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Home | Tag Archives: New Mexico State University

Tag Archives: New Mexico State University

NMSU to host panel to honor Tombaugh’s legacy February 26

The New Mexico State University Library and Department of Astronomy are partnering together to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Clyde Tombaugh’s discovery of the planet Pluto.

A discussion panel will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, February 26 on the third floor of Zuhl Library, 2911 McFie Circle. The event is free and open to the public.

The panel’s distinguished speakers will include Alden Tombaugh, son of Clyde W. Tombaugh; Kevin Schindler, Lowell Observatory historian; NMSU’s Kurt Anderson, astronomy professor emeritus; Lyle Huber, astronomy planetary data analyst and archivist; Dennis Daily, library department head of archives and special collections; and Tiffany Schirmer, library digital collections specialist.

Tombaugh was a young technician newly hired by the Lowell Observatory when he made the renowned discovery of Pluto. This accomplishment made history and brought him worldwide recognition. The aspiring astronomer would eventually play a crucial role in establishing an astronomy graduate program at NMSU.

An exhibition of Tombaugh’s documents, photographs and optical instruments will be on display. Refreshments and stargazing will follow the panel discussion.

For more information, contact Monika Glowacka-Musial at 575-646-4707 or

Author: Faith Schifani – NMSU

NMSU to host 2020 Economic Outlook Conference February 13

National and state economists will gather in Las Cruces Thursday, February 13, to present their economic forecasts for 2020 during New Mexico State University’s ninth annual Economic Outlook Conference, hosted by the College of Business and Wells Fargo & Company.

The conference – free and open to the public – will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave. A reception will start at 9:30 a.m.

This year’s speakers include Charles Dougherty, vice president and economist at Wells Fargo Securities, and NMSU Regents professor emeritus Jim Peach, who served as a faculty member in the Department of Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business from 1980 to 2018.

Dougherty, who joined Wells Fargo in 2017, covers the commercial real estate, housing and construction sectors of the United States’ regional and macro economy. He regularly writes indicator reports, produces special commentary and contributes to Well Fargo’s Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary report.

Before joining Wells Fargo, Dougherty worked as a regional economist and consultant for IHS Markit and CertainTeed, one of the largest building product manufacturers in North America. He holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and finance from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in economics from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Peach recently published two articles on Major League Baseball, as well as a book on the New Mexico economy and an article on the process of economic development. In addition to receiving numerous awards for teaching, research and service, Peach has served as president of four different academic organizations.

Peach earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include economic policy, energy, economic development, income distribution, demography and the economics of sports.

The deadline to register for this year’s conference is Monday, Feb. 10. To register, visit this website, or call Anthony Casaus at 575-646-5817.

Author:  Carlos Andres Lopez  – NMSU

NMSU to host FSMA preventative controls certification courses

New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will host three hybrid training and certification courses designed for food and beverage manufacturing industry professionals.

The course, titled “Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance – Preventive Controls for Human Food Hybrid Course for Preventive Controls Qualified Individual,” will be offered in two parts.

The first part will be offered online by the International Food Protection Training Institute for $198. The second part will be offered in person on the NMSU campus for $300.

The in-person portion of the course will take place from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. April 16 and June 4 at Gerald Thomas Hall, Room 360, on the NMSU main campus, and Feb. 19 at the South Valley Economic Development Center, 318 Isleta Blvd. SW in Albuquerque.

Cost of the course includes eight hours of instruction, a manual with materials, and an Association of Food and Drug Officials certificate. Registration must be submitted two weeks before any of the scheduled trainings.

The current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk‐based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation, referred to as the Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation, is intended to ensure safe manufacturing/processing, packing and holding of food products for human consumption in the United States.

The regulation requires that certain activities must be completed by a preventive controls qualified individual. This course, developed by the FSPCA, is the “standardized curriculum” recognized by FDA. Successfully completing this course is one way to meet the requirements for a preventive controls qualified individual.

