Page 1

PANORAMA New Mexico State University Alumni & Friends Magazine

Volume 68 Spring 2017 • FREE

IGNITE AGGIE DISCOVERY NMSU system launches its most ambitious campaign ever, aiming to raise $125 million

e n i z a g is ma s i r ! Th our u o y us in step p xt l e H ne

Letter from

the President


ew Mexico State University has launched what may be the most exciting initiative during my time as president – the Ignite Aggie Discovery campaign. It’s an effort to raise more than $125 million to benefit the entire NMSU system. One of the most important goals of the campaign is to raise $50 million for student scholarships. These funds will help all NMSU campuses offer opportunities to all students.

Panorama belongs to you, the graduates of NMSU and friends of the university. We’re always working to bring you the best magazine possible, highlighting how the university system and our NMSU alumni and friends are making their

The good news is, we’ve already raised more than half of our $125 million goal. I hope you’ll join us in this effort and help us double the impact we’ve been able to make so far.

communities a better place. Over the next few months, we’re excited to announce we will move from a twice-yearly publication to printing three times a year! We’re also considering a new name for the magazine. That’s where we need your help. Please send your ideas and look for the new version of Panorama this fall!

Garrey Carruthers ’64 ’65 NMSU President and Chancellor of the NMSU System

This issue of Panorama is produced by the office of Marketing and Communications, New Mexico State University, 575-646-3221.

President and Chancellor Garrey Carruthers ’64 ’65

Correspondences may be sent to Marketing and Communications, MSC 3K, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM 88003-3590 or Panorama is published twice yearly. ISSN 2470-0649

President, NMSU Foundation Andrea Tawney

New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and educator. The magazine can be found at Editor Amanda Bradford ’03 Art Director Gerald Rel Contributors Tiffany Acosta, Minerva Baumann ’13, Adriana M. Chávez, Christ Chavez, Kristie Garcia ’07, Andrés Leighton, Cassie McClure ’06 ’08, Jane Moorman, Darrell J. Pehr, Janet Perez, Darren Phillips, Carlos Trujillo, Taylor Vancel, Albert Vasquez

Chief Operating Officer, NMSU Foundation Tina Byford ’00 ’11 Associate Vice President for Alumni Engagement and Stewardship Leslie Cervantes ’86

NMSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Crystal Lay ’02 ’10 President-Elect Tony Martinez ’96 ’98 Secretary/Treasurer Kay Brilliant ’71 Past President Amy Bigbee ’79

Associate Vice President for Development Terra V. Winter ’01 ’05

Executive Council Kim Archuleta ’95 ’02, Steve Duran ’90, Abigail Goodin ’12, Connie Lee ’69 ’73, Daniel Sonntag ’14, Andrea Sparkevicius ’91 ’99, Scott Sponseller ’96 ’98, Adam Thompson ’08

Interim Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications Justin Bannister ’03 ’13

Copyright 2017 New Mexico State University

Director, Alumni Relations Mallory Driggers ’16

POSTMASTER: Send address change notifications to Panorama, MSC 3590, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM, 88003-88001

Contents Spring 2017


A generation on the move

NMSU millennials are quietly changing the world

Every person has the power to make a huge difference in this campaign, because their gifts have a collective impact.


Ignite Aggie Discovery

NMSU system launches its most ambitious campaign ever, aiming to raise $125 million


On deck

Former Aggies keep MLB players in prime condition

– Andrea Tawney,

President of the NMSU Foundation


Hands-free search and rescue?

NMSU research may help first responders work more safely


Opening the doors to college Program brings students on campus to see what the future holds


Also Inside

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

Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



Aggie bragging rights A leading degree producer for minorities Diverse: Issues in Higher Education has named NMSU as a top university for awarding degrees to minority students. The publication lists the top 100 producers of associate, bachelor’s and graduate degrees issued to minority students each year. NMSU ranks in the top 10 in bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanics for communications technologies/ technicians and support services; agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences; hospitality administration/management; engineering technologies and engineering-related fields; and education. NMSU also ranks in the top 5 in bachelor’s degrees awarded to Native Americans for marketing; engineering; agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences; physical sciences; and engineering technologies and engineeringrelated fields.

2 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017

Home to top-notch engineering research centers NMSU is part of a team of universities that received a five-year, $2.5 million grant to establish a regional transportation research center called Tran-SET. The center’s goal is to improve transportation infrastructure through innovative materials and technology. This marks the third major research center consortium for NMSU civil engineering. The university is also a member of the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics, which is tasked with expanding the emerging field of biogeotechnical engineering. Additionally, NMSU is part of the Urban Water Engineering Research Center, which works to reinvent America’s aging water infrastructure.

Ranked among the best for vets This year, NMSU was ranked on the Military Times Best for Vets list – a first for the university. NMSU works to create a supportive and inclusive environment for military-affiliated students, including veterans, spouses and dependents. Among other measures, the Military Times ranking is based on university culture, academic outcomes and quality, student support, academic policies and financial aid. Additionally, NMSU was recognized as a Military Advanced Education & Transition 2017 Top School. NMSU has also been designated a Military Friendly school since 2010.

Top 50 best value online colleges NMSU is ranked 35th on the Top 50 Best Value Online Colleges for 2017 by Value Colleges, an independent online guide to the best values in undergraduate and graduate education. The Value Colleges rankings are based on cost, reputability and return on investment. NMSU has also been recognized as a top tier university for 2017 by U.S. News & World Report, and that publication also ranked NMSU among its Best Graduate Schools for 2017. For the ninth year, Forbes has recognized NMSU as one of America’s Top Colleges. NMSU was named to the 2016 Center for World University Rankings list and was named one of the 50 most underrated colleges in America by Business Insider.

Pat and Lou Sisbarro’s love of NMSU recognized with honorary doctorates


or 35 years, Pat and Lou Sisbarro have called Las Cruces home. The couple raised three children, built a successful company and became active in the community since moving in 1981 from Michigan to New Mexico – in part, they say, because they were drawn to New Mexico State University. The Sisbarros’ deep connections to NMSU were recognized with honorary doctoral degrees at fall commencement. that has brought community members onto campus to connect with the university. From humble beginnings in New Jersey, the couple feels they are living the American dream. “If we can do it, anybody can do it. It’s hard work, determination – draw that line and go for it,” Lou says. “I knew we were going to be successful. There’s no doubt in my mind. I don’t think we had any idea we would reach the level we’ve reached.” Tiffany Acosta


“Pat and Lou Sisbarro are two of NMSU’s greatest champions,” says NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. “For years, they have devoted their time and support to causes that benefit this great university, into the benefit of our students and the greater Las Cruces community.” As they built up their business to one of the largest families of auto dealerships in the Southwest, they also strengthened their connections to NMSU, supporting athletics, the theatre program, cancer research through the Aggies Are Tough Enough to Wear Pink fundraising campaign, and entrepreneurial students through Aggie Shark Tank. Most recently, they created the Pat and Lou Sisbarro Community Park, with a track and exercise area

Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



Kevin Johnson named Starbucks CEO In December 2016, Kevin Johnson ’81 was named chief executive officer at Starbucks. He began his new position April 3 in addition to his role as president. Johnson had been president and chief operating officer for the coffee giant since March 2015. He was responsible for Starbucks’ global operation businesses and core support functions throughout the company’s supply chain, marketing, human resources and technology as well as its mobile and digital platforms. He has been a board member since 2009. Prior to joining Starbucks, Johnson spent 16 years at Microsoft and five years at Juniper Networks as CEO. In 2008, he was appointed to the National Security Telecommunication Advisory Committee serving President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. Johnson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from NMSU, will be awarded an honorary doctorate at the spring commencement ceremony in May. Tiffany Acosta

Kevin Johnson was also inducted into the NMSU College of Business Hall of Fame in 2001 and honored as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2008.


