Activity Report August 26 – September 1

Chancellor Garrey Carruthers

I am not accustomed to discussing major public policy in this venue but I must say the President’s decision to eliminate DACA unless the Congress acts within 6 months is very troubling to me.  Regardless if President Obama did or did not overstep his authority, which should be decided by the courts, it is unconscionable that a commitment by our Federal Government to 800,000 young people would not be honored and/or a solution be offered by the President.  The Council of University Presidents and the two associations representing New Mexico’s Community Colleges are preparing a joint letter to our Congressional delegation asking for a swift and affirmative action on their part to protect these students and young adults.

Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard

On Sunday, August 27, the Chancellor and I hosted a “Thank You” reception for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and MarCom.  The two teams have worked tirelessly together over the course of the past year to market NMSU and recruit new students.  Due in no small part to their good work, NMSU has attracted its largest first year class since 2012, a more than 11% increase over the prior year.  It was a great pleasure to say thank you to some very dedicated and talented staff members.

On Monday, August 28, I hosted the Welcome Reception for new NMSU faculty members. It is always fun to meet new faculty and welcome them to southern New Mexico. For those of us who have lived here for a long time the charm is evident; however, newcomers can be overwhelmed by the vast, open expanses and the desert terrain.  I encouraged our new faculty to become acquainted with the Las Cruces area and the state, and to recognize that they are becoming part of a distinguished faculty that welcomes them and wants them to be successful in teaching, research, and service.

I spent most of the week working on our HLC Assurance Argument.  The five teams that wrote the five sections of the Argument did a nice job, and Shelly Stovall is to be commended for providing a single voice to the document.  With that said, there is still a lot of work to be done in linking documents and other bits of evidence to the Argument and it will be important for everyone at NMSU to lend a hand to Shelly’s team, if called upon to do so.

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

Dr. Steve Loring, associate director of the Agricultural Experiment Station system has been selected by the Irrigation Association Awards and Honors Committee to receive the 2017 National Water and Energy Conservation Award. This award honors significant achievement in the conservation of water and energy relating to irrigation procedures, equipment, methods and techniques.  The Irrigation Association (IA) is the leading membership organization for irrigation equipment and system manufacturers, dealers, distributors, designers, consultants, contractors and end users. The IA is dedicated to promoting efficient irrigation technologies, products and services.  Together with experts and stakeholders from industry, academia and the public sector, the IA works to define best practices for effective water management, establish benchmarks and guidelines for irrigation products and applications; promote efficient irrigation technology and practices; and advocate sound policies to ensure the availability, quality and conservation of water supplies. Well done Dr. Loring!

Dept. of Extension Plant Sciences and USDA-ARS Cotton Ginning Laboratory

NM Green Chile Mechanical Harvest Research    Chile farmers and representatives from NM chile processors were on hand to observe the green chile mechanical harvest trial conducted at the Los Lunas Agricultural Science Center August 29-30. The NM green chile crop is completely hand-harvested; however, mechanizing the process is critical to regain NM production acreage lost to competing countries due to disparity in labor cost and availability. Drs. Stephanie Walker, Extension Vegetable specialist, and Dr. Paul Funk, USDA-ARS Agricultural Engineer, are longtime collaborators in mechanization research and have worked together to identify optimum equipment, field management, and varieties. This week’s trial evaluated six advanced green chile breeding lines developed for mechanization efficiency with the goal of new variety release in support of green chile production in the state.

Dr. Sonja Koukel, an associate professor and Extension health specialist at New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, has been recognized nationally for her peer reviews of scholarly journal articles. She was recently awarded the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) 2017 Outstanding Peer Reviewer award for the Journal of Family & Consumer Sciences. The journal is a quarterly, peer-reviewed scholarly journal published by the AAFCS. AAFCS is the only association for family and consumer sciences students and professionals across multiple practice settings and content areas. For more than 100 years, AAFCS has focused its mission on providing leadership and support for professionals whose work assists individuals, families and communities in making more informed decisions about their well-being, relationships and resources to achieve optimal quality of life.

Jennifer Hernandez-Gifford, an associate professor of reproductive physiology in the NMSU Department of Animal and Range Sciences, received the Young Scientist Award, which is awarded through a nomination process only one time per year. The award recognizes outstanding research achievement by a candidate age 40 or younger. Ryan Ashley, an assistant professor in the NMSU Department of Animal and Range Sciences, nominated Hernandez-Gifford for the award. Young Scientist Award nominees’ research activities are evaluated in terms of contributions to greater efficiency or quality of livestock production or utilization. Research from Hernandez-Gifford’s lab is expected to help reproductive physiologists provide novel and innovative methods to ensure economic success for livestock producers while feeding the world’s growing population. The long-term goal of Hernandez-Gifford’s research is providing knowledge about the physiological role and mechanism of action of ovarian WNT signaling molecules in follicular development in the adult ovary.

