Activity Report October 6 – October 12




The Honors College witnessed a record 10 applicants for the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship.  This year’s crop of students submitting Fulbright applications by the October 9 deadline included six undergraduate students and four graduate students.  These students proposed Fulbright projects that included genetics research in Germany, Teaching English in South Korea, Anthropological investigations in Vietnam as well as Water Science and policy analysis in Transboundary water disputes in Bulgaria-Greece.  Students applications benefited from feedback on multiple drafts from Honors College staff (Associate Dean Ketelaar & Dean Chaiken) and NMSU ‘s Campus Fulbright Committee consisting of Drs. Mary Alice Scott (Anthropology), Andrea Orzoff (History), and Rachel Stevens (Art).

Each of these 10 students provides a compelling and inspiring example of how New Mexico State University transforms the lives of so many students by providing them with opportunities to develop and utilize their amazing talents.  This year two stories, in particular, stood out among these talented individuals:

Nubia Rivas is a pre-med student who is passionate about Health Care and working with displaced communities (i.e., refugees, immigrants) to address their medical needs.  As a child of immigrants living the Southwest, Nubia abandoned her family’s plan to have her take over the Family Restaurant (Rivas Tacos in El Paso, Tx) to instead pursue a career in Medicine.  Over a few short years, Nubia has transformed from a Community College student in El Paso to a Biology Major at New Mexico State where she currently serves as President of our Pre-Med Student Society. Nubia plans to use her Fulbright experience during her “gap year” before applying to Medical School to acquire international experience in Spain by teaching English and exploring how Spain addresses the challenge of providing health care to displaced persons.

Ger Xiong is a graduate student pursuing his MFA in studio arts.  Ger was born in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand when his family escaped the Hmong genocide in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.  His family immigrated to the U.S. where he was raised in a Wisconsin community that was home to a small Hmong population.  Although he initially distanced himself from his ancestral culture as he assimilated to U.S. culture, Ger soon found himself drawn back to Thailand through his appreciation of their Art (particularly textile designs). Ger’s strong affinity for Hmong culture and his fluent Hmong language abilities (thanks to his parents!) make him uniquely suited for this life-transforming journey back to his ancestral homeland for a Fulbright Project that will allow him to reconnect with his cultural ancestry through the scholarly study of Hmong Arts and Crafts..

Dr. Henrietta Pichon, associate professor, was honored at the annual Quality in Distance Education Awards event on October 10, hosted by the NMSU’s Instructional Innovation and Quality, which marks five years of recognizing Las Cruces NMSU’s faculty and administrators. The IIQ acknowledges one faculty member yearly with the “Leading the Way” award recognizing advocacy, collaboration and online service.   “I am especially thankful for this award.  I truly enjoy learning with my students and using technology to do so is a huge plus.  ‘Learning has never been so engaging” said Dr. Pichon.

Outdoor Recreation went on two outings on October 6, 2018. NMSU Outdoor Recreation took 10 students to City of Rocks for a day of bouldering. Students were taught proper spotting and climbing techniques.

Outdoor Recreation also took six students to the Trinity Site, where the world’s first nuclear device exploded in 1945. These trips were led by the Outdoor Leadership Program lead facilitators.

In the Office of University Student Records, the Academic Scheduling staff are preparing the Spring 2019 class schedule, with a publication deadline of October 26. The pilot time block schedule appears to be working out and we appreciate the department and faculty’s cooperation in adjusting class times. The same staff is also manually scheduling all the final exams, due to an AdAstra bug that has not allowed us to automate the finals week schedule since fall 2017.

The Office of University Student Records are also completing testing and adoption of several systems to ensure better student support and compliance with various regulatory and reporting requirements:

  • The entire staff in Student Records and several other core offices have tested the Banner 9 administrative pages and are now using Banner 9 on a daily basis. The new look and feel of Banner 9 will be rolled out to departmental users over the next two months. According to the Ellucian timeline, Banner 8 will be unsupported at the end of 2018.
  • The AdAstra Scheduling platform is being upgraded to fix some bugs that were introduced with the last upgrade in February. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to fix the final exam scheduling bug, so we continue to work with the vendor to resolve that issue.
  • Student Records have been working with ICT to prepare a new student support product that will make creating and registering for an optimal schedule much easier than it has been in the past. The product is called College Scheduler and ICT is expecting to roll out this out to students for their Spring 2019 registration experience.

