Activity Report February 10 – February 16

Chancellor Garrey Carruthers

The NMSU Enrollment team(s) continue to impress. Dacia Sedillo reports we have already admitted nearly as many students for Fall 2018 (5,097) as we did for Fall 2017 (5,155), and we have several months before applications close.  Just over 400 prospective students are already signed up for the first required Aggie Welcome; over 1,000 Juniors and Seniors and parents were on campus Monday for Aggie Experience (kicking the tires), and NMSU has offered 5,736 scholarships to potential Fall 2018 students.  Over 2,800 prospective students have already received all of their financial aid information.  All of this is happening through terrific teamwork among Admissions, partners in colleges, and student services units across campus. So far, we are well ahead of the power curve.

The Heritage Farm project is beginning to take shape. ACES will soon plant 50 pecan trees (Salopek Orchard named after Mark Salopek) donated by an out-of-state nursery.  ACES plans to plant the remainder of the property in alfalfa.  Rolston St. Hilaire, department head of Plant and Environmental Sciences, will soon offer a design for the farm, which will feature the plants and irrigation successes of the Experiment Station.  The Elephant Butte Irrigation District has offered to help with the development of the irrigation ditch that runs through the farm into more of a year-around water feature.  Some of the walkway along the canal has been completed.

I had the opportunity to speak to the inaugural class of the Manager Certification Program. This new program is designed to develop and encourage future managers of NMSU units.  The most interesting aspect of the session I attended was the prospective managers and their current managers were collaboratively working on skills and career planning.  Super idea.

Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard

I spent the latter part of the week in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, meeting with the team interested in partnering with New Mexico State University to open a branch campus in the city. San Luis Potosi is a dynamic, beautiful city with a huge industrial base, a large number of international residents, and a great need for additional higher education opportunities for its citizenry. The current plan calls for the branch campus to offer a small number of highly sought after degree programs with instruction entirely in English. Faculty and student exchanges would be encouraged between the NMSU system in New Mexico and the new branch campus in San Luis Potosi, enhancing our internationalization efforts.

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


Faculty and graduate students attended the National Cattlemen’s Beef Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, to promote the programs in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. There were 7,000 attendees at the conference and NMSU representatives were able to visit with producers, build research collaborations, and recruit undergraduate and graduate students.



Congratulations NMSU Range Club for placing 3rd in the Student Chapter Display Competition! Your booth was seen by over 700 people attending the Society for Range Management and gave great exposure to NMSU, the Department of Animal and Range Sciences, and our great state of New Mexico. We are proud of you!



The School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM) held its first Guest Chef Artist Dinner featuring Chef Andres Padilla. A HRTM alumni from 2003, Chef Padilla is the Chef de Cuisine of Topolobampo Restaurant in Chicago, part of Rick Bayless’ Frontera Restaurant Group, which won the 2017 James Beard Outstanding Restaurant Award. Over 100 guests enjoyed a five course meal of Tuna Aguachile, Tamal Colado with Roasted Oyster Mushrooms and Green Chile, Swordfish – Pecan Pipian, Carne Asada Mole Negro, and Mesquite Bean Chocolate Cake. Each course was paired with fine wines, with the guest favorite being Montes Purple Angel Carmenere from Chile. The event was a fundraiser for the HRTM Student Travel and Alumni Endowed Scholarship Funds. While final expenses are still being paid, the event ticket sales were over $10,000 and over $4,000 was raised from the silent auction.


FFA members showed off why they believe in the future of agriculture during the District VI FFA Leadership Development Contest hosted by the Agricultural and Extension Education (AXED) Department. The FFA is a student organization associated with middle and high school agriculture education classes. Over 50 FFA members from southwestern New Mexico competed in FFA creed speaking, prepared public speaking, extemporaneous public speaking, employment skills, and FFA quiz contests. Several AXED faculty and students throughout the college of ACES pitched in to help judge events and work to talk with FFA members about being a student at New Mexico State University. This event allowed potential students to have positive interactions with faculty and students, while developing their talents in various leadership areas.

College of Arts & Sciences, Dean Enrico Pontelli

ASTC/NMSU Theatre Arts presents “THE ODYSSEY” adapted from the poem by Homer and the translation of “THE ODYSSEY” by Robert Fitzgerald, adapted and originally directed by Mary Zimmerman, and directed at NMSU by Larissa Lury. The timeless adventure story with cyclopses, sea-monsters, shipwrecks, gods and goddesses, makes thrilling, playful and new one of the most memorable epics of all time. Journey through foreign lands with characters constantly relying on the kindness of strangers, as they search for a way home. The show previews at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, February 15, and opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 16. The shows runs from February 16-25 at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts. For tickets call 575-646-1420.

