Tuesday , October 17 2017
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Tag Archives: 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

NMSU Library Hosts Patent, Trademark Public Learning Session

Entrepreneurs, innovators and any others interested in intellectual property will have a unique opportunity on Tuesday, October 17 when patent and trademark experts deliver a comprehensive public learning session at New Mexico State University.

The NMSU Library is the Patent and Trademark Resource Center for New Mexico.

Representatives from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Dallas will hold a three-hour open public learning session in coordination with NMSU’s Patent and Trademark Resource Center. The event will be held from 1-4 p.m. in room 185 J in Milton Hall at NMSU.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office experts will discuss resources available for start-ups and entrepreneurs, and provide an introduction to various kinds of intellectual property. Patent applicants and trademark registrants will have a question and answer session with the experts near the end of the session.

Registration is not required, but space is limited so please follow this link to reserve a place for this event. Affiliation with NMSU is not required to attend.  Visitors to the NMSU campus should request a free visitor’s parking pass.

The NMSU Patent and Trademark Resource Center is a unique research facility in New Mexico that offers patent and trademark research assistance, with training provided to library staff directly from the experts from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. For more information, please visit their site online.

For questions or further information, please contact David Irvin, NMSU reference and research services librarian, at dirv@ad.nmsu.edu or (575) 646-6925.

Author: David Irvin – NMSU

NMSU Board of Regents Outline Chancellor Search Process

The New Mexico State University Board of Regents will soon begin a series of public forums as the group begins its search for the university’s next chancellor.

During the board’s meeting Thursday evening, Regent Mike Cheney was appointed to chair the search process. Cheney chaired the Board of Regents during the last search five years ago when Garrey Carruthers was named chancellor. Regents noted the importance of keeping the campus and the communities served by NMSU informed during the process.

“Selection of the next chancellor of NMSU is the most important job our Board of Regents will perform,” said Debra Hicks, chair of the NMSU Board of Regents. “In this early stage, we have received valuable input from numerous stakeholders. In the upcoming weeks, we will host public forums seeking input on the assimilated job criteria for the individual who will lead the university where we want to be in the next decade and we encourage everyone’s participation.”

While dates for the public forums/listening sessions are still being set, the events will take place in Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Grants and Albuquerque and should be completed by early November. Regents stressed the job description and the selection criteria for the next chancellor will not be finalized until after Regents hear from individuals during the open forums.

Regents outlined several high-level characteristics they are looking for in the university’s next leader, including:

• A demonstrated track record of improving the performance of higher education institutions;

• An appreciation for the significance of minority-serving institutions and land-grant institutions and the important roles they play for students and the state;

• The ability to connect with the university’s many generations of alumni;

• Flexibility to adapt to the changing landscape of higher education and the understanding of how the needs of the higher education consumer have changed over time;

• The ability to connect NMSU with the communities it serves, especially as a driver of economic development;

• An understanding that athletics is the front porch of the university and responsible for generating positive public relations; and

• Appropriately value shared governance in alignment with the best practices at other high-performing universities.

Regents said the next chancellor should also be outcomes-driven, have the ability to break down silos and should be a Level 5 leader who values the interests of the enterprise.

” believe we can have continued stability at NMSU by building on our existing momentum,” Cheney said. “We need our next chancellor to be someone with strong, decisive leadership that supports a clear course for the future success of this university. The successful candidate will work closely with Regents to quickly attack areas lacking efficiency while realizing the only way for NMSU to excel in the new state of higher education is to focus on revenue opportunities. We need an industry leading visionary who leverages best practices.”

During their meeting Thursday, Regents said that over the past few weeks, they had engaged in meetings with more than 40 stakeholders, including higher education administrators, deans, NMSU’s faculty senate chair, the ASNMSU president, the university’s vice president for student affairs, the employee council chair, donors, elected officials, New Mexico Department of Agriculture representatives, business leaders and leaders from high performing higher education institutions, to seek input on the key leadership attributes needed to lead NMSU into the next decade of high performing success.

They said the meetings were informative and reinforced the passion and commitment of the university’s stakeholder while also affirming the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Regents plan to finalize the composition of their search committee at their November meeting based on broad stakeholder representation and diversity. Regents also plan to select a search firm at that time.

The search committee will recommend finalists to the Board of Regents with on-campus interviews and public forums with the candidates to follow. It’s anticipated the selection of NMSU’s next chancellor to be announced in May.

Author: : Justin Bannister –  NMSU

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center receives $300K from U.S. EDA for Seed Capital Fund

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that Arrowhead Center, the entrepreneurship and innovation hub at New Mexico State University, has been awarded a $300,000 grant through the Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies program to support the Arrowhead Innovation Fund, an early stage seed capital fund for promising New Mexico startup companies.

“This investment will have a significant impact on the success of the Arrowhead Innovation Fund and support the launch of more startups here in New Mexico,” said Arrowhead Center Director Kathy Hansen. “Truly innovative research and technology is coming out of NMSU and its Arrowhead Center clients, this fund helps accelerate taking those innovations from the idea stage to market, addressing the gap in New Mexico in early stage seed funding.”

Arrowhead Innovation Fund has commitments for a total investment of $800,000 from New Mexico’s Catalyst Fund, a $20 million “fund of funds” to support New Mexico companies, and $500,000 from the NMSU Foundation, as well as from other private investors.

Arrowhead Innovation Fund is currently accepting applications from promising New Mexico-based companies at arrowheadinnovationfund.com, with a goal of investing in approximately 12 companies over the next three to four years.

The Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration leads the RIS program to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation.

The program is authorized through the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.

In the current cohort, 42 organizations – including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations from 28 states – received more than $17 million to create and expand cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds through RIS.

“These projects will enable entrepreneurs in communities across the United States to start new businesses, manufacture innovative products, and export them throughout the world, increasing America’s global competitiveness,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in announcing the award.

This fourth cohort of Regional Innovation Strategies awardees expands the RIS portfolio to eight new states and continues to build vibrant regional entrepreneurial economies. The Arrowhead Innovation Fund was selected from a pool of more than 217 applicants.

For more information visit Arrowhead Innovation Fund websiteArrowhead Center at NMSU, or information about the Regional Innovation Strategies program and the awardee projects, visit eda.gov

Author: Amanda Bradford – NMSU

NMSU School of Social Work to Debut new Online Master’s Program

The School of Social Work, housed in the College of Health and Social Services at New Mexico State University, is accepting applications to the new fully online Master of Social Work program.

The new master’s online program is a great option for independent, self-motivated learners who require a flexible schedule, said Iván de la Rosa, interim director of the School of Social Work. Students admitted into the online program will take courses as a cohort throughout the two-year program.

“The social work faculty already has extensive online teaching experience, and is ready to offer their not only clinical but online teaching expertise to all residents of New Mexico and other states through this new online MSW program,” de la Rosa said.

The master’s online program will begin in fall 2018 and has been accredited through the Council for Social Work Education. While the program is designed to offer flexibility, courses are designed with firm deadlines and due dates for learning activities and assignments.

All accredited MSW programs require students to complete a minimum of 900 clock hours of fieldwork. Field placements are student-learning opportunities that offer MSW students hands-on social work practice experience under the supervision of a degreed master social worker. Online students will work closely with the Field Education office staff to identify qualified agencies in their area of interest.

Students have the option of completing their MSW degree online or in either a face-to-face program at the Las Cruces main campus or the Albuquerque campus.

“The education and training these students receive in an online MSW program provides them with the skills they need to choose a career within the broad area of social work,” de la Rosa said.

Author: Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU

NMSU Raising $1 for Every day Sen. Domenici was in Office

The New Mexico State University Library is generating support to process the late U.S. Sen. Pete V. Domenici’s collection of political papers, which are located in NMSU’s Branson Library.

Through the ‘Make a STATEment’ crowdfunding program, the NMSU University Library and Office of Advancement are asking for $1 for every day Domenici was in office, a goal of $13,140.

The Domenici papers are a collection of the working files, legislative papers, professional documents, photographs, video tapes and artifacts from the 36 years Domenici served as senator of New Mexico, as well as additional documents from his public service before and after his senate career.

Domenici was senator from 1973 to 2009; he died on September 13.

More than 2,000 boxes of Domenici’s papers were brought to the NMSU University Library in 2007, and processing of the collection, physical arrangement and description, has been underway since. The papers are available for use in the NMSU University Library Archives and Special Collections department.

Adrian Bautista, development officer for NMSU Alumni Relations, said it is important to process the collection so the public can have increased access to it for research.

“You really can’t do comprehensive research on public policy using these documents until they’re organized and processed. Searchable content is where the value is,” he said.

The fundraiser is approximately $300 away from its goal. Bautista said the amount set for the goal is symbolic, but they would like to raise much more.

“There really is no limit on the crowdfunding page. This project is about making our senator’s legacy available to our community. We’re not simply trying to raise money, we truly want to share Sen. Domenici’s legacy,” Bautista said.

Matt Friedberg, NMSU library specialist, said as the collection is processed, people are able to easily find the documents they need by using the online finding aid on the library’s website. The finding aid serves as the access point to material in the collection, increasing the archives’ usage.

“I think the use of this collection is something that will really expand forward into the future. Time often increases the research value of historical papers such as these,” Friedberg said.

Each box costs approximately $72 to process, however, contributions of any amount are accepted. To donate, please click here,  the last day to participate is Saturday, September 30.

Author: Ximena Tapia – NMSU

NMSU to Debut Innovative TECH Center to Engage Students in STEM

New Mexico State University will debut an innovative lab that will engage area students in the fields of education, science, technology, engineering and math this week.

