While at the WAC Basketball Tournament, I met with the Presidents and Athletic Directors of the WAC schools to discuss business as well as the challenges facing the Conference regarding membership. The WAC is initiating an aggressive membership campaign. Commissioner Jeff Hurd said “something was going to happen and happen soon” regarding conference alignments and realignments. One rumor was the Mountain West would become a 16-member conference with two-8 member divisions. NMSU could come into play as a new member, along with UTEP. Another uncertainty facing athletics is the ongoing investigation of NCAA basketball violations. There is also a special committee analyzing the “transfer” issue in collegiate basketball.
The Heritage Farm is now off and running with the planting of the Mark Salopek Pecan Tree Gateway Orchard. For this season, the remainder of the farm will be planted in alfalfa. We are awaiting a design from our plant science folks on how we will display all of the great NMSU plant and irrigation research, which hopefully can be in place for next season. Some talk now of a “pop up winery” near the hotel which would be used for special occasions and receptions. The “pop up winery” would be constructed from shipping containers, which are inexpensive but very durable.
I appreciate the participation of the faculty, students, and staff in the deliberations regarding the recommendations of the Special Regents Athletics Committee. Shared governance is a very important feature of Universities. It is important to be heard!
The Regents meeting on March 6th was most notable for the number of people who signed up for public comment and expressed their concerns about the proposal to transfer $1.1 million from the instruction and general budget to the Athletic Department. After listening patiently for 45 minutes, the Regents voted not to transfer the money, but instead to authorize an extension of the repayment period for the Athletic Department debt. The extension will free up some badly needed funds for Athletics. Another notable outcome of the meeting was the decision to pursue the opening of an NMSU branch campus in San Luis Potosi City, Mexico.
On Thursday, March 8, I took annual leave to travel to Las Vegas with my wife, Jenifer, and cheer on the NMSU Men and Women’s Basketball teams as they played in the WAC Tournament. Unfortunately, the Women’s team, which has had a marvelous season, suffered a disappointing loss to Seattle University in the semifinal game. The men also struggled a bit in their semifinal game, but managed to find a way to win, something that has characterized them throughout this season. They were sharper in the final game, winning handily against Grand Canyon University. As fun as the games are, the real pleasure of the trip is seeing so many Aggies come together to root for their teams.
The Rehabilitation Act, Section 508, required that by January 2018, websites of any organization receiving federal funds must be accessible to persons with disability. In six months, ACES’s Innovative Media Research and Extension team edited, corrected and coded almost 7,000 web pages, including 20,000 PDFs, images, interactive media, and 1,000+ YouTube videos. The team inserted compliant captioning and image codes to ensure accessibility. Because ACES’ web sites represented about half of NMSU’s total web assets, this effort significantly raised NMSU’s overall compliance score. Going forward, new documents posted to ACES sites will be reviewed for compliance to accessibility and copyright laws.
The Agricultural Extension Education, and Plant and Environmental Sciences Departments combined forces to help East Picacho Elementary school students learn about soils, erosion, and rocks. About 85 second graders got a chance to get their hands dirty during a field trip to the Zuhl Museum and windmill technology area on the west side of NMSU campus. Faculty and grad students from both departments set up learning stations where the kids could look through a microscope to see nematodes and other soil fauna, practice soil texture-by-feel, identify rocks and see how compost is made. Other lessons included the filtering properties of soil, how covering a soil helps reduce erosion, and what kind of products come from soil. The highlight was getting a personalized tour through the new Zuhl Museum.
The Quay County Extension office hosted the latest Let’s Talk! Breakfast in Town event at the Tucumcari Convention Center. This educational series is conducted around the state by Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources specialists and the Corona Range and Livestock Research Center. The agenda is modified to present relevant information by location to meet the needs of our clientele. The Quay County event started with breakfast for 35 attendees, followed with presentations on the Tucumcari Bull Test, Current Federal Motor Carrier Rules as they apply to livestock hauling and an update on the ACES High calf marketing program. An attendee driven roundtable discussion on livestock production and marketing completed the event, which is sponsored by industry.
Brenda Bishop, Family and Consumer Sciences agent, gave a “Why Everyone Needs a Will” workshop at the Quay County Extension office. It motivated many participants to take action; one particular participant stated that it prompted her to “organize & update her will.”
Lauren Waszek, assistant professor in the Department of Physics, authored a paper published in the prestigious Nature Communication, where she describes her investigation of deep seismic shifts leading to new understandings of how tectonic plates shift.
