Activity Report December 8-12

President Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D. 

  • Participated in Council of University Presidents (CUP) conference call to prepare for the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) hearings in Santa Fe the following day.
  • Attended LFC Higher Education hearings in Santa Fe on Tuesday.
  • Attended Board of Regents meeting at NMSU on Friday.
  • Participated in NMSU’s 122nd Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, December 13, 2014.
  • The NMSU Campus will be closed for the Holiday Break Wednesday, December 24, 2014 – January 5, 2015.


Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Dan Howard

  • On December 8, I met with the University Research Council, which is charged with advising me on research issues. Chair of the Council, Steve Stochaj, presented a series of concerns regarding research processes at NMSU.  Over the course of the presentation we had a good conversation about changes that are now in place, or are underway, that should address some of the concerns raised by the Council.  We also agreed on the need for ongoing attention to some of the concerns.  The group that will be charged with dealing with these concerns is the Research Process Advisory Committee, a committee that is an offshoot of the Research Process Taskforce, which has been responsible for major changes in our research processes over the course of the past 17 months.
  • On Tuesday, December 9, I attended the graduation ceremony for our Go Yachay students from Ecuador. These students spent 7 ½ months studying English and Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management at NMSU.  They will return to Yachay, the new city of knowledge being constructed in Ecuador, prepared to develop a hospitality industry that can meet the needs of the many national and international visitors expected to descend on Yachay in the coming years.  Congratulations to Dr. Cornell Menking and his dedicated staff in International and Border Programs, as well as to Associate Professor Daren Bloomquist, who developed the HRTM program for the Go Yachay students, for building a strong sense of community and belonging among the Ecuadorian students in the program.
  • At the Board of Regents meeting on Friday, December 12, I presented the implementation plans for the Aggie Pathway to the Baccalaureate. The Aggie Pathway to the Baccalaureate is a path to a baccalaureate degree from NMSU for students who do not meet our admission requirements, or who simply prefer to begin their studies at one of our community colleges.  In broad summary, the program has the following components:
    • Begins with an orientation experience in which students register for classes
    • Students will follow a prescriptive plan and will be placed into learning communities
    • Classes in learning communities are taught by different instructors, but are linked thematically, enroll the same group of students, and often have common assignments and/or readings
    • Guaranteed Admission Path students with at least a 2.50 GPA after earning at least 24 credits hours will be eligible for enrollment on the University’s Las Cruces campus
    • Alternatively, students who have completed at least 36 credit hours with at least a 2.00 GPA may enroll in the University’s Las Cruces campus
    • Developmental and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses will not count toward overall credits completed
    • Aggie Pathway students will be advised by university campus advisors, advisors at the community colleges, and peer mentors

I am grateful for the good work of the Aggie Pathway to the Baccalaureate Taskforce, which was chaired by Deputy Provost Greg Fant, and developed the implementation plan over the course of the fall semester.  The members of the taskforce were:

  • Bernadette Montoya
  • Monica Torres
  • Ryan Carstens
  • Terry Cook
  • Valerie Pickett
  • Susan Wood
  • Graciela Salazar
  • Roseanne Bensley


Dean, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences,

Dr. Lowell Catlett

Cooperative Extension Service:

  • More than 100 farmers attended the fifth annual Forage Growers Workshop in Los Lunas this week. NMSU Valencia County Cooperative Extension Service, NMSU Extension Plant Sciences Department, and the NMSU Small Farm and Ranch Task Force hosted the event. The workshop is geared toward helping hay and pasture growers improve production and profitability, while maintaining sustainable operations. Presentations on soil testing, fertilizing rates, irrigation rates, and pest and weed control were made by Extension specialists Carol Sutherland, Leonard Lauriault, John Idowu, Robert Flynn, Dan Smeal, Michael Ronquillo, and Mark Marsalis. New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte gave the keynote address. Members of the Valencia High School FFA served lunch.

Plant and Environmental Sciences:

  • La SalleIn partial fulfillment of agreements in the Partners in the Americas project between the University of La Salle and NMSU, a team from Plant and Environmental Sciences went to Colombia for two weeks of classes and cultural exchange programs at La Salle’s campuses in Yopal and Bogotá. The team, led by Mick O’Neill, included irrigation scientists Blair Stringam and Dan Smeal, as well as grad student James Fulton, and undergrad students Jimmy Maynes, Sativa Cruz, and Megan Stovall. The NMSU team participated in classes covering Colombian culture and agriculture and visited crop production fields managed/cultivated by students in the Utopia project at the Yopal Campus. The 200+ Utopia project students at Yopal are selected through a highly competitive process (only about 1 in 100 applicants are selected) from resource-poor families throughout the country who have been significantly traumatized by the 20-30 years of drug wars. NMSU faculty taught classes about New Mexico agriculture, irrigation, water harvesting, meteorological data acquisition, and climate-based irrigation scheduling. In April 2015, a similar size group from La Salle will visit NMSU. A final wrap-up of the two-week exchange was given to the La Salle President, Brother Carlos Gómez, International Affairs Office staff, and representatives of the US Embassy and the Partners in the Americas project.