College of Arts & Sciences, Dean Enrico Pontelli

Astronomy graduate student, Ms. Jodi Berdis, began her three-year NASA Aerospace Scholarship & Advanced STEM Teaching and Research (AS&ASTAR) Fellowship on September 1.  Ms. Berdis is one of 6 Fellowship recipients from among 124 applicants nationwide for this opportunity, supported by NASA’s Office of Education. The Fellowship provides funds for a stipend, tuition, professional travel, and summer research at a NASA center.  Ms. Berdis’ Fellowship-supported research will focus upon water ice on surfaces throughout the solar system. Different crystal structures of water ice can be diagnostics of the conditions under which the ice formed/solidified, and she will use remotely obtained observations from spacecraft and telescopes to identify different ice crystal structures and relate those structures to current and past conditions on the ice-bearing surfaces.  Ms. Berdis has a NASA mentor, Dr. Murthy Gudipati, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Ms. Berdis will spend the next three summers working in Dr. Gudipati’s lab investigating water ice characteristics for comparison with her observational results.   Ms. Berdis is the 3rd current NMSU Astronomy graduate student to be supported by a NASA AS&ASTAR Fellowship. NASA’s public announcement of the 2017 AS&ASTAR Fellowship selections is provided at 


A delegation from Donghua University in Shanghai, China met today with faculty from the College of Arts & Sciences and International and Border Programs. The visit culminated two years of work to set in place a dual-degree program in Math between NMSU and Donghua.



The College of Arts and Sciences Student Ambassadors met this week to prepare for the fall semester.  They’ve already been busy welcoming our new students at our Aggie Welcome and planning for future recruitment events.  The college welcomed 9 new members and nominated a new vice president and secretary for this year.  The students discussed what community service projects they’ll work on as well.



All department heads and the Dean’s Office met for their monthly meeting.  They were able to discuss upcoming recruitment events and utilizing the college’s social media pages to reach out to our students and community more.  Here they are using Snap Chat!



College of Business, Dean James Hoffman

Director of Development Anthony Casaus and I met with College of Business alumnus, Victor Arnold (’68) on Monday, August 28.  Arnold spoke to Dean Hoffman’s Finance 490 Business Creation and Valuation class in the Business Complex.  Arnold is currently a business training consultant and retired owner of NAPA Auto Parts stores in Las Cruces, Deming, Silver City, and Bayard, New Mexico, including Durango, Colorado.  Victor and his wife, Nancy a COB alumna (‘68) have a President Associates Endowed Scholarship in the College of Business.  While on his visit to campus, Victor met with President Associates Endowed scholarship recipient and COB Sophomore student, Annie Stout.

Photo by Anthony Casaus: Victor Arnold with President Associates Endowed scholarship recipient and COB Sophomore student, Annie Stout

I wrapped up my visits to each section of our introductory business course, BUSA 111.  It was a great opportunity to welcome our new students and let them know what resources are available to them.

Director of Development Anthony Casaus and I met with COB alumnus, Kerry (’83) and Debbie (’86) Hixon from Pat Campbell Insurance Company of Las Cruces on Wednesday, August 31.  Kerry and Debbie have been instrumental over the years providing business students in the risk management and insurance studies program internship and employment opportunities.

College of Education, Dean Donald Pope-Davis

41st Bill Evans Summer Teacher and Dancer Institute   The Bill Evans Summer Teacher and Dancer Institute was hosted by the New Mexico Dance Program from July 20-26, 2017. The faculty included William (Bill) Evans, Peggy Hackney, Kitty Daniels, Suzi Lundgren, Melissa Hauschild-Mork, Heather Acomb, and Debra Knapp. Musician James J. Kaufmann provide rich, beautiful, and inspiring music for the dance classes. The institute included classes in the theory of dance pedagogy, anatomy, dance science lab, Evans based modern dance technique, and Evans based jazz dance technique, ballet technique, improvisation, Laban / Bartenieff movement analysis, and tap dance. In addition, each evening, William worked with 16 dancers to choreograph an original work inspired by the New Mexico landscape. This dance, Before Time/Beyond Space: A Creation Story, was premiered on July 26 at the opening Desert Dance Festival. The three-evening Desert Dance Festival, held in the stunning ASNMSU Center for the Arts, presented national and local choreography.

