Monday , December 11 2017
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Tag Archives: NMSU

NMSU Alumna Receives National Fellowship for Latino Heritage Preservation

A New Mexico State University alumna was recently awarded a fellowship for a national organization dedicated to preserving Latino heritage throughout the United States.

Norma Hartell is a graduate of NMSU’s Department of Anthropology, having earned her masters, and currently works at Las Cruces museums. She previously served as an intern for the Hispanic Access Foundation in 2016, working at Everglades National Park in south Florida archiving photographs.

Earlier this year she applied for a historic preservation fellowship with the foundation and was accepted. As a national Latino Heritage Scholar, she works with other scholars on the HAF’s Latino Heritage Advisory Group.

The group engages with people in all 50 U.S. states and its territories and advocates in state and federal legislatures for preservation of sites significant in Latino history in America.

“In 2015 I worked on writing the Chope’s Bar and Café (in La Mesa, N.M.) nominations, both of which are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places,” Hartell said.

The advisory group consists of three other Latino Heritage Scholars in addition to Hartell and together, the four reviewed 30 sites for which they would recommend preservation.

“These 30 sites are important to the Latino narrative in the history of the United States,” Hartell said.

The Pueblo of Tortugas, near South Main Street in Las Cruces, was included among these 30 sites and the 10 sites the advisory group put together in a formal recommendation.

“It’s significant to the Latino community because it represents how diverse we are,” Hartell said. “It’s a pueblo of mestizos, which are Mexican and indigenous, which does represent what a Latino is.”

Currently only the pueblo is listed on the National Register of Historic Places but Hartell hopes that support and inclusion of the Tortugas Trail and the Tortugas (‘A’) Mountain are included in the nomination, and not only on the National Register but also as National Landmarks.

“That gives it an extra layer of protection against development, gentrification,” Hartell said.

The pueblo, home to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, attracts believers in the Virgin of Guadalupe, whom Hartell called “the mestizo version of the Virgin Mary,” and the trail and the mountain are scaled in a joint exercise of faith.

Also included among the recommendation packet was Castner Range in El Paso, where Latinos have lived since the 1500s, as well as the Trujillo Adobe in California, where Hispanic and Latino families from New Mexico migrated as part of the Westward Expansion of the United States

Author:  Billy Huntsman – NMSU

1,000+ Graduates Expected to Attend NMSU’s Fall Commencement

This weekend will mark the end of a journey for many New Mexico State University students. The Pan American Center will host more than 1,000 students at the fall commencement ceremony Saturday, December 9, at 10 a.m.

There are two posthumous degree recipients this semester. A posthumous doctoral degree in philosophy will be awarded to Cathilia Flores by the college of education. The college of business will award a posthumous bachelor of business administration degree to Daniel Lewis Canfield. His brother, Jon Thomas Canfield, who will also be graduating this semester, will be walking on his behalf.

“He was a wonderful son and brother and will be remembered for his loving and kind heart and his fierce love for his family,” said his mother, Laurie Canfield.

Sharon A. Jones, former chief of staff for NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers, will be recognized during the ceremony for her many contributions to the university with an honorary professional degree in management. Jones worked for Carruthers from 2006 until her retirement this July, first as senior administrator and eventually as chief of staff.

Commencement activities will begin Friday with the doctoral hooding ceremony at 6 p.m. at the Pan American Center. About 60 doctoral candidates are expected to attend.

On Saturday, 1,403 graduating students at the Las Cruces campus will receive the following degrees:
Associate degrees: 11
Bachelor’s degrees: 1,013
Master’s degrees: 311
Doctoral degrees: 68

Each college will be awarding the following number of degrees:
Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences: 114
Arts and Sciences: 377
Business: 173
Education: 85
Engineering: 174
Health and Social Services: 101
Graduate school: 379

Community college candidates will receive 485 degrees. An additional 387 summer graduates were invited to attend the ceremony as well.

Tickets are not required. The Pan American Center will open one hour prior to the ceremony. Graduates should check in 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.

Author – Ximena Tapia – NMSU

Pixar Co-Founder Alvy Ray Smith to Speak at NMSU Thursday

New Mexico State University graduate and honorary doctorate recipient Alvy Ray Smith, who co-founded Pixar and shared two Academy Awards for technical advances in digital media, will speak in the Corbett Center Student Union auditorium at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, December 7.

His talk is titled, “A Quick Tour of the History of Pixels.” The lecture is free and open to the public. Smith also will spend time with various student groups and provide mentorship opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in the industry.

In 1974, Smith was a visiting scientist for Xerox PARC where he created the HSV color space. He began working at New York Institute of Technology in 1975 and co-invented the concept of the alpha channel, which is the rendering of image elements into separate passes and then combining the resulting multiple 2-D images into a single, final image.

Smith took that concept and went on to be a founding member of Lucasfilm in 1980. In 1986, he co-founded Pixar and served on the board of directors and as the executive vice president. In 1991, Smith founded Altamira later acquired by Microsoft and became the first Graphics Fellow at Microsoft in 1994.

Smith has received two technical Academy Awards for his alpha channel concept and for digital paint systems. He was co-awarded the Computer Graphics Achievement Award by the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Graphics in 1990 for ‘seminal contributions to computer paint systems.’ He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional distinctions that can be accorded to an engineer, in 2006 for “fundamental changes in the graphic arts and motion picture industries.”

Smith directed the first use of full computer graphics, the ‘Genesis Demo,’ in a successful major motion picture, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” while at Lucasfilm. He hired John Lasseter, Disney-trained animator, and directed him in his first computer graphics film, “The Adventures of Andre & Wally B.”

The team he formed for these pieces later proceeded, under Lasseter as artistic director at Pixar, to create “Tin Toy,” the first computer animation ever to win an Academy Award, and the first completely computer-generated film, “Toy Story,” Disney’s Christmas 1995 release and also an Academy Award winner.

Smith, who grew up in Clovis, New Mexico, worked as a junior engineer in the Physical Science Laboratory’s electromagnetics section while earning his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at NMSU. He graduated with high honors in 1965 and went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science at Stanford University.

In 1999, he received an honorary doctorate from NMSU.

Smith retired in 1999 to devote time to the emerging art form of digital photography and to scholarly genealogy, to which he has contributed two books and several journal papers. He continues to support efforts to expand collaborative endeavors between the areas of electrical and computer engineering and digital media.

Smith is currently working on a book called “A Biography of the Pixel” and advising a virtual reality startup company in Silicon Valley.

Author: Linda Fresques – NMSU

NMSU Journalism Professor Publishes Book of Photos of Juárez Taken Over 20+ Years

An associate professor in New Mexico State University’s Journalism Department recently published a book compiling photographs and stories he’s taken of Juárez and the border over the course of more than 40 years.

Before Bruce Berman entered academia, he worked on assignment as a freelance photojournalist/photographer for newspapers, magazines, advertising agencies and corporations. Berman has worked the border beat since 1982, principally as a contractor for The New York Times.

His specialty has been documenting the U.S./Mexico border. He lives three blocks from the International Bridge that connects Juárez and El Paso.

Berman has been described as a “concerned photographer,” which photographer and founder of New York City’s International Center of Photography Cornell Capa defined as “photographers who demonstrated in their work a humanitarian impulse to use pictures to educate and change the world, not just to record it.” The border/Juárez community provides Berman ample material.

“It’s another world,” he said. “The people in these stories and images are real.”

Berman said the book, ‘Walking Juarez,’ “is not about how horrible Juárez is.”

“The book is about sweet epiphanies and little insights,” he said. “If you’re in deep enough in a culture, eventually it shares its heart with you.”

Berman said there is no theme to the book, but rather is an ongoing narrative that includes stories of how Berman finds the subjects in his photographs, as well as anecdotes about these people.

The spirit of the book can be summed up in a paragraph from the book: “In the end Berman’s search to give face to the border leads him to the realization that it is he who gained face through his encounters while walking in Juárez.”

Berman didn’t intend to write a book about Juárez But in until December 2016, as he began a sabbatical research leave, due to illness, his mobility was limited for four months.

“So what do you do if you can’t walk?” he asked. “Write a book!”

After three months, and recovered, he started working on the streets again and added new images to his multi-decade project, and brought the book to a conclusion.

The oldest photos in the book are from 1972, while the most recent photos are from 2017. All photographs are black and white.

“The most important thing to remember about black-and-white photography is you need a strong subject,” he said. “With color photographs, you can grab someone’s attention with the color alone. With black and white, it’s the power of the subject that holds the viewer’s attention.”

The book was published in June 2017.

Berman has created a publishing company – Border Blog Press – and learned all aspects of publishing from design to marketing. He intends to concentrate on publishing books that are ‘border-themed.’

‘Walking Juarez’ is available on Amazon, in selected bookstores (like Barnes and Noble) and can be purchased directly from him.

Author: Billy Huntsman – NMSU

6,000+ Luminarias to Light Up NMSU December 3

The celebration of the winter holiday season calls for a beautiful display of lights, family, friends and activities.

On Sunday, December 3, from 6 to 9 p.m., New Mexico State University will be illuminated by more than 6,000 luminarias during the 33rd annual ‘Noche de Luminarias’ at the Corbett Center Student Union.

“Noche de Luminarias,” or “Night of the Lights,” is a means for the university and community to begin the holiday with celebrations and amusement.

This attraction is one of the largest luminaria displays in New Mexico, and is set up by the Las Cruces High School band.

These candle-lit bags will begin their journey at the Educational Services Building, continue along International Mall, surround Corbett Center Student Union, extend to Barnes & Noble and line McFie Circle.

Along with the display of luminarias, there will be activities and entertainment held inside Corbett Center first floor west end. Visitors can enjoy trolley rides, sponsored by Frontier Adventures, along the McFie Circle portion of the luminaria route and free refreshments inside Corbett Center.

“Noche De Luminarias” is sponsored by Campus Activities, Corbett Center, ASNMSU, Auxiliary Services and Barnes & Noble at NMSU.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information call Campus Activities at 575-646-3200

Author – Savannah Montero – NMSU

HP Sports In-Depth: Miner Men Prep for NMSU, Undefeated Women Set for UNM

Only five days after doing battle in Las Cruces, the UTEP Miners and NM State Aggies will lace ‘em up again on Thursday night in El Paso.  Tip-off is at 8 p.m. in a rivalry doubleheader at the Haskins Center that also features the unbeaten (4-0) UTEP women facing unblemished (7-0) New Mexico at 5:30.

Tickets start at just $8 for admission into both games.  The UTEP Ticket Center number is 747-5234.

