Activity Report March 27 – April 2

Chancellor Garrey Carruthers

  • The Regents rejected our request for a 4.1% blended tuition and fee request. Thanks to Angela for making a very good presentation and for her team in putting together the NMSU budget. I am concerned this action will lead to layoffs, after we collectively and carefully consider our mission and programs.
  • The Council of University Presidents (CUP) met at Tamaya to reorganize, in the light of pending retirements of Chair Dr. Dan Lopez and Executive Director Dr. David Lepre. The University of New Mexico has dropped out of the Council, citing budget issues.  I was elected to replace Dr. Lopez as CUP Chairman.  Lopez has been the only Chair of CUP and Lepre the only Executive Director in its years of existence.
  • Leslie Cervantes, Sharon Jones, and I met regarding the Presidential Ambassadors program. I will continue to serve as the faculty member of record and the administration of the program will reside in the Alumni Office.  I think this will be an excellent arrangement and Leslie has all the connections to make this a very meaningful experience for our ambassador students.  I am suggesting that all shadow me for one day to get an idea of the life of an administrator.
  • I have visited with a number of people and groups and suggested that NMSU may need to join an FCS Conference such as the Big Sky, given the rather delicate position of our Athletics program in both football and Olympic sports. The Western Athletic Conference is not sustainable, in my view, and we have two years left in the Sun Belt for football.  My comment about the prospect of playing in the Big Sky Conference with the likes of Montana State, Idaho State, UC Davis, Cal Poly, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, and others has caused several to express concerns about this direction so you will be hearing more about Conference alignment in the near future.
  • S./Juarez Consul General Daria Darnell and her public relations person, Shannon Hill, dropped by to offer their support in our relationships with Mexico. Shannon works with many of the Higher Education institutions in Mexico and is willing to help us promote our new 1.5 times in state tuition rate for Mexican citizens.  They have already contacted me about a student recruitment fair in Mexico which I hope we can send representatives to.
  • I welcomed the GradNation program sponsored by AT&T and Bravo Chevrolet (Raymond Palacios). Several hundred mid school students from southern New Mexico along with teachers, political leaders, and private sector folks joined to encourage these young students to attend college. Tony Marin was our leader with the sponsors in putting this together.  Raymond told me he wanted to continue as a sponsor and make it bigger and better.  Thanks to the sponsors and to Tony and his gang for a terrific program which will cause many young people to think of college as an option.

Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard

Statewide General Education Steering Committee – The Statewide General Education Steering Committee met in Albuquerque on Friday to evaluate essential content and the question of whether to organize general education in New Mexico institutions of higher education around essential skills or essential content.  The committee decided relatively quickly that general education should be organized around essential skills.  This then led to a discussion of next steps and questions to address in designing a curriculum at the institutional level that will succeed in imparting essential skills to our students.  The questions that quickly came to the fore are the following:

  • Should courses be divided into two tiers to ensure that essential skills are both introduced and reinforced?
  • Should there be a common first year experience course?
  • Should there be a capstone course, associated with the major, in which students are asked to demonstrate mastery of essential skills?
  • How do we design a curriculum that ensures that students take courses outside their major?
  • How do we balance independence of institutions in designing a general education curriculum with the need to ensure that general education credits transfer seamlessly across the state?

The committee also revisited the essential skills identified at the previous meeting and trimmed the list by removing interdisciplinary skills from the list.  The list now consists of the following essential skills:

  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Personal and social responsibility
  • Quantitative skills
  • Information literacy

NMSU Faculty Senate Chair Stuart Munson-McGee presented definitions of these skills to the committee and the committee decided that these broad definitions provided sufficient guidance for the development of curriculum.  Further, the committee decided that the addition of sub-topics within essential skills would be left to the discretion of individual institutions.

College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Interim Dean Jim Libbin

Family and Consumer Sciences

  • Tejada Ribbon Cutting – A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on March 30 for the “ACES in the Hole” food manufacturing pilot plant located in Tejada Hall (see attached photo).  Over 70 people attended the event to hear faculty and students in Food Science and Technology (FSTE) talk about the program and demonstrate food products being made.  Students in the FSTE major run “ACES in the Hole” and sell their products, including gelato and brownies, in the Sam Steel Café located in Gerald Thomas Hall 150.

tejeda ribbon cutting

  • Preceptor Appreciation Dinner – Dr. Wanda Eastman and Gaby Phillips, Human Nutrition and Dietetic Sciences, held an appreciation dinner for New Mexico preceptors of the dietetic internship at St. Clair’s Winery on March 30.  Over 20 people attended.  Preceptors are nutrition professionals who supervise graduate students enrolled in the dietetic internship during their clinical, community, and food service rotations.
  • GradNation Keynote Speaker –  Dr. Esther Devall, department head, was the luncheon keynote speaker for the GradNation Community Summit held on April 1 at Corbett Center.  Over 150 people attended the summit, which had community and student tracks to discuss strategies for improving the high school graduation rate to 90 percent.  Dr. Devall spoke on engaging family and community for student success.