DACC HVAC Students Receive Hands – On Training   Equipment was donated to Dona Ana Community College for hands on training by students attending the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC) Program. An Engineering firm developed construction drawings to fully install the Multi Zone System.  The project is nearing completion of installation in the HVAC/R Lab and will introduce the students to an up to date multi zone system as well as enhance the usability of the facilities.

NMSU had a successful homecoming game with a 49-41 victory over Liberty University. Two former student-athletes returned to NM State for the Distinguished Alumni dinner. Former football student-athlete Tommy Sheppard, Senior VP for the Washington Wizards and Rebeccah Brown former women’s basketball player who is a pediatric surgeon at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital were recognized at the dinner.

New Mexico State House Representative member Jane Powdrell-Culbert spoke to the women’s track team and the men’s and women’s cross country program at the Football Hall of Legends Lori Paulson Team Meeting room about her past experiences as a track student-athlete and how they affected her career in a positive manner.

On Monday, October 8, the Alpha Nu Beta Chapter of PTK and Student Government of NMSU Alamogordo sponsored “Eat and Complete.” The students were given the opportunity to sign a pledge banner that they would finish their degrees and were served a tasty lunch. While they ate, they listened to motivational speeches by other students who have been successful.

NMSU-A student Janice King talks about how important education is at any age.


The NMSU Library and KRWG Public Media are jointly celebrating the love and the power of reading. We are encouraging everyone to vote on their favorite book from a list of 100 novels complied by PBS in conjunction with their Great American Read competition. Ballots and ballot boxes are available at Zuhl and Branson Library lobbies and on the first floor of Corbett Center, near the Concierge Desk. A list of the 100 best-loved novels can be found here




In the evening of October 11, NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu was on hand at NMSU Alamogordo to give a keynote speech on the educational challenges in New Mexico. The Chancellor, who took his first college class at NMSU-A, had many insights into the challenges that today’s students face. He also answered a few questions from the crowd. A reception was held after the speech, and those who attended had the opportunity to meet the Chancellor.

Chancellor Arvizu taking a question from NMSU-A Foundation President Billie Velasco.

A $150,000 estate gift from a grateful engineering alum and former ROTC cadet will establish a named scholarship in the Department of Civil Engineering. In recognition of this gift, this alum is being welcomed into the NMSU Foundation’s 1888 Society – a coveted group of alumni and friends who have formally named the NMSU Foundation and a specific program, department, or scholarship, as beneficiaries in their estate plans.

Studio G Networking Hour  On Wednesday, Studio G held its weekly networking hour event with this week’s topic explored “How does your customer acquire your product?” The Studio G weekly networking hour provides students and local entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn about business strategies and the principles of entrepreneurship, as well as a chance to connect with other aspiring and successful entrepreneurs. Each session is broadcast on Facebook Live. Check out the following link to see the video and learn about upcoming events

News and Media Relations, with assistance from Marketing Services and Web Communications, completed the final edition of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences’ Sam Steel Way newsletter. With a focus on student achievement, agricultural modernization and the upcoming General Obligation Bond D, college research and Extension efforts, the final edition was full of informative articles geared toward alumni and supporters of the college.



Golfers Support DACC  Twenty-eight teams of golfers provided 7 scholarships for NMSU Doña Ana students and helped support donor development activities on a soggy Friday, October 12. On a day more suited for ducks, golfers and other contributors raised more than $35,000 before expenses. Interim President Monica Torres helped MC and was part of the #1 NMSU Doña Ana team with Premiere Distributing taking the first place trophy. The student government association helped provide assistance for the golfers and Culinary Arts provided a breakfast to start the event.

Students Receive Scholarships   The South Central Council of Governments hosted its inaugural promotional video editing contest to encourage tourism in Southern New Mexico. Two Creative Media Technology NMSU Dona Ana students received the first and second prize which were scholarships. Victoria Gonzalez received first place and Stefanie Japel second place.