At the New Mexico State University men’s basketball game on Saturday, February 10, NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers presented Tim Wright, biology professor, with the Research Discovery Award. Wright was joined on at center court by his wife Regents Professor of Biology Kathryn Hanley, their daughter Maddie Wright and her friend Pia Hansen (far left). Undergraduate biology student Monica Muñoz is next to Hanley who is standing in the center next to Chancellor Carruthers. Graduate biology student Grace Smith Vidaurre (far right) is next to Wright. Wright heads NMSU’s Avian Communication and Evolution research lab, which focuses on such questions as why parrots, like humans, have evolved the ability to learn their vocalizations, and how their brains are wired to accomplish this task. Dr. Wright is co-author of the book “Parrots of the Wild,” which explores the ecology and behavior of wild parrots.



The Department of Computer Science, in collaboration with Army Research Laboratory, hosted a student workshop on cyber-security, with 48 participants. The workshop featured hands-on activities guided by Army cyber-security experts.



College of Business, Dean James Hoffman

Dean Jim Hoffman and directors of development, Anthony Casaus and Kelley Coffeen, met with Dr. Kimberly Martin, DMD of University Family Dental and Amy Hummer, co-owner of Qualifying Broker of Steinborn & Associates Real Estate, on Monday, February 12.   Dr. Martin and Hummer spoke to Dean Hoffman’s Management 461 New Venture Creation class in the Business Complex.

Recently, Dr. Martin and Hummer of Las Cruces along with twenty female businesswomen established an endowed scholarship for the Colleges of Business and Arts and Sciences called the B.O.S.S. (Bold, Original, Secure and Successful) scholarship.

The intent of the scholarship is to recognize female students who exhibit exceptional leadership, a unique passion and/or an entrepreneurial spirit during their college career, regardless of hardships or setbacks and to open possibilities of mentoring opportunities with the sponsor at New Mexico State University. Additionally, this award is geared to encourage and foster the spirit of a leadership, ownership, and community involvement.

Left to Right, Dr. Kimberly Martin, Amy Hummer, Dean Jim Hoffman speaking to students in Management 461 New Venture Creation class.

Dean Jim Hoffman, Dr. Robert Smits, professor of math, and Director of Development Anthony Casaus met with Paul McCarron, VP & Actuary – Pramerica, Letterkenny, Ireland, Christine McGillan, VP Operations Prudential, El Paso and College of Business alumnus, Alex Garcia, Team Lead, Managed Services Prudential El Paso including Brien Murphy with NMSU University Advancement on February 14.

Left to Right, Alex Garcia, Christine McGillan and Paul McCarron addressing Gamma Sigma Iota student organization.

McCarron, McGillan and Garcia spoke to students in Dr. Tim Query’s Finance 322 Principles of Insurance class, Dr. Robert Smits Statistics 371 Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I class and student organization, Gamma Sigma Iota. Dr. Smits was recently named the first recipient of the Dr. John A. and Margy Papen Actuarial Science Professorship.

Group photo Gamma Sigma Iota students and visitors, Alex Garcia, Christine McGillan and Paul McCarron.

College of Education, Dean Donald Pope-Davis



The College of Education brought external consultant, Dr. Kevin Kumashiro to facilitate discussions at a faculty retreat for developing the mission/vision, organization and governance structure, and a time line for implementation of the new School of Teacher Preparation, Administration and Leadership.




STEM Outreach Center  Twenty instructors attended SEMAA Spaceport Professional Development to kick off the Spring 2018 semester. This professional development was presented by the STEM Outreach Program staff. Instructors ranged from 6th to 8th grade. Instructors in 6th grade learned that they will be teaching students about adobe structure building and the effects of earthquakes through a partnership that the STEM Outreach Center has formed with the Center for Bio-mediated & Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG). Instructors in 7th and 8th grade learned how to make air-powered rockets and launchers and launched/retrieved their specimens with the visual help of glow in the dark sticks. The curriculum for SEMAA Spaceport includes engineering solutions to natural disasters, studying alternative forms of energy and exploring aeronautics.

Sibella Salazar awarded CEP department research proposal award 2017-2018  Sibella Salazar was awarded the CEP Department research proposal award for academic year 2017-2018. Her proposed study, 7th generation: Voices of the rezilient, is a phenomenological study that will explore and describe the inner meaning of resilience for 7th generation American Indians. The purposes of this study are to explore how resilience is shaped by relationships within the tribal community and how resilience is perceived and experienced in the face of postcolonial distress. Data will be collected through focus group interviews. Congratulations Sibella!

