Activity Report February 24 – March 2

Chancellor Garrey Carruthers

Well, it is official.  This was one of the best legislative sessions in the past few years.  The Governor proposed, the legislature disposed, and the Governor signed a number of bills pertinent to higher education.  When you see your legislators, the Governor, Ricardo Rel and his staff from Government Affairs, the members of the Legislative Strike Force Team headed by Greg Fant, and any who testified or contributed to this very successful session outcome – tell them thank you so much. Here is a summary of the outcomes:

  • Governor Martinez signed HB2, the budget bill. Of NMSU’s items, she vetoed only $50,000 in non-recurring for our CAMP program.
    • The final bill includes an increase of $2.454 million in recurring funding for NMSU system
    • Includes $973,000 in non-recurring funding that includes: $200,000 for NMDA for Chile Advertising Act; $500,000 for WRRI; and $273,000 for the Sunspot Solar Observatory
    • Includes the 2% compensation for higher education
    • Includes $4 million in non-recurring funding for the lottery scholarship fund
  • Governor Martinez signed HB 306, the Severance Tax Bond Projects bill, with $570,000 on NMSU projects: $146,000 for athletic facility renovations, $66,000 for facilities demolition, $250,000 for security cameras and improvements, and $108,000 for Corona Range and Livestock Research Dorms.
  • The GOB bill, SB 94, was signed with no vetoes of NMSU projects, totaling $31.2 million for the NMSU system, including $25 million for Agricultural Modernization and Educational Facilities was the largest funded project in the entire bill. Also projects for DACC, Alamogordo, Carlsbad, and Grants.
  • The Governor signed SB 140, the lottery tuition decoupling bill, supported by NMSU, the Council of University Presidents and ASNMSU.

More details will be available on the government relations website.

Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard

On Monday, February 26, I met with the NMSU General Education Taskforce to discuss the implementation of the new general education curriculum that will go into effect in New Mexico in the Fall of 2019. A lot of discussion focused on the nine flexible credits and how to organize these at NMSU. The decision was made to recommend three additional credits of communication, and to consider recommending three additional credits of science and a three credit first year seminar.

Later in the afternoon, I attended a faculty forum to discuss the Allied Faculty Program proposed by Team 6. Overall, the faculty at NMSU has been receptive to the idea, although some individuals have expressed concerns about the need for the program and the time it will take to implement the program.

On Thursday, I attended the monthly Faculty Senate meeting, where the major topic of conversation was the recommendation from the Athletic Review Committee to transfer $1.1 million from Instruction and General funds to Athletics. The Faculty Senate voted unanimously to oppose the transfer of funds, noting the years of budget cuts to academic programs and the lack of evidence that an infusion of money into Athletics would lead to enhanced recruitment of students.

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

The ASC-Farmington is working on key ingredients in beer-making. The team led a demonstration of the Hopster Mechanical hop harvester at the New Mexico Organic Conference and the Albuquerque Agri-Brew Roundtable. The mechanical hops pickers are Amish built and obtained with New Mexico Department of Agriculture support to help the NM Hop industry scale-up production and research efforts. Northwest New Mexico also has potential to produce barley standards that meet industry demands for beer-making and the ASC Farmington is in year two of the multi-state National Winter Malted Barley trial. Dr. Koffi Djaman, assistant professor of Cropping Systems, has joined the malted barley team and is gearing up trials on deficit irrigation among others. The work will be timely given the drought situation. These efforts are aimed at linking New Mexico farms with a thriving craft beer scene that is increasingly seeking locally sourced ingredients.

Food Science and Technology graduate students, Daniel Munoz and Marie Cuellar, were among 10 graduate students selected from applications submitted nationwide to participate in the Student Diversity Program as part of the Agricultural Outlook Forum. They are pictured here with the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. The Forum is the USDA’s largest annual meeting, attracting as many as 2,000 attendees from the U.S. and abroad. The forum highlights key issues and topics within the agricultural community, offering a platform for conversation among producers, processors, policymakers, government officials, and non-governmental organizations, both foreign and domestic.



Kenneth Carroll, assistant professor of Water Resource Management, from the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, taught elementary students about rocks, soils, seeds, and water at the Sonoma Elementary STEM Night. The students were interested to know which seeds were used for agriculture in New Mexico, and they saw the rocks of the Organ Mountains and the soils that form when they erode. Many were interested in becoming future scientists.