STEM OUTREACH CENTER   Afterschool programs professional development is one of the largest gatherings of afterschool providers in southern New Mexico that occurs approximately four times a year.  Each program below dedicates several Saturdays per year to teaching STEM content to elementary and middle school teachers in order to encourage professional growth in content knowledge to positively influence their regular and afterschool time practices.  The programs include Science Brain Battle, SEMAA-Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy, Readers Theater, DiMA-Digital Media Academy, COUNT-Creating Opportunities Using Numerical Thinking, and Project GUTS-Growing Up Thinking Scientifically.  Professional development was held on August 26, 2017 for 200 local teachers from GISD, HVPS, LCPS for 200 individual afterschool classes in 22 schools.

AMERICAN READ PROGRAM   Denise Rodriguez-Strawn, faculty of the College of Education at New Mexico State University, has taken over the America Reads Program. The America Reads Challenge is an initiative started in 1996 by the Clinton Administration. In August 1996, President Clinton proposed a national literacy campaign that would enlist “one million volunteer tutors ready and able to give children the personal attention they need to catch up and get ahead.” Key among these is the Department of Education’s work-study program, which in 1996 provided $617 million to support part-time employment for 713,000 students at 3,400 colleges and universities. The America Reads Tutoring Program will employ up to 25 College of Education majors per semester as tutors. Each tutor will be responsible for tutoring elementary or middle school students for 20 hours a week through the course of an academic semester in Las Cruces Public Schools.

College of Engineering, Dean Lakshmi Reddi

The return to Jett Hall has generated excitement in and about Chemical and Materials Engineering, particularly with regard to enrollment. A record 204 undergraduates are registered as CHME majors on the fall 2017 census date (9/1/17), 47 percent of whom are women.  This includes a large freshman class of 67 students. Retention among the cohort of students representing the 2017 graduating class was at a low of 55 percent, with only 28 of the 49 students who took CHME 201 in 2014 graduating in 2017.  However, the class of 2018 currently has 100 percent retention into the senior year of the cohort starting in CHME 201 in 2015.

Last week, the College of Engineering opened the Learning Communities space for students. Many students have already stopped by to get tutoring in engineering, math and chemistry courses.  The Learning Community space will offer peer tutoring, mentoring, faculty mentoring, industry speakers and alumni collaboration. The student staff members are junior or senior engineering students and are eager to help their fellow peers be successful engineers at NMSU. Raytheon also hosted mock interviews for students on Friday.

The beautiful photos of Civil Engineering Professor Nirmala Khandan are featured in the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum arts corridor from August 18 through December 3.  The show features 32 images that capture a variety of birds in their natural habitats. Some of the birds are residents of the region and some are migrants. Khandan’s photographs aim to bring awareness of the diversity and beauty of the local avian life, as well as the importance of habitat.

Assistant Professor David Mitchell, electrical and computer engineering, along with students from the Aggie Innovation Space manned an engineering booth at the 3rd annual Touch-A-Truck event at Camino Real Middle School. The event is for children and their families to touch and meet construction, utility, transportation, service, emergency, government, military vehicles and meet the people who help to protect, serve and build our community. More than 700 people attended.

College of Health and Social Services, Dean Donna Wagner

School of Nursing Director Dr. Doig met with the Student Nursing Association students this week and pledged her support for the group by gathering with them on a regular basis.  This was Dr. Doig’s first meeting with the group since arriving at NMSU in August, and she was impressed with the many activities the group organizes and supports through the year.  Dr. Doig also spoke of the group’s passion for community service and their enthusiasm for promoting the School of Nursing (SON) in the community.  Aggie nurses on the move!

The Department of Public Health is excited to announce that Dr. Ernesto Moralez, assistant professor, has been awarded a grant funded by the Clinical Translational Research Infrastructure Program sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences through UNLV. The grant, titled “Adapted Integrative Health Coaching to Improve Pain Management for Hispanic Patients in Primary Care,” was approved for $66,000 to test a communication strategy to improve clinical dialogue around chronic pain care and treatment options for Hispanic primary care patients in Las Cruces.

The School of Social Work in conjunction with the School of Nursing and Department of Public Health are teaming up to collect new, packaged underwear through a collection drive titled “Undies for Everyone!” The recipients of the donations are the evacuees of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.  This national drive to collect “Undies for Everyone” is in response to a call for underwear from social workers, nurses, and Public Health volunteers working on the front line in Houston’s evacuation centers and is nationally spearheaded by Brene Brown, a social worker and professor at The University of Houston.   New, packaged underwear for all ages, sizes, and genders are being collected in donation boxes located at each of the three floors of the Health & Social Services building.

University Library, Dean Elizabeth Titus

Katherine Terpis and Kim Gianfrancesco have recently joined the library faculty at NMSU Library. Katherine is the new associate dean of NMSU Library. She previously worked as assistant dean of Libraries for Assessment & Development at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  Kim is our new digital projects coordinator. We welcome them both to NMSU and to our library team.