College of Engineering, Dean Lakshmi Reddi

Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Pei Xu has been named Alan I. Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Xu is one of 15 food and water security researchers selected for the 2018-19 honor. The scientists were chosen demonstrating leadership and excellence in their research careers and an interest in promoting meaningful dialogue between science and society. The water security work of the incoming AAAS Leshner Fellows draws from varied disciplines. The fellows will meet in June 2018 at AAAS headquarters in Washington, D.C., for a week of intensive public engagement and science communication training, networking and public engagement plan development. Throughout the year following the training, they will develop and implement public engagement activities, train other scientists in their communities and work to increase capacity for public engagement at their institutions.

04/16/2014: Civil engineering professor Pei Xu, center, works with graduate students Guanyu Ma, left, and Xuesong Xu in her laboratory. (Photo by Darren Phillips)

Innovators in the Aggie Innovation Space teamed up with Liang Sun, a faculty member in mechanical and aerospace engineering, to host a robotics workshop for undergraduate students.  Students spent the afternoon building and programming Spiderbot robots. Sun provided an overview of applications for robotics in day-to-day life and how engineering has benefited society and advanced technology. During the workshop, participants were tasked with building functional spider robots with the opportunity to test them in a short competition. Participants are now working with the Aggie Innovators to integrate their respective robots with the Intel Galileo micro-controllers. The workshop was intended as an introduction to robotics with some competitive fun.



Chris Campbell of the Engineering New Mexico Resource Network met at the Leyendecker Farm on February 7 with local farmers and service providers from USDA at a Farm Services Agency-sponsored event.  Chris discussed Best Management Practices for energy efficiency procedures on the farm and the services available to assist farmers with energy and environmentally-related issues through USDA and Engineering New Mexico.



The American Indian Science and Engineering Society honored NMSU chemical engineering alum Lawrence Brown with the AISES Government Partner Service Award. Brown graduated from NMSU with a B.S. and joined Sandia National Laboratories in 1989 on the One Year on Campus program and went to Stanford University for his M.S. in materials science and engineering. His first job at Sandia was in the thin films and brazing department. After a one-year Entrepreneurial Leave of Absence in 1995, he returned to the same department working on Cooperative Research and Development Agreements that intersected organizations across the labs. Since 2002, he has been with Sandia’s Government Relations Department focusing primarily on tribal government relations and tribal energy development.

College of Health and Social Services, Dean Donna Wagner

University Library, Dean Elizabeth Titus

Congratulations to Library staff Tiffany Schirmer who has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Border Regional Library Association Scholarship. The Scholarship Committee found her achievements and commitment to the library field commendable, and are very pleased to name her a BRLA Scholar. She will be receiving a $1,000 award during the BRLA Awards Banquet.



Congratulations to Susan Beck on being selected the Border Regional Library Association 2017 Librarian of the Year. She was selected by the nominating committee who said “Your accomplishments and dedication to your job, patrons, BRLA, and the Library profession, make you an outstanding choice for this award.” Everyone at NMSU Library are very proud of you.




In celebration and in support of New Mexico State University and the City of Las Cruces recently receiving a Big Read Project award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the NMSU Library has launched an online guide offering more in-depth information about the chosen common read book, Into the Beautiful North by Luis Urrea. The guide, available at, provides background and synopsis of Into the Beautiful North, as well as a list of characters found in the book. It offers a schedule of events hosted on campus and throughout the city in February and March. The guide lists Urrea’s work available for check out at NMSU Library, it provides valuable readers’ and teachers’ guides, and it includes links to podcasts, interviews, and videos of the author. Print copies of Urrea’s Into the Beautiful North (PS3571.R74I56 2009) are available for check out at the Zuhl Library. The work is also available in e-book format.

For more information, contact Susan E. Beck, Head of Access Services, at 575-5091 or

Graduate School, Dean Louἰ Reyes

Honors College, Dean Miriam Chaiken

Launching the “Big Read” Project   The Big Read Project revved up this week, as the first activities associated with this project got underway. This is funded through a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, the Office of the Provost, ASNMSU, and the City of Las Cruces. Saturday morning, Dean Chaiken and Dr. Susan Beck from the Library staffed a table in front of the Rio Grande Theater to introduce the project to folks attending the Farmers Market. Next Saturday will be the launch event at the downtown plaza and will feature performances and book distributions. We have distributed about 300 copies of Luis Urrea’s Into the Beautiful North and classes, book clubs, and individuals throughout the campus and community are reading the book. Dr. Beck has prepared a guide for readers. The guide, available at, provides background and synopsis of Into the Beautiful North, as well as a list of characters found in the book. It offers a schedule of events hosted on campus and throughout the city in February and March. The guide lists Urrea’s work available for check out at NMSU Library, it provides valuable readers’ and teacher’s guides, and it includes links to podcasts, interviews, and videos of the author. Print copies of Urrea’s Into the Beautiful North (PS3571.R74I56 2009) are available for check out at the Zuhl Library. The work is also available in e-book format.

