Activity Report April 24 – April 30

Chancellor Garrey Carruthers

  • Even in the face of budget cuts, hawk issues, and trying to close out another terrific semester, I am being bombarded with advice on athletic conference alignment. But the argument has really boiled down to FBS vs FCS football.  So I thought I would offer a little primer on the situation and then seek your advice:
    • Both FBS (football bowl subdivision) and FCS (football championship subdivision) are division 1 but FCS is considered a step down from FBS. FBS allows 85 scholarships and more coaches than FCS, which restricts scholarships to 63 and reduces the coaching staffs slightly.  FCS Conferences also sponsor fewer sports so technically could be less expensive.  NMSU has always been at the FBS level but we have not been to a bowl game in over 50 years.
    • All other sports are essentially treated the same, whether NMSU is in FBS or FCS football.
    • We are currently in an FBS football conference (Sun Belt Conference with the likes of Troy, Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana Layfette, Arkansas State, and Coastal Carolina) but NMSU will not be renewed by that Conference after the 2017 season. We need a new conference home for football beginning in 2018 or will have to play independent FBS football.
    • The Western Athletic Conference (WAC including universities such as Grand Canyon, Seattle, Chicago State, California State Bakersfield, UT Rio Grande Valley), home of all of our other sports, is fragile and is having trouble maintaining membership but we do dominate the conference in some sports and getting better in others.
    • We have been in conversation with two other conferences; Horizon (which includes Illinois Chicago, Youngstown State, Oakland, Cleveland State and others) is like the WAC but all teams are located in the Midwest. We have some early conversations with an FCS conference (Big Sky) with most teams located in the western part of the country (such as Cal Poly, UC Davis, Montana, Montana State, Idaho, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado to name a few). The Big Sky would provide a home for football and most of our remaining sports.
  • I visited with the Central Business Association of El Paso and touted the new things we are doing on the campus to improve our buildings and grounds to add to student/faculty/staff amenities. Nice group but only three were Aggies.
  • I attended the retirement ceremony for Dr. Robin Peterson of the Marketing Department. Robin labored in that vineyard for 35 years and was known as a great teacher and mentor.  There is a Robin Peterson Endowed Chair which was financed by Brad Gordon, one of Robin’s students, who credits much of his great success to mentoring provided to him by Dr. Peterson.

Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard

Pass-in-Review – I stood in for the Chancellor at the 114 annual ROTC Pass-in-Review held at the Pride Field on the NMSU Horseshoe.  It was a great honor to review our ROTC cadets and note their unity and pride.  My congratulations to Lt. Col. Jeremiah Klomp and Maj. George Childs for their good work in leading the cadets.  In my remarks to the cadets, I noted that one of the privileges an officer has is to lead enlisted men and women.  These are extraordinarily dedicated men and women and there is no greater honor than to lead them.  I encouraged the cadets to endeavor to be worth of the respect they will receive from the men and women they lead, and from the American public, which holds military service in great esteem.

Undergraduate Research and Creative Arts Symposium – It was a singular pleasure to welcome students to the 21st URCAS, the longest running student symposium at NMSU.  In my remarks, I focused on the importance of the relationship students have formed with their research advisors, noting that these relationships often last a lifetime.  I noted that my friendship with my Ph.D. advisor, who recently passed away, had lasted for 40 years and that there were few people who had had such a profound and positive impact on my life and the life of my family.

NMSU General Education Taskforce – At the Friday afternoon meeting of the General Education Taskforce, we met to begin our work on a general education curriculum that would be built around the acquisition of essential skills.  A great deal of the discussion focused on the question of whether there should be a common first year experience course, and if so, what the course would look like.  There was considerable enthusiasm for the idea of a set of team taught courses (five faculty members, 100-125 students), with each course focusing on a big, interdisciplinary issue, such as climate change.  Common to each course would be the introduction of the state essential skills and NMSU essential skills.  Also, although these are large courses, students would break into smaller groups each week for discussions that would be led by a faculty member.  The small group discussions would ensure that all students had the opportunity to really become acquainted with a tenured/tenure track or college track faculty member at NMSU.  The team teaching model breaks us out of our silos and would encourage cross disciplinary interactions, which may lead to interesting interdisciplinary research programs.  Another advantage is that it provides us with the opportunity to learn about teaching from one another. In an email message to me after the taskforce meeting, Jon Holtzman noted that another model to consider is a small class taught by a single faculty member.  In my response to Jon, I agreed that this is a viable alternative and it may make sense to offer students both options.  This would allow us to compare outcomes of the two models and determine which is more successful in imparting essential skills.  With regard to cost concerns associated with small first year classes led by a single faculty member, I believe that nothing will help our retention more than students getting to know regular faculty members in a small class setting. If we can move the retention needle, these small classes will more than pay for themselves.  Also, many of the electives taught at the upper division have small enrollments. As we move to 120 credits for a degree, these courses will have an increasingly hard time filling.  This should free the faculty members necessary to focus more of our teaching efforts on the first year.