Kassie Ckodre, Office of Advancement, Director of Development will be doing fundraising for NMSU Library and the College of Health and Social Services. Please join me in welcoming her to the NMSU Library family.

NMSU’s Patent and Trademark Center located in Zuhl Library is hosting a Webcast,  Lunch’n Learns, at 11:30 a.m. every other Wednesday.  These hour-long sessions provide an opportunity to those participating to ask questions directly to patent and trademark experts at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Also, NMSU Library will be hosting officials from the Dallas Regional Office on October 17. A half-day learning session will be offered on this date and is open to the public. For more information, please contact New Mexico’s PRTC Representative, David Irvin at 575-646-6925.

Graduate School, Dean Louἰ Reyes

New Graduate Faculty Orientation Fall 2017   Graduate education is a complex enterprise and many times new faculty find themselves overwhelmed by the large amounts of information about graduate education (e.g. graduate policies, graduate committees, the do and don’ts in graduate education, mentoring students, etc.)   To assist NMSU’s new faculty in their roles in graduate education the Graduate School offers an opportunity to learn about graduate education via its New Graduate Faculty Orientation (NGFO).  The NGFO is a hour and a half monthly session (includes lunch) held during the fall semester of each academic year.  The orientation includes overviews of the role of the graduate school, graduate policies, setting expectations and resolving conflicts in graduate education, etc.

Pathway Toward Degree Completion (PDC) Fall 2017   The Graduate School recognizes department heads’ expertise in the graduate education endeavor.  The Graduate School has created an opportunity for department heads to meet monthly to assist the Graduate School in maintaining a standard for graduate education excellence at New Mexico State University.

Preparing Future Faculty 2017   The Preparing Future Faculty program is designed to promote the development of the next generation of faculty at community colleges and institutions of higher education. Participants are required to work 10 hours a week for an instructional unit on campus and participate in the Preparing Future Faculty workshops of the Graduate School.

Fall 2017 Graduate Assistant Awarded   To date, a total of 967 graduate assistant awards have been given. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 564 Graduate Teaching Assistants supporting the teaching mission of the institution.
  • 328 Graduate Research supporting the institution’s research endeavors.
  • 5 Graduate Assistants supporting universities offices/units.

Honors College, Dean Miriam Chaiken

This week we hosted two of our groups of special students for welcome-back reunions. The first, the students of the New Mexico Leadership Institute, came to share lunch on Friday and talk about their plans for the new academic year. The week ended with a reunion of the Conroy scholars, 14 continuing students and 12 new students. All of whom earned the designation of National Merit or Hispanic Merit Scholars when they completed high school. We were delighted that Chancellor Carruthers, Provost Howard, and former President Bill Conroy and his wife Patti joined the group and they were very impressed with the students’ accomplishments. We heard from the juniors about their summer internships and jobs working in a program for children with autism, working in computer science at White Sands, working in a children’s center, and an internship at Google. They are an impressive group of students, who have already set ambitious plans for themselves for the coming year.

Given the move to centralized advising this year, we have been working with departments across campus to codify advising plans for students who wish to complete their degree with the University Honors designation. This week we met with two departments in ACES and all of the programs in the College of Education to discuss the specifics of what the Honors track in each major might entail, with the hope of designing a “Pathways to Honors” check sheet for students, eventually for every major, who wish to take on this value-added experience.

Administration and Finance, Senior Vice President Andy Burke


Fun Under the Sun   An event provided by the Residence Hall Association (RHA) on August 28 on the Corbett Outdoor Stage, provided students a great social outlet. Students enjoyed a blow-up water slide, dunk tank, water activities (bubbles, squirt guns and water cannons), and the music of DJ Narray.  A special thanks to Mikki Shaw, RHA public relations director and Morgan Boone, RHA advisor.


STEM-interested high school students get a boost at NMSU   ICT kicked off the semester by introducing 20 Las Cruces High School juniors and seniors to the Cyber Infrastructure Training and Mentoring (CI-TraM) program. The NSF funded program, which is directed toward STEM-interested students, helps the national interest by developing and increasing the cyberinfrastructure literacy of undergraduates who are interested in STEM careers. Students will gain basic technology/computational knowledge, discuss their favorite topics with faculty, and get exposure to various career options and the paths to those options.

ICT graduate assistant places third at RMACC   Five NMSU students attended and presented posters at the Rocky Mountain Associated Computing Consortium (RMACC) High Performance Computing (HPC) Symposium, with one student finishing in the top three of the poster competition. Mohammed Tanash’s Evolution of HPC use at NMSU poster’s third place award provides him with an expenses-paid trip and entry to the SuperComputing Conference in Denver, Colorado later this year. Mohammed is pursuing his interdisciplinary Doctorate degree in Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is a graduate assistant for ICT’s Cyber Infrastructure Architect (CIA), Dr. Diana Dugas. Mohammed’s poster presented the results of the CIA team’s high performance computing efforts over the past year.

