Activity Report September 29 – October 5


Congrats to Denisse Najera who had the opportunity to attend a national journalism conference hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Denisse is a double major in the Creative Media Institute and the NMSU Journalism & Mass Communications program.

James Lopez, NMSU senior in the Animation & Visual Effects program at NMSU’s Creative Media InstituteI, won the grand prize in the Fan Factory Disney Villains Fan Art Contest, where he created an original piece of art inspired by Disney Villains. He received $2000 and a partnership with Hot Topic. His design, which is now licensed by Disney, will be featured on t-shirts, and James stands to get a 1.5% compensation on all sales nationwide through Hot Topic stores. The first wave of shirts will be 7-8 thousand units sold in the U.S., and should be hitting stores soon.


The Wellness, Alcohol, and Violence Education (WAVE) Program talked to students about bystander intervention on Wednesday, October 3. Bystander intervention encourages all Aggies to help step up and interview if an act of interpersonal violence is occurring or is about to occur. WAVE reached over 700 students, faculty and staff at the event. We hope to encourage more Aggies to help make our campus safer for all.

The Aggie Experience event on Saturday, October 20 has 281 students and 449 additional guests registered to participate. Two more weeks are left to register. In addition to the individual reservations, we are expecting large school groups totaling another 150 students. The show rate for the groups is typically 50 percent, so we are combing through the juniors and seniors in our pool that have not visited campus and encouraging them to attend. Last year we had 281 students attend the event with 530 guests. We have set a goal of getting 400 students signed up for the event. With our show rate for last year’s October event (75 percent) that will exceed our student attendance from last year.

The housing application went live the end of last week and we currently have five students that have completed it for Fall 19. Last year, the application opened the last week of March.

NMSU is up 1,124 freshman applications and 285 freshman admits compared to this date last year and up 21 transfer applications and 6 admitted transfer students compared to this date last year.

The 2019/20 academic catalog opened for departmental edits this Monday. It will be open to departments through January 31, 2019. Catalog Editor Kori Plank is leading an effort to add a “recommended plan of study” to the catalog for each degree program. Through this effort, we have been able to help academic units provide clarity around degree requirements and transparency to students in planning their academic path.

Functional users in the central processing offices signed off the Banner 9 upgrade this week. ICT will deploy the upgrade to production over the weekend and roll out to all users will begin October 15. Staggered roll-out will continue until all users are on Banner 9 by the end of 2018. Banner 8 servers will be decommissioned in early 2019.

WAVE Rx, a grant under WAVE, for the prevention of underage drinking and prescription opioid abuse recently hosted a Prescription Opioid Round Table where a panel of speakers discussed the opioid epidemic. The panelists talked about the consequences of opioids and encouraged individuals, families, and communities to address the problem. Over 60 students, faculty, staff, and community members participated.

This week kicks off the 2019/20 aid year for financial aid and our office held the first FAFSA Night at Centennial High School.  Thirty-five students along with their families received assistance with their FAFSA.

Three financial aid workshops were conducted on campus:

  • 10 students who are currently in the TRIO STEM-H program participated
  • 65 prospective Aggies in the TRIO Upward Bound participated
  • 30 prospective Aggies at South Valley Academy participated

University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services also met with housing to plan multiple financial aid events at each residence halls to assist our students with completing their FAFSA and understanding financial aid.

Students Assisted for the week:

  • In Person – 252
  • On the Phone – 131
  • Via email – 148
  • At CAASS – 34

Aggie Welcome & Orientation (AWO) are still recruiting O-Leaders to serve in 2019. As of this week, 55 students have applied to be a part of the team! The AWO team has reached out to IFC, Panhellenic council, NRHH, RHA as well as academic partners to promote the position. The deadline for current students to submit applications for these positions is October 31.

A generous donor, in memory of a dear friend, established a $37,500 endowed scholarship in the School of Nursing at the College of Health and Social Services.

