Activity Report April 7 – April 13

Chancellor Garrey Carruthers

I have just returned from a visit to my old stomping grounds – San Juan County—where our NMSU delegation had a very fruitful and busy day. After touring Pesco, a manufacturing company (owned by Jim and Kyle Rhodes, Aggie Engineering grads) employing 350 people of which 80 percent are Native American (very impressive), we broke bread with 28 alums and friends.  I filled them in on the goings on at NMSU.  Lots of Aggie Pride in the room.  We visited Aztec High School (my old school) and attempted to recruit 35+ Aztec Tigers who had indicated an interest in coming to NMSU.  Many have already signed up.  The last stop was San Juan Community College (SJCC) where we met with President Toni Pendergrass (Aggie) regarding an arrangement in which SJCC would become the first independent Community College to partner with us by adopting our Aggie Pathways to a Bachelor’s Degree program.  We also discussed degree completion programs, which were of great interest to SJCC.  SJCC divorced NMSU decades ago (it was once NMSU San Juan), and we are now reconciling in the best interest of our institutions and our students.  Very uplifting and positive day.

I met with Attorney General Hector Balderas regarding some potential legal impediments to our San Luis Potosi NMSU project. He seemed to believe he could work out an opinion indicating it was possible, but we need to ask for an opinion through an elected public official. We also discussed the Texas/New Mexico water lawsuit.  His analogy was we had received the ball on our own 20-yard line but had advanced to about the 35-yard line on our side of the field.  Water lawsuits take forever, but this one is very important to NMSU and our water rights holdings.

Please look forward to participating in a virtual Aggie Derby where my trusty horse, Dutch, and I will take on others in the big race. The Derby is a fundraiser for the Therapeutic Riding program. The funds will be used to provide a Graduate Assistant for this great NMSU community service. Betting begins on April 30 so save up your coins.  More information on how to bet will be forthcoming. Dutch is a prohibitive favorite.

Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard

On Monday morning, April 9, I met with a team of senior administrators and the Chancellor to discuss progress on projects we are trying to complete before June 30th of this year. During this meeting I discussed the work of Team 6, the outcome of the Vice President for Research search, and progress on the San Luis Potosi campus. The meeting brought into focus the many initiatives that have been completed over the past five years and the promise of those that are nearing completion.

The NMSU General Education Taskforce met on Friday, April 13 to continue the discussion of how to bring NMSU into compliance with the new general education model of the Higher Education Department, which will go into effect in the fall of 2019. A central focus of the discussion on Friday was the First-Year Seminar, an interdisciplinary seminar that will be a fundamental feature of the new curriculum being planned for NMSU. Because of the difficulties associated with developing a large number of seminars in a single year, the plan is to phase in the seminars over a two- to four-year time period.

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

Over 1300 middle and high school FFA (“Future Farmers of America”) students from all over New Mexico came to Las Cruces to participate in Career Development events such as agricultural mechanics, livestock, land and wool judging, food science, and identification of insects, flowers, and dairy products. You may have noticed the sea of blue and gold jackets around campus from Wednesday to Friday as students congregated in hallways of the Corbett Center, Pan Am and Gerald Thomas Halls – many of these students are future Aggies and they will be our leaders in agricultural literacy in schools communities around the state. The mission of Agriculture Education and FFA in New Mexico is to prepare today’s youth for careers in tomorrow’s global agriculture industry. See for more information.


The second floor of Gerald Thomas Hall has a new look, with 48 large photographs lining the hallway between the Dean’s office and student classrooms. Images express the Research, Extension and Academic missions of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) and feature students, faculty, youth, 4-Hers and Extension clientele. The images were curated by Jeanne Gleason’s team in the department of Innovative Media Research and Extension in the ACES College.

College of Arts & Sciences, Dean Enrico Pontelli



The college leadership visited several companies in the Bay Area to create connections for internships, job fairs, employment opportunities and collaborations. The Dean visited Yahoo, Facebook, Google, and Netflix. In the picture, the team with Tasha Nesiba, CS alumna and software engineer at Google.




A “Good Night” is turning into a great opportunity for a group of New Mexico State University students. The short film written and directed by NMSU philosophy student Brandon T. Gass and starring NMSU students has been accepted into the Festival de Cannes Short Film Corner/Cannes Court Métrage.  The students will be attending the Cannes Film Festival, among the most prestigious in the world, May 8-19.




