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PANORAMA New Mexico State University Alumni & Friends Magazine

Valentin Guereque ’16

Volume 66 Spring 2016 • FREE

Flannery Barney ’17

Andrea Luella Gohl ’16

STUDENT ARTISTS look to the future + ALSO INSIDE: 10 ways to ditch your stress, starting right now

We have an incredibly deep historic tradition of the arts in the state of New Mexico. Santa Fe is the third-largest art market in the United States in terms of dollars, after New York and L.A. - JULIA BARELLO, PROFESSOR AND HEAD OF NMSU’S DEPARTMENT OF ART

Joshua Flores ’14 ’17

Min Tan ’17

Asiah ThomasMandlman ’18


he best part of my job is how often I have the opportunity to spread the good news about the wonderful things happening at New Mexico State University. I’m excited to report that we’ve assembled an outstanding new team in University Advancement, led by Vice President for University Advancement Andrea Tawney. The new leadership group also includes Chief Operations Officer Tina Byford, Associate Vice President for Development Terra Winter and Associate Vice President for Alumni Engagement Leslie Cervantes. Working together, I know this talented team will take University Advancement to new heights. Whether you happen to be an NMSU alum, a friend of the university, a current student, faculty or staff member, an NMSU retiree, or some combination of those, thank you for what you do. It’s because of your efforts that NMSU continues to be one of the finest institutions in the country.

Contents Spring 2016 P16

Aggie Love

Honorary captain Lori Paulson gives football team something to fight for


Diving headfirst into research

NMSU’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute program brings undergrads into the lab

Garrey Carruthers ’64 ’65 NMSU President and Chancellor of the NMSU System Panorama is produced by the office of University Communications and Marketing Services, New Mexico State University, 575-646-3221. Correspondences may be sent to University Communications and Marketing Services, MSC 3K, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, N.M. 88003-8001 or panorama@ Panorama is published twice yearly. ISSN 2470-0649 The magazine can be found at Editor
 Justin Bannister ’03 ’13 Associate Editor
 Amanda Bradford ’03 Art Director
 Gerald Rel Photographer
 Darren Phillips Contributors
 Tiffany Acosta, Minerva Baumann ’13, Dana Beasley ’14, Ellen Castello, Adriana M. Chávez, Christ Chávez, Gilbert Duncan, Kristie Garcia ’07, W. B. Ledbetter Jr., Andrés Leighton, Jane Moorman, Mark Nessia, Greg Owens, Darrell J. Pehr, Charlotte Tallman ’02, Oli Winward President
and Chancellor Garrey Carruthers ’64 ’65

NMSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Amy Bigbee ’79 President Elect Crystal Lay ’02 ’10 Past President James “Lee” Golden ’89 Secretary/Treasurer Joel L. Granger ’98


Executive Council Amy Bigbee ’79, Kay Brilliant ’71, Steve Duran ’90, James “Lee” Golden ’89, Abigail Goodin ’12, Joel L. Granger ’98, Crystal Lay ’02 ’10, Connie Lee ’69 ’73, Tony Martinez ’96 ’98, Andrea Sparkevicius ’91 ’99, Scott Sponseller ’96 ’98, Adam Thompson ’08

Creation Innovation Reinvention

Class Representatives Kay Brilliant ’71, Karen Bardwell ’74, ’78, ’86, Barbara Harrison ’83, John Galassini ’86, Patty Wagner ’91 ’92, Cyrus Salazar ’96 ’99 ’01, Daniel Archuleta ’05, Cindy Brown ’04 ’06, Daniel Sonntag ’14 College Representatives Kim Archuleta ’95 ’02, Nancy Flores ’88, Connie Lee ’69 ’73, Krista Madril ’01, Marianne Shipley ’83, Lloyd Williams ’04 Representatives at Large Michael Law ’05, Paulo Tomasovich ’02, Mauri Weidnaar ’13, Andrea Sparkevicius ’91 ’99, Adam Thompson ’08

Vice President for University Advancement
 Andrea Tawney

Copyright 2016 New Mexico State University

Associate Vice President for University Communications and Marketing Services
 Maureen Howard

New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and educator.

Associate Vice President for Alumni Engagement, Participation and Stewardship
 Leslie Cervantes ’86

POSTMASTER: Send address change notifications to Panorama, MCS 3590, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, N.M. 88003-8001

Art education looks to the future, blending talent with skills that span disciplines


2 Pete’s Corner........................ 29 Alumni Connections.......... 30 Press Check........................... 34 Aggie Pride............................. 36 Around Aggieland.....................

On the cover: NMSU fine art students look to the future, blending their talent with skills that span disciplines. Photos by Christ Chávez and Karrie Lucero.

Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



Aggie bragging rights Top Tier: U.S. News & World Report NMSU is a top tier university. That’s according to U.S. News & World Report and its Best Colleges for 2016 National Universities rankings. NMSU has earned the recognition for three of the last four years. The ranking was driven by many factors, including the university’s retention, graduation and alumni giving rates. Seeing students through to graduation is a priority for NMSU and the state of New Mexico.

One of America’s Top Colleges Forbes has named New Mexico State University as one of America’s Top Colleges for 2015. The university earned the same recognition in both 2014 and 2013. In the last year, NMSU has shot up 25 spots nationally, and 12 spots regionally. The ranking is based on a return on investment model and is compiled each year by Forbes and the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

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A top military-friendly university 2016 marks the seventh consecutive year NMSU has been recognized as a top military-friendly school by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs, STEM Jobs and Military Spouse. The company lists NMSU as a top institution in the U.S. for support of military students. According to Victory Media, “the Military Friendly Schools designation is awarded to the top colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation.”

2015 Best National University List Washington Monthly’s 2015 National Universities Ranking lists NMSU among the best colleges in the country. Washington Monthly ranks institutions based on their contribution to the public good in three categories: social mobility – which includes recruiting and graduating low-income students – research and service. This year, NMSU ranked highest in the social mobility and service categories. NMSU improved from a year ago and is listed as 15th in improved graduation rate.


Engineering brought him to NMSU, but

music paid the way DARREN PHILLIPS

chance encounter in New Mexico State University’s music room proved to be the ticket to college for Dan E. Arvizu ’73, NMSU’s fall 2015 honorary degree recipient. It was also the opportunity to begin an outstanding career that culminated in November 2015 when he retired as the director and chief executive officer of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. “I played the trumpet in the Alamogordo High School Band, and was the band president,” Arvizu recalls. “It was one of those chance encounters when my friend and I walked through the Aggie music room while visiting the campus. The band director recognized us and said, ‘How would you like music scholarships?’ We were both students that needed financial help any way we could get it, so we said, ‘Sure!’” “I enjoyed music and played four years in the Aggie Marching Band, NMSU Symphony and the pep band at the basketball games,” he says. “I really had fun.” But a music degree was not Arvizu’s quest. He had chosen NMSU because of its excellent engineering school. As the first member of his immigrant family to attend college, Arvizu began a journey that has taken him to all parts of the world. Forty-two years later, he is one of the world’s leading experts in the fields of renewable and sustainable energy and one of the top 20 Hispanic scientists and engineers in America. “I was a pioneer,” he says. “I get a tremendous satisfaction in how technology has progressed and that I’ve had some small part in making those breakthroughs occur.” Jane Moorman

Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama




Barbara Hubbard brought hundreds of top acts to the Pan American Center during her 30-year career as special events coordinator.

One of the best

Music industry recognizes NMSU’s Mother Hubbard On the night that Grateful Dead, One Direction, Bob Seger and Kenny Chesney won awards at the 12th Annual Billboard Touring Awards, so did NMSU’s Barbara Hubbard ’07. She was honored with the prestigious Golden Circle Award from Billboard Magazine Touring International in New York City last November. She is only the second person to receive the award, which is presented to an industry legend who has shown outstanding commitment to the live music business. Known to many in the community as “Mother Hubbard,” she had a 30-year career as the special events director at the Pan American Center until 1996. She has helped numerous entertainers launch their careers, and she maintains close relationships with many of those individuals. 4 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2016

“I love them all,” Hubbard says. “It’s hard to explain; they’re just like part of my family.” Reba McEntire and Hubbard exchange emails quite frequently. Hubbard described McEntire as a genuine person and true friend. And she received an invitation to Glenn Frey’s memorial service from Irving Azoff, manager of the Eagles. Hubbard founded the nonprofit organization ACTS, which provides scholarships for students across the country who wish to pursue careers in the performing arts. She has established a total of 15 endowments at NMSU and other universities. Comedian Jeff Dunham is one of her most successful stories. “He came over from Baylor in 1982 and was an alternate for the ACTS program,” Hubbard says. “He came back

in 1983 and won, and he is very willing to help the ACTS program to this day.” While she has endless memories from her time at NMSU, one event particularly holds a special place in her heart. “My most memorable experience was the night I did the Bob Hope event in 1973 and brought in all the veterans,” Hubbard says. “We created the USS Hope in the Pan Am and had 13,000 people in attendance. Commander Everett Alvarez was the host. He was a POW for the longest amount of time in U.S. military history at that point in time.” It is evident that Hubbard has established many lasting relationships through the years. “It’s one of those things that just belongs,” Hubbard says. “They’re all a part of my life.” Kristie Garcia ’07

Aggie Milestones 125 years

NMSU students have been hitting the books for more than a century. The university, then known as New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, opened its first library inside McFie Hall on Feb. 9, 1891.

75 years

NMSU’s historic Rhodes-GarrettHamiel Hall turns 75 years old in 2016. The student housing facility, originally known as Rhodes Hall, was built in 1941. The Garrett wing was added in 1942 and the Hamiel wing came online in 1955.

