Activity Report April 14 – April 20

Chancellor Garrey Carruthers

It was a very busy week on the Advancement/Foundation front as Andrea Tawney and team had the Foundation, Alumni, and Pioneer Boards in for a joint meeting.  I briefed them on our new construction projects; our successes in the most recent legislative session (we received $31.2 million of our $31.4 million request for GO Bonds and moved from a going in negative appropriation for NMSU to $3.5 million new money and a 2 percent compensation appropriation for all employees); Fall 2018 enrollment prospects (admissions up 17.2 percent, 6,832 scholarships awarded, 3,725 federal aid awards made – all accomplished well ahead of past schedules); tuition increases (3.5 percent); and compensation increase strategies.  The presentation was very well received by our great board members and volunteers.

Dan Howard, Renay Scott, Bernadette Montoya and I met with Superintendents Ewing (Las Cruces Public Schools) and Dempsey (Gadsden Independent Public Schools) regarding new initiatives and prospects for cooperation.  Both Superintendents want to fund some of their teachers and administrators to pursue advanced degrees at NMSU.  Both also seem willing to review how we can fund dual credit by sharing some of the public school funding with DACC and NMSU Main Campus.  In my time at NMSU, I have never seen the level of cooperation and mutual support as now exists between these districts and NMSU.  I would also throw in the City and the business community in as close supporters and collaborators.  The environment in our area for education is very good and getting better.

Founders Day was another great success, thanks to the good work of the Employee Council and Facilities & Services.    The Founders Day theme for this year was music, featuring the history of the Pride Band and showing off several decades of Pride uniforms including the new ones to debut this fall.  This is a picture of Zach in the new uniform with other band members behind him in old ones.  Ben Woods presented the history of the Aggie Fight song which has endured numerous unsuccessful attempts to change it (some don’t like the keg of booze reference).  Dr. William Clark received the Aggie Legends award for his years of leadership in music at NMSU and in the community and Anthony Aranda, the manager of the Fabian Garcia Science Center received the A Mountain Award for his outstanding work as a farm manager.  A big crowd (2,000 plus) enjoyed a nice day, good food, and some NMSU gelato for desert.  Founders Day is becoming another of the rich traditions of our great University.

Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard

On Thursday, April 19, I gave my last talk at the Teaching Academy. It has been a special honor to give many talks at the Academy over the years, and I am very grateful to Dr. Tara Gray and her staff for their good work in helping our faculty succeed in the classroom and beyond. On this occasion, I discussed the Promotion and Tenure process for college track faculty. Perhaps my most important piece of advice was gathering multiple forms of evidence for the effectiveness of teaching. Student evaluations should not be the only, or dominant, evidence of teaching effectiveness presented in a promotion and tenure file.

On Friday, I attended the Founder’s Day celebration in Traders Plaza. As always, the Employee Council did a wonderful job of organizing the celebration, which featured great food, delicious gelato, and the recognition of Aggie Legend, Mike Clark. Early in the program, Dr. Bernadette Montoya, led the crowd in a rousing rendition of “Happy Trails to You” a thoughtful good-bye to the Chancellor and me.

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

Students from a NMSU-C Environmental Studies class (Rick Wiedenmann, Biology faculty) made a field trip to the Agricultural Science Center at Artesia. Students sampled alfalfa for insect pests and predators and saw demonstrations of soil sampling with a hammer probe. They were shown how deeply roots can go and how to estimate soil moisture for irrigation scheduling. Students also participated in discussions about integrated pest management, soil health, and using biological control to reduce insecticide applications. Additionally, twelve alfalfa varieties were seeded this week to assess varieties for yield potential under a lateral move sprinkler. Once established these plots will be irrigated using “bubbler nozzle” technology. Farms in west Texas have reportedly seen nearly a 25 percent improvement in water use efficiency by using these types of nozzles.


