Activity Report April 1 – April 7

Chancellor Garrey Carruthers

  • All the news that is news has to do with the rather unusual and unexplainable Governor’s veto of all of higher education. It could not come at a worse time, just as we are enrolling students for the summer and fall semesters.  Nothing like leaving doubt in the minds of current and future students regarding the financial stability of our higher education system.  At a meeting this week with colleagues, we determined it was time for all to speak up for higher education and the importance of a sustainable funding source.  The group suggested we provide some talking points and those interested could write to their own legislators and to the Governor.  You should receive the talking points and an address for the Governor later today or tomorrow in case you are moved to speak out about the value of higher education and/or to damage being done by the veto and uncertainty of funding for the fiscal year, starting in less than three months.
  • I visited with a number of our local legislators yesterday, and they are as uncertain as we regarding next steps. One strategy is the legislature may choose to litigate, arguing it is unconstitutional to veto the entire budget of agencies.  Another mentioned was the legislature may call the Senate and House into an extraordinary session to solve the problem, as opposed to waiting for a call from the Governor to call a Special Session.  By calling the extraordinary session, the Legislature can establish the agenda instead of the Special Session, where the Governor calls that shot. The proverbial bottom line is there does not appear to be sufficient revenues to cover the already signed HB 2 and return HB 2 level of higher education funding without (1) increasing taxes or (2) taking more money from higher education.
  • A recently completed consulting report by TIG has three major recommendations regarding the re-organization of ICT. The Consultant suggests the establishment of an IT Governance Council which will be tasked to prepare a strategic plan for IT, develop budget recommendations, and establish priorities.  In addition, he recommended that all of ICT be centralized and the Chief Information Officer report directly to the Chancellor.  The report is available at Transforming NMSU Into a 21st Century University. We are seeking comments from all interested regarding how we can best streamline and improve customer service on this important university service.
  • We are also seeking any comments you may have on the three Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance candidates who interviewed here in the last two weeks. The candidates are James Fletcher, Andrew Burke, and Matthew Altier.  A feedback form is available at https://webcomm.nmsu.edu/hire/senior-vice-president-for-administration-finance/
  • There will be an Employee Council sponsored forum on Thursday, April 13 at 1:30 pm, in the Football Hall of Legends near the northwest entrance to Aggie Memorial Stadium regarding modifications of the Vision 2020 Strategic Plan and the latest news on the budget. Hope all can drop in and comment on both.

Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard

  • At the Regents meeting on Monday, April 3, the Regents voted to postpone voting on a tuition increase, hoping that the next several weeks would lead to greater clarity regarding the state budget for higher education. In my report to the Regents, I focused on centralized advising, noting that leadership is in place and Garcia Annex is in the process of being renovated to accommodate the centralized advising staff.  Staff being moved to the centralized advising office will be formally notified this month.
  • On Wednesday, I met with Michelle Shuster and Andrew Quong of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to discuss the sustainability of the various initiatives begun at NMSU as a result of HHMI funding. The most interesting part of the conversation focused on the movement toward involving all undergraduates in real research efforts by bringing the research of faculty members into undergraduate courses and laboratories. By more closely intertwining undergraduate instruction and faculty research, limited funding available for both functions can be combined, enriching both of them. When well done, these courses allow students to really understand how to pose and answer questions, how to think critically, and how to analyze and write up results. Faculty benefit by having their thinking examined and challenged by students and by the additional hands available to gather and process data.
  • At the Faculty Senate meeting on Thursday, I explained why the administration of NMSU endorsed a postponement of the vote on a tuition increase, and I promised to work with the leadership of the Faculty Senate to find a new home for the Senate.

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Dean Rolando Flores

Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business   Four NMSU Water Science and Management PhD students attended a USDA project planning workshop (attached agenda) held at UTEP on Wednesday, March 15. The students are Sarah Sayles, Befekadu Habteyes, Sarah Acquah, and Dina Salman.  The workshop’s goal was to coordinate plans on the USDA project “Sustainable water resources for irrigated agriculture in a desert river basin facing climate change and competing demands: From characterization to solutions.” The project’s core question was, “How can water be managed so that three sectors: ag, urban, and environment, can secure a sustainable future?”  Meeting participants discussed the status and plans for a ‘bucket model’ under development by NMSU and other project investigators.  The model is designed to track sources, uses, and economic values of water for irrigation, urban, and environmental protection in the Paso Del Norte region downstream of Elephant Butte Reservoir.

