Friday , June 23 2017
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Tag Archives: NMSU

NMSU’s Fulton Center 3rd Floor Bistro to Adjust Hours in July

New Mexico State University’s 3rd Floor Bistro at the Danny Villanueva Victory Club in the Stan Fulton Athletics Center will adjust their hours of operation starting in July.

The Bistro will now be open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays only and will feature their signature buffets on each of those days. The regular menu options will no longer be available. The buffet events will start Thursday, July 6, as the Bistro will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, for the holiday.

“The buffets were popular for on-campus and community guests and will now be the highlighted service two days a week, with a different theme for each buffet,” said John Rivers, Sodexo marketing coordinator.

Subscribe to NMSUi and receive a Facebook alert regarding the theme of each buffet. The buffets are $11.99 plus tax and include a non-alcoholic beverage and unlimited visits to the buffet.

“This will allow departments and the community to reserve the space for private events more often,” said Julie Hughes, associate director of NMSU’s Conference Services. “The 3rd Floor Bistro offers a unique venue for meetings, receptions and even weddings or graduation parties. With its incredible views, the venue is perfect for special occasions and offers an experience guests are sure to remember.”

Departments, community members or local businesses wanting to learn how to book the 3rd Floor Bistro for private events can visit the website.

Free public parking is available to guests dining at the Bistro in select spaces of the Stan Fulton Athletics Center parking lot, adjacent to the south end of Aggie Memorial Stadium at the corner of Wells Street and Arrowhead Drive.

Author:  Julie Hughes – NMSU

Jett Family Donation Benefits NMSU College of Engineering Scholarships

As the daughter of one of the most beloved former deans in the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University, Dorothy Jett Barr knew she wanted to give back to the university loved by her father, Daniel Boone Jett.

Following the sale of the Jett family home at 935 North Main Street in Las Cruces, Barr has donated the proceeds to the D.B. Jett Memorial Scholarship, which supports outstanding junior engineering students.

“Our family is pleased to give back to NMSU in the same spirit of our father, Daniel Boone Jett, who, as a professor and dean for many years, passionately believed in people helping people,” Barr said. “My mother, Louise, sister, Marie, and brother, Daniel B. Jett Jr., would also be proud to know that the proceeds from our home, in which we grew up while my father taught at the university, would contribute to help students in the Engineering College that he loved.”

“The legacy of academic contributions Dean Jett left behind is an important part of the history of NMSU College of Engineering,” said Lakshmi Reddi, dean of the college. “This generous contribution from the Jett family adds to that legacy and makes a significant impact on our student success.”

Nicknamed “Dad Jett,” he was hired in 1926 as a civil engineering professor and in 1933 became department head. He was dean from 1938 to 1947. After stepping down as dean in 1947, Jett returned to teaching and served as head of civil engineering until his retirement in 1956.

Jett Hall was dedicated in 1957. Today, it houses the chemical and mechanical and aerospace engineering departments. Currently, Jett Hall is under renovation, which is scheduled to be completed this fall.

Author:  Tiffany Acosta – NMSU

NMSU College of Engineering Motivates Teachers, Students During Trainings, Summer Camps

School is out for the summer but both teachers and students are spending time at New Mexico State University and the College of Engineering.

This month, the college is hosting two core training sessions of Project Lead The Way, which is a leading provider in education curricular programs of science, technology, engineering and mathematics utilized nationally in both middle and high schools. Since 2006, the Engineering New Mexico Resource Network in the College of Engineering has served as the New Mexico Project Lead the Way Affiliate.

This year, 39 teachers from across the country have traveled to NMSU for training in Engineering Design and Development, Introduction to Engineering, Automation and Robotics, Design and Modeling and Principles of Engineering. The first two-week session ran from June 5-16, and the second session runs from June 19-30.

“Teachers play an immeasurable role in empowering students to lead their own learning. As the university affiliate we strive to be a trusted partner in this effort,” said Ester Gonzalez, STEM program manager for the Engineering New Mexico Resource Network. “Our goal is to provide teachers with the support and resources they need to devote more time to inspiring students.”

While participants have traveled from both coasts, teachers from Las Cruces are taking advantage of the local resource. Granville Richardson and Monica Baeza, teachers at Mayfield High School and NMSU alumni, are participating in Project Lead the Way Core Training for the third time. This year they are in the Engineering Design and Development course.