College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Interim Dean Jim Libbin

Family and Consumer Sciences

  • Student Fashion Show – The original creations of Clothing, Textiles, and Fashion Merchandising students Esther Flores, Tingting Laub, Savannah Ruden, Drisana De La Torre, and Brooke Stevens were featured in a fashion show at Barnes and Nobles on campus. Over 200 people attended the student show that was produced under the direction of Dr. Roselyn Smitley and emceed by students Lauren Effle and Jonathan Mirabal.
  • Student Recruitment – Thirty students from Hatch Valley High School toured the department and learned about majors and career opportunities in Family and Consumer Sciences.  They tasted gelato, observed the demonstration of a spray food dryer, and heard presentations from students Shannon Farkas, Aaron Espinosa, Kinsey Fisher, and Rebecca Mijares and faculty members Dr. Efren Delgado and Dr. Sharon Bartley.
  • Play Therapy Conference –    Traci Laney, Ana Maestas, and Kendra Wood, graduate students in marriage and family therapy, attended the New Mexico Association for Play Therapy conference in Albuquerque along with Dr. Kourtney Vaillancourt, Family and Child Science faculty member.  Marriage and family therapy students provide play therapy to children and families at the NMSU Family Resource Center located in Cervantes Village.  Play therapy uses toys and games to engage children and their families in their own language, that of play. Through play, children are able to express themselves and work through stress, anxiety, and even trauma in a safe and fun way.



The college Awards Day celebration took place on April 29 at the University Golf Course banquet rooms. Awardees were: Beverly Idsinga, Executive Director New Mexico Dairy Producers, received the New Mexico Outstanding Leadership Award, Ramon “Dosi” Alvarez, Organic Farmer, received the Philip J. Leyendecker Agriculturist of Distinction Award, and Andy Nunez, Mayor of Hatch and State Representative, received the Fabian Garcia Founders Award of Excellence.

Charles Tharp Farms Distinguished Service Award-Stuart Munson-McGee

Mobley Family Endowed Research Award-Steven Guldan

Malone Farms Endowed Staff Award for Off Campus – Patricia Cooksey

Kringle the Cat Distinguished Teaching Award– Ram Acharya

Outstanding 4-H Agent– Jack Blandford

Underdog Distinguished Extension Award– Stephanie Walker

Distinguished Staff Award onCampus– Karen Montoya

Distinguished Professional Staff On-Campus– Jacqueline Beacham

Distinguished County Agent Award-Cindy Davies

NACTA Teaching Award– Ryan Ashley

Team Award-Media Production/Learning Games Lab

During the awards ceremony Woods Houghton, Eddy County Extension Agent, was honored for receiving the Bruce and Allice King Service Award given to him by the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association; FCS Industry Leadership Award went to Kathy Treat, HRTM Industry Leadership Award went to Gene Roche, and the Outstanding Family & consumer Science Teacher Award went to Cheryle Hinrichs. The Extension Specialist Association awarded Leslie Beck with the New Specialist Award, Carol Sutherland with the Distinguished Service Award, and Connie Moyers for the County Faculty award.

College of Arts & Sciences, Interim Dean Enrico Pontelli

The Discovery Scholars from the College of Arts and Sciences were well represented at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium on Friday, April 29. With the outstanding support of their mentors, 14 of the 19 current Discovery Scholars participated. Four presented their research in panels and nine had panel presentations. Many of our students have been traveling to conferences to present their research as well.

Mai Zheng (Computer Science) received $173,747 from NSF for “CRII:CSR: Towards Pinpointing the Root Causes of Failures in Flash-Based Storage Systems.”  James Herndon (Chemistry & Biochemistry) received second year funding of $109,500 from NIH for  “Catalytic Multicomponent Approach to Medicinal Aromatics.”  Chris Churchill (Astronomy) received an additional $60,989 award from Space Science Telescope Institute.  Gary Eiceman (Chemistry & Biochemistry) received $10,000 from United Technologies Aerospace Systems passed through Bernd Group.  Charles Bruce (Physics) received almost $30,000 from a DOD award passed through Oceanit.  Reed Burgette (Geological Sciences) has received $13,946 from the University of Southern California.  Patricia Wojahn (Interdisciplinary Studies – English) has received $15,000 from the National Writers Project for its SEED Invitational Leadership Institute.  Mary Alice Scott (Anthropology) will receive $14,990 from Memorial Medical Center.

