The Fall Commencement was another outstanding event with 1800 plus graduates, close to 1000 walking on Saturday. We are getting close to having to split the December graduation as fall graduating classes seem to be growing. There were 58 doctoral candidates hooded on Friday night. The hooding ceremony seems to be very well received. What started as a small event three years ago now has a terrific turnout of doctoral graduates and family members and friends. I appreciate the faculty, staff, and volunteers who make these events special to graduates and their families.
There was a celebration and movie viewing at the Farm and Ranch Museum for Max Evans, famous New Mexico author and story teller. The movie was entitled “Ole Max Evans, the First Thousand Years.” It will be shown on KRWG sometime soon. Watch for it. This guy is one of the most fascinating characters I have ever met. Cowboy, D Day veteran, miner, and writer of over 30 books, two of which became movies—The Rounders” and the “Hi Low Country.” Max and Pat Evans have left a major legacy gift to NMSU.
I had breakfast with Alvy Ray Smith, NMSU electrical engineering grad and co-founder of Pixar (first movie was Toy Story). Another amazing fellow! He is writing a book, for the lay reader, explaining his experiences leading to the development of the Pixar technology. He seemed very impressed with NMSU, his alma mater, and particularly enjoyed visiting with students. I will bet we can get him back occasionally to teach/mentor students.
The Provost and I broke bread with Travis Dempsey, the new superintendent of the Gadsden Independent School District. He has agreed to work more closely with NMSU to guide students to our system. Superintendent Ewing of the LCPS has committed to making NMSU the university of choice for students from that district and the results are showing, with applications up dramatically from last year. These two superintendents are going to be valued partners.
On Monday, December 4, I hosted the Westhafer Reception, which honored this year’s recipient of the Westhafer Award, Professor Kenny Stevens. This reception was especially appropriate because Professor Stevens had not been available to receive his award at convocation this year, because he was with a group of students from NMSU building a bridge in Nicaragua. The 110 foot bridge across a deep canyon provided three villages with access to schools, markets, and transportation. Quite a guy, which was made all the more evident when he made his comments at the reception. He was humble, funny, irreverent, and moving. Thanks, Professor Stevens, for being the quintessential Aggie.
On Wednesday, December 6, I was honored to attend the NMSU Hispanic Faculty/Staff Caucus Stole Ceremony which honors Hispanic graduating seniors who have contributed to their community with their efforts in and out of the classroom. The one minute talks by the graduates were uplifting and moving. They brought home to me the wonderful accomplishments of our students and the great support they have received from faculty, staff, family, and friends. A marvelous, middle of the week lift to everyone who attended.
Saturday, December 9, was Fall Commencement, one of the happiest days of the year for me and for many other faculty and staff members. I am grateful to the large number of faculty members who joined us for breakfast, and later congratulated students from their colleges as the students exited the stage. The greater role that faculty now play in Commencement has made the ceremony more meaningful to our students, who appreciate one last opportunity to give a hug and thanks to someone who changed their lives.
Happy holidays, all!
Alma Chavez was honored as the outstanding graduate for the College of Arts and Sciences at the Fall Commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 9. Alma Chavez is a TRIO Student Support Services program participant and will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, psychology and Spanish and is a native of Juarez, Mexico.
The College of Arts and Sciences recently recognized this year’s Holiday Card Contest winner. Bryan Rutter, an animation and visual effects major received the $500 prize for his artwork selected by the Dean’s Office. This is the 16th annual holiday card contest where students get to submit their artwork to be on the cover of the college’s holiday card that is sent out to alumni, donors, administration, and friends of the college.
Don Cleveland was among those who received a $3 million 2017 Breakthrough Prize during a star-studded ceremony hosted by Morgan Freeman at NASA’s Ames Research Center. The program was broadcast on the National Geographic Channel on Sunday, December 3.
Cleveland, who grew up in Las Cruces and graduated from NMSU in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in physics, is a field-leading researcher in the area of cancer genetics and neurosciences at the University of California at San Diego.