Utility System Improvements  Facilities and Services Utilities Department is currently installing over 200 feet of new column pipe and pump bowl assemblies as part of an ongoing water well refurbishment project.  Enhanced water level monitoring instrumentation will also be installed which will provide valuable information on any changes to the water table during well operation.  Camera inspections of the well casing and filtration screens indicate that this well should provide many more years of service to the campus once this final phase of refurbishment is complete.

Student Affairs/Enrollment Management, Vice President Bernadette Montoya

On, Wednesday, August 30, Dr. Bernadette Montoya, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, attended a luncheon in Albuquerque, New Mexico hosted by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF).  The luncheon and informational session focused on the many opportunities afforded to pre-college and college students.  NMSU is pleased to be a partner with HSF, and we look forward to having more students participate in the many wonderful opportunities they provide.

Career Services is preparing for upcoming career fairs. The 33rd Annual Career Expo will take place on September 19-20, 2017.  The event has registered 117 employers with expectations of at least 20 more.  Following is the 19th Annual Graduate and Professional School Fair with attendance of 52 graduate, medical, and law schools.  These events kick-off the fall recruiting season when employers come to campus to host on-campus interviews and information sessions to inform and select NMSU students for cooperative education, internship, summer and full-time positions.  Career Services invites any referrals of employer contacts to be included in the invitation to attend these events. The Student Success Center’s Red to Green Money Management program held a workshop titled, “How much will College Cost?” Financial Wellness peer coach, Aspen Bruton, shared tips and resources that students can access to assist them with the financial obligation of paying for college.

On August 25, TRIO Student Support Services welcomed new freshmen and returning TRIO participants at Welcome Orientation. Providing an opportunity for newly recruited students to experience TRIO, learn about program services, meet program staff (full-time, peer mentors, and tutors), set up their first TRIO appointment and meet other participants. Out of 406 applications received by TRIO Student Support Services for the Fall 2017 semester, 184 students were accepted. There were 68 students in attendance for the event. TRIO Student Support Services peer staff presented on the “Top Ten Things Every TRIO Student Needs to Know!” Students were issued a survival package, including a TRIO jump drive pre-loaded with academic resources, study skills, and explanation of academic processes. Participants ended the evening with an ice cream social.

The second annual Aggie Bike Expo took place at the NMSU Activity Center on August 23 from 4 pm-6 pm.  Several organizations tabled at the event to share information about bike related services and events: Velo Cruces, Las Cruces Optimist Club, Southern New Mexico Trail Alliance, ASNMSU, WAVE, and NMSU Outdoor Recreation.  The event featured bike packing demonstrations, an obstacle course, flat tire clinics, free snow cones, and a prize drawing.

Outdoor Recreation held its first trip of the fall semester at Elephant Butte lake. Students went canoeing and camping over the weekend where they learned basic canoeing skills and techniques.  The trip was led by Outdoor Leadership lead facilitators.

The NMSU Fraternity and Sorority Life family expanded this last week. The fraternities extended 130 bids through rush and the sororities offered 110 bids through recruitment. The NMSU Alpha Tau Omega chapter received the Excellence in Scholarship Award. The award was given by the national headquarters at their national conference this summer.

Vice President for Economic Development, Vice President Kevin Boberg

Studio G Networking Hours   On Wednesday, Studio G held its weekly networking hour which focused on Idea Generation. The presentation explored several strategies on how to come up with business ideas and how to distinguish a good idea from a bad one. Studio G holds weekly networking hour events that provide students and local entrepreneurs the opportunity learn about business strategies and 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

CraftBox Design Hours   On Friday, Arrowhead hosted its monthly CraftBox Design Hour, an event that brings in design entrepreneurs to share lessons learned about the professional intersection of art, design, business, and entrepreneurship. This month’s speaker was Deret Roberts, the owner and curator of Art Obscura gallery in Mesilla Park. Deret is a graduate of NMSU and shared an inspiring story about learning the ins and outs of starting and running a business, the importance of forming partnerships, and how entrepreneurship has expanded its journey of exploring curiosity.

Vice President for Research, Interim Vice President Luis Vázquez

The fifth meeting of the formation group for the Space Flight Life Sciences Institute took place at the Arrowhead Center on August 25.  The group is exploring common interests in space related research areas that include life sciences, human space exploration and related investigations of an interdisciplinary nature. The members agree to work on topics of interest that use the unique capabilities of our region. Virgin Galactic’s chief medical officer, Spaceport America’s CEO, Jacobs NASA White Sands Test Facility, Arrowhead, BorderPlex Alliance and faculty from NMSU, Baylor College of Medicine, Burrell College, UTH Health and University of Texas have been meeting to examine resources, skills, and capabilities in our region. There will be one final resource assessment meeting in September then the group will determine their direction and focus. The recently released Growing the Future of NMs Bioscience industry will inform our direction.