The ACES’s Open House, showcasing its teaching, research and Extension programs was a great success, attracting more than 400 community members to demonstrations, labs and events across the college’s six buildings.  Dean Rolando A. Flores kicked off the day by welcoming a standing room only crowd in the auditorium. He provided an overview of ACES and encouraged guests to view more than 200 research posters and displays covering all of ACES’s outstanding programs.  Many labs offered tours, such as the Arthropod Museum, Wildlife Museum, Learning Games Lab, Plant Diagnostic Clinic, and companion animal program’s F.I.D.O Lab. An event highlight was the student poster competition, with 93 students competing for Scholar Dollars. A Farm-to-Fork fundraising dinner, sponsored by the Farm and Livestock Bureau and the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM), benefitting Ag in the Classroom and HRTM scholarships concluded the day. See photos of the event at


Three County Extension agents represented the ACES-Cooperative Extension Service at a Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) conference in Washington, D.C. Dianne Christensen, Bernalillo County Family & Consumer Sciences agent; Karim Martinez, Doña Ana County Family & Consumer Sciences agent; and Marcella Talamante, Rio Arriba County 4-H agent attended PILD, which is sponsored by the Joint Council of Extension Professionals. The theme this year was “Cultivating a Climate of Civil Dialogue” and emphasized the importance of listening to understand, asking meaningful questions, promoting respect and being comfortable with agreeing to disagree. The goals of PILD were to help broaden understanding of public policy issues that impact Extension and Extension clientele; help explore how the changing political environment that affects support for Extension; and provide tools to build new professional and social media connections that strengthen existing partnerships with local, state and federal agencies; stakeholders; and policy makers.

College of Arts & Sciences, Dean Enrico Pontelli



Congratulations to Dr. Jerry Lodder, professor in the Mathematical Sciences Department who recently received the Mathematical Association of America Southwestern Section’s 2017 Distinguished Teacher Award!



Congratulations to Daniela Barraza, our spring 2018 Outstanding Senior! Daniela will complete her degrees in Biochemistry and Chemistry with a minor in Biology this May, and will be attending Harvard in the fall! We’re proud to have her represent the College of Arts and Sciences at commencement!



Clinton Lanier (English) was interviewed by NPR Seattle about an article he wrote for Huffington Post, which focused on the Double Header bar, the oldest gay bar in the country (since 1934). The place closed down leaving a gap and a legacy in the history of many cultural movements.

The short film Yochi (by Ilana Lapid, CMI) has been invited as one of four short films and seven award-winning feature documentaries to a new environmental film festival in Tunisia.

College of Business, Dean James Hoffman

College of Education, Dean Donald Pope-Davis


Department of Curriculum and Instruction Early Childhood faculty members, Dr. Leanna Lucero and Dr. Michelle Salazar Pérez, and NMSU graduate students Margarita Ruiz Guerrero and Stella Otoo (pictured left to right) attended and presented their research at the American Education Research Association (AERA) conference in New York City.



The STEM Outreach Center was a participant in the Las Cruces Space Festival that was held on April 12 – 14. This date was selected to coincide with the anniversary of the USSR’s launch of Yuri Gagarin into a single orbit around the earth in the 1961 human space flight. The festival included events located all over the city. Thursday evening, the STEM Outreach Center offered star and space exploration through their high tech planetarium, held flight simulator missions in the new Jack and MaryLou Davis STEM TECH Lab, as well as had hands on classroom activities presented by their staff. Saturday evening ended the festival with activities at Plaza de Las Cruces where there were over 20 different space themed booths from the STEM Outreach Center, Spaceport America, Virgin Galactic, Jacobs Technology, WSMR Museum, and many more! This festival was a fun way to bring the community together to celebrate our space accomplishments.

College of Engineering, Dean Lakshmi Reddi

Engineering New Mexico Resource Network team Chris Campbell, Jalal Rastegary and graduate student Amirreza Barin preformed a Pollution Prevention and Energy Assessment of Larsen Manufacturing in El Paso, Texas, April 5-6. A team from UTEP’s Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center also participated in the assessment and preformed the Lean Manufacturing training and evaluation. A report of findings along with a set of recommendation for process improvements will be provided to the company. Larsen Manufacturing is an industry leader in precision sheet metal fabrication, metal stamping and contract manufacturing. Larsen has been in metal stamping business since 1940, has more than 70,000 square feet of stamping production space and employs 92 people.

