Activity Report January 3 – January 13

  • Welcome back. I am very optimistic that this will be a great semester for all.  We have nearly completed our “Transforming NMSU into a 21st Century University” and, while we are not all of the way out of the financial woods, we can sure see some clearings.  Work will begin in February to form a new Team – called Team 6- which will lead our efforts to redesign and streamline our College operations, much as we did with 19 units on the administrative side.  I thank all who dedicated so much time and effort at the unit level to the transforming teams for a job well done.  Very impressive work, on time, collaborative, and will yield much needed efficiencies.
  • The Legislature has convened with fiscal matters getting most of the attention. The Legislative Finance Committee 2017-2018 recommendation is for an overall $627,000 reduction in NMSU system expenditures while the Executive is asking for a $1,922,000 reduction.  The Executive Budget will be resubmitted because they failed to run the higher education funding formula.  Both budget recommendations “roll” many Research and Public Service (RPSP) projects up into the Instructional and General Budget (I&G), thus losing some identification of the projects but giving universities more discretion in managing.  Examples of RPSPs moving to I&G include nursing and special programs for minority students.  Rumor has it that the Legislature and Governor will fast track the budget this year, hoping to have it done in 30 days.
  • I was asked by Secretary Damron of the HED to join the Higher Education Statewide Strategic Planning Committee. Albeit late in the Governor’s term, she has decided the State needs such a plan, so I am pleased to pitch in.  I am attempting to keep this committee focused on no more than five goals and a limited number of objectives.
  • I met with Dr. Chaouki Abdallah, the interim president of UNM, regarding a number of opportunities to cooperate. UNM will be rejoining the Council of University Presidents after a brief absence.  Chaouki is particularly interested in sharing classes at the graduate level or in highly specialized areas where classes are small but needed by students at both universities.
  • The December System Summit of main campus and community college folks was well attended and yielded great discussion. We agreed the work plan for the system would focus on:
    • Increasing on line and distance education programs, including 2+2 programs,
    • Developing improved advising to include centralized advising for the main campus,
    • Leading the effort to change the dual credit system to make sure students follow meta majors if they intend to move on to 4-year programs and to ensure the system is properly compensated for teaching dual credit courses, and
    • Solving the default rate issue which is a problem for all but especially the community colleges.
  • I met with two newcomers to our community – Stuart Ed, the new city manager, and Gregory Ewing, the new superintendent for the Las Cruces Public Schools. Ed is very interested in Economic Development and is reorganizing the City to create a major department.  I recommended he visit the Arrowhead Center as they will want to be helpful.  Superintendent Ewing’s committed to helping, in any way he can, the transition of LCPS students from high school to NMSU.

Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard

  • At the Administrative Council meeting on January 10, I presented an overview of our Higher Learning Commission accreditation, and the importance of being present during the team visit on November 13, 14, and 15. During the presentation, I went over the five criteria that must be met by NMSU, assumed practices, and federal compliance. One of the most common concerns voiced by visiting teams centers on criteria 4 and the failure of an institution of higher education to demonstrate a strong program of learning assessment and a commitment to continuous improvement in teaching and learning. Another common concern is associated with criterion 5; namely, that financial weakness threatens the ability of an institution to fulfill its mission and respond to future challenges and opportunities.  NMSU should not have a problem in either area.  Learning assessment is firmly entrenched at NMSU and faculty members are using assessments to inform curricular changes.  Moreover, NMSU is financially stable, due in no small part to the emphasis placed by the Chancellor on recognizing and responding to fiscal realities.
  • At the Faculty Senate meeting on January 12, I discussed the move toward centralized advising at NMSU, reassuring the senate that the change is not intended to remove faculty from the critical role they play in mentoring students, but to relieve them of the burden of trying to help students understand the rules and regulations of the university, state, and federal government. Moreover, NMSU is about to implement a new predictive analytics tool (CRM Advise) that will update student profiles on a daily basis, and provide alerts to advisors when students are not attending class, performing poorly in class, signing up for a class that is not part of their degree plan, struggling to pay university bills, etc.  Advisors will be trained in the monitoring and use of this system (which will be time-consuming) and will be expected to intervene right away when a student shows signs of distress.  I do not believe that it is in the best interests of our faculty to spend time learning how to operate the system, monitoring students, and intervening on a continuous basis.  I would leave these activities to well-trained advisors, and encourage our faculty to concentrate on research and teaching.
  • At the Faculty Senate meeting, I also discussed the Transforming NMSU process and the formation of a Team 6 as part of this process to evaluate the administrative structures of our academic units. Among the issues that will be addressed by the team are stipends for department heads; summer salaries for department heads; and, the minimum size of a department.