The 2018 Las Cruces International Film Festival is in full swing; it will features workshops, panels, film presentations and a number of guest artists (e.g., Pam Grier, RJ Mitte, Billy Boyd and Cybill Shepherd).
The NMSU Museum will host the Lantern Festival Celebration on March 10, in association with the Confucius Institute and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association. The event featured educational presentations, hands-on workshops, and Chinese food tasting.
Thanks to the efforts of Professor Anne Hubbell (Communication Studies), NMSU hosted the ‘A Day as an NMSU College Student’ event, for fifth graders from Sonoma Elementary School.
Dean Jim Hoffman and Director of Development Anthony Casaus met with Farm Credit of New Mexico management team on March 5-7, from around the state for their annual lectures series in the College of Business and College of ACES. The management team consisted of alumnus, Al Porter – (`78) ACES – President/CEO – Albuquerque; alumna, Shacey Sullivan – (`99) ACES – Assistant Vice President/Director of Marketing – Albuquerque; alumnus, Damian Roberts – (`92) COB – Vice President/Branch Business Development Manager – Albuquerque; alumna, Tania Privette (`06, `11) COB – Intermediate Credit Analyst – Las Cruces; alumna, Valerie Scott – (`03) ACES – Vice President Appraisal Manager – Roswell; alumnus, Dustin Ptolemy (`10) COB –Finance – Portales; alumna, Johnna Fluhman– ACES – Appraisal Manager – Clayton.
The NMSU Alums from Farm Credit of New Mexico spoke to the following classes in the College of Business on March 6-7.
Professor, Paula Groves – Finance 303V – Personal Finance Planning/Investments Global
Professor, Mike McGonigle – Finance 324 – Property and Liability Insurance
Professor, Juan Holguin – Marketing 303 – Principles-Marketing
Professor, Juan Holguin – Marketing 313 – Retail Management
Photo by Anthony Casaus: – left to right, Professor, Juan Holguin, Shacey Sullivan presenting in Marketing 303
Dean Hoffman and Casaus met with College of Business alumnus, Kyle Louvar (`98 ) March 8. Kyle is Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor for Dahmer & Louvar Wealth Management for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. in Houston. Louvar met with finance students and faculty over lunch talking about his business in financial planning and wealth management. Louvar also met with students in Professor Ken Martin’s Finance 435 Investment Analysis class.
Curriculum & Instruction – 2018 AERA Science Teaching and Learning SIG Early Career Travel Award We are proud to announce that Dr. Magdalena Pando was a recipient of the 2018 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Science Teaching and Learning Special Interest Group (SIG) Early Career Travel Award. The SIG noted that they “received numerous submissions” and Dr. Pando’s application “rose to the top.” With this award, Dr. Pando will present her paper entitled Integrating Model-Based Inquiry With a Functional Language Perspective to Teach Science to English Language Learners. She will also present her research to STEM and bilingual education in a poster and roundtable session.
Counseling & Educational Psychology Department – Lee Mun Wah In a span of two days and four events, almost 300 people were able to take part in An Unfinished Conversation about race through the facilitation of our visiting Diversity Dialogue Expert. Thank you to everyone who supported the Lee Mun Wah event, we’ve received a lot of positive feedback about his impact. Wednesday’s film and discussion: IF THESE HALLS COULD TALK showed the stories of college students around the country, each story starkly emotional and presenting issues that provoke & are equally perplexing, begging to be heard and confronted. The keynote speech, THE WORLD IS ALL AROUND US enabled NMSU students to learn that our differences are something to celebrate and to embrace and that diversity includes everyone, and that to achieve the world we want, we each must become the change that we desire. These events were live streamed and recorded, so for the next couple of weeks you can view the discussions at https://cep.nmsu.edu/.
The College of Engineering held its second annual Faculty and Staff Awards Banquet at the NMSU Golf Course Friday, February 23, to celebrate accomplishments. Nine faculty and staff members were selected by their peers and honored in different categories with $1,000 awards that were supported by college donors. They are Ruinian Jiang, Professor, Engineering Technology and Surveying Engineering; Paola Bandini, civil engineering; John Ross Tapia, engineering technology; Monica Lopez, Dean’s Office; Linda Schauer, Office of Engineering Research; Terry Armstrong, mechanical and aerospace engineering; Kenneth Ruble, mechanical and aerospace engineering; Douglas Cortes, civil engineering; Elizabeth Howard, academic associate dean’s office. Also recognized was Brad Weldon, civil engineering, who was recently named the Harold Foreman Professorship for Excellence in Civil Engineering. Nine faculty members were recognized as top new grant awardees.