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) was well represented at the first Las Cruces Space Festival, April 12-14.  Faculty members Hyeongjun Park, Liang Sun and Abdessattar Abdelkefi, along with Associate Dean Patricia Sullivan and Department Head Ray Chen, joined Dr. Patricia Hynes of New Mexico Space Grant Consortium, during the “Making Space for Everyone.”  MAE faculty and students brought unmanned systems with sensors and a rocket that will be used in the upcoming IREC competition in June. Video clips of research and MAE student projects were also on display. Students, parents, teachers, and citizens from the greater Las Cruces area had the opportunity to play with the equipment and ask questions.

Engineering New Mexico Resource Network Program Specialist Tony McClary presented a paper at the ASEE Gulf Coast Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas. His paper, entitled “Using Multi-Disciplinary Design Challenges to Enhance Self-Efficacy within a Summer STEM Outreach Program,” reported on outcomes from a NSF INCLUDES Pilot grant.  The NSF INCLUDES Pilot is led by Professor Steve Stochaj, Associate Dean Patricia Sullivan, and Dr. Luis Vazquez. The project is focused on STEM Pathways and the integration of self-efficacy activities and assessment.

The College of Engineering sponsored three lectures this past week:

  • Ajit Bhatti, `72 NMSU alumnus from the College of Engineering spoke about the pathway to career advancement, success at large organizations with a special focus on public utilities and power programs.
  • Dion Messer, `84 NMSU alumna from the College of Engineering, spoke about her career as a DSP expert, entrepreneur and patent litigator who served as second-chair in a winning case argued before the Supreme Court.
  • Ahmed Arabi Hassen from Oak Ridge National Laboratory presented a seminar entitled “Additive Manufacturing: Current State, Challenges, and Future Opportunities. Hassen discussed different types of metal and polymer additive manufacturing technologies, their applications, and different types of defects associated with design and manufacturing.

College of Health and Social Services, Dean Donna Wagner

School of Social Work’s Dr. Stacy Gherardi and an interdisciplinary group of graduate students including MSW student Mia Jio, and Ph.D. students in Counseling Psychology Blanca Jaure and Ryan Flinn have been engaged in research in the area of Trauma-Sensitive Schools throughout the year. This spring, they presented their work to over 100 people at the state conference for the National Association of Social Workers and also presented at the Albuquerque Head to Toe conference for school health providers. They will be continuing this work as they collaborate with schools across the state to implement trauma-sensitive practices in their settings over the summer and in the coming year.

Dr. Stacy Gerardi with students Blanca Jaure, Ryan Flinn, and Mia Jio

Dean Donna Wagner presented Public Health Hero awards to Yolanda “Yoli” Diaz, Cancer Aid Resource & Education president, and Elmer Gonzalez, director, DACC Dental programs and Happy Smiles Program. The Department of Public Health Sciences coordinates the Public Health Heroes event each year recognizing our local leaders in our healthy communities. The celebration is part of the annual National Public Health Week.


During the 2018 New Mexico Public Health Association (NMPHA) annual meeting in Albuquerque, April 4-5, Dr. Sue Forster-Cox received the Larrazolo Achievement Award for her lifetime contribution to public health. She received the award from the nominator, George Richards, program analyst, with the Office of Border Health, NM Department of Public Health. Mr. Richards is completing his Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in the Department of Public Health Sciences.

Dr. Sue Forster-Cox and George Richards

A poster, highlighting the dual MPH/MPH program at NMSU was developed and presented by Lindsey Davis, MPH/MSW (c), Patrick Manzanares, MPH/MSW (c), and faculty Anna Nelson and Sue Forster-Cox, during the 2018 NMPHA annual meeting in Albuquerque, NM, April 5, 2018. The poster session received support through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) award no. G05HP31424-01-00, NMSU’s Effective Move in Enhancing Leadership in Public Health Social Work.

