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fall 2016 the magazine of adams state university

From the Top of the Nation to the

Top of the World



VOL. 56, NO. 3 • FALL 2016

Published by Adams State University Foundation adams state university • alamosa, co 81101 719-587-7011 • 800-824-6494 • e-mail: online edition: EDITOR & DESIGNER Julie Waechter

ASSOCIATE EDITORS Gaylene Horning ’94 • Linda Relyea ’96, ’10

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Dr. Tim Armstrong • Alex Hart ’19 • Anna Lasusa • Wyatt Moran Daniel Parsons ’19 • Darren Rogers ’92 • Mike Skinner • ASU Sports


BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR ADAMS STATE UNIVERSITY Arnold Salazar ’76 Chair Kathleen Rogers Vice Chair Paul Farley • Michele J. Lueck • Wendell Lorenzo Pryor LeRoy Salazar • Cleave Simpson • John Singletary • Randy Wright ’84 Dr. Rob Benson Faculty Trustee John Owsley ’18 Student Trustee

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD Lori Lee Laske ’91, ’01 Executive Director of Alumni & Donor Relations Kasey Russell ’03 President Liz Tabeling-Garcia ’96, ’06 Vice President Holly Felmlee ’76, ’92 Secretary Toney Cantu ’70 • D. Mike Garcia ’73, ’77 • Phil Lopez ’04 Lynn Michalke ’77 • Karen Rubidoux Miller ’94 Robert Oringdulph ’71 • Sandy Ortega ’74 Chris Page ’02, ’03 • Brian Rossbert ’02 • Rich Scanga ’75 Jeremy Wilder ’96 • Delzia Worley ’97

ADAMS STATE UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION BOARD Ron Howard ’98 President Dr. John McDaniel Vice President Jeni Jack-Goodwin ’85 Secretary Donn Vigil Treasurer Russell Achatz ’85 • Tim Bachicha ’92 • Glenn Burnham Duane Bussey ’82 • Keith Cerny • Genevieve Cooper Bill Fassett • Valerie Finnegan • Dale Hettinger ’64 Charles “Chuck” Houser ’62 • Dorothy Lucero ’61 Cathy Mullens ’82 • Chuck Owsley ’68 • Michelle Roepke Rich Scanga ’75 • Helen Sigmond

FOUNDATION HONORARY BOARD MEMBERS Stephen Bokat ’68 • Marguerite Salazar ’75, ’76 • Michael Ware ’69

FOUNDATION EMERITUS BOARD MEMBERS Sharon Carter • Harold Kelloff • John Marvel Jr. Izora Southway ’66 • J. Byron Uhrich • R. Paul Wagner

FOUNDATION EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS Dr. Beverlee J. McClure ASU President Tammy Lopez ’91, ’00 Executive Director of the Foundation Kathleen Rogers Trustee Liaison

GRIZZLY CLUB BOARD OF DIRECTORS Ron DeSautell ’76 President • Ted Morrison ’69 Vice President Hoyt Anderson ’97 • Heather Brooks • Keith Cerny Jeni Jack-Goodwin ’85 • Shayna Kindschuh ’13, ’15 Dennis Ortiz ’79 • Jeff Owsley ’86 Steve Valdez ’87 • Donna Wehe ’12

president’s letter: asu builds partnerships to further our mission The start of an academic year is always busy and exciting, and several new endeavors that contribute to our mission of serving diverse students are building momentum. We recently hosted a “Think Tank” to plan creation of a National Center for Historically Underserved Students. (See story page 6.) Research consistently shows that students from underserved Dr. Beverlee J. McClure populations enter and complete college at much lower rates than other groups. In addition to racial and ethnic minorities, this includes students who are socioeconomically challenged, are the first in their families to attend college, or are academically underprepared. The latter category applies to nearly 60 percent of first-year college students. The center will also support and advocate for veterans, adult students, LGBTQ students, women and transgendered students, the disabled, and young men of color. One very telling statistic is that 54 percent of students whose parents have only a high school diploma will attend college, compared to 82 percent of students whose parents have a college degree. Worse, only 36 percent of students whose parents did not finish high school will attend college. No student should be a statistic. Every student who works hard should become a graduate. Through this national center, we will work to identify and rectify barriers to educational equity and success. Our partners in this effort include other colleges, universities, and organizations that serve one or more of these underserved groups. In addition, ASU was selected by the federal Department of Higher Education to participate in a cohort of 50 institutions on a three-year grant that will provide training on practices to improve retention of underserved students. We will receive consulting services at no charge, plus an opportunity for funding of an initiative of our choice. I am also excited about another three-year grant we received: $249,571 from the National Science Foundation for “Advancing Women in STEM through Institutional Transformation at Adams State University.” (See story page 9.) The key word here is “transformation.” To succeed in our mission, we need more women, particularly women of color, in our classrooms. This project will help increase diversity and gender equity among Adams State’s faculty in the social and behavioral sciences and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics). We are also building partnerships locally and statewide. We were pleased to facilitate community outreach for Colorado Governor Hickenlooper’s Town Hall, held on campus in November. Next fall, ASU will launch agriculture programs in partnership with Colorado State University-Ft. Collins. These new interdisciplinary degree tracks will expand opportunities for our students and support agriculture in our region. Locally, I will be visiting with school boards in every San Luis Valley district as part of our efforts to make the entire valley our campus. As a graduate of Adams State, you can be proud we are continuing to fulfill the vision of Billy Adams.


ASU’s mission is to educate, serve, and inspire our diverse populations in the pursuit of their lifelong dreams and ambitions. VISION STATEMENT 2020

To become the university community of choice for diverse, historically underserved groups, and all who value quality education and inclusivity.

Dr. Beverlee J. McClure President

adams family gatherings


february 16

cover story From the top of the nation to the top of the world


Day at the Capitol Alumni Reception Day at the Capitol Breakfast with the Legislators

2 4 6 7

Albuquerque San Francisco Tucson Phoenix

5 6 7 8

Denver Colorado Springs Pueblo Lamar, La Junta, Walsenburg Retirement Dinner



Cover photo by Darren Rogers ‘92

latest editions Keeping Current Academic Pursuits National Center to address needs of underserved students New VP Gilmer will build on ASU’s focus on academic inclusion History major wins national Hispanic Heritage College Quiz NSF grant supports advancement of women faculty in the sciences ASU hosts Migrant Education Program Smithsonian brings exhibit on Latinos in baseball to ASU

4 6 6 7 8 9 9 9

great stories Bio majors gone wild Great Stories from the great outdoors From the top of the nation to the top of the world

10 12 14

adams family legacies Legacy of William Porter ‘51 lives on through Porter Scholars Program Garcia continues Billy Adams’ mission Donor cultivated habit of giving Daniels Fund honored for sustained support of ASU students Grateful family creates softball scholarship Original compositions will reflect cultural diversity 70 years of Spud Bowl

staying in touch adams family album great grizz Grizzly Club names Rio Grande Savings & Loan and Turpin Family Sponsors of the Year Martin ‘14, ‘16 honored as finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year Grizzlies Fall Season Special Citation goes to Steve Valdez ‘87

18 19 20 21 23 24 25 26 30

35 36 36 37

Adams State remembers the generosity of the late William A. Porter ‘51. He and his wife, Joan, donated the largest gift in Adams State history to create the Porter Scholars Program. He is shown center at right at the dedication of the science and mathematics building with former Adams State presidents Dr. William Fulkerson and Dr. J. Thomas Gilmore 67, ‘68. See story page 18.



may 2

Educators Hall of Fame Watch your mail for details. adamsalumni • 800-824-6494, ext. 8

For expanded coverage, visit:

keeping current keepin from alamosa to the andes and the amazon: Biology professor Dr. Tim Armstrong led a group of 13 to Peru this past summer. They spent a week on the Amazon and hiked to the top of Huayna Wayna Picchu near the ancient city of Machu Picchu. Throughout the trip, they spotted over 120 species of birds and 9 species of monkeys.

making their mark: New students

had fun making hand prints on a class poster during orientation events prior to the fall semester. The traditional Convocation and other activities helped them bond with each other and get acquainted with their new surroundings.


aStater fall 2016

ng current keeping current git along: The men’s and women’s

rodeo club teams compete during both the fall and spring as part of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). Below, Katy Lepp practices breakaway roping.

caring for our community: Now in its 17th year, ASU Cares Day dispatched more than 180 students to pitch in on 17 volunteer projects across the San Luis Valley.

a lively party for day of the dead was again presented for the community by the Spanish Club in collaboration with Sacred Heart Church. The party included traditional food, mariachi, dances, sugar skull decorations, and more.

it’s not abbey road,

but Richardson Avenue now has musical undertones. The recently reconstructed street along the edge of campus sports creative crosswalks, such as this keyboard leading to Leon Memorial Concert Hall. The walk leading to the School of Business is adorned with dollar signs. ASU partnered with the City of Alamosa on the $437,000 project, which created additional street parking and returned Richardson Avenue to two-way traffic.

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academic pursuits Junior music education and percussion performance major kevin johnson attended the music in the

mountains conservatory of music. Psychology major annmarie bennett presented research she conducted as part of the Summer Research Opportunity Program at the annual biomedical

research conference for minority students.

Annmarie Bennett

counselor education doctoral students and faculty have attended and presented at several recent conferences, including the rocky mountain association for counselor education and supervision (rmaces) conference, the association for creativity in counseling, the association for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues in counseling, the american school counseling association (asca) national conference, and the great beginnings, great families conference. Doctoral student gregg elliott received an Emerging Leader Award at the rmaces conference. dr. jared beeton, professor of earth sciences, and his students spent three weeks in the field this summer at the Scott Miller Mammoth Site near Monte Vista, Colo. He also had an article published in earth magazine. dr. rob benson, professor of geology, edited a section on the state’s geologic history for the colorado encyclopedia website. dr. benita brink, professor and chair of the Biology/Earth Sciences Department, and dr. kristy duran, assistant professor of biology, attended a week-long bioinformatics workshop at Juanita College to learn the newest tools for studying gene expression.

dr. kristy duran, asst. professor of biology, attended the conference of the ford fellows and the senior ford fellows conference. As a 2002 Dissertation Ford Fellowship Recipient, she served on a panel and moderated another session.

continued on page 8 6

aStater fall 2016

national center to address needs of underserved students adams state university witnessed creation of a national center for historically underserved students in mid-november. twenty-two participants from across the nation joined asu faculty and staff for a think tank to launch the organization.

President McClure (left) and Vice President Chris Gilmer display the Declaration of Rights of Historically Underserved Students at the conclusion of November’s Think Tank.

The three-day conference concluded with the signing of a draft Declaration on the Rights of Historically-Underserved Students. “This is a call to action for America’s historically-underserved students and those persons and systems entrusted with their success. We hope to circulate this declaration nationally,” said Dr. Chris Gilmer, vice president for Academic Affairs, who coordinated the Think Tank. The conference included a wellattended campus forum at which Think Tank participants discussed their work and responded to audience questions. Adams State’s Title V Office sponsored the event. The center will provide a platform to discuss practices that improve higher

education for historically-underserved students. It will also develop an advocacy group to address the issues and challenges in higher education. Primary activities will include convening experts to support the center’s mission, improving public schools, building family literacy and intergenerational learning, improving developmental education, and conducting a research study. Among the Think Tank group were Shirlethia Franklin, Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the U.S. Attorney General and White House Liaison to the U.S. Department of Justice; and Luisa Del Carmen Pollard, CEO of Clemente and Associates and Acting Division Director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Adams State faculty and staff also participated, as well as President McClure and ASU trustees Arnold Salazar ‘76 and Wendell Pryor, and former trustee Dale Mingilton ‘85. Former trustee Dale Mingilton ‘85 (right) at the Think Tank with mass communications major Alondra Chaparro ‘17. A retired banker, Mingilton is now executive director of the Adams 14 Education Foundation, Adams County, Colo.