On Saturday, February 23, the College of Engineering hosted the Southwest Regional Science and Engineering Fair. Approximately 90 middle- and high-school students competed in the fair. Of those, 45 qualified to compete at the State Science and Engineering Fair in April. Three students qualified to compete at Intel International Fair in May in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The fair had projects ranging from monitoring congestive heart failure to finding new ways to conserve water.
In February, civil engineering undergraduate students Garrett Gibson, Alejandro Salas, Juan Olivares and graduate student Juan Solis attended the Tamarisk Coalition’s 16th Annual Riparian Restoration Conference at Grand Junction, Colorado. They presented their research projects in the area of water resources engineering. The students work with Professors Salim Bawazir and Nirmala Khandan on a ReNUWIt (Reinventing Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure) project funded by the National Science Foundation through Stanford University. Students Juan Olivares’ and Alejandro Salas’ research projects are also partially sponsored by the Alliance for Minority Participation STEM program at NMSU. The research topics presented included how to rehabilitate urban riparian water systems using natural system design to conserve water, improve water quality, stabilize embankment, improve urban environment, and provide habitat for wildlife. There were nearly 200 conference attendees comprising river restoration professionals, land managers, scientists, and others, from 13 states, Canada and the Republic of Mexico.
On February 27, Engineering New Mexico Resource Network staff members Chris Campbell and Jalal Rastegary, along with graduate student Amirreza Barin, provided on-site energy and environmental assessment at two businesses in Taos, New Mexico. Community Against Violence is a non-profit that operates a domestic violence shelter and thrift store in two separate facilities. The assessments evaluated gas and electric utility services for each of the buildings along with their recycling and re-use programs. Taos County Economic Development Corp. operates economic incubator spaces, including a large community kitchen that provides industrial-scale cooking and food preparation spaces for local chefs and entrepreneurs. This kitchen space utilizes large amounts of electricity and lighting monthly and provides many opportunities for improved resource conservation. Each of the facilities assessed will receive feedback reports and recommendations for cost-savings from Engineering New Mexico.
The Southern Area Health Education Center (SoAHEC) attended Community Night at New America High School. SoAHEC interns from DACC provided information and distributed more than 50 health career manuals designed to maximize the diversity and expansion of the healthcare workforce especially in underserved communities. The manuals offer creative, hands-on and innovative health careers curriculum for students that guide them in goal setting and educational planning.
Recently, Center on Immigration and Child Welfare (CICW) and the Appleseed Network co-presented on a webinar for 300 participants of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA). The presentation, Critical Issues at the Intersection of Immigration and Child Welfare and How You Can Help Prepare Families, was the first in a series that the CICW will be conducting for the CWLA over the next year on immigration and child welfare issues, and coincides with the call for papers and publication of CWLA’s Journal Child Welfare special issue dedicated to issues surrounding the intersection of immigration and child welfare, on which Social Work’s Dr. Megan Finno-Velasquez is guest co-editor.
This past fall, the Center on Immigration and Child Welfare, and a MSW/MPH student intern, coordinated site visits and conducted research with the Center on Law and Social Policy on a multi-state study on the impacts of immigration enforcement on young children and early childhood systems. The official reports were released Thursday.
A researcher from Norway recently made his way into the NMSU Library Archives and Special Collections in pursuit of a childhood fascination. At age 10, the researcher read Helge Ingstadt’s book The Apache Indians: In Search of a Missing Tribe, first published in Norway in 1939. The fascinating book relates Ingstadt’s travels from Norway to Arizona in order to live with Apache families and learn of their first-hand experiences with the great leader Geronimo. This book sparked a lifelong interest for the researcher in the Apache and in particular their relations with Spanish explorers, settlers and soldiers. In the NMSU Library, the researcher was introduced to the vast collections the Archives and Special Collections department microfilmed in Durango, Mexico, between 1991 and 2009. This unique material, particularly the microfilm of the Historical Archive of the Archbishopric of Durango, proved extremely fruitful to the researcher, who encountered a cache of primary source documents of the 18th and 19th centuries that provides details on Spanish/Apache relations. The Archives and Special Collection department produced more than 1,100 reels of microfilm from Mexican sources in Durango. The films have been used by scholars from around the world.