NMSU, in conjunction with White Sands Missile Range, recently received a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to build and maintain the lab, which is touted as an immersive learning experience for students in the STEM fields.

“This is an exciting new addition to NMSU that promises to provide students in our region with an excellent learning experience,” College of Education Dean Don Pope-Davis said. “The STEM fields are becoming increasingly important in education, and so we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to give students in our region the valuable skills they need to succeed.”

NMSU is one of only five schools in the nation to call itself home to a Department of Defense educational lab, and is the only university to house one, said Susan Brown, director of NMSU’s STEM Outreach Center. Brown said that because of the networking capabilities provided by the STEM Outreach Center, the College of Education was ‘a logical choice’ for the new lab.

“Students will be engaged in a variety of missions that require critical thinking in applying core math and science competencies ranging from time-speed-distance calculations to advanced physics,” Brown said. “All of the missions focus on real world problems, including increasing communication skills as well as developing skills in aviation engineering.”

The lab was designed by TEQGames at Universal Studios, which was also responsible for designing the popular The Mummy attraction along with many of the rides at Universal Studios in Florida.

The lab at NMSU is divided into two sections: one side simulates a training camp in Afghanistan, while the other features a New Mexican mountain backdrop. The lab also features a number of computers and flight simulators so that students learn math concepts.

“The TECH Center would greatly help us motivate students to pursue STEM careers,” Reddi said. “Along with our cutting edge laboratories and facilities in engineering, the TECH Center will help us recruit some of the brightest students in the region to engineering disciplines.”

The NMSU TECH Center is already proving to be a popular destination for elementary and middle school students. So far, NMSU’s STEM Outreach Center has booked five school tours in October.

The STEM Outreach Center provides high-quality after-school and summer programs for New Mexico elementary and middle school students. Since 2009, it has served more than 24,000 students and hosted professional development programs for more than 2,000 teachers statewide.

The new TECH (Test and Evaluation Collaboration Hub) Center will open its doors during a ribbon-cutting ceremony from 10 to 11 a.m. September 27 in the atrium of O’Donnell Hall, home of the College of Education.

NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers is scheduled to attend, along with College of Education Dean Don Pope-Davis, College of Engineering Dean Lakshmi Reddi and other dignitaries from NMSU and White Sands Missile Range.

Author:  Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU

NMSU Graduate Student Receives Prestigious Fulbright to Teach in Sarajevo

As a child, Valerie Simone traveled extensively throughout the United States. Soon, the New Mexico State University anthropology graduate student will venture into another continent.

Simone has been selected to receive the prestigious Fulbright Scholar grant for a 2017 English Teaching Assistantship in Sarajevo, which is the capital of the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

An El Paso native, Simone chose this location because of the similarities between Sarajevo and the El Paso-Juarez area.

“Both locations have a history of war and violence that overshadows some of the really amazing things about these areas,” Simone said. “I am also very much interested in borders and how identity is developed when a person straddles multiple cultural contexts and languages. The Fulbright is an amazing opportunity.”

Simone will depart for Sarajevo Sept. 21 and will be there for 10 months.

Of the 5,000 students who applied for this grant, Simone was among the 1,200 who were selected. She applied for the Fulbright with an interest in sharing American culture and English as a foreign language. She is proposing a visual approach to teaching English as a foreign language, which will entail placing cameras in the hands of her students.

Her students will take photos and describe the photos in English. She plans to include a number of other learning experiences as part of her curriculum.

“I’ve known Valerie since she was enrolled in her first introductory anthropology class, and I’ve seen her progress all the way through her graduate degree,” said NMSU Honors College Dean Miriam Chaiken. “From the outset, she demonstrated a great curiosity and had real insights into others around her, and she has always been a superb writer. When she combined her expertise in photography with her anthropological skills, she created really original research and will now be using those same talents in the work she will do for her Fulbright project in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are very proud of her.”

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Scholar Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. It also promotes cross-cultural interaction and mutual understanding on a person-to-person basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity and intellectual freedom.

Part of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs within the United States Department of State, the program awards approximately 1,600 grants to students in the U.S. annually. The program operates in over 155 countries.

The Honors College plans to host several Fulbright workshops this year to provide information about the exciting opportunities offered by a Fulbright fellowship. Students interested in applying for a Fulbright grant or other Honors College scholarships are encouraged to attend these workshops. For more information, contact Tim Ketelaar at ketelaar@nmsu.edu or 575-405-3729.

More information about scholarships and grants offered by the Honors College may be found online.

Author: Kristie Garcia -NMSU

H-P Sports In Depth: UTEP Football Looks to Get Back on Track vs NMSU

UTEP will travel up the road to take on rival NM State in the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Battle of I-10 on September 23. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Aggie Memorial Stadium

UTEP Head Coach Sean Kugler appointed Brian Natkin as offensive coordinator on Monday. Natkin previously coached the tight ends and served as the team’s special teams coordinator.

Natkin, an All-American tight end at UTEP in 2000, returned to his alma mater in December 2011 when he was named a full-time assistant.

Kugler: “And I will say this, there is not a more trusted member on my staff, a more trusted member that is loyal to this university and loyal to turning this thing around for the players’ sake.”

Natkin spent the 2012 season as the Miners’ offensive line coach before moving to tight ends coach and special teams coordinator.

Natkin was co-offensive coordinator at Midwestern State during the 2011 campaign. The Mustangs went 10-1 in 2011, while leading the nation in total offense (531.9 ypg) and scoring (48.6 ppg).

Natkin’s coaching career began as a graduate assistant at UTEP in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, Natkin coached the offensive line at Northern Colorado before spending five seasons (2007-11) at Midwestern State.

Other moves by Kugler include Chuck Veliz taking over as quarterbacks coach, and safeties coach Don Yanowsky assuming duties as special teams coordinator.

***

UTEP Football Media Luncheon with Coach Sean Kugler  (On Last Week’s Game Versus Arizona)

“Starting with special teams, [Alan] Luna has been punting well for us all year.  He had a 43.7-yard average in this game, he had a 53-yarder.  We did have a punt return for a touchdown, we had some missed tackles on that punt return to put our defense in a tough bind.  But on the punt team [Jesse] Montgomery, a backup corner for us, had two solo tackles.  He had an outstanding solo tackle.  He earned the Top Gun Award for outstanding special teams player for this game.

Punt return, we had zero returns on three punts.  It was solid decisions again by Terry Juniel.  He hasn’t had an opportunity yet to return some this year, but he has been making solid decisions.  We did a little more pressure in that game, getting after the punter and forced two bad kicks.  So that was good to see.

Kickoff cover, Brady Viles was 100 percent on all touchbacks.  They did not get any returns against us.  He kicked outstanding, I think you’re starting to see his leg strength show up.  And even on PAT/field goal, we had one miss and that was more due to the snap and protection than the kicker.  And then you did see his leg strength on the 53-yard field goal, which probably would’ve been good from 63.  So he does have an outstanding leg.

Kickoff return, there were some positives there with Keynan Foster, he had four returns for a 28-yard average.  I do think this young man has the ability to pop one and start hitting the seams and we’ve got to sustain our blocks a little bit better up front.  Special teams, the eyesore again was the punt return for a touchdown, and any time a team can score on special teams it lessens your chances to win the game.

“I thought the defense came out and started playing extremely well.  We held them to zero first quarter points and then they were put into three really tough positions.  There was a fumble on the short side of the field that resulted in points.  There was an interception that could’ve easily been avoided that turned into a huge play for Arizona where they got the ball at the two-yard line which turned into points.  The offense went three and out and that’s when the punt return happened.  So you’re looking at a 7-0 game that quickly avalanched into a 28-0 game.

From that point, I felt like the defense was on the field too long.  That was evident by the time of possession, 36 minutes to 23.  But not more evident than in the fourth quarter, 12 minutes and 33 seconds where Arizona held the ball.  So I think our defense, a little outmanned numbers wise, really wore down at that point.  And again, we cannot leave our defense on the field for that long of time, 36 minutes per game.

“The quarterback was very effective for them.  I think he’s an outstanding player.  He had three touchdowns and accumulated 143 yards.  But they ran the ball too efficiently on us, later in the game even moreso.  We only gained one turnover, that was a fumble recovery by [Joseph] Pickney who is a young man I have high hopes for defensively.

I know the coaches do.  He plays with a lot of energy, he had some outstanding hits at the end of the game.  He’ll get more playing time as we go.  We had two sacks in the game, both by Alvin Jones.  Even though the score did not favor us, Alvin Jones had an outstanding game.  It was really his first full game, if you remember he missed half of the Oklahoma game and half the Rice game.

He had 16 tackles, two sacks and a tackle for loss.  That’s the type of production that we expect from Alvin week in and week out and he came through on that.

“Offensively, there are a lot of things that need correcting.  The inability to run the football, and we only had nine carries by our running backs.  That will never happen again.  We only had 14 attempts all around with 1.2 per carry.  So we’re not running the ball efficiently.  For the third consecutive week, we lost the turnover battle.

We lost a fumble that resulted in points and we had an interception on a screen that could’ve easily been thrown into the ground that resulted in points.  Both those occurred when the game was still in the balance.  It was 28-7, we had the ball inside the 50 and it snowballed with the score.  We were only 46 percent completion percentage at the quarterback position as a whole.  We had only 218 total yards, it’s the third straight week we’re under 250 yards.

We can’t keep going in that direction.  Only 4.1 yards per play, and when you look at an offense’s explosiveness, anything over six is good.  Anything over seven is explosive.  Under five is unacceptable.  We have been less than four for the year.  Only 2-of-12 third down conversions.  And again multiple drops on third downs, we had three.  So for the third consecutive week we lost time of possession in a big way.