New VP Gilmer will build on ASU’s focus on academic inclusion from the humid and hot mississippi delta to the rio grande land of cool sunshine, dr. chris gilmer brings a wealth of experience, expertise, and innovation to his position as asu’s new vice president for academic affairs. gilmer transitioned from alcorn state university, the country’s oldest public land grant hbcu (historically black college and university) to colorado’s oldest hispanic serving institution (hsi). Gilmer saw an “opportunity to grow” at Adams State. “Adams State was a deliberate choice because of its attention to equity and inclusion in a rural setting serving historically underserved students. I sought an opportunity to work at a place where my skill set might be useful to the mission and agenda of this specific institution.” In both the short and long-term at Adams State, Gilmer and his team will focus on the upcoming accreditation visit by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). “The president and I take very seriously the importance of accreditation and are working closely with all departments on campus to properly prepare for the HLC visit and to maintain our accreditation.” Gilmer has been involved in reaccreditation efforts at three other institutions, including Walden University in Minneapolis, Minn., where he served on the provost’s accreditation team and co-chaired the subcommittee on mission, resulting in a 10-year reaffirmation from the HLC. Gilmer is an expert in developmental education, particularly as it applies to first-generation, historically-underserved, and underprepared students. He is lead author of a textbook that integrates the teaching of reading and writing at the college level, one of the most promising pedagogical advances in developmental education. He will apply this knowledge to Adams State’s developmental education curriculum. “I want to make sure Adams State’s cur-

Dr. Chris Gilmer joined Adams State this past July.

riculum utilizes all available assets for students.” He also supports ASU’s Essential Learning Task Force’s general education program review and is excited that it is being conducted through the “lens of equity and inclusion.” He believes this innovative approach may position Adams State as a national role model for other institutions. Gilmer will also work with all the members of the president’s executive team and the campus community to diversify funding streams. He has led teams that secured $75 million in competitive grants. Gilmer and President Beverlee McClure recently convened the National Center for Historically Underserved Students, a nationwide effort to provide additional resources across all historically underserved populations and to further establish Adams State as a servant leader among universities nationwide (see story page 6). By Linda Relyea ‘96, ‘10

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“We are fully committed to fulfilling our mission to all students, especially those who have encountered extra challenges along the way,” he said. “I enjoy my Adams State colleagues and my students very much. Everyone is extremely student-centered.” He served as Alcorn State’s Executive Director of the Vicksburg Campus, as Director of Online Education for the three-campus system, and as Professor of English. In his role as a system-wide administrator, he worked to enhance student success and to close achievement gaps for first-generation and other historically-underserved students. “As a first-generation college student myself, I understand the importance of building a culture of higher education within a family, and I understand the economic security a college degree can bring to an individual and for the whole family,” Gilmer said. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi, a master’s degree from Mississippi College, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. He values the many sacrifices his parents and grandparents made to create opportunities for him, and he tries to pay it forward. A lifetime Mississippian prior to his recent move, Gilmer has followed in his mother’s footsteps and advocated for racial and gender equality and for safety and equity for LGBTQ people, especially in rural areas.


academic pursuits continued from page 6 Duran also presented her own research and a project completed with julie madden ‘16, stefan ortega ’15, kevin shanks ’16, and cody duran ’16.

dr. rob demski, professor of psychology, and dr. jeremy yeats, asst. professor of HPPE, recently presented their research, “Exploring Poetic Representations of Inequity Through Critical Ethnography,” at the hawaii university international conference.

dr. james doyle, assistant professor of music, had an article published in the Percussive Arts Society’s rhythm! scene. He also performed with the music

in the mountains festival orchestra. dr. jeff elison, asst. professor of psychology, published articles in the encyclopedia of adolescence and in social behavior and personality. dr. melissa l. freeman, Title V PPOHA Grant Activity Director, and andrea benton-maestas, Title V Conexiones Project Director, presented at the title v directors’ meeting in Washington, DC. jess gagliardi ‘11, ‘12 ‘15, instructor of developmental education, and seniors jonathan millar, sociology, and patrick cleary, political science, presented posters at an interdisciplinary social science research conference. dr. chris gilmer, Vice President for Academic Affairs, published a chapter in the sage encyclopedia of online education. william herrmann, cpa, mba, asst. professor of accounting, attended the colorado cpa society accounting faculty symposium. dr. adam kleinschmit, assistant professor of biology, participated in the national center for case study teaching in science (NCCSTS) Flipped Case Workshop. He also attended the 2016 rna-seq for the next generation virtual workshop and a developmental biology laboratory teaching workshop. dr. rich loosbrock, professor of history, presented a paper as part of oxford university's the sport project, which is part of the research group Inter-Disciplinary.Net. dr. michael martin, professor of sociology, coauthored chapters for the handbook of contemporary sociological theory and a handbook on evolution and society: toward an evolutionary social science.


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history major wins national hispanic heritage college quiz raising awareness of hispanic history and culture, history major joshua salas took first place in the hispanic college quiz 2016 in nashville this past august. his expertise earned him a $3,000 scholarship. "It was a really fun experience," Salas said. "I am surprised I did so well." Previous Adams State competitors include Azarel Madrigal ‘16, who placed third last year, and Judith Martinez ’13, who competed in 2012. History professor Nick Saenz nominated Salas for the competition and helped him prepare. "Knowing Josh as a student, athlete, and advisee, I was confident that he had the skill and drive to excel in this type of challenge," Saenz said. "To use a popular Spanish expression, I knew that Josh had the ganas to make the most of this opportunity." Salas’ study materials included biographies of 100 Hispanics who shaped U.S. history, starting with Juan Ponce de León and ending with Oscar De La Hoya. "I have a greater sense of pride in my heritage after this contest," Salas said. "Hispanic College Quiz contestants have about a month to prepare, which requires a deep commitment to study further at a time when most students are enjoying the fruits of a well-deserved summer break," Saenz added. The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and Central City Productions partnered on this project, which featured nine Hispanic college students answering a series of multiple-choice questions on Latino history. Adams State is a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and a member of HACU, the international voice and advocate for the preservation and enhancement of Latinos in higher education. Oneyda Maestas ‘93, ‘06, director of the Cultural Awareness and Student Achievement Center (CASA), accompanied Salas to the taping in Nashville, where he continued to study. On contest day, he arrived at the studio at noon and remained until 11 p.m., having advanced to the championship round. "It was a really cool studio," Salas said. "They took care of you and were very professional." Nashville was the furthest east Salas has ever traveled. His parents drove from Arizona to support him. When the program aired nationally, during Hispanic Heritage Month, they hosted a party at their home. "It was cool seeing myself on television," Salas said. In addition to the scholarship, Salas received an all-expense paid trip to the HACU Conference in San Antonio, where he had a chance to catch up with his fellow finalists. A member of both the wrestling and rugby teams, Salas also participates in the Newman Club. After college, he plans to teach history and coach wrestling in Arizona.

nsf grant supports advancement of women faculty in the sciences

academic pursuits

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded a grant of $249,571 to support the three-year project, "Advancing Women in STEM through Institutional Transformation at Adams State University.” Funded by the NSF ADVANCE IT-Catalyst program, the project aims to increase diversity and gender equity among Adams State’s faculty in the social and behavioral sciences and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics). The resulting plan will include strategies to improve the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women faculty, and in particular of Latinas. By providing more role models, the program will ultimately inspire more young women to pursue careers in these fields.

maria mcmath, Activity Director of the Title V Caminos Grant, participated in the american association of state colleges and universities’ Leaders Program. The program conveyed

asu hosts migrant education program

leased a CD of original compositions titled This Little Light, which has been broadcast on radio stations in the U.S., U.K., Spain, South Korea, and the Netherlands.

The San Luis Valley Migrant Education Program recently made a move of its own – to Adams State University. Previously housed within the San Luis Valley BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services), the Migrant Education Program is now located on ASU’s campus. It serves 23 school districts in the San Luis Valley and southwest Colorado. “This move will allow more high school students to see the potential of higher education, and we can offer more opportunities for them to come on campus,” said Program Director Esmeralda Martinez ‘97, ‘01. For example, 30 students from across Colorado participated this summer in the new Migrant STEM Academy. Developed in partnership with Adams State’s Title V STEM program (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the weeklong academy introduced students to opportunities for STEM education and careers. Martinez also looks forward to hosting the Summer Migrant Youth Leadership Institute.

effective strategies and techniques for building trust with new potential institutional partners.

dr. blaine reilly, asst. professor of counselor education, published the results of his dissertation in the journal of creativity in mental health.

dr. matthew d. schildt, professor of music, re-

dr. matthew steffenson, assistant professor of biology, and students alex mullins and john whitinger attended the 2016 international congress of arachnology. dr. linda reid, professor of business, was named the Mountain-Plains Business Education Association (M-PBEA) 2016 collegiate teacher of the year.

dr. brian zuleger, asst. professor of HPPE, completed professional development at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He and graduate student zachary holloway attended the association for applied sport psychology (AASP) conference.

smithsonian brings exhibit on latinos in baseball to asu The Smithsonian Institution brought its traveling exhibit, “Sugar Beet Fields to Field of Dreams 1920s-1960s, Mexican/Spanish Contributions to America's Favorite Pastime,” to Adams State’s Nielsen Library during Hispanic Heritage Month. "The one thing we’ve been learning is Latinos have been involved in baseball from the very, very beginning," said exhibit curator Steve Velasquez. "This is a community history project. This is a Latino experience project. So, we’re looking at these old Latino communities across the country and we’re finding baseball teams. And so we’re using baseball as a lens to document these stories in Kansas City, in Syracuse, in Colorado, in Texas." Valasquez accompanied the exhibit at ASU and invited area residents to bring in their memories and artifacts for inclusion in the broader exhibit, “Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues," at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The exhibit displayed everything from old uniforms, gloves, baseballs, and stories of the sugar beet farm workers who lived in La Colonia, an adobe home community built by – and for – Latino and Hispanic farmworkers in Greeley, Colo., in the 1920s. The initiative builds on a growing body of original research, oral histories, and collections by and with Smithsonian partners to document the impact Latino communities have had on American history and culture through the sport.

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Bio majors gone


internships place students in the field. . . and in the forest. Upper division organismal biology students literally got into the field this summer through internships in such settings as wildlife refuges and zoos. Field-based internships are ideal for students seeking careers as wildlife biologists. During his internship with the U.S. Forest Service and the Rio Grande National Forest Divide District, Tyler Cerny helped conduct occupancy surveys for such animals as boreal toads, big horn sheep, black swifts, and golden eagles. A previous internship allowed him to work with Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s study of the state’s lynx population. "In the field of wildlife biology, experience is very important when seeking a career." He hopes to become a district wildlife manager for Colorado

Parks and Wildlife or attend graduate school to study waterfowl. A senior who loves working outdoors, Taylor Bedford Chick completed his fourth internship at the Rio Grande State Wildlife Area. Third-year wildlife biology major Zachary Chrisman spent his first internship working for Colorado Parks and Wildlife at its Monte Vista, Colo., office. "I appreciated my boss, Tony Aloia, for the amount of trust he gave me, as well as for how much he taught me." Chick and Chrisman also hope to become district wildlife managers for Colorado. For her first formal internship, Nicole Cyr worked for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Monte Vista. A senior

wildlife biology major, she hopes to become a biologist for the USFWS. "Throughout the internship, the permanent employees treated the other interns and me like employees, rather than college interns." Cerny and Cyr have minors in environmental science, while Chick has a minor in business management. Tayler Ann Rocha conducted shorebird surveys at the San Luis Valley’s Blanca wetlands, monitoring the area during spring and fall migration to determine the number and species that breed in the area. Her internship was based at the Bureau of Land Management field office for the Environment for the Americas in Monte Vista, Colo. A junior majoring in organismal biol-

LEFT: Nicole Cyr and fellow Adams State students Edgar Escobedo and Stefan Armenta, who all interned with Environment for America in the San Luis Valley. BELOW: Samantha Teti (right) and another intern handle a 35-pound blood python at Lehigh Valley Zoo in Pennsylvania. RIGHT: Tyler Cerny gained direct experience with wildlife, such as this lynx kitten.