College of Arts & Sciences, Interim Dean Enrico Pontelli

The College of Arts & Sciences conducted a successful 3-minute presentation contest for graduate students.

Jeffrey Arterburn (Chemistry and Biochemistry) received $3,608,546 from the National Institutes of Health for the INBRe project for 2016-17.

Mary Lamonica (Journalism and Mass Communications) edited and published “An Indispensable Liberty: The Fight for Free Speech in Nineteenth-Century America” through Southern Illinois University Press.  She publishes as Mary M. Cronin.   Lourdes Cardenas (Journalism and Mass Communications) published “Marihuana. El viaje a la legalización” in Spanish through Ediciones Urano.  This book explores Colorado’s challenges and experiences in legalizing marijuana.

Patricia Wojahn (Interdisciplinary Studies) will participate in a day-long workshop “Leadership in Action: A Workshop for Heads, Directors, WPAs and Future Faculty Leaders” and present a paper “Taking Action and Making Changes in Border Writing Programs” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Houston.  David LoConto (head) and Erica Surova (graduate student) in Sociology presented “Heroes and Bullies: Fighting for the Rights of Everyone Through Cosplay” at the Pacific Sociological Association meeting in Oakland, California.  Three undergraduate students in the Department of Anthropology (Keighley Hastings, Kailey Martinez, and Kayla Brown) received Cheryl L. Wase Memorial Scholarships to study archaeology from the Society for American Archaeology.

Neal Rosendorf led the very successful NMSU Model UN team at the national Model UN competition in New York.  NMSU’s team represented Ukraine.  The team won the Outstanding Delegation award, Outstanding Position Paper awards for Matthew McNeile (Program of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons), Prasamsa Dhakal and William Jones (UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development), Micaela de le Rosa and Ricardo Serrano (General Assembly First Committee), Joseph Cairns and Joli McSherry (United Nations Environment Program) and Hannah Fort and Connor Schultz (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), as well as Outstanding Delegate awards for Ismael Torres and Delorean Forbes (Commission on Narcotic Drugs).

College of Business, Dean James Hoffman

  • Congratulations to our faculty and staff who were honored at a Service Awards reception on Thursday. Service awards are given for recognition and appreciation of service to the university.  Recognized anniversary years are: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35.
    • 35 years: Jim Peach and Kathy Brook
    • 30 years: Jim Nelson
    • 25 years: Cindy Seipel, Jeff Teich (ret) and Virginia Espinoza (ret)
    • 20 years: Ken Martin
    • 15 years: Jim Bishop
    • 10 years: Bobbie Green and Debra Cardinali
    • 5 years: John Shonk and Josh Salmon
  • The American Marketing Association Chapter at New Mexico State University was re-established in the College of Business Marketing Department after a hiatus from the NMSU campus as well as the national organization. We have received support from the department and the Dean’s Office to revitalize the chapter and attend the American Marketing Association 38th Annual International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans. Advisors Erin Baca Blaugrund and Juan Holguin took five students to the conference over Spring Break (Jenna Coyle; Alexx Johnson; Kayla Hughley; Kelsey O’Neill; and Priscilla Rodriguez.) The chapter received an award at the conference for Exemplary Collegiate Chapter Performance which we felt is a great accomplishment for our restart to the Chapter. Our students have a renewed sense of what this organization can do for their careers and they are coming back with excitement, ideas, and connections to other chapters. We all look forward to making the Marketing Department and the NMSU College of Business proud!
  • The NMSU Risk Management and Insurance Studies Program received a $4,000 grant to participate in the “Risk Manager in Residence” program sponsored by the Spencer Educational Foundation. This fall, Al Gorski, Chief Risk Officer for the Orange County Transportation Authority, will be on campus to share his experience and expertise.
  • The College of Business weekly activity reports are available in their entirety at

College of Engineering, Interim Dean Steve Stochaj

manzManz to Receive Early Career Award: Tom Manz, assistant professor of chemical and materials engineering,  has received confirmation that his proposal entitled, “Automating Construction of Polarizable, Flexible, Nonreactive Force­ Fields for Metal ­Organic Frameworks & Applications to Helium and Solar Water Splitting Gas Purifications” has been awarded funding by the National Science Foundation Division Of Materials Research.

StevensStevens Recognized for International Contributions: The unanimous winner for this year’s faculty International and Border Programs Globalization Award winner is Kenny Stevens from the Department of Engineering Technology & Surveying Engineering. Dianne Gobrick will be named as this year’s staff winner.  The award celebrates international work. Stevens was selected from among seven nominations. Stevens has been faculty adviser to the NMSU Engineering Without Boundaries group since its inception in 2007. EWB is a nonprofit organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide in order to improve their quality of life.  Engineering Without Boundaries helps those in need through involvement in sustainable engineering projects while at the same time fostering the development of internationally and environmentally responsible students and professionals.