Katya Reka (Art) will present “Scythia” at the 11th International Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Textile Art in June 2016 in Kherson, Ukraine.  Craig Cully (Art) has a May solo exhibition “Men Who Are Not My Father” at the Wee Gallery in Tucson.


College of Business, Dean James J. Hoffman

  • I met with business alum, Ross McCallister (class of ’76) on April 25. He later joined my Seminar in Entrepreneurship class to discuss his business experiences with our students.
  • The second of three candidates for the Engineering Dean position visited campus on April 26. Along with the search committee that I am chairing, we interviewed the candidate and I attended lunch with him and members of the Academic Deans Council.
  • I joined the Academic Deans Council for a lunch interview with the first of four candidates for the ACES Dean position on April 28. Interviews will continue into finals week.
  • Congratulations to our staff award winners Adela Castro, Karen Melendrez, and Lory Nunez. In conjunction with Administrative Professional’s Week, our winners and all of the college’s staff members were recognized at our annual luncheon on April 29.
  • The College of Business weekly activity reports are available in their entirety at

College of Engineering, Interim Dean Steve Stochaj

engrAssociate Professor Jessica Houston, chemical engineering, is the recipient of a significant gift from the Los Alamos National Laboratory: a Becton Dickson FACSVANTAG Flow Meter valued at $464,679. The device will be used to further her biomedical research on engineering solutions that address global health issues through the use of instrumentation and devices that enable early disease diagnoses.

The Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers student chapter and the Alpha Pi Mu Industrial Engineering Honor Society held their annual Industry Night.  This student-organized dinner event featured three speakers on topics of interest for industrial engineering student career preparation.

engr2The Department of Civil Engineering and the New Mexico Department of Transportation held the 61st jointly sponsored Transportation Engineering Conference April 20-22.  More than $6,000 in scholarships were awarded to civil engineering students during the Awards Luncheon at the Transportation Engineering Conference

  • Transportation Engineering Conference Scholarship ($1000):  Brett Fenton
  • Rhonda Faught Transportation Scholarship ($960):  Adam Baros
  • Sam Maggard Endowed Transportation Scholarship ($1200):  Rodolfo Rascon De Lira
  • ACNM Transportation Industry Scholarships ($1,500) – Keith Salais and Daniel Diaz

On April 15, chemical and materials engineering students represented American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Omega Chi Epsilon national honor society for chemical engineers at the annual Relay for Life event on NMSU’s campus. From 6 pm to 6 am, students, faculty and other members of the community came together to show their support for cancer research. For the third year in a row, chemical and materials engineering students placed first for raising the most money, totaling $3,527.43, eclipsing last year’s record total of around $1900.

engr 3The NMSU Society of Automotive Engineers Baja team was recently featured in in a commercial video produced by Cummins whose NMSU alumni volunteer to assist and make personal donations to the Baja team.  The video can be viewed at


College of Health and Social Services, Dean Donna Wagner

Office of the Dean

  • The HSS Student Ambassadors were involved in Aggies Against Violence Week, by participating in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event held last Friday on the NMSU Horseshoe. The event is an opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes and effects of men’s sexualized violence against women.  Zack Wills, a student in the School of Nursing along with Josh Drinkard both took the walk in high heels to raise awareness for other men, and to feel the vulnerability women often feel.

Department of Public Health

  • HSS received a grant from the Paso Del Norte Health Foundation which will be used to train community health workers and promotores de Salud in Dona Ana, Otero, and Luna counties in New Mexico. Joe Tomaka, Interim Department Head from the Department of Public Health Sciences will be the PI on this project, although there are additional faculty members from the PHS, staff from Crimson Research, and New Mexico’s Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program who are collaborating on the project.

University Library, Dean Elizabeth Titus

On Saturday April 30, NMSU Librarians Alisa Gonzalez and John Sandstrom, with support from the Southwest and Border Cultures Institute, hosted the Dia de los Ninos/Dia de los Libros (DDN/DDL) celebration. With a storytelling event at Branigan Library in the morning and a Storytelling workshop at Zuhl Library in the afternoon, this year’s events reached 12 adults and 10 children at the storytelling event and 6 participants in the storytelling workshop. DDN/DDL is a literacy event developed 20 years ago by author Pat Mora to support literacy in the Hispanic community. In the past 20 years, the event has expanded to support children’s literacy. Headlining both events was Cindy Williams, a librarian and storyteller from El Paso,Texas.