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having collared newborn fawns this summer, taelor ashton mullins ’16 now cultivates an interest in science with her fifth grade students in center, colorado. After graduation, she spent two months as an intern with Colorado Parks and Wildlife in Meeker, Colo. She worked on a mule deer neonate crew that assessed the survivability rate of mule deer fawns. “I was able to handle and collar newborn fawns.” A wildlife biology major with minors in chemistry and psychology, Mullins said the ASU biology program taught her to be resourceful, Taelor Ashton Mullins with a newborn mule deer. which comes in handy when managing a elementary school classroom. “Although I may not have learned everything in my field to be completely prepared for a job, I knew where to look in order to learn about things that were foreign to me. The program also prepared me to learn things quickly and to be able to apply that knowledge. I learned how to not be afraid to ask questions, as well as how to use my peers as a source of knowledge.” In the latter half of this past summer, Mullins worked on a lynx crew in Creede, Colo., in her third professional internship. “We worked on assessing lynx habitat through vegetation surveys most of the summer, but also did some snowshoe hare surveys and spent a few days looking for dropped lynx collars.” She appreciated learning new techniques, such as telemetry. “I was also able to hone some other skills such as map and GPS reading. Above all, I enjoyed meeting new people and making new contacts within the wildlife biology field.” An open mind and group collaboration helped address challenges in both internships. “We were given a lot of freedom to work individually. It was great to be in charge of our own schedule and planning; however, it created a few challenges for the crews. Everyone had their own ideas about the order we should do things in, which places to go to first, and the best routes to get to where we needed to go. It was often a challenge to come to an agreement when everyone has their own ideas, but we learned to listen to all of our options, compromise, and come up with the best plans and routes.” From June to December 2015, Mullins interned with the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust located in Del Norte, Colo. She plans to continue on her path in the wildlife profession with another technician job next summer. Field work and quality instruction from the biology program helped motivate Mullins. “We are able to do more field work in class than at some other universities. The professors are genuinely excited to teach and help out the students as much as possible, not only in school, but with internship and job opportunities as well.” By Linda Relyea ’96, ‘10

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ogy with an associate's degree in physical geography with a GIS emphasis, she plans to pursue a master's degree in a biology-related field. She appreciated learning about shorebird identification and how to conduct outreach with youth. "Through this internship I grew, I gained confidence in myself, and I was able to develop new relationships. The most challenging thing about this internship was learning how to give presentations to proper audience levels and learning how to be a good leader." Internships may also take students beyond the San Luis Valley. Senior wildlife biology major Samantha Teti interned with the Lehigh Valley Zoo in Pennsylvania. "I was able to learn about a variety of animals from reptiles, to mammals, to birds of prey. I also appreciated that I was able to educate the public." A previous internship with the Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary in Missouri meshed perfectly with her plans to work on conservation of big cats.


asu named top adventure school This past summer, the online magazine Elevation Outdoors named Adams State the Top Adventure School in the Rockies and Southwest. Soon after Adams State was established, faculty member Luther Bean created the Outing Club, which developed into the Adventure Program, a co-curricular leadership development program that works together with the Adventure Leadership and Programming minor and the Adventure Sports program. "We have big plans for the future of ASAP, and I hope winning Top Adventure School will help bring recognition to ASU and aid in recruiting students looking for an adventure," said Brian Puccerella, coordinator of Adventure Leadership and Programs.

Photo: Anna Lasusa

The Adams State Adventure Program (ASAP) recently received three grants to expand outdoor recreational opportunities along the Rio Grande. Brian Puccerella, coordinator of Adventure Leadership and Programs, said all three are devoted to “Activating Places and Spaces Along the Rio Grande Corridor”and involve partnerships with local organizations such as the Rio Grande Farm Park. The first project, begun this summer, is funded by a $98,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation. With its portion of the grant, $17,850, ASAP purchased stand-up paddle boards, mountain bikes, and helmets. The grant also covers wages for Adams State students who provide area youth with free instruction on paddle boarding and mountain biking. Next summer they’ll offer the ASU Adventure Camp for youth. “This has been a really successful collaboration. We are now working with the city and farm park on a valley-wide grant to get youth outside through a grant from the GOGO Inspire Initiative,” Puccerella said. Two additional projects are supported by grants through the Colorado Conservation & Connection Initiative (CCI) from the San Luis Valley Conservation and Connection Initiative, the Colorado Open Lands Trust, Rio Grande Headwaters Trust (RIGHT), and the Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC). A $60,000 grant supports work to create five miles of trails and watercraft access points along the river from the Alamosa Ranch to the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge, including an access point on the Adams State campus. ASAP received a third grant of $6,000 to improve the Rio Grande Natural Area (RGNA) State Line River Takeout in southern Conejos County.


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TOP: Travis Fraker takes in a view from the mountains. ABOVE: From left, Wyatt Moran, Laura Milligan, Logan Hjelmstead, and Tim Seale at the summit of Huron Peak. RIGHT: Paitton Heltenberg on an ice climbing excursion at Zapata Falls.

Photo: Wyatt Moran

grants support recreation on the rio

one of the first clubs formed at adams state took advantage of the natural wonders surrounding campus. professor luther bean, namesake of richardson hall’s museum, selected green and white as the outing club’s colors, inspired by the mountains’ evergreens and snow. the college as a whole soon adopted the color scheme.

Great Stories from the

Great Outdoors asap imparts survival skills for life Like most aspects of Adams State, the program evolved and grew over the years, adding a rental shop for outdoor equipment and organizing such excursions as skiing, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, and mountain biking. A new phase began in 2004, when the Adams State Adventure Program (ASAP) was created. The program now includes a 21-credit minor in Adventure Leadership and Programming and the Adventure Sports program, which includes competitive cycling and climbing. ASAP was there for sophomore Paitton Heltenberg when she most needed it. She went through a bit of a rough patch as a freshman, having planned to play volleyball, but was sidelined by injuries. Fortunately, she discovered the Adventure Program and the people who helped her through hard times. "Now, I am closer to these people than I ever have been with anyone else." ASAP focuses on getting outdoors and having fun, all while improving leadership, teamwork, and communication skills – things Heltenberg believes changed her for the better. "ASAP basically helped me be more outgoing. Before, I would be quiet, calm, collected, kind of shy, but now I will just walk up to anyone and talk to them and meet new people." She learned about ASAP at freshman orientation, then took a work study position in the program and enrolled in the major. She admits she wasn't very

active in the outdoors before, but now makes it big part of her life. In addition to participating in ASAP trips, she also competes on the climbing team. Missouri native Travis Fraker already had a passion for the outdoors when he learned about ASAP. "It just seemed really cool," he said. After meeting others in ASAP, Fraker joined the Adventure Program and enrolled in the minor. "What sold it for me was just the attitude of everyone there. They are always happy and smiling, and I noticed that everyone kind of feeds off each other. If you need a place to grow as a person where you feel safe, ASAP is a good area to be in." Fraker most enjoys facilitating the challenge course, a ropes course designed to foster growth and improve relationships within a group. "It is really cool, because at the end of a session, we do debriefs and hear what people take away from it, how they are growing and how they are going to apply it to real life." He believes the "trials and tribulations” he has faced helped him become a better person, in addition to building his techniques in leading, teaching, communication, and outdoor skills. “I don't think a lot of people take advantage of the outdoors, even though we live in such a great area. They don't know what kinds of opportunities the San Luis Valley has to offer,” said Wyatt Moran, who is a Porter Scholar majoring in wildlife biology (see story page 18). “We love taking people outdoors,

getting people out of their comfort zone, teaching people how to become better. It not only teaches outdoor skills, which is kind of the obvious component, but it really teaches me about my weaknesses. Once you look at that, then you can figure out how to be a better leader and a better person, which I think is what ASAP is all about." By Alex Hart ‘19

to see what he could see ...

Who survives an earthquake and avalanche

on Mt. Everest, then returns a year later to reach the summit? Darren Rogers ’92. His mother, Dr. Karel Rogers, was an Adams State biology professor, so he grew up in Alamosa, with a dearth of trees to climb. Rogers soon directed his love of climbing to the surrounding mountains. Colorado’s Fourteeners were just the beginning of what would become Rogers’ lifetime passion. This past May, he successfully summited Mt. Everest, the world’s highest point at just over 29,000 feet elevation. His first attempt, in 2015, was cut short when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake triggered avalanches. Anyone who knows Rogers is not surprised he became determined to try again. At 5:20 a.m., May 25, 2016, he became one of only 4,000 people to have reached the top of Mt. Everest. Each climbing season, between 900 and 1,200 people pass through Base Camp with high hopes.

take a deep breath Thanks to the acclimation he attained by sleeping for several weeks in a Hypoxico tent, which simulates low-oxygen environments, Rogers began his journey by flying directly via helicopter from Kathmandu, at 4,000 feet, to Pheriche in the Khumbu Valley, at an elevation of 14,340 feet. There he met his climbing Sherpa, Mingma Sona. Sherpa guides are instrumental to success – and survival – on the mountain. They put even experienced climbers like Rogers to shame. For example, he completed the route from Base Camp to Camp I in four hours – Sherpas do it in 1 hour, 37 minutes. “I’ve seen individual porters carry five sheets of plywood at altitude,” Rogers said. Rogers’ actual ascent started 35 days prior. There were weather delays and acclimation climbs that took him up and down from Base Camp to Camps I, II, and III. The night before he summited, he dined on a facsimile of steak and potatoes: beef jerky and instant mashed potatoes. Seven hours after leaving Camp IV, at 26,300 feet, he and Mingma Sona reached the summit. Rogers later emailed his friends and family: “The sun was just up without a cloud in the sky, with the waning moon setting in Nepal. Temperatures were warm and not a whisper of a breeze. Phenomenal! After many pictures, high-fives, and hugs, it was back down. . . What an incredible view, climb, experience!” He had run the last 50-75 yards to the top and remained for 20 minutes, reveling in the Darren Rogers ‘92 (left) operates a chemical engineering company in Wyoming. At right, his Sherpa guide, Mingma Sona, makes his way down from the summit of Mt. Everest. 14

aStater fall 2016

Photos: Darren Rogers

“The sun was just up without a cloud in the sky with the waning moon setting in Nepal. Temperatures were warm and not a whisper of a breeze. Phenomenal! After many pictures, high-fives, and hugs, it was back down. . . What an incredible view, climb, experience!”

aStater great stories


prepping for the world’s highest peak darren rogers - age 46 • 120 lbs.