A busy last couple of days for the Miner basketball program saw UTEP lose to Lamar, coach Tim Floyd announce his retirement and Phil Johnson being installed as interim head coach.

“I told the team that I can’t be coach Floyd.  I have to be coach Johnson,” Johnson said.  “There are so many similarities.  We have been together so long.  We believe in so much of the same things and the basic brand of basketball and how you defend.  It all starts with defending and rebounding and getting back on defense and sharing the ball, taking care of the ball, getting good shots and that kind of thing.  We have always shared [those philosophies] and I think that’s why we’ve done well together.  I have always pointed out the issues at halftime or during the game on the bench and making those adjustments.  So hopefully we’ll have somebody that will do that.  I’ve got a lot of faith in our staff and coach [Bobby] Braswell and coach [Kris] Baumann.  They are really tremendous coaches and great minds.  I told the team, and I told those guys, this isn’t about me.  We’re all going to do this together.”

UTEP hung with the heavily-favored Aggies at the Pan American Center for a good long while before eventually succumbing 72-63.  The Miners were outrebounded 46-31 with Matt Willms out of the lineup and freshman Tirus Smith making his first start in the frontcourt.

“We’re going to have to rebound the ball better.  We got crushed over there in Las Cruces on the glass.  That’s really number one,” Johnson said.  “And we’ve got to figure out a way to stop their three-point shooting.  They really shot the ball well [in the first game] and they can shoot the ball well.  It’s one of the things that they do.  And so we’ll have to do a better job there.  And then we’ve got to execute better offensively.  We know we’re short-handed with some guys, and so we’re going to have to stay out of foul trouble as well.  Those are three areas we have talked about in the film.  And how we’re going to guard and all that stuff, we’re still kind of determining those things.”

The Miners are 1-5 to start the season.  They have lost five games to Division I opponents with a combined record of 24-8.  At least 25 games remain, including 18 versus Conference USA opponents.  Willms will be back and the team will get better.

“I feel good about our team,” Johnson said.  “I told them all, everybody has got to pick it up.  We’re better than 1-5.  And we’ve gotten beat by good basketball teams.  We haven’t gotten beat by terrible teams.  Every one of those teams, in fact Appalachian State was a very good basketball team and yet we had our chance to win.  Obviously the Boise State game, we should’ve won.  And the New Mexico State game, we were certainly not out of that game.  And watching the film [of the first NMSU game], we were there.  We were right there.  So we’re not that far away, and that will be our job to try to get us over the hump.”

***UTEP VS UNM

UTEP AND NEW MEXICO TO CLASH IN BATTLE OF UNBEATENS IN I-25 RIVALRY

UTEP (4-0) will challenge I-25 rival (RV) New Mexico (7-0) in a battle of undefeated teams at 5:30 p.m. MST at the Don Haskins Center Thursday. The game is part of a doubleheader with the UTEP men’s team hosting NM State at 8 p.m. One ticket price, starting as low as $8, will get fans into both games. The contest will be broadcast locally on 600 ESPN El Paso, KROD-AM Radio and there will also be a live stream on CUSAtv.com (subscription based).

HOMESTAND NEARING AN END

The tilt is the fifth of a season-opening six-game homestand, Houston Baptist (1 p.m. Saturday) also on the docket. It ties as the second longest homestand to start a season in program history.

GAME FORMAT

For the third straight season, NCAA women’s basketball games will be played in four 10-minute quarters. Teams reach the bonus and shoot two free throws on the fifth team foul in each quarter. In the four-quarter format, team fouls reset to zero at the start of each quarter. Teams have four timeouts (three 30s, one 60), three which carry over to the second half. They will be able to advance the ball to the frontcourt after a timeout with less than 59.9 seconds in 4Q. There are seven media timeouts (four under five minutes in quarter/first called), two intermission media timeouts (after first and third quarters) and the first team-called timeout during the second half. Bands or amplified music may play during any dead ball.

CONNECT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Fans are encouraged to connect with the Miners on Facebook (UTEP Women’s Basketball), Instagram (@utepwbb) and Twitter (@UTEPWBB). They are also encouraged to use #WeAreMiners in posts.

INSIDE THE SERIES (NEW MEXICO LEADS, 32-17 OVERALL; UTEP LEADS 13-12 IN EL PASO)

New Mexico leads the series, 32-17, but the Miners are 5-3 against the Lobos since the start of 2007-08 season. This is the fourth straight season that the squads are meeting. UTEP has a 13-12 advantage when playing at home, including downing UNM 70-62, on Dec. 2, 2015. The Lobos avenged that loss by knocking off the Miners at The Pit 79-66 on Dec. 11 last season. The rivalry dates to inception of the Miners’ program, with the schools squaring off at least once per year from 1974-75 through 1986-87. It resumed in 1991 and continued through 2001-02, which included a stretch when both programs were members of the WAC.

GETTING TO KNOW NEW MEXICO

New Mexico is flying high at 7-0 on the year, all at home, with a +18.6 (89.3-70.7) margin of victory. It received 19 points and is 29th in the most-recent AP Poll. Most recently the Lobos won their Thanksgiving Tournament with three victories in as many games, including dismantling Big 10 foe Illinois by 31 points (97-68) last time out.

UNM’s high-octane attack is producing 89.3 points per game, with five individuals (Cherise Beynon-16.4 ppg, Jaisa Nunn-16.0 ppg, Tesha Buck-14.7 ppg, Madi Washington-11.2 ppg and Alex Lapeyrolerie-11.0) averaging double figures in scoring. Nunn has also been a beast on the glass (10.7 rpg), including grabbing 35 total offensive boards (5.0 orpg) while Beynon has racked up the assists (7.3 apg).

UNM has top-100 NCAA team rankings for free throws made (180-first), free throws attempted (129-second), fewest turnovers per game (11.3-sixth), scoring offense (89.3-ninth), 3-pointers per game (10.0-12th), assists per game (18.7-27th), turnover margin (+6.1-27th), 3-point field-goal percentage (39.1-36th), scoring margin (+18.6-37th), rebounds per game (43.9-48th), field-goal percentage (43.9-75th), steals per game (9.6-84th) and blocks per game (3.1-93rd).

Individually Beynon is 10th in assists per game (7.3) and 55th in steals per contest (2.9). Nunn is 10th in double-doubles (four), 12th in field-goal percentage (66.1), 33rd for rebounds per game (10.7) and 99th in free-throw percentage (85.7). Tesha Buck is 17th in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.0), 53rd in 3-pointers per game (3.1) and 71st in 3-point percentage (46.8). The Lobos have a proud tradition with 15 postseason appearances (eight NCAA, five WNIT and two WBI) while amassing an all-time record of 616-523 since launching the program in 1974-75.

The University of New Mexico, located in Albuquerque, is the largest state school in New Mexico. It was founded in 1899. Notable alumni include Gary Berntsen (Former CIA Senior Operations Officer), Antoine Predock (Renowned architect who designed Petco Park, and Brian Urlacher (former All-Pro LB for Chicago Bears).

LAST MEETING WITH NEW MEXICO: (at New Mexico 79, UTEP 66, Dec. 11, 2016)

Junior Tamara Seda posted her second straight double-double (career-high 19 points, career-high 16 rebounds) but homestanding New Mexico rode the play of Cheirsa Beynon (24 points, seven assists, six rebounds) and Richelle van der Keijl (18 points, 12 rebounds) to a 79-66 victory at The Pit on Dec. 11, 2016. It was a tale of two halves, with the Lobos clicking on all cylinders over the first 20 minutes to build a 48-29 advantage heading into the locker room. UNM nailed 51.4 percent from the floor, including 43.4 percent on triples, in addition to forcing eight UTEP turnovers in the period. The Miners did an excellent job of making adjustments at the break, and played a much better second half. UTEP outscored UNM, 37-31, during the final 20 minutes but the damage had been done. The Miners made just three turnovers in the second stanza to finish with a season-low 11 giveaways. It marked the third straight game that UTEP has recorded 12 or fewer turnovers. The Orange and Blue also slowed down UNM’s high-octane offense in the second stanza. The Lobos were held to 31 points on 35.5 percent (11-31) shooting in the frame, including 3-15 (20.0 percent) from beyond-the-arc. Overall UNM finished at 43.9 percent (29-66) from the field, including 10-29 (34.5 percent) from distance. UTEP connected on 37.7 percent (26-69), which included drilling a season-best seven three pointers. The Miners also battled on the boards, with UNM holding a slight edge (46-43) in the category.

GOING BACK IN TIME (at UTEP 65, Texas Southern 55 (11/25/17)

Junior Najala Howell (16 points, 10 rebounds) and senior Tamara Seda (13 points, 13 rebounds) each posted double-doubles to help UTEP notch a hard-fought 65-55 win against Texas Southern in the final game of the sixth-annual UTEP Thanksgiving Classic at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 25. The Miners never trailed in the contest and used a 10-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to break the game’s one and only tie (48-48, 5:20 4Q) in decisive fashion. UTEP held the Lady Tigers, who have averaged 20 wins the past five years, to 38.8 percent shooting (19-49) while also crushing them on the boards (46-25). Playing a big role in the rebounding margin was a season-high 21 offensive rebounds which led to 21 second-chance points for the home side.  The Miners connected on 34.0 percent (18-53) of their shots but they more than made up for that with their rebounding and defensive efforts, in addition to setting season bests for free-throws made (26), attempted (33) and percentage (.788). In fact the Orange and Blue were 16-17 at the charity stripe in the pressure-packed fourth quarter. Sophomore Katarina Zec chipped in 10 points, her third straight game in double figures, while also grabbing a career-high eight rebounds. Junior Jordan Alexander registered 13 points and six caroms while sophomore Roeshonda Patterson provided a spark off the best with a season-high seven points and career-high matching three rebounds.

WHAT A START FOR THE BAKER ERA

At 4-0 Kevin Baker has matched the best start by a first-year UTEP head coach in program history. The only other time it happened was in the program’s first season when Carol Ammermann also peeled off four straight victories in 1974-75. Baker is the eighth head coach at the school.

GETTING OUT OF THE GATES FAST

UTEP has peeled off four straight victories to start the season, which already puts it half way toward matching last season’s overall win total (8-23). Additionally it marks the ninth start of at least 4-0 in program history. The Orange and Blue previously achieved the feat in 2015-16 (8-0), 2013-14 (9-0), 2012-13 (5-0), 2011-12 (10-0), 2006-07 (4-0), 1998-99 (4-0), 1996-97 (7-0) and 1974-75 (4-0).