NMSU honors fallen Hatch officer

Regents Chair Debra Hicks and Chancellor Garrey Carruthers stand with the family of Officer José Ismael Chavez after presenting them with his posthumously awarded degree. Chavez’s mother, Maria Ramirez, holds his photo, along with daughters Aryam and Janiley.

4 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017

Fallen Hatch Police Officer José Ismael Chavez was awarded a posthumous degree during New Mexico State University’s fall 2016 commencement ceremony. Chavez, an NMSU student, died Aug. 12, 2016, after being shot during a traffic stop. “Officer Chavez was a dedicated student and gave his life serving this community,” NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers said during the ceremony. “He absolutely earned this degree, and we were proud to present it to his family. He’s a perfect example of how NMSU is a caring community.” Chavez had enrolled in the last semester of earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice the day before his death. Carruthers presented a certificate to Chavez’s mother, Maria Ramirez, and his daughters, Janiley, 14, and Aryam, 6. Ramirez says she was already proud of her son, but now even more so after receiving the posthumous degree. “We are very thankful to NMSU for presenting this degree to us in his honor,” Janiley Chavez says. “We are very proud of him.” Jane Moorman


Outstanding faculty, staff honored during spring convocation


wo new Regents Professors, 13 other faculty members and one department were recognized for their excellence in teaching and service to the university and community during the spring convocation ceremony in January.

In addition, Chancellor Garrey Carruthers presented the Presidential Medallion to retired director of special events Barbara Hubbard for her dedicated service to the university and the community. Susan DeMar, College of Arts and Sciences, and Satya Rao, College of Health and Social Services, received the Community Engagement Award for their demonstrated efforts to better New Mexico communities through partnerships and volunteer work. Michael Johnson, chemistry and biochemistry, and Nancy McMillan, geological sciences, both in the College of Arts and Sciences, were named Regents Professors, recognizing their outstanding contributions to the university’s mission in the areas of education and research.

Receiving the Donald C. Roush Award were Merranda Marin, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Michael Hout, College of Arts and Sciences; Matthew Holt, College of Business; Anna Lopez, College of Education; Fangjun Shu, College of Engineering; Maria Ortiz, College of Health and Social Services; Vicente Lombraña, NMSU Alamogordo; Kenda Josselet, NMSU Carlsbad; Mike Teitsworth, Doña Ana Community College; and Karen M. Henry, NMSU Grants. The Outstanding Assessment Committee for Co-Curriculum, Administration and Operations Excellence in Assessment Award was presented to NMSU’s Center for Learning and Professional Development. Jane Moorman

Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



Aggie Milestones


Clara Belle Williams became NMSU’s first African-American graduate in 1937. She took summer classes at NMSU while working as a schoolteacher in Las Cruces, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in English. Williams Street and Clara Belle Williams Hall are both named in her honor.

65 years

Branson Library, NMSU’s oldest library still in use, opened in 1952. It was named for NMSU President John William Branson, who served from 1949-1955. Additions to the library were constructed in 1966, 1974 and 1981. It also underwent a major renovation from 1993 to 1994.

45 years

70 years Ralph B. Crouch, the former Mathematical Sciences department head and associate dean of the graduate school, began his career at NMSU in 1947. Today, the Crouch Award honors current or living former NMSU employees for outstanding contributions to the life of the university community.

The first section of NMSU’s International Mall was dedicated in October 1972. The NMSU Alumni Association collected donations, which were matched by the university, to construct the pedestrian mall as part of a campus beautification project. The I-Mall, for short, now spans a mile between the NMSU Horseshoe and the Pan American Center. 6 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017

15 years

The Official NMSU Ring is celebrating its 15th anniversary at NMSU. The symbol of Aggie Pride and academic accomplishment is manufactured by Balfour. Thousands of NMSU graduates have purchased either gold or silver class rings since 2002.

On a roll: Engineering students’ device boosts

quality of life for cancer-survivor dog


ast fall, three College of Engineering students working as on-campus co-ops at New Mexico State University designed and built a wheelchair device to assist a dog who had his right hind leg amputated due to cancer earlier last year.


Through the Aggie Innovation Space, Aggie Innovators Natalia Perez, Abdiel Jimenez and Arturo Dominguez designed and created a customized device for the 17-year-old Kita and his owner, Michelle Lebsock. Perez, Jimenez and Dominguez met with Kita and Lebsock many times to determine the correct height, comfort and restraint requirements of the device. Ease of assembly and disassembly were also important factors the Aggie Innovators had to consider to ensure the device

was portable and easy to use. “The AIS team became very passionate about this project, sharing ideas, collaborating to assess specific constraints and requirements, and evaluating ideas for build-out materials,” Jimenez says. “This project reminded us how engineers can enhance quality of life, and made us realize that our duty as engineers is not just for people and the environment but for our furry friends that make our lives happier,” Perez says. Tiffany Acosta

Aggie Innovator Arturo Dominguez, left, and Michelle Lebsock pose with Lebsock’s 17-year-old dog, Kita, in his finished wheelchair. The device was designed and built by students in the Aggie Innovation Space at the College of Engineering. Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



Million-dollar gift supports transformative scholarships for journalism students


loyd “Cy” Cress traveled the world as a writer after World War II, saved his money and retired as a millionaire to a quiet life in Deming in the mid 1980s. He valued the power and splendor of the written word so much that he donated more than $1 million beginning in 2014 to fund journalism scholarships at New Mexico State University. So far, more than two dozen NMSU journalism students are realizing their dreams thanks to him. have received the Cy Cress Excellence in Journalism scholarship. The scholarship was created in honor of his sister, Lois Cress, who shared his passion for journalism and was an editor for the Denver Post. The awards go to NMSU journalism students at any stage of their studies based on financial need and who have at least a 3.0 grade point average. The earnings allocated from Cress’ $1 million gift will be used for journalism scholarships each year.

Floyd “Cy” Cress donated more than $1 million to New Mexico State University to establish the Cy Cress Excellence in Journalism Scholarship.