L to R: Lindsey Davis, Dr. Sue Forster-Cox, Patrick Manzanares, faculty Anna Nelson

University Library, Dean Elizabeth Titus


Sharing wonderful news that Kim Gianfrancesco, Digital Projects librarian, has been invited via competitive application process to attend the Digital POWERR Institute at Arizona State University Library in Tempe, Arizona. The Digital POWRR program is grant-funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Kim will be attending an immersive two-day institute this summer in a modified cohort environment engaging with various facets of digital preservation. Please join us in congratulating Kim on this wonderful opportunity!



It’s official! John Sandstrom, Acquisitions librarian, is the president of the New Mexico Library Association. Please join us in congratulating John!




Graduate School, Dean Louἰ Reyes

Honors College, Dean Miriam Chaiken

President’s Associates Gala    Saturday evening was the biennial President’s Associates (PA) Gala that raises funds for the scholarships for PA Scholars. A number of Honors College students were in attendance, including PA scholars Katie Skibiski, Rachel Kenney, and incoming ASNMSU President Emerson Morrow. This year a generous donor paid for a table and asked us to invite select students to use the seats at her table, so Honors College Ambassadors Ellyssia Forbes and Lupita Ochoa (also a Conroy Scholar), and Conroy Scholars Elena Davidson, Angela Kearns, and Hayley Stewart, and Golden Key President Alvin Harvey joined Yael Cano-Gonzalez from the Honors College at the event. Everyone enjoyed delectable food the wonderful music provided by a 20 piece “big band” style orchestra. This was a fun event and more importantly raised significant funds to ensure the viability of the PA program for the future.


Chinese Language Day    Representatives of the NMSU Confucius Institute held a fun event to introduce guests to the symbolism and meaning behind Chinese characters in the written version of the language. Chinese treats were also shared by the participants in the event.

More Successful Scholars    We continue to hear good news from students in the Honors College. This week we learned that PA Scholar Micaela de la Rosa has weighed her many grad school acceptances, and decided to attend the public policy graduate program at the University of Arizona. Alvin Harvey (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering) also had many attractive offers for graduate school, but he has decided to continue his research on climate controlled space suits for astronauts at MIT. Norah Alshadadi, one of the Honors College Ambassadors, has completed a number of graduate credits through the Masters Accelerated Program, and she will continue on following her graduation in a few weeks in the MBA program here at NMSU.

Administration and Finance, Senior Vice President Andy Burke

IronPort Email Filter Blocks Considerable Number of Spam Messages   IronPort, ICT’s primary email filter works very hard behind the scenes to keep your inbox safe from the multitudes of annoying or malicious emails attempting to ruin your online messaging experience. Over 178 million messages were blocked last week between April 8 and April 13. This seems like a large number until you compare it to the almost 3.5 billion messages blocked over the past two months. Only 14,406,489 clean messages or 0.41 percent were delivered. Without any form of email filtering, it’s likely that email at NMSU would be completely unusable.

Student Affairs/Enrollment Management, Vice President Bernadette Montoya

Monday, April 16, Undergraduate Admissions hosted the first Aggie Welcome and Orientation program for new transfer students entering NMSU in Fall 2018. Of the 68 students who participated, 66 are now registered for courses.

Admissions Advisor Brandon Fields, spent a week traveling across the great state of Texas where he attended three NACAC National College Fairs in Dallas, Austin, and Houston. Each of these fairs drew in 3,000+ students across the state of Texas, and some surrounding states. Brandon met with over a hundred prospective students where he was able to talk to students about the opportunities that await them at NMSU, and how our caring community can help them create a future full of incredible possibilities. Brandon also ran into a handful of Aggie Alumni who were excited to see NMSU’s presence at these fairs. Overall, Brandon reports that the fairs were a great success where he was able to have great and meaningful conversations with students with hopes of them one day making a road trip down to Las Cruces, where NMSU becomes their new home.

The Office of University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services has printed over 5000 scholarships certificates for freshmen admitted for Fall 2018. These certificates will be sent out to New Mexico and El Paso High Schools. The new program coordinator, Sherri Garcia, also an NMSU alum will start on Monday, April 23, 2018.

The service numbers for the Office of University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services are the following.