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

Media Productions/Learning Games Lab

  • During a pre-holiday sale December 20-23, NMSU Media Productions’ math game Pearl Diverwas downloaded more than 52,000 times. Designed for middle school and upper elementary, the game helps learners visualize quantities on the number line. It is part of the Math Snacks suite of games and animations, which together have received almost five million plays and downloads since their release in 2009. The games are developed and tested in ACES’ Learning Games Lab with collaborators from the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in the College of Education and the Department of Mathematical Science in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Plant and Environmental Sciences

  • Chris Cramer and Manoj Shukla attended Western Region Multistate Research Project groups for onion research (Cramer) and soil physics (Shukla). These groups are funded in part by capacity funds provided by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture; they bring researchers from several universities together to collaborate on issues that will benefit the citizens of our various states.

 Family and consumer Sciences

  • Student Club Community Service Project – The Association of Family and Consumer Sciences student club (Dr. Haron Bartley, advisor) collected money and gifts to provide 42 children at Jardin De Los Nińnos with winter jackets, gloves, and toys for the holidays.  Tiffany Baugh, a senior majoring in Family and Consumer Sciences Education, chaired the community service project and is pictured delivering the gifts on December 16. 

Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology

  • Ken Boykin from the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology and Bill Kepner from EPA presented papers at a National Biodiversity Metrics & Mapping Workshop at the 2016 conference of A Community on Ecosystem Services (ACES) in Jacksonville, Florida in December. A Community on Ecosystem Services represents a dynamic and growing assembly of professionals, researchers, and policy-makers involved with ecosystem services. The ACES 2016 Conference brought together this community in partnership with Ecosystem Markets and the Ecosystem Services Partnership, providing an open forum to share experiences, methods, and tools for assessing and incorporating ecosystem services into public and private decisions. The focus of the conference was to link science, practice, and sustainable decision making by bringing together the ecosystem services community from around the United States and the globe.

Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center

  • December 13-14, 2016, the Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center hosted and participated in the Animal/Plant Health Joint Criminal-Epidemiological Investigations Training in Domenici Hall on the New Mexico State University (NMSU) Campus. This collaborative training included 90 participants from agencies nationwide consisting of 14 from Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), 17 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1 from United States Coast Guard, 3 from NM Game and Fish, 13 from NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, 16 from New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA), 1 out of the US Department of Justice Office, 6 from the New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB), 7 from Arizona Department of Agriculture, 2 Emergency Managers, 3 New Mexico Department of Health Investigators (NMDOH), 2 from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 1 each from Virginia Tech, Navajo Department of Health and Dairy Producers of NM. This training allowed collaboration among law enforcement and animal/plant experts to investigate animal/plant health epidemiological, veterinary and plant scenarios.

College of Arts & Sciences, Interim Dean Enrico Pontelli

  • NMSU Department of Arts announced its new exhibition, titled “Impermanent Topography,” featuring work by 11 NMSU artists.
  • The J. Paul Taylor Symposium Committee has announced  a new contest for College of Arts and Sciences students! They are seeking original artwork to be used for the 13th Annual J. Paul Taylor Symposium, this year’s theme is: Voices of the Invisible Majority: Social Justice and Mental Health.
  • Elena Davidson, Computer Science sophomore, has been selected by Google for a competitive 12-week development practicum for Summer 2017.
  • Scaffolding Theatre Company and the New Mexico State University Department of Theatre Arts presented “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts
  • Bruce Berman, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, presented a photography exhibition at the El Paso Public Library titled “Los Musicos.”
  • Congratulations to Distinguished Professor, Gary Eiceman from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for being recognized as a National Academy of Inventors 2016 Distinguished Inventor.