Honors College, Dean Miriam Chaiken

  • URCAS – On Friday we celebrated the 21st Annual URCAS – the Undergraduate Research and Creative Arts Symposium. Over 130 students presented posters of their work and research, read papers, or showed us their performing arts. We began the day with inspiring words from Provost Howard about the importance of cherishing the role of mentors in our lives. The Corbett Center Ballroom teemed with people visiting with the authors of posters, and at the same time concurrent paper sessions took place throughout the building. The presentations ranged from the Sundt Scholars’ discussions of climate change and fragile tropical ecosystems, to political themes in paintings by the Dutch masters, to advances in engineering and biochemistry. The faculty who participated as moderators or mentors commented on the poise and professionalism of the students, many doing a better job than our colleagues with PhDs. All of the printed materials and the URCAS logo were designed by students in the graphic design classes, one more way that students were the focus of this event. By lunch time everyone was ready for sustenance and we enjoyed an interactive session on learning and movement by Debra Knapp (Director of the Dance Program), and an outstanding performance of Spanish dance by the dancers of Sol y Arena company under the direction of Paco Antonio while we refueled. The photos show only a few of our fantastic students, make sure that you join us next year for this event.
  • Fulbright Winner! – We learned that one of our Fulbright applicants, Grace Vidaurre-Smith (Biology) was awarded a research Fulbright to study bird communication in Uruguay. We are so impressed and happy for Grace, only TWO awards were given to students for Uruguay from the 10,000 applicants to this global program, which makes Grace’s accomplishment all the more noteworthy.
  • PHI ETA SIGMA Winner! – For the unprecedented second year in a row, Viridianna Arellano was awarded a $6,000 scholarship from the national honorary society Phi Eta Sigma. Viri is the former chapter President of PES, a nursing major, and we think may be the first ever to twice be recognized with this scholarship. Only a handful of these awards are given each year, so we are very proud of Viri’s success.
  • Society for Applied Anthropology coming to NM – The international organization SfAA will hold its 2017 meeting in Santa Fe, which is likely to attract more than 5,000 practicing anthropologists from around the world. On Wednesday Dean Chaiken joined other members of the Anthropology Department to welcome Erve Chambers to town, who is the program chair for the upcoming meetings. Dr. Chambers spent time learning about how we can feature the southern part of the state at the meeting. The first day of the meeting (March 28,2017) will be New Mexico Day, and all the sessions, papers, roundtables will focus on issues in New Mexico (this day is free to the public). We are planning a session highlighting the work of our graduate students in heritage preservation for their nominations of properties to the National Register of Historic Landmarks, another session including our Native American students who have completed their anthropology degrees and returned to their home communities to make a difference, and additional sessions on the social justice and human rights work that continues in the borderlands. We are looking forward to have a large contingency from NMSU play a highly visible role in this international meeting.
  • Search Committee Season – Dean Chaiken is serving on the committee helping to select a new department head for Public Health Sciences, and the first candidate visited campus this week. The week was equally busy with candidates for the Dean of Engineering and Dean of ACES visiting campus, so it was a busy week welcoming these prospective colleagues.

Administration and Finance, Senior Vice President Angela Throneberry

  • NMSU Loss Prevention Loss Control Program – On April 26, 2016, NMSU’s Loss Prevention Loss Control Program was audited by State Risk Management for compliance. The focus of the audit is to ensure that NMSU has programs and processes in place to reduce risk and minimize losses ultimately making NMSU a safer place.  We scored a 98% and it is clear that safety and loss prevention is a high priority for NMSU.  Members of the NMSU Loss Prevention/Loss Control Committee are available to provide more insight into what you may do to help.  The committee co-chairs are Katrina Doolittle and Johnny Carrillo, and committee members are: Andrew Pena, Gerard Nevarez, Glen Haubold, Lori McKee, Luis Vazquez, Patrick Field, Stephen Lopez, and Bill Harty.
  • convoyConvoy of Hope – Facilities Operations prepared the NMSU intramural field in support of the Convoy of Hope event held on April 30, 2016. This community service project is a collaborative effort to bring hope to a city  through free groceries, health and dental screenings, haircuts, family portraits, hot meals, and career service training.  Facilities and Services coordinated the installation of fencing, access to potable water, erected the safety barricades to close Locust street, and provided personnel to operate the open air shuttle transport for the event.
  • Aggies Against Violence Week – Corbett Center staff assisted in the Clothesline Project on Sunday decorating and hanging t-shirts in the Aggie Lounge, Food Court and outside the building.
  • fireFire Department Program – The NMSU Fire Department hosted a tour of the fire station on Wednesday, April 27th, for 18 students from El Paso’s Socorro High School Fire Technology Academy program. The NMSU’s Fire Department program allows students to pursue an education while at the same time explore a career as a firefighter. NMSU staff answered questions and each participant received a “What will you DISCOVER at New Mexico State University” booklet.
  • Crafts at Corbett – April Showers bring May flowers, therefore this month’s activity was painting umbrellas. See all of the great photos
  • Diner de Vin – Diner de Vin, a fine dining event, was hosted on April 29 at the 3rd Floor Bistro in the Fulton Center. Dining guests were served fine Italian cuisine with expertly paired wine selections. This event series connects NMSU and Las Cruces community members alike to the outstanding atmosphere provided by this unique restaurant venue.