Dr. Raquel Garzón, Extension Wellness specialist, delivered a presentation on Managing Stress and Building Resiliency to the Southern New Mexico Society for Human Resource Management last week. Resiliency is key to enhancing employee productivity and health and especially relevant to HR professionals. A recent survey indicated that New Mexico is the 6th most stressed state in the country and ranks 3rd for work-related stress. HR professionals play an important role in facilitating programs that help employees better manage stress and develop tools for increasing resiliency for their employees. Extension Family and Consumer Sciences has developed a stress and resiliency program that demonstrates enhanced knowledge and skills in tools critical to building resiliency.

College of Arts & Sciences, Dean Enrico Pontelli


The College of Arts and Sciences host their 5th Annual A Starry Night on February 23, at the Rio Grande Theatre.  We had over 250 guests attend and all proceeds from the event went to the Elizabeth Ayres Pollard Endowment for Sustaining Academic Progress Award!  This year’s honorees (L-R) Dr. Don Cleveland, Star of Sciences, John R. Schutz, Star of Arts and Jan and Mickey Clute, Stars of Town and Gown.  Thank you to all our guests and sponsors for supporting the College of Arts and Sciences.




We welcomed over 350 students and their families to the College of Arts and Sciences for Aggie Experience on February 19.  All future Aggies were welcomed by our Student Ambassadors and had the chance to meet with faculty from their major of interest.



The Department of Art is hosting a free, public lecture by artist/filmmaker Cathy Lee Crane, who is the current Border Artist in Residence in Anthony, New Mexico, for the year. Crane is a North American experimental film director and producer. She was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2013 and her films include Pasolini’s Last Words, focusing on the death and legacy of filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini.

The Department of Geological Sciences presented a colloquium by Matt Zimmerer of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology entitled “Enchanted Eruptions: An age-based assessment of volcanic hazards in New Mexico.”

College of Business, Dean James Hoffman

Dean Jim Hoffman and Director of Development Anthony Casaus met with Scott Williams, Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer, Caiman Energy February 28. Williams will be inducted into the College of Business Hall of Fame, April 27, 2018, at the Las Cruces Convention Center at 6:00pm.

Scott Williams

On Tuesday, March 27, I met with my fellow deans for our monthly lunch meeting hosted by the Honors College.

College of Education, Dean Donald Pope-Davis

Counseling & Educational Psychology Department

100% Match! Congratulations to our Ph.D. Students

We are very excited to announce these placements for our doctoral students in Counseling Psychology!

Andrea Gonzalez – VA El Paso Health Care (El Paso, TX)

Helen Kim – University of California – Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)

Steve Pereira – Rutgers University Student Health Center (Newark, NJ)

Jessica Rodriguez-Herrera – New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, NM)

Sibella Salazar – Indian Health Board of Minneapolis, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN)

Joshua Turner – Lexington VA Medical Center (Lexington, KY)

Counseling & Educational Psychology Department

School Psychology  Last week at the ASNMSU meeting, Jessica Gibbs and the School Psychology Graduate Student Organization were recognized “for their extraordinary work to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Puerto Rico.” Their actions were recognized as having embodied the “true Aggie spirit to go above and beyond the call of duty.” The CEP Department is proud of all the efforts of the School Psychology Graduate Student Organization have done to contribute and provide support.

The department is still accepting donations for Puerto Rico, for more information please contact Dr. Ivelisse Torres-Fernandez :

STEM Outreach Center  The STEM Outreach Center has teamed up with the CEP Department to bring Mindful Parenting classes to local schools in the Las Cruces and Gadsden Districts. This adult learning class focuses on compassion, creativity, and self-awareness to parent-child relationships. Parenting can be a difficult task at times and these classes seek to teach skills that will help parents connect to their children by bringing attention to the present moment, and learning through accepting thoughts and feelings. This is a free five-week course offered to the parents at participating schools. The STEM Outreach Center is continuously working to offer a variety of adult learning classes to our community that has a positive and powerful impact.

College of Engineering, Dean Lakshmi Reddi

On February 16-18, New Mexico State University joined Texas A&M and 14 other universities from around the globe in the first-ever Invent for the Planet Design Challenge. The NMSU student team worked on one of the 15 global needs statements and came up with a design, made porotype of their design, wrote a white paper, prepared a 90-second video and presented their project to judges all in 48 hours. NMSU’s winning team participants were Andrew McGinnis, electrical engineering; Fawaz Abdullah, industrial engineering; and Alexis Carnidez, business information systems. The event was organized by Jalal Rastegary, research scientist, from the Engineering New Mexico Resource Network. A recorded presentation of all universities will be viewed by international judges and the winning team will receive $3000 award and support to complete their project.