“Not all climbers do this much training.” the workout • Mondays: push-ups & pull-ups, 1 mile run & interval sprints • Yoga: 3 times per week for stretching • Saturdays & Sundays: Carrying 50 lb. pack, ran up and down 2,800 vertical feet, sun, rain or snow

“I ran to exhaustion every day in 4 minutes.” altitude training • Slept in a Hypoxico Tent Altitude Simulator for several weeks, gradually adapting to lower oxygen levels

“When you sleep at 16,200 ft., you have a hell of a headache. You are physically tired when you get out of the chamber. Some side effects are weakness and loss of balance.” logistics • Arranged a custom climb through International Mountain Guides • Pricetag after arrival in Nepal: $56,000, including: a Insurance a Mountain permit: $11,000 a Oxygen, 4 bottles: $20,000 a Helicopter & plane flights • 41 days total round trip from Wyoming

“I can carry all my stuff in two bags. I have full control at any time in a Third World Country.” Darren Rogers Everest Expedition Presentation January 26, 2017 7 p.m. Carson Auditorium


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adrenalin and views from the top of the world. It was no walk in the park. There were small annoyances, like losing a crampon (attachable spikes that give boots more grip), having the batteries in his boot heaters die, and dealing with basic needs in a harsh environment. “Using the ‘restroom’ is precarious,” Rogers said, adding that everyone carries their own bottle for that purpose. But as he approached the Hillary Step, on a shear ridge that marks the border between Nepal and China and is the final milestone before the summit, Rogers had the ride of his life. “The fixed line along the ridge has large spans between pickets and/or bolts, and as the ridge snakes, the fixed line hangs over space at times. There I was at the Hillary Step with the fixed line tight to my side, my safety and ascender attached while I waited for the climber ahead to navigate up and over, when Mingma Sona comes around a rock 20 feet back and pushes on the fixed line from the other side. And just like that, I was off the ridge, hanging over a 5,000plus-foot drop into Nepal by my safety and ascender … words do not describe that experience!! I scrambled up with many expletives and got on the far side of the Hillary Step.” In his rush, he neglected the mountaineers’ tradition of raising the right leg high to stick a crampon in a crack and swinging the left leg up and over to straddle Nepal and China. Not everyone is so lucky on Everest. The route to the summit bears reminders of the mountain’s dangers: bodies lay as they fell in their climbing suits and will rest there forever. Transporting them downhill is too risky and would jeopardize others. The Sherpas conduct puja ceremonies in the Bhuddist tradition to seek blessings for the mountain and those who have perished there.

onward & upward Exceptionally fit, Rogers maintained the conditioning level he reached in 2014, when he summited the Himalayas’ Cho Oyo, the world’s sixth highest peak, at 26,906 feet. Everest wasn’t originally on his bucket list, but after running past 100 other climbers to the top of Cho Oyo, friends said, “You need to climb Everest now.” He’d literally worked up to the Himalayas, having previously climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro (twice in one day), with other climbs in Bolivia and Ecuador.

But not everyone approaches Everest with the same discipline. Just before that harrowing moment on the ridge, Rogers was delayed by a climber ahead of him. “He was very slow, awkward, unsteady, uncoordinated, struggling with every step, barely able to get over rocks … and what’s worse is, he wouldn’t allow anyone to pass,” he said, noting that climbing at a pace other than one’s own saps strength. An Everest ascent is made at night, when the ice is more stable. It melts in the intense daytime heat – some areas reach 80 degrees. “It will be baking hot, then drop 30-50 degrees when the sun dips behind a cloud. You’re always put-

ting on and taking off layers,” Rogers said. Using supplemental oxygen helps keep climbers warm while in the death zone. In August, Rogers shared a slide show of his epic Everest adventure with former college professors and high school teachers at the Alamosa home of Dr. Kay Watkins ’55, emeritus professor of chemistry. Rogers very clearly recalled where he was April 25, 2015, when the devastating earthquake hit Nepal and killed thousands, including 22 on Everest: he was in Camp I, above Base Camp. “There were multiple cracks and booms as we were thrown in the air. You grab your boots and run – toward the avalanche, because the larger avalanche is coming from behind you,” he recalled. The resulting powder blast created whiteout conditions with only 50 feet of visibility. He and fellow climbers barely avoided the avalanches, but no one on the mountain was injured above Base Camp.

Dr. Marty Jones, emeritus professor of chemistry, was in the small audience at Watkins’. “It is not surprising that he is an extreme adventurer,” Jones said. “I can clearly recall skiing with him at Wolf Creek on Snow Daze back in the early 1990s. I was not particularly good, but I did like to go fast down intermediate slopes. Darren, on the other hand, was a very good skier and liked to go even faster than me. I'd be cruising down a run and Darren would pass me like I was standing still. Darren is still passing me, which is just what I hope for – students who surpass their professors.” After completing his chemistry degree at Adams State, Rogers earned a chemical engineering degree at Colorado State University in 1998. He lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, and is president of CH4+ Engineering, which provides project and engineering management to the oil and gas industry. Currently, he is working on an enhanced oil recovery project. What will Rogers get up to next? He’s thinking about climbing through Europe. “Whatever it is, it won’t be any higher.” By Julie Waechter

don’t look down TOP: Crevasses are crossed via ladders extended across the gap. Some ladders were twisted, or the ropes frayed. CENTER: A shot from Rogers’ Go-Pro camera as he climbs down an ice fall. RIGHT: Everest’s Camp I in 2016. The previous year, an avalanche blasted down two paths, beyond and in front of this tent row.

aStater great stories


Legacy of William A. Porter ’51 lives on through Porter Scholars Program adams state’s 2016 porter scholars remembered benefactor william a. porter ’51 at their annual dinner in october. dubbed “the forefather of online trading” by cnn, porter was born november 10, 1928, in boulder, colo., and passed away october 14, 2015, in kauai, hawaii, where he lived in his later years. He and his wife, Joan, established the Porter Scholars Program in 2007 through the largest gift in Adams State history: $5.8 million worth of stock in E*TRADE, which he founded in 1983. Porter went on to launch the International Securities Exchange.

this program has opened doors for me that i never thought would be possible.” – Logan Hjelmstad The Porters’ goal in creating the program was to "support students who are majoring in either mathematics or science on the basis of their need and their ongoing academic achievement." To date, the program has awarded $816,145 to a total of 134 students, many of whom earn the award for multiple years. Porter Scholars alumni have fulfilled that potential through acceptances to medical and professional school; ASU’s 2016 Exceptional New Alumna, Dr. Amber (Harlan) Price ’12, is one example of that success.

the program allows me to meet kind, brilliant individuals who form such a passionate community.” – Julie Starkey “There is no way in the world Adams State could offer this program without a private donation. The Porters’ gift gives our students opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise,” said Dr. Matt Nehring, professor of physics. In addition to financial assistance, the Porter Scholars Program supports the students’ pursuit of focused aca-


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demic programs off campus, independent study, and research on advanced topics. These have included national and international research opportunities, attendance at professional conferences, and study travel to Africa, Australia, Belize, Costa Rica, and Peru. Another unique aspect of the program is the First-Year Experience, multidisciplinary excursions that focus on scientific topics such as “Mammoths, Mathematics and Climate Change.” ASU’s science and mathematics facility was named for Porter in 1998 at a dedication ceremony on campus. Holding back tears, Porter traced the roots of William ‘51 and Joan Porter, creators of the Porter Scholars Program. his success back to his alma mater. “I developed my technological grounding largely through this scholarship has been the most the inspiration of Dr. James important part of my school experiCraft, head of the Science Department when I attended ence. it has allowed me to fully commit Adams State. He was truly a myself to my studies.” – Clifton Simmons great man. Because of him and others who influenced With a B.S. in mathematics from me, I have gained considerable success Adams State, Porter furthered his eduin business, and I want to share my succation at Kansas State University, where cess with today’s students at Adams he earned an M.S. in physics, and at the State,” he said. MIT Sloan School of Management, Porter’s humility belied the dedicawhere he earned an M.B.A. as part of tion and hard work ethic he evinced the Sloan Fellows program. since early in life. Porter entered the Adams State has recognized Porter’s U.S. Navy at 16, but was later disachievements and generosity through charged for being underage. As a youth, the 2007 Willis Fassett Jr. Award, the he worked as a ranch cowboy during summers; during college, he worked the 2005 Billy Adams Award, and the 1991 Alumni Achievement Award. He gave night shift as crew dispatcher for the Adams State’s commencement address in Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. He spring of 2000 and was presented an also felt privileged to know Billy Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy. Adams, whom he and other students would visit and read to toward the end By Julie Waechter of his life.

Garcia continues Billy Adams’ mission former colorado lt. governor joseph a. garcia was presented adams state university’s most prestigious honor, the billy adams award, at the october 28 alumni homecoming banquet and awards ceremony. Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. "I know that there is talent in every corner of our state, and that it is our shared obligation and in our mutual interest to develop the potential of all of our residents," he added. "By doing so, we will not only help them improve their lives, but we will build stronger communities, a stronger state, and a healthier democracy."

rural education

I believe the goals of asu and the

Garcia clearly shares Billy Adams’ dedication to educagoals of governor adams align tion, especially to teachers in rural areas. "Too often, peowith what has been my highest ple in rural areas simply don't have access to high priority . . . ensuring that all quality higher education opcoloradans have the opportunity portunities. They may even be unaware of the degree to to pursue a high quality college which it can improve their lives and the lives of their education.” families and communities.” Many rural students seek Hispanic Coloradans. This is especially higher education in an environment problematic, given the fact that Hispanthat reflects their values and in a community where they feel at home. "There ics are the fastest growing demographic under the age of 18, and they will be are very few options for people in the our future workforce. As more and San Luis Valley, while there are literally dozens of public and private, non-profit more jobs require some post-secondary training, we will face major workforce and for-profit institutions well within shortages that will hurt our economy reach of Front Range residents. That is why such a low percentage of rural resi- and our competitiveness if we do not do a better job of serving that populadents earn post-secondary credentials, tion. Hispanic Serving Institutions like which also negatively impacts the ecoASU are critical to that goal." nomic development of rural communiGarcia has advocated for accessible ties,” Garcia said. "This is the most education for all students at all levels critical area of need in Colorado right throughout his career as a public sernow. While rural and low-income resivant. dents lag behind suburban, urban and By Linda Relyea ‘96, ‘10 wealthier residents, the biggest attainment gap is between Hispanic and non-

aStater adams family legacies

As Lt. Governor from 2011-2016, Garcia also served as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. He continues to serve the needs of students in his current post as president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Garcia was formerly president of Colorado State University– Pueblo and of Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC). "The Billy Adams Award is particularly significant to me, because I believe the goals of ASU and the goals of Governor Adams align with what has been my highest priority in my professional career, and that is ensuring that all Coloradans have the opportunity to pursue a high quality college education, regardless of where they live, whether their parents went to college, whether they are wealthy or low income, and whatever their cultural or racial heritage or the language they speak at home," Garcia said. Adams State President Beverlee J. McClure respects Garcia's dedication. "Upon meeting Joe Garcia, I was struck by his positive energy and sincere commitment to education in Colorado. Since then, my respect for him continued to grow, as he helped our state system move into the twenty-first century and implemented positive solutions to challenges. Joe is committed to closing the attainment gap for our Latino students. He truly understands the need for a Hispanic Serving Institution in rural Colorado and passionately relates to Adams State's mission to provide a quality education to traditionally underserved populations." Garcia understands the life-changing potential of higher education, having earned a B.S. in business at the University of Colorado-Boulder and a Juris


Donor cultivated a habit of giving rich gehlbach ’59 embodies the “pay it forward” philosophy. a long-time and enthusiastic supporter of his alma mater, he was honored with the asu foundation’s willis fassett jr. individual donor award, presented at the annual donor and student recognition dinner, november 10. Gelbach belongs to the Adam State University Legacy Society, having included his alma mater in his estate plans. He and his wife, De, also established the ASU Alumni and Foundation Office Scholarship, which is open to full-time students who are graduates of San Luis Valley high schools with a minimum GPA of 2.5. They have also made donations to the Friends of Music and the Grizzly Club, as well as unrestricted gifts. “I am so proud of what the college has become, its growth and progress,” he said. “It is such a privilege to support my college. I feel compelled to help all I can. And I hope others of my generation feel the same, before it’s too late.” Tammy Lopez ’91, ’01, executive director of the ASU Foundation, talked about the relationship the Gehlbachs have with Adams State. “We talk to Rich and De at least twice a week to find out what is going on and share updates on Adams State. We are so excited that they were honored with this award.”