Media Productions and Learning Games Lab   Lobster Diver, a math game created by the Learning Games Lab, has surpassed 1 million downloads on the Apple App Store. Targeted at middle school and elementary school, this STEM education app was produced by the NMSU Math Snacksteam and with University of Maine Cooperative Extension. It has been used in schools, with 4-H clubs, and in other informal learning.

Plant and Environmental Sciences   

  • The New Mexico Climate Center, led by PES professor Dr. Dave DuBois, has added six weather stations, located at NMSU agricultural science centers, to the National Mesonet Program, with four more stations to be added to the program this year. The National Mesonet Program is a contract awarded by the US Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to Earth Networks Inc., which sub-contracts with various non-federal entities, including NMSU, to provide weather data to the program. The addition of NMSU to the program will help enable improved prediction of high-impact, local weather events and enhance NOAA’s high-resolution numerical weather prediction capabilities. As a side benefit, this program will also provide high quality weather data to our researchers at the NMSU science centers around the state. Data from these weather stations can be found at http://weather.nmsu.edu and http://mesowest.utah.edu/.
  • The Soil Geomorphic Institute (SGI) was held from March 14 until March 31, 2017, in Wooten Hall Rm 105. Dr. Rolando A. Flores, dean of ACES, inaugurated the workshop. The SGI was an intensive 3-week training that presented soil landscape concepts and develops field skills essential for soil survey by major land resource area and digital soil modeling. The training blended scientific principles with field observations in a variety of geomorphic settings. The Las Cruces session incorporated seven field trips to various sites, including Jornada experimental range, Kilbourne hole, Black range, and WSMR. There were 25 participants from NRCS, USDA, and a student from Israel. Additionally, there were five instructors and three faculty members from the College of ACES. Overall, participants were impressed with NMSU facilities including classroom, activity center, hospitality, and overall coordination of the SGI. SGI provided an excellent opportunity for NMSU faculty and USDA/NRCS scientists to interact for possible future collaborations.

College of Arts & Sciences, Interim Dean Enrico Pontelli

  • The Anthropology Department received the rank of 28th in the nation by College Values Online.
  • The college hosted its annual 3-minute thesis competition; the final outcome was: Cody Champion – 1st Place, Christopher Apodaca – 2nd Place, and Kefaya Diab – 3rd

  • Elizabeth Horodowich, professor of History, was awarded a NEH grant to explore how Europeans thought America was Asia.
  • The Borderland Writing Project presented an event titled “A Spoken Word”, dedicated to K-12 educators.
  • A special screening of the short film “The Four Hijabs” was presented in the CMI Digital Media Theater – the film is co-authored by Dr. Manal Hamzeh, faculty member in the IDS Department.

  • The Biomedical Research Seminar Series featured a presentation by Dr. Ryan Ashley, associate professor of Animal Range Sciences, titled “Placentas and Tumors: The Similarities and Disparities.”
  • The NMSU Department of Geological Sciences hosted a colloquium by Tom Giordano, Geological Sciences Emeritus Faculty, titled “A History of the Geological Sciences Program at New Mexico State University: 1890 to 2015.”

College of Business, Dean James Hoffman

  • On April 5, I participated in the second of three campus interviews with finalist for the Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance.
  • Congratulations to all faculty and staff we recognized at our annual Service Awards reception on April 6. Honorees celebrated milestone employment anniversaries (25, 20, 15, 10, and 5 years) and shared their fondest memories of working at the college.
  • Preparations continue for the 2017 Hall of Fame awards banquet scheduled for April 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the Las Cruces Convention Center. This event is an occasion for recognizing and honoring successful graduates and others who have been supportive of the College of Business.  You can purchase your tickets ($100 per person) online at http://giving.nmsu.edu/cobhof.html.  Please use the “other” radio button to enter an amount appropriate for the number of tickets you need ($100 per ticket).  If utilizing online payment please send your RSVP with guest names to Anthony Casaus at acasaus@nmsu.edu by April 12, 2017.
  • The College of Business weekly activity reports are available in their entirety at http://business.nmsu.edu/news/activity-reports/.

College of Education, Dean Donald Pope-Davis

We would like to congratulate Dr. Stacey Duncan, Dr. Mary Prentice, and Dr. Breanna Sherrow for their commitment to continue professional growth and for successfully completing the Quality Matters Peer Review Certification.