“This team is built on controlling the ball, time of possession, taking care of the football, being efficient on third downs and running the football with efficiency to set up play action passes.  None of this is how we want to play offense here at UTEP.  So I had to make the difficult decision to move on.  I have changed coordinators.

I have relieved Brent Pease of his duties as offensive coordinator.  That will fall in the hands of Brian Natkin.  And I will say this, there is not a more trusted member on my staff, a more trusted member that is loyal to this university and loyal to turning this thing around for the players’ sake.  We could not continue to head in that direction.

I will say this, all of that falls on me.  But I felt it was necessary to make a change to move forward.  There is a lot of season left.  As a head coach, it’s my responsibility to make sure that these kids have a chance to be successful and that’s why I made the difficult decision to move on.  Brian Natkin will be the offensive coordinator. He’ll call the plays.

Chuck Veliz will work with the quarterbacks.  And to take special teams off of Brian Natkin’s plate, Don Yanowsky who is the assistant special teams coordinator will be the full-time special teams coordinator.  He has been a coordinator in Canada, he has been a coordinator in several different places.  He’ll do an outstanding job with the special teams.

Brian will continue to work with the tight ends and wide receivers and get assisted help throughout the staff on that.  But I really felt, there’s too much talent at all positions to be as effective as we have been on offense, and there needed to be a change and I had to make that difficult decision.”

(On NM State)

“I think this is an outstanding football team.  I think they are well coached.  I think coach Martin does an outstanding job.  This is a very experienced and talented offensive group.  The quarterback, it seems like he has been playing against us for four years straight because he has.  He is having a great year, 67 completion percentage, over 1,110 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions.  This guy has played outstanding football for them.

You know what I think about Larry Rose.  I think he will be the best running back that we face all year.  I think this guy’s shifty, I think he’s got long speed.  He runs hard between the tackles.  This is an outstanding running back, I’ve got a lot of respect for him.  He leads their team in rushing and he is also their second-leading receiver.  They have an explosive receiving corps.  These guys are experienced.

Jaleel Scott, he has been their go-to guy this year.  I can see why.  He has great size and length, 6-6 and 215 pounds.  He is making plays all over the field, he is their leading receiver and he also has four touchdowns on the year.  He has accounted for 100 yards a game himself.  This Izaiah Lottie is a very competitive, explosive receiver.  He leads them in big plays, he leads their team in touchdowns with four with a long of 81.

And he is also bringing in 65 yards receiving per game.  They have a very solid offensive line, their left tackle is probably going to be a future pro guy.  He is extremely huge, 6-7, 343, but he has got balance and pro-type ability.  The things that stand out to me on offense, they are averaging 477 yards per game, 6.1 per play, but they have been great on third downs, close to 50 percent on third downs, and they have been great in the red zone, 86 percent red zone touchdowns.  So they are very efficient, they are averaging 28.3 points per game.

“Where I think they have made the biggest jump is defensively.  This is a very athletic, fast defense.  Again, they are experienced.  A lot of these linebackers have been starting for them for four years and are now seniors.

They use a lot of multiple fronts.  They are never sitting in one spot, they are always on the move.  A lot of stunts, a lot of fire zones, a lot of twists.  These guys are really playing hard on defense and flying around to the football.  It all starts with Dalton Herrington, the captain.  He leads their team in tackles, tackles for losses and sacks.  He has also got some good quarterback hits.  You can see that he is a leader on film, he is getting guys lined up, he is a relentless football player.  I really like the way he plays.

Terrill Hanks, I have always had a lot of respect for him.  This guy can really fly, he is an outside linebacker and one of the fastest guys on their defense.  He is their second leading tackler.  The defensive end has been their splash player as far as up front, #11 Malik Demby.  He rotates in there with some other guys but he is second on the team in tackles for losses and sacks.  He has got a fumble recovery and he is also very active, he is their third leading tackler.  They have a safety #23 who leads their team in interceptions.  He is fourth on their team in tackles.

But also, I think they’re going to gain back Jaden Wright.  He has been out the initial part of the year.  This is a guy that has started against us every year, he is a big physical safety, he is a team captain for them.  He was an All-Conference player for them and I would anticipate he is returning as well.  Some things that stand out defensively, they are stopping the run extremely well.  They are only giving up 3.8 per carry.  They have nine sacks, they have been getting after the quarterback.

They had seven sacks versus Arizona State.  They made Arizona State’s offensive line look silly.  They are very active in the backfield and have several tackles for losses.  And much like their offense, they have been good on third downs.  They are only giving up 34 percent success rate on third downs.  So this is an outstanding defense.  I also have a lot of respect for the nose guard #51. He plays extremely hard.   I think they have really improved on that side of the ball drastically.

“Special teams, their punter averages 38.9.  They are only giving up six yards a return by the opponent.  Punt return, they haven’t had many chances but the returner scares me.  That’s Rose.  They’ve got him back there and he has the ability to take it to the house at any time.

Kickoff cover, opponents have been having 28 yards a return on them.  Their kicker is solid, he is 10-of-16 touchbacks.  Kickoff return, they have been averaging 14.5 yards per return but they have two explosive returners, Lottie the receiver and their backup running back Huntley who is also a very good running back.

They are 2-for-2 on field goals, they have had some snap issues on their field goals and I’m sure they’re trying to rectify that right now.  This is a rivalry game.  I think this team right now, and I’m going to be very honest about it, the team that we’re playing right now is probably a better team than we are right now, the way that we have been performing.  We need to work our tails off to be a better team on Saturday night.”

(On making a change at offensive coordinator)

“We were just ineffective, and you can’t sit there and do the same things with the same ineffectiveness and think that you’re going to be OK.  Really what we needed was a spark to get ourselves going in the right direction.

And again, as the head coach, it’s not a fun decision for me.  I’m the one that brought Brent Pease into the fold.  I hired him to be the offensive coordinator.  He is also somebody that I have known for a long, long time.

So this is not a fun decision for me to make, but I feel it was a necessary decision for us to have a chance to move forward.”

(On how the offense will be different under Brian Natkin)

“It needs to be different from the standpoint of being effective and running the ball with efficiency. It needs to be different from the standpoint of being in manageable third downs.  The two things that stand out to me, time of possession we have been tops or near the top in time of possession in our conference for the last four years, which allows us to play quality defense because we are rested.  We can’t be sitting there at 23 minutes.  We are giving up five to six possessions a game.  And there are a lot of things that go into that.  There have been mistakes, dropped balls, those types of things.

But again, the style of play that we want, I think Brian has a very sound understanding of that.  He also understands these players and he works not only with the offensive players, he works with the defensive players.  If anybody has the best understanding of our personnel, it’s Brian Natkin because he works with all these guys on special teams.  They have a lot of respect for him.  They know what he has been through here as a player and as a coach.  They respond to him and I think the move for him being the coordinator, he has called games before when he was at the Division II level.

He’s an outstanding football coach and competitor.  He knows what this series means, this game, and he’s already hard at work getting ready.”

(On the quarterback situation for this week)

“As far as injuries, I can’t really tell you where Metz is right now.  We are probably going to have to go through the week on that.  There are several players on our team that are still dinged up.  Their availability for this week, I really won’t know until we get out on the practice field and see some guys moving around.  So I really can’t expound upon that because I don’t know the availability of our starting quarterback at this point.”

(On the ineffectiveness with the running game)

“Running the football is all 11 guys, it’s the quarterback getting guys in the right run checks, it’s the offensive line executing their blocks and sustaining their blocks, it’s the running backs hitting the right holes, it’s the perimeter players getting on the right safety.

To look at one position or the other and say that’s the reason why we’re not running the ball well, and again, to run the ball well you’ve got to run the ball.  We had nine carries by our running backs last week.  That’s not going to happen again.  To energize that, everybody has got to do their job better. But as coaches we have to put guys in better positions to be successful.  That’s our jobs.”

(On the importance of the NM State game)

“No matter who we play this week, and this is a big game – we all understand that — we need to win period, to fix a lot of things.  Winning solves everything.  Winning makes everything better.  It gets your energy up, it gets your confidence up.  But what we desperately need right now is a win.  It just so happens that we’re playing our rival this week and a team that is playing outstanding.

We’re going to have to play our ultimate best to beat this team because I think they’re an outstanding team.  Right now, you watch them on film, they should be 3-0.  They were a better team against Arizona State.  They were the better team against Troy, which is probably the best team in their conference.

And then they beat New Mexico for the second straight year.  They are playing outstanding football right now.  We’re not, we acknowledge that.  We’ve got to be the best team on Saturday night.  We’ve got a week to get prepared for that and our kids know what’s at stake.”

(On Mark Torrez)

“I’ve been saying it all along, I think Mark Torrez has a lot of talent.  He can make plays with his legs.  You saw him create things when things weren’t there.  That’s what he brings to the table.  If we go with Mark Torrez, we’ll have to put that flavor into the game and try to play to his talents.

Again, I have mentioned it, I like all three of our quarterbacks.  Ryan Metz is our starting quarterback.  If Ryan Metz is healthy, he’ll be our quarterback not only for this game but for future games but again, I don’t know his availability right now.  And I don’t think we’ll know that until maybe late in the week.”

(On NM State’s offensive evolution)

“It’s based on a lot of things.  Experience number one, you’ve got a fifth year quarterback who has been through the ringer.  He has gotten better and better each year.  He has grown physically each year.  You have one of the best running backs in the country.  I have a lot of respect for Larry Rose.

