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Home | Tag Archives: nmsu foundation

Tag Archives: nmsu foundation

NMSU assisting with cyberattack investigation at the NMSU Foundation

New Mexico State University and the NMSU Foundation are investigating a cyberattack and possible data loss involving information stored on NMSU Foundation computers.

After noticing unusual network activity late last week, NMSU and NMSU Foundation security personnel jointly began an investigation and removed all affected devices from the network as a precaution. There is no evidence of any data theft at this time, but the investigation is ongoing.

“From the start, we have moved quickly to contain possible data loss and are conducting a thorough investigation with the assistance of law enforcement officials and security experts,” said Derek Dictson, president of the NMSU Foundation and NMSU’s vice president for university advancement. “Although we have no evidence of any misuse of information, we are providing notice to our broader university community out of an abundance of caution.”

The Foundation is in the process of hiring an external cybersecurity forensics company to determine exactly what occurred and confirm the security of the network. NMSU security personnel do not see evidence of the attack outside of the NMSU Foundation’s network, which is separate from the NMSU network. Both entities will continue to monitor the situation closely.

As this investigation continues, the university and NMSU Foundation will provide additional information.

Author: Justin Bannister – NMSU


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Aggie Cupboard Fights Hunger with New Support from NMSU

A major resource to New Mexico State University, focused on battling food insecurities, collected a $9,000 gift to aid in the fight from the NMSU Foundation this week.

Aggie Cupboard, a food pantry that provides bags of nutritious, non-perishable food items to students and employees in need at NMSU and Dona Ana Community College, received this investment as a result of the University’s third-annual Giving Tuesday on Nov. 28.

With the help of alumni and friends, along with matching pledges from NMSU administrators, including Provost Daniel Howard and his wife Jennifer, several supporters raised more than $8,000 on Giving Tuesday. While presenting the check to Aggie Cupboard volunteers this week, Chancellor Garrey Carruthers and his wife Kathy announced they would make an additional $1,000 contribution on behalf of the entire NMSU system for its continued efforts in being a caring community.

This funding will help Aggie Cupboard continue to address a growing problem at NMSU. A 2011 study conducted by NMSU Social Work Services found that more than a third of students surveyed said they had to choose between paying bills or getting groceries at least once, and one in five students said that hunger regularly affected their grades or ability to concentrate.

“New Mexico is ranked high among other states when it comes to food insecurity,” said Meg Long, a program specialist for NMSU social services and Aggie Cupboard. “NMSU strives to ensure that all of our students enjoy equal access to an education and succeed on campus, and we believe Aggie Cupboard is one way of proving that mission. We’re grateful that our University community continues to show how passionate they are in ending this problem.”

Long said each dollar the pantry receives can be stretched into one full meal for a student or employee in need. This past Spring, volunteers served 185 clients with 355 bags of food, bringing impact totals since the pantry’s launch in 2012 to more than 3,500 bags that have helped ease food shortages.

NMSU Foundation President Andrea Tawney and other leaders in the fundraising office see Aggie Cupboard’s growing impact. On Giving Tuesday, Tawney alongside Associate Vice Presidents Leslie Cervantes and Justin Bannister and NMSU Foundation Chief Operating Officer Tina Byford, offered a personal pledge to match their staff’s contributions to the Aggie Cupboard on Giving Tuesday.

“We see our team work as one unit every single day to serve our students,” Tawney said. “We believe giving is an act we should not only talk about but also one we should do. We’re proud of the work they carried out on Giving Tuesday and appreciate their devotion to efforts like the Aggie Cupboard that make a significant difference in the lives of our NMSU family.”

In total, Giving Tuesday raised more than $2.5 million for the University system from 1,700 donors, including 583 NMSU system faculty and staff donors.

The Aggie Cupboard needs donations of food, funds and volunteer time all year. Non-perishable food items can be dropped off from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursdays at 906 Gregg St. in Las Cruces. Tax-deductible monetary gifts can be made any time at by specifying Aggie Cupboard as the fund for the gift.

Aggie Cupboard will be closed during NMSU’s winter break, December 19 through January 1, and will reopen on January 2. Food is distributed from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, 3 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays or by appointment at 906 Gregg St. in Las Cruces.

Anyone with a current NMSU identification card may use this resource.

For more information about Aggie Cupboard, including volunteer opportunities, contact or call 575-646-7636.

Author: Angel Mendez -NMSU

Arrowhead Innovation Fund receives Investment from New Mexico Catalyst Fund

The Arrowhead Innovation Fund at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center is one of three organizations to receive investment from the state’s Catalyst Fund, a $20 million “fund of funds” to support New Mexico companies, Gov. Susana Martinez announced Tuesday in Albuquerque.

The Catalyst Fund is expected to support more than 50 companies in New Mexico and will focus on aiding technology startups.