Richardson, who teaches introduction to engineering design, principles of engineering and chemistry, said he enjoys the experience Project Lead the Way provides.

Granville Richardson, a Mayfield High School teacher, discusses a team project during a presentation at a Project Lead the Way Core Training held at New Mexico State University. The Engineering New Mexico Resource Network in the College of Engineering, the state’s Project Lead the Way Affiliate since 2006, hosts middle school and high school teachers in June. (NMSU photo by Tiffany Acosta) JUN17
Granville Richardson, a Mayfield High School teacher, discusses a team project during a presentation at a Project Lead the Way Core Training held at New Mexico State University. The Engineering New Mexico Resource Network in the College of Engineering, the state’s Project Lead the Way Affiliate since 2006, hosts middle school and high school teachers in June. (NMSU photo by Tiffany Acosta) JUN17

“The amount that you have to think outside the box and the amount you have to involve yourself, it’s not like other professional developments where you go and sit and watch a lecture and fall asleep. You’re actually involved in the process,” he said. “It’s stressful at times and at other times it’s really neat and you find yourself thinking of other ideas. You go to bed thinking about it. You wake up having ideas.”

As a math and introduction to engineering design teacher, Baeza said a challenge as an instructor is to help the students understand what they can take away from the classes.

“They can leave with so many skills,” she said. “It’s very valuable to them – the teambuilding, the brainstorming, the researching, how to do word documents, basic PowerPoints and Excel sheets, all things they will need to know when they get to courses like this or to college.”

While teachers are gaining instruction methods, students are on campus with the Engineering New Mexico Resource Network’s PREP Middle and High School Academies. A summer residential camp, PREP gives students the opportunity to explore STEM careers. Students entering sixth through eighth grade spent two weeks, June 4-15, at the PREP Middle School Academy, which offers real-world experiences in engineering innovation through inquiry and hands-on learning.

The PREP High School Academy will be held June 18-30 for ninth- through 12th-grade students. In this camp, students learn about the engineering design process, applied use of engineering software, advanced manufacturing using 3-D printers and the ability to implement their engineering skills with real-world projects.

For more information on Project Lead the Way and NM PREP Academy, visit https://engr.nmsu.edu/enmrn/.

Author: Tiffany Acosta – NMSU

NMSU Receives Funds for Community-Wide Reading Project

New Mexico State University is one of 75 organizations nationwide that will receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts to host an NEA Big Read project between September 2017 and June 2018.

“The NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book,” said a statement from NEA. Big Read is an initiative of the NEA in partnership with Arts Midwest.

The 2017-2018 grants range from $5,000 to $20,000 for community reading programs taking place in 32 states. The NMSU grant is set at $13,500.

Reading programs will focus on 21 works of literature, such as Emily St. John Mandel’s “Station Eleven,” Claudia Rankine’s “Citizen: An American Lyric” and Dinaw Mengestu’s “The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears.” Grant recipients range from schools to libraries to arts organizations.

In 2018, the NMSU and Las Cruces community will be invited to read the novel “Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Alberto Urrea. Participants also will be invited to gather for book discussions, lectures on relevant themes, artistic performances (dance, music), film screenings and other activities.

The NMSU Big Read committee chose “Into the Beautiful North” because of its relevance to southern New Mexico. The book is about a young woman in a dying town in Mexico who watches “The Magnificent Seven” and thinks if she can get some young men who have immigrated to the U.S. back to her Mexican town, her town will survive. So she travels to the U.S. on her quest.

Miriam Chaiken, dean of the Honors College at NMSU, is spearheading the project.

“For the past 30 years NMSU has sponsored an annual spring lecture, and our University Speakers have included Nobel Laureates Elie Wiesel, best-selling authors Margot Lee Shetterly and Alice Walker, noted scientists such as Jane Goodall and Steven Pinker, and social activists including Judy Chicago and Gloria Steinem,” Chaiken said. “While in past years the event has welcomed members of the local community to the lecture, the plans for the 2018 events reflect a much stronger collaboration between the university, the City of Las Cruces, the Las Cruces Downtown Partnership, the Branigan Libraries and local public schools.”

Chaiken said there will be a wide variety of events, from book club discussions, to film screenings, panel discussions and course assignments, to cultural events on the downtown Plaza that are linked with the Big Read selection, “Into the Beautiful North.”

“We anticipate organizing events that will have high visibility across the county and will bring together people from town and campus to learn about this important book that so poignantly portrays the challenges and the promise of living in the Borderlands,” Chaiken said.