Visits from Prospective Students This is the time of year when students who are trying to make decisions about which university to attend are busy with campus visits. We had at least one prospective student every day this week, all very talented and interested in learning about what NMSU has to offer and in particular the advantages of being a member of the Honors College. We are unique compared with other universities in many ways, but perhaps most importantly we differ in the rules for inclusion. Most Honors Colleges require a separate admission process, and often higher tuition than the main university. Because we are a Land-Grant and HSI university, we believe a democratic, inclusive approach to eligibility. All students who meet the criteria for being a Crimson Scholar (3.5 GPA) are automatically eligible for all of the benefits of being a member of the Honors College. We help create the small campus experience, with intimate classes that foster discussions, within the big university with nearly 100 majors from which to choose. Our students are able to register for classes on the first day of registration, opt to live in the Honors Living and Learning Community, and have full access to our building including our lovely “Commons Room.”
Big Read continued This week, in collaboration with the Rio Grande Theater, our Big Read event included a screening of the classic Japanese film Seven Samurai by film maker Akira Kurosawa. Kurosawa’s masterpiece was inspired by classic western films produced in the US, and in turn inspired the 1960 western classic Magnificent Seven that was screened a few weeks ago at the beginning of Big Read events. The author of the book Into the Beautiful North that inspired all of these events will be speaking at 7:30 pm on March 13, in the ASNMSU Center for the Arts. Author Luis Urrea promises to provide a lively discussion of his work, and all events are free to the public.
Community Garden In honor of NMSU’s Land-Grant roots, our apartment and family housing in South Campus are working to reinvigorate the Community Garden program. Through collaboration with our outstanding partners in the Grounds Department, the garden soil was prepared for spring planting. Residents may sign up for a garden plot to grow their very own culinary and decorative plants.
Historical Marker A Grounds crew traveled to White Sands Missile Range to perform beautification work on a new historical marker, the Eugene Manlove Rhodes gravesite. Rhodes Hall is named after Eugene Manlove Rhodes, who was an accomplished author of western stories.
Participants jumped at the chance to benefit the NMSU Community ICT’s Student Lab Associates held a food drive during the month of February to benefit the Aggie Cupboard. ICT collected more than 50 food donations during the event. Donations were accepted at Pete’s Place Computer Lab, Hardman & Jacobs Computer Lab, and in the ICT main office. Through these donations, NMSU was able to help provide support for those who may be struggling with food insecurity.
On March 6, Student Success Center Associate Director Michelle Saenz-Adames, and Admissions Advisor Brandon Fields, co-presented at Ruidoso High School. The presentation was conducted for Sophomore, Juniors and Seniors and included an overview of the college admissions process, and preparing for college, “Mastering the art of time management.” This is the 4th year that Mrs. Hamilton from Ruidoso High School has invited the Student Success Center and the Admissions Office to present in her classroom.
NMSU Outdoor Recreation had a busy weekend, March 2-4, with planning and leading three trips this past weekend. Some Aggies went climbing on a guided tour at Hueco Tanks State Park, a premier climbing spot in the country, while other students explored the Dona Ana mountain biking trails. On Sunday, students were led on a leisurely hike to Baylor Pass in the Organ Mountains. All trips were led by Outdoor Leadership Program facilitators, two of which were observation trips for emerging trip leaders.
Kick Butts Day took place on Tuesday, February 27, outside of Corbett Center Student Union and we reached over 700 students with tobacco/smoking information to encourage students to be informed to make healthy choices. On Monday, February 26, we participated in a resource fair surrounding the topics of reproductive where we hosted an interactive table featuring information on sexual health and sexually transmitted infections.
The Aggie Welcome and Orientation office was able to send two Orientation Leaders, Hunter Graham and Shelby Johnson to Mesquite Elementary for Career Day. The Orientation Leaders spoke to young children about the educational and career opportunities available by becoming an Aggie. The children who asked questions received an Aggie t-shirt. Proving that students of every age love free shirts, these kids asked plenty of questions!
On March 3, Career Services’ staff members Marci Salinas, Coordinator for Career Advising and Paul McGill, Graduate Assistant, presented resume/cover letter, interviewing, salary negotiation and Life After College to about 90 students for Chi Omega, Delta Zeta and Kappa Sigma for Professional Development Day. In preparation for the Employment Extravaganza event on March 14, Career Services provided resume reviews throughout campus during the week of March 5-9 reaching over 50 students.