Training objectives are for the food safety professional who must have skills in efficient management of an FSMA Food Safety Plan and Good Manufacturing practices; conducting a risk assessment to determine controls for process, food allergen, sanitation and supply chain procedures in the food process environment; and implementing the requirements for verification, validation and record keeping.

To register or for more information, contact Nancy Flores at or 575-646-1179. Information and registration is also available online.

Author: Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU

TTUHSC El Paso to host inaugural Conference on Simulation-Based Medical Education

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, in collaboration with University Medical Center of El Paso, New Mexico State University, the University of Texas at El Paso and William Beaumont Army Medical Center, will present the inaugural Simulation Educator and Operations Conference for the Southwest Region.

The one-day event will feature 30 regional and national leaders in simulation-based medical teaching. Simulation-based medical education tools include high-technology, lifelike patient manikins that allow students to practice clinical procedures without the risk of harm.

Additionally, simulation education prepares students, residents, physicians and first responders to provide high-quality care during critical, mass-casualty incidents.

Officials share that both TTUHSC El Paso students and residents, as well as Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso, were prepared for an influx of gunshot-wound victims during the Aug. 3 mass shooting at a Cielo Vista-area Walmart thanks to the training they received at the TTUHSC El Paso Training and Educational Center for Healthcare Simulation (TECHS).

With more than 20 educational sessions, the conference will focus on simulation technology and operations, delivery of simulated education, techniques in evaluation and assessment, and best practices in administration and research.

There will be a panel discussion with administrators from UMC, El Paso Children’s Hospital and WBAMC to review how simulation educators can help meet the needs of local health care organizations and prepare medical students to deliver high-quality and safe patient care.

The conference is designed for health care educators in the medical, nursing, and allied health professions, as well as anyone working with simulation technology, operations or administration.

Simulation equipment manufacturers will be present to demonstrate some of the newest innovations in health care simulation technologies.

What:   Inaugural Simulation Educator and Operations Conference

When:  Friday, Jan. 31, 2020

Where: TTUHSC El Paso Medical Education Building, Auditorium 1200, 5001 El Paso Drive

NMSU extends Las Cruces Public Schools partnership to provide STEM after-school programs

The New Mexico State University STEM Outreach Center will continue to partner with Las Cruces Public Schools to provide extended learning time after-school programs.

The idea of offering these 15-week programs came from the strong bond that NMSU shares with LCPS. Currently, 11 schools are part of the 21st century community learning centers out-of-school time program offered by the STEM Outreach Center at the NMSU College of Education.

In collaboration with LCPS interim Superintendent Karen Trujillo, an additional 14 elementary schools will participate in after-school programming utilizing extended learning time funds.

“Our hope is that students find the program innovative, engaging and inspiring,” said Sara Morales, NMSU STEM Outreach Center associate director. “Research shows that children in after-school programs attend school more often, get better grades, and are more likely to graduate. They also improve students’ homework completion, class participation and class behavior.”

Each school will be assigned a site facilitator who will ensure that the programs are high quality and engaging for students.

The NMSU STEM Outreach Center will provide approximately 114 educational curriculum kits and professional learning for about 120 teachers and educational assistants who will then implement the lessons in their after-school classrooms.

“What happens outside of the classroom is as important as what happens inside of the classroom,” said Morales. “It is our responsibility to ignite that passion for our children and youth at an early age and bring access to explorations that they otherwise may not have.”

Students must complete a registration form and select the session they prefer. Space is limited to 15 students per session encouraging a small student-to-teacher ratio.

For more information about these after-school extended time learning programs contact Morales at 575-646-3084 or

Author:  Faith Schifani – NMSU

NMSU, NM Department of Health to offer diabetes cooking classes in Las Cruces

Next month, New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service will present a series of cooking classes designed to teach adults with diabetes how to cook healthy meals.

Beatriz Favela, a Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agent at the Doña Ana County Extension Office, and Janae Kraus, a registered dietitian nutritionist, will teach the classes.