He has uncovered the mechanisms underlying the major genetic forms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease and developed gene silencing therapies using designer DNA drugs that have entered clinical trials for four neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS and Huntington’s diseases.
The College of Arts and Sciences met with our Dean’s Council members to thank them for their service and support for the college at our fall meeting on December 5. These elite group of individuals support our college’s fundraising efforts for Starry Night and also assist with connecting the college with partners in the community and across the state.
Anthony Casaus and I attended the Outstanding Graduates Luncheon on December 8. The College of Business Outstanding Graduate was Sandanee Turner, finance major.
We hosted an MBA graduation reception on December 8, at Domenici Hall. We also hosted a Master of Accountancy hooding ceremony on December 8, at Domenici Hall. Both were excellent opportunities to recognize our fall graduates and have them reflect on their experiences during their studies. Special thanks to Kathy Brook for attending the Doctoral hooding ceremony, held at the same time.
I attended the Fall Fommencement ceremony on December 9. It is always a pleasure to be able to congratulate each of our graduates in person as they participate in this joyous ceremony.
Counseling & Educational Psychology The entire College of Education has been collecting donations and supplies for Dr. Ivelisse Torres-Fernandez to take to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as she travels home for winter break. Dr. Torres is traveling to Puerto Rico this weekend, taking many boxes of supplies with her on the plane. In addition, many boxes have been shipped ahead, including batteries and other heavy items. She is also using monetary donations to purchase Christmas dinner boxes for families in line with Puerto Rican tradition. This idea arose because FEMA assumed that Puerto Ricans are similar to Mexicans and provided them with meals that are too spicy for many of them to eat.
During winter break, Dr. Torres will begin a qualitative study of mental health professionals in Puerto Rico, who were both affected by the hurricane themselves and also were involved in helping others who have been affected by this overwhelming natural disaster. In addition, she will continue lining up an opportunity for 10 students from programs in the CEP Department to travel to Puerto Rico during spring break to help provide counseling services and mental health support in conjunction with Counselors without Borders. Dr. Torres already has several students committed to this trip, and the development office is going to begin fundraising efforts soon to help them with airfare.
If you are interested in making a contribution toward the spring project, please contact Denise Tafoya, the development officer for the College of Education (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A two-lane bridge on NM 186 crossing the La Union Canal in Anthony, New Mexico, built this past spring recently earned civil engineering Associate Professor Brad Weldon the New Mexico Chapter American Concrete Institute’s 2017 Excellence in Concrete Award. It is the first bridge superstructure constructed with ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) in the state and the first bridge structure constructed with non-proprietary UHPC consisting primarily of local materials in the nation. The bridge design and materials are hoped to increase the lifespan of the bridge and ultimately, reduce the cost to taxpayers. The bridge is the result of more than a decade of extensive research conducted by a team of civil engineers: Associate Professor Brad Weldon, Professor Craig Newtson, and Department Head David Jáuregui, along with numerous student researchers. This ongoing research is a cooperative effort with the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.
The College of Engineering will be featured on “Informed” — an award-winning program that highlights stories and innovative concepts through documentary presentation. The show highlights industry professionals and groundbreaking organizations as featured content providers for topics such as business, medicine, education, and environmental issues. Hosted by Rob Lowe, the series is distributed to the Public Broadcasting Service and American Public Broadcasting and will be aired in Albuquerque, El Paso, Phoenix, Amarillo and Tucson in February. The Informed Series production team spent a full day on July 14 at NMSU interviewing and filming in the College of Engineering. The video can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rie2jitGc8.
The College of Engineering is actively recruiting students. Efforts included a visit of 33 students from the Camino Real Middle School STEAM Academy from the Ysleta Independent School District. Students and teachers had the opportunity to learn about the various degree programs offered at the College of Engineering and participated in hands-on activities. Students visited the Lego Lab, where Yu-Ping Tang, the on-site engineer, guided through hands-on activities in the lab which specializes in supporting robotics competitions and building students interest in engineering through the use of specialized Lego training kits. Students also visited the NMSU Tech Center and learned about the principles of flight which they then implemented to complete real-world missions that require critical thinking, communication, math and science skills.