On Monday, March 5, Career Services met with staff members from New Mexico Workforce Connection to learn about their Tuition Assistance and Training Reimbursement programs. The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds programs designed for adult and dislocated workers over the age of 18 to find employment, stay employed, earn or increase wages and learn occupational skills. The Tuition Assistance Program provides up to $15,000 in tuition assistance to help pay for education depending on the field of study.
Kori Plank, catalog editor, spent February 28-March 2, attending the Leepfrog Users Conference (LUC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She was invited, by the vendor, to sit on a panel that consisted of experienced Catalog Management Users and provide assistance to their brand new users. Kori spoke on the collaboration efforts across the NMSU system that helped create a unified catalog for students, faculty, and staff. She was able to network with other users across the nation, and even some parts of Canada, to bring back new ideas that can push our Catalogs to the next level and assist with student recruitment and retention efforts.
For the 2018/19 academic year, 3,354 incoming students have been awarded federal aid.
- Students assisted in the Financial Aid Office are the following:
- In person at front window– 209
- On the main phone lines – 152
- Via email – 96
- At CAASS (Center for Academic Advising and Student Success) – 17
The WAVE program has been focusing on body image and healthy eating this week. Over the weekend, nine of the peer educators received a twelve-hour training on The Body Project, a health and wellness program that helps students with personal growth as well as leadership initiatives. Stay tuned in the coming months to see how the WAVE program rolls the program out to the NMSU campus! Coupled with that they had an “Aggies Love Your Body” table on Thursday March 8 to promote healthy body image as well as debunk some of the myths surrounding eating disorders.
On Monday, they also launched their #EasyAggieEats contest on social media to promote eating healthy while staying on a budget. WAVE has released a recipe a day on their social media platforms. Students who attempt the recipe and post a picture of it, get entered into a contest to receive two Thomas Rhett concert tickets! Students have until March 16, to enter the contest, although many Aggies have already tried several of the recipes! To go along with the contest, WAVE hosted a tabling event where students learned how to put together their own well-balanced meal. To learn more about the #TheBodyProjectNMSU or #EasyAggieEats contest, visit WAVE’s Facebook page @WAVE-NMSU or Instagram @WAVENMSU.
New Mexico International Women’s Forum The New Mexico International Women’s Forum quarterly meeting was hosted by Arrowhead Center on March 4. The meeting, held at La Posta, featured a panel of innovators and entrepreneurs working with Arrowhead Center who shared insights on the role of higher education in entrepreneurship and economic development. The panel featured NMSU faculty Dr. Champa Sengupta-Gopalan and Dr. Jose Luis Ortega, Studio G clients Alex Gorsuch and Maggie Benham, BCOM student Robyn Marks, and Studio G client Rachael Ryan. Each panel presenter works with Arrowhead Center in some capacity on innovations they have created through or in collaboration with NMSU.
Innoventure Jr Innoventure Director Amanda Bradford spoke at the Las Cruces Public Schools Board of Education work session on Tuesday, March 6, to share information about Innoventure Jr. and how elementary teachers can use our free entrepreneurship education materials in their classrooms in Las Cruces and around the state. The board was enthusiastic, and the district is working on adding information about all Innoventure programs to the LCPS website for teachers and parents to access.
Studio G Networking Hour On Wednesday, Studio G held its weekly networking hour, focusing on identifying a value proposition by asking “What can you do for your customer?” The Studio G weekly networking hour provides students and local entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn about business strategies and the principles of entrepreneurship, as well as a chance to connect with other aspiring and successful entrepreneurs. Each session is broadcast on Facebook Live. Check out the following link to see the video and learn about upcoming events https://www.facebook.com/studiognmsu/.
Dr.’s Hynes and Oemig presented the New Mexico Space Grant and NASA EPSCoR annual reports to staff members of our Congressional delegation on Wednesday, February 28, in Washington, D.C. On Thursday March 1, through Saturday, March 3, we attended the annual meeting of the National Space Grant Council. The Acting NASA Deputy Administrator Krista Paquin and the Associate Administrator for Education Michael Kincaid, spoke. Dr. Joeletta Patrick, Space Grant Program manager, and various members of administration from the NASA field centers addressed the directors. The major message of this meeting was to clarify NASA’s continuing commitment to education. NASA’s Vision: We immerse the public in NASA’s work, enhance STEM literacy, and inspire the next generation to explore. NASA’s Mission: Engaging the nation in NASA’s mission. Dr.’s Hynes and Oemig met with Dr. Beth O’Leary on March 6, to discuss our collaboration with St. John’s University on the Space Archeology and Media online journal.