AffiliateNMSU Recognized for 10 Years as PLTW Affiliate: Associate Dean of Outreach and Public Service Patricia Sullivan received recognition on behalf of the NMSU College of Engineering from Project Lead the Way at the 2016 Summit in Indianapolis in March for 10 years as PLTW New Mexico State Affiliate University. Project Lead The Way is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education curricular programs used in middle and high schools across the U.S. New Mexico State University’s College of Engineering has served as the NM PLTW Affiliate since 2006. In New Mexico, some 1,150 students, grades 8-12, in 32 schools participated in PLTW courses during the 2014/15 year. There are 36 PLTW certified teachers in the state.


luoLuo Receives Funding: Associate Professor Hongmei Luo, chemical and materials engineering, has been funded for two years for a total of $40,000 to support graduate student Swagotom Sarker to perform the a project entitled, “Solar Energy Assisted Water Purification: Reduced Graphene Oxide (RGO) – Molybdenum Disulfide (MoS2) Photocatalyst for Efficient Oxidation of Toxic Arsenite [As(III)].” Luo received the graduate research award from the Agricultural Experiment Station.


Kudos to Students – The College of Engineering will honor the following high-achieving graduates who exemplify the quality and character of graduates that the college is so proud of.

Aaron Lindsay

Aaron Lindsay

College Outstanding Senior: Randy Andrews – Engineering Physics

College Highest Honors: Aaron Lindsay – Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department Outstanding Seniors

  • Chemical and Materials Engineering – Aaron Lindsay
  • Civil Engineering – Abram Mason Lane
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering – Andrew Coles
  • Engineering Physics – Randy Andrews
  • Engineering Technology and Surveying – Ryan Williams
  • Industrial Engineering – Mia Brandt
    Elijah Wade

    Elijah Wade

  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering – Jesus Villegas Carnero

Graduating Ambassadors:

  • Courtney Shea – Civil Engineering
  • Matthew (Joel) Furguson – Civil Engineering Technology
  • Jere Freeh- Masters of Science – Chemical and Materials Engineering

E-Council President: Elijah Wade – Chemical and Materials Engineering


College of Health and Social Services, Dean Donna Wagner

School of Nursing

  • New Mexico State University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice in the College of Health and Social Services has been recognized as one of the top 100 programs in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools 2017. To read the full list of rankings, click here.
  • Aggie nursing faculty and students, along with military staff and other volunteers collaborated for the Bataan Death March event on March 20. The healthcare team supported over 250 marchers during the 26 mile course.  Aggie nurses on the move!



School of Social Work

  • The NMSU Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) staff was selected to provide a project demonstration at the SBIRT national conference in Bethesda, MD last week. The SBIRT grant supports training programs for students enrolled in the School of Social Work, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and the School of Nursing who are interested in behavioral and primary care health sectors.

social wqork 1

Department of Public Health

  • The Public Heroes Award Celebration was held on Monday, April 4th at HSS. The student-led project recognizes and thanks local public health heroes.  This year’s winners are community members Travis Leyva of the New Mexico Department of Health and Jonah Garcia of Healthy Start and La Clinica de Familia.

University Library, Dean Elizabeth Titus

  • NMSU Library Director of Development, April Anaya, was announced as the recipient of the SAGE Library Support Staff Travel Grant to the American Library Association conference in Orlando on June 23-28. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas. “Attending the American Library Association Annual Conference will allow me to broaden and expand my knowledge of academic research libraries and explore unique ways to further the mission of the NMSU Library,” said Anaya. “As a development officer, this is a tremendous opportunity and I am thrilled to have been chosen as a 2016 United for Libraries/SAGE scholarship recipient!”
  • The Elizabeth McKenney Titus NMSU Library Student Employee Scholarship has announced its two recipients: Nicah Montoya and Elizabeth Butler. This is the first awarding of this scholarship since its inception. Each recipient will receive $500 to be used toward tuition, books or other needs. Recipients meet the criteria of having a cumulative GPA of 2.75, sophomore level student or higher and employed in good standing at the NMSU Library for the last two semester prior to the award.  Paula C Johnson, Associate Professor, NMSU librarian and the newly appointed Patent & Trademark Resource Center librarian, attended the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s 38th annual training seminar in Alexandria, VA. Held on March 21-24, it included seminars on such topics as: “The Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) Bulk Data System” and “Intellectual Property Protection for Plants.”
  • Did you miss the NMSU Library Sunshine Week event, “Sunshine in the Shade: Uncovering Outside Influence in Local Elections”? Check it out at
  • The NMSU Library Archives and Special Collections Department announces that its Political Papers Unit has completed processing the Defense subseries of the Pete V. Domenici Senatorial Papers. A finding aid for the Pete V. Domenici Papers can be found at Researchers can access the papers by visiting the Caroline E. Stras Reading Room on the 4th Floor of Branson Library or by contacting the department at and by phone at (575) 646-3839.