Gilman Scholarship Workshop   We hosted two workshops for students interested in applying for Gilman Scholarships. The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness. The Gilman Scholarship Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide. We have a very strong track record of success with Gilman Scholarships, and this has provided amazing opportunities to NMSU students.

Launching URCAS    URCAS, or the Undergraduate Research and Creative Arts Symposium, has been held annually in the spring semester. This event celebrates all manner of student creativity and accomplishments. We kick off this annual event by inviting talented art majors to submit designs for the logo and advertising for URCAS. Representatives from the Honors College, Discovery Scholars, the MARC Program, and HHMI came to see the students’ presentations, and we selected the design for this year.

Administration and Finance, Senior Vice President Andy Burke

Loretta Ramirez receives the EXCITE Award Andy Burke, NMSU Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance (AF), presented Loretta Ramirez, Facilities Coordinator-Special Events, with the E.X.C.I.T.E. award. This annual award is given to an AF employee providing great customer service and demonstrating excellence in job performance.  Loretta was recognized for her leadership skills, honesty and always going the extra mile with a can-do attitude.

ICT’s food drive benefits Aggie Cupboard   ICT’s Student Lab Associates, in cooperation with the Aggie Cupboard, are hosting a food drive in support of students at the Las Cruces Campus. Donations of a bag of lentils or two nonperishable food items that haven’t reached their expiration are being accepted until Friday, February 23.  Participants can bring donations to Pete’s Place Computer Lab, Hardman & Jacobs Computer Lab, or the ICT main office, Computer Center Room 201.  Anyone who donates will receive some NMSU Swag and be registered for the drawing for one of five Wepa $10 print cards. For more information visit

Sustainability Night   Garcia Hall residents participated in a sustainability program on February 8, with Faculty Fellows from across campus. Student leaders from the Environmental Science Club presented on the environmental impact of disposable water bottles and the safety of tap water. Residents decorated their own reusable bottles to make use of the filtered water dispensers found across campus, including in the Garcia Hall lobby. In addition to providing a positive environmental impact by helping to reduce use of disposable water bottles, an assessment of NMSU’s residential community showed that participating in sustainability education is a major indicator of overall student satisfaction and learning for this generation of Aggies.

Student Affairs/Enrollment Management, Vice President Bernadette Montoya

Undergraduate Admissions   Delia DeLeon’s last day as director of Undergraduate Admissions was February 15. Her leadership, high expectations, team spirit and energetic nature will be greatly missed, but she has left the office and staff well-positioned to continue performing at a level that has netted recent successes in new freshman enrollment and the implementation of the Aggie Pathway program. A search was initiated in mid-December, and we will be selecting candidates to interview on campus over the next month. In the meantime, Danielle Staley has agreed to serve as interim director. Danielle has been a member of the Undergraduate Admissions team since 2006, with increasing responsibility for recruitment of freshmen, transfer students and the primary leadership role in implementing the Aggie Pathway programming, and most recently serving as the associate director for Transfer and Aggie Pathway Admissions.

Meanwhile, the entire team, and our partners in colleges and student service units across campus, have been preparing for a huge open-house recruitment event on Monday, February 19. We are expecting over 1,000 prospective students, along with their family members and school counselors, from high schools all over the state and throughout El Paso.

WAVE Hosts Healthy Relationships Fair   The Wellness, Alcohol, and Violence Education Program held their first annual Healthy Relationships Fair on February 13 and 14. The event didn’t just center around romantic relationships, but rather on making all relationships in one’s life healthier. Some of the activities included Healthy relationship quizzes; Love language quizzes, to see how one expresses and receives love; a valentine making opportunity; and a safe sex station. On February 14 (National Condom day), they partnered with the Department of Health to pass out 1,500 condom kits. In total, they reached over 2,100 NMSU students, faculty and staff during their two-day event.  The event was featured in an on-line RoundUp report.


University Registrar’s Office and Student Records   Debbie Giron, curriculum specialist, spent Friday participating in the opening session of the inaugural Manager Certification Program, sponsored by the NMSU Center for Learning and Professional Development. This is a yearlong program intended to prepare young professionals to take on leadership roles in the future.