PSL   Autonomous systems experimentation is being formulated in the Autonomous Systems Laboratory to explore a variety of technical approaches for the federal unmanned autonomous systems test and evaluation program. Other NMSU unit collaborations are expected.

The New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute issued its August edition of the New Mexico Water eNews. NMSU graduate student Jeremy Schallner along with his advisor, Dr. Amy Ganguli, Department of Animal and Range Sciences and College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences were featured in the online newsfeed. Jeremy received an NM WRRI 2017 Student Water Research Grant for his research project monitoring the effects of conservation and management practices within the Rio Puerco Watershed in New Mexico. Click here to read about his research and to view the August edition of NM WRRI’s eNews.

University Advancement, Vice President/Foundation Executive Director Andrea Tawney

Daniels Fund Grant   The NMSU Foundation has received a two-year, $350,000 grant for Arrowhead Center from the Daniels Fund to continue to build the cradle-to-career entrepreneurship pipeline in New Mexico.

Halliburton Grant   Halliburton Foundation agreed to provide more than $16,000 to fund WELcome (Women in Engineering Learning Community), a College of Engineering program that is designed to increase the percentage of female engineering students who remain in the major, and persist to earning an engineering degree.

PNM Foundation Gift   PNM Foundation has provided two $10,000 gifts to support Seed to Plate in Las Vegas County, which will expand Dr. Peter Skelton’s K-12 school farm project, and for NMSU-Alamogordo, to support family literacy efforts.

Immigration Roundtable Funding   The Walter S. Johnson Foundation, through Community Initiatives in San Francisco, California, is giving $9,000 to support the November Roundtable gathering for the Center on Immigration and Child Welfare, through the School of Social Work in the College of Health and Social Services.

Athletics, Director Mario Moccia


The NM State Aggies Coaches Show resumed last week at a new location. Rudy’s Bar-B-Q is the new presenting sponsor for the one-hour radio show that airs live every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. The show is also streamed on Facebook Live by going to Every week there will be a guest appearance from coaches and student-athletes.


Athletics added a new radio affiliate in Albuquerque, NM KNMM-AM 1150. Learfield assisted with a 3-year deal that will broadcast Aggie football, men’s basketball and the weekly coaches show. In addition after a decade-long absence, NM State added an El Paso affiliate Fox Sports 1380 AM KHEY which brings our total of affiliates to 8 radio stations across New Mexico and Texas.


The NM State Football Aggies traveled to Tempe, Arizona for their first game of the 2017 season where they took on the Arizona State Sun Devils for an $800K game guarantee. While the Aggies lost 37-31, they topped ASU in the following statistical categories: First Downs, Net Rushing Yards, Average Yards Per Rush,Passing Yards, Total Offense,Third Downs and Total Plays. Athletics and local NM State alums gathered for a pre-game tailgate party.


The 2016-17 NM State Annual Report was completed and mailed out to all Aggie Athletic Club donors and Aggie season ticket holders. This is the third iteration of the annual report which was printed by Walsworth Publishing free of charge.


International and Border Programs, Associate Provost Cornell Menking

OEA held three fairs last week: Volunteer, Research and Internship Abroad Fair, Study Abroad Fair in Alamogordo, and the Study Abroad Fair on main campus. There were over 400 students in attendance with 32 providers and NMSU organizations sharing opportunities for education abroad.  Sushi, a $200 flight voucher and provider discounts for attending the fair all made the event a success. Thank you to those who came to support the fairs!

The Office of Education is scheduling information sessions to learn about how to sign up for faculty-led international programs.  We currently have 11 FLiP programs approved representing 4 colleges on 6 continents.

Marketing and Communications, Interim Associate Vice President Justin Bannister

News and Media Relations   The News and Media Relations coverage of a clothing drive for Hurricane Harvey organized by Barbara Hubbard at the Pan Am Center drew a substantial social media audience. A video posted on the NMSU News Facebook page reached more than 15,000 people and produced 265 likes and 100 shares. We will be on the lookout for other relief efforts involving the NMSU community.

Marketing Services and Web Communication   As part of our efforts to increase NMSU’s presence in and around Las Cruces, the Marketing team worked with the Downtown Las Cruces Partnership as well as a local vendor to have NMSU banners created and installed in Downtown Las Cruces.