“This is a great, free program. I hope individuals suffering from diabetes and live in the area can take part in these classes and can benefit from the valuable information shared,” Favela said.

The four-class series, Kitchen Creations, will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 4, Feb. 11, Feb. 18 and Feb. 25. at Mayfield High School, 1955 N. Valley Drive, in Las Cruces. The classes are sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health.

Over four consecutive weeks, participants will learn food safety, how to plan meals, how to read food labels and how to manage carbohydrates. They also will prepare and sample healthy meals.

According to the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 11.4 percent of adults in New Mexico had diabetes. Research has shown that lifestyle changes, including healthier eating, can help manage diabetes and reduce the risk of complications.

Kitchen Creations served more than 1,000 New Mexico residents over the past two years.

The class series is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To enroll in the upcoming class series in Las Cruces, contact Sofia Hernandez at 575-635-1230 or Favela at 575-525-6649. NMSU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. If you are an individual with a disability who needs an auxiliary aid or service to participate, contact Favela by Jan. 28.

For a complete schedule of classes in other counties, click here.

Kitchen Creations is sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program and offered by NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service as part of the “Paths to Health NM: Tools for Healthier Living initiative.”

To learn more, visit the Paths to Health webiste.

Author: Carlos Andres Lopez – NMSU

Puppies raised by NMSU students now working as guide dogs

Two Labrador retrievers raised by a group of students at New Mexico State University are now working as certified guide dogs.

The dogs – Shuttle and Koi – spent about 14 months at NMSU being raised and trained by NMSU Community Puppy Raisers, a student organization led by faculty member Gaylene Fasenko from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, before graduating from the California-based Guide Dogs for the Blind in November 2019.

NMSU Community Puppy Raisers, which consists of about 40 active student-members, works in partnership with Guide Dogs for the Blind to train puppies in preparation for formal guide-dog school. Guide Dogs for the Blind is nonprofit organization that prepares guide dogs to serve individuals who are blind or have low vision throughout the United States and Canada.

Shuttle and Koi were the first puppies to be raised by NMSU Community Puppy Raisers, and both became working guide dogs. A third dog raised by the club was recalled back for training at the Guide Dogs for the Blind campus in San Rafael, California.

“It was like watching your own kid graduate,” said Fasenko, who attended the dogs’ graduation. “We picked them up as puppies on the same date, and they graduated on the same date.”

Fasenko, an associate professor in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences, developed NMSU’s Human Animal Interaction Minor program and oversees the on-campus FIDO LAB, short for the Facility for Investigating Dog/Owner Learning and Behavior. The lab serves as headquarters for NMSU Community Puppy Raisers.

The club, founded in spring 2018, is a growing community of puppy-raisers and puppy-sitters. All NMSU students who have an interest in learning about companion animals are welcome to join. The club’s main initiative is training puppies that will later go through guide-dog school.

Both born in San Rafael, California, Shuttle and Koi arrived at NMSU in the summer of 2018 when they were about 10 weeks old.

“Koi loved everybody, and Shuttle was a big, goofy and loveable boy,” Fasenko said of the dogs.

Following guidelines from Guide Dogs for the Blind, students from the club raised and trained Shuttle and Koi in basic obedience and good public behavior over a 14-month period. Working as puppy-raisers or puppy-sitters, about 10 students in total helped to train the two dogs.

Puppy-raisers are assigned a dog care for on a 24/7 basis, which includes housing the dog in their home or dorm and taking them to class. Puppy-sitters help care for the dogs when needed.

“Our goal is to raise confident dogs that can think for themselves,” Fasenko said.

After their training at NMSU, Shuttle and Koi began guide-dog school in July 2019. Both successfully completed training by November 2019 and have since been matched with separate handlers. Shuttle lives in Sacramento, California, while Koi lives in Sandpoint, Idaho.

“The dogs are now the handlers’ constant companions, but they also save their lives every day – and that cannot be understated,” Fasenko said.