Mehrdad Ghyabi, Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering, was awarded a travel grant of $1,000 by the American Society of Nondestructive Testing to attend and present his paper at the 27th ASNT Research Symposium in Orlando, Florida. He was also selected to serve as a session co-chair for a “General Nondestructive Evaluation” session. Mehrad’s area of research is structural health monitoring and his adviser is Ehsan Dehghan-Niri, assistant professor of civil engineering.

NMSU’s Network Security Group competed in February against 18 teams in the Southwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and is one of the eight teams selected to advance to the regional competition March 23-25 at the University of Tulsa.  That competition will be for a seat at the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition to be held in April. The team members worked really hard and will now start preparing for the next round.

The Engineering New Mexico Resource Network hosted 50 students from Albuquerque High School on the NMSU campus on February 28.  Students participated in various hands-on activities in the Industrial Engineering Simulation Lab, the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments.  Students and teachers had the opportunity to interact with engineering students and faculty while learning about the various degree programs offered at the College of Engineering.

College of Health and Social Services, Dean Donna Wagner

University Library, Dean Elizabeth Titus

Kudos to Tiffany Schirmer, a Technical Services Department library employee who has just been awarded a scholarship from the Kress Foundation to attend the 2018 Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management at the University of New Mexico June 5-8, 2018. The scholarship process was competitive and required applicants to write an essay. Tiffany is currently pursuing a Master’s in Library Science with a focus of digital scholarship from the University of North Texas and is an NMSU Aggie with a B.A. in History.

Graduate School, Dean Louἰ Reyes

Honors College, Dean Miriam Chaiken

Big Read Events    We kicked off the Big Read project last weekend at the Las Cruces Farmers’ Market with a performance by students at Dolores Huerta Charter school (dancers) and Centennial High School (mariachi musicians). We distributed the remaining copies of the book, and flyers advertising all of the events. Two radio stations broadcast information about the Big Read events, and on Saturday evening, the historic Rio Grande Theatre ran the classic film “Magnificent Seven.” On Thursday, March 1, Professor Nancy Oretskin and Librarian Molly Molloy organized a panel discussion at the Branigan Cultural Center focusing on the issue of migration, asylum, and detention on the U.S./Mexico border. All events were very well attended.

President’s Associates Board    Dean Chaiken attended the board meeting for the President’s Associates (PA) Scholarships. We planned spring fundraising activities, and learned about the stellar group of students who have received offers to join us as the next cohort of PA scholars.

NMSU Dance Companies­   On Saturday a group of Conroy, PA, and New Mexico Leadership Institute students jointly attended the performance at the Center for the Arts by the NMSU dance companies. The quality of the students’ performances is really impressive.

Administration and Finance, Senior Vice President Andy Burke

Mix and Mingle   Students from Vista Del Monte apartments gathered in Corbett Center with their Faculty Fellow Derek Fisher, a professor in the Creative Media Institute (CMI) for a night of laughter and connecting through games at CMI Game Night. Students had an opportunity to meet each other over friendly competition, playing cards and board games. Additionally, they had the chance to try out a virtual reality video game while observers looked on. A short video of the event is on the Creative Media Institute’s Facebook page:

Student Affairs/Enrollment Management, Vice President Bernadette Montoya

NMSU’s OLP takes students to new heights!   The NMSU Outdoor Recreation Program traveled to Colorado for some fun and training experience! Students went to Wolf Creek in Pagosa, Colorado, to take advantage of the last ski and snowboarding trip of the semester. Led by two Outdoor Leadership Program facilitators, eight NMSU students enjoyed a weekend of skiing, snowboarding, and hot springs. This trip was also a successful lead observation for one of the Outdoor Leadership Program facilitators, which is the key milestone in the year-long leadership training.


Career Services presented to three sections of CEP 199, assisting Freshmen of NMSU with setting up a AggieCAREER Manager account, job searches within the College of Education and resume and career fair readiness in preparation for the upcoming Employment Extravaganza and Educator’s Job Fair.