“New Mexico has the potential to be the next tech-startup capital of the United States,” Martinez said in announcing the investment. “Through this fund, we’re going to help these companies get off the ground to become the next Apple or Microsoft. And by doing so, all of New Mexico will reap the benefits, because we will diversify our economy and create more jobs.”

The Arrowhead Innovation Fund will receive a total investment of $800,000 from the Catalyst Fund, which, combined with investments from the NMSU Foundation and other private investors, will put the Arrowhead Innovation Fund close to its funding goal of $2 million.

The Arrowhead Innovation Fund will provide significant, transformative investment in some of the most promising companies being developed by NMSU affiliates or served by Arrowhead Center’s programs that are open to the community. The fund is now accepting applications at, with a goal of investing in approximately 12 companies over the next three to four years.

“The investment that we can now make in these companies is significant, but there’s an additional value that we’ll provide in the form of access to the professional networks of our board members, who come from varied areas of expertise and can accelerate the growth of these companies,” said Estela Hernandez, managing director and president of the Arrowhead Innovation Fund.

Lawrence Chavez of Lotus Leaf Coatings is a member of the AIF Investment Committee. “The Arrowhead Innovation Fund is filling a critical need in the innovation ecosystem here in southern New Mexico,” Chavez said. “The support of the Catalyst Fund enables us to leverage their investment with the other supporters of the Arrowhead Innovation Fund to help seed these phenomenal technologies that come out of NMSU. Their ideas have real-world market potential that is very exciting.”

As NMSU’s innovation-driven economic development hub, Arrowhead Center provides technology incubation and commercialization through programming such as its Arrowhead Startup Sprints and the Launch proof-of-concept program, which identifies inventions and research products likely to be marketable, and provides cash awards and services to realize the companies’ potential.

The creation of a venture capital fund to support innovation was one of the goals identified by Arrowhead Center when it successfully competed for a million-dollar Economic Development Administration i6 Challenge matching grant, which has funded the expansion of Launch and the development of the Arrowhead Innovation Network.

“The i6 Challenge grant made a huge difference in our ability to move NMSU innovation to the market, and the Arrowhead Innovation Fund is an expansion of that impact,” Arrowhead Center Director and CEO Kathy Hansen said. “This investment from the Catalyst Fund will help AIF fill a critical investment gap and greatly accelerate the growth we can facilitate in New Mexico and beyond.”

The Catalyst Fund comprises $10 million in public funds allocated by the State Investment Council, $5 million from the State Small Business Credit Initiative and $5 million in commitments from private institutional investors. The fund requires that participating organizations provide matching private investment, bringing the total investment to at least $40 million.

“This fund will build on New Mexico’s strong tradition of success in the high-tech and entrepreneurial sectors,” said Economic Development Secretary Matt Geisel. “This investment strengthens our commitment to the success of homegrown New Mexico companies and hardworking New Mexican entrepreneurs.”

New Mexico-based companies wishing to identify venture capital funds that have received Catalyst Fund investment will be able to find a list on the New Mexico Economic Development Department’s website.

For more information, visit the Arrowhead Innovation Fund website.

Author:  Amanda Bradford – NMSU

Scholarship Funds Raised During NMSU’s ‘Giving Tuesday’ help Students Achieve Goals

When Stephanie Esparza graduated from Santa Teresa High School in May 2013, she wasn’t planning to attend college. She said she doubted her ability to succeed and feared that a college education was too great a challenge for her.

She overcame that fear with the encouragement of her parents and the support of a scholarship from the Hunt Family Foundation, and will earn her associate degree on Thursday from Dona Ana Community College, with plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree at New Mexico State University in public health.

“The greatest challenge that I had to overcome was myself – thinking I could not get this far in school,” Esparza said. “I was the first woman in my family to attend college and had to figure out the ropes of college by making mistakes. Receiving the Hunt scholarship has shown me that I can make it through college and be great in school – I think of the Hunt Family Foundation as another set of parents walking behind me, knowing I can finish school strong.”

The El Paso-based Hunt Family Foundation took advantage of a matching opportunity during NMSU’s inaugural Giving Tuesday event, held Dec. 1, 2015, to add another $5,000 gift to the foundation’s existing scholarship fund, which benefits students from Dona Ana County who attend Dona Ana Community College.

Gifts made to scholarships for Giving Tuesday were matched by the Foundation using funds from NMSU’s Alumni License Plate program.

Recipients of the Hunt Family Foundation Scholarship also receive separate matching funds from the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico’s Wynne Scholarship.

“The Giving Tuesday matching opportunity was too good to pass up,” said Josh Hunt, president of the Hunt Family Foundation. “Thanks to these matching dollars, we were able to stretch the impact of our gift from $5,000 to $10,000, and then from $10,000 to $20,000. That’s scholarship funding that benefits students right here in the Borderplex region, which is very important to our organization.”