Chemical and Materials Engineering Department Head David Rockstraw spoke at Capital High School in Santa Fe last week for five consecutive periods between 7:45 and 12:30 to groups of 60 students, each time representing three combined classes of students participating in the Project Lead the Way medical pathway.
NMSU Library is excited to share the news that Zuhl Library 137 room is back online after a major leak occurrence earlier in the semester. The room was refreshed with new drywall, painting and replacement carpeting! We are excited to have the room operational for student use.
NMSU Library hosted our Third Annual Keep Calm and Color Contest during finals week. We had a color station in Zuhl Library with coloring pages and color pencils. The students snapped a picture of their colored masterpiece and put it on Instagram with #NMSULibrary and #KeepCalmAndColor. The winner of the Keep Calm and Color Contest is Blanca Diaz and she won a voucher for a free specialty Starbucks coffee at Zuhl Fuel Cafe.
Recognition for Students We held our ceremony to recognize the students who went the extra mile and graduated with University Honors. These ambitious students took 18 honors credits and all completed a senior capstone project that was original work. The ceremony was attended by many family and friends, and these hard working students will wear their honors medallions with their commencement regalia when they graduate on Saturday. This year the students who completed University Honors include Sarah Hojnowski (Creative Media) and Claudia Alejandra Ruiz (Journalism, Creative Media, and Languages), and Distinction in University Honors were awarded to Eliana Griego (Genetics and Biology), Kelcie Gerry (Kinesiology), Christian Gage Ortiz (Genetics), Nicole Price (Information Technology and Music), and Brittany Wallace (Museum Conservation, Spanish, Anthropology). Their capstone projects ranged from a Google internship, to the restoration of an ancient retablo, to research and a thesis on topics in biology and genetics.
Outstanding Graduates Recognition We were delighted to participate in the Alumni Association’s annual recognition of the outstanding graduates from each of the colleges. Each of these students were introduced by Leslie Cervantes and their impressive accomplishments summarized. These students represent the best of NMSU, and each of them gave a moving and meaningful talk about their path through their studies.
Recruiting in Albuquerque We were invited to meet with juniors and seniors at the top high school in New Mexico, the Albuquerque Institute of Math and Science (AIMS), and we had a productive meeting with some very bright potential Aggies. While we were in Albuquerque, we popped in at La Cueva High School as well to meet some of the “Bears” attending that school.
Finals Week at Corbett Center Student Union Corbett Center partnered with ASNMSU to host a study break event called “Chill Out before You Fill Out” with activities throughout finals week. In the Rio Grande Room, students could take a nap, get a cup of coffee or tea, or relieve stress with a fun activity. Therapy Dogs International was here Tuesday from 2 pm-4 pm in the Aggie Lounge. Over 800 students, and Striking the Wonder dog, attended the Late Night Finals Breakfast in Taos Restaurant!
NMTIE Conference New Mexico State University continues to maintain a strong presence at the Annual New Mexico Technology in Education (NMTIE) Conference. Norma Grijalva, CIO, along with other ICT staff and research faculty from NMSU, attended this year’s conference where IT professionals working in educational institutions across New Mexico, from kindergarten through higher education, come together to discuss issues affecting access to technology across the state. Each year, ICT interacts with New Mexico’s various technology service providers and shares lessons learned with colleagues. ICT’s Student Technology and Planning students Eli Ramos and Tiersa Cisneros, along with Manager Araceli Hernandez, presented on the Chat Feature their department has been piloting on their websites this semester. In addition, Robert Kelly and Matt Henderson, from ICT System Administration, participated in the poster session with a poster about NMSU’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.
Operations Welcomes New Mechanical Shop Supervisor Facilities Operations welcomes Mark Blachford as the new Mechanical Shop supervisor. He started his career at NMSU in the Mechanical Shop as an HVAC technician in 2002. During his tenure, he advanced through the ranks to become an HVAC mechanic lead then supervisor of Plant Operations in 2014. Mark is also a graduate of Aggie Leadership Training Academy (ALTA). On December 1, he returned to the Mechanical Shop as the Supervisor.