News and Media Relations arranged an interview for College of Arts and Sciences Dean Enrico Pontelli with KRQE-TV in Albuquerque on October 3, to talk about NMSU’s role in the EPSCoR $20 million NSF grant to the state for smart grid research. (From left) Smart Grid collaborators Enrico Pontelli, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Regents Professor of computer science, and Satishkumar Ranade, Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering professor and department head, discuss smart grid research.

KRWG Public Media welcomed more than 30 local high school students into our television studios. The students are part of the 2018-19 class of the Las Cruces Mayor’s Top Teens. Each of the students was interviewed for segments that air throughout the year highlighting their achievements.

Aggie Shark Tank    On Thursday, Arrowhead Center hosted its annual Aggie Shark Tank event at the NMSU Center for the Arts. This event featured 5 businesses from Arrowhead’s Studio G student incubator who gave 5 minute pitches to a panel of “Sharks” for real investments. The Sharks were Lou Sisbarro, Royal Jones, Dino Cervantes, Beto Pallares, and Todd Bisio. This year’s investments made a big splash, as each business walked away with a commitment of mentorship, industry connections, or investments commitments. This year’s presenters were Jonas Moya with Cattle Cast, Ajit Karna with MoST, Patrick Montelongo with Pure New Mexico, Alex Moon with Exosseus, and Robin Benson with True Spine who also received a $10,000 seed award. This event, in its 6th cycle, was proposed to Arrowhead by Lou Sisbarro as a way to support student entrepreneurs. This year saw a great community interest with over 400 ticket reservations. The event was supported through the Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship.

Craftbox Design Hour    On Friday, Arrowhead Center hosted its monthly Craftbox Design hour. This month’s featured speaker was local film maker and DACC faculty, Stephen Osborn. Stephen shared insights with the students about his experience in film and working in creative industries. He focused much of his discussion on how to keep creative control in the digital industry. This event brought in several new student faces to the Craftbox community. On the first Friday of each month, Craftbox Design hour features a leader in creative and design professions from around the Borderplex, with the aim of providing a space where students and designers can discuss the design industry, success stories, and share lessons learned through hands-on experience.

Ten NMSU-Alamogordo faculty and staff members gave presentations at the 2018 Community College Round-Up held on Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29 at NMSU Carlsbad. This year’s theme was “Down to Earth, New Challenges and New Changes”. The NMSU-A presenters were Rob Klinger, Karen May, Noel Romero, Gloria Villaverde, Anne Ricksecker, Katie Pacelli-Klinger, Becky Ross, James Gallagher, Cathy Aguilar-Morgan, and Sylvia Walker.


Becky Ross giving her part of a presentation at the 2018 Community College Round-Up.


On Thursday, October 4, NMSU Carlsbad was recognized as the “Business of the Month” by the ambassadors from the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce.  The college was awarded a plaque by the ambassadors and numerous college employees attended the recognition ceremonies.

On Wednesday, October 3, NMSU-Alamogordo was happy to welcome NMSU School of Nursing advisor Alyce Kolenovsky. Alyce made appointments to meet with students who were in interested in the NMSU nursing program. Her visit made it much more convenient for students in the Alamogordo area to get face-to-face advising.

On Thursday, October 4, members of the NMSU-Alamogordo 60th Anniversary Celebration Task Force met in the street in front of NMSU-A to place campus logo decals. The decals were the first decorative items placed ahead of the 60th Anniversary Celebration that will run from Thursday, October 11, through Saturday, October 13.


Members of the 60th Anniversary Task Force complete installation of the first decal.


The College of Arts and Sciences had a great week celebrating two of our alumni for the 2018 Homecoming! Dr. Rebeccah Brown, an alumna of the Biology and Chemistry Departments met with students and faculty from both departments. Dr. Brown is this year’s Distinguished Alumni for the college. Dr. Patty Lopez received the James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service. Dr. Lopez is an alumna from the Computer Science department and also met with students and faculty from the Computer Sciences Department. The two honorees met with students, faculty members and visited their home departments.