University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services   On Friday, the Financial Aid staff members from all five campuses gathered in Las Cruces to attend the annual Spring Training professional development day. This event is an opportunity for all the staff to gather in one location for some team building activities, and to ensure awareness and understanding of process changes related to the latest federal and state student aid updates. The hot topic this year is the federal crackdown on data security in higher education.

Traffic has slowed down after a busy semester start. Students served this week:

  • Students assisted over the main phone line – 249
  • Students assisted via the main email address – 173

We have now awarded 5,736 scholarships to newly admitted prospective students for Fall 2018. In all, 2,869 prospective students have been notified of their federal financial aid package for the 2018/19 academic year.

Outdoor Recreation   Outdoor Recreation kicked off its first trip of the spring semester by taking students to Stone Age, a premier climbing gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Led by two Outdoor Leadership Program facilitators, six students traveled to Albuquerque to spend the day top roping and bouldering.

Young Achievers Forum   The Student Success Center hosted the 2nd Annual Young Achievers Forum on Saturday, February 10.  Over 400 sixth graders from the Alamogordo Public Schools, Deming Public Schools, Gadsden Independent School District, Hatch Valley Public Schools and Las Cruces Public Schools were in attendance. A separate parent track was offered and approximately 50 parents attended the event. Local presenters from the STEM/Medical/Health/Fitness/Law/Liberal Arts areas shared key information to motivate and inspire the students to attend college and explore various career paths. Over 100 volunteers, which included NMSU Students, NMSU Staff and community members supported the Young Achievers Forum.

Vice President for Economic Development, Vice President Kevin Boberg

Entrepreneur Encounters   On Monday, Arrowhead hosted Entrepreneur Encounters featuring Sergio Armendariz co-founder of Out of Gum Productions, a media and film company with a presence in southern New Mexico and Los Angeles, California, that strives to make films and media centered on Latino stories and characters for mainstream consumption. Mr. Armendariz shared stories based on experience working for major television and film companies like Disney and Dreamworks, citing how those experiences laid the path for his passion to create his own film and media company. Sergio also shared insights for those interested in working in the media industry, as well his ideas about upcoming trends and changes in the industry. Entrepreneur Encounters is a monthly speaker series featuring entrepreneurs who share the story of their business journey, and lessons learned along the way with the Las Cruces community.

Interstellar Eddy Launch    On Tuesday Arrowhead Center hosted a product launch reception for Out of Gum Production’s new graphic novel featuring Interstellar Eddy, the first intergalactic Latino superhero. During the reception, Sergio Armendariz shared the inspiration behind the character, Eddy Tornado, a teenager who is transformed into the intergalactic protector of the Mayan universe. Mr. Armendariz also announced the kick-off of an Indigogo crowd funding campaign that will support production and distribution of this exciting graphic novel. Out of Gum Productions is a client of Arrowhead’s Studio G program. Learn more about Interstellar Eddy at the following link

Studio G Networking Hour    On Wednesday, Studio G held its weekly networking hour, focusing on startup finance. 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

Dr. Hynes attended the 8th Annual Administrative Meeting for the FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation in Washington, D.C., on February 5. She spoke at the FAA Space Traffic Management Workshop at MITRE Corporation in McLain, Virginia, on Tuesday, February 6, and attended the FAA AST Commercial Space Conference on February 7, at the Reagan Center in Washington, D.C.

Institute staff met with its statewide water conference advisory committee to begin planning for NM WRRI’s 63rd annual New Mexico water conference. The planning committee met at NMSU’s Albuquerque Center and decided on this year’s theme: At the Tipping Point: Water Scarcity, Science, and Policy. The conference will take place October 16-18 at the Las Cruces Convention Center.
The planning committee is now working on a program for the fall conference.

University Advancement, Vice President/Foundation Executive Director Andrea Tawney

New ACES scholarship benefits beyond-the-classroom experiences   Dr. William Gorman, a long-time professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business, recently started an endowed scholarship to benefit students who wish to attend both domestic and international agribusiness conferences. Dr. Gorman, who retired in 2002, believes these opportunities beyond the classroom provide valuable information on the current issues facing agribusinesses and allow students to network with industry professionals.

Honors College receives new endowment support   A new scholarship titled the “Austin McGehee Memorial Endowed Scholarship” will benefit Honors College students worth $25,000. The scholarship was matched using Giving Tuesday funds.