Career Services hosted Walk-In Wednesday and Advice for a Slice Workshop, assisting 22 students with career exploration, co-op/internship opportunities, resume review, cover letter/personal statement, job search, on and off campus employment and career fair readiness.

Three members of the Career Services staff attended the New Mexico Association of Student Affairs Professions 2018 Symposium hosted on the UNM-main Campus on February 23-23.

Student Success Center staff and graduate assistants completed the “Strategies for Teaching Online” asynchronous course that is offered by the NMSU Online Course Improvement Program (OCIP).  SSC staff and graduate assistants received 12 hours of Professional Development. Janita Randolph, Graduate Assistant, completed 20 hours of Professional Development through the extended learning modules.  This Professional Development training will assist Student Success Center staff and graduate assistants in their delivery of online UNIV Mid-Semester courses.

March marks the one-year anniversary of the integration of medical and counseling services at NMSU.  The Aggie Health & Wellness Center (AHWC) is home to student services providing medical, counseling, laboratory, pharmacy, x-ray, social services, and health education.  The AHWC is currently preparing for three separate accreditation processes that include International Association of Counseling Services (IACS), American Psychological Association (APA internship), and Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC integrated care). The Center celebrated milestone accomplishments in key performance indicators for efficiency and quality of care.


On Saturday, February 24, fifty-nine participants from NMSU TRIO Upward Bound GISD/LCPS Program visited one of the world’s greatest wonders, White Sands National Monument. For many, this was their first visit to the gypsum dunes.   Students from Gadsden, Santa Teresa, Mayfield, Las Cruces, and Oñate were provided information on the history and formation of the dunes via a film entitled, A Land in Motion.   The trip was part of TRIO Upward Bound’s Saturday Academic Program to provide education on national treasures, New Mexico history, Pueblo Revival architecture, geography, evolution, life adaptation, geology, data analyzing and predictions, career and major exploration while having some fun wandering on the dunes. It was truly a day of discovery and learning for all.


For the second year in a row Admissions Advisor, Brandon Fields, attended the Arizona School Counselors Association (AzSCA) Annual Conference as a conference sponsor and exhibitor. The 32nd Annual AzSCA Conference brought over 500 school counselors from across the state of Arizona. Participants enjoyed keynotes, AzSCA’s annual awards ceremony, and dozens of breakout sessions sure to help them develop a collaborative game plan for their comprehensive school counseling program. During his time at the conference, Brandon networked and visited with school counselors about the amazing opportunities that await their students at NMSU. As one of the sponsors, NMSU Undergraduate Admissions Office donated tote bags that were distributed to all 500+ counselors in attendance, along with NMSU recruiting brochures. Brandon says, “I’m so thrilled with the strong partnership and relationships that are being built between NMSU, AzSCA, and school counselors across the state.”

Information regarding financial aid and scholarships at NMSU was presented at the El Paso Community College Academic Advisor training for more than 50 academic advisors, as well as a high school class of 28 students at New Americas School in Las Cruces. Tuesday night, we assisted fourteen students at the “FAFSA Fast Forward” event held on the NMSU campus at Hardman Jacobs Hall.

Students served this week:

    • In Person – 247
    • On the main phone line – 241
    • Via email – 188
    • At the Center for Academic Advising and Student Success – 23

6,086 scholarships have been awarded to prospective students for Fall 2018, and 3,135 have been informed of their federal aid eligibility.

In an effort to ensure students receive feedback about their academic performance in time to make informed decision about dropping classes and adding second part-of-term courses, instructors of 100 and 200 level full-term courses throughout the NMSU system report early performance grades by 5:00 p.m. on the 7th Tuesday of the semester. The Record and Grading staff in the Registrar’s Office ensure the Banner Student Information System is functioning correctly, so faculty are able to enter those grades and students are able to view them.

Vice President for Economic Development, Vice President Kevin Boberg

NM FAST Workshop   On Wednesday, Arrowhead’s NM FAST team held a workshop in Albuquerque at ABQid. This workshop provided accounting assistance and insights, as well as an overview of the different types of rate structures for contracts and grants under the SBIR/STTR programs.