Copies of “Into the Beautiful North” will be available for free at the Branigan and Zuhl libraries and other locations in Las Cruces ahead of time so people can read the book and be ready for the activities. Copies will be available in both English and Spanish.

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,400 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $19 million in grants to organizations nationwide.

“Through the NEA Big Read we are bringing contemporary works to communities across the country, helping us better understand the diverse voices and perspectives that come with it,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “These 75 organizations have developed unique plans to celebrate these works, including numerous opportunities for exploration and conversation.”

More than 4.8 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 79,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 37,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information about the NEA Big Read, please visit neabigread.org.

Author:  Darrell J. Pehr – NMSU

NMSU Receives $4.5M Federal Funding for Upward Bound Programs

The United States Department of Education has awarded New Mexico State University $4.5 million in federal grants for the Upward Bound Programs.

NMSU received a five-year grant renewal for $396,004 per year to work with Las Cruces and Gadsden high schools, a program that has existed since 1989. For the first time, NMSU has also received two five-year grants for $257,500 each to create a partnership with Alamogordo and Hatch Valley high schools.

“NMSU’s commitment to the Upward Bound Program’s expansion from one to three programs has greatly enriched our ability to serve high school youth through delivery of college preparation services,” said Tony Marin, director of student affairs and principal investigator of the programs. “We are looking forward to our partnership with Alamogordo and Hatch Valley high schools, future program participants, the parents of participants and the local communities of Alamogordo and Hatch, who wholeheartedly support higher education pathways for their community’s youth. Additionally, we are grateful for our continued partnership with both the Las Cruces and Gadsden school districts.”

Upward Bound is a federally funded TRIO program, which is comprised of seven programs nationwide that help low-income and first-generation students attend and graduate from college. The Las Cruces and Gadsden program serves 90 students, while 60 students will be supported at both Hatch Valley and Alamogordo each year.

“Nationally, 86 percent of Upward Bound students enroll in college the fall semester following graduation from high school. NMSU’s current program’s reporting is in line with that statistic,” Marin said. “Further, 99 percent of students enrolled in the Upward Bound Program at NMSU graduate from high school in four years. The program’s design of providing supplemental academic support such as tutoring, mentorship, college admissions and other classroom instructional services assist students to excel in high school while simultaneously preparing for college entrance and success.”

NMSU’s Upward Bound Program serves students in ninth grade through 12th grade. To enter the program, students have to apply and interview. About 95 percent of the students in the Upward Bound Program attend NMSU after high school with a college graduation rate of 63 percent.

For more information on the NMSU Upward Bound Program visit https://trioub.nmsu.edu.

Author: Tiffany Acosta – NMSU

NMSU Researchers Survey Homemade Mosquito Repellents, Look for Participants

If you have a recipe for homemade mosquito repellent, two New Mexico State University professors want to hear about it.

Mary Alice Scott, assistant professor of anthropology and Immo Hansen, associate professor of biology in NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences have created an online survey to discover people’s homemade mosquito repellents. They hope to get responses from all over the world.

The survey takes about five minutes and is available online. To encourage participation, the researchers are offering $50 and $100 gift cards as prizes.

“This project aims to find techniques and strategies that people in different parts of the world use to protect themselves from mosquitoes,” said Hansen. “You know the story of Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume.” Hansen referred to the testing of mosquito repellent sprays conducted in Hansen’s Molecular Vector Physiology Lab in 2014 in which the perfume out performed some commercial mosquito repellents.

The perfume’s mosquito repellent success gave him the idea of looking for more do-it-yourself bug sprays to test. He contacted Scott, a medical anthropologist at NMSU whose research interests include the examination of health and illness production, to collaborate on the project.

“I’m a qualitative researcher so the idea is that once we have a better sense of what’s out there that we would go to different places in the Americas and actually do more in depth interviews with people,” Scott said. “It’s difficult to design the interviews unless we know a little bit more about what’s out there.”

The two plan to take results of the online survey to write a grant to fund fieldwork and to pursue testing of the homemade repellents they find through the survey.

Initial results have already turned up some unusual answers. For example, there are a variety of herbs that some people burn to repel mosquitoes. They have also discovered many people use citronella candles despite research that has shown they are not an effective repellent.