The NMSU Alumni Association recognized seven alumni during the Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on Friday, October 5. Dr. Patty Lopez ’80, ’82, ’89, a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, received the James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service, and six other alumni were recognized as their academic college’s Distinguished Alumni, including Rance Miles ’80, College of ACES; Rebeccah L. Brown, MD ’86, College of Arts and Sciences; Eric Powell ’80, College of Business; Tara Jaramillo ’93, ’95, College of Education; Dion Messer ’84, College of Engineering; and Tommy Sheppard ’91, College of Health and Social Services.

BBVA Compass Foundation awarded $2,500 to support NMSU-Alamogordo’s literacy outreach into local schools to ensure all Alamogordo students are reading at or above grade level by third grade. This is the second consecutive year BBVA has supported NMSU-Alamogordo’s program.

More than 130 Aggie students hand-wrote 2,000 “thank you” postcards to NMSU donors as part of ASNMSU’s Keep State Great event. This year marked the 11th for the NMSU Foundation to host students, happy to say “thank you” to NMSU’s giving family. The Stewardship and Donor Relations team demonstrated donor impact to the students by holding the card-writing session in the Dino and Heidi Camunez Family Lecture Hall, a classroom which honors the duo’s legacy and more than 25 years of support to NMSU.

ABQid Balloon Pitch    On Friday, two Arrowhead clients were invited to be part of 9 New Mexico businesses to pitch at the ABQid Balloon Pitch Competition. Di Ye founder of Zhennovate, an executive coaching platform for young professionals, and Alex Gorsuch inventor of FieldMAK, a modular portable field lab kit, both gave 5 minute pitches to panels of investors. This elite event showcased a carefully selected group of high-tech business from New Mexico. Arrowhead Center was proud to have representation of 2 of our most distinguished clients at this event.

NSF I-Corps Conference    This week Arrowhead’s Dr. Kramer Winingham and Dr. Lauren Goldstein attended the National Science Foundation I-Corps Inclusion Summit. Arrowhead Center hosts an I-Corps site at NMSU. The I-Corps site program runs a curriculum that mentors teams to bring university technology to the marketplace. At this conference, Dr. Goldstein and Dr. Winingham were chosen by NSF program managers to be 1 of 6 teams from across the nation to present to college presidents, deans, I-Corps site and node leaders, as well as the NSF program director. Their presentation discussed the impact and outcomes of the I-Corps program on NMSU innovations and the success of implementing Strategic Doing with I-Corps teams.

On Friday, October 5, the NMSU Carlsbad Stakeholder and Community Relations Committee met with business and industry leaders.  The discussion was very positive as the attendees debated the Goal 4 objectives, strategies, and KPIs for the 2019 – 2025 NMSU Carlsbad strategic plan.

NMDA staff hosted a Mock On Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) Training at Leyendecker Farm. The training allowed participants an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the OFRR before going on farm. The OFRR is a non-regulatory, free assessment of a farm’s readiness for inspection under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. It was a chance for the farm to have a one-on-one conversation and farm walk-around with Produce Safety Rule experts to evaluate pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest conditions and practices, assess what they are doing well, and identify areas for improvement in food safety practices.

NMDA staff met with Arizona Department of Agriculture and members of the pecan industry in Lordsburg, NM. Discussed industry concerns and developed strategies to prevent the movement of invasive pecan pests through New Mexico. Working in cooperation with other states to prevent the movement of pecan pests facilitates the ability to export pecans and helps reduce production costs for all growers in the region.


NMSU’s Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement: RISE to the Post-Doctorate is among 21 finalists overall and one of only three graduate level finalists competing to be named 2018 Examples of Excelencia. The organization will name one winner in each of four categories– Associate, Baccalaureate, Graduate, and Community-Based Organizations – at its annual Celebracion de Excelencia Thursday, October 11 in Washington, D. C.

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