With every last gift counted and each dollar-for-dollar scholarship match accounted for, the one-day Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign added a total of $5.7 million dollars to scholarship funds across the NMSU system.

Online and in-person gifts from donors during the 24-hour period of Dec. 1 totaled $628,984, and another $834,450 came from members of the NMSU Foundation Board of Directors, which boasted 100 percent participation. Other gifts established in anticipation of Giving Tuesday added nearly $1 million, for a pre-match total of $2,900,143.

“When our team began planning for this Giving Tuesday initiative, I quietly set a goal for us, hoping we’d raise $250,000 in one day,” said Andrea Tawney, vice president for university advancement and president of the NMSU Foundation. “The generosity of our Aggie community blew that goal out of the water, bringing in 10 times that in gifts. This day was utterly transformative for our students.”

More than 80 new scholarships were established, and the initiative drew more than 2,440 donors, including 655 who were making their first-ever gift to the NMSU system.

“We’re really proud of the way our alumni responded to this call to action,” said Leslie Cervantes, associate vice president for alumni engagement and participation. “We received gifts from 293 brand-new alumni donors on Giving Tuesday. Support from our alumni is critical to student success, and this was a great opportunity to connect with our graduates who were looking for a meaningful way to give back.”

NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers, who was one of many campus leaders who made gifts of their own during Giving Tuesday, said he was proud to see so much enthusiasm for the cause of boosting scholarship funds for students.

“We had tremendous participation from our caring Aggie community,” he said. “All of our Foundation board and our regents made contributions, and we saw gifts roll in from all over – from business leaders across the globe and from our own students right here on campus. We’re building a culture of philanthropy here that’s really special.”

The NMSU Foundation plans to build on the success of Giving Tuesday with its second-annual event this fall. For more information about Giving Tuesday, the NMSU Foundation or the Office of University Advancement, visit

Author: Amanda Bradford – NMSU

NMSU Foundation President Chosen as ‘40 Under Forty’ Honoree

New Mexico State University Foundation President and Vice President for Advancement Andrea Tawney has been named a 2016 “40 Under Forty” honoree by Albuquerque Business First.

According to Albuquerque Business First Assistant Managing Editor Christopher Ortiz, the 40 Under Forty awards honor the state’s top young professionals each year.

“Albuquerque Business First takes nominations from the public for 40 Under Forty, and we received more than 350 this year,” Ortiz stated in an announcement recently on the Albuquerque Business First website.

Tawney is the only young professional from southern New Mexico selected this year. She and the other honorees will be celebrated at a black-and-white-themed awards event June 16 at Sandia Resort & Casino. Registration is available at

According to Albuquerque Business First, nominees are asked to complete an application with information for the judges and provide letters of reference. A group of judges who are leaders in the community evaluate the applicants on professional achievement, leadership and community involvement.

In his letter of reference, NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers described Tawney as “a dynamic leader with a tireless work ethic and a strong vision for our university and state.” He said he was pleased to see her achievements recognized by the business community in New Mexico.

“She’s a woman of fantastic accomplishment at a very young age,” said NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. “From serving in the military to earning three degrees to becoming a professional fundraiser, her record is a testament to people who try hard and take advantage of the skills they have. She’s a role model for people under 40 and for people over 40. She’s a bundle of energy and I’m very happy she received this honor.”

Carruthers originally hired Tawney in 2011 as the assistant dean for development in NMSU’s College of Business. After he was named president and chancellor in 2013, Tawney became NMSU’s director of presidential donor relations and development. She also served as associate vice president for university advancement in charge of principal gifts and regional programs until assuming her current role leading all of NMSU’s fundraising and alumni engagement efforts.

Before spending more than a decade working in higher education, Tawney spent four years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force. She holds a bachelor’s degree in justice systems, policy and planning and a master’s in education from Northern Arizona University. She earned her doctorate in higher education from Texas Tech University, emphasizing the predictors of academic success for first-generation college students like her.

Tawney said she’s been fortunate to have great mentors who believed in her and set the example of good leadership, which she hopes to pass on to others.

“I’m really thankful to have had the opportunity to serve others throughout my career,” Tawney said. “I was raised by my mom, who worked long hours to provide for me and make sure I knew the importance of an education.”

Tawney was the first in her family to attend college, thanks to the GI Bill.

“I believe education is the great equalizer and I’m most appreciative of my supportive family, who have always encouraged me to reach for the stars and to work hard,” she said. “I hope all girls, including my daughter, know they can do anything they set their minds to achieve.”

For more about the 40 Under Forty awards, and to see the other honorees, visit

Author:  Amanda Bradford – NMSU

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