Honors College, Dean Miriam Chaiken

International Research Scholarship Award – Dr. Ketelaar convened interviews with all of the finalists who had applied for the Honors College International Research Scholarship, and was aided in this process by Dr. Tracey Miller-Tomlinson  (English), Kira Turnham, our previous winner, and Ms. Deanise Marta who is the Chair of our Circle for Excellence. The award was given to Jessica Croom of the Geography department, who will be studying gentrification in Canadian cities. Another student, Arielle Gonzalez, had such a compelling project that she was selected as an Honorable Mention and will also receive a financial award. Arielle’s project will examine strategies to improve communication in linguistically diverse communities between patients and emergency medical personnel. A trained EMT who rescues people in distress as part of a helicopter crew, Arielle will put her experiences to work in Haiti.

Workshop on Applying to Graduate Programs – We taught a Friday afternoon workshop on strategies for applying to graduate school. Miriam Chaiken and Tim Ketelaar shared experiences of working with many students over the years and highlighted both positive strategies and pitfalls to avoid. We were joined by Dean Loui Reyes of the Graduate School, who talked about why Aggies should remain Aggies and pursue graduate studies here at NMSU.

Crimson Scholar Coordinator – Ms. Yvonne Pena Flores, who has been the Crimson Scholar coordinator for many years, will soon retire for good. We conducted interviews with candidates to replace her and were happy to make an offer to her replacement who will begin in a few weeks.

Administration and Finance, Senior Vice President Angela Throneberry

  • CCSU Open House – The Corbett Center Student Union Open House was held March 30th to celebrate the latest renovations. President Carruthers, ASNMSU President Dustin Chavez, and other community guest speakers addressed those gathered for the unveiling of the new plaque in the rotunda. Guests were greeted by Striking the Wonder Dog and Pistol Pete while enjoying refreshments and tours of the newly renovated building. For information on the renovations:
  • Ray Martinez Attendance Award – rayCustodial Team #1, The Terminators, was presented with the Ray Martinez Attendance award in the FS Annual Workforce meeting on April 1, 2016. This is an employee created award named for Ray Martinez who is recognized for his long attendance service to NMSU.  It fosters a friendly competition between the custodial teams.  The Terminators had a 90% attendance rate during calendar year 2015.  They will receive a commemorative plaque and a group breakfast or lunch.
  • Cyber Infrastructure Development – NMSU Chief Information Officer (CIO), Norma Grijalva, and UNM’s CIO, Gilbert Gonzales, are co-leading the New Mexico Science Education & Economic Development (SEED) Network.  The statewide project is a combined effort that engages universities, K-12 local communities, and state government that advances high speed networking and cyber infrastructure across New Mexico. This includes discussions to improve broadband networks, technical support for researchers, and other information technology services.  The project is one of several National Science Foundation grants awarded to New Mexico universities.
  • International Day – Sodexo’s Taos Restaurant hosted its annual student engagement event, International Day, a partnership with International Programs.  Lunch on March 29th featured world music, world cuisine from recipes contributed by NMSU international students, and educational facts about our culinary offerings.
  • grill stattionSteak at 360 Grill Station – Sodexo’s Taos Restaurant surprised guests on March 30th with a special steak lunch.  Sodexo cook staff visited with students and sizzled up Szechuan top round steaks with rice and grilled vegetables at the 360 Grill Station.
  • Crafts at Corbett – On March 31, Corbett Center Student Union programming staff sponsored a Crafts at Corbett monthly activity. Students gathered in the Aggie Lounge to build Mason jar terrariu

Student Affairs/Enrollment Management, Vice President Bernadette Montoya

  • Student Success Navigator Program – SAEM Vice President Bernadette Montoya hosted 80 faculty and staff at a Teaching Academy/University Teaching Council event that provided an update on the activities of the Student Success Navigator Program.  The Navigators had an opportunity to interact with representatives from the colleges they are assigned to work with and Marissa Macias, Program Coordinator. Marissa and the Navigators also provided an update on contacts with the 2015 Freshman class and how Navigators are assisting students.
  • LGBT+ hosted the Annual Drag Show during the Pride Season at NMSU.

    LGBT+ hosted the Annual Drag Show during the Pride Season at NMSU.

    LGBT+ Programs Celebrates Pride Season – The NMSU LGBT+ Programs has had a busy spring hosting the Pride Season celebrations, which included the Festival of Colors, J Paul Taylor Symposium on Social Justice, and entertaining Drag Show held Tuesday, March 29th.  Students, staff and faculty have gathered for these inclusive events promoting NMSU as a campus that recognizes, supports, and promotes diversity.  Pride Season will conclude with two featured events: on April 19, at 7:00 pm, MSNBC host and best-selling author, Janet Mock will speak on her book Redefining Realness. On May 6, the LGBT+ Programs will recognize student achievement at the annual Rainbow Graduation Dinner to be held at the NMSU Golf Course.  For more information on the program of a schedule of events, visit the website at .