Research in Hansen’s lab has proven the most effective insect repellent is DEET. During Scott’s field work in rural Veracruz, she discovered the cost of insect repellents containing DEET is so high that most in the local community could not afford it, so alternatives had to be found. Scott also says there are other environmental and health concerns about the chemical that may encourage some individuals to make their own mosquito repellent.

“In rural Veracruz, people can’t spend $5 on bug spray,” Scott said. “There are many reasons to approach this project and cost is one.”

The researchers will continue the survey through the end of the summer. They plan to write a paper with the preliminary results, and then they expect to begin the second phase of the project next summer to do field research in other countries.

Author:  Minerva Baumann – NMSU

NMSU Faculty, Staff Member Selected for Prestigious USDA Fellowship

The United States Department of Agriculture has selected a faculty member and a staff member from New Mexico State University to participate in its E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program, which offers faculty and staff from Hispanic-serving institutions the opportunity to work collaboratively with the USDA to gain insight and understanding of the federal government.

Efren Delgado, an assistant food science and technology professor at NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences in the Family and Consumer Sciences department, was selected to participate in the program’s science fellowship, and Anthony Marin, director of student affairs, was selected for the program’s education fellowship.

Of the 17 fellows selected nationally, NMSU is the only institution with two participants. The program will begin June 17 in Washington, D.C.

Following a week in Washington, D.C., Delgado will then spend two weeks at a USDA research location focusing on plant proteins. Fellows are expected to share their experiences and networking information with colleagues and students upon their return.

“This is a great opportunity for NMSU to intensify our relationship with the USDA and expand possibilities for faculty to help open doors for students,” Delgado said.

Marin said he is honored to be selected for the fellowship.

“Eligio Kika de la Garza was a true advocate for Hispanic-serving institutions. This is an excellent opportunity to enhance our knowledge base of career pathways and internship opportunities for our students,” Marin said. “The strengthening of the university’s long-standing partnership with USDA and enhancement of our relationships across government agencies is key in securing federally funded programs.”

The fellowship is named after Eligio “Kika” de la Garza II, who served as the U.S. Congressman for Texas’ 15th district from 1965 to 1997. He served as chairman of the Congressional Agriculture Committee from 1981 to 1994, and played a large role in overhauling the agricultural lending system, implementing federal farm crop insurance and commodity futures reform, reorganizing the USDA, and providing numerous aid packages for American and international agriculture. He also co-founded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

De la Garza died in March.

Authors: Adriana M. Chavez and Tiffany Acosta – NMSU

NMSU Film Graduates Make Big Splash with eHarmony Commercial

ALBUQUERQUE – Four New Mexico State University graduates’ film company, Hardline Films, is in the limelight for a commercial they produced for eHarmony.

Advertising Age’s top “Best Mother’s Day Spots of the Year” was an eHarmony commercial produced by Sheridan O’Donnell, Keagan Karnes and Sam Pool, Class of 2013 Creative Media Institute graduates; and Jenn Garcia, Class of 2016 double major from Creative Media Institute and College of Business in marketing.

The commercial titled “A Single Mom Goes Dating Again” was also the editor’s pick by Creativity-Online.com.

The commercial is part of a campaign by eHarmony to address single mothers who may be hesitant about getting back in the dating game.

“The spot manages to delicately convey the awkwardness and hesitancy of getting back out there,” wrote Alexandra Jardine in Creative Magazine.

Hardline Films received the eHarmony contract after winning a competition on Zooppa, a leading creative internet platform for the production of engaging videos and graphic content. The dating firm worked with Hardline Films on the commercial and then contracted for three more.

“I got the idea very quickly,” O’Donnell said. “I’m trying to write stories that haven’t been told. I started thinking of the dating world and who might benefit. I saw this single mother entering the dating world. I read articles and tried to absorb the information on what other single mothers went through while dating.”

“It was Sheridan’s idea to be subtle in the commercial. He likes telling stories with his commercials and really gets into the character development,” Garcia said. O’Donnell directs most of Hardline Film’s commercials.

The team has also produced national commercials for belVita breakfast bars, “all” laundry detergent and local commercials for Blake’s Lota Burger and the Albuquerque Isotopes.

The four filmmakers discovered their love of the creative avenue of film at an early age.

While attending school in Clovis, one of Pool’s home movies was shown in the Clovis Film Festival. Karnes discovered filmmaking doing “tiny films” while in the Media Magna program in Las Cruces. Garcia saw the enjoyment people had while watching movies when she was 10 years old and knew she wanted to affect people’s emotions through movies.