CLEANING UP ON THE BOARDS

UTEP has won the rebounding battle by 20+ boards in back-to-back games for the first time since it also did so in 2011-12 in wins against Texas State on Dec. 31, 2011 (50-24, +26) and SMU on Jan. 5, 2012, (52-28, +24). The Miners outrebounded Arkansas by +24 (51-27) on Nov. 24 while holding a +21 advantage (46-25) on the glass against Texas Southern on Nov. 25. Overall on the year the Miners stand at +14.8 (42.8-28.0) in the department.

KNOCKING DOWN SHOTS

UTEP is shooting 47.2 percent (91-193) from the floor in 2017-18, which was helped by making better than 50 percent in each of the first three games of the season for the first time since at least 1982-83 (prior records incomplete).

GETTING AFTER IT ON DEFENSE

UTEP has held the opposition to 32.8 percent (79-241) from the floor in 2017-18. For the first time 1982-83 (prior records incomplete), the Miners kept their first three foes to below 33 percent shooting before Texas Southern managed to connect on 38.8 percent (19-49) last time out on Nov. 25.

SEDA DOMINATING DOWN LOW

Senior Tamara Seda has been a force to be reckoned with early on in 2017-18. She paces the team in scoring (16.0 ppg), rebounding (9.0 rpg) and double-doubles (two). She has reached double figures in scoring in all four contests, including pouring in a career-best 20 points against both CSU Bakersfield (Nov. 11) and Arkansas (Nov. 24). She is shooting just under 50.0 percent from the floor (49.0) and enters the match-up vs. New Mexico on the strength of back-to-back double-doubles.

ZEC STEPPING HER GAME UP

For the first time of her career sophomore Katarina Zec has reached double figures in scoring in three consecutive contests. Overall she is tied for third on the team in scoring (9.5 ppg) while ranking fourth in rebounding (5.8 rpg).  She is also leading the Miners in playing time (35.5 mpg).  As a freshman she pitched in 5.7 ppg and 1.7 rpg in 20.8 mpg.

COOK FEELING IT  FROM DISTANCE

After shooting 19.3 percent (11-57) from 3-point range as a freshman, Faith Cook has drilled 41.7 percent (5-12) from beyond-the-arc through four games of the 2017-18 season. Included in that was going 3-5 from home run-range in the season-opening win against CSU Bakersfield on Nov. 11. The three triples shattered her previous best of one (11 different games). Overall Cook is accounting for 6.5 ppg after putting up 1.9 ppg a year ago.

HOWELL PUTTING UP THE POINTS

Junior Najala Howell has reached double figures in scoring in all four games this season, including a 19-point effort (one shy of her career high) against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Nov. 18. She followed that up with a 15-point effort in the win vs. SEC foe Arkansas on Nov. 24 before posting her second career double-double (16 points, 10 boards) in the Miners’ victory vs. Texas Southern on Nov. 25. Howell has been incredibly efficient, pacing the team in field-goal percentage (63.6) while ranking second in scoring (15.0). She is also second on the squad in playing time (33.2 mpg).

COMING ALIVE FROM 3-POINT LAND

Najala Howell leads the team in 3-pointers made (seven), attempted (13) and 3-point field-goal percentage (53.8). Helping her cause was burying a career-high three triples in the win vs. Arkansas on Nov. 24. It’s a stark improvement from a year ago when she hit 35.2 percent (19-54) from beyond-the-arc.

ALEXANDER GETTING AFTER IT

Junior Jordan Alexander, one of two newcomers on this year’s squad, is looking like a difference maker. She paces the team in free-throws made (20) and attempted (25) while ranking second in rebounding (7.5 rpg) and tied for third in scoring (9.5 ppg). The majority of her rebounds (25-of-30) have been at the defensive end, which has helped the Miners produce a +14.8 (42.8-28.0) rebounding margin.

TAKING DOWN A POWER PROGRAM

UTEP downed Arkansas, 64-61, on Nov. 24 to secure its first win in program history against an SEC opponent. Overall it is UTEP’s initial regular-season victory against a power-five conference foe since it crushed Kansas State, 84-39, on Nov. 16, 2013. The Miners are now 11-53 all time vs. teams from a power five conference (at point of match-up), but they are 7-10 since 2012-13.

SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST

After scoring 37 points through three quarters of action, the Miners erupted for 30 points over the final 10 minutes to erase an eight-point deficit and rally past CSU Bakersfield on Nov. 11. The 30 points are the most scored in the fourth quarter by the Miners in program history and rank tied for fifth-most points in a quarter overall at the school.

MORE ON THAT FINAL FRAME

UTEP shot a sizzling 80 percent (8-10) from the floor in the fourth quarter while limiting CSUB to 18.8 percent (3-16). But perhaps the stat that jumps out above any other over the final 10 minutes is rebounding. UTEP had a whopping 16-2 advantage on the glass in the period, helping it turn a 28-20 deficit in the department through three quarters of action into a final 36-30 margin. UTEP also limited its turnovers to four after entering with 17.

STAUNCH DEFENSE TO START

Twice this year the Miners have held opponents to five points or less in the first quarter of play. UTEP conceded only three points in the first quarter against Arkansas on Nov. 24, which ties the program standard for fewest points allowed in a frame. The Miners held the Razorbacks to 0-15 shooting from the floor in the stanza; all three points came at the charity stripe. The Orange and Blue previously limited CSU Bakersfield to five points in the first frame on Nov. 11. It set the then program standard for fewest points allowed in the first quarter and tied as third for fewest points in a quarter overall.

PLENTY OF PLAYING TIME TO GO AROUND

The Miners have only 10 active players this year, meaning that there’s going to be plenty of playing time to go around. Head coach Kevin Baker has done a good job of spreading the minutes around with seven different Miners (Katarina Zec-35.5, Najala Howell-33.2, Tamara Seda-29.0, Jordan Alexander-28.0, Faith Cook-25.8, Jordan Jenkins-18.8 and Zuzanna Puc-16.5) logging at least 16 minutes per contest

IN THE NCAA RANKINGS

The Miners have top-100 NCAA team rankings for rebound margin (+14.8-12th), field-goal percentage defense (32.8-17th), fewest personal fouls per game (14.5-21st), field-goal percentage (47.2-25th), scoring defense (55.2-39th), 3-point field-goal percentage (38.3-43rd), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (27.6-70th), rebounds per game (42.8-73rd), scoring margin (+11.0-84th) and assists per game (15.8-85th). Individually Najala Howell is 21st in field-goal percentage (63.6), Katarina Zec is 33rd in free-throw percentage (90.9) and 88th in minutes per game (35.5) and Tamara Seda is 100th in rebounds per game (9.0)

GETTING TO KNOW THE 2017-18 MINERS

UTEP returned eight letter winners (Faith Cook, Jakeira Ford, Najala Howell, Roeshonda Patterson, Zuzanna Puc, Tamara Seda, Rachel Tapps and Katarina Zec) from last year’s squad (8-23, 5-11 Conference USA). Puc, Seda and Zec all started for UTEP in 2016-17. The Miners also added four newcomers (Jordan Alexander, Ariona Gill, Jordan Jenkins and Neidy Ocuane) but Gill and Ocuane are slated to take a redshirt year in 2017-18. The squad is under the direction of first-year head coach Kevin Baker, who is assisted by first-year assistants Nicole Dunson, Michael Madrid and Lori Morris.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN

Head coach Kevin Baker inherited a young team, with 60% of the active roster (6-of-10) comprised of sophomores (Faith Cook, Jakeira Ford, Roeshonda Patterson, Zuzanna Puc, Rachel Tapps and Katarina Zec). The Miners have just three upperclassmen, in the form of one senior (Tamara Seda) to go along with returning junior Najala Howell and junior-college transfer Jordan Alexander. Freshman Jordan Jenkins rounded out the active roster. Two other newcomers (junior-college transfers Ariona Gill and Neidy Ocuane) are sitting out the 2017-18 season as redshirts.

NEW FACES

The Miners have four newcomers to the squad in 2017-18 though two of the additions (junior Ariona Gill, 5-11, G/F, San Jacinto College) and junior Neidy Ocuane (5-5, G, Seward County CC) are redshirting the 2017-18 season. Junior Jordan Alexander (5-11, F, Trinity Valley CC) and true freshman Jordan Jenkins (5-3, G, Buffalo HS) both have started the first four games and are expected to remain significant contributors throughout the year. Last year Alexander helped TVCC qualify for its 10th straight trip to the national tournament and finish with an overall record of 30-6. She put up 6.5 points per game while also grabbing 2.5 rebounds per game. Jenkins averaged 20 points, eight steals, seven assists and six rebounds to help her squad earn runner-up honors in Texas 2017 in the UIL 3A playoffs. Ocuane paced her team in assists per game (4.7) and steals per game (2.4) while ranking fourth in scoring (11.2). Her efforts helped it win the program’s first conference title in eight years.

NOTING THE SCHEDULE

The return of the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic and a 16-game Conference USA slate, match-ups against both New Mexico and NM State and non-conference contests against power league members Arkansas and East Carolina highlight the 2017-18 UTEP women’s basketball schedule. There are also games against three teams that played in the 2017 NCAA Tournament (NM State, Texas Southern and WKU) and four from the 2017 Postseason WNIT (Georgetown, LA Tech, Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss)

THE BAKER FILE

Kevin Baker was appointed as the eighth head coach in UTEP women’s basketball history on Monday, April 24, 2017. He has a unique background which has seen him rise through the coaching ranks from high school level, to NCAA Division III, then NCAA Division II and now his NCAA Division I position at UTEP. Throughout his ascent, though, he has consistently found a way to win. He is 348-131 overall in his 16th year as a head coach, including 126-30 in his sixth season as a college head coach. He has set school records for wins at every stop of his career, and has taken every school to the playoffs with a total of five district championships. He is an eight-time Coach of the Year. In his stops most recently prior to UTEP, Baker’s teams captured back-to-back conference championships at UT-Tyler and Angelo State. Baker has led both a Division II (Angelo State) and Division III (UT-Tyler) school to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

HISTORY Of FIRST-YEAR COACHES AT UTEP

In terms of success rate in the first season on the sidelines, Carol Ammerman (11-5, 1974-75) and Janet Wood (11-16, 1979-80) share the platform for most victories by a Miner head coach in their initial campaign. Ammerman’s effort came in the first year of the program, and is also the lone winning record by a first-year Miner head coach in school history. Overall the prior seven head coaches at UTEP are a combined 54-120 (8-17 average record). Needless to say, Kevin Baker is hoping to buck that trend in 2017-18.