Student Affairs/Enrollment Management, Vice President Bernadette Montoya

  • Activity Center Staff Saves Life – On April 22 at 8:00 a.m., a faculty member suffered cardiac emergency in the weight room of the Activity.  The student employee on shift, Josh Vasquez immediately responded.  Josh activated the facilities emergency action plan and began an initial assessment, checked for a pulse and began CPR.  Andrea Aragon, the student employee who was attending the front desk called, 911.  Josh and a bystander continued CPR until the NMSU Fire Department arrived. Josh Vasquez and Andrea Aragon are two of over 200 student employees of Rec Sports.  The professional staff of the Aquatic Center are American Red Cross certified Lifeguard and CPR Instructors Trainers.  Each student employee of the department receives CPR training along with emergency management procedures.  We are proud of our staff for their dedication to the health and well-being of the NMSU community as well as a special acknowledgment to Josh and Andrea for applying their skills and quick response.
Andrea Aragon and Josh Vasquez from the Campus Activity Center.

Andrea Aragon and Josh Vasquez from the Campus Activity Center.

  • Student Documentary – A special professional development event for SAEM Staff took place on April 16th when they had an opportunity to visit with Maria Garcia and Montiqua Speir, NMSU students who will be graduating in May.  Four years ago both students were featured in a documentary film titled “Our Time Is Now” from Littleglobe Films in Santa Fe.  At the time of the documentary, Maria and Montiqua were attending Deming High School and were participants in the State of New Mexico Gear Up Program.  The film highlights the challenges to high school graduation in New Mexico.  During the presentation, Maria and Montiqua discussed their experiences at NMSU and how faculty, staff and other support helped them to complete their degrees in four years.  Both Maria and Montiqua have been accepted into Graduate Programs at NMSU for Fall 2016.  Link to the documentary film –
  • DREAM Excellence Training – On April 26 and 28 DREAM Excellence trainings were conducted at DACC Central and DACC East Mesa campuses, respectively. DREAM Excellence trainings focus on issues of access to higher education for undocumented students and U.S. citizens and residents with a foreign high school transcript. The trainings are sponsored by the Immigrant Student Issues Committee.  Cyrena Alfaro of Financial Aid, Gustavo Guzman of Admissions, Mari Tellez and Laura Gutiérrez Spencer of Chicano Programs conducted the trainings.
  • LGBT+ Program host National Speaker – The LGBT+ Program has had a full array of activities for the recognition of Pride Season.  The season concluded with a nationally recognized speaker, Janet Mock, the author of the bestselling book, “Redefining Realness”.  Ms. Mock, a transgender woman, spoke to an audience of over 200 at the Corbett Center Auditorium, reflecting on her book, life, and role as transgender personality.  The audience was given the opportunity to ask questions and meet the author for a book signing.  Zooey Sophia Pook, LGBT+ Program Coordinator served as the moderator for the event.  NMSU is joining other colleges and universities making changes to policies and processes that are more inclusive.  Ms. Mock commended NMSU for taking strides to improve communication, access, support, and resources to a community that is nationally underserved.
Janet Mock, bestselling novelist of “Redefining Realness” and LGBT+ Program Coordinator, Zooey Pook.

Janet Mock, bestselling novelist of “Redefining Realness” and LGBT+ Program Coordinator, Zooey Pook.