  • intramIntramurals Keeps Students Active – Intramural Sports is in full swing with 9 sports currently underway.  Basketball, Dodgeball, Futsal, Grass Volleyball, Kickball, Ping Pong, Racquetball, Softball and Team handball.  Our Intramural program serves over 300 students each week, promoting and enhancing healthy lifestyles.  The program also employs over 100 students, providing them with not only financial support but also an opportunity to gain lifelong job skills.  Follow the program through our YouTube video.
Students from Intramural sports Enjoying the wide variety of sports offered this semester.

Students from Intramural sports Enjoying the wide variety of sports offered this semester.


  • Chase Foundation Dinner – Representatives from the Chase Foundation in Artesia, Ginny Bush and Jennifer Urban, were on campus on March 30th for their semester visit with Chase Scholars.  Dr. Bernadette Montoya provided the welcome to fifty students who are receiving the Chase Scholarship.
Dr. Bernadette Montoya, Vice President of SAEM welcomes students during the Chase Scholars Dinner.

Dr. Bernadette Montoya, Vice President of SAEM welcomes students during the Chase Scholars Dinner.

  • Financial Aid – The University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services held their Annual Spring Training. The training was to review updates with financial aid policies and procedures in the next academic year. Dr. Bernadette Montoya, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management addressed the group on team building and positive workplace behaviors.

Vice President for Economic Development, Vice President Kevin Boberg

  • Arrowhead Guest Visits – Last week, Arrowhead Center hosted visits from Bill Wolman, a representative from the Udall Albuquerque office, Greg Byrnes the NM BIO executive director, and Trisha Korbas the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce (EDA) regional representative. The visitors were given a briefing by the Arrowhead team about programs and operation, a tour of the facilities, and had a discussion with some of Studio G’s student entrepreneurs.
  • Research Rally – On Thursday, the VPR and Arrowhead Center hosted a Research Rally focused on technology developed by NMSU researchers, accelerated to market in conjunction with Arrowhead Center. The presenters were Nasser Khazeni and Dr. Rolston St. Hilaire.  Khazeni, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical Engineering, presented a technology he developed that helps cut CO2 emission.  Dr. St. Hilaire, a professor in the Plant and Environmental Science Department, presented his research and the commercialization process for a new variant of Bigtooth Maple tree. Both shared how Arrowhead has helped them through the process of developing the product and bringing it to market.
  • Aggie I-Corps – On Monday, Arrowhead Center hosted its first Aggie I-Corps team course, as part of the NSF I-Corps Site Over the next year, Arrowhead will host 3, five week training sessions for start-up businesses in the region. During the training session each team will develop their Value Proposition. At the end of the sessions, Arrowhead plans to identify teams that are ready to advance to the national I-Corps Teams competition.
  • CraftBox Design Hour – On Friday, Arrowhead held its monthly CraftBox Design hour, with 17 students in attendance. This month’s presenter was Dr. Melissa Chavira, director of web and digital communications for University Communications at NMSU.  Chavira discussed the nuances of web design and online communications.  CraftBox Design hours provide an opportunity for design students and entrepreneurs to learn the ins and outs of the design business, and have a chance to meet with local artists, entrepreneurs, and fellow students.

Vice President for Research, Vice President Vimal Chaitanya

Center for Space and Earth Sciences, LANL – The Office of Research Development of VP for Research organized the visit of Dr. Reinhard Friedel, Director of the Center for Space and Earth Science (CSES) at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Dr. Steve Buelow, Director of the New Mexico Consortium (NMC), to NMSU on March 29. Drs. Friedel and Buelow met with faculty in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Engineering and discussed opportunities for student, postdoc and university research collaborations.

Florida Solar Energy Center, UCF – The VPR office hosted the visit of Dr. James Fenton, Director of FSEC to NMSU. During the day and a half visit to NMSU Dr. Fenton met with The Deans of the College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences as well as several faculty members primarily from the Departments of Chemical and Materials Engineering and Physics. Dr. Fenton’s presentation titled, “PV, EV and Your Home: How Transportation and Grid Integration Work Together” was co-sponsored by the Electrochemical Society Student Chapter of NMSU. Dr. Chaitanya was invited to pay a return visit to further discuss collaborative research opportunities and plans.

Produced Water Remediation – As part of an ongoing project focused on produced water and its potential as an alternative to fresh water supplies, New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute (NM WRRI) staff conducted two public meetings this week in Carlsbad and Hobbs.  The goal of the project is to provide decision makers with improved information on quality and volumes, as well as information on the regulatory framework, treatment technologies and costs, and the potential uses of produced water outside of the oil and gas industry.

Free Domestic Well Water Testing – The NM WRRI well water testing program wrapped up this week with more than 200 individual well owners taking advantage of the program, which was offered in both Doña Ana and Grant counties. The program provided free testing of water from privately owned, domestic wells. Property owners saved as much as $250 each in the cost of the laboratory tests. The program received considerable news coverage with articles in the Sun-News, the Silver City Daily Press and the Deming Headlight. The program was broadcast by Univision in El Paso and covered by several local radio stations.