115 years Women’s basketball was first organized at New Mexico State University in 1901 – predating the Aggie men’s team. As a sign of how times have changed, the early uniforms for the women’s team consisted of long, black dresses.

70 years NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory, a research and development unit better known on campus as PSL, was founded on May 15, 1946. Its first contract was with the U.S. Army to study V2 Rocket technology captured from the Nazis during WWII.

60 years

In 1956, NMSU’s various education classes were brought together under one roof, with the founding of the NMSU College of Education. William B. O’Donnell served as its first dean. Coaching legend Lou Henson became the NMSU men’s head basketball coach in 1966. He led the team into the NCAA Tournament in six of his first nine seasons, including a Final Four appearance in 1970. He remains NMSU’s all-time winningest coach with 289 victories.

15 YEARS In 2001, NMSU’s Center for Sustainable Development of Arid Lands officially became known as Skeen Hall, in honor of U.S. Rep. Joe Skeen and his wife, Mary. The building is home to teaching and research related to agriculture and natural resources, as well as county extension offices.

Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



Advancing the cause


Jimeno says hard work paid off in Alamogordo

Cheri Jimeno speaks at a recent commencement ceremony in Alamogordo. Jimeno retired in July after eight years as president of NMSU Alamogordo.

CHERI JIMENO • Hired as president of NMSU Alamogordo in May 2007 • Previously served as vice president for academic affairs at Montana State University-Northern • Garnered community support for a $5 million GO bond to benefit NMSU Alamogordo • Retired from NMSU in July 2015

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A decade ago, Cheri Jimeno wasn’t familiar with New Mexico State University’s Alamogordo campus. She was the vice president for academic affairs at Montana State University-Northern and had spent most of her career in Big Sky Country. Then, a friend told her about a college in the desert 1,400 miles away that was looking for a new leader. “When I first got to Alamogordo, I only knew one couple,” Jimeno says. “So I had to get to work and get to know the community.” Jimeno was hired as NMSU Alamogordo’s president in May 2007. At the time, she says there wasn’t a lot of community support for general obligation bonds, which are used to fund capital improvements for higher education, among other public projects. She says her first priority was increasing the campus’s “town and gown relationships,” which is academic speak for strengthening community relations. Before long, the hard work paid off. The campus secured a $5 million GO Bond from the local community, which led to the first phase of construction of the Advanced Technology Center. Additional grants began to follow and soon the campus was able to renovate its labs and science facilities and keep other key infrastructure projects up-to-date. “We also increased our Hispanic enrollment during my time there,” she says. “As a Hispanic Serving Institution, that’s important. We went from 26 percent to 35 percent Hispanic enrollment.” Jimeno officially retired in July of last year, after more than 30 years in higher education. She now lives in Nine Mile Falls, just north of Spokane, Washington. “Oh, I miss the weather in Alamogordo,” she says. “I miss the campus, too. I believe we were able to do a lot of things to make sure our students were educated and able to find jobs. I have full confidence that the new campus president, Dr. Ken Van Winkle, will continue to move the campus forward.” Justin Bannister ’03 ’13

Looking back

Felicia Casados was perfectly suited to lead New Mexico State University’s Grants campus. “I grew up a rural person and when one grows up rural, I don’t think rural ever leaves your soul or spirit,” says Casados, who retired as president of NMSU Grants in October. When she arrived in Grants 10 years ago, people were concerned she’d have a hard time living in a small town. But compared to her home in El Guique, north of FELICIA CASADOS Española, Grants is a metropolis. • Hired as president of NMSU Grants in May 2005 “I’d like to think that I understood Cibola County and • Was previously dean of planning and special projects at its villages and tribal communities a little better because I grew up rural,” she says. “I know about the desire to have Northern New Mexico Community College opportunities.” • Secured a $7 million GO bond from voters to support During her leadership, NMSU Grants established a the campus partnership with Cibola General Hospital, providing an • Retired from NMSU in October 2015 opportunity for students to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree while living and working in Grants. “The hospital board of trustees is contributing $80,000 a year to support the delivery of NMSU’s nursing program on our Grants campus,” Casados says. “This is a win-win situation, as it develops local nurses to serve their families and community in the various medical settings.” Establishing the NMSU Grants Fund for Excellence, a collection of endowment funds, is among the other accomplishments that Casados worked on to propel the campus and community. “In six years, the funds have grown to more than $400,000,” she says. “This is a legacy gift for our college’s future.” Another gift for the future is the voters’ approval of a $7 million general obligation bond that will fund the construction of a new 19,300-square-foot facility, which will house teacher and health care education classrooms, along with a child development center. “This was one of my last personal goals for our campus,” Casados says of the first local GO bond attempted by the campus in its 47-year history. “Since we accomplished its passage, I was ready to retire. I know that I have left my campus better than I found it.” Harry Sheski, formerly the vice president for academic affairs at Felicia Casados displays a painting NMSU Grants, now serves as interim presented to her by the NMSU Grants campus staff when she retired. The president of the campus. landscape by Grants resident Mike Lewis Jane Moorman features a sunrise view of Mount Taylor, which watches over Grants and has a special place in Casados’ heart.

Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



Casados’ hardy rural roots fed solid accomplishments in Grants


‘Aggie Shark Tank’ investors bite


Winning project designed to help children with ADD

It took less than five minutes for computer scientist Rajaa Shindi ’05 ’14 to catch the attention of a panel of “Shark” investors. She was taking part in New Mexico State University’s first public “Aggie Shark Tank,” based on the popular television series in which aspiring entrepreneurs present their ideas to a panel of business experts for feedback and potential investment. Shindi is a systems administrator in the Department of Institutional Analysis at Doña Ana Community College who also teaches computer science and information technology courses there. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from NMSU, and is a member of Studio G, NMSU’s student business accelerator. She had only a few minutes to explain her BrainSTEM software system, which uses brain interactivity training to treat attention disorders in elementary school children, but Shindi quickly made a connection with Sisbarro Dealerships owner Lou Sisbarro, whose son struggled with attention deficit disorder throughout school. “He suffered through it, and I know what parents suffer through,” Sisbarro says. “I think this BrainSTEM technology is going to help more people than anything here. It may not be the biggest moneymaker, but I think it’s going to be a big help. It’s a wonderful humanitarian project.” Sisbarro and agribusiness leader Dino Cervantes jumped at the opportunity to partner on the $30,000 investment Shindi sought in exchange for 20 percent equity in her company. “I truly believe in my idea, but when they told me that they believe in what I’m saying, it was a dream come true,” Shindi says. “Five minutes is a short time, and it was a challenge, but it was a great opportunity to share this idea with the community.” The audience connected with Shindi’s dream, as well – she was selected by vote as the audience favorite as well as the Sharks’ favorite, earning her an additional $3,500 in prize money. She’s now using the investment to continue product development with Arrowhead Center – NMSU’s technology commercialization hub – and the M-TEC center at the College of Engineering, as well as taking steps to ensure the protection of her intellectual property. The current school of Las Cruces “Sharks” includes Sisbarro and Cervantes, as well as real estate developer Mickey Clute and Mesilla Valley Transportation owner Royal Jones. Jones invested in another business pitch at the event, and all of the sharks continue to provide mentoring and feedback to the participants. Amanda Bradford ’03 For information about upcoming Aggie Shark Tank events, visit Rajaa Shindi explains her BrainSTEM software system, which uses brain interactivity training to treat attention disorders in elementary school children, during the “Aggie Shark Tank” event in October.

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Grand opening

The Club 27 presidential skybox at Aggie Memorial Stadium offers panoramic views of the field to visiting alumni and dignitaries. DARREN PHILLIPS

Club 27, the newest in a series of improvements to Aggie Memorial Stadium, is also an opportunity for the university to connect with its community partners and alumni. The skybox was funded exclusively through private donations, including $1 million from Stan Fulton, owner of the Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, and an additional contribution from Citizens Bank of Las Cruces. “We are extremely pleased to be a contributor to the Club 27 project and New Mexico State University,” says George Ruth, president of Citizens Bank of Las Cruces. “Our partnership and friendship with the university over the years has benefited both institutions and the Las Cruces community.” “We’re excited to renew a partnership with our friends at Citizens Bank of Las Cruces,” NMSU President Garrey Carruthers says. “We’re also grateful for the continuing support of Stan Fulton. Both were instrumental in making this a reality.” Carruthers credited Rick Baugh, general manager of Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, for the original vision to have a place at Aggie Memorial Stadium dedicated to hosting donors and guests. “Club 27 is a place where we can reconnect with our alumni, some of whom may not have been on campus for many years,” Carruthers says. “That’s what happened when we invited the Rice brothers to campus during Homecoming last fall. Their family was able to reconnect with the university and they have continued to support and engage with students in various ways. We can also host our military partners, such as ROTC, veterans services and local area commanders.” Club 27 provides space for the university to entertain guests as well as visiting university presidents. The space can also be rented during high school football games at the stadium and for special events. For more information about renting the facility, call 575-646-5567 or email Justin Bannister ’03 ’13


Club 27 connects community partners and alumni with NMSU

NMSU Provost Dan Howard, center, along with Regent Mike Cheney, second from right, Athletic Director Mario Moccia, far right, and other community leaders participate in a ribbon-cutting event at the site of the new Club 27 presidential skybox at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

Panoramic views from the box allow visitors to see the entire Mesilla Valley.

Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama





EMI Technologies helps protect the equipment that protects lives By Adriana M. Chรกvez

rowing up on a farm in La Union, N.M., Joe Alvarez dreamed of earning a degree in physics from New Mexico State University to become an astronomer and escape all the dirty jobs he had to do. Little did he know that 20 years later, the multi-million-dollar company he and his wife built from humble beginnings would provide first-class mobile missile tracking and missile support equipment to protect the lives of troops in the field during both Gulf Wars. Alvarez and his wife, Brenda, own EMI Technologies, a Las Cruces-based company that has had a global impact, specializing in the engineering and fabrication of customized mobile shelters used by the U.S. military. Although the impact of EMI is felt across the globe, the two have maintained a strong commitment to providing jobs for the Las Cruces community that contribute to the vitality of the local economy. The company currently has contracts with the U.S. military, L3, Lockheed and Raytheon, among other agencies.

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Joe and Brenda Alvarez own EMI Technologies, a Las Cruces-based engineering and fabrication company with a global impact.


Recently, the company expanded its headquarters from 31,000 square feet to 56,000 square feet, allowing additional room for storage and large projects. They’ve maintained contracts with White Sands Missile Range for the past 25 years, and often send employees around the world, including South Korea and Saudi Arabia, to help with any necessary modifications and other customer needs. Their commitment to customer service has earned them a positive global reputation and they recently earned their ISO 90002008 certification, which recognizes the company’s efforts in quality management. “We listen to their needs and build them what they need. Our prices are very fair and very competitive,” Brenda says. EMI stands for electromagnetic interference, which consists of radio waves, microwaves and other sources that can affect communications. The company builds shielded containers that help protect the integrity of the electronics inside the shelter from that electromagnetic interference. “We build a really unique product,” Joe says. “Most of the companies that do what we’re doing last only about six or seven years. We’ve been able to do what we’re doing for 30 years. Not getting away from our main focus, we concentrate on one specific area of missile tracking equipment and we’ve been able to perfect it.” The company also builds specialty vehicles, including chemical testing labs, medical and dormitory vans, nuclear hazard detection equipment shelters, fiber optic cable repair trailers, antenna and optical equipment transporters, high voltage transmission equipment test trailers and assay vans. Joe graduated from NMSU with a bachelor’s degree in physics in May 1978 and originally intended to pursue a doctorate in astronomy. He now dabbles in amateur astrophotography. “At the time, astronomy was and is a Ph.D. program, and you had to get your bachelor’s in physics first,” Joe says. “That was my intent, to be an astronomer, so I got my degree in physics. I did a lot of work with the research center running the telescopes and working on the Voyager Spaceship program to Jupiter with Reta and Herb Beebe, Clyde Tombaugh and others.”

A view of the main EMI Technologies project work space at the company’s North Telshor Boulevard facility in Las Cruces.

After graduating, Joe moved into an apartment not far from campus. In August 1978, Brenda moved in next door and they were introduced by a mutual friend. Brenda, who is originally from Santa Fe, graduated from NMSU in May 1981 with a degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. The couple married that summer.

Brenda Alvarez ’81 is a 2016 inductee in the College of Business Hall of Fame. Tombaugh helped Joe get a job at White Sands Missile Range. He was the optical mechanical engineer for Lockheed for six years, and then worked for another company in a similar position for two years. Eventually, Joe’s government counterparts recommended he start his own business based on his work. At the time, Brenda worked with a small defense contractor and knew how to manage contracts and bill the government. Together, they’ve built a solid marriage and a solid business partnership. “I think that, at the end of the day, the science product that we produce is pretty

spectacular, but the business end of it has its own challenges,” Joe says. “She has a lot of stress handling the money and the daily business. My job is to get the next job, so I do a lot of proposal writing and the bidding. The hard work of our employees has also helped us be a success and get repeat business from our customers.” EMI Technologies is now a company with about 50 employees, most of whom are NMSU graduates. Their right-hand men, Joe Granados, who started with EMI in 1997, and Mark Bielcik, who started in 1991, are both NMSU graduates. The Alvarezes work with NMSU’s College of Engineering and Doña Ana Community College’s welding program to hire additional graduates and interns as needed. They also believe in providing opportunities for students through their financial support and have established scholarship endowments in the College of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences. The Alvarezes’ NMSU roots run deep. Their son Adam, who earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from NMSU, works in Washington, D.C., with the U.S. Department of Energy. Their daughter, Nicole, who earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from NMSU in 2010, works in Albuquerque. And their youngest daughter, Kaitlyn, earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from NMSU in 2013 and now works in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Joe and Brenda’s parents, their siblings and several aunts, uncles and cousins are also Aggies. Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



DITCH you Aggie experts provide 10 ways to keep from feeling the squeeze By Justin Bannister ’03 ’13


o you have a feeling of panic when you realize there are too many things that need your attention and only so many hours in the day? You’re not alone. Whether the demands come from your professional life, your personal life, or a combination of the two, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. “We’re all on overload,” says Tara Gray, the director of New Mexico State University’s Teaching Academy. “We have lots of information coming at us from all different directions. It can seem like life is constantly accelerating.” “There are lots of competing responsibilities,” says Michelle Jackson, an associate director of the Teaching Academy who works with Gray studying stress and time management. “You’re an employee, you’re a mom, you’re a sister, you’re a yoga practitioner. There are a lot of demands. Technology hasn’t helped, either. With added technology, there’s a constant pressure to respond right away.”

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ur STRESS So, what’s the solution for people who feel they are locked in a battle between the stresses of work and life? Gray and Jackson have developed the following steps:

1 Write out your personal or your career mission statement.

Who do you want to be as a person? Where do you want to go as a professional? This is the foundation for everything you’ll work toward. Write out your mission statement and make it short, but memorable. Jackson says that you need to know what your target is before you can begin to aim for it.

2 Develop personal or career goals.

Now, break your mission down into different goals and set dates for when they’ll be completed. Accomplishing these goals will help you achieve your mission. Make sure some goals are short-term and others are long-term.

3 Align behavior with goals. Now it’s time to look at yourself in the mirror. Can you actively work toward each of your goals? If so, write out what you have done today, this week and this month toward each goal. If your behavior isn’t aligned with your goals, you’ll either need to change your behavior, or change your goals.

4 Clean out your electronic inbox, for real.

You need to get organized. Start with your email. Delete what you don’t need and organize what you must keep. Gray says that doing so will actually make you feel “lighter and better.” It will also lay the groundwork for better organization in other aspects of your life.

5 Write out and rank a to-do list for each day and month.

Write down everything that needs to be done. Make sure to prioritize the items that are tied to your goals. It’s easy to get sucked into trivial tasks, so make sure the important things are at the top of your list.

6 Tone down your perfectionism.

Trying to make things perfect can eat up time and add to your stress. Jackson notes that no one has ever won an award for the best memo or best email ever written. Know when to say something is good enough and move on to the next thing.

7 Delegate. Do only that which only you can do.

According to Gray, we all have someone we can delegate to, or at least get assistance from. Whether it’s asking a coworker for help in running the

numbers on a project, or having your kids wash the dishes, finding the right person for the job keeps you from getting bogged down.

8 Work on big tasks in small increments.

Sometimes, when you are working on a big project, you need to chip away at it. It’s impossible to write a book or finish another large task in just a day. Taking a break to mentally recharge is also helpful. Understand that ahead of time, but also make sure you make regular progress toward completion.

9 Procrastinate consciously.

Gray and Jackson say that, unconsciously, big projects tend to scare people. As a result, they’ll put them off and work on smaller, more insignificant projects first. Just the opposite needs to happen. Procrastinate on the smaller, less important things and tackle the big stuff.

10 Just say “no.”

You won’t do yourself any favors by saying yes to everything and to everyone. If a project doesn’t align with your goals, don’t feel obligated to take it on.

Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama


Opportunity takes



FLIGHT Support from Wolslager Foundation makes the difference for DACC, NMSU students by Darrell J. Pehr

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little help can go a long way in providing an opportunity for those who otherwise might not succeed, and one family’s commitment to New Mexico State University has provided that help not just once, but hundreds of times over more than a decade. Since 2002, the Wolslager Foundation has supported non-traditional students through scholarships at Doña Ana Community College and NMSU. During that time, more than $2.29 million has been provided for students who might not have made the commitment to transformative higher education without it. The scholarships were available to full-time students at DACC and NMSU students who transferred from DACC to complete their undergraduate work, and the results were often life-changing. “I can tell you that at the time I was going to school, my husband and I were both working part-time, minimum wage jobs with three small kids to support and the thought of dropping out to get a fulltime job was always on my mind, especially since we were both in school,” says scholarship recipient Sarah Keesling ’11 ’13. “Had it not been for scholarships, I would have never been able to finish school. I was debating whether to even finish my associate degree, but because of scholarships, I was able to get through, and now I have a master’s degree in special education.” Keesling is now a math teacher at Oñate High School in Las Cruces working with students who have disabilities. “I am grateful every day to have been given the opportunity to go to school,” Keesling says. For Vanessa Mendez ’11 ’13, currently a graduate teaching assistant in NMSU’s Department of Communication Studies, the scholarship came as a boost to her confidence at just the right time. Mendez started at DACC as a firstgeneration student. There, she received excellent support and guidance, became involved in student government and earned an associate’s degree. The next step, though, was not as clear to Mendez. When she was finished at DACC, she was concerned about how she was going to navigate in a four-year university setting at NMSU and was especially concerned about going into debt to pursue a degree.