Rich ‘59 and De Gehlbach with William Moyer’s Buffalo Chant bronze awarded by the ASU Foundation.

owed mother to raise four children. He grew up in Denver and attended Manual High School. “I don’t remember college being mentioned around my house growing up. It seemed out of the realm of possibility,” he recalled. He worked the adams state needs you. it needs you to help year after high school and had some money saved. “Near the end of the summer of ’55, a friend at my others, as you have been helped. as i was church said, ‘Why don’t you come to college with me?’ ‘Where?’ ‘Adams State College in Alamosa.’ I helped. adams state needs all of us.” replied, ‘Never heard of it!’ - Rich Gehlbach, ‘59 “We arrived in town on a Saturday night in August, after dark I believe, to attend football practice on Monday. After seeing the town in daylight, across that Gelbach said he first began donating small amounts to bridge, I would have returned home immediately – what have Adams State because “I wanted to see my name in the AI done?! That changed after one week. After a short time it Stater, along with classmates. As those amounts grew, Lori seemed everyone knew everyone!” Laske suggested that we could sponsor a scholarship. ‘Oh, Gehlbach played football that fall and received a tuition no,’ I thought. Those are for other people.’” waiver for singing in the choir. “In the year that followed, I At the dinner, he appealed to students to follow his example. “Don’t wait until you’re a senior citizen to take a financial wouldn’t have left for anything. I worked various jobs to assure I could stay,” he said. interest in your alma mater. Adams State needs you. It needs After earning a B.A. in business education, he taught for a you to help others, as you have been helped. As I was helped. year on the Navajo reservation in Kirtland, New Mex. A Adams State needs all of us.” death in the family cut that career short, and he later entered In reflecting on his life, Gehlbach said, “I shudder to think of what my life would have been without my Adams State ed- the insurance field, in which he worked for 45 years. ucation.” When he was ten, his father died, leaving his wid-


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Daniels Fund honored for sustained support of ASU students for the last 16 years, adams state students have benefited greatly from the vision and generosity of cable television pioneer bill daniels, whose will created the daniels fund upon his death in 2000. Through its grants, scholarships, and higher education one single person, can change the world.” She now works at ethics initiative, the private charitable foundation is dedicated the Alamosa accounting firm of Wall, Smith, and Bateman, to bettering the lives of people in Colorado, New Mexico, Inc., where she interned while a student. Utah, and Wyoming. “Bill Daniels left such an incredible The Daniels Fund has also been important to Armenta, legacy and gift to the four states. It is amazing how many lives who has interned with the Environment for the Americas and he has touched,” said Daniels Fund President and CEO the Adams State Police Department. “The Daniels Fund Linda Childears. mentoring system always made me feel like I had someone in The ASU Founmy corner cheering me on. I dation recognized can truly say if it were not for if it were not for the daniels fund, i that generosity by the Daniels Fund, I would presenting the not be finishing college.” would not be finishing college.” Daniels Fund with Savage, who meets with the Willis Fassett Jr. - Stefan Armenta ‘17 the scholars often, said,“We Corporate Award at realize that employers apprethe annual Donor and Student Recognition Dinner. The ciate experience when hiring.” award includes the William Moyers ’39 bronze Buffalo Chant, Childears values that one-on-one contact, as well. “Talking which was accepted by Childears, along with Daniels Fund to individual scholar students and staying in contact, on an Scholar Relations Officer Michael Savage and Boundless Opextremely personal level, helps directly impact the individual. portunity Scholarship Relations Manager Mary Haynes. It is my favorite aspect of my job.” Her organization helps Adams State President Beverlee J. McClure noted, “I beDaniels Scholars become gainfully employed and contribute lieve Bill Daniels would be pleased to know Adams State to their community. “It means even more to us when Adams shares many of the same goals as the Daniels Fund. It has State graduates stay in Alamosa and help the community contributed nearly $700,000 to help our students achieve thrive.” their academic objectives and enter their community as eduBy Linda Relyea ‘96, ‘10 cated, prepared, and productive members of the workforce and society.” Childears said both Adams State and the Daniels Fund make a concerted effort to reach out to students from traditionally underserved populations. ASU students benefit from two Daniels Fund programs. The Daniels Scholarship Program has awarded $340,000 to high school seniors enrolled at ASU who demonstrate exceptional character, leadership, and a commitment to their communities. Non-traditional-aged students at ASU have received $345,000 through the Boundless Opportunity Scholarship. “This money may assist an individual complete a new skill set, not necessarily a four-year degree,” Haynes said. “Older students have different challenges than recent high school graduates. They have to balance life, family, work, and still be productive in school.” Two students who received financial assistance and personal guidance from the Daniels Fund are Emily Thong ’15, who earned a degree in accounting, and Stefan Armenta, a senior with three majors: earth science, physical geography, Standing before a sculpture of the foundation’s founder, Bill Daniels, are and sociology. (from left) the Daniels Fund’s Mary Haynes, Boundless Opportunity ScholThong, who completed her degree in three and a half arship Relations Manager; Linda Childears, President and CEO; and years, said, “Even better than the financial assistance was the Michael Savage, Scholar Relations Officer. support they gave me. They make you feel like even you, this

aStater adams family legacies


Scholarship creator honors his origins wayne o. evans '62 has come a long way since graduating from monte vista high school and adams state. in appreciation of his roots, he created a scholarship to help students of both his alma maters. "My career was jump started by an Elks Club scholarship to Adams State. As soon as I began earning, my wife and I began to pay it back," he said. Adams State was "lifechanging" for Evans. Graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science was a highlight for him and his family. "I was the first of the Evanses to get a college degree." Evans recently established the Monte Vista-Adams Scholarship Endowment for Monte Vista High School graduates who attend Adams State. It is open to graduates

their work.' That’s a lesson that remained with me for my entire career.” Having concentrated on mathematics and the sciences in college, he now says he would study more art and music. "A good book, music, and painting are my focus now. Subjects once very important, like thermodynamics, differential equations, analytic chemistry, have faded in importance. We should take time to enjoy sunsets." Evans’ rigorous academic schedule left him little time to socialize, but he remembers spring break of 1962, when he and fellow residents of Kit Carson Hall pushed a bed on bicycle wheels, along with a bag of San Luis Valley potatoes, all the way to Denver. He caught up with the bed outside of Buena Vista, Colo. "We were dropped off at half-mile intervals to do our part." Once the Denver press started following the event, "two miles of cars followed the bed." Before they reached downtown Denver, they were stopped by Colorado

my career was jump started by an elks club scholarship to adams state. as soon as i began

Ellen and Wayne ‘52 Evans enjoy retirement in Tucson, Ariz.

earning, my wife and I began to pay it back.”

of MVHS with at least a 2.5 GPA. Community service is also required."I believe colleges and universities should train future leaders, teachers, social workers, and those who improve life," Evans said. "The purpose of colleges/universities is not to teach facts, but to teach students how to learn." Evans first planned to become a teacher, but his aptitude for science and math lead him to change majors. "I also discovered you could take a heavy course load for no extra charge." Thus, he took up to 22 credit hours per term. "This accelerated schedule allowed me to graduate in three years. I took almost every math, chemistry, and physics class available, resulting in a triple major."

special memories Some lessons didn't come from a book or a calculation. Evans recalled a research paper assigned by Dr. Kay O. Watkins ‘55, then-professor of chemistry. Only 15 of 100 students passed – Evans earned one of the few A’s. The rest were failed because they did not cite their sources. “Dr. Watkins said, 'In science and life, we give others credit for


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Highway Patrol officers who promised to take the bed and bag of potatoes to the governor the next day.

professional success After earning a Master of Science in mathematics from Kansas State University, Evans started a long career at IBM in Rochester, Minn. He was a programmer, system designer, and team leader in the development laboratory. "I contributed to software still in use today, and IBM holds a patent in my name," he said. In the mid-70’s, he worked on a joint study with the Mayo Clinic using computers to monitor patients after open heart Segments of the operating systems for the IBM S/3, S/38, and OS/400 systems also bear his fingerprints. Evans retired from IBM in 1991 and began his own consulting company. Throughout his career, he shared his expertise at conferences in the USA, Canada, Europe, and South America. In retirement, he shares the fruits of that success with Adams State students. By Linda Relyea ‘96, ‘10

Grateful family creates softball scholarship when grizzly athletics says it cares about the whole studentathlete, they mean it. case in point: softball coach dervin taylor. when third baseman shaena connelly’s father, stacy, passed away last november, taylor and his wife opened their hearts and home.

laske ‘91, ‘01 recertified as fund raising executive Lori L. Laske ‘91, ‘01, Executive Director of ASU Alumni and Donor Relations, was recertified as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) by CFRE International. Over 5,500 professionals around the world hold the designation, having met the organization’s standards that include a rigorous written examination.

aStater adams family legacies

TOP LEFT: Shaena Connelly with her dad, Stacy, at the softball team’s 2015 senior day. BOTTOM LEFT: Head softball coach Dervin Taylor with Gabby Griego, the first scholarship recipient.

Stacy Connelly died unexpectedly the day after his 45th birthday. After spending two weeks back home in Brighton, Colo., Shaena had trouble sleeping once she returned to school, so the Taylors invited her to stay with them for a time. In recognition of Taylor’s kindness, Shaena’s mom, Becky, created a scholarship for a softball player. "The scholarship places value on what was important to Mr. Connelly, the education and empowerment of young women, as they should be supported, encouraged and enabled to do whatever they want to do in this world," she said.The S. Connelly Scholarship is named for Stacy and his two daughters. It will award a minimum of $1,300 a year to a full-time senior who is an NCAA-eligible member of the softball team. Becky Connelly said that amount was chosen because “13 is kind of the family’s number,” as well as Shaena’s uniform number. Shaena has a double major in history/ political science and sociology with emphases in pre-law and criminology & social welfare. The scholarship’s first recipient was Gabrielle "Gabby" Griego, of Las Vegas, New Mexico. A senior majoring in accounting with a minor a Spanish, she plays second base and shortstop. “The S. Connelly Scholarship means more to me than just the scholarship itself; it means family. Growing up around softball with my father, I know that a bond between a parent and a child because of a sport is something special,” Griego said. “I am so thankful to have received this scholarship in remembrance of Mr. Connelly, because I know that he and Shaena experienced the same ‘love of the game’ as my dad and I. I will honor this scholarship and his name as if he were my dad.”


patrons needed

Original compositions will reflect cultural diversity the music department is seeking patrons to support the commissioning of three original works that will celebrate the culture and soundscape of the san luis valley. Each commission is $2,500; interested donors may contact Lori Laske ’91, ’01, executive director of Alumni & Donor Relations, at 719-587-7609. The San Luis Valley Cultural Commission Project grew out of ASU’s Unidos Equity Retreat, which stimulated music faculty to develop ETHOS, an overarching, multi-year program to address equity and diversity issues in music ensemble programming and curricula development. “We will commission some highprofile composers, such as Jack Stamp, David Pierce, and Jennifer Bellow, as well as one of our music composition

students, to create pieces that will be accessible and benefit underserved students and smaller music programs,” said department chair Dr. Beth Robison, professor and director of choral activities. ETHOS is a Greek word meaning “character” used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation or ideology. The Greeks also used this word to refer to the power of music to influence its listener’s emotions, behaviors, and even morals. “Music has always been a reflection of society and culture, both the positive and negative aspects,” Robison added. “It may reflect the biases or norms of certain groups, or be a call for action against social injustices perpetrated by others.” Plans call for the pieces to be performed and recorded at the Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA)

in January, at the Top of the Nation Honor Band festival in February, and in outreach performances with regional and national ensembles, as well as by faculty in regional high schools for recruiting and educational purposes. Recordings will be available for purchase, and an article on the project will be published in professional music journals. Robison explained the project will serve multiple purposes: • Create unique educational and service/integrated learning experiences. • Provide professional development and diversity awareness for students and faculty. • Promote and recruit students while celebrating and educating others about the diversity and culture of the San Luis Valley through music.