Commencement The Fall 2017 Commencement Ceremony was held to a packed house at the Pan American Center on Saturday, December 9, as 897 graduates walked across the stage.
The ceremony is a team effort. We would like to thank all of our amazing volunteers, the ceremony would not be possible without your assistance.
Faculty and Staff Contributions from:
- College of Arts and Science
- College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
- College of Business
- College of Engineering
- College of Education
- College of Health and Social Services
- Graduate School
- University Library
- Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
- Human Resources
- Budget Office
- University Accounts Receivable
- Facilities and Services
- American Indian Programs
- Physical Science Laboratory
- Center for Academic Advising and Student Support
Doctoral Hooding Ceremony The NMSU Doctoral Hooding Ceremony was a huge success as 58 doctoral candidates were hooded at the ceremony by their faculty advisors. While walking across the stage, their dissertation title was read. In addition, the honorary degree recipient, Sharon Jones was recognized.
TRIO Student Support Services recognized its Fall 2017 Graduates on November 30. The event included graduates and family members to help mark the special occasion. Participants were given a chance to express their gratitude to family and friends, talk about their plans after graduation, and were given their TRIO Stole which marks their participation in TRIO and the dedication to their educational goals. The speaker for the event was Sherilyn Oberlin, a 2009 New Mexico State University alum and TRIO Graduate. Alma Chavez was awarded the honor of “Outstanding TRIO Participant for Fall 2017” and her name will be placed on the TRIO perpetual plaque. Congratulations to all our graduates on their next endeavors.
The Student Success Center completed the fall workshop series on Friday, December 1, with a workshop titled “Preparing for Finals Week: Creating a Preparation Plan is Half the Battle.” Students who attended the workshop gained valuable information regarding maintaining effective study habits, time and stress management strategies that support their ability to take control of preparing for their exams, and maintaining confidence during finals week. Students were encouraged to visit the Student Success Center to receive additional academic support as they work to complete the Fall 2017 semester.
Career Services opened six of its private interview rooms for students to turn into their own study room during Finals Week. Rooms were available Monday through Friday, 8 am-5 pm. Career Services offered students free coffee and water. We had six students reserve multiple dates and times to take advantage of this opportunity.
Career Services hosted a second “Writing A Personal Statement” Workshop on Wednesday, December 6, at Career Services. The purpose of this workshop was to personally assist students in preparing their personal statement for upcoming internship, fellowship, employment and graduate school applications to include Thomas Pickering Foreign Services Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship and the Foreign Affairs IT Fellowship Program.
Innoventure Class Demo On Thursday, Arrowhead’s Innoventure team held a classroom demonstration of the Innoventure Jr. youth entrepreneurship curriculum with Ms. Olivia Hennessey’s 5th grade class at Mesilla Park Elementary. Twenty students participated in the entrepreneurial thinking activity that challenged students to create a project that helps people “not be messy.” Each of the student teams designed a robot that helped clean up around the house and received a set of Innoventure stickers for their participation. Classroom activity is part of the Innoventure Jr. expansion, supported by a grant from the Daniels Fund. Innoventure Jr. provides early exposure to entrepreneurial education. More information can be found at http://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/innoventure/.
Outstanding Graduate Arrowhead Graduate Assistant and Studio G client Carlos Murguia was recognized on Friday as the Alumni Outstanding Graduate Student for 2017 Fall Graduation. He was recognized at a luncheon hosted by the Alumni Association. Carlos has worked as a graduate assistant at Arrowhead throughout the course of his Masters studies. During that time he has excelled in developing his skills as an entrepreneur, growing his business (KoolArmor) by participating in Arrowhead programs like Aggie I-Corps, Aggie Shark Tank, and LAUNCH. Carlos epitomizes how students can leverage their education and the resources of Arrowhead Center and NMSU to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality.