NM WRRI Director Sam Fernald presided over the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. last week. Dr. Fernald is the current President of NIWR, a national organization that includes state institute directors from each state, the District of Colombia, and the US Territories of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The membership forms the primary link between water experts in our Nation’s universities and those who manage and use water. The group meets annually in D.C. to assess priorities for research and collaboration among institutes. The meeting also affords the membership an opportunity to meet with their state’s congressional delegation on Capitol Hill.
New planned gift includes NMSU A donor and former faculty member has recently listed NMSU Foundation in his Trust in support of the Department of Kinesiology and Dance, as well as Intramural and Recreational Sports.
College of ACES big support An alumna has established two new $25,000 endowed funds in the College of ACES. The first is in memory of her alumnus husband for support of the NMSU Windmill Workshop in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Education. The second named fund is for a scholarship in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology.
College of Engineering boost for STEM outreach The LANL Foundation in Espanola, New Mexico, awarded a $4,000 grant to support the 2018 NM PREP summer STEM academies for middle school and high school students. NM PREP (New Mexico Pre-Freshman Engineering Program) is an outreach program of the NMSU College of Engineering. Students spend two weeks living at NMSU and engaging in science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities.
Aggie Alumni take over #WACVegas The Alumni Relations team along with the NMSU Foundation joined up to host multiple events throughout the WAC Tournament weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. On Thursday, the Chancellor enjoyed lunch with the NMSU Foundation Board, including past and current members, who shared gratitude in each other’s leadership of the university. All Aggies and friends later gathered for the Chancellor’s Welcome Reception in the Orleans Arena where dozens showed up to show their sports pride and hear from team leaders! By Friday, around 400 fans showed up for an “All-Aggie Alumni and Athletics Reception” prior to the Men’s basketball game that evening. Everyone who showed their support in Las Vegas for both of our outstanding basketball teams enjoyed an Aggie-filled, celebratory weekend.
Our Aggies women’s basketball beat UT Rio Grande Valley on the final day of the regular season. The win over UTRGV coupled with Grand Canyon University beating Cal-State Bakersfield gave the Aggies the outright regular season Western Athletic Conference title for the fourth consecutive year and the
No. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament. First year head coach Brooke Atkinson was awarded WAC Coach of the Year and junior Brooke Salas won WAC Player of the Year.
The Aggies men’s basketball also ended their regular season with a victory at UTRGV and the No. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament. First year head coach Chris Jans was named the WAC Coach of the Year and senior Jemerrio Jones earned WAC Player of the Year. In addition to winning WAC honors, Jemerrio Jones and Zach Lofton were named to the United States Basketball Writers Association All-District Team.
Leading up to the WAC Tournament, multiple donor events including pep rallys and receptions were held in Las Vegas to overflow Aggie crowds. The NM State men’s basketball team beat Grand Canyon University 72-58 winning the Western Athletic Conference Championship and was awarded an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. While the women’s team lost in the semi-finals to eventual champions Seattle University, as the regular season champs they were awarded a bid to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).
The Aggies men’s basketball selection show was held at the Danny Villanueva Victory Club of the Stan Fulton Center. The show was aired live on the TBS Network. The Aggies received the #12 seed and will play #5 seed Clemson in San Diego on Friday. NM State has been the popular choice for an upset and is the “Media Darling” with Charles Barkley, Seth Davis, John Anderson from ESPN and others picking the Aggies to win in an upset. Coach Chris Jans went live on TBS with Andy Katz to discuss the Aggies and the journey to the NCAA Tournament as a first year coach.
The Office of Education Abroad in collaboration with the Indian Students Association (ISA) and Residential Life celebrated Holi, a Hindu Spring Holiday, also known as the Festival of colors. Around 135 students participated in Holi. The event included amazing performances by the ISA, Indian snacks from the India Hut, and the throwing and painting of colors on participants.
International Student and Scholar Services attended the Employment Workshop conducted on the NMSU main campus on Friday, March 9. Every semester a local law firm hosts an immigration presentation on employment authorization issues directly related to our international students and scholars. This workshop prepares students for work after graduation and explains the process of moving from student to employee status. This is also an opportunity for our students and scholars to have individual counseling sessions with immigration attorneys to talk about issues directly related to their situation.
