrowhead to discuss teaming mechanisms.


Vice President Research, Dr. Vimal Chaitanya

  • New Mexico Space Grant Consortium (NMSGC): NMSGC hosted three members of the Johnson Space Center’s Education Office on Wednesday, May 6. They were here to confirm participation in the NASA Community Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) Summer Program this summer at Johnson Space Center in Houston. The program funds Dona Ana College and Southwest Polytechnic Institute students to spend three days at Johnson Space Center.
  • Office of Grants and Contracts (OGC): OGC submitted several major proposals; they include two National Science Foundation NIRT (NSF Interdisciplinary Research Traineeship) proposals requesting about $3 million each led by Laura Boucheron and Loui Reyes respectively. Another NSF proposal was submitted on behalf of Deb Peters with ASU as lead for about half a million dollars. Two proposals were submitted to USDA; one for conservation innovation grant for about $1 million on behalf of A. Ganguli and second for Aagriculture and Food Research Initiative Fellowship on behalf of Paul Gutierrez. Finally, a proposal to NASA was submitted on behalf of James McAteer requesting about $750,000.
  • Office of Research Development (ORD): Sudha Murthy attended the annual National Organization for Research Development Professionals (NORDP) meeting in Bethesda, Maryland. The conference attendees have grown from 34 research development (RD) professionals in 2009 to 450 in 2015, illustrating the growth of the profession as a result of the competitive environment for extramural, especially federal, funding.
  • Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI): NM WRRI Director Sam Fernald gave several presentations this week on adapting to water scarcity in New Mexico. One of the presentations was to a group attending the Academy for Learning in Retirement. The presentations highlighted Mesilla Valley water issues and included solutions that lie in better understanding of the state’s water supply variability, improved water management, and new water sources. 
  • New Mexico Water Conference: The NM WRRI, with guidance from its statewide conference planning committee, has planned the 60th Annual New Mexico Water Conference to be held in Taos on October 7-9, 2015. The theme of this year’s conference is Coloring Outside the Lines: Can Science Help Us Be Creative and Innovative in Managing Our Water? The conference will include tours of the local watersheds, acequias, and hydrogeology along the Rio Grande gorge. The conference will host a poster session on statewide water-related research. Students are especially encouraged to submit poster abstracts. More details on the conference, including a Call for Poster Abstracts, will be found in the coming weeks and months on the NM WRRI conference website.


Vice President University Advancement / Foundation Executive Director,

 Ms. Cheryl Harrelson

  • Campus Visit: Cemex corporate and regional management will be visiting the NMSU campus in June.
  • Meeting with Regent Mitchell: Vice President of University Advancement had lunch with Regent Kari Mitchell to discuss employability, internships, and fundraising.
  • Forever Crimson: Staff from University Advancement attended the Forever Crimson event in the Alumni Courtyard. The event was to celebrate NMSU Spring graduates. There were 90+ people in attendance. Job well done by the Alumni Staff.
  • Hooding Ceremony: NMSU Advancement presented 52 doctoral recipients with a branded NMSU padfolio following the formal hooding ceremony on Friday.
  • Support from Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo announced it will provide more than $50,000 this year to support programs at New Mexico State University, including the Red to Green Money Management Program; Arrowhead Center’s Innoventure program for middle- and high-school students; College of Business scholarship luncheon, Hall of Fame banquet, and Business Advisory Council; Domenici Public Policy Conference; and the President’s Associates Excellence Scholarships.


Athletics Director, Mario Moccia

  • Partnership Discussion: Had breakfast with John Conniff, Mickey Clute, Danny Villanueva and Stan Rounds to discuss a partnership with Las Cruces Public Schools as well as Aggie Athletics.
  • Sun Belt Conference: Attended the Sun Belt Conference Athletic Director and Head Football Coaches meeting and the Fiesta Bowl Summit in Phoenix, AZ. Topics discussed at the Sun Belt meeting included concussion safety protocol, membership update and football sport regulations.

Associate AD, Student Development-James Hall

  • Athletics Grant: NMSU Athletics, Academic Support Programs and Services Center, in collaboration with the Department of Public Health Sciences and NMSU’s Campus Health Center were selected to receive an NCAA CHOICES Grant. The $30,000.00, three year grant is a campus-wide program aimed to reduce binge drinking among New Mexico State University (NMSU) undergraduate students by 15%
  • Graduation Celebration: Athletics held a gathering honoring the 53 graduating student-athletes, along with their parents, family, friends, and coaches at the Graduation Celebration Friday, May 8. The 53 graduates represent the outstanding academic accomplishments by the student-athletes. Their cumulative grade point average combined was above a 3.0 with a 73 % Graduation Success Rate! Our Spring 2015 commencement scholar athletes, selected based on their ability to balance the demands of academics and athletics at the highest level were:
    • Paige Darwin (Women’s Golf)
      Business – Accounting
      4.00 cumulative grade point average

      Back-to-Back WAC Championship Team Titles
    • Valerian Ume-Ezeoke (Football)
      Health Sciences – Community Health

      cumulative grade point average
      Signed a 2015 free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons
      Graduating Athletes

David McCollum, Deputy Athletics Director

  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes: Met with Christi Musser, New Mexico Director for Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) to discuss how New Mexico State University Athletics might start an FCA Chapter starting in FY16.  NMSU will host a table at a statewide FCA dinner in Bernalillo on June 13.
  • New Mexico Bowl: Met with members of the Executive Committee for the New Mexico Bowl (football), to begin planning for the 10th annual NM Bowl game that will be held in Albuquerque in December.