  • Scholarships have been awarded to 7,313 incoming students of which 4,256 have been awarded federal aid.
  • Students assisted:
    • In person – 227
    • Over the phone – 175
    • Via emails – 196
    • At CAASS – 23

Dacia Sedillo, avp for Enrollment Management and Krystal Espinoza, registration specialist, attended the annual Ellucian conference, E-Live 2018, in San Diego, Califronia. The purpose was to gain a greater knowledge about the Banner system of record spectrum of solutions. This knowledge will be critical as NMSU moves into Banner 9 and implements other technologies to better serve students, faculty and staff.

Debbie Giron, curriculum specialist, and Kori Plank, catalog editor, attended the spring meeting of the NM Association of College Registrars and Admission Officers. Statewide topics of common course numbering, general education realignment, and administrative rules around curriculum approval processes were discussed. We feel NMSU is making excellent progress toward compliance with the statewide regulatory requirements.

The Student Success Center hosted a Financial Wellness Fair: “Planning your Financial Future” on Wednesday, April 11.  Business Community Partners from Las Cruces and El Paso, Texas, participated in the fair and provided information related to budgeting, credit, identity theft prevention, investing, saving, student loans and financial aid. Over 150 students participated in the fair. Leading up to the Financial Wellness Fair, the Student Success Center hosted pre-fair workshops that focused on Planning for Your Retirement: Life Insurance; Homeownership-Ins and Outs, and Keys to Buying a Car.  The Financial Wellness Fair celebrates Financial Literacy Month and supports Money $mart Week.


The Student Success Center conducted a presentation on April 18, for students at the DACC Gadsden Center.  The presentation covered topics around academic success and services that are available through the Student Engagement Offices.  Students were encouraged to visit with main campus staff who can support them in their transition to the NMSU main campus.

Outdoor Recreation wrapped up a busy week with multiple events and trips this past week! On Thursday, April 12, they hosted their semi-annual bouldering competition, which had a great turn out with over 60 competitors. The competition is held each semester and is free to all full-time students on campus.

On April 14, they took two trips, one to the Rough and Ready Hills for a day of climbing instruction and top roping, and the other to the top of Picacho Peak here in Las Cruces for a leisurely day hike. To wrap up the weekend, on Sunday they took another group of students out to the Rough and Readies for another day of climbing instruction and lead climbing.


The Wellness, Alcohol, and Violence Education (WAVE) Program held two events this week to help “Keep State Safe” and promote a safer campus for all. On Monday, they partnered with the NMSU Police Department to offer a free self-defense class from 5:00 pm- 7:00 pm outside of Corbett Center Student Union. On Tuesday, they hosted a “Keep Sate Safe Ice Cream Social” where they had over 90 students, faculty, and staff write down how they can help promote a safer campus by being active bystanders. Check out their next “Keep State Safe” event on Wednesday, April 25, from 5:30 pm- 7:30 pm on the NMSU Horseshoe. They are asking for a suggested donation of $2 for entry to get food, play games and listen to local artists and musicians. All proceeds from the event will go to NMSU victim services.

Vice President for Economic Development, Vice President Kevin Boberg

LAUNCH    Arrowhead’s LAUNCH Competition wrapped up this week. On Wednesday, the four month accelerator came to a close, with final presentations from each of the 5 teams participating in this year’s competition. Each team spent the last 4 months exploring market opportunities for technology invented by NMSU faculty, while refining and perfecting their business pitch for the final competition. On Thursday the winning team was announced at the LAUNCH Reception. This years’ winner was Prosthetic Sleeve Liner with Dr. Neda Sanatkaran (Postdoc, Chemical and Materials Engineering), Dr. Reza Foudazi (Assistant Professor,Chemical and Materials Engineering), and Robyn Marks (Student, BCOM), who received $20,000 investment to continue development on their business. Many from campus and community were in attendance at the reception, including City Councilor Greg Smith and Senate Pro Tempore Mary Kay Papen.

NMSBA    On Thursday the NMSBA program run by Los Alamos National Labs and Sandia National Labs, held its annual success stories event in Albuquerque. At this event 10 businesses supported by the program in 2017 were recognized for the success of their business developments after their assistance from NMSBA. KoolArmor, who was assisted by Dr. Kuravi in an NMSBA project run through NMSU was recognized for the growth of their business in the last year. Arrowhead’s team for the NMSBA program was in attendance for the recognition and also participated in a informational tabling session and business resource matching event.

