Excellence at NMSU

At Tuesday’s Convocation, we formally celebrated excellence among our faculty, staff and students. We named three new Regents Professors. This award recognizes faculty with outstanding contributions in areas of education, research, extension, outreach and public service. It is the highest award given to NMSU faculty, and it is a lifetime honor. Our new Regents Professors were selected by a committee that included representation from the Office the Provost, Faculty Senate, students and current Regents Professors.

The new Regents Professors are:

  • Professor Julia Barello, Art. Under her leadership, the Art Department adopted a robust studio-based curriculum that combines material research, technology, history, theory, conceptual development, problem solving and innovation. She was also a leading advocate for Devasthali Hall, the new home of the Art Department, during the many years it took to become a reality.
  • Dr. Rolston St. Hilaire, Plant and Environmental Sciences. Recognized for his research on adaptations of ornamental plants, physiological responses of plants to abiotic stress, mapped urban land cover and advanced-sensing techniques, Dr. St. Hilaire is an educational innovator who invites real-world challenges into his classroom.
  • Dr. Graciela Unguez, Biology. Dr. Unguez has been described as a vibrant person with a contagious dedication to science. She has an admirable record of achievement and is widely recognized for her ability to create and nurture community within her discipline, across the university and nationally, with others seeking to solve the problems of our times.

Faculty teaching was also rewarded at Tuesday’s Convocation through the Roush Awards, which are based on student nominations. The University Research Council recognized exceptional creative scholarly achievement for students and faculty. The Department of Engineering Technology and Surveying Engineering was awarded the prize for outstanding assessment.
NMSU is a great university with quality faculty and staff working together to fulfill our land-grant mission for our students. Evidence of this quality is everywhere, and here are a couple more recent examples that crossed my desk.

  • This past fall, our student-athletes continued their record of excellence in the classroom:
    • 27 Aggie student-athletes were named to the Fall 2019 Academic All-Western Athletic Conference. New Mexico State volleyball placed 11 student-athletes on the list, followed by women’s soccer (8), women’s cross country (6) and men’s cross country (2).
    • Our student-athletes maintained an overall cumulative GPA of 3.26 after the fall 2019 semester.
    • 151 student-athletes are Crimson Scholars, which requires a 3.50 GPA or higher.
    • For the fall semester, 44 student-athletes posted a perfect 4.0 GPA.
    • And at the very top: 20 student-athletes have a cumulative 4.0 GPA.
  • Our Marketing and Communications department brought home the gold at the 2020 AVA Digital Awards. The winning efforts included:

I also recently visited the Aggie Innovation Space in the College of Engineering. This beautiful state-of-the-art facility is already a great place for students to learn about advanced manufacturing.

All of these awards celebrate past accomplishments, but they also acknowledge exceptional possibilities for our future. One long-anticipated aspect of that future will arrive Feb. 28 with the grand opening for Devasthali Hall. This building was designed to support student learning and faculty excellence, and maintain strong ties to the regional art community. I encourage you all to attend the grand opening of this exciting new space.

Sincere congratulations to all for these achievements.


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