Pat Hynes spoke at the SpaceCom Global Spaceport Alliance meeting on Monday, December 4, in Houston, Texas. The subject of her presentation was How Spaceports could benefit from federal infrastructure development funds for safe operations of spaceports. Should there ever be a fire, flood, earthquake, or accident at any of the 10 commercial spaceports, there are no federal funds appropriated for the FAA for spaceport operations and maintenance. The FAA airports operations and maintenance budget is in excess of $3 billion annually. Spaceports are part of the transportation system. The Department of Transportation is working on this challenge facing the commercial space transportation industry. New Mexico Space Grant Consortium held a statewide partnership meeting on December 11. Twenty two participants from the research universities, community colleges, industry and government attended in person and by phone. The future of the consortium’s funding, NASA’s budget, organizational partnership accomplishments were among the topics discussed.
Research IT supported PSL’s TAAC conference held this week in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They also completed IT support for the mini-grant proposal effort, which was a wonderful success. Finally, Research IT migrated a majority of the VPR websites to WordPress on campus.
Ring Ceremony The NMSU Official Ring Ceremony Fall 2017 was held on Wednesday, December 6, at Trader’s Plaza, where 59 Aggies received their official rings.
Outstanding Graduates The Outstanding Graduates Luncheon Fall 2017 was held on Friday, December 8, at the 3rd Floor Bistro at the Stan Fulton Center. An outstanding graduate was awarded from each academic college and two graduates were honored from the graduate school, representing the masters and doctoral programs.
iHEALTH Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico awarded a $20,000 grant for iHEALTH, a College of Health and Social Services program to bring nutrition and physical fitness information to multi-generational families in rural Otero and Sierra counties (including the Mescolero tribe) to combat obesity and diabetes.
Aerospace Gift NMSU received a $15,000 gift from PACA, the Professional Aerospace Contractors Association, a non-profit focused on coordinating collaboration and communication with aerospace and defense professionals across New Mexico.
On Saturday, New Mexico State’s 57 year bowl drought came to an end when the Aggies defeated South Alabama 22-17 in front of a tremendous home crowd. The win brought the Aggies to a record of 6-6 which is their best mark in 15 years since 2002.
There was tremendous national coverage surrounding this win as the Aggies appeared on ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt’s “One Big Thing” (to view, click here) as well as the College Football Final Helmet Sticker segment and several others.
New Mexico State Athletics accepted an invitation from the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl to play on December 29. Ironically our opponent will be Utah State University who we last played in our Sun Bowl appearance in 1960. Ticket sales have been extremely strong and great tickets in the Aggie section are still available by calling either the Athletic Department or the Pan Am Ticket Office.
Several athletic administrators from the Athletic Department went on a site visit for the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl in Tucson on December 5 and 6. We attended a comprehensive meeting as well as tours of the hotel, alumni events establishments, practice facilities for the football team and a tour of the stadium.
OEA said goodbye to 23 incoming exchange students as they head back to their home universities. We wish them well in their future endeavors and hope to see some of them back soon as NMSU Grad students!
This winter break, 64 students and 5 faculty will travel abroad on FLIP programs. The programs are Agricultural Animals of the World in New Zealand, Oral Health Residencies in India, Spanish and Culture in Costa Rica, and Genetic Aspects of Population Biology in Nepal. Go Aggies!
News and Media Relations News of the NMSU Aggie football team’s victory on December 2, which qualified the team for a bowl game, and the ensuing invitation to play in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl December 29, generated a tremendous social media response. Chancellor Garrey Carruthers’ “Excused Absence” brought an all-time-high audience of 78,400 and the combined audience to date related to the bowl game surpassed 98,000 by Friday, December 8. Reaction and interaction by the audience also was significant, with more than 17,000 clicks, comments and shares.
KRWG/SPU Two seasons commenced at KRWG this week. The 2018 election coverage began with a candidate discussion between the Democrat candidates for New Mexico’s second congressional district on Monday. Then the holiday season got a kick start with 300 supporters enjoying the annual El Paso Brass concert at the Rio Grande Theater on Thursday evening.
Marketing Services and Web Communications Working with faculty and staff from the College of Education, the Marketing and Communications team produced the latest edition of “Core of Knowledge,” the college’s newsletter. It has been mailed to alumni, letting them know about many recent accomplishments and future plans in the college.