College of Business, Dean James Hoffman


College of Education, Dean Donald Pope-Davis


College of Engineering, Dean Lakshmi Reddi

The Engineering New Mexico Resource Network advanced five teams from the NM BEST Robotics State Championship held in October to participate in the BEST Regional competition in Frisco, Texas. The teams included El Dorado High School, El Paso; Rio Rancho Homeschool, Rio Rancho; Chaparral Middle School, Chaparral; Alamogordo High School, Alamogordo; and Canutillo High School, El Paso. These teams competed against 73 other teams. Rio Rancho Homeschool placed 12th overall, El Dorado High School placed first in the State Farm Webpage Design Award, and this year on their first time to the regional competition, Alamogordo High School received the University of Texas, Dallas Judges’ Choice Award.

Two professors from the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) visited the NMSU Industrial Engineering Department this past December to prepare a detailed plan to work on a project with Associate Professor Delia J. Valles-Rosales titled “Degradation data modeling and analysis for wood plastic composite specimens.” This commences a long-term collaboration with the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Department of Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing at UACJ.

Twenty-four teams from 12 colleges throughout the nation will compete at the 27th Environmental Design Contest April 2-5 held at the NMSU campus.  NMSU will be returning to the competition after a seven-year hiatus. Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Pei Xu will lead a team of four engineering students (Shanka Henakanatte Gedara, Lu Lin, Colton McAlister and Wenbin Jiang) in the Open Task. James Madison University will be sending a team for the first time.

The NMSU Department of Civil Engineering collaborated with the University of North Texas to promote a renewable energy powered desalination technology to recover water (drinking and irrigation) and fertilizers from brackish water while achieving zero liquid discharge. The joint project titled “Pilot Evaluation of a Sustainable Autonomous Brackish Groundwater Desalination System” was one of six finalists in the pitch-to-pilot competition held October 19-20, 2016 at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The joint project between NMSU and the University of North Texas was one of the three selected by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to receive approximately $100,000 in federal funding Assistant Professor Pei Xu is the campus PI at NMSU for this joint project.

College of Health and Social Services, Dean Donna Wagner

Office of the Dean

  • Donna Wagner, Dean of the College of Health and Social Services participated in a webinar organized by the Association of State & Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) on January 4th. She reported on her research regarding employed caregivers and programs developed by employers to support these family caregivers.  ASTHO has developed a learning collaborative for New Mexico, Mississippi, Ohio and Oregon in the area of family caregiving. 

School of Social Work

  • Fran Nedjat-Haiem, Associate Professor, has been recognized for her work as a fellow in the 2017 Class of Fellows with the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). SSWR Fellows are members who have served with distinction to advance the mission of the Society which is to disseminate and translate research which addresses issues of social work practice and policy and promotes a diverse, equitable and just society. Eligibility for the SSWR Fellow designation is determined by a point system established by the SSWR Board of Directors.  Congratulations, Dr. Nedjat-Haiem!

Department of Public Health Sciences

  • Shelby Stuckel, Masters of Public Health Sciences student, was featured in the Las Cruces Sun News last month because of her outstanding work with local food banks and helping senior citizens. Shelby is invested in the initiative because she watched her Grandmother struggle to make ends meet at the end of the month. The senior food pantry serves five centers in the valley, and distributes once a month at each site providing 50 pounds of food, which includes 40 percent produce to 50 seniors at each location. Dr. Cindy Kratzke, Associate Professor described Shelby as a “shining star” in the county’s efforts to distribute for senior citizens.  The entire story from the Sun News can be found here.

University Library, Dean Elizabeth Titus

NMSU Library joins the other colleges in organizationally having library development activities done centrally by the Office of Advancement team. April Anaya, formerly the library’s major gift officer joins the Office of Advancement on January 17, 2017 as their Annual Fund Officer. She will also work with the library’s major donors in consultation with Dr. Elizabeth A. Titus, Dean of NMSU Library.

Over the winter break a number of library construction projects made progress. In Branson Library, modernization of the main public elevators progressed. In Zuhl Library the Zuhl Café construction continued and the project is now scheduled for completion on February 17, 2017. The café will be operated by Sodexo.

Honors College, Dean Miriam Chaiken

Administration and Finance, Senior Vice President Angela Throneberry 

S&P Global   NMSU received notification in December that S&P Global affirmed NMSU’s “AA-” long-term rating and underlying rating on revenue bonds.  The outlook is stable.  This is very good news for NMSU as it demonstrates the success of our continued careful fiscal management.