Currently, the club is raising five other puppies. Guide Dogs for the Blind covers the cost of veterinary care and some supplies, but the club is responsible for the purchase of food, kennels and toys. Monetary donations from the public help offset these costs.

To make a monetary donation to NMSU Community Puppy Raisers, visit their website; for other donations, contact Fasenko at

Author:  Carlos Andres Lopez – NMSU

NMSU Grants celebrates new scholarship to help returning students

A new scholarship has been established at New Mexico State University Grants with a special focus on supporting students who have returned to university studies after a gap in their education.

The John and Teresa Miers Current Use Scholarship was established with a gift to the NMSU Foundation by the family of John and Teresa Miers to honor the late John Miers’ service and dedication to the NMSU Grants community and his wife Teresa’s unwavering support of his mission to help students.

John Miers joined the faculty at NMSU Grants in December 2016 as the director of library services. He died June 7, 2019 from a rare form of myeloma.

“Research was John’s passion,” Teresa Miers said, “and he was dedicated to passing on that knowledge to the students at NMSU. John realized there was a great need for someone to serve underrepresented students, and NMSU Grants gave him that opportunity.”

In addition to his role as director, he also invested time in activities outside of his official position, including teaching computer literacy and organizing poetry slams for students and the public.

“John loved helping the students,” Teresa Miers said. “Whatever the need, he wanted to help.”

“We are very happy to receive this gift from the Miers family. Their generous donation will truly impact the lives of students at the NMSU Grants campus and help them return to the classroom,” said Leslie Cervantes, NMSU Foundation interim vice president.

George Miers, John’s brother, said the family wanted to ensure that Teresa Miers was also recognized in the scholarship to highlight that the impact on the college and community was a joint effort between the two.

The scholarship is designed to support students pursuing a non-traditional educational path, honoring and reflecting John Miers’s own experiences.

John Miers resumed his academic career at the University of Richmond after a long hiatus in his studies, graduating in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in knowledge management from the School of Professional and Continuing Studies. He then earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of Florida in 2015.

“John never gave up, he stuck with it – not everyone does that,” explained George Miers. “He persevered and found something he loved doing. The scholarship will be of help to others like John who might have changed directions and need support.”

The scholarship was recently awarded for the first time to two returning students, Christopher Baca and Oshay Jaramillo.

Baca, a first-generation college student, is a senior pursuing his associate degree in creative media technology. He also serves his community as an advocate for cycling, teaching cycling safety courses, organizing races and volunteering with the Cibola Trail Alliance.

Jaramillo is a junior majoring in social services. She plans to continue her education at NMSU after earning her associate degree to pursue both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work.

This scholarship is one of two established to honor John Miers. His University of Richmond cohort, inspired by John Miers’s passion for research, created the John Miers Award for Excellence in Library Research in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies in October. The award, given annually, supports student excellence in library research at the University of Richmond.

NMSU Grants is a majority-minority institution where many students are low income and work while attending school. In 2017, 52 percent of the student population was 21 or older.

To learn more about making a gift to support NMSU students click here.

Author: Megan Hansen – NMSU

Fant to retire as NMSU associate vice president, deputy provost

New Mexico State University Provost Carol Parker announced that Greg Fant, associate vice president and deputy provost, has decided to retire effective July 1.

Fant has served as NMSU’s associate vice president and deputy provost since 2011. He was interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences twice, between 2007-2008 and 2009-2010. He has also been an associate dean, an assistant dean and head of NMSU’s music department.

He originally came to NMSU as the associate director of bands in 1990 and is a conductor, a saxophonist and a tenured professor in music.

Over the past 30 years, Fant has served NMSU in a variety of roles. As associate director of bands, Fant was responsible for the Pride Marching Band and the Tournament of Bands Marching Festival.

Highlights of his work include directing the Pride Band in a performance for the Prince of Monaco; updating the music education curriculum and leading the music department through a successful re-accreditation; working with College of Arts and Sciences colleagues to move the Center for the Arts from dream phase to groundbreaking; and most recently, leading the task force that established NMSU Online.