8 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017


“This gift was very exciting for our department,” says Hwiman Chung, department head of journalism and mass communications. “We had been looking for ways to help students financially, and with this donation, school can be possible for many more journalism students.” Cress asked that his $1 million estate gift to the university remain anonymous until after his death. He passed away in January of 2017 at age 96, but lived to see his generosity benefit 25 students who


FYRE: First-Year Residential Experience aims to help students succeed


he First-Year Residential Experience (FYRE) is a new program at New Mexico State University designed to help students achieve success at the very beginning of their academic journey.

The program is aligned with a new requirement for first-year students to live on campus. Research shows that students who live on campus in their first year are better connected to a university community, more likely to attend class and more likely to graduate. The FYRE program aims to encourage self-discovery and a thirst for learning. The program will expand the number of Living Learning Communities in the residence halls, place a greater emphasis on outreach to students, and expose students to more leadership

development activities in the form of residence governance opportunities. A key objective of the FYRE program is improving students’ connections with faculty. To that end, the program will host social activities and events that bring students together with faculty members known as FYREstarters, who will be affiliated with their residential unit. For more information about the FYRE program, including exemptions to the first-year residency requirement, visit

Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama


IGNITE Aggie NMSU system launches its most ambitious campaign ever, aiming to raise $125 million By Amanda Bradford ’03 and Cassie McClure ’06 ’08

10 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017



During the campaign’s silent phase, which began in May 2013, the NMSU Foundation raised more than half the campaign’s goal – more than $72.5 million. While NMSU is a public university system, funding from private donors, alumni corporations, foundations and other sources supports vital community programs, research and student scholarship opportunities. “Every person has the power to make a huge difference in this campaign, because their gifts have a collective impact,” says Andrea Tawney, president of the NMSU Foundation. “If we can Texas country singer Bri Bagwell, originally from Las Cruces, performs during the Ignite move every alum, every member of our Aggie family, to participate, Aggie Discovery kickoff event at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts. The New Mexico no matter what the amount of their gift, we will see a complete State University system has embarked on a $125 million comprehensive campaign. transformation in what is possible for our community, our faculty and our students.” One of the most important goals of the campaign, which extends through 2019, is the creation of $50 million in new scholarship endowments. This would provide $2 million each year in perpetuity for new, game-changing scholarships. Scholarship funding is crucial so that all NMSU campuses can offer opportunities to students regardless of their means, and also so the university can attract top students and nurture their success. Whether endowed or current use, scholarships reflect the passion of NMSU donors and augment student resources while impacting various groups, including high achievers, military Woody Hunt, center left, chairman of the Hunt Family Foundation, presents a donation to the NMSU Foundation veterans, underrepresented populations and for Arrowhead Center during the Ignite Aggie campaign kickoff event at the Center for the Arts. Also pictured are Hunt Family Foundation President Joshua Hunt, center right, and Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. many others. Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama




he New Mexico State University system has launched the public phase of its $125 million comprehensive campaign, “Ignite Aggie Discovery,” to ensure that the entire NMSU system and the Aggie community continue to illuminate pathways to success for all of its students, faculty and others in New Mexico and the Southwest who benefit from NMSU’s impact.

Impact of scholarships


Scholarships make a significant difference in the lives of student recipients. April Montoya, an Air Force veteran and Air Force wife, explains that her RAYVETS Degree Completion Scholarship will help ease her stress in her final year of nursing school. “It brought tears to my eyes, because help with tuition means I have money for gas to get to clinicals, or to buy uniforms or medical scissors,” Montoya says. “It has a domino effect, so that I don’t have to take money from my family – and with two teens and an 8-year-old, finances are already very tight.” Montoya, a full-time student, had debated taking a break from school and working to raise the tuition for her last year. Thanks to the RAYVETS scholarship, which was established in 2017 by a group of Raytheon employees who are veterans, she can push straight through to completion. Montoya aims to be a certified diabetes educator, working in Las Cruces to prevent and combat the disease. What makes the RAYVETS scholarship even more special to Montoya is knowing that veterans just like her are contributing to her success. “It’s like someone is still looking over my shoulder and watching out for me,” she says.

Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship

Anchoring the public kickoff of the Ignite Aggie Discovery campaign is the announcement of a $2.5 million gift from the Hunt Family Foundation for Arrowhead Center, NMSU’s economic development and innovation hub. With the funds, Arrowhead Center has created new programming through the Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship, with the purpose of promoting economic growth in the Borderplex region. The Hunt Family Foundation gift aims to further Arrowhead Center’s work in commercializing discoveries and innovations, encouraging entrepreneurship, launching and developing new businesses and creating lasting partnerships in the Borderplex. The Hunt Startup Sponsorship is one new program designed to 12 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017

April Montoya, a nursing student and Air Force veteran, is one of the first recipients of the RAYVETS Degree Completion Current Use Scholarship at New Mexico State University.

accelerate student ventures. The semester-long sponsorships support a portion of a student entrepreneur’s time to significantly advance their project. In addition to being paid to focus part-time on their businesses, students receive training and mentorship through Studio G, Arrowhead Center’s student business incubator, as well as access to follow-on funding.

Supporting faculty excellence


Faculty at NMSU inspire students’ passion for learning, enable discovery, induce epiphanies and ultimately lead students to map their individual pathways to success. In addition to teaching and mentoring, faculty conduct ground-breaking research, create widely recognized works of art and performance, run outreach programs that disperse critical information to the broader New Mexico community and launch or advise entrepreneurial projects involving industry and the community. Some of the key areas of exploration in NMSU’s future are sustainable agriculture, emerging infectious diseases, cybersecurity, energy sustainability and water resources. An expansion of direct research funding is needed in all areas. In addition, NMSU seeks to attract and retain its top-notch faculty and graduate students with new endowed chairs, professorships and fellowships.

Why a comprehensive campaign?

Kathy Hansen, director and CEO of Arrowhead Center, shows off a new sign for the Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship. NMSU kicked off the public phase of its $125 million comprehensive campaign by announcing a $2.5 million gift from the Hunt Family Foundation to establish the center and support the growth of Arrowhead Center programming and partnerships in the Borderplex.