ADA Access Improvements   To ensure ADA compliance, Structural Maintenance is replacing the non-compliant ramps with new ADA compliant ramps on campus.  As a result, designated accessible routes are enhanced, and upgrades to surrounding sidewalks and curbs are completed.

New Payment Rule   On Monday January 10, 2017, rule no. 2.36 – Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was approved by the University Administrative Council (UAC).  Chief Information Security Officer John Roberts and IT Compliance Officer Carlos Lobato presented the rule for a second reading.  This new rule offers stringent guidelines that provide protection for cardholder data and comply with data security standards.  Related to the new payment rule, Chancellor Garrey Carruthers formally established and approved a PCI DSS Steering Committee.  The Steering Committee’s primary function will be to oversee, and ensure University-wide PCI DSS compliance.  For more information, visit or email the Committee at

NMSU’s 2016 Firefighter of the Year   Mario Pacheco was selected as NMSU’s 2016 Firefighter of the Year.  Mario joined the fire department in March of 2015.  His most recent accomplishment includes attaining the rank of Lieutenant and completing his Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate certification.  Mario has shown himself to be a genuine leader that pushes himself and his crew to perform to their upmost capability. Mario is currently pursuing a degree in Kinesiology at NMSU.

Entryway Project   Facilities Maintenance continues working on refreshing the entryways and common areas in I&G buildings.  Currently, they are working in the O’Loughlin House with an expected completion date of January 13, 2017.  The Speech Building revitalizing will begin next week. For this fiscal year, the Entryway Project has been completed in the Clara Belle Williams Hall, Stan Fulton Athletic Center, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and at the New Science Hall.


Student Affairs/Enrollment Management, Vice President Bernadette Montoya

NIRSA National Flag Football Tournament   Ten students from Recreational/Intramurals Sports traveled to Pensacola, Florida, to compete in the National Intramural-Recreation Sports Association Flag Football National Tournament January 6 through the 9.  The team from New Mexico State University competed against 16 of the top Co-Rec teams in the nation.  They advanced all the way into the quarter finals, eventually finishing in 8th place.  The team qualified for the National Tournament by winning their Regional Tournament on November 13 held at Arizona State University.


Undergraduate Admissions Advisors Appointed for NMEC   Admissions Advisors, Jacque Kennedy and Brandon Fields, were nominated to serve on the New Mexico Education Council (NMEC) governance committee this next year. Jacque Kennedy will act as Chair of the committee, and Brandon Fields as the Treasurer.

In collaboration with the New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation (NMEAF), the committee of NMEC is responsible for conducting College Days events across the state. High school students and their families are invited to these events to meet with admissions staff and discuss the education programs available at each school.

Vice President for Economic Development, Vice President Kevin Boberg

Arrowhead Innovation Fund Reception   On Wednesday, the Arrowhead Innovation Fund (AIF) hosted its 2017 Kick-Off reception.  The event was attended by the AIF board, the inventors of several promising NMSU commercial technologies, NMSU administration, and members of the local community.  The event was a great success and served as a wonderful networking opportunity.  Chancellor Carruthers and AIF Director Estela Hernandez spoke about the Arrowhead Innovation Fund, and innovative commercial technology and products being developed by NMSU students and faculty at the Arrowhead Center.

Vice President for Research, Interim Vice President Luis Vázquez

 Interim Director, Physical Science Laboratory (PSL) – Joanne Esparza

  • The NMSU Physical Science Laboratory(PSL) hosted the 18th annual UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) TAAC (Technical Analysis and Application Center) 2016 Conference at the Eldorado Hotel and Spa in Santa Fe, NM 12 – 15 December 2016.  UAS TAAC 2016 was attended by a diverse group of professionals from government, industry, and academia.
  • PSL is in discussions with Boeing St. Louis to test fly the Raven UAS (twin jet aircraft) which could potentially lead to long term testing with Boeing.
  • PSL is currently in contract discussions with Vanilla Aircraft to continue their envelope expansion for long duration flights. Next set of flights will be 5-7 days.

