Activity Report December 1 – December 7


The Outstanding Graduate Award is presented every semester by the NMSU Alumni Association to a graduating student from each academic college, as well as to a masters and a doctoral candidate from the graduate school. Honorees are selected by the deans or leaders of their respective colleges or programs and recognized for their exceptional academic achievements, active participation in activities that illustrate leadership skills and extracurricular commitment to the university and the community through volunteerism. The celebration was held Friday, December 7, in the Stan Fulton Athletics Center and honored: Shelby Polito from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Lauren Blumears from the College of Arts and Sciences; Sarah Spain from the College of Business; Hailey Hightower from the College of Education; Joellen Lansford from the College of Engineering; Brooke Coffeen from the College of Health and Social Services; Arthur Tillbrook, Masters Candidate; Daniel Wentzel, Doctoral Candidate.

The NMSU Foundation awarded the first two winners of “A Grand in the Stands!”   A $1,000 scholarship giveaway to undergraduate students who attend NM State Men’s Basketball games this season. Jeffrey Adler, an accounting student in the College of Business, and Makayla Lang, a nursing student in the College of Health and Social Services, were the lucky names drawn during halftime at the December 1 and December 4 games. The NMSU Foundation will continue the giveaway at five more basketball games starting January 10. Learn more at

The NMSU Alumni Association honored all Aggies who ordered a class ring during a special ceremony held Wednesday, December 5, in Trader’s Plaza at the base of Aggie Memorial Tower. Chancellor Dan Arvizu, Interim Provost April Mason and Pistol Pete celebrated with each class ring recipient, continuing one of the wonderful Aggie Spirit of Tradition events held each semester during commencement week.

The Carl C. Anderson Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Foundation of Austin, Texas, awarded a $10,000 matching grant to support Doña Ana Community College’s dental hygiene program. Upon reaching the match, the grant will support the program’s efforts to bring dental hygiene services to economically disadvantaged people in the Las Cruces area.

The News and Media Relations team helped organize the first recognition in the series of Outstanding Aggie Researcher awards that will be given out during home men’s and women’s Aggie Basketball games this season. At the December 4 men’s basketball game, Catherine Brewer, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, was honored. Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies Luis Vazquez presented a plaque to Brewer, who leads a biomass thermochemical processing research group.

KRWG Public Media recorded a special edition of the KRWG-TV program “Newsmakers.” KRWG Director of Content Fred Martino, Ph.D., interviewed Stephanie Valencia, who worked for President Barack Obama in various roles. Valencia, a Las Cruces native, has an essay in the new book “West Wingers,” which includes a variety of stories from members of the Obama Administration. The program will air on KRWG-TV in January.

On Wednesday, December 5, the NMSU Alamogordo campus gathered together to wish Professor Karen Reid farewell. Dr. Reid has worked for NMSU-A since 2009 and has taught Psychology and Statistics. She will be retiring to San Antonio, Texas, with her husband Stet. We thank Dr. Reid for her service to NMSU-A and wish her well in her retirement.

Dr. Karen Reid, Susan Cook, and Dr. Ken Van Winkle.

On Thursday, December 6, the NMSU Alamogordo Staff Consortium held their annual Holiday Potluck. Sixty members of staff, faculty, and work study students came together to celebrate another successful year as well as the upcoming holidays. Everyone had fun hoping that they would win one of the centerpieces donated by the divisions and work areas on campus. All in all, it was a great event especially since everyone had time to sit and catch up with one another.

Anne Ricksecker readies the centerpiece while Miguel Viscarra draws the winning name at the Annual Staff Consortium Holiday Potluck.


On Tuesday, December 4, NMSU Carlsbad hosted a retirement reception for Professor Debra Packer. Professor Packer, who will retire as of January 1, has been granted Emeritus Professor of Mathematics status.

Members of the men’s basketball team, coaching staff and the Athletic Program had a promotional event in the Corbett Center on Tuesday, December 4 from 9 am to 1 pm. The team passed out free scantrons and blue books to use for finals. Students were treated to light snacks and coffee. They were also reminded to attend the NMSU/UNM basketball game that evening.


With a tremendous student crowd, the Aggies defeated the Lobos for the fifth-consecutive time in men’s basketball 100-65. This is the longest consecutive streak over the Lobos since 1952-53. Chris Jans is the first head coach in NM State history to sweep our rivals UNM and UTEP in back-to-back seasons in his first two years at NMSU.


On Wednesday, December 5, NMSU Carlsbad President John Gratton joined with other state representatives in testifying before the transition teams for Governor Michele Lujan-Grisham. The Governor is gathering input from state entities as she begins the process of naming her Cabinet.

On Thursday, December 6, NMSU Carlsbad President John Gratton attended the quarterly Blue Cross – Blue Shield Affiliate Board meeting in Albuquerque.  President Gratton represents all of southern New Mexico in the consideration of Blue Cross – Blue Shield initiatives and actions.

NMDA hosted ten Mexican cattlemen on an inbound buying mission for livestock genetics. These buyers were interested in purchasing Brangus, Hereford, Charolais, Red Angus, and Santa Gertrudis bulls and heifers. They were escorted to ranches across New Mexico finishing up at the New Mexico Joint Stockmen’s Convention in Albuquerque, where they met meet with New Mexico cattlemen in the international room.

STEAMing Ahead for Success    On Wednesday, December 5, the Innoventure team met with representatives from STEAMing Ahead for Success, a new nonprofit focused on providing K-12 students in Southwestern New Mexico access and opportunities in STEAM education, to discuss opportunities for collaboration. The mission of STEAMing Ahead for Success is to provide real-world, hands-on learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics for Southwestern New Mexico students by enhancing partnerships with home, school, community and industry. The group is currently working in Grant and Hidalgo Counties in partnership with Cobre, Silver and Lordsburg school districts, and hopes to expand its work to Luna and Sierra counties.

SBIR Accelerator    This week Arrowhead’s NM FAST team completed the 2nd week of its new SBIR Accelerator program. This SBIR Accelerator program is supporting ten participants from across New Mexico, who are developing proposals for the upcoming Department of Defense SBIR solicitation period. The aim of this program is to have each team complete a quality proposal that is ready for submission. During the 10 week program teams receive guidance on aspects of proposal development, from registration, to cost accounting, to how to write a technical narrative. This is the first of a series of SBIR Accelerators designed for specific Federal Agency solicitation periods.

New Mexico State men’s basketball hosted a Power-5 team in Washington State. This has only been the sixth Power-5 team to visit the Pan American Center in the last 9 years. The Aggies defeated the PAC-12 Conference team 69-63.

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