The NM FAST program aims to help small businesses with their SBIR/STTR submissions, grants, and contracts. Beyond workshops, NM FAST hosts a weekly video podcast on the same topics that can be seen at the following link:

AgSprint Participant Presentation   On Friday, Roch Hart of Wildlife Protection Management spoke about his wildlife management innovation at the New Mexico Wild & Feral Horse Summit. Roch has worked with the Arrowhead Center on the development of a device that assists with the management of wild and feral horses. After his participation in the AgSprint program, a 5 month ag tech business accelerator supported by a gift from the New Mexico Gas Company, Roch began to gain state-wide recognition for his product and was invited to speak at NMSU’s College of ACES All Voices Summit. Roch shared information about his device, how Arrowhead has assisted him through development, and how he sees his device impacting the lives of wildlife managers in New Mexico.

Roch Hart

CraftBox Design Hour   On Friday, Arrowhead hosted it’s monthly CraftBox Design hour featuring Nevena Christi, owner of Rocketbuster Boots in El Paso. Nevena shared the story of how she came to Rocketbuster and broke all the traditional rules of the boot business to establish her brand of world renowned hand-made custom boots. Nevena also discussed the advantages of building your business in a small town as opposed to a big city. Small towns have more room for growth and opportunities, while presenting spaces for unexpected connections. Design Hours is a monthly event that invites designers & artists in the community to network together.

Boots from Rocketbuster Boots

Vice President for Research, Interim Vice President Luis Vázquez

NM WRRI issued the February 2018 edition of the New Mexico Water eNews. Two NMSU researchers were highlighted in this month’s online newsletter: College of Engineering undergraduate Garrett Gibson, who received a grant from the institute for his research involving seven weather stations located south of Albuquerque; and Water Science & Management master’s student Kevin Boyko, whose research involves creating water budgets and estimating groundwater recharge in alfalfa fields. Read more about these student research projects and learn about research opportunities, upcoming conferences, and other important water information by viewing the New Mexico Water eNews here.


University Advancement, Vice President/Foundation Executive Director Andrea Tawney

DACC alumna heading to #WACVegas   Samantha Manicki-Gallivan (pictured second from right) won the Text-to-Give competition sponsored by the NMSU Foundation to see the NM State Aggies in Vegas this weekend. A `05 graduate from DACC, Samantha now works for Las Cruces Public Schools as a substitute teacher. Her loyal Aggie friend, Suzanne Lopez (second from left), works at Sodexo and will tag along for the tournament ride this weekend.

Alumni couple boosts President’s Associates Scholars program   A generous Aggie couple, one of whom is a Foundation board member, provided $5,000 to support the President’s Associates Ball scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2018.

New local business support   A local bank provided $3,000 worth of support for new scholarships. A portion will sponsor the President’s Associates Ball, and in turn, program scholarships, while the remaining funds will be used to support a current use scholarship in the College of Business.

Athletics, Director Mario Moccia

NM State men’s basketball hosted their last home game of the season. The Aggies defeated UMKC 82-58 and were named regular-season Western Athletic Conference Champs. All players took part in cutting down the nets, Commissioner of the WAC Jeff Hurd was in attendance. Special note that Hall of Fame inductees Hoku Nohara, Jimmy Cottrell and Alane Pierce-Stutzman were honored during half-time as well as Aggie football alum and current Dona Ana County deputy Jamar Cotton attempting to set the Guinness World Record for the most hugs in one minute. In addition, seniors Joe Garza, Jemerrio Jones, Johnathon Wilkins and Zach Lofton were recognized in a post-game celebration.


Held a preliminary meeting with the leadership of ALS Association New Mexico Chapter. They have interest in partnering with NMSU Athletics to raise awareness of ALS otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. We discussed hosting a walk at Sisbarro Park in April 2019 to promote awareness on issues related to ALS.

International and Border Programs, Interim Associate Provost Rod McSherry

On Saturday, February 24, the U.S. director of the Confucius Institute at NMSU gave a talk to the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Albuquerque on the topic of China’s soft power initiatives, including the Confucius Institutes and why Confucianism has had a revival in the last decade. The Confucius Institutes work internationally to increase awareness and understanding of Chinese language and culture in the community through education, performances, seminars, and outreach.

On Thursday, March 1, the CI at NMSU returned to Valley View Elementary for a Lion Dance and pep rally for the upper grades as they prepare to take their spring tests.

The Office of Education Abroad, in collaboration with the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer student club, held a meet and greet with future NMSU Peace Corps volunteers. The meet and greet took place during Peace Corps Week and was attended by 30 – 35 returned and future Peace Corp volunteers. This event launched the Peace Corps Prep program along with the International Studies Minor. Representatives from the Peace Corps were in attendance encouraging NMSU students to apply upon graduation. Dr. Sue Forster-Cox also gave information on the Peace Corps Fellows program here at NMSU.