Rainforest Pitch Competition    On Friday, UNM held its annual Rainforest Pitch Competition. The competition, open to any student entrepreneurs and innovators currently enrolled in a New Mexico university. Each team gave a 90-second pitch for their product, innovation, or business to a panel of entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors and the community. Studio G sent 5 teams to the event with 2 (FieldMAK and KoolArmor) of those being selected among the top 5 teams for the entire competition, making a pitch in the final competition.

NM Tech Inventors and Entrepreneurs Workshop    On April 13-14, Arrowhead Director Kathy Hansen, attended and served on a panel at the Third Annual Inventors and Entrepreneurs Workshop hosted by New Mexico Tech. This event provided a great opportunity for collaboration between institutions across the state that support New Mexico’s innovation ecosystem. Kathy served on a panel titled “Can my idea turn into a company or license?” The panel discuss focused on providing information to faculty, researchers and inventors on the process of taking a technology to market, and understanding the potential of an idea and how to move forward.

Vice President for Research, Interim Vice President Luis Vázquez

University Advancement, Vice President/Foundation Executive Director Andrea Tawney

Two prominent College of Engineering alumni visit students    Ajit Bhatti `72 and Dion Messer `84 – both graduates from the College of Engineering – visited campus to speak with students about their careers and how to leverage being an NMSU alumni to achieve success. Messer is a patent litigator who served as second-chair in a winning case argued before the Supreme Court. Bhatti is a retired APS vice president with expertise in the public utilities and power programs.


College of Business alumnus works to mentor students virtually     Finance Management Association student organization in the College of Business conducted a resume building and interview workshop with NMSU alumnus Blas Pina `85 `88 via Skype. Pina is the director of Fuels Trading for Constellation Energy Gas Choice, Inc. in Houston and has been mentoring student Danielle Best. With FMA students watching, Pina reviewed Best’s resume and conducted a mock interview.


The Big Event dedicated to donors    The NMSU Foundation’s Stewardship & Donor Relations team, student volunteers, Pistol Pete and about 60 smiling Aggies came together during The Big Event for a day of fun photo and video shoots. The smiling Aggie images will be incorporated into thank you, birthday, milestone gift and other stewardship pieces that will be distributed to NMSU’s generous donors throughout the next year. The NMSU Foundation sends alumni and friends more than 9,000 recognition, acknowledgement and reporting pieces annually.


NMSU College of Education outreach supported    The Stocker Foundation funded a $25,000 proposal to support a summer bilingual literacy program. Led by Dr. Anita Hernandez (College of Education), the goals of the initiative are to provide families with books written in English and Spanish and improve reading scores among Doña Ana County students in kindergarten through third grade.

Athletics, Director Mario Moccia

Athletics has restructured the Athletic Director’s Cabinet. Years ago the previous administration created an advisory group to work with Intercollegiate Athletics on specific issues. Overtime the concept dwindled and ultimately disbanded. We have revitalized the concept and 22 of 23 targeted Aggie supporters accepted to be part of the AD’s Cabinet. The first introductory meeting took place April 17 with half the group and the other half will meet on April 24. The group will advise Intercollegiate Athletics on select topics.

I took two student-athletes to Career Day at J. Paul Taylor Academy. Brooke Salas of women’s basketball and Johnathon Wilkins of men’s basketball both spoke about the importance of going to school, listening and communicating with their teachers. Both Brooke and Johnathon expressed how happy they were to have made the choice to come to NMSU and be part of the Aggies.


The second annual AAC Aggie Open Golf Tournament took place on Thursday, April 19, at Picacho Hills Country Club and was a huge success with a total of 47 teams participating which was up from 31 teams last year. This year we had both a morning flight and an afternoon flight. Lunch and dinner were served and awards were given out. It was also a great opportunity to meet student-athletes and coaches. While final totals are being calculated, it was a significant financial increase from last year’s numbers. Proceeds from the event benefit all Aggie student-athletes.