An IRA charitable rollover is a very gift to make.


If you are 70½ or older and own a traditional IRA, please consider making an IRA charitable rollover gift this year. A gift of up to $100,000 made from your IRA to us will: • not be included in your taxable income • satisfy your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year • reduce your taxable income, even if you do not itemize deductions • not be subject to the 50% limitation on charitable gifts • help the work of the ASU Foundation Contact your plan administrator to make a qualified transfer from your IRA to us. Contact us today for more information about IRA rollover gifts!

adams state university foundation phone: 719-587-7609 24

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70 years of

Spud Bowl

the spud bowl tradition goes back to 1946, when san luis valley potato farmers began donating sacks of spuds to adams state. in those days, the produce was then sold to benefit athletics.

today, the colorado potato administrative committee partners with the university to directly award scholarships each fall at the spud bowl, a highlight of the football season.

As this year’s Spud Bowl Queen, Katelyn Caldon received a full one-year scholarship. She represented Sanford High School.

aStater adams family legacies


San Luis Valley schools nominate a senior as their Spud Bowl Queen candidate. The candidates are then interviewed the morning of Spud Bowl by a panel of judges, and the winner is crowned at halftime of the football game. Each candidate receives a one-semester tuition scholarship, and the Spud Bowl Queen receives full tuition, room, and board for one year at Adams State University.


staying in touch ◗1950s Harvey Billington `58, `65 (Pleasant Grove, UT) was Superintendent of Kit Carson County District Re-6J, from which he retired in 1991. He just turned 80 and has 5 married daughters: Nancy, Carla, Susan, Laura & Anne. He still remembers the wonderful time spent at Adams—and the Student Union Four quartet, consisting of himself, Larry Motz `63,`68, and the late Marv Motz `58, `59 and Lou Means `57,`58. They spent a lot of time on tour for Adams and loved every minute of it.

◗1960s John Bell `63 (Brighton, CO) is a Buffalo Soldier reenactor. John founded The Buffalo Soldiers, reenactors of the 9th and 10th Cavalry during the period between 1870 and 1890. His wife, Jeanette Stribling-Bell `65, has been a teacher and has sung opera and Broadway professionally. Now retired, she helps John with his historic research. Matthew Shoban `64, `68 (Linden, NJ) supervises student teachers at Kean University in Union, NJ. He also teaches golf and tennis at Middlesex County College in Edison, NJ, and is the director of the Summer Basketball Camp in the Cranford, NJ, Recreation Department. Peter Ciraolo `66 (Hamburg, NY) continues to perform with his 18-piece Pete Ciraolo All-Star Big Band. During his music career, he performed with jazz singer Pearl Bailey, Bobby Vinton, Wayne Newton, and many others.


Peter donated the music sign displayed in front of the Music Building on ASU’s campus. He taught music for 34 years, both high school and college.

◗1970s Jack Miller `72, `76 (Longmont, CO) retired after 38 years of teaching P.E. in the K-8 classroom and coaching wrestling, cross-country, volleyball, and track & field, including being on the Jump Rope for Heart demo team. He was also a lifeguard/swim instructor. He is keeping busy now, having started a dumping/hauling business. He also still loves fishing. He has been married for 42 years to his “favorite wife,” Jan. He walks every day. In his spare time, he runs a free summer wrestling camp for kids. Chuck `73 and Margie `73 Eaton (Wichita, KS) were both music education majors who met in psych class, and the rest is history. They have 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren. Their oldest grandson is in the Navy at Pearl Harbor. David Crossland `73, `77 (Holly, CO) had a great education at Adams. He taught 32 years at the elementary level in Holly. He is now bringing his daughter to check out the campus.

the Climax Molybdenum Company in Climax, Colo. She met and married James Luke, a Minnesota native, and moved to Bloomington, Minn., in 1983. Her career spanned a 30-year period in the Minneapolis area as project manager, PMP certified for the following companies: Cargill, Inc., Ameriprise Financial, Northwest Airlines (now Delta), and Target Corporate Headquarters. She retired in 2014 and moved to a home on Lake Fourteen in northern Minnesota near the unorganized area of Britt. She has been married for 39 years and has 2 grown children and 2 grandchildren, all living in the Minneapolis area. She now enjoys nature and quiet life on the lake.

◗1980s Douglas Grewe `87 (Centennial, CO) has been married for 23 years to wife Shari. They have a son, Paul, in his 3rd year at Drake University. Douglas has been selling paint at Home Depot for the past 11 years and loves it. He recently attended a Denver Chapter event—it was fun.


Charlene O’Leary Luke `75, `75 (Britt, MN) worked after graduation as a programmer for

Linda Vigil Valdez `95 (Alamosa, CO) is “kind of” retired. She worked as a substitute teacher all over the San Luis Valley, as a paraprofessional for BOCES, and taught reading and GED classes at Trinidad State Junior College. She writes, “I enjoyed Adams State. It is a very good college, or university, as it’s

great stories Photo courtesy of Valley Courier

Bessie Konishi `59, `61 (Alamosa, CO), a member of the GFWC Woman’s Citizenship Club in Alamosa, is this year’s Western States Region recipient of the Jennie Award. The award is named after Jane Cunningham Croly, the founder of GFWC who worked as a journalist using the pen name “Jennie June.” The women honored with this award are a true reflection of the spirit of GFWC’s founder, whose independence and courage led her to form the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1890. As the only award at the Federation level that recognizes individuals for their service, it is truly the highest honor a clubwoman can receive. Much like Jennie June, these women are committed to improving the lives of those around them. They live and breathe volunteer service, 26

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and are completely devoted to their clubs, communities, and families. GFWC was honored to present Bessie with this award in front of her friends, family, and fellow clubwomen at the Wonderful, Wacky Women Luncheon during the 2016 GFWC Annual Convention. Bessie joined the GFWC Woman’s Citizenship Club in 1966 and soon became an influential leader both in her club and in Alamosa. Drawing on her own experiences as a child of Japanese immigrants during World War II, Bessie has worked extensively to promote peace and end racism in her community. In addition to serving in multiple leadership roles, such as club president, district president, and GFWC Colorado President, Bessie is a community activist who volunteers for many other organizations. She served on the Alamosa School Board, volunteers at the Alamosa Welcome Center, and was the first Asian-American woman to serve on the Caring for Colorado board. She and her husband, retired veterinarian Dr. Ben Konishi, have three children, seven grandchildren, and four stepgrandchildren.

family bookshelf ◗2000s Greg Cook ‘02 (Alamosa, CO) was recently named director of Student Business Services at Adams State University, where he has worked since 1998. His wife, Kristina Cook ‘98, is the administrative assistant in Adams State’s Nursing Department. They have three children. David Manzany `07 (Las Vegas, NV) has taken his athletic evolution from the track to the octagon over the past 15 years. Regarding the latter, he won an Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) title belt, July 15 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He recorded a round one submission to claim the EFC51 Lightweight belt. Following graduation from ASU, he was a head coach for cross country, track & field and ice hockey in the Anchorage School District. His MMA career began in his home state of Alaska, but he soon relocated to Las Vegas to train.

◗2010s Courtney Espinoza `12 (Monte Vista, CO) was accepted into The Julliard School of the West—American Musical & Dramatics Academy in Hollywood, Calif., and started this fall. Only 100 in 1,500 applicants are admitted yearly nationwide into this private academy. She has been a singer in the duo “Diamond Life.” She serves as a board member of the San Luis Valley Theater Company and teaches in the theater department at Monte Vista High School. Patrick Ortiz ‘13 (Alamosa, CO) is using his degree in physical geography - earth science emphasis in his position at the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve. He previously worked at Saguaro National Park in Tucson, AZ. Tori Martinez ‘15 (Alamosa, CO) produced a series of videos on Adams State members of the Corn Mothers, which honors women from the Southwest who embody the spirit of community. They may be viewed on You Tube. Kole Kelley ‘16 (Denver, CO) is in his first year at Denver University’s Sturm College of Law. He was accepted for the staff of the Water Law Review after a rigorous training period, during which he won the overall high score Best Candidate Award. “I give 100 percent credit for this to Dr. Zena Buser’s class and ASU’s Ag Business program.”

Daryl Farmer ’89 (Fairbanks, AK) recently had his second book, Where We Land, published by Brighthorse Books. In it, he writes about a part of the country where the most unforgiving landscape is the human heart. Set in the western United States and in the far reaches of Alaska, Where We Land presents characters who find themselves far beyond the edge of where and what they’ve been, and they’re working hard either to find their way home or to break new ground inside themselves. Author Pam Houston said in her review of the book, “In the tradition of Jack London, Richard Ford and Annie Proulx, Daryl Farmer writes of sublime western landscapes, rural and wild, that illuminate, threaten and redeem (sometimes all in the same lyric moment) the characters who inhabit them.” Daryl’s book Bicycling Beyond the Divide received a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award and was a Colorado Book Award finalist. His work has appeared in several journals, including Whitefish Review, Grist, Hayden’s Ferry Review, South Dakota Review, and Quarter After Eight. He is an assistant professor and director of the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks.

Help Adams State honor exceptional educators the adams state educator hall of fame seeks nominations for the 2017 class of inductees. “we particularly hope to hear about educators beyond the san luis valley, so we can expand the scope of this honor,” said ted morrison ’69, who helped to initiate the hall of fame. In consideration of Adams State’s strong history of preparing and contributing to the success of education professionals, the Educators Hall of Fame recognizes excellent educators. The committee requests nominations by February 17, 2017. (Nominations received after that date will be reviewed the following year.) Inductees are honored in the categories of Elementary Educator, Secondary Educator, Post-Secondary Educator, and Administrator. Selection criteria include: • 15 or more years in the educational field. • Nominees are not required to be an Adams State graduate, but must demonstrate a significant service to the institution and the community. • This honor can be awarded posthumously.