The young filmmakers found NMSU’s CMI an environment that allowed them to develop their skills while exploring the creative medium.

“We were encouraged to go out and shoot on the weekends,” producer Karnes said. “In a lot of ways, the teachers put being ‘on set’ first and that gave us a really practical application of the art.”

“One of the biggest things we got from CMI is a network of filmmakers who attended there,” producer and assistant director Pool said. “We are now working with many of our fellow graduates.”

Garcia included a major in marketing to her education, which has helped Hardline Films expand its customers.

“Marketing is the creative side of business,” producer and talent coordinator Garcia said. “Most of the business classes don’t really teach you how to start a business so I was really drawn to Dean James Hoffman’s entrepreneur class. He was good about gearing the class toward the film industry. That class has really helped us to get Hardline Films where it is today.”

The world of commercials is the springboard for Hardline Films. They also are creating narrative short films; many have won awards from festivals. Ultimately, the production team wants to create full-length movies.

Author: Jane Moorman – NMSU

NMSU Researcher Aims to Educate Public about Bed Bug Prevention

You may think the best way to deal with a bed bug problem is to only use insecticides. But many people often overlook the importance of using non-chemical methods and, more importantly, preventing the bugs in the first place. This is particularly critical in multi-unit housing buildings where bed bugs are very difficult to eliminate.

Alvaro Romero, from New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, is working with other researchers to educate the public about preventing bed bugs.

Although many fieldwork studies have been completed in multi-unit housing in the last decade, Romero said researchers have seen that treatments often fail to completely eradicate infestation from these environments. This has led researchers on a different path of improving the approach to dealing with these pests.

“We went from only using insecticides heavily in the very beginning, to incorporating multiple tactics in order to make this program more effective,” he said. “It’s what we call integrated pest management.”

An assistant professor of urban entomology in NMSU’s Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science, Romero is the lead author on a report published May 31 in the Entomological Society of America’s Journal of Integrated Pest Management.

“This report is part of collaborative efforts of researchers from eight western states funded through a grant from the Western Integrated Pest Management Center, National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” Romero said.

“The first phase of our project was to identify the prevalence of pest management practices for bed bugs among tenants, landlords, managers and pest management professionals in the West. This information has served as baseline data to identify knowledge gaps and problems that help to define applied research goals for regional bed bug management. The next phase is to develop, compile and disseminate educational resources for multi-family housing and other built environments.”

The report – titled “Bed Bugs: Proactive Pest Management Critical in Multi-Unit Housing” – describes several approaches to managing bed bugs, including detection and monitoring, which is the most important component of successful integrated pest management programs. The report also describes the use of a variety of non-chemical methods, such as:

– Clutter reduction
– Interceptors, or bed bug traps
– Placing encasements in mattresses and box springs
– Laundering
– Steam treatment
– Vacuuming

“It’s difficult – almost impossible – to eradicate bed bug infestations in these particular environments,” Romero said. “A further step to manage bed bug problems is to have more involvement from the public, including residents, staff and managers.”

Romero said early detection is the key. And because many people in assisted living centers may be disabled, blind or wheelchair-bound, cooperation from staff is necessary to implement effective integrated pest management programs.

In addition to cooperation, education is vital in addressing the bed bug problem. Through outreach efforts, Romero and his collaborators plan to inform the public how to identify bed bugs and prevent infestations.

“We want to make available many documents that we consider extremely necessary, because education is a key point to bed bug management,” he said.

Romero said social behavior among humans is an important factor as well.

“Clutter, books under the bed – all those locations represent potential living areas for bed bugs,” he said. “And the most common way to transport bed bugs from one place to another is through the exchange of second-hand furniture.”

While people may balk at the cost and labor associated with integrated pest management programs, addressing infestations at early stages is actually less expensive and more economically viable in the long term, as it requires fewer insecticides and treatments, as with a reactive approach.

“We’re going to see the benefits of these programs in the long term,” Romero said. “If you effectively deal with bed bugs today – in multi-unit housing, for example – the next year you’re most likely going to see fewer cases of bed bugs.”

Romero said there is an abundance of information available to educate the public, especially on university websites.

The NMSU Cooperative Extension Service publication “Sleep Tight! Don’t let the Bed Bugs Bite! Practical Information for Dealing With and Eliminating Bed Bugs” is available HERE.

Virginia Tech has information available specific to the hotel industry, to the multi-unit housing industry and to schools. Click HERE for more information.