NMSU alumna Sarah Keesling teaches an algebra class at Onate High School in Las Cruces where she is employed as a special education teacher. Keesling received financial aid from the Wolslager Foundation while a student at DACC and NMSU.

which enables them to develop interests and skills that will ultimately allow them and their families to have a better life,” he says. Unlike most foundations, which are set up to operate in perpetuity, it was decided that the Wolslager Foundation would spend down its assets within a specific time frame. In December 2013, the foundation made its last regular grant distribution. “The founders believed that the problems that currently exist in our society would only worsen over time unless a great deal of progress was made in addressing them within this generation,” Wolslager says. “By accelerating the foundation’s payout to significantly increase the resources available to the local nonprofit community, they hoped to make a greater impact today, rather than tomorrow.”

DACC scholarships awarded......................................... 521 Las Cruces campus scholarships awarded.............. 154 Total students receiving support.......................................... 675 Total scholarship funds disbursed.................$2.29 million Scholarship recipients who transferred from DACC to NMSU-Las Cruces.......................82 and the late Josephine S. Wolslager previously owned and operated their CocaCola bottling franchises, which included Coca-Cola Bottling of Las Cruces and Magnolia Coca-Cola Bottling in El Paso. This goal has been met by the foundation, providing support for educational opportunities including scholarships, improving and expanding medical facilities and health services, and supporting programs and projects that facilitate development of children and youth, as well as services beneficial to elderly citizens. Since 1996, the Wolslager Foundation has distributed more than $44 million to more than 190 nonprofit organizations in southeastern Arizona, south-central New Mexico and West Texas. “Almost all of our scholarship recipients are the first in their families to obtain an advanced degree,” says Stephen J. Wolslager, the grandson of J.W. and Josephine and president of the foundation. “They are typically older than the average college student and the majority of them work at least part time, if not full time, in addition to taking a full course load. Many of them are also parents, which is profound in that they are setting an incredible example for their children to follow.” According to Wolslager, the NMSU Foundation has received almost half of the Wolslager Foundation’s distributions made in New Mexico and was the third largest beneficiary of the foundation’s funding as a whole. “My grandparents believed that the best way to help someone realize their full potential was through education,


“I was not even convinced I would be able to succeed, having been the first generation in my family to pursue higher education,” Mendez says. “The scholarship was the reassurance I needed to get to realize that it was possible. They believed in me.” Mendez was given the opportunity to earn a second bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 2013 as she studied abroad for a year and did volunteer work with underprivileged children. The campus TRIO program also was a great help to Mendez, who is on track to earn a master’s degree in May. The foundation also funded STEM initiatives, including the Science Engineering, Mathematics, and Aerospace Academy or SEMAA, a partnership between the NMSU colleges of Education and Engineering. NMSU has been able to engage public school students in southern New Mexico in the fields of science, engineering, mathematics and technology. The foundation made a difference in the lives of students in the NMSU College of Engineering summer PREP program. The Pre Freshman Engineering Program is an academically intensive six-week summer program for seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders that includes hands-on experiments and projects such as building robots and rockets. The Wolslager Foundation was established to improve the quality of life for individuals in the area where J.W.


NMSU alumna and current graduate student Vanessa Mendez chats with a student in her office at NMSU, where she is employed as a program adviser and graduate teaching assistant in the Communication Studies department. Mendez received financial aid from the Wolslager Foundation while an undergraduate student.

For Mendez, the scholarship not only opened doors of opportunity, it also served as an inspiration for her to help others. As a first-generation college student, Mendez says, “it makes a world of difference knowing someone is willing to invest in someone like me … for them to help others and bless others and they don’t even know you. “It inspires me as a Christian to be a blessing to others as well, to inspire others and to believe in others as they did in me,” she says. Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



AGGIE Honorary captain Lori Paulson gave football team something to fight for

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By Amanda Bradford ’03



sk any Aggie football player who is the team’s most passionate fan, and he won’t hesitate to tell you it’s Lori Paulson ’02 ’04. Paulson, who earned her bachelor’s and MBA degrees from New Mexico State University’s College of Business, served a crucial and meaningful role the past two seasons as honorary team captain, becoming a friend and confidante to players and coaches. During that time, she was battling a rare type of pancreatic cancer, and her toughness and character served as an inspiration to the team. Paulson and her family made a $100,000 gift to the NMSU Foundation to establish the Lori J. Paulson Football Excellence Fund, which will directly support players, providing for needs including uniforms, equipment and nutrition. Paulson said she and husband Brandon Young hope the community will continue to build the fund. NMSU hosted a special gathering in January to honor Paulson’s impact on the football program and announce that the team’s meeting room in the Hall of Legends at Aggie Memorial Stadium would be named for her. Aggie Head Coach Doug Martin says the most valuable gifts Paulson gave the team over the past two years were her love, friendship and unwavering support. “It’s been a great celebration of a friendship. We started this thinking it would be a great way to motivate Lori, to inspire her, to give her something to fight for through this fight, and it was just the opposite – she inspired us,” Martin says. “She gave us something to fight for.” Martin recalls how Paulson would come to practice no matter how bad she felt, and if players were on the sidelines with a bad hamstring or shoulder, they’d hop right back into play. “They’ll see her coming down that ramp – back out on that field,” he says. “No way they’re standing there like that when she’s coming.” Martin officially named Paulson and Young’s son, Jeremiah, the team’s new honorary captain. Asked what he’d like to say, Jeremiah shouted: “Beat UTEP!” Athletics Director Mario Moccia joined others in thanking Paulson and Young for their gift, and gave Paulson

Former Aggies center Valerian Ume-Ezeoke gets a kiss from Lori Paulson during a dinner visit to her home. Ume-Ezeoke played for the Atlanta Falcons for the 2015 season, and Paulson traveled to Atlanta to watch him play an August preseason game.

“Never has there been a greater fan with her kind of love for you: never based on wins, losses or stats, but based on love and faith in you – and who you are, and who you’ll become.” —Valerian Ume-Ezeoke, former Aggies center

Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



Lori Paulson, far left, appears with her family including her parents, husband and son, second from right, at a special dedication event in January at the Hall of Legends, where the team’s meeting room has been named for Paulson.

her own key to Aggie Memorial Stadium – a place where she liked to reflect and enjoy quiet moments. Through tears, Moccia recalled seeing Paulson on the football field still wearing her hospital bracelet. “Even in the most serious of health issues,” he says, “she’s remained the most positive person I know.” Young turns his praise to the team and Aggie family for the impact that their friendship has had on Paulson and their family. “It gives us something to look forward to,” Young says. “It’s enlarged our family.” Senior Aggie wide receiver Josh Bowen says he spoke on behalf of the entire football team when he told Paulson what a difference her presence made in their lives. “Miss Lori, you’ve meant so much to everyone here over the years that you can’t even begin to imagine,” Bowen says. “You just epitomize what strength and courage is all about. You set an example and a standard for everyone in this room to follow.” Full of jokes and laughter at January’s event, Paulson told a standing-room-only crowd of gathered friends, players and Aggie family that she had three pieces of advice for her son about being the team captain. “No. 1: Give more high-fives and more hugs than criticism,” she said. “No. 2: When you think the team doesn’t need you – when they’ve just won, 18 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2016

or it’s a bye week – that’s when they need you the most. And No. 3: Remember that when times are tough, that tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” Paulson used her blog, The Big C in LC, to share her journey from her diagnosis in early 2014 to her decision in December to forgo further treatment and enter hospice care. That same openness and candor was always there for the players she counseled through difficult times. In a video message, former Aggies center Valerian Ume-Ezeoke shared his reflections with the team members who filled the meeting room. “Never has there been a greater fan with her kind of love for you: never based on wins, losses or stats, but based on love and faith in you – and who you are, and who you’ll become,” he says. “Just every so often, God allows us to cross paths with a truly exceptional person who’ll forever change the way we love, think, give and live our lives. You and I have the honor and blessing of calling Lori Paulson that exceptional person.” Paulson passed away in March at the age of 35, but her Aggie love and courageous spirit is a lasting inspiration. To make a gift to the Lori J. Paulson Football Excellence Fund, visit


NMSU’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute program brings undergrads into the lab By Dana Beasley ’14


early 10 years ago, New Mexico State University competed against the most elite colleges in the country to gain support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a national leader in biological and medical research funding. Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama


Curriculum reform and BioCats Through the years, NMSU-HHMI has supported significant outreach efforts, curriculum reforms and opportunities for undergraduates to play crucial roles in research programs. The program’s innovative efforts can be seen early on in introductory biology courses, which feature a spin on the traditional large lecture format by supporting “flipped” classrooms that focus on groups of students evaluating and discussing the application of biology to case studies. Additionally, instead of lecturing to 200 students three times a week, one lecture is replaced with a small, 20-student workshop taught by peer facilitators called BioCats, or Biology Learning Catalysts. The BioCats are upper-level undergraduate students who are also present during other lower-level biology courses to assist students when they break into small groups. “The integration of student peer


NMSU was selected and secured its spot as an HHMI research-intensive university, receiving more than $5 million in grants and reaching thousands of students through a variety of programs since 2006. “Receiving this funding is recognition that we’re doing cutting-edge work in terms of promoting scientific literacy amongst our students, and providing access to science education for undergraduates,” says Ralph Preszler, program director for NMSU-HHMI and department head for biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. Sharing a list with Ivy League schools like Yale and Harvard, NMSU is one of only 40 universities nationwide to have a current HHMI undergraduate education program. The university also set a precedent as one of the first large, state-funded institutions to gain HHMI affiliation.