New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute Activities

  • This week the NM WRRI released a major funding opportunity for NMSU faculty. The 2017 RFP associated with a cooperative agreement between NMSU and Reclamation funds research that attempts to reduce the cost and environmental impact of treating and utilizing brackish, impaired, and other waters that are not ready for use. The institute plans to fund several projects of up to $150,000 for two-year projects. A Q&A session will be held on Tuesday, January 17 at 8:30 am at NM WRRI where faculty will have a chance to learn more about this opportunity.

New Mexico Space Grant and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)

  • Breaking news: Congress has changed the name of the EPSCoR program: it is now called the Established Program for Competitive Research. All EPSCoR programs are impacted by this name change.
  • Dr. Hynes met with Provost Howard on 1.9.17 to present results of The Summit on Inclusion. This Summit was created in partnership with Virgin Galactic. Dean Lakshmi Reddi, Associate Dean for Research Phillip Deleon and 4 engineering students attended along with 36 members of the aerospace community.

University Advancement, Vice President/Foundation Executive Director Andrea Tawney

Alumni Director   In late December, we welcomed our new Director of Alumni Relations Mallory Driggers to the team.

Estate Gift   NMSU has been notified of an estate gift from a friend of the university for more than $50,000 to benefit an existing work study fund in PSL.

STEM Outreach Funding   NMSU received $35,000 from a foundation that prefers to remain publicly unacknowledged for the STEM Outreach Program in Farmington.

MBA Scholarship   The College of Business received $25,000 from the Block Foundation for an endowment for MBA students with financial need.

Year-End Gift   NMSU received a year-end gift of $13,500 from an alum to benefit 17 diverse programs at the NMSU Las Cruces campus and DACC.

Chem & Biochem Scholarship Pledge   A pledge of $10,000 in current use scholarship funds was made to the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department by an alum in San Diego.

Athletics, Director Mario Moccia

  • Over the holiday break, several of our student-athletes assisted Mesilla Elementary’s Spelling Bee. The students were excited to be able to interact with NMSU student-athletes.
  • Traveled to Tampa, Florida, take part in Sun Belt Conference Athletic Directors Meetings as well as FBS Minority Athletic Directors Summit. Discussed topics specific to football and revenue generated through Group of 5 Conference finish as well as topics and strategies to increase minority participation in senior athletic roles. Guest speakers included President of ESPN John Skipper and NCAA President Mark Emmert.
  • Made two appearances live on KVIA TV at 4 and 5 p.m. on Thursday to promote the Aggies men’s basketball vs. Grand Canyon game. Single game ticket sales for this event were the 6th highest individual game tickets sales mark non UTEP/UNM games in the last 17 years. Our win over GCU recorded the 600th win in the Pan Am Center.

International and Border Programs, Associate Provost Cornell Menking

Marketing and Communications, Interim Associate Vice President Justin Bannister 

News and Media Relations   News and Media Relations produced the monthly emailed summary, ACES Highlights, for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. This month’s edition included a story about the conclusion of Dean Rolando Flores’ trips to all county Cooperative Extension Service offices and Agricultural Experiment Station sites across New Mexico. Here’s a photo of Dean Flores at the John T. Harrington Forestry Research Center at Mora, New Mexico, meeting with Superintendent Owen Burney.

New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Dean Rolando Flores, left, tours the John T. Harrington Forestry Research Center at Mora, N.M. (NMSU photo by Darrell J. Pehr)JAN17

The group also resumed faculty recognitions of top researchers at NMSU during home basketball games. The Research Discovery Award project will continue during January and February. Here’s a photo of Chancellor Carruthers honoring the work of faculty member Jiannong Xu.

Marketing Services and Web Communications   The Marketing Services team worked with the College of Engineering to develop the latest annual report, a key communication piece for the college. The annual report builds awareness of the college’s accomplishments of the past year, bolstering the college’s image. It helps Engineering inform its influential alumni about what’s happening here and can help attract new donors, faculty and students. It also drives readers to the college’s website: The annual report’s condensed feature stories link to the full versions online.


KRWG/SPU   The Special Production Unit’s Aggie Profiles episode for January includes stories featuring Loren Wood from Swimming and Diving, Mariah Mac with Women’s Basketball and Men’s Golfer, Isaac Merry. The half-hour show airs on KRWG, Fox-Az and Altitude.