The department of Physics recognized Michael Engelhardt as the recipient of the Gardiner Professorship.






The college hosted a presentation by Dr. Jon Hunner as part of the Global Connections program. The presentation was titled “Driven by History: A Road Trip through our Nation’s Past.”





College of Business, Dean James Hoffman

Dean Jim Hoffman and Director of Development Anthony Casaus met with College of Business alumnus, Robert Chavez (`84) Monday, April 9. Chavez spoke to Professor Paula Grove’s Fin 303V Personal Financial Planning/Investment and Fin 341 Analysis and Markets classes.  In addition, Chavez met with Associate Dean Kathy Brook and students from her ECON 404 Federal Reserve Board class.  Robert Chavez is President/CEO of Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union in Albuquerque and currently sits on the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council.

Photo by Anthony Casaus: Left to right – Dean Jim Hoffman, Robert Chavez, Associate Dean, Kathy Brook, (students) Nico Goumas, Magwa Hairstonel, Jarrod Aguayo

Dean Jim Hoffman and Directors of Development Denise Tafoya and Anthony Casaus met with College of Business alumnus, Victor Pacheco (`79) (`80) (`02) BA Accountancy, MBA, Doctorate Philosophy Thursday, April 12. Pacheco addressed the College of Business Ambassador students.  Pacheco is assistant vice president of Business Affairs at University Texas El Paso.

Photo by Anthony Casaus: Victor Pacheco addressing College of Business Ambassadors

Finance Management Association student organization in the College of Business conducting a resume building and interview workshop with College of Business alumnus, Blas Pina (`85, `88 BA – finance, MA – business administration) on Skype in the Dean’s Conference Room April 12. Pina, director of Fuels Trading for Constellation Energy Gas Choice, Inc. in Houston, has been mentoring student, Danielle Best.  Reviewed her resume and conducted a mock interview as well with the student organization observing.  Paula Groves is the FMA faculty advisor.

Photo by Anthony Casaus: FMA student organization participation in resume building and interview workshop with COB alumnus, Blas Pina and student, Danielle Best (top right) on Skype

College of Education, Dean Donald Pope-Davis

Counseling & Educational Psychology Department – Multicultural Research Symposium   The Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology held its annual Multicultural Research Symposium. The theme of this year’s Symposium was “Intersecting Social Identities,” which recognized how different aspects of culture (like race, gender, ethnicity, age, social class, disability status, and others) are interconnected and contribute to unique experiences of oppression and privilege in everyday life. This year the Symposium grew to encompass round-table discussions, poster sessions, and oral presentations from students and scholars at NMSU. Dr. Laura Smith, associate professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, closed out the event with a keynote address focused on research methods well-suited to examine the experiences of marginalized communities and to actually incorporate their voices into the research process.

College of Engineering, Dean Lakshmi Reddi

The NMSU Concrete Canoe team won the Concrete Canoe Rocky Mountain Student Conference that took place at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology on April 5-7. The NMSU team has been invited to compete against 24 other teams at the National Concrete Canoe Competition on June 23-25 at San Diego State University in San Diego, California. The Concrete Canoe Student Conference competitions require students to collaborate as teams and use engineering skills to design and construct a seaworthy canoe made entirely of concrete. Each team must compete in four categories:  design paper, oral presentation, final product and several racing events, for a chance to move on to the national competition. NMSU will vie against 24 other teams of students from schools across the nation.

The College of Engineering hosted the 28th Annual WERC Environmental Design Contest last week at the Farm and Ranch Museum. The design contest brought together 25 teams from 12 different universities from across the country and hosted by the New Mexico State University College of Engineering. Students must use their years of engineering study to solve one of six real-world problems facing industry or government — mainly how to clean up, prevent or measure various kinds of contamination. Tuesday, students demonstrated scaled-down models of their projects to judges. They also were required to create a research poster and give a presentation. The judges consist of engineers and experts from academics, industry and government who will evaluate each project and how effectively it solves the assigned problem. Several students said a goal was not only to address the given task but to do so at the lowest cost possible.