Quality Matters is a faculty driven peer review process that is collaborative, collegial, continuous, centered on student learning and informed by current research. It takes up to 50 hours of instruction to develop the skills required to provide collegial and constructive recommendations to their peers about any course using the Quality Matters rubric. This skill prepares faculty to provide feedback during peer reviews.

Once again we, are proud to see our faculty members taking the extra step to ensure quality in online course design.

College of Engineering, Dean Lakshmi Reddi

College of Health and Social Services, Dean Donna Wagner

Office of the Dean   Three School of Social Work faculty members were recognized this week by Provost Dan Howard by successfully meeting the Quality Matters standards for online course design.  Dean Wagner received notification that Ivan de la Rosa, Wanda Whittlesey-Jerome and Susan Burns were recognized for their strategic efforts regarding the Online Course Improvement Program (OCIP), and were commended for their dedication to online course quality.

School of Nursing   The School of Nursing’s Student Nursing Association (SNA) provided support during the Bataan Memorial Death March on March 19, 2017, in the medical aid tent.  There were over 6,000 marchers who participated in the event, whom were treated by SNA nursing students and faculty for wound and hydration care. The students and faculty were posted at Water Point 6 which is about 14/15 miles into the marathon.  Our volunteers made up more than half of the volunteers at the tent.

Aggie Nurses are on the Move!

Department of Public Health   The Department of Public Health Sciences was well represented by faculty and students at the 2017 Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) annual conference in Denver, March 29-31. Associate Professor Cynthia Kratzke maintained her leadership position at SOPHE as the national Worksite Health Communities of Practice Co-Leader. Gigi Holder, a dual Masters of Social Work/Masters of Public Health student, assumed her new roles of Speaker-Elect for the House of Delegates and Delegate Trustee on the Board of Trustees at the meeting.  Associate Professor Sue Forster-Cox presented at the conference with a community colleague and Masters of Public Health student Upasana Chalise participated in her first national SOPHE conference.  Congratulations to all of our Department of Public Health Sciences representatives!

University Library, Dean Elizabeth Titus

The April government documents display is up in the Branson Library lobby!

During the month of April the government documents department will be displaying government publications related to nature and the environment in celebration of Earth Day. Material is being displayed from federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of the Interior. The display includes guides for New Mexico parks, books on plants and water resources, and information on environmental conservation. This display is located in the lobby of Branson Library.

 

Honors College, Dean Miriam Chaiken

University Speaker   We held the annual University Speaker Series event on Monday hosting Margot Lee Shetterly, the author of Hidden Figures, the bestselling book about the amazing African American women who helped ensure the success of the early NASA missions through their expertise in mathematics. The talk was inspiring and interesting and we had standing room only in the Center for the Arts’ Medoff Theater.

Celebrating Student Excellence   On Wednesday, we invited community members who had been supporters of the Honors College to visit the college to learn about student success. In each room of the building we had food and students and our guests moved from room to room to meet some of our amazing students and hear about their success stories.

 Masters Students   This week was the last opportunity for students graduating to defend their masters theses, and Dean Chaiken participated in three thesis defense events (in anthropology and history) and one additional proposal hearing for a student ready to launch her MA research.

Administration and Finance, Senior Vice President Angela Throneberry

McFie Circle: Phase Two   Hardman-Jacobs Learning Center Green Project is well underway along McFie Circle.  This is the second phase of a three-phase project which will eventually make a meandering circle where the historic McFie Circle once was.  There are now improvements being made along the Frenger Food Court and Zuhl Library and along the International Mall. A new desert sculpture garden with an Ocotillo shade structure, which will have Solar-powered charging stations, will be installed.  Thank you for your patience as we make improvements to the campus!

Josh Garcia receives for the 3rd Quarter Asprey Award   Josh Garcia, ICT Associate Enterprise Network Developer, is the most recent recipient of the Asprey Award. The award, which recognizes the most outstanding ICT employee of the quarter, is given in recognition of ICT employees who have displayed outstanding service to the university.  Josh was instrumental in installing the campus wide VoIP phone implementation, working tirelessly weekends, evenings and mornings to design, configure, and install network equipment in almost every distribution closet on campus.  Josh also works closely with ICT Telecommunications to troubleshoot, service, and maintain other networks, as well as ensure end-to-end phone connectivity.