EXPERIENCED STAFF

While head coach Kevin Baker and his three assistants (Nicole Dunson, Michael Madrid and Lori Morris) are in their first year at UTEP, they brought plenty of coaching experience to the Sun City. The quartet entered the 2017-18 season with a combined 93 years of coaching experience (Morris-37 years, Baker-23 years, Madrid-22 years and Dunson-11 years).

BASIC FACTS ON THE PROGRAM

UTEP is 551-648 in its 44th season as a women’s basketball program, including 4-0 in 2017-18. The Miners have made four postseason bids (2016,-WNIT quarterfinals; 2014-WNIT runner-up, 2012-NCAA first round and 2008-NCAA second round), sporting a combined record of 9-4 (8-2 WNIT, 1-2 NCAA). UTEP has claimed four league championships (2016 C-USA regular season, 2012 C-USA regular season and conference tournament and 2008 C-USA regular season). It has a 1-1 record all time in league tournament title games, winning the title in 2012 and falling in 2008. There have been six 20+ win seasons (all since 2006-07), including four of the past six years. UTEP has cracked the top-25 poll in two seasons (2015-16, 2007-08), including being ranked in the final six weeks in ‘07-08, while receiving votes in eight campaigns total (‘15-16, ‘13-14, ‘12-13, ‘11-12, ‘08-09, ‘07-08 and ‘06-07). The Miners have been mentioned in the AP Preseason Poll four times, including garnering three points in 2016-17. In 2008 UTEP became the first C-USA women’s team to finish undefeated in league play (16-0) while claiming the program’s initial league title in 2008. The Miners finished 15-1 in C-USA in 2012 in addition to also winning the program’s first conference tournament championship. UTEP owns the C-USA single-season record for winning streak at 23, which was set in 2007-08. The University of Texas at El Paso (founded in 1914) recently enjoyed its centennial celebration. Notable alumni include former ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Sam Donaldson, well-respected NFL referee Ed Hochuli, former NASA astronaut Danny Olivas engineer & Dennis Poon, who designed Taipei 101 & some of the tallest buildings in the world.

THIRD-BEST IN TEXAS SINCE 2006-07

The Miners have the third-highest winning percentage among all DI programs in Texas since ‘06-07. Baylor (354-52, 87.2%), and Texas A&M (287-99, 74.4%) lead the way followed by UTEP (233-120, 66.0%).  Texas (239-133, 64.2%-4th), Lamar (214-137, 61.0%-5th), Stephen F. Austin (206-140, 59.5%-6th), TCU (204-152, 57.3%-7th), SMU (189-160, 54.2%-9th), Prairie View A&M (190-165, 53.5%-9th) and Texas Tech (181-175, 50.8%-10th) round out the top 10.

SPECIAL RUN

The Miners are 133-66 since the start of the 2011-12 season, with 80 double-digit victories in that time frame. UTEP has played postseason basketball in three of the past six seasons, making two deep runs in the WNIT (2014 runner-up, 2016 quarterfinals) and earning the C-USA automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament (lost, first round). It is has enjoyed 14 separate winning streaks of at least three games during that time frame.

HOME SWEET HOME

UTEP has an all-time home record of 355-214, including standing 4-0 this year. The Miners have amassed a record of 157-40 at home since 2006-07, including 90-23 since 2011-12. Aiding that 90-23 record over the past six years was a school-record 19-1 home mark in 2015-16. The match-up against New Mexico is the fifth of 16 regular-season tilts at the Don Haskins Center in 2017-18. UTEP has been particularly strong in non-conference play, sporting a record of 79-11 at home in the situation since 2006-07.

ALL ABOUT THE FANS

The Miners received tremendous support to help propel them to a pair of deep runs in the WNIT (2014 runner-up honors, 2016 quarterfinals) in the past four years. UTEP averaged 7,773 fans per game during the 10 WNIT contests (8-2 record) in El Paso. Aiding those numbers were back-to-back sellouts , the first in program history, in the semifinals and finals of the 2014 WNIT. The Miners have ranked in the top-50 nationally for attendance in three of the past six years. UTEP placed 28th in 2013-14 (3,793 avg.), 42nd in 2012-13 (2,708 avg.) and 46th in 2011-12 (2,639 avg.). The Miners are 28-10 when playing in front of 4,000+ fans since 2001-02. They are 25-3 in the situation at the Don Haskins Center and 3-7 when doing so on the road.

TRAVEL TIME

UTEP is 139-355 all time on the road, including a record of 1-9 during the 2016-17 season. When playing at a neutral site the Miners stand 57-78, including five losses to power-five programs last season. Since the start of the 2006-07 season UTEP is 57-62 on the road, including 33-31 since 2011-12.

CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS

Redshirt-senior Tamara Seda ranks sixth at UTEP in blocked shots (72), tied seventh in double-doubles (13), tied  23rd in rebounds (456) and 48th in scoring (511).

2016-17 IN REVIEW

UTEP went through a rebuilding year in 2016-17, finishing with a record of 8-23, including 5-13 in Conference USA play, before bowing out in the first round of the 2017 C-USA Championships. The youth-laden Miners lost all five starters from the 2015-16 season and returned only four letter winners from that squad, giving them a new look for the year. UTEP played its most challenging non-conference schedule in program history with a single-season school-record five games against teams from power five conferences. It went 0-5 in those contests while finishing 3-4 vs. non power league programs in non-conference play. Overall UTEP was saddled with a 2-9 start to the year before going 3-3 over the next six games. The Miners then lost a season-long six straight and eight of the next nine before posting back-to-back victories. UTEP dropped its final two games of the regular season and was upended by sixth-seeded Old Dominion in the first round of the C-USA Championships, 80-70

CLIFF NOTES ON THE 2017-18 SEASON

UTEP TAKES DOWN SEC FOE ARKANSAS, 64-61 (at UTEP 64, Arkansas 61 (11/24/17)

UTEP posted a wire-to-wire 64-61 victory against Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas in its opening game of the sixth-annual UTEP Thanksgiving Classic at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 24. The Miners raced out to a 13-2 lead four minutes in, were up 18 (38-20) at half and 16 (52-36) through three quarters before withstanding a furious rally attempt by the Razorbacks. UA managed to whittle UTEP’s advantage all the way down to one (62-61) but sophomore Faith Cook hit a fadeaway jumper to beat the shot clock with eight seconds left in the game to put the Miners back up by three. The visitor’s Devin Cosper then misfired on a triple at the other end. Tamara Seda notched a double-double (career-high tying 20 points, 10 rebounds) to lead UTEP, but she was buoyed by 14 points and eight rebounds from Najala Howell and 10 points and six boards by Katarina Zec. Jordan Jenkins did her part with a career-high seven assists while Zuzanna Puc pitched in eight points and four boards in 15 minutes off the bench in her 2017-18 debut. UTEP connected on better than 50.0 percent (50.8 percent, 27-53) from the floor for the third straight game, something it hasn’t done to start a season since at least 1981-82 (prior stats incomplete). The Miners also defended tirelessly, holding Arkansas to 30.0 percent (21-70) from the floor. The Razorbacks jacked up 41 3-point shots, but only made 11, for a readout of 26.8 percent. The Orange and Blue took care of business on the boards, winning the rebounding battle to the tune of 51-27. Helping that figure was 40 defensive boards, the most against a division I opponent since also securing 40 against Tulane on March 8, 2013. An area of concern for UTEP was turnovers (23) which led to 22 Arkansas points. But the Orange and Blue compensated for that by the dominance in other areas, in addition to holding a 38-18 advantage in points in the paint.

UTEP CRUISES PAST TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI, 69-49

at UTEP 69, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 49 (11/18/17)

UTEP played well in all facets off the game in a convincing 69-49 victory against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 18. The Miners shot 54.3 percent (25-46) from the floor while stifling the Islanders to a readout of 31.1 percent (19-61), including 4-15 (26.7 percent) from distance. UTEP won the boards (38-30), racked up 19 assists compared to 14 turnovers and led for the majority of the contest. Najala Howell paced the Orange and Blue with 19 points-one shy of a personal best- while also dishing out a career-high seven assists. Katarina Zec (12 points), Tamara Seda (11 points) and Jakeira Ford (10 points) all joined her in double figures for scoring while Jordan Alexander pitched in seven points.  Four different Miners grabbed at least five rebounds, with Ford leading the way with six caroms.  UTEP led by two (14-12) after the first quarter before outscoring the visitors 35-16 over the next two frames to blow open the game.

 

UTEP RALLIES PAST CSU BAKERSFIELD IN OPENER, 67-56

at UTEP 67, CSU Bakersfield 56 (11/11/17)

UTEP used a huge fourth quarter to rally past CSU Bakersfield, 67-56, in the 2017-18 season opener for both squads at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 11. The Roadrunners led by eight (45-37) through three quarters of action but the Miners opened up the final frame on an 13-1 run to help fuel a dominant 30-11 advantage over the last 10 minutes of action. Senior Tamara Seda (20 points), junior Jordan Alexander (15 points) and sophomore Faith Cook (14 points) each established career highs to lead the way for the Miners, who were victorious in head coach Kevin Baker’s Division I coaching debut. Junior Najala Howell (10 points) also reached double digits in scoring for UTEP, which nailed 51.2 percent (21-41) from the floor and 42.9 percent (6-14) from beyond-the-arc. Alexander, who played her freshman year at DI Louisiana before transferring to Trinity Valley, grabbed a personal-best 10 boards for her first career double-double while Seda added eight caroms. UTEP won the rebounding battle, 36-30, which was aided by a whopping 16-2 advantage in the fourth quarter. The Miners held CSUB to 32.8 percent (20-61) from the floor.

START IT OFF STRONG

UTEP improved to 24-20 all time in season openers, including 21-7 when doing so in El Paso. Overall in home openers, the Miners now stand 28-14 (missing outcomes in some years).

RECAPPING THE EXHIBITION SEASON

For the first time since the 2007-08 season, the Miners played a pair of exhibition games to prepare for the regular season. UTEP split the contests, drilling NCAA Division III member Sul Ross State, 99-40, on Oct. 29, while falling to NCAA Division II member St. Mary’s (Texas), 68-62, on Nov. 4. Katarina Zec (17.5 points per game) was the top point producer for the Miners but four others (Tamara Seda-16.5 ppg, Najala Howell-15.0 ppg, Jordan Alexander-11.0 ppg and Jakeira Ford-11.0 ppg) also averaged double figures in scoring. As a team UTEP shot 45.5 percent (56-123) from the floor while holding its foes to 30.9 percent (38-123). The Miners excelled at the free-throw line (35-42, 83.3 percent) and also dominated the rebounding department (51.0 rebounds per game to 27.5 opponent rebounds per game).