International and Border Programs, Interim Associate Provost Rod McSherry

This week, the Office of Education Abroad participated in the Portland State University Symposium on International Faculty-Led Programs in Portland, Oregon. Two of our FLIP leaders, Dr. Eric Morgan and Dr. Dan Dugasboth from the College of Arts and Sciences, were honored as Outstanding Faculty for their Culture, Place & Communication in Ireland FLIP program at the Symposium.

Marketing and Communications, Associate Vice President Justin Bannister

News and Media Relations    A story about NMSU’s qualifiers for the College National Finals Rodeo received the highest level of interaction on the NMSU News Facebook page this week, reaching more than 3,200 and generating more than 520 clicks, reactions, comments and shares. We were especially proud of the story since one of the qualifiers, Savannah Montero, is a student writer for our group. Not only is she talented in rodeo, excelling in the goat tying event, but she is also a multi-talented writer and photographer. The story about the qualifiers was written by Savannah and included her photographs, including this one of NMSU’s Colton Clemens, another qualifier. Congratulations, Savannah, and good luck to all of our qualifiers at the National Finals!

KRWG/SPU    Four KRWG staff members recently attended the PBS Technology Conference to learn about the new PBS content distribution system called sIX Interconnect. KRWG was chosen by PBS as a sIX beta station because of their efficient utilization of the current content distribution system.

Government Relations, Assistant Vice President Ricardo Rel

Upcoming Legislative Related Events:

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

The Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center hosted the annual New Mexico Food Protection Alliance Meeting in Albuquerque. The event was well attended by New Mexico participants including both public and private sector personnel as well as USDA and FDA. The New Mexico Rapid Response Team (RRT) was introduced and the concept was explained by the State of Washington, who mentored New Mexico in the creation of the team.

I participated in the Leadership Las Cruces Panel Discussion during Las Cruces Agriculture Day. The intent was for this session is to give the LLC group an overview of the challenges and opportunities in agriculture in the Mesilla Valley, as well as an understanding of how those unique opportunities influence the community as a whole.

NMDA staff spoke to the public about NMDA’s various functions at the NMSU College of ACES Open House April 14.

NMSU Police, Chief Stephen Lopez

Accreditation, Executive Director Shelly Stovall

New Mexico State University – Doña Ana, President Renay Scott

NMSU Doña Ana students nab Gold, Silver and Bronze – The SkillsUSA state competition is designed to test student abilities against other New Mexico community colleges students. Bringing home the gold was Gustavo Perez in job skill demonstration, Jeff Dillard in internetworking, Frank Bonnevie in electronics technology, Benjamin Castro in computer programing, Rion Osborne in technical computer applications and Eric Rodriguez (high school division) in internetworking and job interview. Other DACC competitors earning honors include Jennifer Allen, Daniel Kerr, Victor Compos, Turner Ashby, Austin Hill, Nancy Villalobos, Dimitri Weaver, Anton Trujillo and Cory Stoval.

New Mexico State University – Alamogordo, President Ken Van Winkle

On Friday April 13, NMSU-A faculty, staff and the Alamogordo community gathered at the Tays Center to celebrate student excellence and achievement. Crimson pin scholars were presented with their pins, and dual credit students who will be receiving both a high school diploma and an Associates Degree were honored. Time was taken to recognize scholarship recipients and the generous donors who have made so many scholarships possible.  The outstanding graduate from the Career and Technology Division, LaPorsha Campbell, was presented with her award as was the outstanding graduate from the Arts and Sciences Division, John Hurt.

Interim VPSS Anne Ricksecker, VPAA Dr. Mark Cal, and NMSU-A President Ken Van Winkle present Crimson Pin Scholars with their pins.

The Early Childhood Advisory Board requested a workshop for teachers and education assistants, thus EDUC 195 Special Topics:  Effective Classroom Management was offered.  EDUC 195 was offered as a 1 credit weekend course on April 14 and 15. Topics included challenging behavior, promoting self-esteem, and establishing a good learning environment.  Dr. Joyce Hill was the instructor of record, with 7 board members and 46 attendees participating in the presentation.