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

  • Dean Slaton and Associate Dean Pollack joined Stefan Zollner (Physics) and Tonghui Wang (Mathematical Sciences) in a trip to Donghua University in Shanghai to explore potential joint academic programs in Physics and Mathematical Sciences.  Associate Dean Pontelli, serving as Acting Dean, attended the NMSU System Summit representing the College of Arts and Sciences.  He also represented the College at the University Space Committee meeting and assisted the College’s Faculty Affairs Committee in completing on time its review of all Arts and Sciences tenure-track promotion and tenure portfolios.  Associate Dean Brown attended a strategic planning meeting for the New Mexico Space Grant program.  He joined staff members in attending an ARGIS training session for the College of Arts and Sciences Shared Services Center, and met with Center staff to review their office furniture needs.
  • NMSU’s Department of Computer Science placed 8th in the world in the Platinum Rift multiplayer online programming competition. Sophia Sanchez-Maes, a participant in the Young Women in Computing Summer Camp, was chosen as one of 35 national recipients of the very prestigious Aspirations in Computing award out of 2,500 applicants.  Craig Cully (Art) exhibited his work in DK Gallery, Atlanta (“6th Anniversary Exhibition/Small Wonders”); Tucson Museum of Art (“Crush”); Live Auction Cumberland Gallery, Nashville (“Craig Cully”) and Lore Degenstein Gallery, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA (“Catalyst.”)  Emeritus Professor Richard Spellenberg (Biology) published a two-volume set Trees of Western North America (Dr. Spellenberg as first author), and Trees of Eastern North America (Dr. Spellenberg as a co-author). These books provide guides for identifying trees, illustrated descriptions of trees, and range maps of 630 tree species in Western North America and 825 species in Eastern North America.


Dean, College of Business, Dr. James Hoffman

  • We are excited to report that the College of Business has been awarded an additional $1.25 million over the next five years to continue its principle-based ethics program. The grant is part of the Daniels Fund Ethics Imitative, whose goal is to strengthen principle-based ethics education and to foster a high standard of ethics in young people.
  • Kathy Brook and Yolanda Sanchez met with Facilities and Services on Tuesday December 9 to review the plans for remodeling the first floor Guthrie Hall restroom on the classroom side of the building (East). The project is slated to begin December 15 and will continue through mid to late February.
  • Kathy Brook participated in the annual Finals Week Late Night Breakfast at the Taos Restaurant located in Corbett Center Student Union. This was an excellent opportunity to celebrate our students’ hard work and dedication throughout the semester and share time with them before departing for Winter break.
  • I attended the Outstanding Graduating Senior Luncheon on Friday, December 12 at the 3rd Floor Bistro Stan Fulton Athletics Center. This semester Erik Tischofer, Accounting major, was honored as the College of Business Outstanding Graduate.  This award recognizes outstanding graduates who have demonstrated a tremendous focus on academics; active participation in activities that embrace their leadership skills; and an ability conceptualize and communicate needed practices for success in their personal lives.  Also honored at the luncheon was the Office of International and Border Programs Outstanding Graduate, Prasamsa T. Dhakal, International Business major.
  • The Accounting and Information Systems department held its hooding ceremony on Friday, December 12 in Domenici Hall honoring eighteen Master of Accountancy program fall graduates.
  • I participated in the Fall 2014 Commencement Ceremony as part of the platform party. In this role I was able to congratulate each of our graduates as they proudly walked across the stage in celebration of their academic achievements.


Dean, College of Education, Dr. Michael Morehead

No Activity to Report


Dean, College of Engineering, Dr. Ricardo Jacquez

          No Activity to Report


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

  • Interim Dean, Donna Wagner, spoke to the National Conference of State Legislatures attendees on Tuesday, December 9 in Washington, DC.  She was invited to present her work on workplace flexibility and accommodations for family caregivers to state legislators as part of a pre-conference “Helping Seniors Live Independently and with Dignity”.  New Mexico is one of ten states that has a statewide Task Force to address the needs of family caregiving.  Wagner is a member of this task force and chairs the Working Caregiving subcommittee.