Fant said serving as deputy provost for nearly 10 years has given him the opportunity to work with almost every segment of the university system. He helped improved working relationships among the various campuses, led efforts to align student learning outcomes and has worked to improved faculty hiring processes along with many university policy revisions.

Reflecting on his years of service, Fant said he is grateful to work with so many wonderful faculty, staff and students that make NMSU an outstanding institution.

Parker said a national search will be conducted to find Fant’s successor.

Author: Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU

NMSU seeks participants for parental wellness program

Researchers from the College of Health and Social Services at New Mexico State University are recruiting couples to participate in a parental wellness program as part of a year-long study.

The program, “And Baby Makes Three,” seeks to help parents adjust to life with newborn babies.

“This workshop will offer strategies for calming a crying baby, getting more sleep and lowering stress,” said Martha Morales, retired NMSU nursing professor, who is administering the program in collaboration with Lori Saiki, associate professor in NMSU’s School of Nursing, and La Clínica de Familia, a Las Cruces-based health care provider.

The research team will offer the free program in English and Spanish, beginning this month. The program is for couples with a newborn baby between 2 weeks to 6 months old. Couples and their infant only have to attend one workshop of their choice.

“Participants in this research study will be asked to share their experiences about life as a parent, complete a few brief questionnaires during the workshop, and complete the questionnaires again at two and six weeks after the workshop,” Morales said.

The research team will use the data to see if the program helps improve the participants’ daytime sleepiness.

“The overall goal is to teach coping strategies that parents can effectively use when their child is in a crying bout,” Morales said.

The English workshops will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 18, Feb. 8, March 7 and April 4 at Holy Family American National Catholic Church, 702 Parker Road, in Las Cruces.

The Spanish workshops will take place 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 13, Feb. 17, March 16 and April 13 at the Women’s Intercultural Center, 303 Lincoln Street, in Anthony, New Mexico.

Each participating couple with receive lunch as well as a $20 gift card, swaddling blanket and white noise machine after attending the workshop.

To register for the workshop, contact at Morales 915-873-6930 or or Saiki at 575-646-6499 or Space is limited to five couples per session.

Author: Carlos Andres Lopez – NMSU

NMSU alum creates endowed scholarship in computer science

One of New Mexico State University’s Distinguished Alumni for 2019 has created an endowed a scholarship for computer science students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Srini Kankanahalli graduated from NMSU in 1991 with a Ph.D. in computer science and a focus on artificial intelligence and neural networks. The university honored him as a distinguished alumnus during fall Homecoming events for his many contributions to the university.

“NMSU Computer Science has given me very high quality Education and it is a great Department with a very bright future,” Kankanahalli said. “Computer Science skills will be important for individuals to succeed in many fields including Biology, Medicine, Engineering and Law.”

Kankanahalli has mentored 70 master’s students and three Ph.D. students, published 80 research papers, launched three companies and employed more than 250 people.

Kankanahalli and his wife Harini also contribute to the Akshaya Patra foundation, which provides food to poor children across the world and contributed to a school in rural India to provide free elementary education.

“My wife Harini and I believe education levels the playing field and provides opportunity for everyone to succeed. ”

As the founder and Chief Technology Officer of his third company, clearAvenue, Kankanahalli is mentoring multiple paid interns, yet still found time to come back to NMSU from the Washington, D.C. area to give inspiring lectures to students and faculty.

The Kankanahalli Endowed Scholarship for NMSU’s Computer Science Department in the College of Arts and Sciences will be used to

Srini Kankanahalli and his wife Harini have established an endowed scholarship for computer science students at New Mexico State University. | Photo courtesy NMSU

make awards to one or more undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in computer science who demonstrate a financial need. The preference will be to support women seeking a computer science degree.

“We believe it is important to attract Women to STEM disciplines and provide them ample opportunities to succeed,” Kankanahalli said. “Right now, the representation of women in STEM disciplines is low and we all have to attract and encourage more women to participate.”