A recap of each of the contests is below.

St. Mary’s (Texas) 68, at UTEP 62 (11/4/17)

Five different Miners reached double figures in scoring but visiting NCAA Division II St. Mary’s (Texas) used a barrage of three pointers to down UTEP, 68-62, in an exhibition contest at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 4. The Miners were clicking on all cylinders early with a 22-point first quarter, which helped propel them to a 35-27 advantage at the half. The visiting Rattlers came out firing after the break, eventually pulling ahead by 12 (61-49) with 7:36 to play in the game. UTEP scored the game’s next 10 points to help fuel a 13-1 run to even the tilt at 62 with 2:25 remaining. But St. Mary’s, which finished 21-7 a year ago, received back-to-back triples from Sierra Dixon to decide the game. The long-distance hits were part of 14 on the day for St. Mary’s, including five alone in the final frame. Jordan Alexander (14 points) led a quintet of Miners in double figures offensively, with Katarina Zec (12 points), Najala Howell (12 points), Tamara Seda (10 points) and Jakeira Ford (10 points) joining her. Seda pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds for a double-double, which also helped UTEP win the boards, 46-33. UTEP shot it reasonably well at 40.7 percent (24-59), but it struggled from beyond-the-arc at 26.7 percent (4-15). While the Miners held St. Mary’s to 35.4 percent shooting (23-65), they allowed the Rattlers to drill 14-of-31 (45.2 percent) from downtown.

 

at UTEP 99, Sul Ross State 40 (10/29/17)

UTEP raced out to a 52-17 halftime lead and never looked back on the way to a 99-40 exhibition win against Division III Sul Ross State at the Don Haskins Center on Oct. 29. Senior Tamara Seda dominated with a monstrous double-double (23 points, 15 rebounds) while sophomore Katarina Zec (23 points, nine boards) and junior Najala Howell (18 points, seven rebounds) also had big days. Seda also added four blocks and four steals. The Miners shot 50.0 percent (32-64) from the floor, including 45.5 percent (10-22) from distance, while also nailing 86.2 percent (25-29) at the charity stripe. It was a different story for the visiting Lady Lobos, who were harassed into 22 turnovers and held to 25.9 percent (15-58) from the floor. UTEP also took care of business on the boards, outrebounding Sul Ross State, 56-22. Seda led the way with a game-high 15 boards while Jordan Alexander pulled down 11 caroms. Alexander added eight points in her Miner debut. An area of concern for UTEP was turnovers with 19, but 14 of those came in the first half. ​y

***UTEP VS NMSU 

MINERS, AGGIES MEET IN I-10 REMATCH
Five days after NM State (4-1) handled UTEP (1-5) in Las Cruces by the score of 72-63, the Miners and the Aggies meet in the I-10 rematch on Thursday night at the Don Haskins Center.  FirstLight Federal Credit Union is the official sponsor of the UTEP-NM State rivalry.  Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. MT.  It’s game two of a “Rivalry Week” doubleheader as the 4-0 UTEP women will face 7-0 New Mexico at 5:30 p.m.  UTEP is in the midst of a season-long, nine-game homestand which started with a 66-52 loss to Lamar on Monday.  Following the game, coach Tim Floyd announced his retirement and, on Tuesday, Phil Johnson was appointed the Miners’ interim head coach.  Johnson will be leading the bench for the first time since March 8, 2005, when he finished his fourth and final season as the head coach at San Jose State with a 72-48 loss to Hawaii in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament.

ON THE AIR
The game will be streamed live on Facebook by Stadium with Jason Knapp, Ben Braun and Shae Peppler handling the call.  The English radio broadcast is available on KOFX 92.3 FM with Jon Teicher (play-by-play) and Steve Yellen (color) calling the action.  A Spanish radio broadcast is available on ESPN Deportes 1650 AM, with Omar Ropele on the mike.

TIM FLOYD RETIRES
Tim Floyd announced his retirement as the Miners’ head coach on Monday following the game versus Lamar at the Haskins Center.  Floyd closes out his collegiate coaching career with a record of 466-279, and a 138-99 mark at UTEP.  He previously was the head coach at Idaho (1986-88), New Orleans (1988-94), Iowa State (1994-98) and USC (2005-09) prior to returning to UTEP as head coach for the 2010-11 season.  He was an assistant coach under Don Haskins at UTEP from 1978-86.  Floyd’s teams made eight NCAA Tournament appearances and five trips to the NIT.  He was also head coach of the Chicago Bulls (1998-2002) and the New Orleans Hornets (2003-04) in the NBA.  The Miners finished 75-43 in Conference USA play under Floyd, with top three finishes on four occasions in seven full seasons (tied for second 2010-11, third 2012-13, tied for second 2014-15, tied for third 2016-17).  He ranks second in UTEP history in victories and has coached the second-most games of any UTEP coach (237).

PHIL JOHNSON TAKES OVER
Phil Johnson was named UTEP’s interim men’s basketball coach on Tuesday, following the retirement of Tim Floyd.  Johnson has assisted Floyd on the bench at the University of New Orleans (1991-93), with the NBA’s Chicago Bulls (1999-02), at USC (2005-09) and at UTEP (2010-17).  He was the head coach at San Jose State for four seasons (1998-99, 2002-05).  Johnson has coached in nine NCAA Tournaments and two Final Fours and was a part of the Arizona Wildcats’ national championship run in 1997.  Johnson’s record as a head coach against NM State is 0-0.

COACHES’ NEW BEGINNINGS
UTEP coaches have posted a 9-9 record in their debuts.  Five straight coaches had won in their opening assignment (Don Haskins, Jason Rabedeaux, Billy Gillispie, Doc Sadler, Tony Barbee) before Tim Floyd dropped his Miner debut to Pacific, 66-61, on Nov. 12, 2010 in the Haskins Center.  Only one UTEP coach has tipped off his tenure by facing I-10 rival NM State.  Dale Waters had the honor of opening the 1945-46 season versus the Aggies and his team pulled out a 41-36 victory.

ABOUT NM STATE
The Aggies have been idle since beating the Miners on Saturday night and will be facing UTEP back-to-back for the first time since the 2010-11 season.  Graduate transfer Zach Lofton, the 2017 SWAC Player of the Year at Texas Southern, is averaging a team-leading 23.8 ppg with a .609 field goal percentage, .467 three-point percentage and .677 free throw percentage.  Junior forward Eli Chuha is second on the squad in scoring with 12.6 ppg.  Senior forward Jemerrio Jones is averaging 9.2 ppg and 11.6 rpg.  NM State has dominated opponents on the glass with a rebound margin of +14.0 per game.  NM State ranked third nationally in rebound margin (behind Wichita State and Cincinnati) through the games of Nov. 28.  Jones was seventh in rebounding and third in offensive rebounds per game (5.0), and Lofton was eighth in scoring.  Chris Jans is in his first year as the head coach at NM State.  He previously coached at Kirkwood CC, Independence CC, Howard College and Chipola College in the junior college ranks, and was the head coach at Bowling Green during the 2014-15 season where he compiled a 21-12 record.

CONNECTIONS
NM State Assistant Coach David Anwar was a member of Doc Sadler’s UTEP staff during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.  He served as Director of Basketball Operations with the Miners.

SERIES HISTORY
This is the longest-running series in school history (215th meeting).  NM State leads the series 111-103.  The Aggies have won nine of the last 10 games between the rivals and six straight.  The Miners’ last victory came by the score of 77-76 on Nov. 22, 2014 in the Haskins Center.  The Aggies won in El Paso during the 2015-16 (73-53) and 2016-17 (79-68) seasons.  The Miners have a 62-49 advantage in games played in the Sun City.  NMSU has won three of the last four games between the teams in the Haskins Center after UTEP won eight of the previous 10.

THE LAST MEETING
Down to only nine scholarship players, including two over 6-7, the UTEP men’s basketball team battled NM State to the end before falling 72-63 on Nov. 25 at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces.  The Miners played the Aggies to a 20-20 deadlock in the first 16 minutes before NMSU ended the half with a 9-2 run.  UTEP opened the second half with a 12-5 run to tie it at 34.  The Aggies outscored the Miners 17-3 over the next five minutes to take their largest lead, 51-37, on a three-pointer by Zach Lofton with 11:56 to go.  UTEP was able to get within six three times the rest of the way, the last at 68-62 with 52 seconds remaining, before the Aggies closed it out with free throws.  Evan Gilyard scored in double figures for the first time as a Miner, tying Paul Thomas for team-high scoring honors with 14 points.  He added five rebounds and two steals.  Keith Frazier and Omega Harris added 13 points each for UTEP.  Frazier pulled down seven rebounds as the Miners predictably were dominated on the glass, 46-31.  NMSU also shot better (43.9 percent to 36.8 percent) and made 10 three pointers, including three from Sidy N’Dir.  A key stat in UTEP’s favor was an 18-5 edge in points off turnovers.  The Miners had 11 giveaways and 16 takeaways on the night.  Lofton, who came in averaging 25.3 points per game, got going late for the Aggies with 13 points over the final 14:18.  He finished with 18 points and eight rebounds.  N’Dir added 13 points and Wilkins had 10 for NMSU.

MINERS VERSUS THE AGGIES
Senior guard Omega Harris will be playing in his seventh game of the I-10 rivalry on Thursday.  His career numbers versus the Aggies are 84 points (14.0 ppg), 19 rebounds (3.2 rpg), seven assists (1.2 apg) and four steals (0.7 spg) with a .468 (29-for-62) field goal percentage, .563 (9-for-16) three-point field goal percentage and .680 (17-for-25) free throw percentage.  Junior forward Paul Thomas has faced NMSU on five occasions with 32 points (6.4 ppg), 15 rebounds (3.0 rpg), five assists (1.0 apg), two blocks (0.4 bpg), one steal (0.2 spg),  a .483 (14-for-29) field goal percentage and .667 (2-for-3) free throw percentage.  Senior forward Jake Flaggert has six career appearances versus the Aggies with 14 points (2.3 ppg), 11 rebounds (1.8 rpg), two blocks (0.3 bpg), one steal (0.2 spg), a .267 (4-for-15) field goal percentage and .267 (4-for-15) three-point percentage.  Junior guard Trey Touchet has tallied two assists and a steal in five matchups with NMSU.  Keith Frazier, Evan Gilyard, Kobe Magee, Isiah Osborne and Tirus Smith all saw their first action against the Aggies on Nov. 25 in Las Cruces.