KRWG/SPU   Tuesday afternoon KRWG TV engaged the community by hosting a forum concerning the future of SpacePort America. KRWG’s Anthony Moreno moderated a discussion with Spaceport CEO Dan Hicks, Michael Aguilar from the Rio Grande Foundation and NM Politics editor Heath Haussamen. Audience questions were also answered. The program was aired Thursday evening on KRWG-TV and will be archived for later viewing at

KRWG Floor Director Ralph Escandon (right) prepares (from left) Anthony Moreno, Spaceport CEO Dan Hicks, Rio Grande Foundation member Michael Aguilar and NM Politics’ Heath Haussamen for KRWG’s Forum.

KRWG Floor Director Ralph Escandon (right) prepares (from left) Anthony Moreno, Spaceport CEO Dan Hicks, Rio Grande Foundation member Michael Aguilar and NM Politics’ Heath Haussamen for KRWG’s Forum.

Government Relations, Assistant Vice President Ricardo Rel

Upcoming Legislative Events

  • September 1 – Legislative Education Study Committee met in Taos. NMSU’s Enedina Vazquez testified before the LESC regarding the College of Education Program Approval Process.  NMSU College of Education was one of the pilots.  Vazquez was not on the agenda but asked to testify. Topic also on the agenda was College of Education Report Card Development.
  • September 5: Water and Natural Resources Committee in Silver City. Dr. Carol Sutherland of AES testifying on saltcedar eradication; NMDA testifying on saltcedar eradication; WRRI testifying on Statewide Water Assessment and Water Budget
  • September 7-8, 2017: Indian Affairs Committee at American Indian Student Center at NMSU. NMSU Presenters: Provost Dan Howard; Michael Ray, NMSU’s American Indian Center; Jeanelle Chavez, Indian Resource Development; Sam Fernald, WRRI; and Jon Boren, Kathy Landers, Edmund Gomez, Cooperative Extension Service
  • September 7-8, 2017: Health and Human Services Committee and Behavioral Subcommittee at the Burrell College. NMSU Presenters: Chancellor Garrey Carruthers; Alexa Doig, Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program; Enedina Garcia, Psychopharmocology Program; Eve Adams, Behavioral health Psychology Training Program
  • September 25-26, 2017: Science, Technology and Telecommunications Committee to meet at NMSU.
  • September 27, 2017: Legislative Finance Committee meeting in Truth or Consequences. Agenda includes a Higher Education Dual Credit Update.  Presenters are: HED Secretary Dr. Barbara Damron, Dr. Renay Scott, President of DACC , and Dr. Cathy Winograd of Central New Mexico Community College. Micaela Fischer of the Legislative Finance Committee will also give an LFC Program Evaluation Progress Report.

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

Staff and I attended the 2017 New Mexico Homeland Security and Emergency Management Conference with over 380 participants. The theme for this year’s conference was “Building on the Basics.” The conference provided a forum for emerging trends, topics, tools, and technology in the homeland security and emergency management discipline. NMDA and NMSU are a cohost for the event, showcasing the strong partnership between our two agencies as well as the NMSU Cooperative Extension Services.

ENI staff participated in the National Plant Board conference in Savannah, Georgia.  Participants in the conference include the State Plant Regulatory officials from each state and several of their federal counterparts and United States Department of Agriculture administrators. Relevant topics discussed included the role of departments of agriculture in hemp production; update on cooperative agreement funding for states; federal invasive pest harmonization updates; forest health programs; and an update on the Systems Approach to Nursery Certification program.  Sidebar conversations with peers were directed to possible changes in federal Japanese beetle and Red imported fire ant harmonization programs.  Staff currently serves as President of the Western Plant Board and New Mexico has been selected to host the 2018 Western Plant Board meeting.

NMSU Police, Chief Stephen Lopez

Accreditation, Executive Director Shelly Stovall

We continue to work on finalizing NMSU’s Assurance Argument for our November Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation review. Many individuals across campus are providing valuable information in support of this effort. Our primary emphasis now is o uploading over 700 documents that how evidence of good work that is done here at NMSU. We have a great team of folks working tirelessly on this, and for that, I am very grateful! When people graciously express their appreciation for what a difficult task this is, I often reply that yes, while it is onerous, it is also incredibly rewarding to see all the wonderful things that our faculty and staff do at NMSU – including in research, teaching, support services for students, community outreach, facilities and maintenance, and business and administration. I consider myself fortunate to be made aware of so many outstanding accomplishments of our institution.

New Mexico State University – Doña Ana, President Renay Scott

New Mexico State University – Alamogordo, President Ken Van Winkle

On Wednesday, NMSU-A hosted a Study Abroad Fair.  Representatives from the Institute for Study Abroad-Butler University, Academia Latinoamerican de Espanol, CIS Abroad, Learn International, Barcelona Study Abroad Experience, Semester at Sea, KEI Study and Intern Abroad, US Passports and International Travel, Study Abroad USAC, National Registration Center for Study Abroad, and NMSU Las Cruces were all on hand to provide information to students who are interested in educational opportunities around the world.  In conjunction with the Study Abroad Fair, NMSU-A faculty were invited to attend a Faculty-Lead International Program (FLiP) from NMSU Las Cruces.  NMSU-A full-time faculty and staff were invited to learn how to write proposals and lead courses abroad.