The Offices of United States Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich collaborated with Gadsden High School and Gadsden Public Schools in hosting a one of a kind STEM career fair on April 6. This event showcased educational and employment opportunities available to juniors and seniors should they seek to pursue a career in STEM fields. The NMSU College of Engineering was well represented: faculty and students from various engineering departments shared their experiences and discussed the opportunities available at the College of Engineering and future career opportunities. The students attending are traditionally underrepresented in STEM careers. Electrical Engineering Professor Steven Stochaj delivered the closing keynote for the STEM Fair.

Delia Valles-Rosales, industrial engineering, recently took three engineering students to the annual USDA Hispanic-Serving Institution meeting in Washington, D.C. where the students presented posters on their research relating to USDA’s Wheels of Change (Consortium to Develop Champions in Agriculture) and I-Discover (Collaborative Integration of USDA-based Research in the Advanced Teaching Laboratories of STEAM Majors.) NMSU presenters were Rocio Castillo Gomez, mechanical engineering master’s candidate; Gabriella Sing, industrial engineering undergraduate; and Jordan Ulibarri-Sanchez, mechanical engineering master’s candidate.

College of Health and Social Services, Dean Donna Wagner

Seventeen Student Nurse Association of NMSU members and three faculty were recently involved in the remembrance of the Bataan Death March through desert terrain at the White Sands Missile Range. Our students cleaned, drained, dressed, and applied duct tape (yes, duct tape) to blisters on the feet of those marching in honor of the Bataan Veterans who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II. We were up by 2 am, setting up tents and cots before the sunrise, ate Meals Ready-to-Eat (MREs), and stayed to take down and haul out all our supplies. This experience allowed students to provide basic first aid to feet, but also learn about and how to assess for signs of dehydration and electrolyte depletion. The students energy and excitement was infectious as they clapped and cheered on the marchers. It was an amazing learning and service experience for our Nursing students.

Nursing students and faculty assisting at the Bataan Memorial Death March

Clara Reyes, Master in Public Health student, presented a poster, Going Through Cancer Together as a Family: The Experiences of Hispanic Mothers Diagnosed with Cancer, at the 39th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in New Orleans. Ms. Reyes concluded that while Hispanic mothers expressed significant concerns in communicating about the illness with their children, they mutually assisted and protected each other from the negative impact of cancer.

Clara Reyes discusses her poster

In order to enhance awareness of emerging health communication and marketing scientific knowledge, the Science Team in the Office of the Associate Director for Communication at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized a publication of personnel in Public Health Sciences as having particular relevance for the public health communication community. Ethic Differences for Public Health Knowledge, Health Advocacy Skills, and Health Information Seeking Among High School Students: Community Agents of Change by Dr. Cynthia Kratzke, Dr. Satya Rao, and graduate student Ruben Marquez was published in the Journal of Community Health. doi: 10.1007/s10900-018-0496-y. The abstract may be found at

School of Nursing faculty Drs. Conni DeBlieck, Stephanie Lynch, and Linda Summers have published the findings of their study of adolescent stress and the efficiency of two stress reduction devices, the EnergyPod and the SleepWing. Their study, which was co-authored by NMSU associate professor Anita Reinhardt and University of San Francisco associate professor Wanda Borges, found that teens benefit from 20-minute naps during the day to reduce stress and agitation. The full article can be seen at The study was published by Clinical Nursing Research and may be viewed at

University Library, Dean Elizabeth Titus

Support the NMSU Library and order your set of the NMSU Library Visions of New Mexico Note Cards for $10. The note cards features archival and contemporary photographs of various scenery from the Land of Enchantment. Please email Erica Bautista to to place an order or come by Zuhl Library, 2nd Floor Suite 223.

Graduate School, Dean Louἰ Reyes

Honors College, Dean Miriam Chaiken

Fulbright Success   Each year we have several students apply for the prestigious Fulbright Fellowships, and this year we have just learned that Sara Bonk (Curriculum and Instruction) has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar to work in Spain, and Anthony Colin (Plant and Environmental Science) is an alternate to go study at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. We were delighted to have a visit from Lora Seely from the Fulbright headquarters in New York City who gave a workshop for interested Honors students about all of the opportunities that the Fulbright can offer. She indicated that our success rate with students progressing to the finalist stage was far above the national average, and she expects to see many more NMSU Fulbrighters in the future.