Marketing Services and Web Communications Marketing released the next phase in Snapchat & Instagram Story ads this week. The ads are specifically designed for social media (less than 10 seconds) and are intended to attract and engage potential students and increase brand awareness using a “burst campaign” strategy. The burst campaigns run over the course of three days targeting teens over the weekend. The first phase of the burst campaign brought in 60 leads within the first two days and was featured in the following article “Snapchat v. Instagram: Which Tells a Better ‘Story’ for Higher Ed Advertisers?” in January. (http://convergeconsulting.org/2018/01/31/snapchat-v-instagram-stories-which-is-best-for-higher-education-marketing/)
KRWG/SPU KRWG-TV is in the middle of its Spring Festival, a showcase of the best arts and culture programs that encourages viewers to make a donation to the station. It’s the longest of the station’s four membership drives and runs through Sunday, March 18. KRWG hopes to raise at least $25,000 during this time to support programming and community outreach on its network across southern New Mexico. Anyone can become a member of the station anytime by making a donation online at KRWG.org.
As Chancellor Carruthers reported earlier, the 2018 legislative session yielded successful results for NMSU. On March 7, Governor Susana Martinez signed a number of bills with positive impact to the institution:
- The state budget includes a 2 percent compensation increase for faculty and staff, 2 percent new money for I&G and $4 million in non-recurring funding for the lottery scholarship.
- The Severance Tax Bond bill includes $570,000 for NMSU projects such as security cameras requested by ASNMSU and improvements, and demolition of aging buildings on campus.
- The General Obligation Bond bill includes $31.2 million for renovation and construction projects that will be on the election ballot for voters to consider in November.
- SB 140, a bill that decouples the lottery tuition scholarship.
For more information, visit our website at: https://govrelations.nmsu.edu/ Thanks again to legislators, faculty, and staff who assisted the Office of Government Relations in this legislative cycle.
On the federal front, NMSU submitted to members of the Congressional Delegation a letter supporting funding for certain programs in the federal budget, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Endowment for the Humanities, and particular programs within the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and USDA.
Upcoming Legislative Related Events:
The BIO Center participated in and delivered presentations at the Partners in Preparedness (PIP) Conference. One was on animals in disasters, and the other on recovery from an incident in the agriculture sector. This conference is a learning workspace bringing together the largest group of health and medical emergency response partners to date in New Mexico.
I participated in the 2018 Western Pecan Growers Annual Conference. ENI staff presented data on current pecan weevil status, potential quarantine options, and eradication programs. Staff provided assistance with registration, handled continuing education units for pesticide applicators and worked jointly with state USDA-APHIS-PPQ personnel to disseminate information to growers, shellers, equipment dealers, and exporters from western pecan growing states at booths. Approximately 450 pecan-industry related personnel attended conference.
Staff traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as a WUSATA project co-lead with the Idaho Department of Agriculture. Ten (10) western U.S. companies joined this trade mission, two (2) of which are NM based cheese producers/suppliers. All met with companies during B2B sessions at the host hotel, and participated in retail tours to major grocery outlets in Santo Domingo. Initial feedback from the NM participants is good, both remain optimistic that sales will result and all indicate they will participate in future missions to the region.
Update from Guatemala: I accompanied this mission, along with six (6) other commissioners, secretaries, and directors from various U.S. State Departments of Agriculture. USDA FAS Under Secretary Ted McKinney led the director’s track, participating in panel discussions and group meetings with foreign government dignitaries, importers and importers associations, agricultural producer associations to review and discuss the current trade environment, and opportunities to improve bilateral relations, interactions and trade. We participated in multiple site-visits, including retail grocery outlets, ports, factories and farms. Thirty Seven (37) U.S. companies and associations registered for this event. NM had strong representation in Guatemala, with two (2) NM based cheese producers, and a livestock nutrition manufacturer and supplier participating in B2B meetings with importers/distributors/buyers. Initial feedback from the NM participants is good, each signaling that sales will result from their participation.
Active Killer Presentation In the past week and a day, Chief Lopez provided five separate Active Killer Presentations. One was geared toward all Faculty, Staff, and Students on March 5 at the Yates Auditorium. This session was recorded by ICT on Panopto and can be viewed at www.nmsupolice.com/programs/. Two presentations were for the College of ACES, one for Myrna’s Children Village, and one for the College of Health and Social Services. The department will continue providing these workshops on demand for any college or department interested.
Active Killer Response Training The patrol and criminal investigations staff of the Police Department took part in full-scale Active Killer Response Training at the now-closed Greek Complex. This was a multi-agency training program that included the Las Cruces Police Department and others, and focused on the rescue phase of the public safety response.