The OEA teamed up with the Writing Center to put on a Scholarship Essay Writing Workshop. Students who attended brought draft essays, and worked with staff to put together the best application possible.

Marketing and Communications, Associate Vice President Justin Bannister

Marketing Services and Web Communications   The NMSU Extension/Experiment Station Publications unit recently produced a publication by Craig Gifford, Extension Beef Cattle specialist, and Marcy Ward, Extension Livestock specialist. Circular 689, Electronic Logging Devices and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations, details new regulations that may impact individuals who haul livestock as part of their participation in 4-H, FFA, livestock shows and rodeos. Failure to comply with the new regulations could result in costly fines, and this publication provides information to help individuals stay in compliance with the law. A Facebook post about the circular has so far reached 7,015 people, and has been shared 59 times by groups such as the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, New Mexico Indian Livestock, Rocking V Stables Equestrian Facilities, and numerous NMSU departments and county Extension offices. The publication can be accessed at:

KRWG/SPU   KRWG staff spent Thursday morning chatting with viewers and listeners in Truth or Consequences at the Passion Pie Cafe. Thirty visitors spent time sharing ideas and asking questions about the stations.

KRWG supporters chat with staff during the T or C Coffee Visit.

Government Relations, Assistant Vice President Ricardo Rel

The Governor has until Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. to sign bills. She has not signed any at this time.

Upcoming Legislative Related Events

Legislative Finance Committee
March 22 – 23, 2018
State Capitol, Room 307

Friday, March 23

8:30 a.m.

Program Evaluation: Modern Day Role of Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service — Alison Nichols, Program Evaluator, Legislative Finance Committee; Micaela Fischer, Program Evaluator, Legislative Finance Committee; Dr. Rolando Flores, Dean and Chief Administrative Officer, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University

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

The United States Livestock Genetics Export (USLGE) Annual Meeting was held in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The meeting consisted of trainings, speakers, and site visits. Members discussed and planned projects for 2019 and NMDA proposed six projects related to livestock exports to Mexico. In addition, staff helped coordinate the site visit, which included a tour of the Santa Teresa Livestock Crossing and the Sunland Park Racetrack.

Staff attend the Central Market Supplier Partner Showcase; a private show featuring companies that are new to the Central Market channels and those that would like to be available for buyers to purchase from and carry their products in their stores. One New Mexico dairy product company exhibited. The buyers were very interested in their offerings and the company will be working with the distributor in order to make them available. Also at the show, staff met with the director of New Product Procurement, as well as buyers that report to him. Staff will coordinate a B2B to connect other New Mexico companies with these buyers.

I traveled to Guatemala to participate in the U.S. – Central America Northern Triangle Agribusiness Trade Mission (ATM). This was done in conjunction with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Central America’s Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) is a convenient and growing market for U.S. agricultural exports. A rising GDP and expanding urban and middle-class populations will lead to continued growth in demand. We are excited about the opportunities Central America holds for New Mexico businesses.

NMSU Police, Chief Stephen Lopez

Accreditation, Executive Director Shelly Stovall

New Mexico State University – Doña Ana, President Renay Scott

CTE Month wraps up in Style   A recently completed automotive competition for high school students finished a month-long celebration of NMSU-Doña Ana career and technical education (CTE) programs, which prepare youth and adults for a range of high-wage, high-skill and high-demand careers. The activities included

  1. Tour of CTE programs for local high school students
  2. Happy Smiles dental services for children event
  3. NMSU-Doña Ana Automotive Competition
  4. Building Construction Technology built a structure from scratch at local Home and Garden Show
  5. Students prepared for SkillsUSA competition at the state level



Student Government Elections   Nominations are being accepted for officers in the NMSU-Doña Ana Student Government Association. President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer are being sought. The Student Government has been very active this year.



Dr. Strange Entertains    The Student Architecture Club of NMSU-Doña Ana sponsored a “Movie Under the Stars” showing of the Marvel Comic superhero, Dr. Strange. Forty students took advantage of the movie, free popcorn and sodas in the courtyard of the East Mesa Campus.