Residents of Grant County receive their free well water sampling kits at the County Cooperative Extension Office in Silver City.

Residents of Grant County receive their free well water sampling kits at the County Cooperative Extension Office in Silver City.

Newsfeed Announces Two Student Grant Projects – This week NM WRRI distributed its monthly online newsfeed, New Mexico Water eNews.  March’s articles featured two student grant projects including NMSU Ph.D. student, Sahar Qavi’s study on the use of high tech gels for water filtration.  Sahar’s faculty advisor is Dr. Reza Foudazi of NMSU’s Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering. The newsfeed also announced a recent NM WRRI publication on modeling precipitation and evapotranspiration in the state by UNM faculty member Ricardo González-Pinzón and student researcher Cameron Herrington. New Mexico Water eNews is available on the institute’s website:

NMSU doctoral student Sahar Qavi in the lab carrying out steps leading to the synthesis of nano-crystalline cellulose (NCC).

NMSU doctoral student Sahar Qavi in the lab carrying out steps leading to the synthesis of nano-crystalline cellulose (NCC).

University Advancement, Vice President/Foundation Executive Director Andrea Tawney

Estate Gift – An Aggie alum has made an estate gift of approximately $200,000 (present value) that will establish a memorial endowed scholarship in honor of a deceased spouse, for benefit of students in the College of Arts and Sciences. The donor is being welcomed into the NMSU 1888 Society.

Engineering Gift – The College of Engineering received a $15,000 gift to the Waste Management, Education and Research Consortium Design Contest Endowment.

GradNation – NMSU’s GradNation event, sponsored by America’s Promise, AT&T, and Bravo Chevrolet El Paso/Las Cruces was a tremendous success. Approximately 200 junior high schoolers (sporting “future Aggie” tshirts) and about 130 community members from business, nonprofits, and the education sectors came together to address achieving a 90% high school graduation rate by 2020. Special thanks to Drs. Tony Marin and Michelle Saenz-Adames for being the driving forces that pulled his great event together.


Domenici Conference Gift – Presbyterian Healthcare will sponsor this year’s Domenici Conference at the $5,000 level.

Family Foundation Gift – We received $25,000 from a family foundation for DACC scholarships – these will be matched by the Wynn fund at the CFSNM.

Athletics, Director Mario Moccia

  • Athletics held our monthly Full Staff meeting in the Lori Paulson Meeting Room. Royal Jones, CEO of Mesilla Valley Transportation was the guest speaker. He discussed origins of his company and what it takes to be successful in business and in athletics. He talked about his interest in athletics and his hobby in car racing.
  • Had a lunch meeting with the Tough Enough to Wear Pink (TETWP) co-chairs Pat Sisbarro and Laura Conniff and event coordinator Rick Nezzer to discuss the TETWP campaign. We discussed strategies on increasing attendance and revenue in conjunction with the TETWP promotion. We determined that the October 22nd football game against Georgia Southern will be the Aggies are Tough Enough to Wear Pink game.
  • Traveled to El Paso to meet with UTEP Director of Athletics Bob Stull and Deputy Director Chris Park regarding issues relating to both universities as well as current athletic conference climate.
  • Joined Football Head Coach, Dough Martin and Chancellor Garrey Carruthers at the Citizens Bank Board of Directors breakfast. We gave a general athletic department update including our 2016 Football season.
  • Attended the 2016 Men’s Basketball Final Four in Houston, TX. Had a meeting with Head Men’s Basketball Coach Marvin Menzies and our footwear and apparel provider which will be publically announced this spring/summer. I had the opportunity to have lunch with Senior Vice President Bob Agramonte and President of Learfield Sports Rick Brown to discuss our partnership as well as outstanding contractual issues. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hosted a membership brunch with guest speaker Mark Emmert, President of the NCAA and Harris Pastides, NCAA President Board of Directors and President of University of South Carolina. We discussed current NCAA topics including time demand surveys, transfer rules, and ongoing litigations. Immediately after the brunch, there was a Division 1A Athletic Directors Association meeting where we discussed in further student-athlete time demands and other Division 1 issues.

International and Border Program, Associate Provost Cornell Menking

International and Border Programs held its 2016 Las Cruces International Festival on Saturday, April 2.  It was a smashing success, with 25 booths by community and student organizations, ongoing cultural entertainment all day long, plenty of food, and a horse drawn carriage ferrying people to and from the Farmer’s Market.  An estimated 1,500 people in attendance.  A nice Sun News article covered the story.  Lots of photos can be found on IBP’s Flickr page.


IBP learned that the U.S. Embassy of Ecuador will fund a partnership between the Center for English Language Programs and Universidad San Francisco de Quito.  The project will sponsor a group of indigenous students from to come to NMSU this summer to study English and learn about American culture.  These students require homestays, so if anyone is interested in this please contact Ashley Ryan in CELP for more details.