Dr. Joyce Hill during EDUC 195 course.

On Monday, April 16, twelve students from Junior Leadership Otero paid a visit to the campus for a day-long tour that included short learning opportunities in both the Career and Technology Division as well as the Arts and Sciences Division.  The student were also given a tour of the Townsend Library, Student Success, and the Academic Support Center.  Mrs. Becky Ross from Allied Health gave an hour-long talk on the current opioid crisis and also gave a CPR demonstration.  The students got a Cross Fit demonstration as well, from Dr. Ernie Baca.  The students really enjoyed themselves and got a taste of what NMSU-A has to offer.

Fos Saddler giving a vacuum cannon demonstration to members of Jr. Leadership Otero.

On Tuesday, April 17, the Otero Jazz Orchestra performed their spring semester concert at the Flickinger Center.  They invited the NMSU-A campus and the Alamogordo community to this free concert where they performed many favorites such as “Days of Wine and Roses,” “Feeling Good,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Cute,” and “It’s Oh So Nice”. The group is sponsored by NMSU-A Community Education and has members from faculty, staff and students.

Otero Jazz Orchestra during their Spring 2018 concert.

New Mexico State University – Carlsbad, President John Gratton

On Monday, April 16, NMSU Carlsbad representatives conducted a conference call with the NMSU Foundation to plan visits to potential donors next week.  Also, on Monday, April 16, NMSU Carlsbad hosted its monthly Town Hall meeting at which times attendees were informed as to upcoming local, state, and NMSU system-wide initiatives.

On Tuesday, April 18, I attended the Carlsbad School Board meeting.  At this meeting, the proposed FY19 budget was presented to the Carlsbad School Board who serve as an advisory committee for NMSU Carlsbad. Questions were answered related to any proposed increases in tuition and fees and at the conclusion of the presentation the School Board approved the proposed budget.

On Thursday, April 19, I traveled to Albuquerque in order to attend a Governance Summit called by the Higher Education Department.  Presentations were heard from four different states as to their adopted governance structures for higher education.  The Higher Education Department wishes to examine different models before making a recommendation for any proposed changes to the Governor and the Legislature.

On Friday, April 20, NMSU Carlsbad hosted the April session of the Leadership Eddy County program.  The class is nearing completion with one session remaining in May and a graduation ceremony scheduled for early June.

New Mexico State University – Grants, President Mickey Best

The NMSU –G Library and Student Success Center collaborated for an Earth Day program. The program, held in the Student Success Center, began with the showing of the film “An Inconvenient Truth” a documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim. The film documents former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s efforts to educate citizens about global warming. The film preceded a lecture by international environmental activist, Petuuche Gilbert. Gilbert, a citizen of the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico, discussed local and global uranium mining issues. These included existing mines, closed facilities, the effect of mining waste materials on groundwater, the Federal Nuclear Superfund program, its National Priority Sites in our area, and nuclear disposal sites. The program also included Leona Morgan representing the Nuclear Issues Study Group in Albuquerque who spoke on the uses of nuclear materials and their effect on the environment.

NMSU Faculty Senate – Chair Chris Brown

Associated Students of New Mexico State University-President Kevin Prieto

ASNMSU hosted its annual “The Big Event” on Saturday, April 14. About 1,000 NMSU students met at Preciado Park to sign in and grab breakfast before heading out around the town to perform community service.


ASNMSU’s annual Spring Fling week was held on April 16-April 20. On Monday, students played minute to win it games or followed ASNMSU on social media to get a fun Spring Fling shirt. On Tuesday, ASNMSU, Corbett Center, and NMSU Housing teamed up to show the new Jumanji in the Corbett Auditorium.

Wednesday, the ASNMSU Roadrunners hosted their annual Splash ‘n Dash complete with knocker balls and water slides. Students could get t-shirts, free snow cones or a quesadilla. On Thursday, students participated in a Water Pong tournament to win a free NMSU shaker bottle, trophy, and limited addition hat.


On Friday, ASNMSU held its annual Spring Fling Concert. DJ Naray, Snakehips, and Party Favor performed a fun and exciting concert. Students had a great time taking a break from studying.


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