  • NMSU Career Services – NMSU Career Services has been busy getting our graduating students ready for a job. The department hosted the 43rd Annual Educators’ Job Fair with 63 districts conducting on site interviews with approximately 100 candidates. NMSU Career Services also hosted the Etiquette Dinner with approximately 75 students participating.  Several Colleges (ACES, College of Engineering, College of Business, Graduate School) and Departments (Office of Advancement, Career Services, CAMP, American Indian Program) sponsored students.
NMSU Career Services hosted an Etiquette Dinner to prepare students for Dining.

NMSU Career Services hosted an Etiquette Dinner to prepare students for Dining.

  • Technology Innovation – Six members of the Enrollment Management team attended the Annual Ellucian Live Conference in Denver. Undergraduate Admissions, University Registrar and University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services continue to identify and realize operational and student service efficiencies through existing automation and better utilization of software system solutions that NMSU already pays for. The staff attendees representing these three departments were Minerva Galaz, Lorraine Ortega, Krystal Espinoza, Catherine Rhajakumari, Virginia Tucker and Jerry Martinez.

Vice President for Economic Development, Vice President Kevin Boberg

  • Launch – On Friday, Arrowhead Center hosted its annual Launch Day competition. The competition featured 4 technologies developed by NMSU Faculty, Staff and Students that were presented to 4 judges: Kevin Avila Robinson, Matthis Shinnick, Robert Herrera, and Jason Koenig.  The overall winner of the event was Maestro, a computer program that streamlines Institutional Review Board compliance, designed by the Office of Associate Vice President for Research Integrity and the Research Information Technology Department, receiving a $25,000 equity investment in their company. The crowd favorite and social media winner was LIBS in the FieldTM, a portable laser spectroscopy device.
  • Studio G Design Hours – On Wednesday, Studio G hosted its weekly Networking Hour. This week’s topic focused on funding opportunities and provided an overview of the various competitive funding opportunities available to early stage entrepreneurs. Studio G Networking Hour provides the opportunity for students to meet other students who are interested in entrepreneurship and starting their own businesses.

University Advancement, Vice President/Foundation Executive Director Andrea Tawney

Corporation Gift – Sandia National Laboratories/Lockheed Martin gave a gift of $20,000 to support the College of Engineering’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) outreach programs.
Government Pledge –
A graduate from the Government Department pledged $5,000 for the department’s current use fund.
Engineering Gift – The College of Engineering received a $12,500 donation to support engineering scholarships and NM Best Robotics.
Aggie Athletic Club Thankathon – NMSU student-athletes participated in a two night Thankathon event. Over 25 students placed nearly 800 phone calls to AAC Members. The purpose of this event was to thank each donor to the Athletics Department for their support of student-athlete scholarships.
Community Garden Support – PNM Resources Foundation awarded two grants, totaling $31,302: $14,000 for the community garden project through Otero County Extension and $17,302 for the youth community garden project through Hidalgo County Extension.

Athletics, Director Mario Moccia

  • wacOur New Mexico State Aggies women’s golf team won their third straight Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championship in Seattle. The Aggies were traveling back from their win when the NCAA Selection show announced that they would be headed to Alabama for regional competition. Head coach Jackie Booth was selected as the WAC Coach of the Year and Vivian Macias was WAC Player of the Year.
  • Held a press conference in the Pan Am Center on Tuesday afternoon to announce the hiring of Paul Weir as the 25th men’s head basketball coach at New Mexico State. Paul is an alum of NMSU as well as the first Division 1 Canadian head men’s basketball coach.
  • Held our April Full Staff meeting. John Hummer President of Burrell College and Steinborn Realty was the guest speaker.
  • Held our annual Aggie Awards Ceremony on Wednesday afternoon at the Corbett Center. This event is held at the end of the year to honor student-athletes and coaches. Multiple individual and team awards were handed out including the Scholar Athletes award, Male and Female Athlete of the Year, and Coaching Staff of the Year award.
  • Softball swept 2nd place UMKC in Kansas City to win the WAC regular season championship. Head coach Kathy Rodolph won her 600th game as head coach (403 as Aggies head coach). The team will travel to Seattle for the WAC Championship Tournament next week.
  • robertsNM State Baseball clinched the 3 game series over 2nd place Sacramento State over the weekend. Friday night was Parkinson’s Awareness night. Longtime Aggie supporter and board member of the Parkinson’s Disease Support Group of Southern New Mexico, Jon Roberts threw the first pitch. On Saturday night we had the Stuff the Skew promotion with head men’s basketball coach Paul Weir throwing the first pitch. Over 1,000 tickets were sold. We also unveiled a plaque in honor of Jim Burnett, a longtime Aggie fan who passed away in the fall of 2015. Jim attended Aggie baseball games for 25 years. Wife, Pat Burnett, daughter and son-in-law attended Saturday’s dedication.  The Aggies are two games out of first place. We will host 1st place Seattle University this weekend.