“Private funding and support for students and programs is always a necessity, and we are working hard to inspire donor support through the NMSU Foundation,” says NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. “Launching a comprehensive campaign allows us to focus our energy and momentum on a common purpose throughout our entire system. We continue to be deeply grateful for the generosity and confidence that our Aggie community has shown us by investing in the future of our system and our students.” For more information about the Ignite Aggie Discovery campaign, or to be part of creating student success and breakthrough discoveries through your gift of any amount, visit and make a charitable investment. Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



on the move NMSU millennials are quietly changing the world By Minerva Baumann ’13



14 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017






Sarah Casson awards the Guinness World Record to J. Balvin for the longest stay at No. 1 on the U.S. Hot Latin Songs chart by a single artist.

arah Casson ’13 is 25 years old, with degrees from New Mexico State University in government and Spanish. In the four years since she graduated, she has worked in the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., and on a Fulbright fellowship in Colombia, and she is currently the records manager for Latin America at Guinness World Records. “My team reviews record proposals and evaluates evidence to determine who will be recognized as official record holders,” Casson says. “Another part of my job is traveling to judge live record attempts in Latin America as an official adjudicator. I recently went to Mexico for the Day of the Dead to adjudicate an attempt for the largest gathering of Catrinas, which was a truly amazing thing to see.” The Albuquerque native is an example of the growing power of millennials in the labor force. An analysis by Pew Research in 2016 reveals millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation. Another 2016 study by the Deloitte University Press shows millennials are the largest share of the U.S. labor market. Like Casson, many millennials are already in increasingly senior positions. Derrick Hunter ’03 is vice president of operations for Elite Golf Management, which manages golf courses in Las Vegas and across southern Nevada with plans to expand across the U.S. The 36-year-old earned a marketing degree and focused on the Professional Golf Management Program. He grew up in Las Cruces and won a high school state championship in golf. He chose NMSU because of the strength of its golf management program, directed by Pat Gavin. “NMSU gave me the tools and knowledge to reach my current position,” Hunter says. “My marketing and business background gave me the tools necessary to turn around struggling facilities. From developing marketing strategies to writing professional business plans, I find that as I put together my next project, the basics for that project I learned at NMSU.” Michael Apodaca ’13 ignited his career with a degree in kinesiology from NMSU. At age 26, Apodaca, who is originally from Rio Rancho, is a strength and conditioning coach for the Seattle Mariners. “Full-time positions in Major League Baseball are very hard to come by,” Apodaca says. “As a strength and conditioning coach for the Mariners, my job is to keep the athletes healthy, most importantly. I create weight training and conditioning programs that are individualized for each of the players’ needs. I thank the good Lord every day for giving me a platform to make a difference in others’ lives.” Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



Top left: Derrick Hunter poses at one of the golf courses managed by Elite Golf Management, where he is vice president of operations. Middle: Seattle Mariners hitting coach Brian Hunter, left, watches the game with Michael Apodaca, center, and player Austin Grebeck. Top right: Physics professors Heinrich Nakotte, far left, and Stefan Zollner, far right, along with students Lina Abdallah and Timothy Nunely, demonstrate how a spectroscopic ellipsometer is used to measure material samples. Bottom left: Fernando Fioretto poses in his lab at the University of Michigan.

16 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017

Apodaca illustrates another result of the 2016 Deloitte global survey of 7,700 millennials from 29 countries: Millennials are taking their values to work with them. When asked to rank factors that influence their behavior at work, millennials say their personal values and morals come first. More than half would not work for an organization that does not share their personal values, and 7 in 10 millennials surveyed feel strongly that their company does share their values. “Our work environment favors the team player – the one who values and appreciates her or his co-workers,” says 30-year-old Lina Abdallah ’14, a process engineer at Intel, who came to NMSU from Jordan and received her doctorate in physics. “This is one of the main drivers of my success at my current job, but also at NMSU.” “It is exhilarating to know that your skill set is required and valued by the world’s largest processor manufacturer, that you can hold your own in a work environment that prides itself in hiring only the best,” Abdallah adds. She had just started her job search when she was referred to Intel’s Talent Acquisition program, and within two months, accepted the job. Collaboration and friendliness are the


hallmarks of Fernando Fioretto’s experience at NMSU. Fioretto ’16 grew up in a small town in Italy where his passion for computer science began when he was 8 years old. At age 30, after receiving his doctorate in computer science, Fioretto is a research fellow at the University of Michigan, where his focus is artificial intelligence and data science. “Among other things, we study people’s mobility at a city level to understand how we can help to design smarter infrastructures to better serve the population’s increasing mobility needs,” Fioretto says. “At NMSU, I not only acquired the technical skills necessary to solve many of the problems I face today on a daily basis, but NMSU offered a fantastic environment to develop a strong network of exceptional collaborators.” Another data point from the Deloitte survey shows millennials believe that business success is built on a foundation of longterm sustainability. NMSU grads reflect that optimism about the future. “We live in a world driven by technology,” says Hunter. “We have to adapt and learn new strategies to stay competitive.” Fioretto sums up millennials’ values-based philosophy: “Millennials are a generation that has been primed to do well by doing good.”

NMSU millennials’ advice for Gen Z “I wish I had known that the education, the friends that you make, the contacts that you meet will be with you for the rest of your life. Take advantage of this as much as you can, as it will only make you more successful.” – DERRICK HUNTER ’03 “For undergraduates: follow your talent, not your desire. For graduate students: pick your adviser, not your field of research. Dr. (Stefan) Zollner saw in me potential that I did not know I had and pushed me to realize it.” – LINA ABDALLAH ’14

“Engage yourself in the learning process and follow your interests and passion rather than job prospects. It may require more than one try to discover your true interest and strengths, so don’t dismiss anything after the first try!” – FERNANDO FIORETTO ’16 “Take advantage of all of NMSU’s international programs. I think NMSU was an amazing springboard for an international career. I worked at the Office of International Education, participated in Model United Nations and took advantage of study abroad opportunities. All of these experiences opened me up to the world and brought me to where I am today.” – SARAH CASSON ’13

Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



DECK Former Aggies keep MLB players in prime condition By Adriana M. Chavez

18 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017

Ron Porterfield A native of Santa Fe, Ron Porterfield ’88 came to NMSU as a walk-on player for the football team. He played for two seasons, followed by two seasons as a walk-on for the baseball team. He’s now the head athletic trainer for the Tampa Bay Rays, and has worked with legends such as Nolan Ryan, Wade Boggs, Evan Longoria and Craig Biggio, just to name a few. Porterfield says the athletic training program at NMSU gave him tremendous opportunities beyond the classroom. While still a student, he received permission to leave classes in the early spring of 1988 to work for the Houston Astros for the summer. His goal had been to go to physical therapy school, but Houston asked him to stay on full time. Instead, he returned to NMSU and earned his degree before returning to the Astros full time. He credits the trainers he learned from at NMSU with his success. “The athletic training program that I worked under was special,” Porterfield says. “So many of the students I was involved with went on to work in professional baseball.” PHOTOS BY SKIP MILOS / TAMPA BAY RAYS



or baseball fans, summer means long days and hot nights at the ballpark, taking in the smells of hot dogs and roasted peanuts, the sound of bats cracking as they hit a home run and the sight of a ball soaring high over the park walls. Behind the scenes, athletic trainers are busy making sure your favorite athletes are healthy, warmed up and ready for action. Among the best in Major League Baseball are four athletic trainers who are also graduates of New Mexico State University, where they gained valuable knowledge that they still use daily. They crossed paths while attending the university, and continue to do so now whenever their teams face each other on the field.

Rays Head Athletic Trainer Ron Porterfield plays an important role in keeping the team healthy.

Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama


Ken Crenshaw ’90 has been the head athletic trainer for the Arizona Diamondbacks for the past 11 seasons. Crenshaw, originally from Carrizozo, N.M., hired Porterfield when Crenshaw was the head athletic trainer for the Tampa Bay Rays in 1997. His father, Bobby Dan Crenshaw, played football for the Aggies and the Philadelphia Eagles, and Ken Crenshaw was interested in going down the sports route as well. “I got hurt when I was a junior in high school. We didn’t have athletic trainers where we were at and my dad said, ‘Why don’t you go down and talk to (former NMSU head trainer) George Westbrook?’” Crenshaw says. “One of my coaches took me down there and I was like, ‘Wow, this is really cool.’ That was my first taste of New Mexico State and sports medicine.” While at NMSU, Crenshaw spent a lot of time in the training room following a ligament injury, and soon realized he wanted to be an athletic trainer. Crenshaw counts former NMSU head athletic trainer Ricky Mendini as another inspiration, along with some of his classmates, including Matt Lucero.


Ken Crenshaw

Matt Lucero ’93, a native of Santa Fe, initially came to NMSU without knowing what he was going to study. “I really liked the campus,” Lucero says. “The people were tremendous and the classes I started taking were really intriguing.” Lucero, who is in his 11th season as the assistant athletic trainer for the Texas Rangers, was initially studying astronomy. Fortunately for him, his college roommate was Porterfield’s younger brother. “Ron came over to our dorm room one day and asked what I was studying,” Lucero says. “He asked me how I liked it, and I told him the physics and the chemistry were really getting to me because that stuff’s really hard. And he said, ‘Why don’t you try sports medicine?’” Lucero said that although he didn’t know a lot about sports medicine, he instantly fell in love with it. “The human body intrigues me, and when I started to learn about it, it just captured me,” Lucero says. “It made classes that much easier, because my interest levels were at a peak and it came really easily.” After graduating from NMSU, Lucero worked at private clinics before deciding he was ready to try something different. “I was hired by the Tampa Bay Rays,” Lucero says. “Watching Ken and Ron and the success they had, it kind of made the drive in me even stronger.”


Matt Lucero

Nathan Lucero ’92 (no relation to Matt) didn’t want to stay in his hometown of Las Vegas, N.M., after graduating high school, so he followed his older brother to NMSU. Lucero is now an assistant athletic trainer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Like Crenshaw, Lucero’s high school didn’t have athletic trainers. While playing high school football, Lucero would watch athletic trainers come in from other schools to work with injured players and saw how the players trusted trainers with their injuries. “I knew I wasn’t going to be an athlete, but I loved sports, and NMSU had a tremendous sports medicine program and still does,” Lucero says. Lucero’s advice to students interested in sports medicine? “Take in as much as you can from your mentors,” he says. “You can learn a lot just from being a fly on the wall. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.”

20 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017


Nathan Lucero

Ken Crenshaw, second from right, watches the pitchers’ and catchers’ first workout before spring training in Arizona.

Matt Lucero, right, works with Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo on various warmup exercises during spring training in Arizona.

Nathan Lucero warms up before the Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres game on April 3, 2017. Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama


From left, Zachary O. Toups and Son Tran, computer science professors, and Igor Dolgov, psychology professor, received a nearly half-million dollar National Science Foundation grant to research wearable computer interfaces that could someday help urban search and rescue teams.



22 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017


NMSU research on wearable computers may save lives of first responders


he next generation of drone controls is the focus of new research at New Mexico State University, thanks to a nearly $500,000 Cyber Human Systems award from the National Science Foundation. Three NMSU scientists in the College of Arts and Sciences – Zachary O. Toups and Son Tran, computer science professors, and Igor Dolgov, psychology professor – are working together on the grant. The aim is to consider how wearable computers can support urban search and rescue contexts as science advances to move from multiple humans piloting one drone to one human directing many drones. “With this project, my hope is that we can really impact future disaster response practice and employ games for design, rather than training,” says Toups, the principal investigator for the grant. Tran and Dolgov are co-principal investigators. The project uses simulated drones supporting game players moving in the physical world as a way to design these wearable interfaces. Their experiments over the next three years could someday lead to wearable computer equipment that would allow urban search and rescue teams in disaster zones to direct multiple drones with the wave of a hand or a few taps on a wrist device. “Wearable systems don’t lend themselves to complex controls because they have to fit on the body and be accessible,” Toups says, adding that as the drones become smarter, they can have less input from the humans, which opens up the possibilities for the type of wearable interface the NMSU team of scientists is designing. “You can imagine someone in treacherous terrain who needs to work with drones but needs to have their hands free in the environment to move safely,” Toups says. “Ideally, you envision the scenario where a group of drones provides intel but is smart about when they bother the human user.” Right now, operating drones in U.S. airspace is a complex process, which requires more than one person operating each drone. Wearable interfaces currently available are often used for training and virtual reality games, but not to direct live operations. With the NSF grant, Toups, Son and Dolgov will begin building and testing wearable cyber-human system designs that use virtual drones simulating adaptive autonomy in a video game environment. “This grant is about studying the systems using games,” Toups says. “We want to make something that is compelling and interesting that people want to play with, and from that experience, we learn how best to use it.”

Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama


OPENING the doors to


Sixth-grade students cheer during the first New Mexico Young Achievers Forum hosted by NMSU at Corbett Center. About 500 students and their families attended the forum, where they were encouraged to pursue a college education after high school and were also introduced to NMSU and a variety of career opportunities.

24 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017


Programs bring students on campus to see what the future holds

W By Tiffany Acosta

hat do robotics competitions, hospitality boot camps, Freaky Fridays and higher education forums have in common? They are just a few of the ways that students of all ages experience New Mexico State University. In the past year, NMSU has hosted two youth forums on campus. In April 2016, NMSU welcomed 220 local middle-school students for the GradNation Community Summit, which was created to improve high school graduation rates in the region. In February 2017, NMSU hosted the Young Achievers Forum to introduce 500 local sixth graders and their families to the university. Anthony Marin, director of student affairs at NMSU, said these community outreach events help students imagine the possibilities for their future. “The biggest takeaway is that they know that they can continue to be successful in their secondary Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama


education and that attending a world-class research institution such as New Mexico State University is within their reach,” he said. “College visits by high-school students who participate in educational opportunity programs such as TRiO Upward Bound have proven outcomes with respect to college enrollment and completion,” Marin added. “One of the constant themes that alums of such programs often credit with their decision to attend a particular college or university is the experience of the campus visit. When we are able to provide such opportunities for students at the middle- or elementary-school levels, we are able to foster a college-going culture at a much younger age that will most definitely result in future Aggies.” Community outreach events extend across colleges and departments at NMSU. The School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management hosted the New Mexico ProStart Bootcamp in January 2017.