Masters Accelerated Program (MAP) Workshop   We held two workshops this week, lead by our GAs Kayla Myers and Yael Cano-Gonzalez, about the opportunities that the MAP provides. We had a good group of students eager to learn about how enrolling in select graduate courses can jump-start their graduate studies, while simultaneously counting as Honors credits.

Amazing Aggies – Student Successes   This week the Honors College was buzzing with students as they prepared their schedules in advance of the day they could register for fall and summer classes. We had a steady string of students coming by, and in many cases they told us about their exciting summer plans. Conroy Scholar Adrianna Martinez has been accepted to a National Science Foundation funded Research Program for Undergraduates at the University of North Texas. Their project is entitled Software Assurance and Security in Emerging Technologies and she will certainly benefit from this opportunity to be part of a research team for 10 weeks. Conroy Scholar Elena Davidson, also a computer science major, will spend her second summer in California where she will intern with Qualcomm in San Diego. Adrianna Sanders will be honing her computer science skills in an internship at Raytheon in Tucson, and if she is able to get permission due to the security clearance she will be earning internship credit for this experience. History major Victoria Lovato will be returning to her position at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and earning internship credit for helping LANL prepare nominations for the National Register of Historic Places for properties within the community that had been associated with the Manhattan Project and the space race. Domenici Scholar Daniel Estupinan is the only student from New Mexico, and one of only 30 students from across the nation to be accepted to the University of California-Berkeley’s Public Policy and International Affairs summer institute. This prestigious program prepares outstanding college seniors to gain skills that will serve them in a career in law and public policy, and graduates of this program frequently gain admission to top flight graduate programs such as the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. MARC Scholar Daniella Barraza will be graduating in a few short weeks, and she is trying to decide which of the many graduate programs that have accepted her will be her final choice, she is being courted by outstanding universities including Harvard.

Amazing Masters Students   While the Honors College primarily serves our undergraduate population, the faculty also all work with graduate students. This week Dean Chaiken had the pleasure to participate in two MA thesis defenses, for anthropology students Elisabeth Montague and Kayla Myers. Both wrote exemplary theses, and we hope that they will generate future publications from their work. Kayla Myers has the additional distinction of having been selected as the Outstanding Masters Student for the whole university and she will be recognized by the Alumni Association at a luncheon the day before commencement.

Administration and Finance, Senior Vice President Andy Burke

ICT Hosts Arrey Elementary Field trip   ICT hosted a bus full of Arrey Elementary 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to an amazing STEM field trip at NMSU on Friday, April 6. ICT partnered with three different colleges to provide the students with experiences in various STEM centers across campus. The students tried Virtual Reality equipment, programmed mini-robots with marker color sequences, and built model bridges to learn about structural testing. ICT hopes to repeat the experiences with other schools’ students.

Omar Valtierrez receives the 4th Quarter Asprey Award   Omar Valtierrez, ICT’s sole Lab Technology support technician, 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. Omar is often called on by many other departments around campus and ICT and is ready and willing to help departments accomplish their goals. Omar always has a friendly, “can-do” attitude and is ready to assist where needed.

Student Affairs/Enrollment Management, Vice President Bernadette Montoya

This past Friday, Outdoor Nation grant winner, Kelly McNeil hosted an Outdoor Expo sponsored by Outdoor Nation, Organ Mountain Technical Rescue, Conservation Corps New Mexico, BLM, NMSU Outdoor Recreation, and the Southern New Mexico Trail Alliance. At the event we gave away pizza, t-shirts, stickers, and knowledge about the outdoors. The OMTR demonstrated a pulley system they would use to lift someone out of a bad situation. As this expo becomes a regular occurrence, we hope to share the many opportunities NMSU and Las Cruces offer in the realm of outdoor adventure with new and continuing students alike.

The Aggie Welcome and Orientation staff have completed the AWO reservation calling campaign of all newly admitted freshmen and transfer students for Fall 2018. Postcards are being mailed out this week, as well as another text messages. The AWO brochure containing logistics for those students that have signed up, will be mailed out by the end of the April / early May.

The Office of University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services has assisted the following number of students this week.

  • Students assisted:
    • In person – 338
    • On the phone – 156
    • Via email – 194
    • At Centralized Advising – 22

For students in the 2018/19 Academic Year, 7,044 have been awarded scholarships and 4,018 have been awarded federal aid.