New Mexico State University – Alamogordo, President Ken Van Winkle

On Monday, February 26, NMSU-A held a Financial Aid Night. Students and potential students were invited to come to the campus to learn about FAFSA and how to apply for financial aid.  They were also guided to the NMSU-A glass house where Cathy Aguilar-Morgan, Sonja De Vargas, Dr. Jim Gallagher and Dr. Joyce Hill were waiting with information about the degree opportunities available from NMSU-A.

Aidee Covarrubias showing students how to use the FAFSA website.

On Wednesday, February 28, the NMSU-A student body was invited to the “Eat and Complete” event at the student center. Dr. Ken Van Winkle joined them for a meal while they listened to inspirational stories told by students who were working hard to complete their degrees.  The keynote speaker was Career and Technology Division Head Cathy Aguilar-Morgan.  Cathy told the students of her trials and tribulations while working as a petroleum engineer in the Middle East.  The students had a great time, ate a hearty meal, received both a T-shirt and a completion coin while being inspired to complete their degrees.

Students signing the Commitment Banner to complete their degrees.

NMSU-A Adult Education held their semi-annual Family Literacy Fair on Wednesday, February 28. The Alamogordo community was invited to come and explore information from various support organizations and employers. The event was geared to building positive attitudes toward literacy in families, and included a health walk, Zumba session, information about the local library, local food pantries and community meals, and sessions on building a resume. The event provided a fun way for families to learn a little while having a good time.

New Mexico State University – Carlsbad, President John Gratton

On Monday, February 26, NMSU Carlsbad representatives met to discuss campus security initiatives. NMSU Carlsbad is considering the options of employing round the clock security and perhaps moving to the highest level of security, which places armed security officers on campus. The decision was made and approved by the NMSU Police chief to move to Level III Security.

On Tuesday, February 27, President John Gratton presided at a meeting with New Mexico Director of Parks Christy Tafoya. Ms. Tafoya was in Carlsbad to meet with representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, Brantley Lake Park, and the Living Zoo and Gardens.  The meeting was very positive with sound plans made for each of the listed parks.

On Thursday, March 1, NMSU Carlsbad hosted a visit by 60 students and faculty from Artesia High School. The visiting students were presented information on admissions, dual credit, financial aid and allied health programs and were taken on campus tours.  The visit went very well with positive feedback from all of the visitors.

On Friday, March 2, NMSU Carlsbad hosted its quarterly campus cleanup event. The approximate 30 student, faculty, and staff volunteers separated into groups and during the two-hour event a large amount of trash was picked up and carried off.  The volunteers were treated to pizza for lunch at the conclusion of the event.

New Mexico State University – Grants, President Mickey Best

In honor of Black History Month, on February 25, NMSU Grants served as the venue for the community event, Celebrating All Cultures Together.  Over 125 people came to celebrate culture, faith, and perseverance in the face of significant social challenges.  New Mexico gospel choirs from St. Paul’s Baptist Church based in Gallup, Emmanuel Baptist in Grants, and Laguna-Acoma Baptist presented inspiring, toe-tapping music.  The Reverend Frederick Davis of Gallup’s St. Paul’s presented his message of dissolving hate and racism within ourselves and in our country.  The celebration extended into a full southern, country meal enjoyed by all.  The mood was light and joyful, and there was no doubt that new connections were made between attendees.  The atmosphere of renewal and appreciation made for a great community event.

Associated Students of New Mexico State University-Kevin Prieto

On Saturday, February 24, ASNMSU hosted the final basketball tailgate and t-shirt give away for the final men’s basketball game. A big thank you to Whataburger for providing food and fun giveaways for the students prior to the game.

Chief Elections Officer Nancy Mestre held the annual Vice Presidential and Presidential Debate on February 28, in the Aggie Lounge. Students were encouraged to come and listen to the candidates answer questions regarding NMSU and ASNMSU matters and their plans for the year if elected. Students were very engaged and took the time to ask many questions of all the candidates. The full debate can be found on the ASNMSU Facebook Page.


Quiz Cab was held on Tuesday, February 27 and March 1, to remind students about events based around elections. Questions were asked about the upcoming elections and the debate. Students were also reminded to participate in elections by voting March 5-9 at

Pete’s Party was held on Thursday, March 2, at the Aggie Alley in collaboration with Corbett Center. Students were encouraged to come out and get some free food and enjoy a drink or two. Watch for Pete’s Partys through out the rest of the spring semester.

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