NMSU biology student Nubia Bermudez, right, presents her research poster to Darien Pruitt, left, during the lab component of an NMSU-HHMI undergraduate guided biological research class in Foster Hall. Student Matthew Griffin appears in the background presenting his poster to biology professor Tim Wright.

instructors into the introductory biology courses has had a transformative effect on the way we teach biology to incoming students,” says Brad Shuster, associate professor of biology and NMSU-HHMI faculty mentor. This trend also fits well with an emerging emphasis at HHMI, which highlights a need to diversify the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, workforce at a national scale.

Research Scholars Program

The research course prepares students to join the Research Scholars Program, which is designed for select juniors and seniors interested in gaining an in-depth understanding of the nature of research in the biological sciences. The NMSU-HHMI program sponsors 10 to 25 students per year to work alongside faculty mentors from various NMSU labs across a number of departments, including biology;

NMSU-HHMI Guided Research Course • • • • •

$200,000: HHMI-funded remodel of NMSU teaching lab Designed for 24 sophomore-level students Exposes students to authentic research within a classroom setting Varying biological subjects, depending on rotating professor’s research focus Prepares students for the Research Scholars Program

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psychology; plant and environmental sciences; animal and range sciences; fish, wildlife and conservation ecology; entomology, plant pathology and weed science; and chemistry and biochemistry. The program not only provides students in STEM fields an intensive laboratory research experience, but it also offers them opportunities to work independently and in groups to solve problems. This allows students to develop intellectually, while gaining analytical, organizational and communication skills. “Students get introduced to the experience and culture of academic research,” says Graciela Unguez, professor of biology and NMSU-HHMI faculty mentor. “Through learning and applying the method and process of scientific research, students get a good foundation to make an informed decision about whether or not they would like to apply for a more in-depth research experience after they graduate.”

Today’s research scholars

Linday Selters, a biology major and one of 25 current NMSU-HHMI research scholars, spent the last academic year working with Unguez. Selters’ research focus is the Sternopygus macrurus, an electric fish native to South America. In her project, Selters examines

The places they’ll go

Since 2006, the research scholars program has produced roughly 120 graduates, with the vast majority now engaged in STEM-related jobs, graduate school, or medical, dental and veterinary schools. Angelina Bortoletto, a 2013 NMSUHHMI alumna, is currently in her second term of medical school at Baylor College of Medicine. “The HHMI program introduced me to my college mentor, Dr. Shelley Lusetti,” Bortoletto says. “For the three years that I worked with her, she truly encouraged me to explore research as a career option and is one of the major reasons that I find myself at one of the top M.D.-Ph.D. programs in the country.” Also finding great success following her stint as a research scholar is Kellie Jurado, a 2010 NMSU-HHMI alumna, who defended her doctoral thesis at Harvard University last summer and recently began a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale. “I am very excited to continue my journey within academic science

Research by NMSU-HHMI scholars could ultimately have far-reaching impact as they work to discover scientific and medical breakthroughs with lifesaving potential. and credit the mentors and research experiences I had during my undergrad work as instrumental in setting my path within this career,” she says.

Mindful mentors

The more than 50 past and current NMSU-HHMI faculty mentors seem to be equally pleased with the experience. “What I love most about my job is working in the lab doing research,” Unguez says. “Sharing this experience with students can be so gratifying, because I get to share my enthusiasm for science and knowledge of its process in a very hands-on environment – one I prefer more than the lecture room. That’s why having the NMSU-HHMI Research Scholars Program is so exciting.” While the mentors work to propel some of the school’s most dedicated

young scientists toward their goals, student involvement is also helping to advance the efforts of NMSU labs; research scholars often contribute to published studies and provide data that lead to federally funded grants. “We appreciate that they are willing to bring undergraduates into their labs and get them fully engaged in doing research,” Preszler says. “I think our faculty does an incredible job mentoring undergraduates in their research laboratories – it’s a much more time-consuming way to do research than using technicians, but it’s also much more exciting and much more fun.”

The big picture

Though student researchers form the backbone of NMSU-HHMI’s success, the program provides opportunities for dedicated students regardless of their long-term career goals. “Many federally funded training programs at NMSU have a specific mandate to transition undergrads to graduate school,” Shuster says. “The HHMI program hopes that participants will go off and do something excellent, whether that’s graduate school, medical school or education.” DARREN PHILLIPS

what happens when the fish’s electric organ is no longer electrically activated or receiving information from the brain. This data will provide new information on the effect of electrical activity on certain proteins and cells in not only fish, but also mammals. “I have learned more about working in a laboratory than I could ever hope to learn sitting down at a desk for semesters on end, or reading numerous textbooks,” Selters says. “I learn by doing, and HHMI is the reason that I am beginning to feel confident that research is what I want to do with my life.” Fellow research scholar and biology major Josh Marquez works in the laboratory of comparative immunology under Maria G. Castillo, an NMSU assistant professor of biology. Marquez credits this opportunity with providing him the resources to meet his future ambitions of becoming a doctor. “I will be applying to M.D.-Ph.D. dual degree programs this coming year,” he says. “The HHMI program has led me to develop skills in research, which I will utilize in the future as a doctor and scientist.”

NMSU biology student Linner Itauh presents her research poster during the lab component of an NMSU-HHMI undergraduate guided biological research class in Foster Hall. The 2015 class is taught by biology professor Tim Wright. Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama


Bending destiny

Chance encounter with a nursing textbook changes life for multiple generations

Margaret Pacheco’s legacy includes two generations of nurses. Daughters, from left, Martha Rivera and Christina Calderon and granddaughter Amy Lopez, right, are three of the six nurses in the family. The trio, along with daughter Estela Heredia, second from right, an NMSU employee, also are NMSU graduates.

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By Tiffany Acosta

While Pacheco attended NMSU, Calderon ’93 and Heredia ’10 ’13 were working at the university, and the pair has fond memories of meeting their mother for lunch in between her classes. The duo also followed their mother’s lead and earned degrees from NMSU after starting a family. “I have three kids, and I, too, went through college later like my mom,” says Heredia, who is an executive assistant in the Office of General Counsel at NMSU. “I thought, if my mom can do it with eight kids, I can do it with three. She was my hero.” For nearly 30 years, Pacheco was a nurse at Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces, and she spent the majority of

“My mom never looked for glory,” Rivera says, “but simply loved her job and treated every patient as if they were family.” Pacheco retired in 2008 and passed away in January 2011. “The year my mother passed, she had told me to complete school and graduate,” Rivera ’15 recalls. “It was very difficult and bittersweet when I graduated without having her there, but her presence was felt. I remember her saying ‘Life gets in the way at times, but school will always be there; it is never too late to go back to school.’” Not only did a discarded textbook spark a 30-year nursing career, but it also started a family legacy of nursing. DARREN PHILLIPS


hether you call it fate, luck or divine intervention, the New Mexico State University student who left behind a nursing textbook after moving out of a residence hall 40 years ago had a significant impact on Margaret Pacheco’s life. As a little girl, Pacheco had dreamed of becoming a nurse, but life delayed a career when she married and had eight children before the age of 30. Pacheco, who didn’t finish high school, was working at NMSU in the summer cleaning residence halls and began work on her GED in the mid-1970s. It was during that time that she found a nursing textbook in one of the residence halls that inspired her to move forward with her lifelong dream. “I do remember at one time when I was still living at home and my mom mentioned that for all of her life, she wanted to be a nurse,” says Christina Calderon, Pacheco’s oldest daughter, “but culturally and economically, it seemed like just a dream.” After receiving her GED, Pacheco, a Las Cruces native, attended NMSU and studied in the licensed practical nurse program from 1977 to 1980. After working as an LPN for eight years, Pacheco returned to NMSU to become a registered nurse, and she graduated with an associate degree in 1989. Daughter Estela Heredia, who was in middle school when her mother first attended NMSU, recalls the challenges her mother overcame to become a nurse. “She had a lot on her plate, being a wife, being a mother with seven children still at home,” Heredia says, “then venturing into this new area and enrolling in school.” Heredia recalls how Pacheco always took care of their family and household responsibilities before she began her studies each evening. “A lot of times, my poor mom, she would fall asleep at the living room table studying way past midnight,” Heredia says. As the youngest of eight, Martha Rivera echoes that sentiment. “A vivid memory I recall is the ability my mother had to divide her time among all of her responsibilities and never once complaining,” Rivera says.

After finding a nursing textbook in a residence hall in the mid-1970s, Margaret Pacheco was inspired to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. Pacheco is honored with a plaque on the Nursing Wall of Excellence in the College of Health and Social Services.

her career in the pediatric ward. “The patients loved her,” Heredia notes. “When she went to home health, they just loved her and looked forward to her visits. They would get attached.” Rivera remembers an outing with her mother when they ran into a former patient and her mother, who thanked Pacheco for saving her daughter’s life as a 5-year-old. Pacheco was the one to notice a life-threatening illness that hadn’t been diagnosed; she then notified the doctor and treatment was started. That little girl grew up to become a nurse, too.

Pacheco inspired not just one, but two generations to follow in her footsteps. She has three daughters and three grandchildren who are nurses. Calderon and Rivera are nurses at MountainView Regional Medical Center in Las Cruces, and another daughter, Gracie Acosta, is a nurse in California. “As a child, I saw my mother prepare for work, come home from work and never complain about her profession,” Rivera says. “At the time, I did not realize what a rare trait that is – I simply thought everyone loved their job as much as my mom did.” Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama


CREATION INNOVATION REINVENTION Art education looks to the future, blending talent with skills that span disciplines

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By Minerva Baumann ’13

NMSU fine art graduate student Andrea Gohl works in the ceramics studio in Williams Hall.


hat does science have to do with art? Just ask Capri Price. Price ’11 received a dual degree in art conservation and chemistry at New Mexico State University and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and cultural heritage in Oregon. She joins a growing number of art students eyeing the rapidly expanding job opportunities in the field of museum conservation. She was among the first students to enter NMSU’s museum conservation program, one of only three undergraduate programs of its kind in the U.S. “Knowing when maintenance needs to be performed and when it does not potentially saves cities money, as the typical current procedure is to perform costly maintenance whether it needs to be performed or not,” Price says. Her dissertation project involves developing new methods of detecting corrosion on sculptural metalwork before it occurs. “If we can detect the earliest stages of corrosion, we can know when to perform routine maintenance on a sculpture, prolonging the life of the artwork.”