Vice President for Economic Development, Vice President Kevin Boberg

NM FAST Workshops   This week the NM FAST team held two workshops in New Mexico. On Tuesday, the team spent an afternoon at the Lobo Rainforest building in Albuquerque discussing funding opportunities through the SBIR and STTR programs. On Wednesday, the team held a working session at ProjectY in Los Alamos focused on proposal development for SBIR/STTR funding. Both sessions were great opportunities to connect with New Mexican inventors and entrepreneurs. To learn more about NM FAST visit their website

Innoventure in the Community   This week the Innoventure team had many site visits and activities around Las Cruces. On Thursday, the team spent the afternoon with the Boys and Girls Club of Las Cruces and Friday morning was at Lynn Middle school for their College and Career exploration event. During both visits the team worked with students using the Innoventure Jr. curriculum which teachers product development activities where students challenged to create an innovative product and begin exploring basic business principles. After spending the morning at Lynn, the Innoventure team then participated in the Las Cruces Space Fest event, hosting a community booth at the Mesilla Valley Mall.

Studio G Networking Hour   On Wednesday, Studio G held its weekly networking hour, focusing on how to design and build your product. The Studio G weekly networking hour provides students and local entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn about business strategies and the principles of entrepreneurship, as well as a chance to connect with other aspiring and successful entrepreneurs. Each session is broadcast on Facebook Live. Check out the following link to see the video and learn about upcoming events

Vice President for Research, Interim Vice President Luis Vázquez

The NMSU Physical Science Laboratory’s Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Flight Test Site hosted a two day meeting with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the seven FAA approved UAS Flight Test Sites.  The 25 attendees discussed key regulatory, implementation, and testing efforts specific to safe integration of UAS into the National Air Space.  The dozen FAA attendees were key management and technical leads at the FAA related to the expanding field of UAS flights and operations.

PSL co-hosted a drone workshop with Dr. Ashley Bennett an NMSU Extension Integrated Pest Management specialist.  The workshop, “Using Drones in Research, Agriculture, and Green Space Management” was held at the UAS Flight Test Site’s hangar at the Las Cruces International Airport.  Over 50 people attended an afternoon of lectures and discussion on using UAS in research.

New Mexico Space Grant Consortium will be participating in the Las Cruces Space Festival, which started with a Kick Off event at the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce. NMSU was represented by Dr. Nancy Chanover who outlined all the activities NMSU will be participating in. On Saturday, the Atomic Aggies and the Space Grant will be participating in the Space Festival on the Downtown Mall. Dr. Oemig presented at the NMSU Multicultural Research Symposium on Thursday, April 5. He also had an introductory meeting with Dean Reddi on Monday, April 9. Dr. Hynes was interviewed by Nan Ruben of KTAL radio. A good deal of time was spent discussing Dr. Beth Oleary’s work on Lunar preservation.

University Advancement, Vice President/Foundation Executive Director Andrea Tawney

Scholarship awarded by local business   Western Heritage Bank in Las Cruces awarded a $500 scholarship to Ashley Atwater, a College of Business finance major.

McKinley County students receive support   A longtime Aggie supporter passed away and made a $10,000 bequest to support an existing scholarship for residents of McKinley County who choose to attend NMSU.

Young alum starts College of Engineering scholarship   A recent NMSU graduate established a $500 general scholarship in the College of Engineering.

1888 Minutes of Giving launched   The NMSU Foundation officially launched the 1888 Minutes of Giving platform and started recruiting Aggie Social Ambassadors. When faculty, staff, alumni and students sign up to be an ambassador, they receive a special giving URL that allows them to keep track of how many donations they brought in spreading the word. Join in on the fun and see how much you can raise at

Athletics, Director Mario Moccia

The Aggies beat the Lobos in baseball 9-1 on Tuesday, April 10 at the Santa Ana Star Field. Former Aggie and current head coach Brian Green recorded his 100th win with the victory over our Battle of I-25 rival.

International and Border Programs, Interim Associate Provost Rod McSherry

Marketing and Communications, Associate Vice President Justin Bannister

Marketing Services and Web Communications   The Marketing Services team worked with faculty and grad students in the Department of Psychology to develop a recruitment brochure, featuring new imagery, the most updated branding and an insightful student perspective. Staff and faculty will be using the brochures at upcoming conferences. In recent months, Marketing Services also created print ads for the Psychology master’s program.