I think he is an outstanding player.  You have seen him grow up, he was a 160-yard back and now he’s a 200-pound back.  This guy is going to play in the NFL.  They have an NFL receiver in Jaleel Scott, a 6-6 guy.  And they have built their offensive line.  They are explosive and they can beat you many ways.  You see that he has been throwing for 300-some yards a game, but also they can line up and rush for 300 yards with Larry Rose.  There are so many different things that they can do.  They’re balanced and he gives them the ability to do that.

And the other thing about Larry Rose, you sleep on him in the run game, they can throw passes to him out of the backfield.  He’s got capable hands and he’s explosive.”

(On the running back depth chart for this game)

“They are all going to get opportunities in this game.  You will see more of Josh Fields and Ronald Awatt.  I thought we would’ve seen more of them last week and it didn’t turn out that way in the game.  But again, I’m not looking backward, I’m looking forward.  You’ll see all of the running backs in this game and they’re going to have to be effective, and the guys up front are going to have to do their jobs.

The guys in the perimeter, when we do call plays based on the looks, we’ve got to make the right decisions as a coaching staff.  All 11 people doing their jobs collectively, and the coaches, is what makes a running game go.  Do we know how to do that?  Yes, we have been one of the best rushing teams over the years.  Are we in a rut right now?  Absolutely.  And that’s why a change was made.”

***Looking ahead

MINERS AND AGGIES TO CLASH IN FIRSTLIGHT FCU BATTLE OF I-10 

UTEP and NM State will play in the 95th meeting between the two programs in the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Battle of I-10 on Sept. 23 in Las Cruces. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Aggie Memorial Stadium. The Miners (0-3) are coming off a setback against Arizona on Friday, Sept. 15, while the Aggies (1-2) were edged by Troy, 27-24, on Saturday, Sept. 16. UTEP is looking to extend an eight-game winning streak against NM State that started with a 38-12 triumph in Las Cruces on Sept. 19, 2009. The Aggies last defeated the Miners in 2008 by the score of 34-33 in the Sun Bowl. Last season, head coach Sean Kugler extended his undefeated record (4-0) against the rivals up the road as the Miners won handily, 38-22, to kick off the campaign in El Paso.

 

SERIES HISTORY

UTEP leads the series 57-35-2. This is the longest-running series in school history (95th meeting). UTEP has reeled off eight consecutive victories over NM State, its longest winning streak in the series. The series is all knotted up in Las Cruces, 19-19-1, on the heels of four straight Miner wins at Aggie Memorial Stadium (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015).  UTEP, which also won four consecutive in Las Cruces from 1986-91, has never posted five consecutive victories over its archrivals in the City of the Crosses. UTEP and NM State combined for 97 points in 2015, the second-most in a single game during the long-running rivalry. The 1948 contest saw 99 total points as the Miners dominated the Aggies 92-7.

 

THE LAST MEETING

Aaron Jones rushed for 249 yards as the Miners opened the season by dusting NM State, 38-22, on Sept. 3, 2016 in the Sun Bowl. The Miners led throughout after Jones put them ahead 7-0 on a 37-yard touchdown run five minutes into the game. Jones added a 75-yard scoring burst early in the fourth period. He appeared to get stronger as the game wore on. He rushed for 55 yards in the first quarter, 33 in the second, 21 in the third and a whopping 140 (on only nine attempts) in the final frame. The Miners finished with 518 yards of offense and 289 rushing.  Quarterback Zack Greenlee had a successful debut. The Fresno State transfer completed 15-of-27 passes for 229 yards and three scores. The UTEP defense yielded 345 yards to the Aggies, as Alvin Jones registered 12 tackles. Another El Paso native, receiver Cole Freytag, put together a great start to his senior year by recording four catches for a career-high 95 yards, including a 46-yard TD midway through the second quarter. Quarterback Tyler Rogers completed 17-of-41 passes for 206 yards for the Aggies, and was also the team’s leading rusher (63 yards and a score). UTEP led 31-10 late in the third quarter before NM State put together a couple of late scoring drives to keep the score respectable. 

 

CONNECTIONS 

UTEP has three players from the state of New Mexico on its roster – junior WR Kavika Johnson (Las Cruces), freshman FB Forest McKee (Las Cruces) and senor TE Sterling Napier (Rio Rancho). Johnson attended Mayfield High School, where he led the Trojans to consecutive state championship games. NM State has six El Paso natives on its roster: freshman WR Jameer Ancheta (Andress), sophomore DL Jacob Arellano (Socorro), freshman OL David Ash (Eastwood), freshman DB Brandon Bell (Eastwood), freshman K Isaac Garcia (Franklin) and freshman WR Antonio Gomez (Andress), although junior RB Dallas Hart attended Hanks High School in the Sun City after growing up in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Players from both schools who attended the same high school are: UTEP FB Forest McKee & NM State freshman DL Matthew Young (Onate HS [Las Cruces, N.M.]); UTEP WR Kavika Johnson & NM State OL Jalen Guerrero and DL Brett Kowalski (Mayfield HS [Las Cruces, N.M.]); UTEP QB Mark Torrez, WR Richie Rodriguez and OL Greg Long, and NM State OL David Ash and DB Brandon Bell (Eastwood HS [El Paso, Texas]); UTEP OL Rey Mendez and NM State DL Jacob Arellano (Socorro HS [El Paso, Texas]); UTEP WR Eddie Sinegal and QB Ryan Metz, and NM State WR Jameer Ancheta and WR Antonio Gomez (Andress HS [El Paso, Texas]); and UTEP OL Derek Elmendorff and NM State K Isaac Garcia (Franklin HS [El Paso, Texas]). UTEP Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Spencer Leftwich was part of the Aggies’ staff from 1992- 93, directing the offensive line. 

 

ABOUT NM STATE

The Aggies (1-2) are coming off a loss to Troy, 27-24, in Las Cruces on Sept. 16. NM State fell behind 20-3, but QB Tyler Rogers rallied his team within four points (20-16) by throwing a pair of scores in the third quarter.  The first was a 46-yard launch to WR Izaiah Lottie (missed extra point) with 9:53 left and the second passing score came at the 3:44 mark when Rogers connected with 6-foot-6, 210-pound WR Jaleel Scott for an eight-yard score. Troy would answer with a score late in the third to make the score 27-16. Rogers threw his third touchdown, a nine-yard toss to Lottie, while the two-point was converted to make it a three-point deficit (27-2). The Aggies got the ball back late in the fourth after forcing Troy to punt, but they were only able to gain six yards on three plays and were forced to punt. Troy then took the ball with 6:15 left in the contest and was able to use an 11-play, 56-yard drive to end the contest. The Aggies opened the season with a loss at Pac-12’s Arizona State, while their lone victory in 2017 came at New Mexico 30-28 on Sept.  9. The Aggies are scoring 28.3 points per game, while allowing 30.7 points. NM State is averaging 477.0 yards of total offense, while yielding 433.0 yards per game. RB Larry Rose III has gained 228 yards on 46 attempts (5.0 avg.), while RB Jason Huntley (88 rush yards) and Rogers (13 rush yards) have each rushed for scores. Rogers has thrown for 10 touchdowns (tied for fifth in FBS) with only a trio of interceptions on 106-of-159 passing (66.7 percent) for 1,130 yards. Rogers is averaging 376.7 yards passing per game (fifth in FBS). Scott ranks no. 22 in the FBS with 295 yards on 22 receptions (7.3 receptions per game ranks tied for 16th in FBS). Scott and Lottie have each hauled in four scoring receptions, ranking tied for fifth in the FBS. Defensively, LB Dalton Harrington is leading the Aggies in tackles (33), tackles for loss (6.0) and sacks (2.5). LB Terrill Hanks ranks second in tackles (32), while notching a sack. DB Malik Demby is third in tackles (22) and second in sacks (2.0). DB Ron LaForce has registered both Aggies interceptions. The Aggies defense as a whole has sacked opposing quarterbacks nine times. 

 

KUGLER’S SUCCESS AGAINST THE AGGIES

UTEP Head Coach Sean Kulger is 4-0 against NM State since his first season in 2013. Kugler became the third coach in program history to start 4-0 against the Aggies. Mack Saxon won his first five contests against NM State (1929-33). Bobby Dobbs won his first four against the I-10 rival (1965-68). Mike Brumbelow fashioned a 6-0-1 mark versus NMSU (1950-56), winning his first two and tying the third contest. Bob Stull chalked up a 3-0 mark in his three seasons at the helm (1986-88), while David Lee (1989-91) and Mike Price (2004-06) won their first three games against NM State before losing on the fourth attempt. 

 

UTEP’S NUMBERS VS. NM STATE DURING THE KUGLER ERA

UTEP has overwhelmed NM State on offense in the last four contests during the Sean Kugler era, winning by double digits in three of the four games played. The Miners have won by an average of 14.5 points, while averaging 43.0 points per game and giving up 28.5 points per contest. One of those contests was the epic 2015 overtime victory in Las Cruces (50-47), in which UTEP overcame a pair of 14-point deficits. The 97 total points were the second-most scored in the history of the rivalry. During the last four games, UTEP has averaged 519 yards of total offense, while averaging 298.8 rushing yards in the process. UTEP amassed over 500 yards in three of the games (546 [2013], 542 [2015] & 518 [2016]). The Miners have also averaged 27.5 first downs per game. The Miners have rushed for a total of 15 touchdowns during the last four contests, including five-touchdown efforts in back-to-back seasons (2013 & 2014). 