... we are able to foster a collegegoing culture at a much younger age that will most definitely result in future Aggies. – ANTHONY MARIN DIRECTOR OF STUDENT AFFAIRS AT NMSU

The School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management hosted the New Mexico ProStart Bootcamp in January. More than 70 students and teachers from high schools throughout New Mexico practiced their culinary and management skills in Gerald Thomas Hall for competitions held in Santa Fe in March 2017.

26 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017

engineering teacher at Alamogordo High School, have participated in the AMP Field Trip, AG Education Fair Day, BEST Robotics and NM Prep Academy programs this year and will compete in the VEX Robotics for the first time. She believes the participation has led her Tigers to becoming Aggies. “I do think that programs offered at NMSU have helped my students to enroll, but also to pursue engineering degrees at NMSU,� she says. NMSU PHOTO

More than 70 students and teachers from high schools throughout New Mexico practiced their culinary and management skills in Gerald Thomas Hall for competitions held in Santa Fe in March 2017. A few of the programs the College of Engineering hosts include Best Robotics and VEX Robotics competitions and a STEM outreach after-school program for third through fifth graders called Freaky Fridays. Students of Manuela Klaassen, an

Area middle-school students gather in the NMSU Corbett Center Student Union ballrooms for the GradNation community summit event.

Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama


REACHING the world through NMSU Support from service organizations has a global impact

28 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017



ervice organizations in Las Cruces have been making an impact with their gifts to New Mexico State University for nearly a century. Recently, the Rotary Club of Las Cruces gave $128,000 to benefit the Alec and Margaret Hood Memorial Scholarship in the College of Engineering. “We are exceptionally pleased to be able to increase our support of university students in honor of Alec C. Hood’s long and dedicated service to Rotary and our community,” says Bill Harty, Rotary Club of Las Cruces Treasurer. Derived from “service to mankind,” the Sertoma Club of Las Cruces donates an average of $10,000 per year. The club has contributed to the Edgar R. Garrett Speech and Hearing Center at NMSU since 1964, including a $25,000 donation in 2006. The club funds a scholarship in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders. “Sertoma International focuses on speech and hearing, and we have a long history with the NMSU program,” Sertoma Club of Las Cruces President Charles Wagner says. Sertoma also donates to KRWG, athletics and the College of Business. The Carlsbad Downtown Lions Club, Doña Ana County Lions Clubs, Las Cruces Elks Lodge, Las Cruces Optimist Club and WIA Las Cruces Woman’s Club all provide scholarship funding to NMSU. Numerous other organizations provide generous funding year after year. What ties these groups together is a desire to make a difference in the lives of students. “Most of our members are NMSU

By Kristie Garcia ’07

NMSU communication disorders graduate students Marysa DeBlassie, left, and Jessica Bozzell, center, conduct speech therapy with a young boy during a faculty-led international program course to Lima, Peru, in 2014.

alumni, and it’s important we provide scholarship support for students,” Wagner says. NMSU Foundation President Andrea Tawney says the impact of the support from these service organizations reaches beyond the NMSU system. “The students and programs supported by these generous groups are themselves responsible for providing outreach and research to improve our local and global communities,” she says. “By giving to NMSU, they’re extending the reach of their impact and helping our students make a difference in the world.”

Most of our members are NMSU alumni, and it’s important we provide scholarship support for students. – Charles Wagner Sertoma Club of Las Cruces President


also a New Mexico native – to establish an endowment in the NMSU Department of Chemistry. “Had I not had scholarships and grants, I would not have been able to accomplish all that I have,” she says. “I’m very grateful.” Scholarships weren’t the only key to her success. Brown credits mentorship for her acceptance into medical school. “Being the first in my family to go to college, I had no idea how to get into medical school,” she says. “One of my professors took me under his wing and guided me through the steps I needed to take. I followed his advice, nailed the interviews and was accepted into medical school. “I now teach residents and fellows, and I mentor students who want to be doctors or surgeons,” she continues. “As I do so, I always reflect back to my own mentor at NMSU and aspire to be just like him.” Kristie Garcia ’07


If you asked pediatric surgeon Rebeccah Brown at age 6 what she wanted to be when she grew up, she’d say “a doctor.” She could have said “a professional basketball player” or “a saxophonist in a jazz band.” After all, basketball is her first love, and she attended New Mexico State University on a music scholarship. But growing up in her New Mexico home, Brown ’86 helped her mother care for elderly family members. “My mom wanted to be a doctor, and she passed that desire on to me,” Brown says. When she began applying for college, her family had limited resources. She and her mother searched for whatever scholarships and grants they could find. She received academic scholarships, grants and a music scholarship to NMSU, where she studied biology and chemistry. Encouraged by her teacher in a basketball class her junior year, Brown tried out for the women’s basketball team. She made the team as a walk-on under head coach Patrick Knapp. “Rebeccah gave her heart and soul to the team, and she was a phenomenal walkon,” Knapp says. “She was an outstanding teammate, and everyone loved her.” Brown says she developed a new respect for the student-athlete. “I was taking about 18 hours of premed classes, and I was struggling to do that,” says Brown, a 1984 High Country Athletic Conference All-Academic Team Member. “Physically exhausted, you still have to come home and study every night.” But Brown knew she was going to be a doctor and not a professional basketball player. She didn’t play basketball her senior year and focused on academics instead. She graduated with honors from NMSU with bachelor’s degrees in both biology and chemistry and was selected as the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Senior. She received her doctor of medicine from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and is now a professor of pediatric surgery at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The desire to give back and provide others the opportunities she was afforded led her and her husband Dan O. Jones –


Top surgeon’s experience at NMSU shapes her teaching and mentorship now

Dr. Rebeccah Brown is a professor of pediatric surgery at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Aggie alumna was also a walk-on player for the women’s basketball team during her time at NMSU.

Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



A familiar face returns to Alumni Relations The new director of New Mexico State University’s Alumni Relations Office is no stranger to the department. Mallory Driggers, who took on her new role in January after earning her doctorate in educational leadership from NMSU in December 2016, previously served as associate director of the office before taking a role in 2015 as assistant manager of Barnes & Noble at NMSU. Driggers has a master’s in educational leadership from the University of Texas at El Paso and a bachelor’s in journalism and public relations from Baylor University. “I’ve been part of New Mexico State University for more than five years as a student, a staff member and an affiliate employee,” Driggers says. “I have listened to alumni talk about their Aggie pride and lifelong connection to NMSU. When I walked across the stage in December and became an Aggie myself, I truly understood the pride and connection to this top-tier institution that I had only heard about before.” In her role as director of Alumni Relations, Driggers says she hopes to encourage proud Aggies everywhere to connect with NMSU through volunteering as an alumni leader, attending NMSU Alumni Association events and supporting the NMSU Foundation. Mallory Driggers celebrates with Pistol Pete after receiving her doctorate in December.