Alumni Visitor Center Addition and Renovation Project Underway   Construction on the Alumni Visitor Center began on February 28, 2017.  This project will enhance the indoor space of the Zuhl Collection Museum.  It will provide a new entrance, a larger gallery, and a kid’s corner.  The estimated completion date is July 2017.

Student Affairs/Enrollment Management, Vice President Bernadette Montoya

Aggie Welcome and Orientation Office Calling Campaign   The Office of Undergraduate Admissions employs over 30 student staff as Orientation Leaders or, as we fondly refer to them, O-Leaders. In addition to the intensive training, the leaders completed a massive calling campaign to almost 4,500 newly admitted freshmen who have not, yet, registered for an Aggie Welcome and Orientation program this summer.


Orientation Leaders on Campus  
In addition to the calling campaign and the conference travel, the Orientation Leaders  (O-Leaders) are also active participants in various initiatives occurring on campus. This week the leaders took the “It’s on US” pledge to support the Aggie and worldwide initiative of sexual assault awareness.Orientation Leaders Present and Attend Regional Orientation Conference   Four Orientation Leaders (O-Leaders) accompanied Orientation Specialist, Mariana Ortega, on a professional development trip to Laramie Community College to attend the Regional Orientation Conference in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Mariana Ortega, holds the position of Membership and Outreach Coordinator in the National Orientation Directors Association (NODA) professional organization. The student attendees representing NMSU were Graduate Assistant Mari Ward, Student Assistant Charles Trujillo, and Returning Orientation Leaders: Domonique Solis and Larry Jackson. Two leaders were selected to present to other Orientation Professionals and Orientation Leaders from the various universities in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Graduate Assistant Mari Ward presented a session entitled “What region are you REALLY from? A lesson on Microaggressions” and returning O-Leader Domonique Solis presented a session entitled “Falling in Love with Procrastination and Stress.”

UNIV Mid-Semester Meetings   The Student Success Center staff and Learning Skills facilitators held mid-point meetings April 3-7 with students who are enrolled in all UNIV mid-semester courses.  The meetings have allowed students to ask questions about resources that are available to them within the Student Success Center and throughout the NMSU community.  Students engaged in dialogue about the required components of each course, and the progress that is being made to complete the semester. Mid-point meetings also provide an opportunity for students to develop additional support to assist them through their academic endeavors.

 

Learning Skills Facilitator Disha Mehrotra, is pictured meeting with one of her students.

2017/18 Federal Aid packaged for New Students   University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services completed all the coding and testing for the 2017/18 aid year. The Financial Aid Office packaged aid for 3,236 incoming freshmen, transfers and graduate students. Letters will be mailed out to these students next week. Continuing students will receive their 2017/18 aid packages after final spring grades have posted for this semester.

Vice President for Economic Development, Vice President Kevin Boberg

AgSprints and Tech Sprints   Arrowhead Center hosted the second week of its accelerator programs, Ag Sprints and Tech Sprints. Currently, 13 teams are participating in these programs, and participating in a 5-week value proposition and customer validation curriculum. Teams are located all over New Mexico and one team from Colorado. These accelerator programs are supported by a gift from the New Mexico Gas Company.

Aggie I-Corps   Arrowhead Center hosted the second week of its Aggie I-Corps program, part of the NSF I-Corps Site program. This is the 5th round of Aggie I-Corps that has been hosted at NMSU, and this semester there are 8 teams participating in the 5-week value proposition and customer validation curriculum.

Arrowhead Clients Place at UNM Business Plan Competition   Four Studio G ventures represented NMSU at the UNM Business Plan Competition last weekend. Three of the five finalists were from NMSU. NMSU Industrial Engineering student Mariel Vargas placed 3rd and won $15,000 for her business, Timer Glove.

NMSBA Recognizes Arrowhead Client   Arrowhead client, Timer Glove had been selected as one of the 10 success stories from the 300+ 2016 NMSBA assistances, as per our recommendation for this given the milestones accomplished by Timer Glove after the completion of the assistance. This week, Mariel Vargas as the CEO for Timer Glove and Dr. Griselda Martinez, as the Principal Investigator for this program, were taken pictures and finalize the write-up story. Timer Glove’s story will be featured in 2016 NMSBA Annual Report. Award ceremony to recognize Timer Glove will take place at Arrowhead Center during the first week of May, paired with NMSBA informational session. This event is led by NMSBA at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, in collaboration with Dr. Griselda Martinez at Arrowhead Center.