 

UTEP’S NUMBERS VS. NM STATE DURING THE 8-GAME WIN STREAK

The Miners have outscored the Aggies 309 (38.6 ppg) to 174 (21.8 ppg) during the eight-game winning streak. UTEP has won by double digits in six of the eight contests, as the biggest win margin was a 42-10 victory in 2010 in the Sun Bowl. The Miners won by three points (50-47) in an overtime victory in 2015, while the two programs battled in a 16-10 contest in 2011 in Las Cruces. The Miners are averaging 463.1 yards of offense during the eight-game win streak. The most total yards prior to the Kugler era was a 495-yard effort in 2010.  

 

OTHER NOTABLE WINNING STEAKS IN FBS RIVALRIES 

UTEP has won eight consecutive contests against rival NM State, matching Kansas State’s eight-game streak against its respective rival Kansas. Wisconsin owns a 13-game winning streak against its Big 10 rival Minnesota, while Boise State has a current winning streak of 12 games against Idaho State (the two programs last met on Nov. 12, 2010). Cincinnati has been on the winning side of the ledger in 11 straight contests against Miami (Ohio), and Alabama has won 10 consecutive games against Tennessee. LA Tech has beaten Louisiana-Lafayette in eight straight (the two programs last played on Oct. 3, 2015). Last season, Army ended a 14-game losing streak against Navy (longest by an FBS program at the time), while Tennessee beat Florida for the first time in 11 contests. 

 

LAST WEEK

Brandon Dawkins beat UTEP with his arm and legs, amassing 288 yards of total offense as Arizona sent the Miners to a third straight loss, 63-16 in the Sun Bowl on Sept. 15. Dawkins threw for 155 yards and rushed for 133 for The Wildcats, who scored the game’s first 28 points. UTEP got on the board late in the second quarter on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Zack Greenlee to Tyler Batson. Later, the Miners added a 53-yard field goal by Brady Viles at the end of the half. Following a scoreless first period, Arizona scored five times in the second quarter and led 35-9 at the break. The Miners had a couple of big turnovers in the second quarter that led to short scoring drives for the visitors. Greenlee made the fifth start of his UTEP career and completed 11-of-17 passes for 104 yards with a touchdown. Redshirt freshman Mark Torrez also saw action at quarterback and gave the Miners a spark early in the third quarter. The Eastwood High School graduate engineered a four-play, 76-yard drive, finishing it off with a six-yard rushing touchdown to cut Arizona’s lead to 42-16. The Wildcats scored the game’s final 21 points. Arizona gained 501 yards, including 326 rushing. The Miners once again had difficulty moving the ball, finishing with 218 yards on 53 plays including 17 yards rushing. Terry Juniel posted four catches for a career-high 82 yards for UTEP.  He was one of 10 players to catch a pass as the Miners spread it around on offense.  Kenyan Foster was a special teams standout for the Miners with four kickoff returns for 94 yards. Defensively, Alvin Jones amassed 15 tackles (second most in career) while adding a sack and 1.5 tackles for losses. 

 

SEASON NO. 100 FOR UTEP FOOTBALL

The 2017 campaign marks the 100th for UTEP football. In honor of their centennial campaign, the Miners are wearing a commemorative decal on their helmets. There will also be centennial tributes in the game program, on the video board and social media over the course of the season. Though the centennial for The University of Texas at El Paso was in 2014, the football program suspended play for four seasons due to the World Wars. No games were played in 1918 (WWI) and 1943-45 (WWII). The 1914 season marked the first for the Miners. The Miners played their first ever game on Oct. 24, 1914 – a 7-6 victory against the YMCA.    

 

FEWER YELLOW FLAGS

UTEP was penalized four times for 35 yards against Arizona on Sept. 15. In week two, the Miners were only penalized two times against Rice. It marked the eighth time during the Sean Kugler era in which the Miners were penalized two times or less. In 2016, UTEP was penalized twice against Old Dominion and once against Houston Baptist. In 2015, the Miners had two penalties each at no. 18 Arkansas, against UTSA and at North Texas. In 2014, UTEP opened the season with a pair of penalties at New Mexico and in 2013, the Miners were penalized once against Tulsa. 

 

PENALTY RANKINGS

UTEP ranks tied for second in Conference USA and tied for 16th nationally with 11 yellow flags in 2017. UTEP’s 3.7 penalties per game rank tied for 10th in FBS, while it ranks 18th in penalty yards (100) and 12th in penalty yards per game (33.3). The Miners also rank third in penalty yards (100) and second in penalty yards per game (3.7) in C-USA. 

 

RED ZONE OFFENSE

UTEP is 4-for-4 in the red zone in 2017, which is tied for no. 1 nationally. The Miners are one of 20 programs at 100 percent.  

 

PROTECTING THE BALL

UTEP has turned the ball over only four times in 2017. The Miners rank tied for 49th in the FBS and tied for second in Conference USA in that department.

 

TERRY’S CAREER NIGHT

Junior WR Terry Juniel registered career-highs in receptions (four) and yards (82), including a season-long 40-yard grab against Arizona on Sept. 15. Juniel’s previous high was a 44-yard effort on a pair of receptions at LA Tech on Oct 1, 2016. Juniel’s seven receptions in 2017 are tied for second on the team with WR Kavika Johnson. Juniel’s 105 receiving yards (15.0 avg.) and yards per game (35.0) lead the offense. 

 

TORREZ GETS EXTENDED ACTION

Freshman QB Mark Torrez was inserted under center in the second quarter and engineered a six-play, 34-yard drive (3:10) that resulted in K Brady Viles’ 53-yard field goal before the half against Arizona on Sept. 15. Torrez hit WR Terry Juniel on a pair of passes, the first for 13 yards on a first-and-10 and a 21-yard strike on a first-and-10 that set up the made field goal attempt. Torrez also made a few plays with his feet, escaping Wildcat defenders to avoid sacks. 

 

TORREZ’S FIRST TOUCHDOWN

Mark Torrez hit paydirt on a six-yard quarterback keeper to the right side in the beginning of the third quarter against Arizona on Sept. 15. Torrez paced the Miners on a four-play, 76-yard drive that took 2:11. Torrez connected on a 14-yard pass to TE David Lucero on a second-and-7. A roughing the passer call on Arizona moved the ball 15 more yards for the Miners during the scoring drive. 

 

GREENLEE GETS THE NOD

Senior QB Zack Greenlee made his fifth start in a UTEP uniform against Arizona on Sept. 15. Greenlee found WR Tyler Batson for a nine-yard TD strike in the left side of the end zone late in the first half. He engineered a five-play, 66-yard scoring drive (2:37). It was Greenlee’s first touchdown since he connected on a 12-yard touchdown pass to Cole Freytag against FIU on Oct. 8, 2016. Greenlee finished 11-of-17 for 104 yards with a long pass of 40 yards. 

 

21 CAREER TOUCHDOWNS FOR METZ

Junior QB Ryan Metz threw his first touchdown pass of 2017, a 44-yard toss against Rice on Sept. 9. It was also Metz’s 21st career touchdown pass. He is now three passing scores from cracking the program’s top-10 list. John Furman and Nick Lamaison each threw 24 scores during their respective careers to rank tied for ninth on the list. Trevor Vittatoe leads all with 97 passing touchdowns.

 

METZ & TORREZ HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON

Besides both being from El Paso, Ryan Metz and Mark Torrez share a common bond as both played against top-25 opponents on the road in their collegiate debuts. Metz saw his first college action at no. 18 Arkansas on Sept. 5, 2015, while Torrez played on Sept. 2 at no. 7 Oklahoma. Both quarterbacks were perfect in their debuts as Metz went 3-for-3 (19 yards) and Torrez was 1-for-1 (seven yards). 

 

BATSON’S LONG OVERDUE TRIP TO PAYDIRT

Senior WR Tyler Batson grabbed his fourth career touchdown against Arizona on Sept. 15. Batson caught a pass after making a leap to his left to snag the ball. The score was his first since Nov. 14, 2015 at Old Dominion – a seven-yard pass from Mack Leftwich. Batson has five catches for 42 yards this season. 

 

KAVIKA HITS DAWN JR. AGAIN

Junior WR Kavika Johnson, who has made starts under center during his career, hooked up with sophomore RB Walter Dawn Jr. on a 38-yard reception after a lateral pass by Mark Torrez against Arizona on Sept. 15. It was the key play on a first-and-10 to the Arizona six-yard line that ended with a Torrez TD. It’s not the first time these two have hooked up, as Johnson hit Dawn Jr. for a 74-yard touchdown pass on a lateral at UTSA last season. 

 

KAVIKA’S CAREER NIGHT VS. RICE

Junior WR Kavika Johnson produced career-highs in receptions (six), receiving yards (67) and long reception (40 yards) against Rice on Sept. 9. His previous highs were three receptions for 32 yards and a long of 27 yards at Rice on Nov. 11, 2016. Johnson ranks second on the team with seven receptions (76 yards).

 

FIRST DOWN DOVE

Sophomore RB Kevin Dove, a 245-pound tailback, grinded out his sixth first down of the season on a rushing play against Arizona on Sept. 15. The play was a five-yard rush on a second-and-4 in the second quarter. Dove gained two first downs against Rice on Sept. 9. The first came on a third-and-2 in which Dove gained three yards, while the second came on a long run of 14 yards on a second-and-13. Dove gained three first downs in week one at no. 7 Oklahoma. 

JOSHUA TAKES THE FIELD

True freshman RB and El Paso native Joshua Fields registered a season-high two receptions for five yards against Arizona on Sept. 15. Fields tallied a season-long 18-yard reception against Rice on Sept. 9. Fields has 22 yards on four receptions early in his collegiate career. 

 

CAREER-HIGH FOR DAWN JR.