KRWG/SPU   Last week, KRWG-FM heard from hundreds of supporters during their Spring Membership Drive. Donations over the weekend pushed past the goal of $70,000. More than 500 members contributed in amounts from $10 to $1,000, all of which go directly into the programming that listeners rely on every day: news, music, entertainment, local, national and international. More information about the station and donations is available at

Government Relations, Assistant Vice President Ricardo Rel

Upcoming Legislative Related Events:

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

NMDA hosted the Binational Livestock meeting at New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. Guests were from Sonora, Mexico, Arizona Department of Agriculture, New Mexico Beef Council, New Mexico Cattle Growers & others from the cattle industry. The day continued at the NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center, where several people from Animal and Range Sciences talked about nutrition, reproduction, and the latest technology in rangeland management. On Saturday, the focus turned to Dairy with an overview of the New Mexico Dairy Industry and a session with NMSU Dairy Extension’s Dr. Robert Hoogevert followed by tours of a local cheese plant and dairy.

I participated in the 2018 MAFO National Farmworker Conference Building Stronger Rural Communities event. This event provided education and training, information and resource sharing, coalition building, and program and policy development for like-minded community and rural partners. I spoke on the economy and challenges of rural America.

The Spring Livestock Genetics Inbound Mission received ten cattlemen from Mexico – five from the State of Chihuahua and five from Sonora. The mission included a ranch visit, attendance to the Rocky Mountain Spring Runoff Santa Gertrudis Bulls sale, and a visit to the NMSU ACES livestock pens. Three bulls were purchased from the bull sale. A pending order for 25 yearling bulls is currently being negotiated.

NMSU Police, Chief Stephen Lopez

Firearms Instructor Roundtables   Chief Lopez attended the NM Law Enforcement Academy round-table meeting for firearms instructors on Monday, April 9, in Albuquerque. A review of recent changes to the statewide firearms qualification courses for police officers was conducted, along with discussion of changes needed for the future.

DACC Domestic Violence Presentation   Chief Lopez attended three of the Domestic Violence awareness presentations sponsored by the DACC Student Government Association. He answered questions on behalf of law enforcement after speaker Christy Sims spoke.  Attendance at all sessions was excellent, as was the actual presentation and Q&A.

Visit by Attorney General Jeff Sessions   The Police Department’s canine teams assisted with securing and sweeping venues associated with the visit of Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week. The FBI provides the personal protection for the Attorney General, and our department works closely to support them in their protection details.

National Telecommunicator Week   The Police Department recognized the services of the 911 emergency dispatch telecommunicators as part of National Telecommunicator Week. We were pleased that so many of the staff attended the breakfast cooked by the Command staff on Tuesday.  The dispatchers are truly the heroes behind the scenes of calls for police, fire, and emergency medical assistance.

Accreditation, Executive Director Shelly Stovall

On Friday, April 6, I had the pleasure of participating in NMSU’s Writing to Think Conference. The conference was an opportunity for faculty from diverse disciplines to share how they use writing in their courses to improve student learning and student engagement. Many individuals attending the conference commented about the high quality of the breakout sessions, and the value of attending the conference as a whole. Kudos to the Office of Assessment and the University Outcomes Assessment Council for sponsoring and organizing such a great conference!

On Saturday, I traveled to the Higher Learning Commission annual conference in Chicago. It was nice to attend the conference with a little less intensity than in the last few years. This year I was free to attend a wider variety of sessions than those specifically focused on writing the assurance argument and meeting accreditation criteria.

A couple of sessions that were particularly interesting were given by Jose Antonio Bowen, president of Coucher College. Well known for his award-winning book “Teaching Naked,” his current work is Transforming the University: Learning for a Change, which is “a comprehensive approach to integrating campus life with massively better classrooms and using research on learning and adolescent development to focus college on opening minds in the post-technology era.”

On Friday, I took a few minutes (or more) to walk through the American Indian Week Arts & Crafts display in Corbett Center. I was inspired by the beautiful and interesting artwork and craftsmanship of those who came to display their work, and was thrilled to take home a lamp for my own den. I also learned something new about the meaning and context of the Hopi Kachina figures. What a great way to wind down a busy week!