OEA reports that its “Marketeers” have averaged 16-17 classroom presentations over the past few weeks, promoting Education Abroad in general.

OEA staff attended the monthly Academic Advising Council Work group meeting and met with Financial Aid to discuss changes to policy in regards to lottery, loans and grant distribution for the upcoming academic year.

Ms. Palumbo and Dr. Menking presented to the Academic Deans Council a stopgap solution for challenges associated with Faculty Led International Programs (FLiP) faculty compensation for teaching courses abroad.  By December 31 the goal is for OEA and the Faculty Senate to arrive at a permanent policy that specifically addresses this issue.

The Office of Education Abroad said goodbye to its Director Kristian Chervenock, who has provided excellent leadership and guidance to the office over the years. Angelina Palumbo will provide leadership for OEA during the interim period.

Two new employees started this week in IBP’s Office of International Student and Scholar Services – Trisha Montalvo, an international admissions application processor, came over from NMSU’s Office of Admissions.  Corine Huante, previously employed at UTEP’s Extended University, began as ISSS’s new Transcript Evaluator.

University Communications, Associate Vice President Maureen Howard

News – The News and Media Relations group hosted an on-campus visit by Albuquerque Journal business writer Kevin Robinson-Avila Thursday and Friday. The reporter met with Kevin Boberg, Vice President for Economic Development, as well as leaders at the Arrowhead Center, College of Business Dean James Hoffman and others. He also attended the Scholarly Excellence Rally Thursday, which focused on Arrowhead.

Sports Information – Athletics Media Relations continued its coverage of the spring sports seasons including the women’s tennis team winning the WAC Regular Season Championship with a 5-0 league mark, the softball Aggies leading the WAC and the baseball Aggies, which are one game out of first place.

Web Communications – This week we were invited to Arrowhead’s Craftbox Design Hours to discuss the “In and Outs of Branding” and how the NMSU website has incorporated the brand design elements in the digital environment. Craftbox Design Hours are held on the first Friday of the month and a member of the community is invited to talk about a variety of design topics.

Government Relations, Assistant Vice President Ricardo Rel

  • The Office of Government Relations is hosting a post legislative debriefing and NMSU update for our Dona Ana County Legislators on April 6, 2016.
  • Chancellor Carruthers and Secretary Damron are testifying before the Legislative Finance Committee on April 15, 2016 on “Improving Efficiency and Productivity at New Mexico’s Colleges and Universities.

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

  • I discussed agricultural innovations to assist the Arrowhead Center with an upcoming event. The event will focus on building bridges between innovative new products and services and established market leaders in the agriculture industry.
  • Staff attended the 2016 Plenary Meeting New Mexico – Senora Commission. There were worktable sessions including: border security, economic and agro industrial development, education and science and technology, health, and tourism.
  • APR staff gave a presentation at the Cabezon Community Center in Albuquerque. The presentation was part of the Ciudad SWCD Integrated Resource Management Workshop series. The presentation addressed Vegetative System Dynamics and Weed Control.

NMSU Police, Chief Stephen Lopez

Police Activity – There were 38 police reports created, 38 supplements filed, and 61 traffic citations issued.   The Records & Evidence Office processed 60 items of evidence entered into the vault, 32 people were fingerprinted, and 16 background investigations were conducted.

Emergency Dispatch Center – Emergency Dispatch Center handled 309 calls for service (3 of which were 911 calls) resulting in 292 police calls (30 of which were agency assist) and 11 warrant entries.  There were 19 fire calls (8 of which were mutual aid), 2 emergency medical calls, 1 smell of smoke, 3 fire alarms, 1 unknown type fire, and 1 public assist.  There were also 4 animal control calls.

Special Events – Special Events staff worked 150 hours and reviewed 16 events.

Victim Services staff – Provided OIE with information, follow-up with victim, and provided counseling referrals for mother of victim.

Dealing with Difficult People – Chief Lopez provided training for the DACC Central staff members on Dealing With Difficult People.  This course discusses how to distinguish between someone who is being difficult and someone who is dangerous, and how to address each situation.

CPR and First Aid Training – Karena Pirtle and Kenna Eversole taught CPR and First Aide on Tuesday March 29 to the Ag Students getting ready for their Student Teaching in area high schools!

Hiring – The Emergency Dispatch Center is now fully staffed with the addition of two new dispatchers, David Paz and Crystal Gilcrease, who will be in training process over the next several months.

Fatal Motorcycle Crash Investigation – The Police Department investigation into a fatal motorcycle crash last week continues.  The crash took place when a motorcyclist fled an NMSU Police Officer when he tried to make a traffic stop.  While the NMSU Police Department has a certified traffic crash reconstruction team leading the investigation, additional assistance is being provided by the Las Cruces Police Department thanks to additional skills and equipment they possess.  (NOTE:  For those looking for careers in law enforcement, traffic crash reconstruction relies heavily on STEM fields.  Having a good understanding of math, up through calculus, and physics is essential.)