Associate Dean of Research

  • Met with Gary Giron, Executive Director, and Mia Sideris Dorame, Southwestern Regional manager, from the Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter to discuss contract for implementation of the Cuidando Con Respeto program in Southern NM and ensure continuity in the wake of Favela’s resignation.
  • Participated in VPR-organized meeting between NMSU researchers and researchers from Texas Tech University. We identified several avenues for possible collaboration on health projects.

School of Social Work

  • The School of Social Work’s Holiday Angel Tree successfully fulfilled 250 children gift requests thanks to the NMSU community. The school’s Family and Child Welfare Training Project has partnered with Children, Youth, and Families Department to make the holidays brighter for local children who receive services from CYFD.


Dean, Honors College, Dr. Miriam Chaiken

  • The students and faculty were all relieved to see finals week finally arrive. My students this semester have been particularly strong and their performance was exemplary, and all did very commendable final papers. Although I have been suffering from Grading Avoidance Syndrome (GAS), now all my papers are graded and returned to the students, and I submitted my final grades late afternoon Friday.
  • The Honors students who were completing Senior Capstone Projects all finished their work in time for the final review in our office this week. The topics range from exploration of chemical processes, to the ethics of capital punishment across cultures, to the impact of Title IX on higher education. The theses are all kept on file in the Honors College and serve as a reference for future generations.
  • Two graduate students had proposal hearings for their MA projects. Kate McCollum will be working with a set of historic photographs at the White Sands National Monument to create a museum exhibit at the monument on the history of ranching and use of the area. On a very different vein, Megan Stamey will be doing original research in the field of geriatric care in a culturally diverse community. Both are going to produce memorable projects in the long run.
  • We all ended the week with the long, but festive graduation celebration.

Dean, University Library, Dr. Elizabeth Titus

No Activity to Report


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

  • On December 9 IBP’s Center for English Language Programs and ACES’ Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, celebrated the conclusion of the “Go Yachay” joint project.  The event was held at the Farm and Ranch Museum and was followed by a buffet dinner.  A special visitor from Ecuador, Juan Carlos Moreno, Advisor to the General Manager of Yachay Public Company, addressed the 14 participants and their families in a live stream to the participants’ families back in Ecuador.  NMSU’s IT Department helped arrange the uplink.  Provost Daniel J. Howard, Mr. Moreno, Daren Bloomquist, and Cornell H. Menking participated in the presentation of the certificates reflecting their six months of intensive English and two months of hospitality and tourism training.  Their program included shadow training at seven area hotels and restaurants and the audience included representatives of those businesses, as well as friends the participants had made in the community.  For more about the Go Yachay program visit this link.
  • On Tuesday Juan Carlos Moreno from Ecuador met with multiple deans as well as made a special greeting to the Academic Deans.
  • Dean Loui Reyes, Dr. Menking and Kristian Chervenock met with Prof. Winnie Lee to help prepare her to represent NMSU at two universities in Taiwan over the winter holiday.