To view the Entomological Society of America’s Journal of Integrated Pest Management report by Romero and his colleagues in its entirety, click HERE.

Author:  Kristie Garcia – NMSU

NMSU Arrowhead Center to host NIH SBIR Funding Workshop Tuesday

The New Mexico Federal and State Technology Partnership Program, housed at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center, will host a Small Business Innovation Research National Institute of Health funding workshop next month in Las Cruces.

The workshop will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday, June 6, at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine. The workshop is free, and tickets are available at https://nih_funding_workshop.eventbrite.com. Refreshments will be provided.

The workshop will feature NIH SBIR program manager John Kim, who will provide a presentation on current NIH SBIR program initiatives and tips to consider when applying for NIH SBIR funding. NM FAST program specialist Del Mackey will provide an in-depth look at how to prepare and submit a strong proposal.

“I am excited to be able to participate in and help host the NIH-focused SBIR information and assistance seminar at BCOM,” Mackey said. “Growing the capacity of small businesses across New Mexico is one of our guiding goals, and a large thrust in our outreach services. I greatly look forward to speaking with participants on how they can get help in funding their innovation and reaching new market potential through assistance from programs like NM FAST.”

Concurrent to Mackey’s presentation will be private one-on-one sessions with Kim, where attendees can discuss their innovative ideas and how they fit within the NIH SBIR program’s objectives. One-on-one sessions are an incredible opportunity to get in front of a program manager and have questions or concerns answered prior to submitting a full proposal.

Locating the workshop at BCOM supports the growing health-tech interest in southern NM and the surrounding region.

“We are pleased to welcome members of academic and business sectors to the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine for this NIH workshop,” said Joseph Benoit, director of research at BCOM. “We are excited about meeting innovative thinkers who are committed to developing translational ventures that put research to work in Southern New Mexico.”

NM FAST program manager Zetdi Sloan sees the workshop as an opportunity for local health-tech firms to take advantage of this funding.

“Businesses can receive up to $1.15 million in each two-phased grant,” Sloan said. “That includes an initial $150,000 for six months to prove a technology’s viability, followed by up to $1 million more for two years to build a working prototype that companies can begin commercializing. There are very few sources of capital that provide non-dilutive financing of this magnitude for early-stage technology and research-focused companies.”

The workshop presents an opportunity for small technology firms to learn how their innovative ideas or capabilities – either technology or services – can be delivered to the NIH. In FY 2016, the NIH invested $870 million into health and life science companies whose innovative technologies are helping to advance their mission of improving health and saving lives.

The NM FAST program, which is supported by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, works to improve the participation of small businesses in federal SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer programs for innovative, technology-driven small businesses. NM FAST has been gaining traction in New Mexico by offering statewide workshops, mentoring, and micro-grant awards for eligible small businesses.

“It is the goal of NM FAST to help the start-up community grow, become more diversified, and have a real and sustained economic impact in our state,” said Sloan.

The NM FAST Partnership Program provides small businesses with:
– Assistance in identifying appropriate solicitations and topic areas;
– How-to information on agency registrations and electronic proposal submission;
– Guidance on proposal preparation, including assessments of technical objectives and hypotheses and drafting supporting documents such as biographical sketches, resources and budgets;
– Specifics on the target agency’s requirements for commercialization content in Phase I/Phase II proposals; and
– Technical reviews and edits of proposals with feedback.

In addition, NM FAST provides select first-time awardees micro-grants of $650 to cover the expenses of professional services such as commercialization plan assistance, development partner identification assistance, research partner identification assistance, counsel on patents and technology licensing, and indirect cost rate advisement, for proposal development.

For more information, contact Dana Catron, program coordinator for the NM FAST program, at 505-358-4039 or dderego@ad.nmsu.edu.

New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute hosts Conference in Las Cruces Next Week

The New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute at New Mexico State University is hosting the New Mexico Evapotranspiration Conference June 6 and 7 at the Las Cruces Convention Center.

The New Mexico Evapotranspiration Conference program is designed to help choose an evapotranspiration model for the New Mexico Statewide Water Assessment (SWA). Discussion amongst the experts at the conference will aid in this decision. The SWA is a three-year project that has been supported by the New Mexico Governor and the New Mexico Legislature.