University Communications, Associate Vice President Maureen Howard

News – Kevin Robinson-Avila, a business writer with the Albuquerque Journal, was on campus Thursday (4/28) to serve as a judge for Arrowhead Center’s Launch competition. The Launch program helps transition early-stage research projects into marketable products by exploring a technology’s commercial potential very early in development and providing funding and resources for that work. The reporter continued his campus visit on Friday (4/29) to report out a story on the new hotel and how it will benefit the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management.

KRWG – As part of the KRWG-TV outreach efforts, we have been working to engage area youth in discussions about voting and public policy.  For the series “Issues and Answers,” which is an ongoing public affairs program, the station hosted forums with students from New Mexico State University and Las Cruces Public Schools.

Sports Information – Athletics Media Relations covered the Aggies winning their second consecutive WAC Men’s Tennis Tournament Championship and the Aggie women playing in the title match. The sports writers staffed the Aggie softball team winning the WAC Regular Season Championship with a sweep of Missouri-Kansas City and the Aggie baseball team sweeping Sacramento State to take sole possession of second place heading into the last regular season weekend.

Government Relations, Assistant Vice President Ricardo Rel

  • May 9- Capitol Buildings Planning Commission, Capitol, room 311
  • May 10 -12, Legislative Finance Committee, Capitol, room 322
    • May 10, 1:30pm, Long Term Economic Development Strategies- Chris Erickson- Economics, NMSU
    • May 11, 1:30 pm, Program Evaluation: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) – Educational Costs, Degree Production and Labor Market Outcomes
    • May 12, 10:00 pm, Update on Statewide Compensation Strategy, Justin Najaka, Director, State Personnel Office
  • May 23, Legislative Health & Human Services Committee, room 322
    • 8:40 am, Medicaid Update, Brent Earnest, Secretary
    • 3.30 pm, Work Plan; Meeting Schedule, Review of 2016 Health and Human Services Legislation.

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

  • This week was the NMDA 2016 Annual Conference. Staff members from all across the state were here to discuss challenges and opportunities and plan for the year. We addressed safety – Chief Lopez presented the Active Killer/Shooter Incident Workshop, and we were reminded to “stress less and laugh more” by our speaker. Employees were recognized for their years of service. This year Kim Allbright received the Community Action Award, Elaine Padilla and Juan Olivas received the Distinguished Service Awards.
  • I testified on behalf of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) before the House Ag Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture & Research. The hearing focused on Factors Impacting the Cost of Production which is part of the series Focus on the Farm Economy. My full written testimony and the entire archived webcast are available on the Committee’s website.
Director Witte, Kim Allbright, Juan Olivas, Elaine Padi

Director Witte, Kim Allbright, Juan Olivas, Elaine Padi

NMSU Police, Chief Stephen Lopez

  • Police Activity – There were 41 police reports created, 13 supplements filed, and 50 traffic citations issued.   The Records & Evidence Office processed 51 items of evidence entered into the vault, and 38 people were fingerprinted.
  • Emergency Dispatch Center – Emergency Dispatch Center handled 291 calls for service (5 of which were 911 calls) resulting in 120 police calls (14 of which were agency assist) and 5 warrant entries.  There were 15 fire calls (7 of which were mutual aid), 1 emergency medical call, 1 public assist, 1 brush fire, 4 fire alarms, and 1 dumpster fire.  There were also 2 animal control calls.
  • Special Events- Special Events Staff worked a total of 298.75 hours including reviewing events such as the Convoy of Hope, Jeff Dunham, Pentatonix, and WWE.
  • Victim Services – Victim Services staff had a case follow-up and assisted with a Restraining Order Hearing.
  • Firearms Instructor Update – Chief Lopez participated in a two-day firearms instructor course.  All firearms instructors are required to attend refresher training every 4 years in order to maintain their certification through the State of New Mexico.  Chief Lopez has been a firearms instructor since 1996, and this update will keep him current until 2020.
  • 2016 Aggie Football Security Meeting – The second Aggie Football Security Meeting was held to discuss any issues or concerns.  The planning for a successful 2016 football season is going well.
  • FBINAA Spring Retrainer – Several members of the Police Department, including Deputy Chief Andy Bowen and Commander Jeff Harvey, attended the FBI National Academy Associates Spring Training class which was held in Albuquerque, NM April 27-29, 2016.
  • Active Killer Presentation – Chief Lopez conducted a two hour “Active Killer Presentation” for over 100 NMDA staff at the Ramada Inn on April 28 as part of the NMDA’s annual conference.
  • Pepper Spray and Active Killer Presentations – Chief Lopez traveled to the Grants Campus on April 29th to conduct training for staff and students.  The first part of the training was a Pepper Spray for Private Citizens Class and the second was an Active Killer Presentation that included a component where blank rounds were fired inside one of the buildings for a more realistic experience.  There were close to 40 participants in each training session, including Dr. Harry Sheski.