Sophomore RB Walter Dawn Jr. registered a career-high four receptions against Arizona on Sept. 15. Dawn also hauled in a season-long 38-yard reception, while totaling 50 yards receiving on the night. Dawn Jr.’s previous high was three catches twice (at Texas [2016], vs. Rice [2017]). Dawn Jr. leads the Miners with eight receptions thus far.

 

ALL-AMERICAN STATUS

OL Will Hernandez has started every game in his three years with the Miners. Last season, Hernandez was the first Miner offensive lineman to receive AP All-American second team and FOX Sports’ All-American honors. The senior was also the first UTEP offensive lineman since 2009 to earn All-Conference USA first team recognition. Hernandez’s national recognition didn’t stop there, as he garnered Pro Football Focus Pass Protector of the Year. The Miners capped the season with two showings of over 500 yards of total offense, including a season-best 384 yards rushing in a victory over North Texas. 

 

WILL’S PRESEASON ACCOLADES

Will Hernandez was selected to the 2017 AP All-America second team on Aug. 22 as the senior has racked up multiple preseason honors. Hernandez was announced to the 2017 Outland Trophy Watch List and earned a spot on the 2017 Preseason Conference USA team. Multiple football publications, including Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, Phil Steele’s College Football Preview and Athlon Sports have Hernandez on their preseason teams. 

 

ALVIN THE BALL HAWK

Senior LB Alvin Jones amassed 15 tackles, a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss against Arizona on Sept. 15, the second-most in his career. Jones’ career high is 16 tackles twice. The first came against FIU on Oct. 8, 2016 in the Sun Bowl, and Jones followed with another 16-tackle performance at Rice on Nov. 19, 2016. 

 

LEADING TACKLER

Alvin Jones has led the Miners in each of the last two seasons, recording 93 stops during each campaign. Jones is leading the UTEP defense in tackles (25) and tackles per game (8.3) after his 15-tackle effort against Arizona. Jones ranks tied for 10th with two other players in tackles per game (8.3) in Conference USA. 

 

KEEPING UP WITH ALVIN’S CAREER

Senior Alvin Jones has 266 career tackles (seventh-most at UTEP since the 2000 season) after racking up 15 more tackles against Arizona on Sept. 15. Jones also registered a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss against the Wildcats. Jones now has 11.5 career sacks (needs half a sack to crack the program’s all-time top 10 list) and 31.5 career tackles for loss, which now ranks sixth on the program’s top 10 list. Brian Young ranks fifth with 32.0 tackles for loss. Barron Wortham leads the all-time list with 45.0 tackles for loss. Jones’s 14.5 tackles for loss in 2015 rank tied for ninth on the single-season list, while his 5.0 tackles for loss at NM State on Sept. 19, 2015 were the most by a UTEP player since the 2000 season. Jones has led the Miners in tackles the past two seasons, tallying 93 stops in each campaign, while in 2014 Jones ranked second with 55 takedowns. 

 

DOUBLE-DIGIT STOPS

Alvin Jones has reached double digits in tackles 10 times during his career after his 15-tackle output on Sept. 15 against Arizona. Jones’s first double-digit performance came against UTSA on Oct. 3, 2015 with a 10-tackle outing. Jones racked up 11 tackles in four different contests in 2015 (at NM State; vs. Rice; at Old Dominion; vs. LA Tech). In 2016, Jones registered double-digit tackles, including his career high of 16 stops, in four contests (12 vs. NM State; 16 vs. FIU; 16 at Rice; 12 vs. North Texas). 

 

ACTION JACKSON

Graduate student LB Julian Jackson tallied seven more tackles against Arizona on Sept. 15. Jackson, a transfer from Wake Forest, has hit seven tackles in each of his first three games in a UTEP uniform. Jackson’s seven stops are also tied for his college career high. Jackson ranks tied for 19th in Conference USA in tackles per game (7.0), while his 21 total tackles rank tied for second on the UTEP defense. Jackson also recorded his first pass breakup against the Wildcats and recorded half a tackle for loss at no. 7 OU. 

 

TREYVON’ S BREAKOUT GAME

In only his second game at the LB position, sophomore Treyvon Hughes tied for the team lead with 11 tackles against Rice on Sept. 9. Hughes registered three stops in his defensive debut at no. 7 Oklahoma in week one. Hughes came to UTEP as a running back and missed last season due to injury. He was switched to linebacker prior to the Annual Spring Game this past year. Hughes is ranked third on the team with 18 tackles three games into the season. 

 

Recovering Fumbles 

UTEP has recovered a pair of fumbles, one by junior DB Nik Needham (vs. Rice) and the other by freshman DB Joseph Pickney (vs. Arizona), the first of their respective careers. UTEP ranks tied fir fourth in Conference USA in fumble recoveries. 

 

IN THE NIK OF TIME

Junior DB Nik Needham recorded the first full sack of his UTEP career on Sept. 9. Needham took down Rice QB Sam Glaesmann on a third-and-13 play. Needham’s first sack was an assist at NM State on Sept. 19, 2015. Needham also recovered his first fumble during his career and tallied six tackles versus the Owls. Needham has recorded 15 tackles on the season. 

 

OTHER DEFENSIVE NOTABLES VS. ARIZONA

Defensively, these Miners recorded career highs in tackles: sophomore DB Jerrell Brown (six), sophomore DB Justin Rogers (five), junior DB Kahani Smith (five), freshman DL Dedrick Simpson ( five), sophomore LB Kalaii Griffin ( five), sophomore DL Denzel Chukwukelu (four) and freshman NT Trace Mascorro (three). Sophomore DL Sani Buckingham (four tackles) and freshmen DL Keith Sullivan (two tackles) and DB Joseph Pickney (one tackle) recorded the first tackles in their UTEP careers.

 

KEYNAN’S SPECIAL EFFORT

Sophomore WR/KR Keynan Foster returned a season-high 28-yard kickoff against Arizona on Sept. 15. The speedster returned four kickoffs for 94 yards, both season highs. Foster also hauled in a career-long 13-yard pass against the Wildcats and tallied 107 all-purpose yards. On the season, Foster ranks third in Conference USA in kickoff return average (23.2) on six kickoff returns (139 yards). 

 

BRADY’S FIRST FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT

Sophomore K Brady Viles connected on his first collegiate field goal, a 53-yard punch as the first half expired against Arizona on Sept. 15. Vile was good on one of two PAT attempts against the Wildcats. Viles has a team-leading seven points (4-5 PAT, 1-1 FG). Viles played his first year of college football at Arizona Western College, where he connected on 3-of-3 PATs and was used primarily as a kickoff specialist last season. 

 

VILES’ FIRST KICK WAS A LONG ONE

Brady Viles’ first field goal was a 53-yarder. It’s the longest first made field goal by a Miner since at least 1960. Viles is one of three Miners to hit a 50-plus yard field goal since 1960. Bronko Belichesky’s first career field attempt was a made 52-yarder against Pacific on Sept. 15, 1973. Jose Martinez connected on a 51-yard on Sept. 1, 2007 against New Mexico. 

 

DAS BOOT

El Paso native Alan Luna punted seven times for 306 yards (43.7 avg.) with one inside the 20-yard line against Arizona on Sept. 15. Luna opened 2017 with eight punts for 352 yards (third-most in his career) for an average of 44.0 yards at Oklahoma. The senior punter placed three inside the 20-yard line against the Sooners to tie his career high. Luna also placed three inside the 20 at LA Tech on Oct. 1, 2016. Luna’s 44.0-yard average ranks 35th in the FBS and fourth in Conference USA. Luna leads the league in total punts (22) and punt yards (969). Luna ranks fifth in the FBS in punt yards.

 

LUNA CAREER NOTES

Senior Alan Luna ranks sixth on the program’s all-time list in career punt yards (6,396) and seventh in career punts (149) after Saturday’s performance against Arizona. Rick Padia ranks no. 6 in career punts (156), while the overall leader is Jerry Walker (298). Ian Campbell ranks no. 5 in career yards (7,328), while the overall leader is Walker (12,193). Luna’s career high for yards is 376 at Texas (Sept. 10, 2016). His longest is a 69-yard boot, while his career-best average is 51.0 yards on six punts (306) against Southern Miss (Sept. 24, 2016). In week two against Rice, Luna registered a 63-yard boot, the second-longest of his career, while his third-longest went 61 yards at Old Dominion in 2015.

 

LOCAL FLAVOR

The 2017 roster features 30 players from the El Pas0/Las Cruces area — DB Deaumonjae Banks (Chapin), LB Chris Barnwell (Eastlake), WR Brannon Bullitt (Chapin), OL Bobby DeHaro (Montwood), OL Derek Elmendorff (Franklin), RB Joshua Fields (Americas), K/P Jason Filley (Coronado), LB Sergio Gonzalez (El Dorado), FB David Jackson (Parkland), DL Christian Johnson (Parkland), WR Kavika Johnson (Mayfield [Las Cruces]), LB Alvin Jones (Burges), OL Greg Long (Eastwood), LB Erick Lopez (Canutillo), OL Markos Lujan (Americas), P/K Alan Luna (Franklin), OL Rey Mendez (Socorro), QB Ryan Metz (Andress), FB Forest McKee (Onate [Las Cruces]), RB Jonathon Millan (Coronado), WR Brandon Moss (Chapin), DL Josh Ortega (Montwood), DB Elijah Perales (Chapin), OL Jaime Perales (Cathedral), WR Warren Redix (Montwood), TE Jorge Rodriguez (Montwood), WR Richie Rodriguez (Eastwood), WR Eddie Sinegal (Andress), QB Keith Tarango-Lopez (Eastlake) and QB Mark Torrez (Eastwood).