Music alum shares talents at his fourth presidential inauguration When Gunnery Sgt. Douglas Quinzi ’02 ’04 graduated from New Mexico State University, he probably couldn’t have guessed he would one day perform at the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump. It was Quinzi’s fourth inauguration since joining “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band as a French horn player in 2004. “It’s a privilege to be able to make music for a living, and it is indeed an honor to do it while representing the men and women of the U.S. Marine Corps,” Quinzi says. As he performs with the band around the country, Quinzi is also continuing his love of learning that began at NMSU by pursuing a doctorate of music arts at the University of Maryland. “The faculty at NMSU definitely taught me how to conduct myself like a professional and how to prioritize practice and study,” he says, “but the most valuable thing was observing people working and succeeding in a career they loved.” – Taylor Vancel


30 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017

Lopez showcased by Brawny for strength, perseverance New Mexico State University alumna Patty Lopez ’80 ’82 ’89 was one of four accomplished women in science, technology, engineering and math fields who were included in a new ad campaign from paper towel maker Brawny in honor of Women’s History Month. Lopez, a platform applications engineer at Intel who holds seven patents, was among the first three women at NMSU to earn a Ph.D. She remains connected to her alma mater, serving on

the NMSU Foundation Board of Directors and several advisory boards at the university. She is also a member of the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions, a founding member of the national Latinas in Computing organization and a 2010 winner of the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference/Great Minds in STEM Community Service Award. Watch Lopez’s video at

There’s an app for that The Alumni Association at NMSU has recently launched its own smartphone app – available for free download on Apple and Android devices – to better connect alumni and friends of the university. Find out about NMSU updates, important information and events – like our 2017 Homecoming celebration, set for Oct. 23 to 28.

Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



Public health alumna makes a global impact at Gates Foundation


Sue Gerber, senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s polio team, during her visit to the New Mexico State University campus in Las Cruces.

32 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017

During her visit, Gerber, the senior program officer for the Gates Foundation’s polio team, spoke to students and faculty in the College of Health and Social Services about her work with the Peace Corps, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Gates Foundation. Gerber graduated from NMSU in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in community health. She later went on to earn her master’s in public health from Walden University, and will finish her doctorate in public health/epidemiology from Walden this year. “The interaction students are having with the faculty and staff here is very impressive,” Gerber says about her impressions during her visit. “There’s really great student participation here.” Gerber’s visit was hosted by the NMSU Foundation in collaboration with the College of Health and Social Services, which invited Gerber to visit her alma mater. As the Gates Foundation polio team’s senior program officer, Gerber manages a portfolio of grants, contracts and consultations that support surveillance, program operations, operational research and innovations, and is a member of the global surveillance task team for polio. Before joining the Gates Foundation, Gerber worked at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and served as deputy director of the CDC Global AIDS program in Namibia. Gerber was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, supporting that West African country’s immunization program. During her visit, Gerber took a tour of colonias, or underserved communities, in Doña Ana County, visited a public health science class and hosted two roundtable discussions, one with students and the other with community health leaders chosen by CHSS Dean Donna Wagner. Adriana M. Chavez


ue Gerber, an alumna of New Mexico State University working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help eradicate polio in the Middle East and Africa, visited campus this spring for the first time since the 1980s.

Giving Tuesday Donors again make annual event a huge success

Thanks to the generosity of New Mexico State University’s alumni and friends, the system’s second-annual Giving Tuesday event brought in $2 million in gifts to support NMSU students and programs across all campuses. By the Numbers 1,452 total donors in a 24-hour period 845 online gifts 598 faculty and staff donors 403 first-time donors 213 new alumni donors 123 students made a gift – a huge increase from last year 41 challenges were issued to inspire others to give, including 21 from faculty and staff 22 new gift agreements established Three exciting major gifts announced: $250,000 from Ammu and Rama Devasthali for D.W. Williams Hall Challenge $200,000 from Emera/NM Gas Co. to Arrowhead Center $50,000 in an unexpected online gift from an accounting alumnus

Above: At the kickoff celebration for Giving Tuesday, leadership announced a $250,000 matching gift pledged by NMSU donors Ammu and Rama Devasthali. The dollar-for-dollar matching gift will be used to encourage contributions to the building fund to replace D.W. Williams Hall. The building, a 78-year-old former gymnasium, currently houses NMSU’s Department of Art and University Art Gallery. Top right: New Mexico State University students, from left, Cordel Pyle, Kyle Clarsen and Brooklyn Burnett make their gifts during Giving Tuesday. Bottom right: Pistol Pete gets ready to submit his online donation during Giving Tuesday.

NMSU Giving Tuesday returns Nov. 28, 2017, with celebration headquarters in Las Cruces and Albuquerque! Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama



Recent books by NMSU alumni CARLOS TRUJILLO

Compiled by Jane Moorman

Tinsel, Mistletoe & Reindeer Bait Baxter Black ’67


“Tinsel, Mistletoe and Reindeer Bait” showcases NMSU alumnus, cowboy writer and poet Baxter Black’s unique talents in a blend of bizarre and serious devotion to Christian faith. A beautifully illustrated collection of homespun cowboy perspectives on Christmas that blends fun and faith, conviction and culture, the book is divided into two sections: Fun and Faith. The Fun section is chock-full of Santy tales for the kid in all of us. In part two – Faith – the content is obvious and specific. For more than 25 years, the retired veterinarian has traveled the U.S. and Canada scattering his wit to folks looking for a bright spot in their day. Known for his weekly column and radio and television programs, Black has followers in all sectors of society. He has appeared on National Public Radio, public television, Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and in USA Today. “Tinsel, Mistletoe and Reindeer Bait” is the latest of his many books.

Tortugas at 100: Steps in Time & Grace Pamela Porter ’92


Pamela Porter, college assistant professor in NMSU’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, is a working journalist who travels the back roads of New Mexico, 34 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017

unearthing stories and gathering images for her books. In her latest book, travel through time with Tortugas Pueblo as members honor their past and celebrate a century of Los Indigenes de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, a group formed to protect the pueblo’s Native American heritage in 1914. Tortugas Pueblo people share their stories of continu-

ing traditions, faith and their hopes – and uncertainty – about the future as the 21st century unfolds. The book explores the cycle of rituals and events throughout the year, ending with the three-day Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in December that includes an all-night vigil, a pilgrimage to the top of Tortugas Mountain and the joyous feast day.

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

Harder Than Writing a Good Haiku Frank Hamrick ’05 OLD FAN PRESS

Frank Hamrick, a 2005 Master of Fine Art graduate in photography, has been recognized by National Public Radio and was named one of the 100 Superstars of Southern Art by Oxford American Magazine. His most recent book of photography, “Harder Than Writing a Good Haiku,” is a 20-page, hand-bound book featuring reproductions of 17 tintype photographs created during travels through Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee. Each image initiates its own narrative that points in a particular direction, but the story’s ending is left to the viewer. This is more than a photography book – it is a work of art, from the letterpress printed title on the handmade cotton rag cover paper to the one-of-a-kind tea stains on the cover inspired by the hills of White Creek, Tennessee, and the fight to protect the area from Nashville’s encroaching development.