The Educator Hall of Fame nomination form is available online: Questions may be directed to Elaine Wenta,

2017 adams state educator hall of fame banquet Tuesday, May 2, 2017 6 p.m. ASU Student Union Banquet Rooms

aStater staying in touch

called now. I recommend it to anyone and everyone. Godspeed!”


final chapters . . . Margaret Polston `43, `68 (Alamosa, CO) passed away Oct. 10 at the age of 96. Among her survivors are daughter Judy `74, `74 & Bob `73 Jones and grandson Jason Jones `01. Genevieve Morris `46 (Lewiston, ID) passed away Sept. 10 at the age of 94. Kenneth Bean `49 (Flagstaff, AZ) passed away Aug. 6 at the age of 88. Among his survivors are sister Hazel Petty `46, `71; nieces Laurie Bean Cameron `74 and Elinor Bean Gonzales `78; and nephew Ralph Bean `87. Lloyd DeHerrera `49 (Thornton, CO) passed away July 1 at the age of 94. Clotilda Martinez `49 (Denver, CO) passed away Aug. 26 at the age of 88. Among her survivors is former husband Levi Martinez `48. John Roybal `51, `60 (Blanca, CO) passed away July 28 at the age of 91. Among his survivors are son Patrick Roybal `90, granddaughter Briana Roybal `13, sister Evangeline `57, `61 & Val `60, `65 Sena, brother Ernie Roybal `54, and nephew Walter Roybal `94, `08. Glessie Trafton Drake `53 (Pagosa Springs, CO) passed away June 11 at the age of 87. Alphonso Trujillo `53 (Trinidad, CO) passed away Sept. 3 at the age of 96. Stella Raught `55 (Raton, NM) passed away July 21 at the age of 88. Jack Hill `56 (Tucson, AZ) passed away Aug. 15 at the age of 81. Arthur Motz `57 (Boise, ID) passed away June 30 at the age of 87. Among his survivors are wife Linda Motz `67, brother Larry `63, `68 & Lynnette`65 Motz, sister-in-law Mary Motz

“Final Chapters” lists only survivors who are Adams State graduates or are affiliated with ASU. `62, nephew Tom Motz `82, niece Susan `88 & Michael `84 Arnold, great-nieces and nephews Jeff `00 & Katherine `00 Motz, Kristi `02 & Robert `04 Kern, Jake Streeter `07, Josh `10 & Christine `09, `13 Streeter, and Beth Streeter `16. Bernie Ruybal `57 (Aurora, CO) passed away Feb. 11 at the age of 85. Bernice Medina `59 (Walsenburg, CO) passed away June 24 at the age of 85. Among her survivors are husband Luis Medina `56 and daughter Ana Vigil `84. Shirley Raedelle Carter `60, `71 (Pueblo West, CO) passed away July 25 at the age of 78. Among her survivors are husband Dr. Joe Carter `60, `61 and daughters Margaret Harmon `81 and Norma Carter `86. Joseph O'Dell `60 (Grand Junction, CO) passed away Aug. 17 at the age of 81. Kenneth Floyd `61 (Duncan, OK) passed away July 31 at the age of 89. Jack Foudray `61 (Longmont, CO) passed away Sept. 8 at the age of 77. John Edward Romero `63 (Grand Rapids, MI) passed away Aug. 11 at the age of 76. John Ensign `65 (Lakewood, CO) passed away July 1 at the age of 73. William Moeny `66 (Cottonwood, AZ) passed away June 30 at the age of 95. Among his survivors are son Jim Moeny `79, `81 and sister Virginia Cooper `50. Lois Miller `69 (La Jara, CO) passed away Oct. 11 at the age of 89. Among her survivors is son Monte Miller `76.

We recently learned of the passing of one of our favorite professors, Dr. Richard Peterson, Emeritus Professor of Geology. During my junior year as an elementary education major in 1973, he offered a spring break trip to raft the Colorado River for nine days and study the geology of the Grand Canyon. Being a big city girl who maybe had slept in a tent three times, it was a leap of faith, for sure. Dr. Peterson said it would be a trip of a lifetime and somehow made it affordable for college students on a limited income. Two large pontoon boats left Lee's Ferry with lots of enthusiasm. We encountered miserable weather at times. . . no escaping the elements in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It was a thrill, however, and Lava Falls was everything that we had been told it would be! We forged bonds with many on that trip, friendships lasting a lifetime. Dr. Peterson became one of those friends. I also met my future husband on that trip, Gerhard Kuhn ‘68, a graduate student. Fate brought us together, but I give Dr. Peterson some credit too! Although we haven't shared a raft since that eventful trip. . . we have been married 42 years this Christmas. Dr. Peterson was a rare and very special professor that we both feel made such a difference in his students’ lives. He gave us special opportunities to take geology road trips, attend conferences in the Southwest, and always an open door to his office for anything we needed. We stayed in touch with him over the years and a few years back visited with him in Oregon. We will miss him. - Karen Milek Kuhn ‘74 28

aStater fall 2016

Donald O'Brien `70 (Denver, CO) passed away Sept. 24 at the age of 68. Among his survivors is daughter-in-law Kristie Peroni `95. Margaret Inness `72, `74 (Center, CO) passed away Aug. 29 at the age of 87. Among her survivors is daughter Virginia Inness `77. Manuel Naranjo `72 (Denver, CO) passed away July 20 at the age of 66. Feliz Gail DeVargas Gallegos `73 (San Diego, CA) passed away July 31 at the age of 85. John Schmidt `74 (Cañon City, CO) passed away Aug. 10 at the age of 77. Diane McKinna Welch `75, `92 (Cañon City, CO) passed away Sept. 13 at the age of 64. Claudia Jo Piper `76 (Longmont, CO) passed away July 11 at the age of 77. Glenn Johnston `84 (Bayfield, CO) passed away Sept. 3 at the age of 74. Among his survivors is wife Maxine Bays Johnston `89. Patricia Pagett Carpenter `86 (Manassa, CO) passed away Oct. 5 at the age of 67. Among her survivors are son Lance `03 & Kathy `98 Carpenter. Nada Djokic `86 (Grand Junction, CO) passed away July 21 at the age of 67. Phil Ray Jack `88 (Manassa, CO) passed away July 26 at the age of 60. Among his survivors is father Leon King Jack `72. John Dale `92, `14 (Alamosa, CO) passed away Sept. 2 at the age of 55. Daniel Maas `92 (Littleton, CO) passed away Aug. 26 at the age of 47. Loan Anderson Maas `93 (Littleton, CO) passed away Aug. 30 at the age of 46. Spring Lea Boehler Henry `94 (Colorado Springs, CO) passed away June 27 at the age of 44. Among her survivors is husband Ray Henry `92. Ludy Medina `94 (Alamosa, CO) passed away July 29 at the age of 72.

friends Rodney Bolt, former employee, passed away July 12 at the age of 79. June Lorimer, wife of Dr. Dale Lorimer, Emeritus Faculty, (Steamboat Springs, CO) passed away Apr. 5 at the age of 99. Dr. Richard Peterson, Emeritus Faculty, (Ridgefield, WA) passed away Sept. 8 at the age of 85. (See an alumna’s memory at left.)

first meeting set for jan. 28

denver alumni chapter formed The 2,000-plus Adams State alumni in the greater Denver area now have an official chapter, which will meet for the first time Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at the Denver Public Library, 10 W. Fourteenth Ave. Pkwy., 9:30 a.m. Guest speaker, President Beverlee J. McClure, will share her vision for Adams State and how alumni can be helpful in reaching those goals. The Denver Chapter represents all alumni in the six Colorado counties of Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson. Its mission is to reach out to current and future alumni and the community throughout the Denver area to cultivate loyalty, pride, and commitment to Adams State University. Other activities will include but are not limited to helping generate scholar-

ship funds and recruiting high school students to attend ASU. The chapter’s bylaws, approved by the Adams State Associated Alumni board in February, were developed by a team of five people appointed by President McClure. This team will conduct the annual meeting in January, when officers will be elected. The team is Wayne Melanson ‘69, Liz Watts ‘70, Toney Cantu ‘70, Camila Alire ‘70, and Jeremy Wilder ‘96. Cantu and Wilder also serve on the board of the Associated Alumni of Adams State University. An “Adams State Alumni Denver Chapter” Facebook page is now available, and all area alumni are invited to “like” the page and follow the posts. For more information, contact: Wayne Melanson,

save the date Homecoming 2017 october 16-21 Be There! What have you been up to since graduation? Your classmates want to know. Email your update for “Staying in Touch” to

Alaska: Beyond Your Dreams, Within Your Reach option 1: land and sea june 5-17, 2017 Five Days sightseeing at Denali National Park. Then cruise through the glaciers from Anchorage to Vancouver, British Columbia, with stops in Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan and scenic cruising around Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay National Park. Interior staterooms start at $3307.98/person.

option 2: cruise only june 10-17, 2017 Interior staterooms start at $1179. Prices includes port fees and tax. Airfare, transfers, gratuities and optional travel insurance are additional. Fares are subject to change and availability,so call early for best pricing.

For additional information and to reserve your spot, please call 1-800-267-7613.

aStater staying in touch


homecoming 2016 HONORED at the Alumni Homecoming Banquet were Joe Garcia, Billy Adams Award recipient (left); Outstanding Alumnus John T. Salazar ‘82 (far right); and Exceptional New Alumna Dr. Amber (Harlan) Price ‘12 (second from right), with President McClure.

◗ ◗

HOMECOMING ROYALTY: Taylor Wiggins (left) and Kendra Cheda were crowned by President McClure at the football game and received $500 Scholarships.

FEUDING ON BEHALF OF THE FAMILY From left: Miguel Chaparro, Tonya Owsley, Belen Garcia, Matt Martinez, Justine Brydges, Ashley Favela, Jeni Carter, Angelica Valdez, Ashlie Cogburn, Charlotte Bobicki, Lisa Wilson, John Owsley, Chuck Owsley and Jeff Owsley EXCEPTIONAL New Alumna Dr. Amber (Harlan) Price (left) has set the bar high for her siblings, Nick ‘14 and Brittany Harlan ‘14.


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From left: Jim Capra, Chris Parrill, Gaylene Horning, Albert Felix, Mike Deacon, Donald Anderson, Drew Wold, Kip Walker, David Goetzman, Rob Lopez, Justin Garrett, Kay Anderson and Lori Laske

Donald & Kay Anderson visit with Homecoming royalty.

aStater aStater adams latest family editions album



homecoming 2016

This year the Homecoming bonfire was held on the Richardson Hall lawn and included live music and food vendors. Art students created the laser-cut burn barrels at right.



aStater fall 2016

FOR GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND, Kyli Kehler ‘12 received the Alumni Service Award at the Homecoming Banquet. She helped with last winter’s “ASU Day at the Capitol.”

This year, the Homecoming Court was chosen through an application, interview, and election process. Twelve undergraduate students were named to Homecoming Court, with two named Homecoming Royalty at the football game. The Royalty will serve as Grizzly ambassadors throughout the year, participating in campus and alumni events. Among the selection criteria are a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75, campus involvement and leadership, and demonstration of Grizzly Pride.

aStater aStater adams latest family editions album


homecoming 2016 â—— ALUMNI TAILGATING: From left: Chuck & Becky Owsley, Dave Owsley, Ronnie & Marilyn Barrier, Tonya Owsley, Liz Thomas Hensley and Jeff Owsley.

The Adams State University Alpine Backbeats Entertainment Drum Line played a Homecoming halftime production of all original works written by junior percussion major Dryden Hill. They dedicated the newest and most substantial work, Grizz Nation, to President McClure. Presenting the score to her are (from left) Dr. Beth Robison, Music Department chair; Dr. James Doyle, asst. professor of music; Dr. Angela Winter, director of bands; and Dryden Hill.