On Wednesday, NMSU-A bid a heartfelt farewell to Kathy Fuller, who has been serving as interim vice president for student success.  Kathy was called into service when Dr. Vandeen McKenzie took a position as the director of financial aid at NMSU Las Cruces.  Anne Ricksecker, assistant vice president for student success, will fill the position upon Kathy’s departure.  The students, faculty, and staff of NMSU-A thank Kathy for her service to NMSU-A and wish her all the best.  She will be missed.

NMSU-A Associate Professor Dr. Gloria Villaverde, Associate Professor Sonja DeVargas and Interim Vice President for Student Success, Kathy Fuller.

On Wednesday, NMSU-A sophomore Joseph Bennett was chosen as the first recipient of the NMSU-A Student of the Month; a new marketing incentive in partnership with Burt Broadcasting/KZZX and sponsored by Otero Federal Credit Union.  Joseph was chosen because of his dedication to his coursework, leadership roles, and volunteer efforts, both on and off campus.  Joseph was given a plaque, will be honored in radio spots on KZZX 105.3 FM, will be featured in the Alamogordo Daily News, on social media sites for OFCU, KZZX, and NMSU-A, and is now eligible to win a $1,000 scholarship for tuition at NMSU next year.

NMSU-A President Dr. Ken Van Winkle, Student of the Month, Joseph Bennett, OFCU VP of Marketing Darro Pannell, OFCU President/CEO Regina Colbert, and Burt Broadcasting Marketing Specialist Tammy Reynolds.

New Mexico State University – Carlsbad, President John Gratton

On Monday, August 28, NMSU Carlsbad members of the Carlsbad Community Development Board conducted a “walk-through” of the home which was constructed by NMSU students under the direction of Mr. Mark Davis. This home will be offered at a reduced rate as affordable housing to Carlsbad citizens.

On Tuesday, August 29, the NMSU Carlsbad President attended the monthly meeting of the Community Engagement Council.  At this meeting, system-wide community engagement initiatives were presented by the Council members and plans were discussed for future activities.

On Tuesday, August 29, NMSU Carlsbad representatives attended a reception for Dr. Gregory Rodriguez, the newly named Superintendent of the Carlsbad School District.  Dr. Rodriguez is very supportive of NMSU Carlsbad as his oldest child is a student at the college, his youngest child is an Early College High School student, and his spouse serves as a tutor in the Learning Assistance Center.

On Wednesday, August 30, NMSU Carlsbad hosted a visit by a corporate representative of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).  This individual from Columbia, South Carolina was praising the WIPP Leadership Academy which had been developed collaboratively by NMSU Carlsbad and WIPP.  Additionally, future program needs were discussed and an update was given on the status of the Radiation Control certificate and Associate Degree which are being implemented. An invitation was issued to the College President to visit Aiken Technical College in South Carolina to view their radiation control program.

New Mexico State University – Grants, President Mickey Best

On August 25, three sections of NMSU Grants English 111G students traveled to the Albuquerque Museum, kicking off a semester exploring the nature and function of creativity. The group toured the “Hollywood in New Mexico” exhibit and viewed movie posters, costumes and props of cinematic productions filmed in New Mexico in recent years. The museum also held an extensive exhibit of Zuni carver Leekya Deyuse’s work showing his mastery of sculptures, mosaics and jewelry. NMSU Grants student, Vonna Hunter, discovered a group photograph with her grandfather in the Code Talkers exhibit. The Title V HSI grant funds the field trips as part of the mandate to include experiential learning into curriculum.

The NMSU Grants Creative Media Department will begin its fourth year of Game Night competitions by hosting the first of the 2016 – 2017 academic year on September 1, in the Fidel Activity Center. The Smash Bros.© tournament will start at 6:00 pm and should declare a winner by 10:00 pm. All competitors should be signed in by 6:15 pm. All ages are welcome.

Associated Students of New Mexico State University-Kevin Prieto

After a week of interviewing Roadrunner applicants, 25 Roadrunners were selected to fill the internship positions for the year. They will get to shadow each department and branch of ASNMSU, help with events, and learn more about ASNMSU and the university as a whole.


Our Community Outreach Department has been hard at work presenting to the ACES 111 courses.

They have been telling every class about what ASNMSU is, the services provided for the students, and the reimbursement process in the legislative branch.



ASNMSU shows its school spirit every Friday by wearing crimson to the office!  Go Aggies!

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