Arrowhead at Spaceport Relay Race   Dr. Griselda Martinez was one of the 12 members participating in Spaceport America Relay Race on Saturday and Sunday, racing 180 miles from El Paso to Spaceport America. The team’s name is JobEnablers, for which the 12 runners in this team are actively engaged in economic development activities. Among members of this team is Matt Geisel, NM Secretary of Economic Development. Read Las Cruces Sun News article on it, http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/2017/04/04/spaceport-relay-honors-centuries-change-transportation/99999142/. The course highlighted the history of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Trail and the opportunities in the future with Spaceport America.

Studio G Networking Hour   On Wednesday, Studio G hosted its weekly Networking Hour event. This week’s topic focused a section of the Disciplined Entrepreneur series, Pricing Strategies. Networking Hour provides students a chance to meet people who are starting businesses and interested in starting businesses. The event can be watched on Facebook live at the following link https://www.facebook.com/studiognmsu/videos/vb.1625009944444677/1855737854705217/?type=2&theater

Vice President for Research, Interim Vice President Luis Vázquez

University Advancement, Vice President/Foundation Executive Director Andrea Tawney

Estate Gift   NMSU received an estate gift of $750,000 for scholarships from an instructor from NMSU’s days as New Mexico A&M. The Gift Planning Office, Advancement leadership and NMSU general counsel collaborated to secure this gift.

Museum Gift   A gift of more than $61,000 was received from a friend of the university to expand and enhance one of the university’s museums.

PA Mini-Dinners   On April 6, Joel Granger hosted 18 attendees at the second of our four PA Scholarship Mini-Dinners in Phoenix at True Food Kitchen. Two more dinners will take place in Las Cruces: At Salud de Mesilla on April 20, hosted by Brett and Diana Seward, and at St. Clair Winery & Bistro on April 21, hosted by Ammu and Rama Devasthali. Tickets are available at http://advancing.nmsu.edu/pa-mini-dinners.

PA Virtual Ball   Our online auction continues through April 21, and new items are being added, so check out the auction site at http://advancing.nmsu.edu/pavirtualball to see the exciting experience packages and items we have to offer, all to support the President’s Associates Scholarship.

Athletics, Director Mario Moccia

Garth Brooks hosted a free football camp for local kids at Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday. It’s part of his Teammates for Kids Foundation, which helps provide scholarships for underprivileged children. More than 100 boys and girls took part in the event. New Mexico State Football staff and players lead the instruction throughout the camp.

International and Border Programs, Associate Provost Cornell Menking

The 2017 Las Cruces International Festival was held on Saturday, April 8, in Pioneer Women’s Park.  The Las Cruces Sun News covered the story.  Thirteen countries were represented by NMSU international students, and eleven community and university organizations participated.  There were about ten different cultural performances throughout the day, and four local restaurants sold food. A DJ and sound system were provided by DACC. Attendance is estimated at 500.

Students at the 2017 Las Cruces International Festival

Dr. Manal Hamzeh was named the winner of the 2017 Globalization Award at a ceremony at the Nason House on Friday.  Dr. Hamzeh, associate professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies/Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, was there to receive the award.  Dr. Menking said a few words about each of the nominees and then presented the award to Dr. Hamzeh. In a nice coincidence, her long-time friends and colleagues, Playwright Jamil Khoury and Producer Malik Gillani, were there for the presentation.

2017 Globalization Award nominees Eric Morgan, Andrea Orzoff, Ilana Lapid, Manal Hamzeh (winner), Gary Lowe, with Assoc. Provost Cornell H. Menking (not pictured, David Rockstraw)

Mosque Alert and The Four Hijabs workshops and seminars, presented by Playwright Jamil Khoury and Producer Malik Gillani, were held on campus. IBP, the Theatre Arts Department, Honors College, and Creative Media Institute co-sponsored the visit, which aimed at understanding intensified discrimination against Muslims inside the U.S.

International Student and Scholar Services representatives attended the Standing with Our Students event on Wednesday, which involved a discussion on the nature of “fake” news and critical thinking.  The panel consisted of a NMSU history professor, a NMSU philosophy professor, and a former journalist from the Las Cruces Sun-News.

Marketing and Communications, Interim Associate Vice President Justin Bannister 

News and Media Relations   News and Media Relations had a busy week in social media, with 21 posts to the NMSU News Facebook page, which reached more than 26,500 people.