 

SUN CITY SENSATIONS

Ten players from El Paso grace the two-deep heading into the NM State game. RG Derek Elmendorff, TB Joshua Fields, K/P Jason Filley, FB David Jackson, MIKE Alvin Jones, LG Markos Lujan, K/P Alan Luna, WR (Z) Warren Redix, WR (X) Eddie Sinegal and QB Mark Torrez are listed on the two-deep chart. Of the 10, four of the players (Elmendorff, Jones, Luna, and Redix) are listed no. 1 at their respective positions. 

 

GRADUATE STUDENT-ATHLETES

The UTEP football program has eight student-athletes with degrees for the 2017 season. QB Zack Greenlee, LB Julian Jackson, DL Sky Logan, DB Jesse Montgomery, WR Brandon Moss, TE Sterling Napier, WR Nesley Ovincy and OL Logan Tuley-Tillman are pursuing their Masters of Arts in Leadership Studies. Northwestern has 18 student-athletes with degrees, while Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina and East Carolina each have 14. Toledo has 13; TCU, Alabama, Oregon and Virginia each have 12; Georgia State, Kansas State, Maryland, UCF and USF each have 11; Kent State, Nevada, New Mexico, South Alabama, Texas Tech and West Virginia each have 10; Houston, Iowa State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers and Temple each have nine; and joining UTEP with eight student-athletes are Auburn, Clemson, Iowa, Kentucky, NC State, Northern Illinois, Ole Miss, Penn State, SMU Syracuse, UAB and WKU. 

 

HARD WORK PAYS OFF

After day one at Camp Ruidoso, head coach Sean Kugler announced on Aug. 8 that walk-ons RB TK Powell, WR Keynan Foster, LB Johnny Jones, FB David Jackson and FB Robert Pufhal each earned scholarships for their performances on the field and in the classroom. 

 

FBS COACHES WITH FBS SONS

UTEP Head Coach Sean Kugler is one of eight FBS coaches who have a son playing for another FBS program. Patrick Kugler plays center at Michigan. Others include UAB’s head coach Bill Clark with son Jacob playing for the Blazers. Colorado’s head coach Mike MacIntyre has his son Jay playing for the Buffaloes. Tulsa head coach Phillip Montgomery son plays for the Golden Hurricanes. Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo has two sons, Va’a at BYU and Ali’i at Utah. Gary Patterson’s son Blake plays for his pops at TCU. Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez, has his son Rhett playing for the Wildcats. And Bobby Wilder of Old Dominion has his son Derek playing for the Monarchs. Other coaches that have their son’s playing for them is Rick Stockstill at Middle Tennessee (Brent) and Dabo Swinney of Clemson (Will). 

 

COACHING YOUR ALMA MATER

UTEP Head Coach Sean Kugler is one of 21 FBS coaches in 2017 who are at the helm of their alma mater’s program. John Bonamego (Central Michigan), Troy Calhoun (Air Force), Paul Chryst (Wisconsin), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), Jim Harbaugh (Michigan), Bryan Harsin (Boise State), Paul Haynes (Kent State), Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech), Tim Lester (Western Michigan), Mike Neu (Ball State), Barry Odom (Missouri), Mark Richt (Miami), Nick Rolovich (Hawai’i), Scott Satterfield (Appalachian State), David Shaw (Stanford), Kalani Sitake (BYU), Kirby Smart (Georgia), Jeff Tedford (Fresno State) and Matt Wells (Utah State) are the other 20.   

 

CLOSING IN ON WIN NO. 400

The Miners are six wins away from 400 in their program history. Texas Western College chalked up win no. 100 during the 1941 season after it prevailed at Arizona State 28-0 on Nov. 8. The Miners recorded win no. 200 on Sept. 21, 1963, defeating North Texas State 34-7 during the inaugural game in the Sun Bowl. Toraino Singleton rushed for 199 yards and a score, and Jason Blair hauled in six passes for 95 yards and a touchdown in leading UTEP to a 17-12 triumph over New Mexico for win no. 300 in the Sun Bowl on Nov. 18, 1995.

 

BOWL MANIA

UTEP will face eight opponents in 2017 who advanced to a bowl game in 2016. The Miners opened with Oklahoma (Sugar Bowl) on Sept. 2 in Norman. After UTEP’s contest at NM State on Sept. 23, the next seven opponents are Army (Heart of Dallas Bowl), WKU (Boca Raton Bowl), Southern Miss (New Orleans Bowl), UTSA (New Mexico Bowl), Middle Tennessee (Hawai’i Bowl), North Texas (Heart of Dallas Bowl) and LA Tech (Armed Forces Bowl). Syracuse and Notre Dame lead the list with 11 bowl opponents each, while Duke, Ole Miss and South Carolina will see 10. Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, UCF, Clemson, Colorado State, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Kentucky, LSU, UMass, Miami, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Tulsa, Utah State, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest will face nine bowl opponents in 2017.

 

NEXT WEEK

UTEP will travel east to play at Army on Sept. 30 in West Point, N.Y. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. MT (3:30 p.m. ET). The two programs met for the first time on Sept. 17, 2016 as the Golden Knights came out on the winning side in the Sun Bowl. 

 

Video+Story: NMSU Researchers Help Write First Book on Dust Devils on Earth and Mars

The Department of Astronomy at New Mexico State University contributed a large part to a recently released book, which is the first completely dedicated to examining the history and science of dust devils on Earth and on Mars.

Lynn Neakrase is a senior research scientist in NMSU’s astronomy department and co-author of four chapters of “Dust Devils.” Other co-authors include James Murphy, astronomy professor and interim associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, Kathryn Steakley, astronomy graduate student, Melinda Kahre, a space scientist at NASA Ames Research Center who received her doctorate in astronomy at NMSU, and Martina Klose, a visiting scientist from Germany who spent the last two years working on a different project at the Jornada Experimental Range.

“I did my Ph.D. at Arizona State University in Tempe and I performed lab experiments by creating dust devils,” Neakrase said. “That’s how this kind of started.”

Neakrase and his fellow researchers studied sediment flux, how much dust devils can lift,  and soon they asked the question: How does sediment flux change in a different meteorological environment?

“When I was at ASU, we had access to NASA’s Ames facility and we could take my lab equipment that creates dust devils and stick it in a chamber there and pump everything down to Mars’ ambient pressure,” Neakrase said.

This allowed Neakrase to simulate Mars’ air density and how that affects the intensity of dust devils on Mars.

“Dust devils form because of solar power,” Neakrase said. “The sun heats the ground, then convection comes off the ground and with a little bit of wind, it can get wrapped around this convection.”

This is why dust devils are more common in the summer and spring months than in the winter and fall.

“Same thing happens on Mars,” Neakrase said. “Dust devils form despite the colder temperatures and lower atmospheric pressure.”

Mars’ surface temperature is on average ~-63°C (-82°F) with atmospheric pressures ~0.01 of Earth’s.

Based on this research, Neakrase and several co-authors wrote the first book to be wholly dedicated to dust devils research.

“We convened a special workshop at the International Space Science Institute in Bern, Switzerland,” Neakrase said. “ISSI has a whole series of books that come out on specified topics.”

About 40 people, researchers and students, attended the workshop, a summit of dust devil experts.

‘The first chapter goes through the history of dust devils,” Neakrase said. “It goes back to the earliest representations of dust devils, which goes back to Greek playwrights and ancient Chinese myths, they have various names throughout the world.”

Dust devils were first identified on Mars in 1971, when several orbiters were launched into space. These orbiters flew over Mars and photographed the surface of the planet.

“Because Mars is so dry and arid, dust devils work like vacuum cleaners,” Neakrase said. “There’s crisscrossing patterns all over Mars that show these tracks.”

Since 1971, with higher-resolution cameras, astronomers have been able to capture footage of dust devils forming and crossing the topography of Mars.

“The significance of this research is understanding how dust moves through the atmosphere of Mars, which gives us a better understanding of Mars’ weather systems,” Neakrase said. “By understanding Mars’ weather systems, astronomers can build more sophisticated rovers, spacecraft and landers that last longer, give us more data.”

With this data, astronomers might also be able to prepare technology to allow human exploration of Mars.

“Dust is clearly going to be one of the biggest hazards we face as humans when we go to Mars,” Neakrase said.

Author:  Billy Huntsman – NMSU

NMSU Celebrates National Hispanic-Serving Institution Week, Focuses on Student Experiences

New Mexico State University Chicano Programs is teaming up with NMSU organizations to celebrate Hispanic-Serving Institution Week September 18-22. Their focus this year is to highlight the perspective of the Hispanic community at NMSU.

In order to be considered a Hispanic- Serving Institution, universities must have at least 25 percent Hispanic student enrollment. According to data from NMSU’s Office of Institutional Analysis, the Las Cruces campus serves 51.5 percent Hispanic student enrollment this school year.

The first event for HSI week will be a student panel, at which Hispanic students of NMSU will talk about their experiences at the university. Laura Gutiérrez-Spencer, director of Chicano Programs, said that the activities included in this year’s HSI week are focused on calling attention to the needs and perspectives of the Hispanic and Latino community of NMSU.

“Our Hispanic students bring increased prosperity to our university, and therefore, it is incumbent upon our faculty and staff to support these students’ academic success,” she said.

Because of NMSU’s HSI designation, the university is eligible to receive large federal Title V grants. Gutiérrez-Spencer said it is important to make an HSI Week observance every year because the funding, which benefits all students, faculty, and staff, would not be possible without NMSU’s high number of Hispanic students.

“This funding has enhanced student computer labs, faculty research facilities, the funding of student research programs and many other programs and infrastructure across our campus,” she said. “This designation also greatly increases competitive stance in applications for many other grants.”