A demand for conservation jobs

A 2005 survey commissioned by Heritage Preservation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services found 80 percent of museums across the country had no preservation processes in place. The study has sparked a demand for conservation professionals and gave program director Silvia Marinas-Feliner the idea to add a museum studies certificate to her program, which gives students the skills to get a job in a museum without a master’s degree. “They are always opening these jobs,” Marinas-Feliner says. “The new trend is museums looking for people who know how to take care of collections. I really prepare my students. Pretty much all of them are getting jobs in museums.” Marinas-Feliner believes the program’s 95 percent job-placement success rate for graduates happens because they not only have a degree, but also are prepared immediately to perform conservation. She also points to the success of her students like Price who have entered prestigious graduate and doctoral programs in the U.S. and overseas and to those who have worked with the Smithsonian and other museums. Fifty students have gone through the NMSU museum conservation program since it began in 2002 with a grant from the Stockman Foundation, which has continued to support the program over the years. Although demand is high for these classes, she can only teach up to six students at a time because of the size of her lab.

Size of facility limits enrollment

The Department of Art has the seventh-largest enrollment out of 26 departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. However, enrollment is limited due to the size and age of D.W. Williams Hall, which is home to both the Department of Art and the University Art Gallery. The facility was built in 1938 as a gymnasium and served athletic and campus events before being converted for use by the art department in 1972. Although the building and annex have added square footage over the years on a piecemeal basis, a 2012 study Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



revealed the building has about half the square footage necessary to accommodate its current programs. “Our classrooms and studios can only accommodate six to 12 students and this limits our ability to maximize our credit hours,” said Interim Dean Enrico Pontelli. “A new and larger facility will help the college better meet the needs of our students.” Last year, the university began working with community members who support renovation of the art facilities on campus. So far, more than $800,000 in private funds has been contributed and pledged toward the design to renovate D.W. Williams Hall. Ammu Devasthali, an alumna and supporter of the Williams Hall renovation, says she’s contributing to the project because it’s important to provide faculty with the proper tools to pass on their knowledge and expertise to students. “This project has always been about improving conditions for our students and faculty,” Devasthali says. “We can attract the best by being competitive with our peer institutions. A state-of-the art facility will go a long way toward achieving this.”

According to a 2014 report commissioned by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, the arts and culture industry contributes $5.6 billion a year to the state’s economy. Defined broadly, the report shows the arts and culture industry provides 10 percent of all jobs in the state, more than construction and manufacturing combined. “We have an incredibly deep historic tradition of the arts in the state of New Mexico,” says Julia Barello, professor and head of NMSU’s Department of Art. “That’s one thing that makes New Mexico unusual. Santa Fe is the third-largest art market in the United States in terms of dollars, after New York and L.A.” Katherine Brimberry ’82 is a successful export of NMSU’s artistic talent. She has been making art her business in Texas since she graduated from NMSU 35 years ago with a master’s in art, concentrating on printmaking. Brimberry is the owner of Flatbed Press and Gallery, a fine art publishing studio named among the 2015 “Top 10” Contemporary Galleries in Austin. She has some fond memories of the concrete bleachers in the classrooms – left over from the building’s life as a gym – which allowed all the life-drawing students to have a clear view of the models. However, she agrees the building could use more space. “I wish there had been a print study room for archiving the prints of the collection and study of the prints as well,” Brimberry says. Another NMSU alum is adding to the arts and culture economy in Las Cruces. Deret Roberts opened his gallery, Art Obscura, just as he was preparing to graduate from NMSU in fall 2013. He is working to expand the industry in southern New Mexico. “Art Obscura was formed out of necessity,” Roberts says. “I felt that


Art creates big business in New Mexico

NMSU alumna, artist and business owner Kathy Brimberry works at her fine art publishing studio in Austin.

New Mexico voters will decide on this year’s general obligation bond in November. It includes a total of $27.5 million for Williams Hall, and other NMSU projects around the state.

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NMSU alumni Deret Roberts, and Abbey Carver stand outside Art Obscura, an art gallery and antique store they founded in Las Cruces.

NMSU alumna Capri Price is seen here working with an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer in the lab at Portland State University. This instrument identifies the elements such as iron, lead and potassium in any material, and is often used for pigment identification.

Las Cruces had an entire group of artists that needed a place to buy, sell and grow. My degree really gave me an upper hand in this type of business by preparing me with a keen eye for well-executed artwork.” That university-community connection is critical to Marisa Sage, director of the University Art Gallery, which is part of the D.W. Williams Hall project. The gallery has 10,000 visitors every year and hosts hundreds of people who participate in various public workshops, lectures and panels. She says the exhibits inspire the community and students to engage with their region and beyond, teaching through cooperative active exhibitions the value of art in everyday life and its significant impact on regional social cultural experiences. “We are all about expanding and engaging our community through experience with art and artists who redefine the often narrow view of art’s value to our economy,” Sage says. Andrea Gohl believes improving and expanding NMSU’s art facilities can play a key role in the success of future students. She graduates in May 2016 with a master of fine arts degree in studio art. “At NMSU, we have many opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and creation – but not having the proper equipment, tools or workspace can greatly affect our ability to work. “Artists are challenged with solving problems and finding creative solutions in order to realize our concepts and visions. Think of a baker making bread without flour or an oven. It just isn’t going to taste right!”

Reinventing D.W. Williams Hall

Lawmakers approved $22.5 million for the Williams Hall renovation among the state’s capital outlay projects slated to be on the ballot as part of this year’s proposed general obligation bond. These bonds, which come before the voters of New Mexico every two years to support projects throughout the

state, do not require tax increases. So far, plans for the new building, which would be constructed adjacent to D.W. Williams Hall’s current location, include specialized studios, a large outdoor work area and a multitude of classrooms and shared work spaces. Renovated art facilities would support a wide variety of media-based research in museum conservation, ceramics, drawing and painting, graphic design, jewelry, metalsmithing, photography, printmaking, sculpture and art history. “We’re interested in how you can design a building that supports the conceptual ideas that we’re striving to achieve with our teaching,” says Barello. “Those are ideas about collaboration and about interdisciplinary crossover.”

Innovation blends art and business

Another trend is taking center stage in the corporate world, creating demand for a worker who can integrate skillsets to meet the needs of the new economy – employees who approach problems creatively. A global business research organization found that U.S. employers rate creativity and innovation among the top five skills they value most. In their 2016 survey, CEOs say one of their top two issues is developing the next generation of leaders who can “drive business growth with a culture of innovation, inclusion and engagement.” The idea that arts and culture education provide valuable talents for students in any career is nothing new at NMSU. “I think that many people have a romantic idea of what an art education is and they think we’re teaching people how to paint still lifes or make teacups,” Barello says. “While we do teach technique and materials-based processes, our pedagogical goal is for students to leave NMSU with well-developed problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Those are transferable skills they can take anywhere with them professionally.” Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama


TAKING CARE of business

Distance MBA program helps alumni, executives fit learning into their lives


or Benitez Jones ’15, a bachelor’s degree just didn’t feel like enough. Though the Detroit native who now lives and works in Socorro, Texas, earned his marketing degree online from New Mexico State University’s College of Business last year, he wasn’t satisfied and wanted to learn more about his field. “You can never have too much education,” says Jones, who works as a project engineer for Detroit-based construction company Walbridge. But his job takes him all over the United States, working on projects from a steel mill in Ohio to a nuclear plant in Georgia, so a classroom-based master’s program isn’t a good fit for the demands of his travel schedule. Jones and many other alumni like him who work full-time and travel or live far from NMSU’s campus now have another option. And thanks to a new cohort-based distance MBA program, Jones is able to work toward the same accredited Master of Business Administration degree that’s offered on the Las Cruces campus. “The fact that we can have a virtual class and don’t have to physically be in class is very convenient,” Jones says. “You can basically be anywhere in the world and do this program, as long as you are online for the scheduled virtual class. The flow of the classes over the Internet is great, too.” The two-year program meets online one evening per week for a session that can be viewed in real time from

28 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2016

work, home or live in the classroom. Students have the opportunity to ask questions, interact with both students and professors, and participate in class discussions. The class meetings are also digitally recorded so students can review them any time. Students meet on campus for a three-day orientation period at the beginning of the program, so they can get to know the other members of their cohort, and will also conclude the program with an on-campus wrapup session – but all other requirements can be met entirely online. “The distance MBA cohort is taught by the same award-winning faculty members who provide all of our classroom-based courses,” says College of Business Dean James Hoffman. “We developed this program to provide our alumni and other working executives with another option that gives them the flexibility to pursue their educational and career goals.” Jones is hoping his completed MBA will help open new opportunities as he looks to advance with his company. “This program allows me to continue traveling with my job while working on my MBA,” Jones says. “It’s made things more convenient for my lifestyle.” For more information about the distance MBA program, visit or contact MBA adviser John Shonk at mbaprog@ or call 575-646-8003.