KRWG/SPU   Las Cruces High School students filled the KRWG studio for the taping of a special edition of Issues & Answers. The show featured a collaborative effort with the students and NMSU’s Health and Social Services College concerning workplace advocacy.

KRWG Floor Director Ralph Escandon preps Las Cruces High School Students for a KRWG TV Issues and Answer taping

 

The Special Production Unit completed the final television episode of Aggie Profiles for the year. The April show featured Junior Softball player Rachel Rodrigues about working with her sister/Graduate Assistant Coach Staci. In Track, twins Cassey and Crissey Amberg looked at their experiences at NMSU. Finally, they took a look at the success of the Women’s and Men’s basketball seasons.

Government Relations, Assistant Vice President Ricardo Rel

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

  • Participated in the 7th Annual New Mexico Food Protection Alliance conference.  Primary agenda items were the Food Safety Modernization Act and raw milk foodborne illness outbreaks and related safety concerns. Staff participated in a panel discussions and training exercises.
  • Feed, Seed, and Fertilizer Section staff gave Agriculture Day presentations on fertilizer and feed labeling as well as an overview of the purpose of NMDA and the FSF Section at Fairacres Elementary.

NMSU Police, Chief Stephen Lopez 

Police Activity   There were 44 police reports created, 24 supplements filed, and 36 traffic citations issued.   The Records & Evidence Office processed 18 items of evidence entered into the vault, 0 people were fingerprinted and 7 background checks were conducted.

Emergency Dispatch Center   Emergency Dispatch Center handled 308 police calls for service, (6 of which were 911 calls), resulting in 227 police calls (21 of which were agency assist) and 7 warrant entries.  There were 27 fire calls (12 of which were mutual aid), 5 emergency medical calls, 1 fuel leak, 4 fire alarms, 1 natural gas odor, and 4 stand by. There were also 1 animal control calls.

Taser Training   Lt. McGuinn completed TASER Instructor training and is certified to teach other officers.  (NOTE:  During the same week, the company that manufactures the TASER also changed its name to Axon.)

Violence in the Workplace Presentation   On April 4, Chief Lopez provided a Violence in the Workplace/Dealing with Difficult People presentation to Sharon Bartley’s students in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Girl Scout Event   Deputy Chief Andrew Bowen represented the NMSU Police Department for Operation Bear HUG that was sponsored by the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest.  The operation was to join forces with local emergency responders to collect stuffed animals for children and families that that may need that extra hug to help them through tough times.

Garth Brooks Concert   There was a small event held at the Pan American Center this past weekend.  WAIT, no it was a BIG event (actually 5 of them)!  The NMSU Police Department staff worked with area law enforcement to assist Pan Am Special Events in hosting the Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood concerts on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Over 50,000 people attended the concerts, making it the largest event of its kind at NMSU in many years.  Making the concerts even more challenging was the very short time between the afternoon concerts and the evening concerts, which led to outgoing traffic conflicting with the incoming traffic.  Despite the many challenges, both Garth and Trisha said they really enjoyed their experience at the Pan American Center, and loved the energy of the crowd.  This was an all-hands event for the Police Department, with some of the staff putting in close to 100 hours during the week and weekend.

Accreditation, Executive Director Shelly Stovall

Last week I attended the Annual meeting of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in Chicago.  With an eye to our upcoming re-affirmation of accreditation, I paid particular attention to sessions related to the site visit, and to preparation of the Assurance Argument (formerly referred to as the self-study).  NMSU is making good progress in preparing for re-affirmation, and we will continue to reach out to the campus community for feedback on the Argument, as well as for supporting evidence of how we meet the criteria.

New Mexico State University – Doña Ana, President Renay Scott

Students Rake in Gold, Silver, and Bronze   Sixteen NMSU Doña Ana students competed against hundreds of students from other New Mexico community colleges, each other and the clock in various contests demonstrating proficiency in their major fields of study. Seven were awarded as best in the state, three earned silver and four came away with bronze medals at the SkillsUSA state competition. The first place finishers are eligible to compete at the national competition this summer against 6,000 other award winners.