December Revenue Estimate On December 4-8, the Legislative Finance Committee met in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they received information on the December Revenue Estimate. The new revenue estimate indicated $199 million in new money for FY19, an increase of $174 million from the August revenue estimate. Staff indicated that they are cautiously optimistic about the December revenue estimate.
The revenue estimate also indicated that we will finish FY18 with approximately 9 percent in general fund reserves. LFC staff indicated that Moody’s analytics recommends that New Mexico needs at least 10 percent or greater in reserves. For a copy of the presentation, visit the Office of Government Relations website, at https://govrelations.nmsu.edu/ Also on the website you can view NMSU’s legislative priorities for the upcoming session.
Also on the LFC agenda (recording of these hearings can be found on the NM Legislature website, https://www.nmlegis.gov/:
- Higher Education Institutions — Dr. Barbara Damron, Secretary, Higher Education Department; Dr. Garrey Carruthers, Chair, Council of University Presidents; Dr. Becky Rowley, Chair, New Mexico Independent Community Colleges; Dr. John Gratton, Chair, New Mexico Association of Community Colleges
- Higher Education Department –Dr. Barbara Damron, Higher Education Department
- Statewide Higher Education Master-plan Committee
- Report on Fiscal Watch List
- Capital Outlay
- Review of 2018 Capital Outlay Staff Framework
- Other Capital Outlay Issues
- Executive and Higher Education Compensation Report — Justin Najaka, Director, State Personnel Office; LFC Staff
- Tax reform legislation: Conferees from the House and Senate have yet to meet to reconcile differences between the Senate and House version of the tax reform bill. The Office of Government Relations has communicated provisions of concern to the NM Congressional Delegation.
- “PROSPER” Higher Education bill: A bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act was introduced by the House Committee on Education. The committee plans to consider the bill before the holiday break. The Senate committee plans to introduce a bill early next year.
For more information on these pieces of legislation, visit our website: https://govrelations.nmsu.edu/
Upcoming Legislative Related Events
Monday, December 11
- Observations on Tax Reform in New Mexico
Tuesday, December 12
- Update on Federal Tax Reform —Richard Anklam, President and Executive Director, New Mexico Tax Research Institute
- Revenue Forecast —Duffy Rodriguez, Secretary, Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) Clinton Turner, Chief Economist, DFA —Jon Clark, Chief Economist, Legislative Finance Committee —John Monforte, Acting Secretary, TRD
- Report on Tax Study – Andrew Phillips, Principal, Quantitative economics and Statistics Groups (QUEST), Ernst & Young LLP
Wednesday, December 13
- Proposals for Committee Endorsement
For times and full agenda:
- Legislative Council
State Capitol, Room 307
Staff successfully executed the 3rd Annual Joint Stockman Inbound Mission with buyers from Mexico. The inbound mission included eight ranch visits throughout the state and meetings in the hotel international room with producers at the Joint Stockman Convention. A deal was made for a purchase of approximately 50 bulls. In addition, a 50 head heifer deal is pending. We are anticipating for some of the participants to return in the spring to purchase more bulls during the bull sales.
Pictures show participants during a ranch visit and participants at the International Room of the Joint Stockman’s Convention with Mr. Jeff Witt
Participated in an Ag Group meeting devoted primarily to legislative related items for the 2018 session and various current issues impacting agriculture.
Pancake Finals Deputy Chief Bowen assisted with the Finals Late Night Breakfast held on December 5, at the Taos Restaurant. Once again, it was a great event with over 600 students turning out to take advantage of the break from studying.
NMSU Graduation & Toys for Tots Officers and security staff were on hand to assist with the Fall Commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 9. There were more than 1,000 graduates who attended, and streets and parking lots were full. Simultaneously, officers from the department assisted the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department with traffic control on Lohman for the Truckers’ Toys for Tots drive.
New Hires The Police Department hired three new officers effective January 2018. Ricardo Angeles is a resident of Hatch, New Mexico, attended NMSU and graduated with a CJ degree in 2015. Justin Pirtle is a resident of Las Cruces, attended NMSU and graduated with a CJ degree in 2017. He previously worked for the Department as a security officer and public safety aide. Dalton Kinney is also a resident of Las Cruces, attended NMSU and worked as a security officer and public safety aide. All three will attend the NM Law Enforcement Academy in February, 2018.