$50,000 Physics scholarship will aid five students   One outstanding Physics major student, either sophomore, junior or senior, will receive educational support from a $50,000 current use scholarship started by a `72 NMSU Physics alumnus. Each year, for five years, the scholarship will award one student a $10,000 scholarship. His scholarship is matched with $25,000 of Giving Tuesday funds.

NMSU Army ROTC Alumni reunite   Around 80 alumni of the NMSU Army ROTC gathered for their reunion weekend, including a reception at La Posta de Mesilla on Friday, and a dinner at the NMSU Golf Course on Saturday.

Athletics, Director Mario Moccia

The NM State Softball team had a three-game series with University of Kentucky who is ranked 17th in the country. The Aggies took 2-3 in the opening series of the season.


The third installment of Pack the Pan Am took place on Saturday, February 10, where the NM State men’s basketball team took on Grand Canyon University. A tremendous crowd saw the Aggies beat GCU 74-70. The Pack the Pan Am III game generated the highest individual ticket revenue since records were kept dating back some 18 years as well as the highest amount of tickets sold for a single game, over 12,989 tickets were sold.




On Thursday afternoon, I met with the new Athletic Director at UTEP, Jim Senter. We discussed several issues that both schools can collaborate on. As we were leaving to get our picture taken for social media, two employees indicated that one was a UTEP student and the other was an NMSU student.




International and Border Programs, Interim Associate Provost Rod McSherry

Game Night is helping our CELP students use the language they are learning in class daily.  On Wednesday, February 7, the Center for English Language Programs held its first Game Night for students who are working to perfect their English skills. The Center for English Language Studies hosted some 30 international students around campus and had a full house.

The Confucius Institute at NMSU celebrated three days of Chinese New Year with more than 200 students at Valley View Elementary School. A highlight for the students was reading Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” in English, Spanish, and Chinese. The students also got the chance to try their hands at games that are played by their counterparts in China. Confucius Institute also celebrated the 2018 New Year of the Dog with students from NMSU’s RGH Hall with a Chinese dinner and tea tasting, martial arts, and a gorgeous traditional dance led by Yang Tingting.

Marketing and Communications, Associate Vice President Justin Bannister

News and Media Relations   The News and Media Relations team helped coordinate two recognitions that took place this week in the NMSU Research Discovery Award series, which honors faculty members’ achievements in research activities. Honored with the award this week were Stefan Zollner, Physics Department, and Timothy Wright, Biology Department, both in the College of Arts and Sciences. The 10th  and final recognition of the year will take place Thursday, February 22, at the Aggie Men’s Basketball game. Natalie Goldberg, interim associate dean and director of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences’ Agricultural Experiment Station and department head for Extension Plant Sciences, will be recognized for her work.


Marketing Services and Web Communications    Marketing has released new mall creative for Spring 2018 in Albuquerque, El Paso and Tucson, Arizona. The Tucson Mall includes a sky banner highlighting NMSU’s top-tier ranking and a video wall in the food court running the “No Limits No Boundaries” commercial.

Government Relations, Assistant Vice President Ricardo Rel

The 2018 session of the New Mexico legislature ended on February 15. The legislature passed a $6.3 billion state budget with a $2.4 million increase for the NMSU system, 2 percent new money for higher ed institutions, a 4 percent distribution through the funding formula, and 2 percent compensation for faculty and staff.  Also passed was a General Obligation Bond bill with $31.2 million for the NMSU system, an increase of $10.2 million over the amount in the bill as originally-introduced.  There are also various NMSU projects included in a Severance Tax Bond Project bill.  The bills are at the Governor’s desk, and she has until March 7, to sign the bills.

Many thanks to everyone who assisted in this year’s legislative efforts. A comprehensive report on the many bills passed during the 2018 NM Legislative session that may impact NMSU can be found on our website:

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

NMDA joined agriculture groups from across the state in the Roundhouse Feed. Volunteers fed legislators, their staff and guests at the capitol, and told their stories of why agriculture is a vital part of New Mexico. During Roundhouse Feed, I was joined by state FFA officers and presented a proclamation declaring February 17 – 24 National FFA Week.

Staff conducted 300+ skimmer inspections this week. No skimmers were found but numerous dispensers in the marketplace had signs of tampering or damage related to skimmer activity.

Staff collaborated with Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, NMSU Cooperative Extension, and New Mexico Farmers Market Association (NMFMA) to hold a food safety collaborative meeting during the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference (NMOFC). Bringing together all food safety professionals in the state to align education efforts throughout the state.