By Amanda Bradford ’03

“You can basically be anywhere in the world and do this program, as long as you are online for the scheduled virtual class. The flow of the classes over the Internet is great, too.” -Benitez Jones ’15


WAC Champions



The NMSU volleyball team won both the Western Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships in 2015. The team also made their eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament under head coach Mike Jordan. The team finished 28-6, including going an undefeated 14-0 in the WAC.

The 2015-2016 NMSU women’s basketball team repeated as the Western Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament champions. The team had a 26-5 record, and went 13-1 in the conference. The women’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row.

Support a champion At New Mexico State University, the best seats in the house and the best parking spaces at the game come with an added bonus – an opportunity to support the university’s student-athletes. The winning combo is possible because of the Aggie Athletic Club, and it’s looking for new members. “Aggie Athletic Club is the main and comprehensive giving vehicle for the NMSU Athletic Department,” says NMSU Director of Athletics Mario Moccia. “It goes to assist all 450

student-athletes at NMSU with their tuition and books as well as their room and board and nutrition.” Supporters can join the club at various levels. Each donation comes with benefits for the donors and provides support for NMSU student-athletes, many of which are first-generation college students and would not be able to afford a higher level of education without scholarship assistance. “As student fees and state support continue to be reduced, we need to find

new places for support,” Moccia says. “Last year, the fund raised $146,000. This year, we’ll do around $250,000. While that’s a significant improvement, UTEP will bring in $1.75 million and UNM will do $3.1 million. We’ve got room for growth and we’re going to keep pushing for new donors.” More information about Aggie Athletic Club is available online at For questions or to make a gift, contact Kyle Merhege at

Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



From the

Alumni Association

Many elements contribute to the New Mexico State University experience: distinguished faculty, hardworking staff, an exceptional and diverse student body and extraordinary library, laboratory and technology resources. Annual giving plays a critical role in each of these areas, which ultimately has an impact on our students. This edition of Panorama highlights some of the people, programs and progress supported by annual gifts. These stories show how NMSU alumni and friends who give annual gifts demonstrate their loyalty to the university while providing immediate, critical support for top priorities such as student scholarships and enhanced learning opportunities. From a monthly $5 gift to a $1,000 end-ofyear contribution, every gift makes a difference, regardless of the amount. Contact us today to see how your gift can impact the lives of our students.

What an exciting time to be an Aggie! Nearly every single day, I see something that confirms New Mexico State University produces amazing alumni. Some return to NMSU to work in research, helping NMSU earn recognition from top organizations like Forbes. Others head out into a career in which they can showcase their talents, skills and NMSU education. If I had to pick one word to describe our Aggies, it would be amazing! Every year at Homecoming, a carefully selected group of Distinguished Alumni and a James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service recipient are celebrated in front of their peers and NMSU leaders. One distinguished graduate is selected from the colleges of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering; and Health and Social Services for standing out above the rest professionally, while bringing honor to the university and making significant contributions of time or philanthropy to the university and their community. One James F. Cole Award recipient is selected for their support of and involvement with the university and their civic, humanitarian and professional service.

Go Aggies! Amy Bigbee ’79 Alumni Association President

30 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2016

Winter now leads development efforts


Homecoming is Oct. 1, and nominations are being carefully considered by our awards committee. Visit http://advancing. alumni-association-awards/alumniassociation-awards to learn more about the Distinguished Alumni and James F. Cole programs. For more information, call the NMSU Alumni Association at 575-6467551.

Andrea S. Tawney, Ph.D. Vice President for University Advancement

Terra V. Winter ’01 ’05 joined the leadership team in the Office of University Advancement last fall as its new associate vice president for development. She most recently served as assistant dean for donor development and alumni relations in NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. In her new role, Winter oversees annual giving, campaign planning, planned giving, development officers and corporate and foundation giving. She joins Leslie Cervantes, who was named associate vice president for alumni engagement, participation and stewardship in August, and Tina Byford, who now serves as the chief operating officer for University Advancement and the NMSU Foundation. Winter has more than 13 years of experience in development and earned her certified fundraising executive designation in 2007. She earned her Bachelor of Communication Studies and Master of Public Health degrees from NMSU and is currently pursuing an interdisciplinary doctorate in management and educational leadership administration. Prior to joining the College of ACES in 2012, she served as director of development for Mesilla Valley Hospice for 10 years, concurrently serving as executive director of the Mesilla Valley Hospice Foundation for two years.


Every gift has an impact on our students



Family gift continues athletics legacy

The student-athletes of New Mexico State University’s swimming and diving team now have a private area to prepare for practices and meets, thanks to a substantial gift from Aggie alumna Smoky Glass Torgerson and her husband, Alan. Smoky’s sister, Linda Glass Schroeder, was the first head coach of NMSU’s women’s swim team in the 1970s. Smoky and Alan, along with other members of the Glass family, named the facility for Smoky and Linda’s mother, Wanda Glass. Above, Torgerson, left, and Schroeder surprise their mother with the news at the locker room’s February unveiling. Torgerson, who is a member of the NMSU Foundation Board of Directors, said her family saw an urgent need for a private space for the team at the Aquatic Center, where they had previously been sharing locker accommodations with public users of the facility.

State doubles $1.25 million in private gifts The New Mexico State University Foundation’s permanent endowment recently increased by $2.5 million as a result of contributions by private donors and appropriations from the New Mexico Higher Education Endowment Fund. The $1.25 million from the state, along with the required matching $1.25 million from donors, will allow NMSU to continue to recruit and retain highly qualified faculty in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields. The funding will support endowed professorships and faculty chairs in several colleges. The application process for state funding was extremely competitive, and NMSU received four of 16 total awards. The College of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences received a total of $125,000 for the Dr. John A. and Margy Papen Endowed Professorship in Actuarial Science. The actuarial science program is a partnership between the

two colleges. Coursework in the program focuses on the analysis of risk and its applications to insurance and finance. “Actuarial science is an intellectually challenging and lucrative career path, and this interdisciplinary program is preparing students for some of the best jobs in the country,” says James Hoffman, dean of the College of Business. “Creating an endowed professorship will help NMSU retain and attract top faculty in this field, so this very generous gift will create value for our students and for the entire state of New Mexico.” Both an endowed chair and professorship were awarded to the College of Engineering. The college has $300,000 for the John Kaichiro Nakayama and Tome Miyaguchi Nakayama Endowed Chair in Engineering. Another $125,000 was awarded for the PESCO Endowed Professorship in Industrial Water Quality and Reclamation Research.

Robert Peterson, who is the gift planning director with NMSU’s Office of Advancement, was a close friend of the late Joe Nakayama, son of John and Tome. “Joe’s dream was two-fold,” Peterson says. “He wanted to honor the legacy of his parents, and to establish a position that would bring NMSU to the next level of excellence in cutting-edge research, as research tremendously helped his family in its farming efforts.” The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences received $700,000 for the Dr. Herb and Barbara Ward Endowed Interdisciplinary Chair in Environmental and Water Sciences. The state appropriations and private donor contributions allow NMSU to continue to provide a high-quality education for its students, lead cutting-edge research and address industry needs. Kristie Garcia ’07 Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama


Beyond expectations ALUMNI CONNECTIONS

Aggie supporters pour $5.7 million into scholarship funds on GivingTuesday


n Dec. 1, 2015, New Mexico State University witnessed the tremendous support of Aggies, students and friends of the university during its first-ever GivingTuesday fundraising event. The transformational results will have an impact across the NMSU system for many years to come. The grand total – which includes dollar-for-dollar matches on every gift made to any scholarship fund across the NMSU system using revenue from NMSU’s alumni license plate program – reached $5.7 million for student scholarships, and resulted in the creation of 82 new scholarships. GivingTuesday was supported by 2,441 donors, including every member of the NMSU Foundation Board of Directors and the NMSU Board of Regents, who encouraged their peers to give, as well. Many campus leaders and community supporters took turns manning the GivingTuesday headquarters phone bank, placing calls to thank donors for their support of student success.

32 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2016

Be on the lookout. GivingTuesday 2016 is on its way!

One donor’s story: A memory and a legacy When Maria Garcia thinks about her daughter, Clarissa ters made her feel she was involved with something important Danielle Garcia, who was killed in a tragic 2003 crash as a high at NMSU. school senior, her heart fills with conflicting emotions: sadness “I felt very involved – like I was really a part of it,” she says. for the loss of her precious daughter at such a young age, and “It was a really moving experience. I got a little emotional, seehope for the legacy her daughter’s name will leave for hundreds ing what was happening there.” of students. Charlotte Tallman ’02 Clarissa dreamed of becoming a teacher. She was already earning college credits as a high school student and teaching Sunday school to get a head start. To honor that dream, Garcia and her husband, Sammy, created the Clarissa D. Garcia Endowed Scholarship at NMSU, which benefits aspiring teachers in the NMSU College of Education. “It brings me some peace and happiness to know that her legacy is helping students become teachers,” Garcia says. “That was her dream; that’s all she ever talked about.” GivingTuesday allowed Garcia, her family and friends to build the scholarship and ensure that even more students would have an opportunity to earn a degree. Garcia Maria Garcia, center, is joined by Marisela Marquez, left, Raymundo Payan and Gabriella says attending the activities at GivingTuesday headquar- Martinez at GivingTuesday headquarters on Dec. 1. Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



Recent books by NMSU alumni

Panorama welcomes information on books and creative works by NMSU alumni. Information may be sent to

Compiled by Jane Moorman

Magic in the Desert Dan Perry ’62


“Magic in the Desert,” by NMSU journalism alum Dan Perry, celebrates the history of NMSU through the lens of its football team. With a focus on the perfect 1960 football season, celebrated by the larger-than-life photo of All-American Pervis Atkins, the book begins at the start of Aggie football and then recreates Las Cruces and the campus at the end of the 1950s, when New Mexico A&M College became New Mexico State University. The book follows Perry’s college roommates and colleagues at The Round Up student newspaper, Frank Thayer and Mike Waldner, as well as his lifelong close friend, Charlie Rogers. Before he died in 2013, Perry secured the commitment of these three to see the book through to completion. The release of “Magic in the Desert” is the fulfillment of their promise to him.