Shadow Man

Dorothy Webb ’89 SELF-PUBLISHED

Darcy Redbird is back on the investigation in Dorothy Webb’s second Darcy Redbird mystery, “Shadow Man.” The first Darcy Redbird mystery, “Chindii Woman,” was published in 2011 by Author House. Webb spins a story about the Navajo people much like Tony Hillerman – but from a woman’s point of view. Redbird is not a law enforcement officer or a private detective; she’s just a citizen who is trying to find out what has happened to her brother and friends. Set in the Navajo Nation of northwest New Mexico, the NMSU anthropology graduate draws on her experiences of living in Crownpoint while her parents worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Hugh Meglone Milton: A Life Beyond Duty

Walter G. Hines ’65 ’67 and Martha Shipman Andrews LPD PRESS AND RIO GRANDE BOOKS

New Mexico State University engineering alumnus Walter G. Hines and Library Associate Professor and University Archivist Martha Shipman Andrews have collaborated on a book about Hugh Meglone Milton, one of NMSU’s most remarkable leaders. Milton’s achievements included military leadership, serving as major general and undersecretary of the Army, as well as success in academia, holding positions as professor, dean and president of the institution now known as NMSU. “Despite his remarkable accomplishments, Milton’s life has been somewhat forgotten. We hope the new book will illuminate and commemorate the remarkable contributions of a man who truly lived a life beyond duty,” Hines says. “Hugh Meglone Milton: A Life Beyond Duty” includes two sections: Part I, a short biography, and Part II, a collection of selected speeches, essays and letters. It was published by LPD Press and Rio Grande Books in collaboration with New Mexico State University Library and Archives.

Arduino Model Railroad Animation


In the model railroad world, Digital Command and Control (DCC) is the control system of choice. A lot of animation can be accomplished using stationary DCC decoders. “Arduino Model Railroad Animation” provides an alternative method using Arduino controllers, servos and other types of motors. The purpose of this book is to show basic animation examples and detailed how-to

instructions to get the new animator started. The book explains the basics and how to use the powerful standard Arduino board. It has 135 pages full of figures that show how to construct many different animation model railroad projects, along with easy-to-read schematics to help build the systems. The authors encourage the model railroader to dream, research, build and explore other unique ways of using the tools outlined in this book. Paul Bradt has a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. David Bradt has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University.

The Final Mission: Preserving NASA’s Apollo Sites

Lisa Westwood, Beth O’Leary and Milford W. Donaldson UNIVERSITY PRESS OF FLORIDA

New Mexico State University anthropology professor emerita Beth O’Leary, who retired from NMSU in July 2014, has become a nationally recognized expert in the emerging field of space heritage and archaeology. O’Leary has collaborated with Lisa Westwood and Milford W. Donaldson to write “The Final Mission,” which explores the key locations that made the Apollo mission possible. It reframes the footprints and items left on the moon as cultural resources, and calls for the urgent preservation of this space heritage. Beginning with the initiation of the space race, the authors trace the history of research, training and manufacturing centers that contributed to lunar exploration. From the early rocket test stands of Robert H. Goddard to astronaut instruction at Meteor Crater to human and primate experiments at Holloman Air Force Base, innumerable places proved critical to developing the equipment for exploring space, surviving the journey, and returning to Earth safely. Spring 2017 | New Mexico State University | Panorama




The Floyd-Rogers family has eight generations of Aggies between them


he blood in the Floyd-Rogers family definitely runs Aggie crimson. On the Floyd side, five generations have attended or are attending New Mexico State University, while the Rogers side claims three generations of Aggies. The connective tissue between both families is Siiri Rogers, who graduated from NMSU in 1987 and works at the university as director of Student Information Management. Of Rogers’ four daughters, two – Mary and Michelle – are recent graduates, and her other two – Melissa and Megan – are currently attending NMSU. It all started with Rogers’ great-grandmother, Isabella McClernon, who studied general science at NMSU in 1923. Four years later, Rogers’ grandmother, Mary Edith Floyd, received a B.S. in science, while her grandfather, Richard Floyd,

received his B.S. in agriculture in 1931. Rogers’ father, two uncles and one aunt all graduated from NMSU between 1952 and 1956. “Both of my husband’s parents graduated from NMSU, and he attended for a while, too,” Rogers says. “His mom belonged to Zeta Tau Alpha, the same sorority as my girls, so that was kind of a neat connection.” The Floyd side of the family also made a major contribution to Aggie pride, according to Rogers’ father, Dick Floyd. “My uncle was an engineering student and he was part of the crew of engineers that went to the top of Goddard Hall and they straightened the A on A Mountain,” Floyd says. “Every time I look at ‘A’ Mountain, I think of my Uncle Kenneth.” -Janet Perez

A historic photo of the Floyd family includes Siiri Rogers’ grandparents, Richard Thomas and Mary Edith Floyd, center, along with her father, Dick Floyd, at right, and his siblings, Charles and Stewart Floyd, at left, and Gretchen Floyd, seated beside him.

36 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2017


Several generations of the Floyd-Rogers family gathered for a photo recently at Dove Hall on the Las Cruces campus. They are Dick Floyd and Siiri Rogers, seated, and Megan Rogers, Mary Rogers Holcomb, Michelle Rogers and Melissa Rogers, standing from left to right.

New Mexico State University Alumni Association

Classic Aggie Matching Campaign

Help the Alumni Association raise matching funds for Giving Tuesday 2017!


Limited edition, handcrafted items with the traditional Pistol Pete mascot.

1 3

1 Sterling Silver Bolo Tie $1,500 2 Crimson & White Lapel Pin $1,000 for engraved, numbered edition of 1-100, or $500 for non-numbered

6 2

3 Sterling Silver Lapel Pin $1,000 5

4 Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet $1,000 5 Sterling Silver Dangle Earrings $1,000 6 Etched Crystal Paperweight $750

Sales tax included. Please allow four weeks for production of most items. Order your Classic Aggie items at or call the Alumni Relations Office at 575-646-3616.

Show your Aggie Pride! Purchase an NMSU license plate at any MVD office. More than half of the cost goes to support student scholarships! • 575-646-3616 •

PANORAMA New Mexico State University Alumni & Friends Magazine





NMSU rolls out new rePETE giving program Your love for New Mexico State University is second nature. Now, showing your support can be just as automatic. NMSU has launched a new rePETE giving program – an easy way to make a recurring gift to any NMSU campus. Your rePETE gifts ensure a steady source of support for NMSU’s excellent faculty, talented students and groundbreaking research. When you support scholarships and programs across the NMSU system, the impact can be felt in each student accomplishment, faculty achievement, athletic victory and research innovation.

Visit to learn more about the rePETE program.

NMSU Panorama Spring 2017  

Panorama is the New Mexico State University Alumni & Friends magazine.

NMSU Panorama Spring 2017  

Panorama is the New Mexico State University Alumni & Friends magazine.