Two events will be held as part of HSI week. The first is the student panel at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20. It will be held at the Teaching Academy in Milton Hall. Audience members must sign up to attend. There will also be a lecture and analysis of the New Mexico True tourism campaign at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 at the College of Health and Social Services Auditorium.

These two events will kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is Sept. 15- Oct.15.

The celebration activities for National Hispanic Heritage Month will also include a lecture and musical demonstration on the musical traditions of Northern New Mexico at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27 in the Domenici Hall Yates Auditorium, a showing of the feature film, “Lowriders” at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28 at the Health and Social Services Auditorium, and a documentary about the negative portrayal of Latinos in U.S. media at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12 at the HSS Auditorium.

For more information on these activities, click here or  contact NMSU Chicano Programs at 575-646-4206.

Author: Ximena Tapia – NMSU

NMSU to Host Domenici Public Policy Conference Wednesday, Thursday

The 2017 Domenici Public Policy Conference at New Mexico State University will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the conference, and this year’s topics will highlight U.S. foreign policy, equity in education and workforce issues.

The two-day conference, Sept. 13-14, will be held at the Las Cruces Convention Center. The Domenici Institute for Public Policy at NMSU is named after Pete V. Domenici, New Mexico’s longest-serving U.S. senator.

The institute at NMSU was created to continue Domenici’s legacy of service to both the state and the country. Click here for a detailed agenda and more information on the speakers visit.

Wednesday’s speakers include Richard G. Lugar, Carlos Pascual, Gov. Gary Locke and Eric Edelman. A major gift will be announced at Wednesday’s opening ceremony. Thursday’s presenters are Ken Eisner, Pedro Noguera, Antonia Novello, Celina Bussey and Seth Harris.

“Since changing the policy in our second year of the conference, only student panelists have had the opportunity to ask the speakers questions,” said NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. “The student panelists continue a nine-year tradition with thoughtful and well-researched questions, and they are constantly moving it forward.”

Each student panelist will receive a two-night hotel stay in Las Cruces, a $250 Visa gift card and a group dinner on Sept. 12. A Domenici Institute Advisory Council committee comprised of faculty and community staff members selected and mentored the panelists. During the summer months, panelists participated in research initiatives to expand their understanding of the conference speakers and topics while learning to develop challenging, concise questions.

Kayla Myers, a student panelist and NMSU cultural and medical anthropology graduate student, said she has enjoyed the preparation for the conference that has included working with undergraduate and graduate students and for the first time medical students from the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“I hope to represent this borderland community well and both give the speaker a chance to share their expertise and attendees a chance to think of new ways of seeking equitable representation in policy-making and of engaging in our community,” Myers said.

NMSU doctoral student in special education Ana Lopez said her involvement as a student panelist has been a valuable learning experience.

“Having the opportunity to work closely with excellent faculty members and scholars from all over New Mexico has been enlightening,” Lopez said. “Because of the nature of this conference, we had the opportunity to have multiple dialogues as we were building up our research and drafting the questions. As different viewpoints emerged, we strengthened our abilities to value ideas that are different than ours and work together towards a common goal.”

The 2017 Domenici Public Policy Conference student panelists are:

Harris Ahmed, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
Tucker Berry, University of New Mexico
Taylor Dyer-Paz, New Mexico State University
Daniel Estupinan, New Mexico State University
DeLorean Forbes, New Mexico State University
Michael Gable , New Mexico State University
Steven Garcia, New Mexico State University
Katelynn Goodman, New Mexico State University
Ejaz Karim, New Mexico Highlands University
Aubriana Knell, University of New Mexico
Ana Lopez, New Mexico State University
Jennifer Martinez, Eastern New Mexico University
Mason Martinez, University of New Mexico
Jasmine Mathews, University of New Mexico
Kayla Myers, New Mexico State University
Michael Sanchez, University of New Mexico
Emily Silva, New Mexico Tech
Samuel Smith, University of New Mexico
Carlos Talamante, New Mexico Tech
Carolyn Trussell, New Mexico State University
Clair Willden, University of New Mexico

Neal Rosendorf, NMSU government associate professor, Elizabeth Abrams, NMSU clinical mental health counseling graduate student, Carol Owensby, teacher at Arrowhead Park Early College High School, and Tom Dormody, NMSU agricultural and extension education professor mentored the student panelists over the course of the summer, preparing them to discuss the policy issues being confronted today and shaping the future.

WHAT: Domenici Public Policy Conference at New Mexico State University

WHO: Presenters will discuss U.S. foreign policy, equity in education, workforce issues

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14

WHERE: Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Avenue

Author – Tiffany Acosta – NMSU

Registration Open for Innoventure Entrepreneurship Education Program at NMSU

When entrepreneurs are asked why they invented their product or started their business, they often explain that they saw a need in their community and wanted to provide a solution for that need.

This year, participants in Innoventure, the core entrepreneurship education program from New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center, will look to their own communities for inspiration as they identify a need they can address through their own ingenuity and entrepreneurial mindset.

Registration is now open for teams of middle and high school students from schools and organizations throughout New Mexico who want to develop a product, create a business plan and make an impact on a community – whether that’s their school, workplace, club, neighborhood, town or another group they want to help.

The Innoventure program, now in its 15th year, develops teamwork and science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM skills to solve real-life problems, giving students the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation.

Director Marie Borchert said the program teaches concepts and introduces ways of thinking that will help children on any career path.

“Entrepreneurial skills translate to any discipline,” Borchert said. “These students are learning about entrepreneurship and having fun, but they?re also boosting their future employability and developing the confidence, critical thinking and collaboration skills that will make them stand out in whatever field they eventually choose.”

The teams of two to five students, assisted by an adviser – a teacher, parent, club leader or other adult – complete milestones throughout the academic year in an online format and then present their business model, marketing tools and functioning prototype to a panel of judges at the Innoventure competition on May 4, 2018, at NMSU’s Las Cruces campus.

Students will also participate in workshops, tours and other learning experiences while at NMSU.

The competition’s winners will receive technology-based prizes such as a laptop, Bluetooth headphones and wireless earbuds.

Aligned with state educational standards, Innoventure has served nearly 3,000 New Mexico students, some of whom have gone on to attend NMSU and work with Studio G, Arrowhead Center’s student business accelerator, to further develop their business ideas. Many student teams return year after year to participate.

Innoventure has been one of Arrowhead Center’s core programs since its founding, and ongoing expansion efforts for the program are funded in part by a generous grant from the Daniels Fund.

The competition is part of a suite of Innoventure programs, including Innoventure Jr., an online program for elementary-age students, and Camp Innoventure, a week-long entrepreneurship-themed summer day camp that continues to expand.

Registration deadline for the Innoventure competition is Sept. 29, 2017. To register, click HERE.

To learn more about the Innoventure program, contact Marie Borchert at mhaaland@nmsu.edu or Lydia Hammond at lh@nmsu.edu, or visit their website.

Author: Amanda Bradford – NMSU

Tuesday Memorial Service to Pay Tribute to Late NMSU Dean

The life of Virginia Higbie, former dean of the College of Health and Social Services at New Mexico State University who helped shape the college’s successful programs, will be celebrated during a special memorial service this week.

The service will begin at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sepember 5, at the NMSU Spiritual Center, on the west side of the Educational Services building near the campus duck pond. Light refreshments will be served.

Higbie, who passed away on June 15, 2016, served as the college’s dean from 1988 to 2000, and also served as interim dean in 2008. Higbie was instrumental in developing the college’s successful graduate and undergraduate programs in social work, nursing and public health sciences. She also worked with the state legislature to secure funding for the CHSS building.

“Virginia Higbie was a wonderful person who I had the pleasure of knowing for a long time,” said NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. “She was really the architect of the College of Health and Social Services that we know today. I can’t think of a better colleague during my time at NMSU. She was always incredibly honest and fair.”

Higbie, a resident of New Mexico since 1973, served as the second dean of the College of Health and Social Services. During her 12 years as dean, the college experienced considerable realignment of its units which then included the undergraduate degree programs in nursing, social work, and health science as well as the administration of NMSU’s four branch community colleges, initial graduate off-campus delivery of courses to White Sands Missile Range and to Kirtland Air Force Base, a small but vibrant community education program, the Weekend College, the Center for Educational Development and the Institute for Gerontological Research and Education.

During this period, the college experienced rapid growth in enrollment, expansion of degree offerings including the first graduate programs of the college and the attainment of national accreditation for nursing, social work and health science.

College of Health and Social Services Dean Donna Wagner said Higbie’s dedication to professional programs was instrumental in shaping the college into what it has become today.

“Dean Higbie was passionate about NMSU and the College of Health and Social Services,” Wagner said. “She left a legacy for both and we are grateful for her work.”

Because of her commitment and dedication to the college, her family and friends established the Virginia C. Higbie Endowed Scholarship in 2009. Since then, seven NMSU College of Health and Social Services students have benefitted from the scholarship.

“When I think of Dean Higbie, two words come to mind – passion and exuberance,” said Greg Fant, NMSU associate vice president and deputy provost. “She was passionate about students, health care and NMSU. Always upbeat, she communicated her passion effectively. NMSU is a better place because of her legacy.”

Bernadette Montoya, NMSU vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, said she served under Higbie’s leadership when Montoya was just starting her career in higher education.

“In this capacity, Dean Higbie provided leadership to the community colleges, and at the time, I served as an academic adviser at the Grants campus,” Montoya said. “I valued her authenticity, admired her focus on policy and academic integrity, and learned to value the responsibility we each have as academic leaders.”

For more information about the memorial service, contact Nohemi Perez at 575-646-1106 or email nohemip@nmsu.edu.

Author: Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU

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