The SWA is an effort that will complement existing state agency water resource assessments. It will provide new, frequently updated, spatially representative assessments of water budgets for the entire state of New Mexico. Evapotranspiration (ET) is one of the components of the model. ET is the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and other surfaces and by transpiration from plants.

The conference will address how other states are using ET and what has been learned. Discussions will include the latest ET developments, how land-management practices can be impacted by ET estimates and why obtaining better ET data is important.

The conference is 8 a.m to 5 p.m. June 6. The conference begins at 8 a.m. June 7 and concludes with a field trip to NMSU’s Leyendecker Research Center starting at 12:45 p.m. Field trip participants will view ET measurement techniques, a new weather station and an alfalfa field.

Conference presenters and moderators are from Arizona State University, Elephant Butte Irrigation District, Jornada Experimental Range, Kipp & Zonen, NASA, New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, New Mexico Pecan Growers, New Mexico Tech, New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, NMSU Department of Animal and Range Sciences (College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences), NMSU Department of Civil Engineering (College of Engineering), University of Idaho, University of Maryland, University of New Mexico, U.S. Department of Agriculture Southwest Climate Hub and U.S. Geological Survey.

For a complete agenda and list of speakers, click here.

Registration is $55 and includes three meals. For those only attending the field trip, registration is $20 and includes transportation and lunch. To register for the conference, click here. For more information, call 575-646-1194 or email jesslynr@nmsu.edu.

The New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute was established in 1963 by the New Mexico Legislature and approved under the 1964 Water Resources Research Act. The NM WRRI funds research conducted by faculty and students from universities across the state to address water problems critical to New Mexico and the Southwest. The institute also participates in joint efforts to solve water-related problems along the U.S./Mexico border. Visit nmwrri.nmsu.edu for more information.

Author:  Kristie Garcia – NMSU

NMSU Summer Computer Camps Filling up, Space still Available

New Mexico State University’s summer computer camps are in high demand but there is still time to sign up.

The Department of Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences is hosting the free summer programs in June and July.

The Young Women in Computing (YWiC) program for young women in high school runs from 12:30-4 p.m. Monday through Friday from June 5 through June 16. Students will learn to explore computing skills and discover talents through an introduction to programming, computational thinking and new technologies.

“Young women in the YWiC camp will explore Arduino microprocessors using Lilypad, learn Python and explore data compression,” said Rebecca Galves, co-director of summer programs. “They will also explore cybersecurity and encryption as well as smart grid technologies.”

Another camp, Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically) is for all middle school students and runs from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Monday through Friday from June 19-23.

“The students in Project GUTS will learn computer programming basics, make computer models in StarLogo Nova, use the model to run simulations, and create an interactive computer game,” Galves said.

YWiC also offers camps for alums, or young women who have previously completed one or two summer intensives with YWiC. This group will be in charge of their designs and create projects based on personal hopes, goals and dreams.

Instructors for the camps are accomplished NMSU students studying computer science and electrical engineering.

Applications are available online at http://nmsu.life/1b.

Author:  Minerva Baumann – NMSU

NMSU College of ACES Evaluates Agricultural Science Center System

Public concern regarding New Mexico State University potentially closing two agricultural science centers has stimulated the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences to conduct a self-evaluation of the 12 centers around the state.

“At this time we are not closing any centers; that would be the last recourse, but it is on the table,” said College of ACES Dean Rolando A. Flores. “In a time of low budgets, we need to rationalize and properly manage our resources.”

During visits with the advisory boards at each agricultural science center, Flores explained the evaluation process the college has begun.

“We have formed a committee to determine ways we can operate the research centers more efficiently as a whole, while reaching our goal of providing applied science that the agricultural producers may use in their operations to position themselves for success,” Flores said.

The committee includes individuals from the private industry, some agricultural science center superintendents, college department heads and faculty members.

“Our agricultural science centers need to be as self-sufficient as possible; research is not free,” Flores said. “It is critical that faculty members submit grant proposals, and they are doing it. However, at the national level, funding sources have decreased while the amount of people applying for funding has increased.”

The alternative for the College of ACES is to do as other universities have done – turn to the private sector for partnerships.

“We need to start looking at different approaches as to how we fund research,” he said. “We need more involvement with private industry participating in research, sponsoring research.”

Under Flores’ leadership the entire college is conducting an extensive self-evaluation to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of each department and program, including the Cooperative Extension Service within each county and the 12 agricultural science centers around the state.