Science Instructor Honored by Apple   NMSU Dona Ana Science Instructor Sarah Balizan is an Apple Distinguished Educator for the class of 2017. She is the only educator in New Mexico to be so honored. For the past seven years, Balizan has taught Human Anatomy and Physiology, Cellular and Organismal Biology and Medical Terminology. Balizan is one of the instructors involved with Xcite, the iPad initiative at DACC which is scheduled to begin Fall 2017 semester with 28 instructors using apple products to enhance learning, creativity and student engagement.

New Mexico State University – Alamogordo, President Ken Van Winkle

  • NMSU-A would like to announce Dr. Mark Cal as the new Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Cal, the former division head for Math, Engineering, Science, and Health, was appointed interim VPAA in June 2015. Dr. Cal’s administrative experience spans more than 15 years, and his fields of expertise are Chemical and Civil Engineering.
  • On Saturday, NMSU-A co-sponsored the 11th annual Take Back the Night Alamogordo March and Rally at the Tays Center.  Take Back the Night is an awareness initiative for sexual and domestic violence.  NMSU-A President Ken Van Winkle gave the welcome address, and keynote speakers were RoxeAnne Esquibel, from the 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and Alamogordo Police Chief Daron Syling.  Approximately 25 exhibitors were showcased at the Tays, representing resources in the Alamogordo and surrounding communities that are available to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • On Friday, NMSU-A hosted the 3rd annual Learning Signature Task Force Engagement Conference. Foxhole Homes founder and CEO Ted Brinegar was the keynote speaker. Several round table and panel discussions led by full time and adjunct faculty followed.  Adjunct faculty were then honored with a luncheon.

New Mexico State University – Carlsbad, President John Gratton

  • On Monday, April 3 and Tuesday, April 4, NMSU Carlsbad representatives were in attendance at the Higher Learning Commission Conference in Chicago. During the meetings, NMSU Carlsbad representatives attended sessions on AQIP accreditation, calculation of the composite financial index, and held meetings with our HLC Liaison Dr. Eric Martin.  A report was given on the status of the NMSU Carlsbad Systems Portfolio and all of the NMSU Carlsbad attendees were satisfied by the reports received from HLC.
  • On Wednesday, April 5, NMSU Carlsbad representatives attended a called meeting of the City Council to hear what progress has been made on the brine well issue.
  • On Thursday, April 6, NMSU Carlsbad representatives attended the monthly meeting of the Carlsbad Department of Development where economic development reports were presented. Additionally, in the evening of April 6, NMSU Carlsbad representatives assisted in hosting a kick- off event for Leadership Eddy County, an initiative which will begin in September.
  • On Friday, April 7, NMSU Carlsbad conducted its spring assessment day activities. Faculty participated in a series of assessment workshops and discussions were held regarding an overview of NMSU Carlsbad assessment processes with input provided as to the proposed modifications to the processes in order to best meet HLC criteria.

New Mexico State University – Grants, Interim President Harry Sheski 

2017 Higher Learning Commission Conference   April 2 – 4, Interim President Harry Sheski along with Marlene Chavez-Toivanen, NMSU Grants accreditation liaison, and Rose Carlson, NMSU institutional researcher attended the 2017 HLC Conference in Chicago.  In preparation for their accreditation visit in November the NMSU Grants team focused on sessions highlighting site visits and compliance.

Experiential Learning at NMSU Grants   Beth Humphreys’ English 111 sections took their third field trip of the semester  on April 7 to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. The Composition students are spending the semester exploring the creative relationship between abstract thinking and concrete application through expression, discovery and invention; the Nuclear Museum displayed remarkable inventions. (In the photo, students are learning how a 110 ft. 330,000 lbs. Titan missile can fly 7,000 miles.) The museum has replicates of the atomic bombs Fat Man and Little Boy as well as a nuclear powered Formula One racer, an MRI machine, a Delorean (sans Flux Capacitor) and a variety of retired planes, jets and missiles outside in Heritage Park. Students enjoyed this museum particularly for all the hands-on activities it provided.

Junior Officer Law Training (JOLT) Program   During the week of spring break, 26 dual credit students from Laguna Acoma High School and Grants High School completed the JOLT Program.  During this week, students participated in a variety of law enforcement classes and training techniques.  Students engaged in physical training every day, learned about ethics, narcotic and DWI awareness, CPR, defensive tactics, as well as firearm safety.  One of the highlights of the program for students was an afternoon of paintball competitions.  On the last day of the JOLT Program, students participated in a graduation to celebrate the completion of the program.

Associated Students of New Mexico State University-Matt Bose


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