In 2019 NMSU was ranked 22nd among four-year public universities in the U.S. for enrolling and graduating women in computer science according to data analysis compiled by “The Chronicle of Higher Education.” While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects computer science research jobs will grow 19 percent by 2026, women earn only 18 percent of computer science bachelor’s degrees in this country despite a high demand for women in computing.

“Srini has been an invaluable supporter of our computer science program,” said Enrico Pontelli, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “At a critical moment in the launch of the NMSU Google Campus initiative, the College of Arts and Sciences was short on funding required to send five students from NMSU to Google’s Palo Alto complex. Srini and his wife Harini stepped up and made a crucial investment, which ultimately allowed the program to succeed.

“They also showed sincere generosity by making a substantial contribution to help establish the Professor Hue and Pat McCoy Endowed Professorship at NMSU, which will provide crucial support for recruiting and retaining top-notch faculty in Computer Science. This endowed scholarship is just one more example of Srini and his wife Harini’s commitment to education.”

“We are honored and grateful that Srini and Harini continue to invest in our students, providing sustained support for both current needs and future opportunities,” said Tina Byford, interim vice president of University Advancement. “We look forward to hearing the success stories this endowed scholarship will help make possible.”

To find out more about the Kankanahalli Endowed Scholarship contact Patrick Knapp,, 575-646-1613.

Author: Minerva Baumann – NMSU

NMSU’s annual concrete school set for January 10-11

The College of Engineering at New Mexico State University, in partnership with the New Mexico Ready Mix Concrete and Aggregates Association, will host concrete training for the construction industry next month.

The 56th annual Samuel P. Maggard Quality Concrete School is designed for concrete professionals, contractors, professional engineers and students.

Named for the late, long-time professor of civil engineering, Sam “Doc” Maggard, who established the annual training, Quality Concrete School teaches the latest technologies for concrete applications.

The 2020 program addresses a range of competencies from basic properties of concrete, sampling and testing, to special topics such as self-healing concrete, optimized gradation and in-place testing of concrete.

To learn more and register to attend, visit their website or call 575-646-7852. The cost is $90 for those registered by Jan. 7. After that date, registration is $100. The program includes lunch Jan. 10 and break refreshments.

Training will be held on NMSU’s Las Cruces campus, Hernandez Hall, Room 103, 3035 S. Espina Street.

Author: Sara Patricolo – NMSU

Eight NMSU students honored as outstanding graduates

The New Mexico State University Alumni Association honored its fall 2019 Outstanding Graduates at a luncheon Friday at the Danny Villanueva Victory Club in the NMSU Stan Fulton Athletic Center.

The NMSU Alumni Association’s Outstanding Graduate Award is a prestigious distinction for its recipients and is presented every semester to a graduating student from each academic college, and to a masters and doctoral candidate from the Graduate School. Honorees are selected by the deans or leaders of their colleges or programs, and are recognized for their academic achievements, active leadership and service to the university and the community.

The fall 2019 recipient from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences is Autumn Pearson of La Luz, New Mexico. She is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences, with minors in chemistry and international studies. Pearson will continue her education at NMSU where she has been accepted into the accelerated master’s program in water science management.

Galen Ivey of Tornillo, Texas, is the awardee from the College of Arts and Sciences and he is earning his bachelor of creative media in digital filmmaking and a minor in theatre arts. Ivey worked on many films for the Creative Media Institute, including “Walking with Herb” and “Tarrant County Jail,” volunteered on several student film productions and is the founder of Minions’ Photography.

Tori Makk of Las Cruces is the outstanding graduate from the College of Business and she graduates with a bachelor’s degree in finance. She demonstrated leadership in her roles with several campus organizations, including ASNMSU, the Financial Management Association and the College Republicans. After graduation, Makk will begin a career at the Arthur J. Gallagher global insurance and consulting firm.