New Mexico State University-Doña Ana, President Renay Scott

Student Scholarship Dinner – 120 students and donors celebrated at the annual scholarship dinner. Donors were thanked by both students and Dr. Scott. New scholarship donors including NMSU Doña Ana first president Alex and wife Elaine Sanchez, Andrea and James Tawney, Jan Sharp, Liz Ramirez, and Edward Lopez were recognized for their contributions on behalf of students. Student speakers Daniel Carver and Clarissa Porras and Sponsor speaker James Tawney inspired all in attendance.


Garcia Named Top Business Student – Breanna Garcia of NMSU Doña Ana, has received a $1,000 Scholarship from Kappa Beta Delta Region 6. Garcia is pursuing a degree in business management and has maintains a 3.6 GPA. She chose a business major because of the number of career possibilities after graduation. Garcia is involved with Kappa Beta Delta, community service projects and was honored as a Crimson Scholar for her academic achievements.

Kappa Beta Delta is an international honor society that encourages and recognizes scholarship and accomplishment among students of business, management and administration pursuing associate degrees.

New Mexico State University-Alamogordo, President Ken Van Winkle

Desert Star Elementary Visits NMSU-A – On March 29, 150 fourth and fifth graders from Desert Star Elementary who are part of the College Bound Elementary School Program toured NMSU-A. The students visited each of NMSU-A’s three divisions and participated in activities designed to engage their interest in various areas of education. The College Bound Elementary School Program advocates the idea that “college begins in kindergarten” by building strong elementary school and college connections through campus tours, workshops, presentations, outreach programs, and parental involvement. NMSU-A and the Alamogordo Public Schools are proud to partner and promote a college-going culture at Desert Star College Bound Elementary School.

NMSU-A Holds First Open House – On Friday April 1, NMSU-A held its first Open House. In the morning, approximately 300 high school juniors and seniors visited the campus from Alamogordo HS, Academy Del Sol, Cloudcroft HS and Mescalero HS.  They toured all areas of campus, received information from the faculty and staff and participated in various activities to give them a sense of what programs NMSU-A has to offer.  In the evening, the campus was open to everyone in the community.  Members of the NMSU-A student organizations guided the visitors around the campus and faculty and staff were on hand to answer questions on everything from registration to financial aid.

Career Fair Provides Answers – On Wed, Mar 30, Student Services and Allied Health hosted a career fair to provide insight and answers to student questions about job search programs, writing resumes and career options.

New Mexico State University -Carlsbad, President John Gratton

  • NMSU Carlsbad President John Gratton traveled to Madison, Wisconsin, on Sunday, March 27 in order to serve on a Higher Learning Commission AQIP team visit at Madison Area Technical College. The five-person team spent Monday, March 28 and Tuesday, March 29 on the Madison College campus and during this time, three branch campuses were visited and an evaluation was conducted of the distance learning programs of study.  The team concluded its processes on Wednesday, March 30 and now will submit its final report to HLC.
  • On Friday, April 1, President John Gratton presided at the NMSU Carlsbad monthly Steering Committee meeting. Reports were heard from each of the Standing Committee Chairs and a report was given on AQIP processes and procedures.

New Mexico State University – Grants, Interim President Harry Sheski

Adjunct Faculty Appreciation – The NMSU Grants Associated Student Government honored the hard work and longevity of adjunct faculty members who have taught 5 or more years at NMSU Grants.  Each faculty member was presented with a certificate of appreciation and a goodie gift basket packed with NMSU swag.  The presentations were made by an ASG representative, the respective program manager, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Bill Serban.  About 20 adjunct faculty members were presented these certificates and gifts.

NMSU Grants Library – An exhibit titled “Meet The Camera Man” featuring a collection of cameras, projectors and photography equipment from the private collection of NMSU Grants Pre-Nursing student Matt Lopez is currently on display in the cases across from the Theater outside the Library.  Says Lopez, “I have been collecting cameras for almost 5 years now. It all started right here in Grants; I was at a thrift shop looking around and what instantly caught my eye was an old, vintage 35mm film camera. That was all it took, I was hooked. I quickly learned photography and collecting old cameras was an expensive hobby. I was lucky that most of the cameras I own were handed down or given to me.

Community Outreach & Program Development –  The NMSU Grants Leadership team have been exploring new ways to revive and expand programs in both the health and correctional program areas.  On March 22, Dr. Sheski, Interim President, NMSU Grants met with the newly hired CEO of the Cibola General Hospital, Thomas Whelen, to develop future partnerships and possible new programs.  Cibola General Hospital currently supports both the Certified Nurse Assistant program and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs by providing practicum opportunities for NMSU students.

Later the same week, the NMSU Grants Leadership Team met with both the Correctional Corportation of American and Western Correctional leadership teams to discuss the possible revitalization of correctional officer training as well as providing courses and programs to employees and inmates.  NMSU Grants plans to develop a proposal for coursework to be offered on site at the CCA facility to begin as early as the fall semester of 2016.


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