KRWG’s presentation of Your Legislators had multiple tapings over the break. Now in the show’s 11th season, the programs help keep the region aware of activities during the New Mexico Legislative session. Following the preview show with Senator John Arthur Smith, students were able to meet with the Senator.

Pictured (L-R) Glen Cerny, students Vladimir Avina, Cole Tiffany,
Alexia Goodwin and Senator John Arthur Smith.


Government Relations, Assistant Vice President Ricardo Rel

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

The final tally for the 2016 NMDA Food Drive was a whopping 1,538.5 pounds of non-perishable food to stock the shelves of theAggie Cupboard at NMSU.

NMSU Police, Chief Stephen Lopez

Police Activity   There were 52 police reports created, 37 supplements filed, and 46 traffic citations issued.   The Records & Evidence Office processed 35 items of evidence entered into the vault, 50 people were fingerprinted and 18 background checks were conducted.

Emergency Dispatch Center   Emergency Dispatch Center handled 563 police calls for service, (64 of which were  911 calls), resulting in 343 police calls (34 of which were agency assist) and 27 warrant entries.  There were 49 fire calls (25 of which were mutual aid), 5 emergency medical calls, 1 flooding, 1 suspicious package/mail, 1 fire alarm, 1 smell of smoke, 1 crash with injury, and 4 stand by.  There were also 5 animal control calls.

Bicycle Theft Suspect Arrested   A suspect was caught at the beginning of the holiday break stealing bicycles from outdoor bike racks around campus.  Anyone who had a bicycle stolen from campus during this time is asked to contact the NMSU Police Department.

Emergency Message Update   A message that was sent out on January 6, 2017 regarding the 911 telephone system outage at the NMSU main campus.  The problem has been rectified and the system has been tested and found to be stable.  Persons in need of emergency services while on campus should resume calling 911 from main campus landlines.  These calls will once again ring directly into the NMSU Police Department Emergency Dispatch Center for immediate dispatch.  Any problems with the 911 system should be immediately reported to the NMSU Police Department using the 646-3311 telephone number.

Violent Extremists   Chief Lopez gave a presentation on Violent Extremists to the President’s Academic Council. 

Spring Family Orientation, January 13   Chief Lopez presented to family of new students at the Family Orientation held at the Corbett Center Auditorium.

Open Doors   Officers found dozens of doors to a variety of NMSU facilities open at various times during the break, usually the result of doors being propped open.  Facility users are reminded that propping open a locked door creates a safety hazard for the community, and should not be done.  Violators are referred for administrative and criminal sanctions.

Accreditation, Executive Director Shelly Stovall

New Mexico State University – Doña Ana, President Renay Scott

Dental Programs Hold Free Kids Clinic   A clinic will provide children in Las Cruces and surrounding communities’ access to free dental care. Services are provided by NMSU Doña Ana dental students and professionals, including program faculty, and the NMSU Pre-dental Society, local dentists and hygienists. The clinic will be held Saturday, February 13, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Students Build Shelters for Homeless   The NMSU Doña Ana Construction Industries Student Club is building shelters to shield the homeless from extreme weather at the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope. The shelters are constructed at the Workforce Center and transported and installed at Camp Hope, a tent city. The Club and DACC classes provide the labor to construct the structures. More than 20 students per semester are involved in the effort.

Initiative Puts Apples in the Classroom   The iPad initiative begins this spring at NMSU Doña Ana. Today’s students have cell phones, iPads and more apps, social media and knowledge of the Internet than any previous generation. The XCITE iPad initiative will help students learn in a way that is natural for them and engages them on a level to express their creativity, and learn in a new way using that technology.

New Mexico State University – Alamogordo, President Ken Van Winkle

NMSU-A sponsored the robotics FIRST Tech Challenge event at the Tays Center on December 17th. It was a fascinating day with participation by Colonel Houston Cantwell and Congressman Steve Pearce as guest speakers. Competitors from across New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and two teams from Mexico competed in the technical challenge. Phase Airship Pirates and IDA Starry Knights were the big winners of the day.

NMSU-A president Ken Van Winkle attended the Committee of 50 meeting in Alamogordo on January 3. The guest speaker was Colonel Houston Cantwell who shared his vision of the future of Holloman Air Force Base and the impact of the arrival of two F-16 squadrons. Holloman will be the home and pilot training facility for the F-16 Phantom. The base is also the largest pilot training facility in the country for remote piloted aircraft.