WILLMS SIDELINED
Senior center Matt Willms, the Miners’ leading scorer and rebounder, will be out until mid to late December with a spiral fracture in his right hand.  The injury occurred late in the Miners’ 76-72 loss to Appalachian State on Nov. 19.  Willms is averaging 14.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks this season, shooting 60.5 percent from the field.  He is coming off back-to-back 18-point outings versus South Carolina and Appalachian State in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Myrtle Beach.  His loss leaves the Miners even more short-handed in the frontcourt, with junior forward Paul Thomas and freshman forward Tirus Smith the only scholarship players taller than 6-7.

LAST GAME
Lamar made 9-of-14 three-point shots in the first half in blowing out to a 20-point lead, and a late rally by UTEP came up short as the Miners fell to the Cardinals, 66-52, on Monday at the Don Haskins Center.  Joey Frenchwood made four three-pointers in the first half and Zjori Bosha made three for the Cardinals, who improved to 2-0 on the road this season with victories at Tulsa and UTEP.  The Miners never led after falling behind 13-0 in the first three minutes.  UTEP was only down nine (24-15) when Kobe Magee hit a three-pointer with 8:52 remaining in the half.  But the Cardinals used a 14-3 run to push their advantage to 20 (38-18).  Lamar was comfortably in front the entire second half, despite a frantic finish that saw the Miners pull within nine points with 39 seconds left.  UTEP utilized a 15-4 run to trim a 20-point deficit down to 61-52.  Trey Wade, returning to the lineup after missing a game with a hyperextended knee, was the only UTEP player in double figures with 13 points.  Bosha scored 18 points, Josh Nzeakor 15, Frenchwood 12 and Colton Weisbrod 11 for the Cardinals.  Lamar shot 39 percent from the field to UTEP’s 33.3 percent, and the Cardinals outscored the Miners 14-7 in points off turnovers.

CHECKING THE C-USA STATS
Through the games of Nov. 29, UTEP held top-five Conference USA rankings in field goal percentage defense (second, .397), blocked shots (fourth, 4.8 bpg) and scoring defense (fifth, 67.0 ppg).  Individually, Isiah Osborne was third in three-point field goal percentage (.538), Keith Frazier was eighth in three-point field goals made per game (2.3) and Trey Wade was 10th in blocks (1.4 bpg).

WADE LEADS THE WAY
For the second straight game, a freshman led UTEP in scoring as Trey Wade put 13 points on the board against Lamar on Monday.  On Nov. 25 at NM State, fellow frosh Evan Gilyard tied for team-high honors with 14 points at NM State.  UTEP has had a newcomer pace the team in scoring in five of six games this season.  For Wade, it was his second double-figure performance as a Miner, with both coming in a reserve role.  He scored 10 points off the bench in the opener versus Louisiana College.

BENCH OUTSCORES STARTERS
UTEP received 28 points from its reserves and 24 points from its starters on Monday against Lamar.  The Miners actually dominated the bench scoring line versus the Cardinals, 28-2.  No UTEP starter scored in double figures against Lamar, marking the first time that has happened since Dec. 19, 2015 versus NM State.  UTEP’s bench has outscored the starters twice this season.  On Nov. 19 versus Appalachian State, the bench scored 40 points and the starters produced 32 points.

MORE ON THE BENCH STRENGTH
UTEP’s bench is averaging 23.2 points per game this season.  UTEP has gotten 40 points from its bench in two games (Louisiana College, Appalachian State).  A year ago, the Miners’ season high for bench points was 35.  Freshman Trey Wade is the team leader in bench points in 2017-18 (38, 7.6 ppg).  Three Miners have scored in double figures in a game off the bench this season with Osborne (17 points) and Trey Wade (10) doing so versus Louisiana College, Keith Frazier (25 points) achieving the feat against Appalachian State, and Wade pouring in 13 points in relief versus Lamar.

SHORING UP THE 3-POINT DEFENSE
UTEP opponents have made at least eight three-point field goals in every game this season, with three teams (Louisiana College, Appalachian State, NM State) connecting on eight triples.  But in the final 20 minutes versus Lamar on Monday, the Miners held an opponent without a trifecta in a half for the first time this season (and for the first time since the second game of the 2016-17 campaign).  The Cardinals were 0-for-4 from beyond the arc in the second half after shooting a sizzling 64.3 percent (9-for-14) from downtown in the first half.

FRESHMEN POINT GUARDS STEP UP
After taking a few games to get acclimated to the college level, freshmen point guards Evan Gilyard and Kobe Magee have played a more integral role over the last couple of outings.  Gilyard has scored 23 points (11.5 ppg) in the last two games.  He tied for team-high honors with 14 points at NM State, then hit three threes in the first half against Lamar.  He played a season-high 33 minutes versus the Aggies.  Gilyard leads the Miners in assists (17), steals (eight) and free throw percentage (.875).  Magee recorded his first points of the season against Lamar, while playing his UTEP-high 25 minutes.  He also pulled down a career-best five rebounds versus the Cardinals.

FOUR LINEUPS
UTEP has utilized four different starting lineups in the first six games of the season.  Isiah Osborne made his first start as a Miner the last time out versus Lamar.  Omega Harris and Paul Thomas are the only players to start each of the first six games.

PAUL PRODUCES
After putting up subpar numbers in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, junior forward Paul Thomas looked more like himself in round one at NM State.  He tied for team-high scoring honors with 14 points (12 in the second half), and pulled down five rebounds in 30 minutes of work.  What’s more, Thomas showed off his new diversified game as he made two three-pointers.  Entering the contest, Thomas was a combined 0-for-5 from beyond the arc in his first 58 collegiate games.

HARRIS HELPING ON THE BOARDS
Senior guard Omega Harris has made a name for himself by scoring 1,100 points at UTEP, but this year he has been a factor on the glass as well.  Harris has pulled down five or more rebounds in four of six games; last season he did so only eight times in 31 contests.  Against Appalachian State on Nov. 19, Harris led the Miners in rebounding (five) for the first time in his collegiate career.  He followed that up by snaring six rebounds at NM State and five versus Lamar.  His career-high for boards is 10 versus Charlotte on March 4, 2017.  Harris is averaging 4.5 rebounds in 2017-18, third on the team.  He averaged 2.0 rebounds as a freshman, 2.5 as a sophomore and 3.6 as a junior.

FRAZIER’S IMPACT
Grad transfer Keith Frazier has scored 20+ points twice, has one double-double and another near double-double in the first six games of the season.  He scored 25 points versus Appalachian State, had 22 points and 10 rebounds against Boise State and 13 points/nine boards versus Louisiana College.  Frazier is second on the team in scoring (14.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg), and third in assists (1.5 apg).  Not bad for a guy who had played in only four collegiate games since December of 2015 prior to making his return to the court with the Miners.

FRAZIER’S BIG GAME OFF THE BENCH
Keith Frazier came off the bench for the first time this season versus Appalachian State (Nov. 19) and scored 25 points.  It marked the most points by a UTEP reserve since Deon Barrett scored 25 off the pine at New Mexico on Dec. 7, 2016.  Before that, the last Miner to score 25+ points off the bench in a game was Randy Culpepper with 25 against UCF on Feb. 11, 2009.

CHARGE CLUB
While Jake Flaggert has traditionally been known as the Miners’ resident “charge drawer,” a freshman duo has gotten into the act in 2017-18.  Evan Gilyard and Tirus Smith lead the team with four charges drawn each.  Together they have accounted for 80 percent (8-of-10) of the Miners’ charges drawn this season.

THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS
While the Miners have been inconsistent offensively while dealing with injuries to key players, the defense has been a constant through six games.  Opponents are shooting 39.7 percent from the floor, and UTEP has held four of five Division I opponents well below their scoring average coming into the game.  Boise State scored 58 points (97.0 ppg coming in), Appalachian State scored 76 points (98.8 ppg), NM State scored 72 points (79.8 ppg) and Lamar scored 66 points (84.2 ppg).

VETS CARRYING THE LOAD
Including grad transfer Keith Frazier, UTEP has received 51.6 percent of its points (206-of-399), 46.3 percent of its rebounds (93-of-201) and 42.1 percent of its assists (32-of-76) from players who are in their final year in the Orange and Blue.  The Miners’ top three scorers are senior Matt Willms (14.8 ppg), Frazier (14.0 ppg) and senior Omega Harris (9.8 ppg).  If that holds up, UTEP’s top three scorers would be seniors for the first time since 2010-11 when the top five scorers (Randy Culpepper, Christian Polk, Jeremy Williams, Julyan Stone, Claude Britten) were in their final year of eligibility.

OMEGA & THE UTEP CHARTS
Despite being hampered by a back injury, Omega Harris has continued his climb up the UTEP career charts in 2017-18.  He is currently 28th in scoring with 1,100 points.  Antonio Davis is his next target on the list (27th place, 1,117 points).  Harris is fifth in three-point field goals (133) and chasing Mark Ingles (fourth, 140).  He is tied for 15th place in steals (101) with Quintan Gates and Kevin Henderson.  With two more takeaways, Harris will move into a tie for 13th place in steals with Eugene Costello and Kimani Jones-Young.

MATT’S BLOCK PARTY
With 107 career blocks, Matt Willms is tied for seventh place in the UTEP record book with Ralph Davis.  He is in pursuit of John Tofi, who sits in sixth place with 110 rejections.  Willms has blocked 10 shots in only four games this season, and tied his career-high with five versus Boise State in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

JAKE TAKES CHARGE
Jake Flaggert led Conference USA in charges drawn in both 2015-16 (18) and 2016-17 (33).  He has taken two charges in limited action this season, giving him 59 in his career.

A NEAR-RECORD
By outscoring Louisiana College 32-0 to start the game in the season opener, UTEP came within two points of tying an NCAA record.  On Nov. 29, 1998, Seton Hall led Kean 34-0 to set the standard.

HITTING THE CENTURY MARK
The Miners scored 100 points in a season opener for only the third time against Louisiana College.  UTEP scored 109 points versus Fort Lewis and UT-Permian Basin during the 1988-89 and 2003-04 seasons, respectively.  The Miners scored 100 points for the 31st time in school history.

THE 2017-18 MINERS
UTEP returns four starters and five letterwinners from last year’s squad that started 2-13 before winning 13 of its final 17 games and tying for third place in Conference USA (12-6 mark).  UTEP welcomes back five of its top six scorers from the 2016-17 season headlined by senior guard Omega Harris (17.0 ppg last season) and senior center Matt Willms (11.4 ppg).  The only starter lost is Dominic Artis, who last year became the first player in school history to lead the team in rebounds (207), assists (187) and steals (60).  Artis, a second team All-Conference USA player, collected 15.0 ppg.  The Miners have six scholarship newcomers including two players (Isiah Osborne and Trey Wade) who sat out last season.  Also new to the fold are freshmen Evan Gilyard, Kobe Magee and Tirus Smith and graduate transfer Keith Frazier.