The outstanding graduate from the College of Education is Felicia Gutierrez of Alamogordo, New Mexico. She is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and her teaching field is language arts with a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages endorsement. Gutierrez was involved in several education service organizations, bringing literacy efforts into the local public schools.

The awardee from the College of Engineering is Mikaela Hicks of Hobbs, New Mexico. Hicks is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in geomatics, and was awarded several scholarships from the College of Engineering. She also held surveying internships, served in leadership roles for several surveying organizations and worked as the marketing coordinator for a civil engineering and surveying company while pursuing her degree.

Lindsay Stutzman of El Paso, Texas is the outstanding graduate from the College of Health and Social Services. She is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a minor in public health. Stutzman was a peer tutor in pharmacology and health and illness subjects for nursing students and served as a peer educator for NMSU’s Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education program.

The outstanding graduates from the Graduate School are Tyler Wallin and Margarita Ruiz Guerrero.

Tyler Wallin, of Mascoutah, Illinois, is graduating with a master’s degree in fish, wildlife and conservation ecology. His research focuses on the management of species facing threats of extinction, and he will begin a career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service upon graduation. Wallin received several academic awards throughout his degree program and applied his expertise to service opportunities at NMSU and in the community.

Margarita Ruiz Guerrero of Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, is graduating with a doctorate of philosophy in curriculum and instruction with a focus on early childhood education. Guerrero’s research has resulted in several publications and she held leadership and service roles in the Critical Multicultural Educators Graduate Student Organization. She recently began a tenure track position as an assistant professor of early childhood education at Western Washington University.

“Not only have these exceptional eight students maintained academic excellence throughout their degree programs, they have also demonstrated uncommon leadership and bold service within the Aggie community and beyond. We are immensely proud of their achievements and happy to honor them through this award and celebration,” said Leslie Cervantes, associate vice president of alumni and donor relations at NMSU.

To learn more about each of this semester’s honorees, click here.

Author: Megan Hansen – NMSU

NMSU to award more than 1,200 degrees this weekend

More than 1,200 New Mexico State University students are projected to participate in the fall commencement ceremony. But this time, instead of bachelor’s and master’s degree recipients receiving degrees together and doctoral degrees awarded separately, all graduate students will be honored together.

Commencement weekend will begin the evening of Friday, December 13, with a graduate school ceremony for all masters and doctoral candidates at the Pan American Center at 6 p.m.

Students receiving their bachelor’s degrees will be honored Saturday, December 14. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. and candidates from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Education, College of Engineering and College of Health and Social Services will be recognized.

A total of 1,237 candidates at NMSU’s main campus will receive the following degrees:

– Associate degree: 2
– Bachelor’s degree: 926
– Master’s degree: 241
– Specialist in Education: 1
– Doctoral degree: 67

The following number of degrees will be awarded from each college:

– Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences: 121
– Arts and Sciences: 360
– Business: 142
– Education: 62
– Engineering: 154
– Health and Social Services: 89
– Graduate School: 309

Additionally, 491 associate degrees and certificates will be conferred to students graduating from NMSU Dona Ana Community College, NMSU Alamogordo, NMSU Carlsbad and NMSU Grants this fall.

The Pan American Center will open one hour prior to each ceremony. Tickets are not required. For the Friday graduate ceremony, graduates should check in on the south concourse of the Pan American Center. For the Saturday undergraduate ceremony, graduates should check in to the east of the Pan American Center in Lot 32.

Arrowhead Drive between Triviz Drive and Stewart Street along the Pan Am will be closed during commencement. Graduates and the general public should park in the lots to the north and east of the Pan Am, with handicapped parking to the north and northeast of the building.

For family and friends who cannot attend commencement ceremonies, Information & Communication Technologies Video Services will be live streaming them online.

Media covering the event should park in the south lot and obtain a media pass in the tent located in Lot 32, east of the Pan Am.