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Grizzly Club names Rio Grande Savings & Loan and Turpin Family Sponsors of the Year behind grizzly athletics is a proud and supportive fan base. in the tradition of honoring the grizzly nation, ken and sharon turpin were named the 2016 grizzly club fans of the year. rio grande savings & loan received this year’s grizzly club corporate sponsor of the year award. they were recognized for their support at the nov. 10 donor & student recognition dinner. They also participated in an economic impact study for ASU athletics, directed by Dr. Liz Hensley ‘05, asst. professor of marketing, and her students. Vigil cites Adams State’s 2012-13 RMAC All-Sports award as his favorite moment during his Grizzly Club tenure. He added the growth of sport programs and increase in studentathletes was the biggest change for the athletic department recently.

ken and sharon ‘85 turpin fans of the year

rio grande savings & loan corporate sponsor 2016 Rio Grande Savings & Loan has been a Grizzly Club member since 2004 and has a long tradition of helping Alamosa and the San Luis Valley. With 30 current employees, RGS&L has conducted business since 1905 and established an Alamosa office in 1985. “Adams State University is one of the greatest assets to the San Luis Valley, and we are so proud to be a part of it,” said President & CEO, Donn Vigil, who has worked at the bank for 37 years and serves on the ASU Foundation board of directors. Vigil said the biggest benefit of Grizzly Club membership is the opportunity to help student-athletes further their goals and academic future. RGS&L most recently played an instrumental role in starting the Adams State football tailgating tradition in 2015.

The Turpins have been active Grizzly Club members for five years, but their ties to the San Luis Valley and Adams State go back much further. Sharon By Mike Skinner taught sixth grade in the Alamosa School District for 26 years before retiring three years ago. Outside of the classroom, she coached volleyball, girls and boys basketball, and track & field. Meanwhile, Ken spent 23 years (1971-94) running food services for Adams State. He also owned and operated Daylight Donuts for 15 years. The couple said a big advantage of belonging to the Grizzly Club is attending home events and getting to know players and coaches. One of their favorite athletic moments was this year’s exciting 31-30 football win over Chadron State College. They also enjoy watching ASU softball and baseball players hit home runs. A lighter moment from a men’s soccer match also The Turpins are longtime fans of ASU Athletics.

aStater adams family album

Donn Vigil accepted the award on behalf of Rio Grande Savings & Loan.

stood out in Sharon’s mind. “A really funny moment during a men's soccer match was when the other team kicked the ball out of bounds. The ref called for a goal kick, and it should have been a corner kick. Austin (Baumeister) went and retrieved the ball and whispered, ‘It should have been a corner kick!’ The crowd just starting laughing!” Sharon said. Cross country has also been a source of joy for the duo. “We enjoy watching cross country,” Sharon said, “I had Lauren (Martin) and Tanner (Martin) in middle school. To see them grow up from middle schoolers to college athletes is a ‘Wow’ moment.”


Martin ‘14, ‘16 honored as finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year lauren martin ’14, ‘16 was recognized as a top 30 candidate for the 2016 ncaa woman of the year award at an october banquet held in indianapolis. Selected from 517 nominees, she advanced to the NCAA Woman of the Year pool after earning RMAC Woman of the Year honors in June. The NCAA Woman of the Year program honors the academic achievements, athletic excellence, community service, and leadership of graduating female college athletes from all three divisions. “When I signed my letter of intent with Adams State six years ago, I never imagined I would end up where I

have,” Martin posted to her Facebook page. “This award is supposed to recognize me for my achievements, but I think that it is more about the people who have helped me get to where I am. So, thank you to all of Adams State for the support you have given me throughout my career!” Martin is now cross country coach for Trinidad State Junior College. "Lauren has been an exemplary ambassador for Adams State athletics. She has excelled in the classroom, on the track, and in the community. The whole department is proud of her award," said Athletic Director Larry Mortensen ’88, ‘93. "I enjoyed meeting with the other incredible women who were nominated. We all talked about our passions. I left Indianapolis motivated! I can't wait to see what all of us accomplish in this next chapter of our lives," Martin said after the ceremony. Martin ended her Adams State career as a four-time National Champion, including two recent national titles at the 2016 NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field Championships. She was a nine-time All-American, four-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, five-time RMAC Champion, and fourtime RMAC All-Academic recipient for cross country and track and field.

football The Grizzlies posted a 2-8 overall record, with wins against Chadron State College and New Mexico Highlands University. The 31-30 win over Chadron State was made possible by a 91-yard punt return by Addie Brown. For his efforts, Brown

was tabbed RMAC Special Teams Player of the Week. In the win over New Mexico Highlands, the Grizzlies racked up 638 yards of total offense in a 50-40 win. Phil Romero posted 7 receptions for 196 yards and 3 touchdowns, all during the second quarter. Brown and Chad Hovasse were named Second Team All-RMAC.

demari reynolds • Two blocked FG attempts vs. Fort Lewis on their opening two drives • 63-yard interception returned for TD vs. Dixie State (pictured) • One of 5 captains on team

Demari Reynolds


aStater fall 2016

Jorge Hernandez

special citation goes to steve valdez ‘87 steve valdez ’87 received the 2016 ted & janet morrison special citation award, which recognizes an individual who makes a continual impact on adams state university athletics. he was presented the award at september’s hall of fame banquet. "Steve is the epitome of a true Grizzly fan; his receiving the Hall of Fame citation award is overdue. Steve Valdez is what makes Adams State Athletics great!"said Athletic Director Larry Mortensen ‘88, ‘93. "When it comes to supporting student-

athletes, Steve has done it all. He regularly attends athletic events, has served on boards and committees, has been a corporate partner, hired studentathletes at City Market [where Valdez is Store Manager], and has even flipped burgers.” Valdez has served on the Grizzly Club Board of Directors since 2002, including one year as Grizzly Club President. That involvement has helped provide scholarships for qualified student-athletes, funds for capital improvements to athletic facilities, and support of various athletic activities. Valdez named construction of Rex Stadium, upgrades to facilities, and the addition of sport programs as high points. "I don't think I have done anything different than anyone else in my position should do. It's all about ASU creating lifetime experiences for the student-athletes. It's exciting to see how athletics has brought the community together in the past and will continue to play an important role," Valdez said. In addition, Valdez served on the Board of Trustees for Adams State University from 2007-13 and received the 2015 Billy Adams Award.

doc cotton remembered Dr. Jack “Doc” Cotton, a man who influenced countless Adams State athletes, died September 26 at the age of 91. A former Denver Nuggets player, Doc was best known as head coach of Adams State’s men’s and women’s basketball teams. He served as a faculty member, Athletic Director, and coach of several other sports from 1960 to 1987.

jorge hernandez • Ranks second in RMAC with 239.4 passing yards/game • Ranks third in RMAC with 243.6 yards of total offense/game • Has five 300+ passing yard games, single-game high 378 yards, and 3 TD's vs. Colorado Mesa

addie brown • 91-yard punt return TD vs. Chadron State to give ASU 1st lead of game in 4th (won game 31-30)

aStater great grizz

Addie Brown

Former Grizzly football player Christian Licciardi, #66 above, served as honorary captain for the Grizzlies’ football game against Colorado State University-Pueblo, Nov. 8. Above, he is ushered onto the field by teammates. A year before, stricken with excruciating headaches, Licciardi underwent extensive surgeries to relieve infection and swelling of the brain. It’s been a long, painful road to recovery for Licciardi, whose life has been forever altered. During Licciardi's visit to Alamosa, Grizzly Athletics raised over $6,600 to help with medical expenses.


women’s golf

Brooke Lucero

The Grizzlies capped their fall season by hosting the RMAC South Tournament. Adams State shot a two-round total of 725 (+149) to place 13th. Jessica Guajardo tied for 40th with a two round total of 169 (+25). Brooke Lucero tied for 46th by shooting 173 (+29). The Grizzlies will resume play early in March for their spring season. Lucero (left) shot 173 at RMAC South Tournament in Alamosa (2 round total) and had the team’s lowest round score (82) at the RMAC South Tournament.

men’s soccer Men’s soccer’s 2016 campaign was one of its most successful, with a 6-12 record, tying the school record. After the historic start, the team went on to break numerous records for shots, shots on goal, goals, assists, and points. MidOctober produced one of the more

memorable moments as the team defeated Colorado Christian in a wild double OT game; the winning goal came in the last second of the match. On senior day, the team returned to hammer Colorado Christian again for their 6th and final win of the year. Also for the first time, two players were honored with all-con-

ference selections: Symon Fabbricatore and fellow senior Shane Wagner. Fabbricatore was also named to the RMAC All-Academic 1st Team and earned CoSIDA All-Academic honors for District 6. symon fabbricatore Four program records: • 7 Goals in a season • 10 Goals in a career • 5 Assists in a season • 8 Assists in a career FAR LEFT: The men’s soccer team celebrates Carlos Castro's double OT goal to beat South Dakota School of Mines.

Symon Fabbricatore

women’s soccer The Grizzlies wrapped up their 2016 season with a 7-8-1 overall record and a 4-7-1 record in conference play. Shelby McBain led the way with eleven points, one goal, and nine assists, tying with Kaylee Smith ’12 for the most assists in a season. She also tallied a team-leading 18 shots on goal. Lacey Daniel was also a team leader, with four goals on the season, including two game-winning goals. Daniel sits in a tie for tenth on game winning goals. 38

aStater fall 2016

Grizzly goalkeeper, Teagan Moore, saw action in all 16 match-ups this season and made 81 saves. shelby mcbain • RMAC All-Conference 2nd Team • Tied program-best assists in a career (16) • Tied program record for assists in season (9) • RMAC All-Academic Honor Roll

BELOW: A victorious embrace between Natalie Wheelock and Shelby McBain (right).

grizzlies fall season men’s cross country Sydney Gidabuday

more details at grizzly athletics: A late kick in the final two kilometers propelled the cross country men to their 12th NCAA Division II National Championship, their seventh in the last nine years. The championship charge was led by Sydney Gidabuday, who finished fourth in 29.56.8. Strong finishes by Lucio Ramirez, Kale Adams, and Chandler Reid also contributed to the winning score of 54. Gidabuday was named RMAC Men’s Runner of the Year after winning the individual title at the conference championship. He followed with an individual title at the NCAA Division II South Central Regionals, earning him USTFCCCA South Central Men’s Athlete of the Year. He and five fellow team members earned USTFCCCA All-Region. Visit for further details. sydney gidabuday • RMAC Men's Preseason Runner of the Year • Joe I. Vigil individual champ

women’s cross country

• RMAC Runner of the Year • RMAC Championship Individual Champion

The ASU women concluded their dominate 2016 season with a second place finish at the NCAA DII Championships. Aden Alemu was the first Grizzly to finish, in 20th place overall followed by Rachel Kresl and Jenna Thurman. The ASU women shined throughout the season with five team titles, including winning their fifth consecutive RMAC Championship and fourth consecutive South Central Regional Championship. Thurman and five teammates earned USTFCCCA All-Region. Head coach Damon Martin ‘87 was named the USTFCCCA South Central Women’s Coach of the Year. jenna thurman • Joe I. Vigil individual champ (2015 & 2016) • RMAC Runner of the Year

Jenna Thurman

• Individual Champion at RMAC Championships

volleyball Behind head coach Lindy Mortensen, the Grizzlies finished the season 16-12, with an 11-7 conference record. Their impressive season led to a 7th seed for the RMAC Tournament, which they lost to Colorado School of Mines, despite a hard-fought quarterfinal match. The Grizzlies will return a bulk of their team, losing only two seniors. mallory grimsrud • RMAC All-Academic First Team • Ranks 3rd in RMAC with 103 total blocks • Ranks 7th in RMAC in hitting percentage (.293) and kills per set (3.52)

aStater great grizz

Mallory Grimsrud


non-profit u.s. postage

paid A-Stater Adams State University Alamosa, CO 81101

Fun was had by all at the 2016 installment of the Adams Family Feud, a popular new Homecoming tradition that pits student teams against alumni.

permit no. 80 alamosa, co

Fall A-Stater 2016