Sexual Assault Investigation Steering Committee Chief Lopez traveled to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and participated as one of the nine members of the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) technical assistance steering committee. The national technical assistance program is run out of East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, and it provides training and assistance to universities who receive OVW grants. The steering committee is reviewing the training and making recommendations on topics for upcoming sessions to ensure best practices are being followed in sexual assault investigations.
On Friday, December 1, five second-year students from the NMSU-A Electronics Technology program toured the microwave radar, global positioning system (GPS), and optical tracking research and test facilities operated by TRAX International at Holloman Air Force Base. They were accompanied by Electronics Technology instructors, Dr. Bryan Preppernau and Matthew Placencio. On the six-hour tour the students had an engaging interaction with project managers and test technicians to learn about employment opportunities and the skills required, as well as witnessing tracking and data acquisition operations.
Faculty and staff came together on Wednesday, December 6, to say farewell to Sara Irving who retires at the end of this semester. Sara began her career at NMSU-A in 1998 as an adjunct instructor and was hired as a college instructor in 1999. In 2011, she was promoted to college professor of photography and art. She has been extremely active in institutional service, including long-time service on the Promotion and Tenure Committee, and a strong participant in assessment, curriculum and accreditation activities. She has been active in the community with participation in the Desert Light Film Festival, the Otero County Fair and with the local schools. NMSU-A is sad to see Sara go, but we all wish her well as she enters retirement.
On Thursday, December 7, the NMSU-A annual holiday potluck was held. Faculty, staff, work study students, and family members came together to share a meal and spend time together. This year everyone was asked to bring socks, lap blankets, and trial-sized toiletries to donate to those in need at the local nursing homes. A donation box was also in place for the Aggie Cupboard Alamogordo. As usual, the potluck was well attended, the food was delicious, and everyone was very generous with their donations.
Holiday Spirit was in the air on the evening of Saturday, December 9, as the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce presented their annual Christmas Parade with NMSU-A President Ken Van Winkle as Grand Marshal. NMSU-A faculty, staff, and students donned their best NMSU-A wear and followed him. It was a great opportunity to pass candy to the kids and spread holiday cheer.
On Monday, December 4, NMSU Carlsbad president traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in order to preside at a called Board meeting of the New Mexico Association of Community Colleges (NMACC). Additionally, that evening NMACC met with the presidents from the independent community colleges to discuss common strategies for the Tuesday presentations to the Legislative Finance Committee.
On Tuesday, December 5, the NMSU Carlsbad president testified before the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) as chair of NMACC which includes the branch campuses from Eastern New Mexico University, New Mexico State University, and the University of New Mexico. The presentations were well-received by LFC as the legislative priorities for the branch campuses were presented.
On Friday, December 8, NMSU Carlsbad representatives attended the December meeting of the New Mexico State Board of Regents. The Board meeting included a consent agenda item for a reconfiguration of an academic department at NMSU Carlsbad which had been approved by the Faculty Senate. The proposed reconfiguration was approved by the Board of Regents.
On Friday, December 8, NMSU Carlsbad conducted its Creation Launch ceremonies which recognized a collaborative effort between the Literature students and the Media Arts students in developing a creative journal of student works. The event was very well-attended and the student works were exemplary.
NMSU Grants’ BSN Graduates celebrated their Pinning Ceremony on Wednesday, December 6, in the Theater of Martinez Hall. Six graduates, family, friends, BSN faculty, administrators, and public supporters gathered for the ceremony and reception. Pictured are graduates: Elaine Torivio, Sky Maslowski, Larisa Smith, Amanda Jackson, Jacquelyn Langford, and Kathleen Leon. This is the 9th graduating Cohort from NMSU Grants, through the NMSU Las Cruces Nursing Department. Special thanks to Cibola General Hospital for their contributions and partnership to sustain this opportunity in Cibola County.