Dr. Ernie Baca, physical education faculty, received a $4,500 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield in support of the upcoming Health and Wellness Fair. The event will take place on Saturday, February 18 at the Tays Center on the campus of NMSU-A.

Photo:  FIRST Tech Challenge winners Phase Airship Pirates and IDA Starry Knights.

New Mexico State University – Carlsbad, President John Gratton

  • On Monday, January 9, NMSU Carlsbad representatives traveled to Las Cruces in order to attend the monthly meeting of the President’s Academic Council, Presidents’, and the University Administrative Council meetings.  A variety of reports were received and the NMSU initiatives for the upcoming year were reviewed.
  • On Wednesday, January 11, NMSU Carlsbad personnel continued their work on completion of the promotion and tenure notification processes and also met with Early College High School representatives to discuss the upcoming semester and the revisions in course placement procedures.
  • On Thursday, January 12, NMSU Carlsbad welcomed the faculty back from their holiday. Also, NMSU Carlsbad personnel attended a webinar hosted by the EPA, DOE, and the New Mexico Department of Energy to discuss the recertification procedures of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant which will reopen fairly soon and thus begin accepting nuclear waste.
  • On Friday, January 13, NMSU Carlsbad personnel conducted a conference call with Higher Learning Commission representatives to discuss upcoming accreditation visits and NMSU Carlsbad participation in the Team Leader trainings at the annual convention.

New Mexico State University – Grants, Interim President Harry Sheski

Laguna Development Corporation   NMSU Grants and the Laguna Development Corporation have partnered to provide ongoing professional development in the area of Business for LDC employees.  NMSU will deliver four 8-week classes beginning this spring semester, continuing over the summer, with an internship course for all participants next fall semester.  The Laguna Development Corporation will pay for all tuition and fees for participants.

Dual Credit Student Presentations   December 14 was Inside Out, Mismatch Day at the To’Hajiilee Community School, but for five students enrolled in College 101, it was also a day to present their final projects to a panel of distinguished judges. The students presented on topics based on what they learned from the course, including physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual well-being.  The course is offered through the To’Hajiilee Community School and the New Mexico State University. Eight students completed the course and earned both high school and college credit, including one student in junior high. They met once a week for 2½ hours from August to December.

Student Business Club offers Tax Help   On January 5 and 6 the NMSU Grants Student Business Club along with their advisor Dr. Bill Serban travelled to Albuquerque to be trained to offer free income tax support through Tax Help New Mexico.  Tax Help New Mexico is a free service for people whose household income is $57,000 or less or those who are 65 years or older.  Tax Help volunteers are certified by the IRS and are trained to help taxpayers identify tax credits for which they’re entitled to. Tax Help is operated in partnership between CNM and the United Way of Central New Mexico.

Associated Students of New Mexico State University – Matt Bose

ASNMSU hosted a Community Forum event on January 9, at 6 pm in O’Donnell Hall. About 100 members of the community and students were in attendance to ask questions and meet local representatives. In attendance were Representative Bill McCamley, Representative Doreen Gallegos, Senator Joseph Cervantes, and Senator Mary Kay Papen. ASNMSU is proud to support this tradition that encourages students to involve themselves in community issues and participate in our government.

On January 12, ASNMSU hosted the Aggie Army Pre-Game Event in Lot 33, south of the Pan-Am to cheer on the Men’s Basketball team before the Grand Canyon University game at 7 pm. The first 250 students received a limited edition t-shirt, the first in a series of three for the season. Pizza, beverages, and music were also provided thanks to NMSU Greek Life’s Co-Sponsorship. Thank you to NMSU Cheer Team for coming out and leading us in our event, and congratulations to the Men’s Basketball team on their win! Go Aggies!

ASNMSU is seeking applications for the Roadrunner Program for Spring 2017! If you are interested in applying for a position to learn more about ASNMSU, please submit a resume by email to and indicate your interest in the subject line.  The program allows students to shadow all departments from activity planning, public relations, concert management, and legislating. Applications close February 1, submit your resumes before the deadline!

Join the Special Events Board to help plan concerts for the rest of the academic year! If you are interested in the music industry and would like to help coordinate upcoming concerts, submit a resume to and indicate your interest.

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