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte (center) presented a proclamation from Governor Martinez declaring Feb. 17-24 as National FFA Week throughout the state. State FFA Secretary Sherrie Ray (left) and State FFA Vice President Collen Spradley (right) spoke about the future of agriculture at the annual Roundhouse Feed at the Capitol.

NMSU Police, Chief Stephen Lopez

FBI LEEDA CLASS   Lt. Texeria and Sergeant Vasquez attended the Command Leadership Institute (CLI). CLI is part two of the three-step leadership series that makes up the FBI-LEEDA Trilogy.  The CLI is a dynamic and challenging program uniquely designed to prepare law enforcement leaders for command level positions. The Command Leadership Institute provides real-life, contemporary, best-practice strategies and techniques for those who are already commanders or are aspiring to a command level assignment. CLI faculty members are passionate instructors who have executive level law enforcement and leadership experience. CLI students will be engaged in such topics as credibility, command discipline, liability, problem employees, and leading change within an organization. The Command Leadership Institute is student-centered with a high degree of student involvement.

PRESENTATIONS   On February 13, Chief Lopez presented an Active Killer Presentation to the 160+ first-year students of Burrell College of Medicine. Later that afternoon, he conducted a campus tour for Army ROTC Alumni from 1978 who were back on campus.

BLAKE SHELTON CONCERT   There were extensive hours and work involved that went into the preparation of the concert. The Police Department will also be assisting with safety escorts of the performers as well as with facility safety and security at the Pan Am.

Accreditation, Executive Director Shelly Stovall

On Wednesday, we hosted a reunion for all of our Writing to Learn cohort participants. We had a great time, and learned about how faculty were continuing to use W2L techniques to improve learning in their courses. They shared successes and struggles, and we are looking forward to several of them sharing their work with faculty across campus at the Writing to Think Conference that will be on the Las Cruces campus on April 6.

On Thursday, we had our quarterly Nursing Council meeting. We took some time to reflect on our purpose, and decided we should revise our charge to better reflect our focus on increasing cross-campus coordination, communication, and collaboration to better serve our students and our local and state community. We will be drafting revisions in preparation for our final meeting of the semester.

Laura Grant spent some time preparing a presentation for the New Mexico Higher Education Assessment and Retention conference that will occur next week in Albuquerque. Laura will be sharing strategies and lessons learned from our preparation of the HLC Assurance Argument. HLC accredits all institutions of higher education in the state of New Mexico, and sharing information and strategies across the state benefits us all.

Dona Ana Community College hosted site visitors from the HLC this week, as part of their Year 4 review. We are all looking forward to the team’s feedback in the coming months.

New Mexico State University – Doña Ana, President Renay Scott

PTK Scholar Honored in Santa Fe    NMSU-Doña Ana student Maria Carmona-Montalvo was named to the 2018 New Mexico All State Academic Team for her outstanding academic accomplishments and community Service. The PTK Honor Society named her to the team as part of Community College Day during the recently completed Legislative Session in Santa Fe. She is pictured with NM Higher Ed Secretary Dr. Barbara Damron, President of the NM Independent Community Colleges, Dr. Becky Rowley and DACC President and President of the NM Association of Community Colleges Dr. Renay Scott


Schranz Art Reception Held   The NMSU-Dona Ana Art Committee held a reception for adjunct professor and renowned photographer Paul Schranz whose work hangs in the mezzanine of building DAEM. Several art works were auctioned to support the DACC Art Collection, which totals more than 275 artworks and hangs at all campuses and centers. The funds raised went to support the art endowment, which needs to be completed this year. Pictured is a piece by Schranz.


HLC Concludes Visit to NMSU Doña Ana    A team from the Higher Learning Commission visited the NMSU-Doña Ana East Mesa campus for an intense two days of meetings with students, staff, faculty, advisory board members and administrators. The team will submit a report to the college by the end of February with observations and recommendations.


National Condom Day    Yes, there is a national condom day. Last Wednesday, the New Mexico Department of Health, NMSU-Doña Ana medical provider Ben Archer Health Clinic and the NMSU-Doña Ana Health Program sponsored a day where students, faculty and staff could ask health questions of professionals and receive candy and gifts including condoms.



New Mexico State University – Alamogordo, President Ken Van Winkle

STEM leaders of Otero County meet once a month to discuss STEM events and opportunities, January’s meeting was held at the 746th HAFB Test Squadron. Members in attendance were Angela Neff, 704 Test Group STEM Coordinator; Teresa Ferenczhalmy, Community Liaison for Alamogordo Public Schools; Fred Stong, Lego League; Dr. Joyce Hill and Cathy Aguilar-Morgan, NMSU-A.  After the STEM meeting, the members were given a tour of the test squadron by Lt. Col. Neff.