Third-Annual Giving Tuesday Nets More Than $1.8m to NMSU System

Gifts were continuing to be counted Tuesday evening at the New Mexico State University system’s Giving Tuesday headquarters in Corbett Center Student Union’s Aggie Lounge, but at the 5 p.m. wrap-up celebration, NMSU had already brought in more than $1.8 million in gifts from more than 1,300 donors to scholarships and programs benefitting students at campuses throughout the state.

At a 9 a.m. kickoff celebration, representatives from New Mexico Gas Company, an Emera company, announced a $150,000 gift to Arrowhead Center, the entrepreneurship and innovation hub at NMSU, to support programs that create businesses, accelerate technology commercialization and deliver a student entrepreneurship curriculum to communities throughout the state.

It was the second year that Tommy Sanders, an NMSU alumnus and a vice president at New Mexico Gas Company presented a check at Giving Tuesday headquarters. The funds support business accelerator programs that help entrepreneurs across New Mexico.

11/28/2017: Third-annual Giving Tuesday event at NMSU’s Corbett Center Aggie Lounge. (NMSU photo by Andres Leighton)

“We are pleased that these funds will support the continued growth of Arrowhead Center programs,” Sanders said. “Chancellor Carruthers and his team have demonstrated tremendous leadership in the development of an engine that supports business growth. We’re very happy to be a part of that. We believe in what you’re doing, and we believe it’s going to have far-reaching impact to all of New Mexico.”

Giving Tuesday headquarters was abuzz with activity all day, as donors stopped by to present their gifts and be celebrated by students, faculty, administrators and staff. There were smiles and tears, as donors spoke about their reasons for creating endowed scholarships with the help of matching funds donated by NMSU administrators, loyal corporate partners and generous alumni like Starbucks CEO and NMSU College of Business alumnus Kevin Johnson.

Helen Davis and her family created a scholarship in honor of her late husband, former Las Cruces Public Schools board member and NMSU alumnus Chuck Davis, to support students at Dona Ana Community College.

“Chuck absolutely loved Dona Ana Community College. He served on the advisory board for several years and he saw the good work it did,” Helen Davis told the gathered crowd as she presented a check for $12,500 that would be matched to create a $25,000 endowed scholarship. “I just want to thank you all for everything you’re doing.”

It was the third year for NMSU’s participation in the one-day giving campaign, part of the global day of giving celebrated every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In all more than 65 new scholarship endowments were created using matching funds from various donors.

In its first two years, NMSU raised nearly $5 million in new gifts, many of which were matched by NMSU Foundation funds from the NMSU Alumni license plate program, a major donor bequest, and matching challenges extended by NMSU donors, alumni and leaders.

Final numbers won’t be ready for a few weeks, as the NMSU Foundation accounting staff works to ensure each gift is properly documented and matched, but NMSU Foundation President Andrea Tawney estimated the number could climb above the $2 million mark before the night is over.

“We couldn’t ask for a more generous community than the amazing Aggie donors who invest in our students and programs,” Tawney said. ““These scholarships truly change our students’ lives and make it possible for them to achieve their dreams. This day is an opportunity to show our students how much their community, their professors and the alumni of the NMSU system care about their success and want to see them reach their goals.”

For more information about NMSU Giving Tuesday, including final numbers when they are available, click here.

Author: Amanda Bradford – NMSU

Matchups With NM State, New Mexico Highlight Basketball “Rivalry Week”

The UTEP men’s basketball team will return to the friendly confines of the Don Haskins Center for a season-long nine-game homestand starting on Monday.

The Miners will play three home games in six days next week, beginning with Lamar on Monday, Nov. 27 (7 p.m.), and continuing with arch-rivals NM State on Thursday, Nov. 30 (8 p.m.) and New Mexico on Saturday, Dec. 2 (7 p.m.).

The late tip-off for NM State is due to the UTEP women hosting New Mexico at 5:30 p.m. One ticket price, starting as low as $8, will get fans into both games.

Lamar posted 19 victories last season and participated in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The Cardinals have four starters back and are picked to win the Southland Conference by some preseason publications. They opened the season with a 74-67 victory at Tulsa and will carry a 4-1 record to El Paso following a 105-67 rout of Southern University (New Orleans) on Wednesday.

Monday is “Cure the Monday Blues & Blue Out The Don” night, and fans are asked to wear blue to the game. The first 500 fans will receive free hot dogs, and halftime will feature a jazz performance by the Jesus Castillo Trio.

On Thursday, wear orange and “Orange Out the Don for the Battle of I-10.” Come right after work and watch the UTEP women, under the direction of first-year coach Kevin Baker, battle UNM. The first 500 fans at the men’s game will receive orange t-shirts, and orange Foam Fingers will also be given away. The Alchemy Karate Group will perform at halftime.

On Saturday, wear white and “White Out the Don for an Old Rival” as the New Mexico Lobos will make their first appearance in the Don Haskins Center since January of 2008. The first 500 fans will receive white t-shirts.

The Lamar game is sponsored by Albertsons and Entravision. NM State is sponsored by Albertsons, All State and First Light Federal Credit Union. New Mexico is sponsored by Albertsons, All State and GECU.

FirstLight Federal Credit Union is the sponsor of the UTEP-NM State rivalry.

Call 747-5234 for tickets.

Op-Ed: NMSU’s Giving Tuesday Transforms the Lives of Students

I often hear from the generous people in our community that they want to give to a cause they care about, but they just don’t think they can make a real impact with the amount they can afford.

I always tell them that even a modest gift can make a powerful difference – especially when it’s pooled with the gifts of others in a single, impactful day of giving. That’s why the New Mexico State University system began celebrating Giving Tuesday: To bring together caring people in our community and around the world to empower our students to take charge of their future.

We are thrilled to witness the collective impact of giving every day at NMSU, but Giving Tuesday stands out like no other, when hundreds of students’ lives are changed.

Giving Tuesday, taking place this year on Nov. 28, is a worldwide movement that celebrates and inspires generosity and philanthropy. We launched our first NMSU Giving Tuesday event on Dec. 1, 2015, and continued our momentum with our second event last November, which raised $2 million to benefit our students and programs across the NMSU system.

We’re already seeing the impact of the scholarships that were created during our first two Giving Tuesday events. Alexandria Claycomb is one recipient whose entire family benefitted from her scholarship. Alexandria, a junior from Albuquerque majoring in animal science, received a scholarship created in 2015 in memory of NMSU graduate Hannah Farbo, who passed away in November of that year.

The scholarship helped Alexandria’s family afford her tuition at a critical time, when her mother, Giovanna Eisberg, was also in school, working toward her Ph.D. Alexandria loves to tell people how she now gets to call her mom Dr. Eisberg.

Hannah’s parents, Brenda and D. Jay Farbo, said they chose to honor her with a scholarship in part because, if not for the generosity of so many people, Hannah might not have been able to attend college herself.

“She understood the importance of the scholarship awards and was always so surprised and grateful to receive the help,” Brenda Farbo said. “Without the scholarships, we knew we couldn’t foot the whole bill for her education, and the support lifted a huge burden.”

This year, as in the past, we’re focused on leveraging matching funds contributed by our gracious supporters to create as many endowed scholarships as possible, which can continue to be awarded for generations to come. Already, we’ve begun the establishment of more than 60 new scholarship endowments that will be finalized as part of this year’s event.

Many types of gifts from Aggie alumni and friends like you can also be matched to create an even more profound impact for our students. For example, the first $125,000 in gifts made online or in person on Giving Tuesday at the on-campus headquarters will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $2,500 per household. And the first $10,000 in gifts from alumni who are making their first-ever charitable contribution to any department, program or scholarship in the NMSU system on Giving Tuesday will be matched dollar-for-dollar by NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers and his wife, Kathy.

In addition, any contribution on Giving Tuesday to Aggie Cupboard, a food pantry that addresses food insecurity on three of our system’s campuses by providing students and staff members with non-perishable food items, will be matched by NMSU Provost Dan Howard and his wife, Jenifer Lichtenfels.

You can find out how you can make a gift that will be matched for double the impact on our website, support.nmsu.edu.

I would like to personally welcome you to our Giving Tuesday headquarters in the Corbett Center Student Union Aggie Lounge to experience the joy of this truly transformational event. We’ll be there from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Come be a part of the excitement, and help students across the NMSU system achieve their dreams of a world-class education and a better life!

Andrea Tawney, Ph.D., President, New Mexico State University Foundation

NMSU Career Track Program Nationally Recognized by USDA Magazine

As a first-generation college student at New Mexico State University, Alexa Martinez was lost when it came to picking a major. She started off as an engineering major, but later found her way to the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology.

Through the department in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Martinez had the opportunity to be in the Southwest Natural Resource Career Track program, where she found her new home.

“They gave me that extra support and that sense of family. I didn’t feel alone,” Martinez said.

Recent New Mexico State University graduate Alexa Martinez was in the Natural Resource Career Tracks Program. The experience she gained helped her get a job as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Courtesy photo) NOV17

She graduated in May 2016 and now works as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Princeton, Oregon. She gives credit to the NRCT for helping her get that job.

The Southwest NRCT is a collaboration among Hispanic Serving Institutions in the southwest United States. It includes NMSU, New Mexico Highlands University, Northern New Mexico College and Sul Ross State University. It is such a successful program that it caught the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s eye.

The impacts made by NMSU’s NRCT program received recognition in the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s publication, Fresh from the Field. Fresh from the Field is a weekly newsletter highlighting impacts made by grantees funded by the NIFA.

Their Oct. 12 edition focused on NIFA’s Hispanic Serving Institutions and their research impacts, and it featured NMSU’s NRCT program.

The program helps underrepresented students find internships and hosts trainings and workshops. It also sends students to conferences around the country and helps them get involved in research mentorships, where they get to work with a faculty member or graduate student.

Martha Desmond, principal investigator for the NRCT and Regents professor in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, said, “The overall goal is to diversify the workforce. We’re looking for students who are serious about their academics and their careers, who are really motivated and want to get the most they can out of their education.”

“It’s really nice to see diversity in this field. I am the only Hispanic female at my workplace,” Martinez said. “I wouldn’t have the position I have now without NRCT. I don’t know where I’d be without them.”

This year, the program has 68 students, 32 of them from NMSU. They will be doing their annual recruitment at the end of November.