“As with any organization involving 700 employees, we are finding issues and we are working to solve them,” Flores said. “As an engine for the economic and community development of New Mexico, we are committed to use efficient systems with considerable positive impact in the state.”

Author:  Jane Moorman – NMSU

NMSU Showcases Young Writers’ Talents, New Camp Applications Now Open

New Mexico State University is accepting applications for its 2017 summer writing camps and also showcasing the works of young writers involved in last year’s program.

“The camps give young writers a place to explore writing,” said Karen Trujillo, the camp director. “Camp activities include idea generating, writing across genres, performing and more. The performance will demonstrate to our community just how much these young writers have learned.”

Students in the camp work with mentor writers and teachers of writing from the NMSU Borderlands Writing Project in the College of Arts and Sciences and the local community.

This summer, the Girlhood Remixed and Ink Spilling camps will be combined for one summer camp, held over the course of two sessions. The first session runs from June 5-9 for students in sixth through eighth grades. Session two will be from June 12-16 for students in ninth through 12th grades.

Annabel Simpson, Clarivel Garcia and Angelita Altamirano work on a script for a video at NMSU's Creative Media institute computer classroom at last summer's writing camp. The deadline to apply for this year’s summer writing camps is Monday, May 22. (Photo by Karen Trujillo)
Annabel Simpson, Clarivel Garcia and Angelita Altamirano work on a script for a video at NMSU’s Creative Media institute computer classroom at last summer’s writing camp. The deadline to apply for this year’s summer writing camps is Monday, May 22. (Photo by Karen Trujillo)

Sessions will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a brown bag lunch from 12-12:30 p.m. daily at Milton Hall, Room 167. The closing ceremony for the camp will be from 5:30-7 p.m. on the last day for each session at the College of Health and Social Services Auditorium, Room 101A.

The fee for the camp is $50 per child, which is due on the first day of the camp. For more information and to download the application, click HERE.

Writers from the past year’s Ink Spilling and STEAMily (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) young writers summer camps will be performing pieces from their writing workshops over the past year from 4-5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 20 in the Roadrunner Room at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library. The performance is free and open to the public.

During the event, Amy Lanasa, department head of NMSU’s Creative Media Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences, will speak about her department’s work embodying the integration of art and science. Borderlands Writing Project leader Chris Burnham, English department professor emeritus, will speak briefly about the organization’s aims to bring together K-12 teachers with college instructors through growing together as writers and teachers.

Last year’s camp director, Gail Wheeler will discuss the past year’s activities and the contributions of the many volunteers from the Las Cruces and NMSU community who made the writing camps happen.

The deadline for summer camp applications is Monday, May 22.

Author:  Taylor Vancel – NMSU

NMSU ROTC Faculty, Staff to Receive Tuition Benefit

For the first time, New Mexico State University’s Army and Air Force ROTC faculty and staff will be eligible for the university’s tuition remission program, allowing them to take classes at NMSU as part of their compensation package.

Unlike other NMSU faculty, ROTC faculty and staff were previously ineligible for this NMSU benefit because as affiliate faculty and staff, the salaries of these employees are paid for by the military.

“This is a great program, particularly for our enlisted troops,” Lt. Col. Jeremiah Klomp, NMSU Air Force ROTC commander and professor of aerospace studies. “Those are the faculty who are assigned to ROTC billets outside their normal career fields.”

Active duty military have the opportunity to be placed at universities, similarly to any other military assignment, or they can volunteer to be at a school. All of NMSU’s military faculty and staff volunteered to be placed NMSU.

“ROTC is a ‘career broadening’ assignment where officers get to do something different from their main career field,” said Klomp. “By stepping out of our comfort zone, we not only grow ourselves, but are able to challenge and teach cadets and officer-candidates. With this new benefit, we are able to finish our education on top of that.”

“They generally have to cover quite a lot of additional expenses that they would not normally have to cover if they were living and/or working on a military installation, such as parking fees, gym membership, etc.,” said Klomp. “This way they can continue their education, get certifications, and generally integrate into the university community more completely by getting out of our offices and into the classroom.”

Tuition remission is effective at the beginning of the 2017 summer semester. Eligible ROTC personnel must be in an affiliated appointment status to participate in this program and must apply and be admitted to the university. ROTC can take as many as six credit hours for each fall and spring semester and up to eight credit hours for summer sessions.

For more information about the ROTC tuition remission program, contact Klomp at jklomp@nmsu.edu.

Author: Taylor Vancel – NMSU

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