CMT student Victoria Gonzalez and her scholarship from SCCOG


The STEM Outreach Center in the College of Education has started another successful fall semester with over 4,000 K-8th grade students enrolled in out of school time STEM programs.  The staff provided an extensive all day Saturday professional development day for the teachers/instructors and each instructor was given a resource kit (big home depot tub) filled with everything they needed to implement the curricula they are teaching.  Some of the most popular programs are: DiMA (Digital Media Academy), COUNT (Creating Opportunities Using Numerical Thinking), SEMAA (Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Aerospace Academy), Science Brain Battle, Readers’ Theater, as well as electives selected at each of the schools.

NMSU Library Archives and Special Collections collaborated with other regional archives to hold the second annual Border Archives Bazaar! There was 22 regional cultural heritage institutions participating this year. In addition to interactive displays of original historical documents, maps, artifacts, and photographs, the Bazaar featured the El Paso History Museum’s mini-DIGI wall, an archives, preservation, and researching historic building and neighborhoods. We offered free limited digitization services for family photographs, documents, and audiovisual materials.

University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services participated in the LCPS Migrant Families Division Presentation and explained financial aid and scholarships to migrant and DACA families. The office held a FAFSA night at Las Cruces High School with 88 students in attendance.  Financial Aid is also providing LCHS information about our on-campus FAFSA night since there were a number of students who were unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.  We are looking at having 2 FAFSA nights at LCHS next fall to accommodate their needs.

This week the Aggie Welcome and Orientation staff have been assisting with recruiting efforts for the university. Student assistants Valeria, Hunter, and Alexis visited Las Cruces High School to encourage seniors to apply to NMSU.  The team brought back 134 applications. Family Outreach Coordinator, Claire Montoya, visited Centennial High School to help with recruitment. She presented at 7 sessions to high school seniors.

The team is also doing a small calling campaign to encourage students, admitted for Spring 2019, to sign up for the Spring AWO dates that will be taking place November 26, 2018 and January 11, 2019.

Athletic Director Mario Moccia spoke at the Las Cruces Rio Grande Rotary Club at the Las Cruces Convention Center on Tuesday afternoon and gave a brief presentation on Aggie Athletics.

Athletic Director Mario Moccia was the featured speaker at the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance Forum held at Hotel Encanto. He gave a presentation on Aggie Athletics to a group of 70 attendees.

On Thursday, October 11, NMSU Alamogordo kicked off the 60th Anniversary Celebration with a re-groundbreaking ceremony. Alamogordo Mayor Richard Boss was on hand to proclaim October 11, 2018 “NMSU-A Day.” Members of the Alamogordo community joined with staff, faculty, and students to kick off the celebration weekend.

GB Oliver, Jerrett Perry, Kimberly Lawhorn, Anne Ricksecker, Mark Cal, Cathy Aguilar-Morgan, David MacWilliams, Tony Salinas, Richard Boss, and Ken Van Winkle.


On Thursday, October 11, NMSU Carlsbad representatives attended the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce retreat.  All Chamber Officers presented their plans for the 2018 – 2019 year and the event attracted a large number of individuals. The Chamber is making great strides in meeting the needs of Carlsbad businesses and industries.

On Friday, October 12, the NMSU Carlsbad Steering Committee met with community leaders.  The discussion was very positive as the attendees debated the Goal 3 Regionalization: objectives, strategies, and KPIs for the 2019 – 2025 NMSU Carlsbad strategic plan.

Upcoming Legislative Related Events:

Economic & Rural Development Committee
October 11 – 12, 2018
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces

  • Welcome, Chancellor Arvizu
  • Technology Transfer, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NMSU – Dr. Beto Pallares

Investments & Pensions Oversight Committee
October 16, 2018
State Capitol, Room 307

  • Educational Retirement Board (ERB) Sustainability Survey Results

Legislative Finance Committee
October 23 – 26, 2018
State Capitol, Room 307

  • Cooperative Extension Service/Agriculture Experiment Station
  • New Mexico Department of Agriculture
  • Report on Higher Education Governance – Barbara Damron, Secretary, Higher Education Department

This year’s Homecoming Parade included floats from approximately 25 organizations; the tailgate had a presence of approximately 2,000 students along with the announcement of the Homecoming Court with over 1000 votes casted. Gary Johnson came to NMSU for a Town Hall with students and approximately 75 students attended.