Author: Ximena Tapia – NMSU

The Natural Resource Career Track program at New Mexico State University opens up many job opportunities for underrepresented students. Principal investigator for the program, Martha Desmond, third from right, is pictured with some NRCT students and some recent graduates during on-site hiring event at the annual meeting of the Society of American Foresters in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Courtesy photo) NOV17

Memorial Scholarship Created for Giving Tuesday Boosts NMSU Students, Families

New Mexico State University’s first-ever Giving Tuesday event on Dec. 1, 2015, was a huge fundraising success, but that occasion was tinged with sadness for many at the university who had lost their friend, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences graduate Hannah Farbo, just the week before, following a tragic auto accident.

Farbo’s parents, Brenda and D.Jay Farbo, and her best friend, Colleen Payne, took some comfort in establishing a scholarship in her honor to benefit students who shared her passion for horses and New Mexico agriculture. They created the Hannah Farbo Memorial Endowed Scholarship with an initial $13,000 in funds gathered from friends and family for Giving Tuesday, and matched dollar-for-dollar by the NMSU Foundation to create an endowed fund.

“Hannah was one of those people who was so passionate about everything she did, especially her time at NMSU,” Payne said. “She loved every part of it, from her professors to meeting new friends and dance partners, to cheering on the Aggies every game.”

Payne said the scholarship’s impact was accelerated by the matching opportunity made available by NMSU during Giving Tuesday. Those matching funds came from the NMSU Alumni License Plate program and an estate gift from a generous Aggie donor.

“Giving Tuesday allowed us to turn this from a current use goal to an endowment,” she said. “Anyone can make a difference, and thankfully with our friends, family and NMSU, we made a difference together.”

Alexandria Claycomb nuzzles her horse, Chilly. Claycomb was the first student to receive the Hannah Farbo Memorial Scholarship, established during New Mexico State University’s first Giving Tuesday in 2015. 

The scholarship is already having an impact in the lives of three students in the College of ACES who have received it so far. The first recipient, Alexandria Claycomb, a junior from Albuquerque majoring in animal science, said receiving the scholarship meant the world to her and her mother.
“I was honored to receive such a special scholarship created in loving memory of a successful, admirable, beautiful girl who was taken too soon,” Claycomb said.

The scholarship helped Claycomb’s family by offsetting tuition costs at a crucial time, when her mother, Giovanna Eisberg, was in school herself, working toward her Ph.D.

“I am now proud to call my mom Dr. Eisberg,” Claycomb said. “Thank you for not only granting me a scholarship, but one that truly touched my heart.”

Brenda Farbo said if not for the generosity of so many people, Hannah might not have been able to attend college.

“She understood the importance of the scholarship awards and was always so surprised and grateful to receive the help,” she said. “Without the scholarships, we knew we couldn’t foot the whole bill for her education, and the support lifted a huge burden. Scholarships, no matter the amount, are greatly appreciated and make a huge difference in the lives of students and parents.”

Brenda said she was moved by the opportunity that she and D.Jay had to meet all of the scholarship recipients recently and get to know them.

“Each took time, on their way to class, to meet with us and let us know how much they appreciated the scholarship to continue their studies,” she said. “They spoke with passion about their individual goals within the Animal Science program. It was the same excitement and passion our daughter would share with us during her time at NMSU.

“We are confident each of these Aggies will be a success and look forward to seeing them become leaders in agriculture,” she added.

Giving Tuesday returns on November 28, 2017, and matching funds are available for many types of gifts. The community is invited to visit Giving Tuesday 2017 Headquarters at Corbett Center’s Aggie Lounge on the Las Cruces campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 28, or make a gift online.

For details about matching fund opportunities, visit advancing.nmsu.edu/givingtuesday.

Author – Amanda Bradford -NMSU

PepsiCo Funding New Scholarships for NMSU College of Business

PepsiCo’s advertising message ‘Change the Game’ could apply for nine New Mexico State University College of Business undergraduates.

PepsiCo funded a new Bottling Group LLC current-use scholarship with a $10,000 check presentation on Oct. 31. Each student selected for the scholarship will receive $1,000.

NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers and College of Business Dean James Hoffman accepted the check from David DePoy, vice president of Foodservice Sales at Pepsi Bottling Group in Denver.

“We have excellent, hard-working students who benefit and rely on scholarships,” said Dean Hoffman. “Having a great company like PepsiCo invest in our students through the establishment of new scholarships is instrumental for our students’ continued success.”

PepsiCo entered into a corporate sponsorship with NMSU a year ago. The producer of Pepsi soft drinks, Frito-Lay snacks, Gatorade, Tropicana fruit drinks and Quaker oats products looks for ways it can advance education and make it available to all.

“We like the fact that there are a lot of first-generation college students at NMSU,” DePoy said. “The reason we are interested in working with NMSU is to have the opportunity to reach a segment of the population that might not have had the chance to get a business degree.”

DePoy said the scholarship reflects the mission at PepsiCo to develop diversity and have inclusive opportunities for people to work at the company.

Juniors or seniors with a declared major in business and a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 are eligible for the scholarship.

Author: Jane Moorman – NMSU

NMSU Researchers to Receive National Water and Energy Conservation Award

A western multistate research group that includes New Mexico State University will receive the 2018 National Water and Energy Conservation Award in November for their research project ‘Scaling Microirrigation Technologies to Address the Global Water Challenge.’

Steve Loring, Associate Director for the Agricultural Experiment Station System at NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, will be accepting the award on behalf of the W-3128 multistate research group.

The group consists of 43 participants from 22 different universities and four federal labs.

“The microirrigation project was self-organized in 1972 under the USDA multistate project umbrella to share the science that advances the development, use and practical application of microirrigation in agriculture,” Loring said.

The focus of their research was “the wide range of interlocking water-related issues, from plant physiology to soil physics, modeling, irrigation scheduling and irrigation technology,” according to the Irrigation Association website.

In the announcement of their award, the Irrigation Association said, “The group made research directors and USDA professionals aware of the advances in and importance of irrigation technology and application as it influences so many different areas of our economy and the ability to sustainably manage our water resources.”

Manoj Shukla, a soil physics professor from NMSU’s Plant and Environmental Sciences department, is in the research group.

“The award clearly shows that research conducted by NMSU scientists is of high quality and important for the sustainable use of water in water-scarce areas,” Shukla said.

Loring is the administrative adviser of the research group.

“It gives me great pleasure to see them recognized again for their achievements. For NMSU, it means that we continue to have faculty working at a high level and cooperating on projects with practical applications and impacts for the people of New Mexico,” he said.

Other members of the group from the past include Mick O’Neill, Dan Smeal and Ted Sammis, all of the PES department.

Loring will accept the award on behalf of the group at the Irrigation Association’s 2017 Irrigation Show and Education Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Nov. 9.

Author: Ximena Tapia– NMSU

El Paso Community College Awarded $327k NIH Grant

El Paso Community College (EPCC) was awarded a grant in the amount of $327,501 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the project Rise to the Challenge Bridge which is a collaborative effort between EPCC, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and New Mexico State University (NMSU).

The Rise to the Challenge Bridge project is intended to increase transfer, retention and for students to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences.

Supplemental Instruction, Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences, which introduces research to all students enrolled in a course, and individual student research internships with faculty teams from the three institutions are the core elements of the program.

EPCC has received close to half million dollars each year for the past 16 years to provide student research training opportunities and implement supplemental instruction in Biology, Chemistry and Math courses to enhance student learning.

“EPCC students at the freshman and sophomore level have been able to participate in scientific activities that most students don’t get to do until they are seniors or in graduate school including participation in research projects, presentations at national conferences bringing at least one award per year, and being co-authors in professional journal articles.” Dr. Maria Alvarez, Rise to the Challenge Bridge Program Director.

EPCC was the first community college to be funded by the Research Initiative Scientific Enhancement (RISE) program. To date, 159 EPCC RISE research scholars have transferred to a university and 90 graduated with baccalaureate degrees in biomedical sciences, 17 with master’s degrees, 12 with doctoral degrees, 20 are in graduate school and four have College/University faculty positions.

Thousands have benefitted from the Supplemental Instruction Program.

EPCC is the largest community college located on the U.S.-Mexico border and will be the lead institution for this important collaborative.

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center Receives Grant for Entrepreneurship Education

Arrowhead Center, the entrepreneurship and innovation hub at New Mexico State University, has received a new two-year grant to support entrepreneurship education in New Mexico.

The NMSU Foundation was awarded $350,000 from the Colorado-based Daniels Fund to support programming at Arrowhead Center.

The grant is follow-on funding for expansion of Arrowhead’s Cradle-to-Career Entrepreneurial Pipeline grant, awarded by the Daniels Fund in 2015.

The funding will foster the growth and expanded reach of Arrowhead Center’s education and training programs for New Mexico’s next generation of entrepreneurs, from kindergarten through graduate school.

“This additional funding will enable us to reach more students throughout our state and help them build the foundational skills and entrepreneurial mindset that will prepare them to be the community and business leaders that New Mexico needs,” said Arrowhead Center Director Kathy Hansen. “We’re grateful to the Daniels Fund for believing in and supporting the work we’re doing to strengthen our state’s economy through education.”

Arrowhead’s Innoventure educational programming for students in kindergarten through 12th grade nurtures a new generation of innovators with skills in technical design and business and financial savvy, and gives students a deeper understanding of how technical advances are made and brought to the marketplace.

Expansion efforts will include new, age-appropriate learning modules for financial literacy and ethics into existing curriculum. In addition, Arrowhead will engage more elementary school students in Innoventure Jr. – Arrowhead’s K-5 program – by developing relationships with elementary schools across New Mexico. For instance, the program currently engages with 35 schools.

The Daniels grant will help expand that number to 140 schools, a 300 percent increase. Innoventure Jr. will also add a capstone competition for fourth and fifth graders.

Camp Innoventure, an established entrepreneurship summer camp for middle-schoolers, will promote community participation as well as camper enrollment through outreach to schools, chambers of commerce, banks and community groups.

Studio G, Arrowhead’s student and alumni business accelerator, will support additional student business incubators at colleges throughout New Mexico. The program will use the model of Studio G expansion to NMSU system community colleges in Alamogordo, Doña Ana, Carlsbad and Grants. Six New Mexico community colleges and universities have already submitted applications of interest, which would double the number of affiliated Studio G campuses.

The Daniels Fund, established by cable television pioneer Bill Daniels, is a private charitable foundation dedicated to making life better for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming through its grants program, scholarship program and ethics initiative. Visit DanielsFund.org to learn more.

To learn more about Arrowhead’s programs, visit arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu.

Author:  Lauren Goldstein – NMSU

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