Associate Vice President University Communications, Maureen Howard

  • Las Cruces Sun-News Sunday feature:This week’s feature in the Las Cruces Sun-News profiled an alumna who earned two degrees at NMSU while she was a homeless veteran living first out of her car and then in a shelter. Robin Rollins served both in the U.S. Navy and the Army. She had been stationed at Ft. Bliss when she was honorably discharged from the service but had nowhere to go. She found a home at NMSU, where supportive professors helped her to earn a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer science in 2006 and master’s in social work in 2008. She now works at the Veterans Affairs offices in El Paso as a community employment coordinator.
  • Sports Information: This weekend Athletic Media Relations joined in hosting the WAC Softball Tournament at the NM State Softball Complex, where the Aggies won their second WAC Championship. NM State advances to the NCAA Softball Tournament and the Aggies open play against Minnesota on Friday at 5:30 MT. The win marks seven WAC Tournament Championships for the Aggies this year (Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Women’s Golf, Men’s Golf, Women’s Tennis, Men’s Tennis, and Softball).
  • Las Cruces Sun-News Eye on Research: This week’s Eye on Research in the Las Cruces Sun-News focuses on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southwest Regional Climate Hub, which is tasked with supplying science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to help them adjust to climate change and weather variability.
  • KRWG: Glen Cerny, Director of Broadcasting at KRWG, was selected to serve as secretary of the National Educational Telecommunications Association executive Marketing Servicesboard of directors. NETA is a professional organization that provides educational content and professional development to public television stations.
  • Marketing Services: To support commencement the creative team developed ads showcasing our students.


Assistant Vice President Government Relations, Ricardo Rel

          No Activity to Report



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

  • Training: NMDA and The Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center hosted Readiness: Training Identification and Preparedness Planning (RTIPP) on May 7 and May 8. The course brought together participants from NMDA, NMSU Environmental Health and Safety, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, Whitesands Missile Range, Holloman Air Force Base and the New Mexico Environment Department.
  • Staff Education: Staff participated in the USEPA Pesticide Regulatory Education Program Pollinator Protection course.  The course brought together state and tribal pesticide program staff, state apiary program specialists, EPA and USDA headquarters representatives and the National Association of State Department of Agriculture (NASDA) staff.  They discussed the current national issues of protecting pollinators and reducing the risk associated with pesticide use in both agricultural and urban areas to bees, as well as bee health in general. 


Chief, NMSU Police, Stephen Lopez

  • Police Activity: There were 49 police reports created, 15 supplements filed, and 73 traffic citations issued.
  • Records and Evidence Office:  The Records & Evidence Office processed 20 items of evidence and fingerprinted 28 people.
  • Emergency Dispatch Center:  Emergency Dispatch Center handled 338 calls for service (37 of which were 911 calls), resulting in 248 police calls (21 of which were agency assist) and five warrant entries.  There were 27 fire calls (11 of which were mutual aid) including four standby, six emergency medical, three fire alarms, one smell of smoke, four stand by, one dumpster fire and one natural gas leak.  There was also one animal control call.
  • Special Events Staff:  The Special Events staff worked a total of 130.75 hours which included preparing for and staffing the NMSU Graduation on May 8; staffing several graduation parties; staffing three baseball games; and staffing the WAC softball tournament.  Crime Prevention staff assisted with the pancake dinner and Victim Services consulted on a WAVE Grant Proposal.
  • Traffic Enforcement Operation Phase II: The Police Department conducted Phase II of the Traffic Enforcement Operation on May 6, which continued to focus on bicycle violations and vehicle violations.  There were a total of 38 citations/warnings issued, 12 of which were issued to bicyclists.  There were also the following violations:  one seat belt; one illegal tint; five expired/not visible registration; six proof of insurance; 17 stop sign violations; one equipment violation; four cell phone use while driving; 1 restricted access road; and 1 illegal U-turn.  This operation was possible only because of salary savings from a recently vacated police officer position.  The department continues to look for external sources of funding to allow for future traffic enforcement operations.
  • Finals Week Pancake Supper:  Several staff members of the Police Department participated in the finals week pancake supper in Taos Cafeteria by providing popcorn to those in line while waiting to get in.  Chief Lopez assisted inside with handing out giveaways as people entered and exited.  Enough “Monster Energy” drink was handed out that several students probably still haven’t fallen asleep yet. {humor}  This event has been extremely successful in providing students with a break during Finals Week, and the Police Department has enjoyed participating and interacting with students in a fun atmosphere.
  • Field Training Officer Program:  Officer Joseph Castaneda-Cortez has successfully completed the Field Training Officer program and has been released to solo patrol.
  • New Officer Training:  Newly hired Officer Nelson McGuire completed some of his pre-academy training so he can start working as a Public Safety Aide while waiting for the police academy to start later this summer.  This will allow him to be on the street as an extra set of eyes to help keep campus safe for the next couple of months.
  • Policies and Procedures:  The first revisions to the NMSU Police Department Policies and Procedures Manual were completed.  The entire manual is being re-formatted and re-written in order to be consistent with the requirements for accreditation through the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.  While the department will not be pursuing accreditation anytime soon due to the cost, the department will already be meeting the national standards and be able to quickly achieve accreditation if and when sufficient fiscal resources become available in the future.  In the meantime, the university community will benefit from having a police department that meets the high standards, without the cost associated with the actual accreditation.
  • Commencement:  Police personnel provided enhanced traffic control for the NMSU Las Cruces Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 9 in order to handle the closures of I-25 caused by the construction of the new bridge over Missouri Avenue.  The traffic control personnel were able to keep traffic moving with very little wait, and vehicles approaching the intersection of University Avenue and Triviz Drive ten minutes prior to the start of commencement were able to get into a parking lot, park, and walk into the Pan American Center prior to the start.

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