Senior Vice President Administration and Finance, Angela Throneberry

  • Central Utility Plant Gantry CraneCentral Utility Plant Gantry Crane Installation – ESA Construction is currently installing steel frame members for a permanent gantry crane over one of the chillers at the Central Utility Plant.  Construction began December 2 and is expected to be completed by December 12.  The crane will allow the Plant personnel to remove a one-ton motor from its housing for periodical maintenance. The plans were designed by Stubbs Engineering.
  • NMSU’s disaster recovery planning pays big dividends during two fiber cuts – When it rains, it pours, or so the saying goes.  Such was the case when the fiber optic cable known as RGON, on which NMSU’s primary Internet traffic is carried, was severed close to Socorro, NM. In less than a second, NMSU’s Internet traffic was automatically switched to its secondary backup fiber link, rerouting university Internet traffic to the Eastern Fiber Loop, a redundant path established last year to protect the NMSU’s Internet connectivity. Less than 24 hours later, and before the Socorro break was repaired, the Eastern Fiber Loop fiber was cut near Roswell, breaking NMSU’s backup connection to the Internet. A third automated protective circuit, owned by CenturyLink, was brought online, immediately picking up for the loss of the Eastern Fiber Loop fiber.  The loss of the two routes occurred at the worst possible time for the university — Finals Week — when the network that supports the university’s distance and hybrid education was experiencing its heaviest use of the semester. Coincidentally, at the same time the Eastern Fiber Loop circuit failed, Microsoft released an update of its Office and operating systems products, introducing more Internet traffic. In fact, NMSU experienced the highest internet traffic rate in its history during the week of the outage.  Through the foresight of ICT’s Network Operations Center (NOC) and Network Engineering Services (NES), the NMSU community was not impacted by the fiber cuts; Finals Week went off without a hitch.  Nice disaster recovery planning and execution, NOC and NES.
  • Winter work on Golf Course – The maintenance staff is currently working on a number of projects over the winter months designed to improve aesthetics and playability of the golf course.  One project includes eliminating poa annua grass creating much more even playing surfaces.
  • NMSU’s IT Compliance Officer to serve on EDUCAUSE editorial board – ICT’s Carlos Lobato, NMSU’s IT Compliance Officer, has accepted an invitation to serve on EDUCAUSE’s Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC) Information Security Guide Editorial Board. The HEISC board is focused on maintaining, improving, and promoting the use of the EDUCAUSE Information Security Guide by the members of EDUCAUSE.  The guide, located at, serves institutions of all sizes and types address complex issues related to information security.  Carlos will be principally responsible for oversight of the compliance chapter in the guide. Way to represent, Carlos!
  • Campus dining (Sodexo) recap of events during a very successful Finals week for our students and NMSU community! –Finals week was kicked off by Sodexo hosting a “Stress Buster Celebration” in Taos featuring stress relieving activities, giveaways and serving comfort foods. Also, at the request of ASNMSU President, Wesley Jackson, Einstein’s in CCSU stayed open from 6pm to midnight Sunday thru Tuesday for late night caffeine refueling and was much appreciated by the students. The Finals Late Night Breakfast on Tuesday was the culmination with the largest attendance at 1,104 and most successful in the last four years, thanks to the efforts of many, and especially John Rivers! Format was changed from prior years to provide a refreshed experience for students, faculty, and staff. Faculty and staff assisted with games and handed out prizes, candy, and mustache straws (a tremendous hit)! The DJ had a crowded dance floor and Coca-Cola Polar Bear worked the crowd, gave away five cases of mini Coke Bears and took countless pictures and selfies with the students!
    Stress Buster Celebration          Stress Buster Celebration-


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

  • SAEM Events Staff brought together over 100 members of the NMSU community who signed up to workCommencement staff breakfast at the Fall 2014 Commencement. Friday’s Pre-Commencement meeting allowed staff to review important procedures such as how to get over 1,000 students into the Pan Am in a timely manner. As usual, Facilities and Services was strongly represented among Commencement staff, as was staff from various Colleges and Student Affairs and Enrollment Management offices. For the first time, Faculty Marshalls were recruited from each college to lead their students into the Pan Am.
  • Montoya participated in the monthly phone conference for the Council of Student Affairs Officer Meeting on Thursday, December 11. This Council provides formal and informal forums for discussion and dissemination of information related to student affairs and issues impacting the college student experience in general. Dr. Montoya is the Co-Chair of the CSA Executive Committee.
  • Dr. Joseph Berning-Inteim Department Head of KinesiologyHonored the first two recipients of the Andrew J. Wall scholarship, which was named for the first Director of Black Programs at NMSU.
  • Attended the NMSU Alumni Association ceremony to honor the Outstanding Fall 2014 Graduates on Friday, December 12.
  • Updated the Board of Regents on enrollment on Friday, December 12. The update included plans for the Fall Commencement, the status of enrollment for spring 2015, and recruitment efforts for fall 2015.

Student Engagement, Dr. Terry Cook

  • On Wednesday, December 10, 22 military and veteran graduating seniors were honored at a Cord Ceremony at the HSS Auditorium. The NMSU Air Force ROTC Color Guard posted the colors and the National Anthem was sung by Ms. Janice Jones.

Diversity Programs

  • On Monday, December 8, Laura Gutierrez Spencer from Chicano Programs and Social Work Intern Dr. SpencerPatricia Bayona met with parents at the Women’s Intercultural Center in Anthony. The non-profit agency NGAGE invited Chicano Programs to participate in their Graduation Ceremony for parents who have completed a series of workshops providing information on how to support their child’s educational achievement.
  • Chicano Programs is undergoing renovations to two offices in preparation for the installation of new furniture, for the first time in 30 years.