Walking with Herb: A Spiritual Golfing Journey to the Masters Joe Bullock ’71 IUNIVERSE

Joe Bullock, who earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, combines his knowledge of banking and his love of golf to write an inspirational novel that allows the reader to imagine the possibility of competing at the highest level with the help of a little practice, a lot of faith and a golf guru named Herb. In the story, God has decided he is tired of watching people fail to live up to their potential. He selects a very ordinary man – a banker named Joe – to prove that people are far more capable than they believe they are, and calls him to play in the Masters Golf Tournament. Bullock wants to help others live up to their potential and create a stronger bond with God, who is presented as humorous and approachable in “Walking with Herb.”

Divorce in New Mexico: The Legal Process, Your Rights, and What to Expect Jan B. Gilman-Tepper, ’74 ADDICUS BOOKS, INC.

This guide will help people obtain general knowledge of divorce in New Mexico, and learn what to expect as an outcome. A better understanding of the divorce process will help those in this situation move through a divorce feeling more empowered to make sound, rational decisions. Jan Gilman-Tepper has practiced family law exclusively for more than 30 years. In “Divorce in New Mexico,” she joins her law partners, Sandra Morgan Little, Roberta S. Batley and Tiffany Oliver Leigh, in providing valuable information regarding divorce law. During their years of practicing family law, they have helped hundreds of clients navigate the divorce process.

RC Soaring: A Laughing Matter Part 1, 2 and 3 Gene Zika ’63


Gene Zika, a music education graduate, is a professional cartoonist with cartoons appearing in newspapers in Ohio and Florida. He has created three different cartoon books that reflect the endless humor found in radio-controlled gliders. Book one “RC Soaring: A Laughing Matter” is available in print and as an e-book from Zika also has parts two and three available as e-books from the same publisher.

34 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2016


Frank Hamrick ’05 OLD FAN PRESS

Frank Hamrick, a Master of Fine Art graduate, displays his photography talents as well as his bookmaking skills in this hand-crafted, limited edition book. “Madalyn,” a collection of 18 photographs printed on 50-pound, double-sided, matte Red River Paper, is named for his niece, who is the subject of the photos taken while exploring the Georgia wilderness. Hamrick is an associate professor at Louisiana Tech University. NPR has written about his handmade books and in 2012, Oxford American Magazine listed Hamrick as one of the 100 Superstars of Southern Art. His work is housed in collections including the Georgia Museum of Art and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. He has created 13 other handmade books.

Cleansing Blade Saga Randolph Ashby ’10 SELF-PUBLISHED

The “Cleansing Blade Saga” includes two books: “Internal Fear Project” and “Camelot’s Dream.” A team of young, highly skilled agents are responsible for saving the world from itself. They protect and serve to ensure a future for all innocents in this world. “Internal Fear Project” finds them in a remote weapons facility where they are to stop a madman. During the mission, more secrets begin to be uncovered within the facility’s walls. In “Camelot’s Dream,” the team faces a ruthless organization of private contractors. Randolph Ashby received a bachelor’s degree in English with a creative writing emphasis in 2010.

Images of America: Hatch Valley

Cindy Carpenter ’92 and Sherry Fletcher ’68, ’75 ARCADIA PUBLISHING

Writer Cindy Carpenter and historian Sherry Fletcher have captured the early times of the Hatch Valley’s past through photographs, oral history and historical newspapers. In 1929, Hatch Valley was on its way to being known as the Chile Capital of the World. True to the nature of a pioneer, the hardy residents of the Hatch Valley have fought against devastation of floods, the Great Depression and a changing economy. Their tenacity has made the Hatch Valley what it is today. Carpenter and Fletcher have just completed a second book, “Elephant Butte Dam.”

The President Had Ninety Seconds: A Thermonuclear Holocaust Awaited David F. Felsburg ’75 WESTBOW PRESS

Dave Felsburg, an electronics engineering alum, wrote this fictional account of actual events that took place in a 1979-80 Cold War setting. On Nov. 9, 1979, the missile warning alarms sounded throughout the Cheyenne Mountain Complex near Colorado Springs. The warning system announced that U.S. surveillance satellites had detected 250 enemy missiles launched from within the boundaries of the Soviet Union, with projected impact points throughout North America. The president had 90 seconds to authorize a retaliatory strike or risk losing all or part of the U.S. nuclear arsenal while still on the ground.

Valley of the Shaman: A Journey of Discovery Arlan Andrews Sr. ’64 ’66 ’69 KINDLE EDITION

“Valley of the Shaman,” one of two Kindle and Nook e-books by mechanical engineering doctoral graduate Arlan Andrews Sr., is a science fiction novel set near the Jemez Valley in northern New Mexico. The book reflects the cultural uniqueness of the Land of Enchantment as the main character follows the directions of an encrypted email that takes him into another dimension. “Valley of the Shaman” is among more than 500 fiction and non-fiction items in more than 100 venues worldwide produced by Andrews. He was a Hugo award finalist for the novella “Flow,” which appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine, November 2014. Andrews’ second e-book is “Other Heads & Other Tales,” a collection of mostly previously published short stories. Spring 2016 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



Dedicated to Higher Education Burke, Bullock awarded first-ever Presidential Medallions By Justin Bannister ’03 ’13

36 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2016



im Bullock and Gerald Burke have devoted most of their adult lives to New Mexico State University. It seems only fitting that the two are the inaugural awardees of the university’s Presidential Medallion, which recognizes the outstanding service each has given to NMSU beyond their time as employees. President Garrey Carruthers presented the medallions during the university’s spring convocation ceremony. “Jim Bullock and Gerald Burke served NMSU with distinction during their time as professors and administrators,” Carruthers says, “and they continue to serve NMSU today in the areas of fundraising, GO Bond support and with other issues important to the university. Their dedication to improving the future for our students serves as an example to us all.” “NMSU is a remarkable place to work. They just won’t ever let you quit,” Bullock says with a smile. “I am deeply humbled to be one of the first recipients of this award.” Bullock is a professor and department head emeritus in NMSU’s Department of Accounting and Information Systems, where he taught and held various administrative posts for 24 years before retiring in 1996. He presently serves on the College of Business Accounting Advisory Council and has chaired the NMSU Regents Audit Committee. He is a past member and treasurer of the board of directors of the NMSU Foundation and continues to help the university through various efforts, including fundraising. The James H. Bullock Accounting Endowment was established by former students upon his retirement in 1996, and approximately 60 accounting students have received scholarships through the gifts made to that endowment. Burke’s career of more than three decades at NMSU began as an assistant professor in the College of Agriculture and Home Economics. He also served as assistant dean of the Graduate School and as vice president for administration and legislative liaison. Burke first chaired the statewide General Obligation Bond Committee in 1992 and has been its full-time chair since 2004. Since then, voters have approved $750 million for capital improvements around New Mexico. NMSU has received more than $150 million of those funds. He also serves on the state’s Commission on Higher Education and continues to work with the New Mexico Legislature, where he has served as the educational representative for NMSU, and as a consultant on many educational issues to legislators, legislative committees, cabinet members and governors. “In addition to thanking President Carruthers, I’d also like to thank Ben Woods for seeing that this honor was established,” Burke says. Woods, NMSU’s former senior adviser to the president, helped create the awards to properly recognize some of the people doing outstanding work on behalf of the university. There’s an opportunity to honor the service of both Bullock and Burke to NMSU. Visit to give to the Gerald M. Burke President’s Associates Endowed Scholarship, the Wanda H. Bullock Nursing Scholarship or the Dr. James H. Bullock Accounting Endowment.

NMSU president Garrey Carruthers, center, stands for a photo with Presidential Medallion award recipients Gerald Burke, left, and Jim Bullock following the 2016 NMSU spring convocation ceremony at the Atkinson Recital Hall.

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Always Anchored to NMSU


ax and Kelsey Haake have a lot invested in New Mexico State University. The 2013 graduates of the university – Kelsey with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and Max with a Bachelor of Accountancy – say they are both on the move in their careers because of the leadership, education and experience they received at NMSU. Kelsey was named one of the Phoenix

Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” up-andcoming business leaders in 2015 and Max is on the fast track to becoming a Certified Public Accountant. “NMSU is such a good school on so many levels,” Kelsey says. “I think we got the absolute best experience for our money, and the experiences we had really contributed to who we are becoming.” Kelsey is a relationship manager at

First Western Trust and Max is an accountant at REDW LLC. The couple has two children, Hunter, 2, and newborn Jackson. “We really developed a relationship with our professors and NMSU leaders,” Max says. “Because NMSU has given us so much, we do whatever we can to give back. In some capacity, we will always be anchored to NMSU.”

It doesn’t matter the amount of the gift, every dollar makes a difference in the lives of students.

Panorama - Spring 2016  

Panorama is NMSU's Alumni and Friends magazine. To read the current issue, visit To view the Fall 2016 issue as a...

Panorama - Spring 2016  

Panorama is NMSU's Alumni and Friends magazine. To read the current issue, visit To view the Fall 2016 issue as a...