Lt. Col. Neff, on the left, provided a tour to STEM leaders:
Cathy Aguilar-Morgan, Dr. Joyce Hill, Fred Stong,
Teresa Ferenczhalmy, and photographer Angela Neff.

On Friday, February 16, the NMSU-A Teaching and Learning Committee and its Developmental Discussion Day Working Group were excited to welcome Complete College America who gave presentations and workshops focusing on Designing Co-requisite Support.

5 of the Members of NMSU-A Teaching and Learning Committee. Susan Cook, Colleen Bond, Kathy Roark-Diehl, Jim Gallagher, Greg Hillis.

The morning sessions were for all faculty, staff and advisors and focused on how to help developmental students in all areas of the campus rather than only in developmental courses. The afternoon sessions provided more direct discussions for math, English and advising.

Members of the Complete College America team.
Emily Sellers, Heidi Loshbaugh, Matthew Hollrah, and Monika Mala.

Thanks to an invitation from Barbara Damron, NM HED cabinet secretary, NMSU-A welcomed nearly100 attendees from all over New Mexico.

A Developmental Discussion Day attendee addressing
the panel.

On Friday, February 9, Cathy Aguilar-Morgan, Mark Cal, and Ken Van Winkle had the privilege of showing the NMSU-A campus to Colonel Patterson, vice commander at Holloman Air Force Base and LaurieAnn Goodier, Holloman School liaison. An excellent visit that included discussions about the responsibility that our institution has to the base community and the city of Alamogordo. Specifically, how the relationship between Alamogordo High School, the base and the NMSU-A encourages education with a seamless transition from high school to college.

New Mexico State University – Carlsbad, President John Gratton

On Monday, February 12, NMSU Carlsbad President John Gratton attended a Special Board meeting in Las Cruces. Topics of discussion were related to the search process for the next Chancellor of the NMSU system.

On Tuesday, February 13, NMSU Carlsbad President John Gratton attended the monthly UAC and Presidents’ meetings. Numerous policy revisions were discussed at UAC and reports were heard from key personnel. During the Presidents’ meeting updates were received from the Chancellor and the Provost and a number of documents related to dual credit were provided to all attendees.

On Wednesday, February 14, NMSU Carlsbad hosted a “Know Your Numbers” health fair. The event was implemented by the NMSU Carlsbad Health Clinic and was funded by Blue Cross – Blue Shield of New Mexico.  A large number of health providers attended and distributed great health-care information to the attendees.

On Friday, February 16, NMSU Carlsbad hosted the February session of the Leadership Eddy County class. The 18-person class was presented key leadership traits before starting their daylong program. The Leadership program will end in May with a June graduation.

New Mexico State University – Grants, President Mickey Best

A new student organization, the SHAPE (Student Health and Physical Education) Club has been founded at NMSU’s Grants campus. The club’s mission is to promote exercise and wellness as part of a program to help educate students about the importance of establishing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The student group works with the campus administration and the Association of Student Government (ASG) at NMSU Grants to continue to address improvements at the Fidel Activities Center on campus.  The student’s commitment ensures student access to facilities and exercise equipment, and encourages students to become their fittest, healthiest selves.  The group is currently working on incentive programming including fitness challenges and community exercise days as well as providing a community base of encouragement, health awareness, and knowledge to improve the lives of students.

At a statewide meeting of the New Mexico Small Business Development Centers (NMSBDC) network, the SBDC at NMSU Grants was recognized for their work with small businesses in Cibola County. During the reporting period ending October 31, 2017, the Grants center exceeded their fair share benchmark by more than 600 percent in New Business Starts and by more than 300 percent for New and Retained Jobs and Capital Infusion.  These accomplishments equate to 10 new businesses, 29 new and retained jobs and over $600,000 in capital used to open new and/or improve existing establishments.  Denise Chavez, director and Geraldine Ortiz, business advisor, were at the meeting to accept the pictured awards.

Associated Students of New Mexico State University-Kevin Prieto

On February 10, ASNMSU held a tailgate for the GCU vs. NMSU basketball game. Some 200 students were given long sleeve shirts and about 500 students turned out! Students then flooded the Pan-Am to cheer on the Aggies to a win over GCU!


This week, we held an Instagram contest for a student to win tickets to Blake Shelton that asked students to post a picture and talk about why you love NMSU. Estrella won the ticket for her and her plus one!

On February 15, ASNMSU passed out the 2nd shirt in their Aggie Nation series at the Women’s Basketball game vs. Utah Valley.

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