For more information about the commencement ceremony, visit

Author: Melissa R. Rutter – NMSU

NMSU alum among Forbes 2020 ‘30 under 30’ list of healthcare entrepreneurs

A New Mexico State University graduate who grew up in a small town south of Las Cruces was named by Forbes magazine among the top 30 young entrepreneurs creating solutions to some of healthcare’s most pressing problems.

Bobby Brooke Herrera grew up in San Miguel and graduated from Gadsden High School. In 2012, he earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from NMSU, with minors in chemistry and religious studies. This week 29-year-old Herrera, who co-founded E25Bio, Inc., was named to Forbes 2020 “30 under 30” list for healthcare entrepreneurs.

The company announced in August it had raised $2.3 million in seed funding. Its fever panel is the first of its kind to be able to screen for active viruses and enables a more rapid and accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases in time for patients to receive potentially life-saving treatment.

After he left Las Cruces, Herrera earned a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School while working fulltime as a lab technician. That reignited his interest in bioscience research to earn his Ph.D. at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where he worked with Phyllis Kanki, a pioneer in the research of HIV1 and HIV2.

While conducting research for his doctorate in her lab, Herrera developed T-cell based diagnostic tools for Zika, Dengue and Ebola viruses to be evaluated in local hospitals and labs.

Herrera is the chief science officer of the company he co-founded with career researcher at MIT Irene Bosch and MIT professor Lee Gehrke.

E25Bio Inc. is developing rapid diagnostic test technology that can detect dangerous infectious diseases in minutes instead of days. (Photo courtesy E25Bio Inc.)

The core team that makes up E25Bio, Inc. is comprised of Harvard and MIT scientists and experts who have spent years on the ground in Asia, South America and Africa chasing highly infectious pathogens. They have seen first-hand the human impact these diseases can have as a result of limited public health systems.

“Dr. Bosch isolated monoclonal antibodies for Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya to produce rapid point-of-care tests,” Herrera said. “She recruited me to co-found the company with her in 2018, which is funded by venture capitalists and a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The company is interested in producing monoclonal antibodies to be utilized in the development of point-of-care, affordable tests for highly infectious diseases. With a few drops of blood, you can get diagnostic results in five –10 minutes.”

Herrera’s research journey began with NMSU’s Minority Access to Research Careers program, which allowed him to get hands-on experience in the lab as sophomore. Herrera credits Michael Johnson, head of the program in the College of Arts and Sciences, and biology professor Maria Castillo, for getting him involved in research as an undergraduate, which led Herrera to pursue advanced degrees at Harvard.

“In the years since leaving NMSU, Bobby Brooke has returned to NMSU’s MARC program multiple times to council and encourage our students,” Johnson said. “He is a great example of how time spent mentoring an individual branches into the outreach of many.”

For Herrera, the study of both science and humanities has influenced his social justice approach to public health.

“I’m passionate about the basic biology of infectious disease pathogenesis, but also I’m intrigued by the anthropology or the human side of those infected with these microorganisms,” Herrera said. “If we can understand structural determinants and human behavior and combine that knowledge with rigorous science and experimentation, we will be able to develop and implement more robust vaccines and diagnostic tests.”

In the next 10 years, Herrera hopes these approaches will allow E25Bio, Inc. to develop better diagnostic tools, which lead to a fairer healthcare system for people now suffering and dying in developing countries.

“We need to get to a place where there is a just public health system and not an unjust public health system. That’s what my colleagues and I will try to do through our company.”

Herrera’s achievements at such a young age were not easy. To go from San Miguel to Cambridge, Mass. was a culture shock, and earning two advanced Harvard degrees while working full time was a challenge. Co-founding a biotechnology company is hard work but Herrera doesn’t allow obstacles to deter him.

“For a gay individual coming from the borderland, it was hard to get to where I am now,” Herrera said. “It was my belief in myself and in my dreams that made it happen. It’s important to keep your mentors close to your heart, they are the ones who believe in you and propel you forward. Nothing can be done without a team and I have an incredible team of family, friends and personal mentors that has allowed me to succeed.”

Author: Minerva Baumann – NMSU

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