Vice President Economic Development, Dr. Kevin Boberg

No Activity to Report


Vice President Research, Dr. Vimal Chaitanya

          No Activity to Report


Vice President University Advancement / Foundation Executive Director,

 Ms. Cheryl Harrelson

  • ACES has received a $25,000 planned gift from an estate to support the Huling Jupe Means, Jr. Endowed Scholarship.
  • A $10,000 grant was received from J. Frank Schmidt Family Charitable Foundation to support research to Enhance the Selection of Elite Bigtooth Maple.
  • A $35,250 royalties gift was made from Biad Chili Ltd. to support the Chile Pepper Institute Endowed Chair.
  • Two separate donations have come in to support the Animal and Range Sciences Judging Team.  A personal donation of $1,000 and a family foundation donation of $4,000.  This will help our livestock and wool judging teams in 2015.
  • College of ACES Development Staff will be sending 100 NMSU Library Calendars to the top 100 donors to the college in 2014 as well as 25 Chile Pepper Institute Calendars to the top collaborators and supporters to the institute in 2014.
  • A $10,000 donation was made in honor and memorial of John Harrington.  This will support his memorial scholarship in Plant and Environmental Sciences.
  • A new scholarship in honor of Dr. Nelson and his wife and family has been set up in the Animal and Range Sciences Department.  A $2,500 donation has been accepted to begin the endowed fund.  Dr. Nelson was active in the department from 1962 to 1985.  Photos were taken this week with Dr. Nelson, his wife, son and daughter in law along with Dr. Dennis Hallford and Dean Lowell Catlett.
  • VPUA met with board members in Las Cruces and Houston, TX.


Athletics Director, Dr. McKinley Boston, Jr.

No Activity to Report


Associate Vice President University Communications, Maureen Howard

  • This week’s Eye on Research in the Las Cruces Sun-News featured the New Mexico IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence, which fosters biomedical- and community-based research excellence in New Mexico. The network received renewed funding from the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) of more than $18 million over the next five years. NMSU College of Arts and Sciences Regents Professor Jeffrey Arterburn directs the program, which includes several partners across the state.
  • This week’s Sunday Feature in the Las Cruces Sun-News highlighted the efforts of Brittany Porter, an anthropology graduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences. Brittany spent the last two years working on a nomination, which was approved in October, for the Hurd family property to be placed on New Mexico’s State Register of Cultural Properties.
  • KRWG hosted the El Paso Brass holiday concert at the Rio Grande Theater Thursday night. This fun event is much appreciated by our community members.NMSU Outstanding Seniors
  • In support of Commencement, Marketing Services completed an “Outstanding Seniors” ad, which appeared this week in the Las Cruces Bulletin, Las Cruces Sun-News and the Albuquerque Journal.
  • On December 9, Senior Public Information Specialist Jane Moorman and Director of News Darrell Pehr met with Albuquerque Journal Business Editor Charlie Moore, Journal Assistant City Editor Mike Murphy and Education Staff Writer Mike Bush. We outlined possible story ideas that have a local connection for them. We discussed our processes, both in the production of content for their use and in our responses to their inquiries for experts to speak on a variety of topics. The Albuquerque Journal group indicated they are pleased with our content and assistance with media inquiries. They intend to continue our monthly statewide agricultural research column, in their Business section, as well as the rotating column for university presidents, on the Education page.


Assistant Vice President Government Relations, Ricardo Rel

  • 18 – 19 – Legislative Education Study Committee- State Capitol
    • 9:00 am General Fund Revenue Estimates
  • 18 – 19 – Revenue Stabilization & Tax Policy Committee – State Capitol
    • NM Lottery Revenue Update and Legislative Lottery Scholarship Fund Status, Glenn Walters, Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Higher Education Department and David Barden, Chief Executive Officer, NM Lottery
    • NM Municipal League Legislative Proposals
    • NM Association of Counties Legislative Proposals


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

  • Staff conducted the New Mexico portion of the European Dried Fruit and Nut Inbound Buyers Mission. Five European Buyers were introduced to pecan and peanut grower/shellers in Las Cruces, Artesia and Portales. The agenda included a variety of farm/plant/ tours, educational seminars, group meetings, and one-on-one meetings.
  • Staff attended the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG) meeting in Washington D.C. and also met with various Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Headquarters staff.  SFIREG discussion included updates from the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) and Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance (OECA) on the Worker Protection Standard Rule revision, federal inspector credentialing, development of smart labels and the web distributed labeling pilot, and a full afternoon discussion on the upcoming Managed Pollinator Protection Plans (MP3s).
  • Staff participated in the quarterly Western Agricultural Policy Group conference call. Topics covered were various natural policy issues pertinent to western states, including the critical habitat designation of the Yellow Billed Cuckoo, cooperation and coordination strategies with federal land use agencies, forest planning, rangeland monitoring, and data and information sharing resources.
  • Staff met with producers at Ohkay Owingeh, who are currently carrying out a project to restore farmland and get it into production again. It was agreed to develop a five-session class on organic production and marketing led by NMDA’s Organic Program staff and Ohkay Owingeh. The class will be under the auspices of the Institute of American Indian Arts Center for Lifelong Learning.


Chief, NMSU Police, Stephen Lopez

          No Activity to Report

This entry was posted in Activity Report. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.