New Mexico State University – Doña Ana, President Renay Scott

Sims Shares Story   Christy Sims who is the survivor of a horrific domestic violence attack shared her story in Sunland Park and Las Cruces. When she broke up with her boyfriend, he threw sulfuric acid on her burning her face, neck, chest and arms. Sims remained in an induced coma for two months and underwent 13 surgeries. NMSU Police Chief Stephen Lopez and La Casa also presented information for those attending the presentations.

New Mexico State University – Alamogordo, President Ken Van Winkle

On Saturday, April 7, NMSU-A faculty and staff members Dr. Joyce Hill, Sherrell Wheeler, and Greg Hillis gave a presentation at the 2018 Higher Learning Commission conference. The presentation “From Challenge to Change” addressed two areas of concern that the HLC had during an accreditation visit in 2013.  Additionally, information was presented to show a link between accreditation and strategic planning.  The presentation was well attended and well received.

Dr. Joyce Hill, Greg Hillis, and Sherrell Wheeler.

On the morning of Sunday, April 8, Sherrell Wheeler, NMSU-A faculty member and director of Online Quality Assurance, gave a presentation at the 2018 Higher Learning Commission conference.   Sherrell’s presentation was called “A Community College’s Transformation of Online Education: Jeopardy to Excellence.”  During her presentation she went into detail about how NMSU-A drastically improved their on-line course and program delivery to be recognized nationally.

Sherrell Wheeler during her presentation.

Sunday evening, April 8, members of the NMSU family came together in Chicago for an informal dinner meeting to discuss accreditation and other topics related to the HLC conference. Everyone enjoyed talking about presentations that they attended and how some of the ideas might be put into use within the NMSU system. It was a great opportunity to spend time with those from other campuses.

Left, front to back: Cathy Aguilar-Morgan, Career and Technology Division Head NMSU Alamogordo; Dr. Joyce Hill, Director of Assessment NMSU Alamogordo; Dr. Shelly Stovall, Executive Director of Accreditation NMSU; Sherrell Wheeler, Director of Online Quality Assurance NMSU Alamogordo; Tim Wheeler, Advisor NMSU Alamogordo.
Right, front to back: Greg Hillis, Institutional Researcher NMSU Alamogordo; Dr. Renay Scott, President NMSU Doña Ana; Dr. Ken Van Winkle, President NMSU Alamogordo; Eva Van Winkle; Dr. Mickey Best, President NMSU Grants.

New Mexico State University – Carlsbad, President John Gratton

On Monday, April 9, NMSU Carlsbad representatives continued their participation in the annual Higher Learning Commission meeting in Chicago. The programs were excellent and provided great information to the participants.  Additionally, copies of the amended criteria for accreditation were distributed to all attendees.

On Thursday, April 12, NMSU Carlsbad representatives made a full morning presentation to the WIPP Leadership Academy. The presentation included a discussion of leadership styles and traits, the completion of a Myers-Briggs Type Personality Analysis, and a discussion of common mistakes that leaders make.

On Thursday, April 12, the NMSU Carlsbad Diversity Committee hosted the annual poetry/jazz appreciation event in the NMSU Carlsbad courtyard. A local jazz band played during the event and students, faculty, and staff presented their selected poems to the audience.  The event went well and was enjoyed by all participants.

On Friday, April 13, I traveled to Las Cruces in order to present to the Manager Certification Program class. The presentation was titled Values, Principles, and Integrity Based Leadership and was focused on the importance of the three entities in leadership development.

New Mexico State University – Grants, President Mickey Best

NMSU Faculty Senate – Chair Chris Brown

Associated Students of New Mexico State University-President Kevin Prieto

I traveled to Washington D.C. with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). The visit provided the opportunity to speak to local legislators on the importance of Hispanic serving institutes and attend the HACU conference. I learned about the important grants that are available and spoke with the representatives of the USDA.

Preparations for the annual Spring Fling week have been well under way with a busy week of ensuring all of the details are planned out. In preparation for our Spring Fling Concert, a social media contest was held for students to guess the artists that would be coming to perform.


The Senate convened on Thursday, April 12, at 6:00 pm in the Senate Chambers. Ten bills were passed including the General Appropriations Act that is passed every spring to budget for the next year.

Many members of ASNMSU and I attended the unveiling of the new Pepsi Spire digital fountain machine in the Corbett Center Food Court. As I preceded to have the first drink from the machine I shared with everyone that it was “one small sip for man, one large gulp for NMSU.”

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