Before the Homecoming football game, the NMSU Alumni Association hosted a tailgate outside of Aggie Memorial Stadium for all alumni and friends of NMSU. More than 225 guests from all over the state and the country reunited to eat good food and celebrate what would later be an Aggie Football victory over Liberty. Special guests included NM State Athletics Director Mario Moccia and Chancellor Dan Arvizu, as well as an exclusive performance by the PRIDE of New Mexico Marching Band.


Every year during Homecoming, the NMSU Alumni Association gathers Aggie Alumni together for the Golden A’s Luncheon – a recognition ceremony and meal for Aggies who are celebrating 50 years or more since graduating from NMSU. This year, the NMSU Alumni Association welcomed four alumni – all graduates from the class of 1968 – as official members of the Golden A’s group.


With the help of the Secretary of New Mexico Department of Veterans Services, Jack R. Fox, brigadier general, retired, New Mexico Army National Guard, the NMSU Alumni Association hosted the annual Celebration of Traditions Memorial Ceremony during Homecoming in Traders Plaza. This event, focused on remembering and honoring Aggies who have lost their lives during service, brought in a couple dozen guests, some of whom were veterans themselves. Guest speakers also included Chancellor Dan Arvizu and Ben Woods.

STEM Pathways Meeting   On Thursday, Arrowhead’s Innoventure Director Amanda Bradford, and Program Coordinator Lydia Hammond attended the Albuquerque Public School’s STEM Pathways meeting. At this meeting, the team learned about STEM initiatives being implemented throughout the Albuquerque public school system and discussed who entrepreneurship can be connected to STEM programs. This meeting provided a great opportunity to connect with principles and educational leaders who can bring Innoventure to their schools and communities. Industry leaders and representatives from NM Angels were also in attendance at this event.

Leadership El Paso Visit  On Friday, Arrowhead’s Kramer Winingham and Kristin Morehead joined Chancellor Arvizu and Chief of Staff Lenny Martinez to welcome the Leadership El Paso cohort, who spent the day learning about economic development opportunities around the Borderplex. After Chancellor Arvizu provided an overview of NMSU’s economic development initiatives, the Leadership El Paso cohort toured the Arrowhead facilities. The parties discussed Arrowhead operations, as well as collaborative opportunities between Leadership El Paso and Arrowhead Center. The visit culminated with a demonstration of 3-D printed prototype designs at Arrowhead’s FIX prototyping lab.

KRWG Public Media continues its extensive Election 2018 coverage. This week, KRWG-TV is featuring an interview with the Democratic candidate in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, Xochitl Torres Small.

KRWG-FM is broadcasting an interview regarding a Constitutional amendment on the ballot to create an independent ethics commission for state government. A proponent of the amendment, NMSU Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Garrey Carruthers, discussed the proposal.

The Roosevelt County 4-H Council was honored by the local Chamber of Commerce as volunteers of the month. Chamber President Karl Terry stated that the 4-H Council was selected for this honor due to their efforts around the community in outreach, and programming. Terry specifically cited the member’s recent 4-H programming, including a free photography workshop that not only brought visitors to the area, but engaged the youth locally providing them with a free educational program. Also noted was the decision of the Council members to bring back the Roosevelt County Fair’s traditional Pork Chop Breakfast. This event was once a staple of the community, and was then discontinued by another organization. Knowing how much the event meant to the people in the county, Council members started the tradition up again. The event was so successful, that it topped sale records from previous years and sold out.

Public Schools Counselors attend Luncheon   Fifty high school counselors for Las Cruces Public Schools and Gadsden Independent School District attended a luncheon on October 12 on the East Mesa Campus to find out more about programs at NMSU Doña Ana.

NMDA Director Jeff Witte spoke at Farm Credit of New Mexico’s AgriBusiness Roundup during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

NMDA staff attended the Five State Meeting in Denver, CO. The purpose of the meeting is to cover mutual items of interests from the State and FDA in an effort to achieve an integrated food safety system, including Produce Safety and animal feed.


Economic Impact Study  This week, Arrowhead Center released a new study, “Economic Impacts of Remote Well Solutions Installation in McKinley County, New Mexico 2018.” This study describes the impact of a new Remote Well Solutions ( installation on 88 cattle ranches in New Mexico. The study found the project could have a tremendous impact on cattle ranching operations in McKinley County and possibly other counties in Northern New Mexico. The study is available at

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