Police Officer Hiring The Police Department conducted a hiring process on Wednesday through Friday of last week in an attempt to fill the four vacancies that currently exist. The names of successful candidates are now moving forward, and another hiring process is underway to fill any remaining positions and hopefully create a waiting list if there are enough qualified applicants. The department continues to struggle (right along with most law enforcement agencies in the region) in attracting and retaining high-quality officers due to higher pay, better benefits, and lower risk compared to jobs in the private sector and in the federal government.
Emergency Aid Program Kick Off NMSU Doña Ana kicked off the Emergency Aid Program for students. Through a partnership with the U. S. Department of Education, an emergency fund has been established to eliminate or mitigate the barriers community college students sometimes face in the pursuit of a degree or certificate. Up to $500 per student can be paid to overcome financial burdens as they relate to housing, overdue utility bills, transportation or other issues.
Studio Opens Door for Tour Film Las Cruces opened the doors to the new Las Cruces studio for tours for the public to see stage sets where NMSU Doña Ana Creative Media Technologies will hold classes for those interested in a career in film. The Open House was held in conjunction with the Las Cruces Independent Film Festival.
On Wednesday, February 28, NMSU-A was happy to welcome Dr. Margo Trevino-Torres on campus. Dr. Trevino-Torres oversees the NMSU College of Education Advisement Center and was on campus to take appointments with NMSU-A students. We greatly appreciate Dr. Trevino-Torres coming to ensure that NMSU-A education majors will have a seamless transition as they continue on their educational pathway and become NMSU main campus students.
On March 2, 21 NMSU-A faculty and staff attended the 2nd Annual Quality in Online Education Conference in Las Cruces. Eight members gave presentations at the conference: Gary Bond, Claire Forsmann, Rob Klinger, Kim Lopez-Gallagher, Karen May, Noel Romero, Kathy Roark-Diehl, and Sherrell Wheeler. With the diligence and hard work of these faculty and staff members and the rest of the online faculty, NMSU-A continues to be the leader in online education within the system and across the state.
On Monday, March 5, NMSU Carlsbad representatives met with the Carlsbad Municipal School District administration to provide stakeholder input for the accreditation processes for the school district. The meeting was very positive and sound input was received from numerous entities.
On Tuesday, March 6, NMSU Carlsbad representatives attended a Workforce Completion Ceremony at which time Early College High School students were recognized for their workforce completion certifications. The presentations were granted by Secretary Bussey and numerous students were recognized for their achievements.
On Thursday, March 8, NMSU Carlsbad hosted an International Women’s Day event as part of the campus Woman’s History celebrations. Three women from the Carlsbad campus participated as part of a panel discussion and the event was very well attended and enjoyed by all attendees.
On Friday, March 9, NMSU Carlsbad hosted its monthly meeting of the Stakeholder and Community Relations Committee. Reports on campus initiatives were received from the committee members and sound input was received from the community members of the committee.
The NMSU Grants Writing Center has once again joined forces with Library Services on a new initiative. This latest partnering is designed to “raise the bar” of students’ proficiency in handling information acquisition — but with a twist! Faculty who teach writing intensive course work regularly embed the Library Services’ module Learn Your Library as an aid to the students when they are assigned basic research. However, transfer students and those entering the workforce with a terminal associate degree must be able to conduct advanced research, perform higher-level information analysis and apply critical thinking. Encouraging students to begin to improve their skills while completing their first two years of study can ensure they will be better prepared to address their upper-level course work or be better equipped to apply information analysis on the job when entering the workforce.
On Tuesday, March 6, ASNMSU released a statement on their position of the Athletic Proposal. President Prieto attend the meeting and represented students by provided input on the topic.
ASNMSU Elections have been going on from March 5-March 9. Students were encouraged to vote online or at polling stations located at Zuhl, Gerald Thomas, Corbett, and Guthrie. Students who voted at a polling location received a Spring 2018 Election shirt.
The ASNMSU Governmental Affairs Department was excited to receive the news that the Governor signed the legislation that ASNMSU supported, including the Capital Outlay project. Ricardo Rel from NMSU’s Government Relations Department attended the March 8 meeting to inform the students in attendance about the success of the 30-day session and the impact the passed legislation meant for NMSU.
During the meeting, 30 senators heard and passed four appropriation bills and one memorial. The next senate meeting will be held on March 29 at 6:00 p.m.