New Mexico State University-Alamogordo, President Ken Van Winkle

NMSU-A Library Accepted Telescope Donation –  On Tuesday, April 26, the Alamogordo Astronomy Club donated an Orion Starblast Telescope to the NMSU-A Library.  The telescope is a tabletop Newtonian-style Dobsonian telescope with 4.5 inch reflector and zoom eyepiece.  The Orion Starblast telescope was modified to make it more user-friendly for general-purpose use. The telescope, and accompanying star maps, has been given an official library tracking number and is available for checkout at the NMSU-A Library, just like any other piece of library equipment.  It is portable and weighs about 10 pounds. The telescope, which is valued at about $350, was donated in honor of Michael B. Smith, a longtime member of the local club.

Campus Celebrated Earth Day – On Thursday, April 28, the NMSU-A campus celebrated Earth Day on the patio. Students learned about the university’s renewable energy program and local ways to recycle, and researched their individual carbon footprint on the earth. They also enjoyed pizza and solar-cooked chocolate chip cookies.

NMSU-A Faculty and Staff Support Local Earth Day –  Members of the NMSU-A faculty and staff supported the local community’s annual Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 30, at the Alameda Park Zoo.  The university had multiple tables set up to provide community members information about our educational programs and registration guidelines.  Also, our renewable energy faculty demonstrated how solar panels can be used to provide energy to pump water, run light switches and even cook food in a solar powered oven. It is estimated more than 6K people attended this annual event.

NMSU-A Staff Supported 5K Fun Run – NMSU-A Staff supported the Good Egg 5K Fun Run on Saturday, April 30. Although it was deemed a “fun run” there were competition categories for the men and women. All proceeds from the run fund an annual scholarship for a returning NMSU-A student.

New Mexico State University -Carlsbad, President John Gratton

  • The NMSU Carlsbad Nursing Department hosted a luncheon for the Carlsbad Medical Center Auxiliary on Monday, April 25 to thank them for all of their support for nursing student scholarships. Also, on Monday, April 25, the Carlsbad campus conducted the second of its scheduled training sessions to assist faculty in preparing for promotion and tenure portfolio submissions.
  • On Wednesday, April 27, the NMSU Carlsbad Executive Team met with the proposed AQIP Criterion Chairpersons to discuss strategies for the selection of writing teams and the onset of the preparation of the NMSU Carlsbad AQIP Systems Portfolio which is due to HLC by November 1, 2017.
  • On Thursday, April 28, the Carlsbad campus conducted its annual Poetry Reading event. Faculty and staff presented selections of their favorite poems and music was provided between the readings. The event was well-attended and was enjoyed by all attendees.
  • On Thursday, April 28 and Friday, April 29, President John Gratton who serves as President of the Carlsbad Rotary Club, attended the annual Rotary District Conference in Albuquerque

New Mexico State University – Grants, Interim President Harry Sheski

Safety Training – Chief Stephen Lopez, NMSU Las Cruces Police Department, conducted safety training on Friday, April 28 to the students, staff, and faculty of NMSU Grants Campus.  The first training included Pepper Spray Training to teach individuals how to select and use pepper spray for personal defense.  The other safety training  included Active Shooter Training with an on campus active shooter drill.

NMACC Visit – Mr. Ty Trujillo, the Executive Director of the NM Association of Community Colleges (NMACC) visited with the NMSU Grants Leadership Team on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.  This was Mr. Trujillo’s first visit to the NMSU Grants Campus.

Cibola Economic Development Collaboration – On Wednesday,  April 25, the Executive Director, Eileen Chavez Yarborough, of the Cibola Communities Economic Development Foundation (CCEDF), proposed a workforce development project that if funded would produce  a minimum of 30 jobs in Cibola County.  The program would provide training for participants and a provide a central location where participants could conduct business.  NMSU Grants has agreed to support this initiative by providing space on the NMSU Grants Campus for the pilot program.

Associated Students of New Mexico State University

2016 Spring Commencement – May 13, 2016.

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