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Home | Tag Archives: NMSU

Tag Archives: NMSU

Seed investment to develop NMSU research, partners with Arrowhead Center

New Mexico State University research will see large-scale development through seed investment and commercialization, thanks to a new partnership with VIC Technology Venture Development.

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center has signed an agreement with VIC to support VIC’s efforts in licensing NMSU intellectual property. VIC will create Filtravate, a business based in Las Cruces, which will develop and commercialize the manufacture of ultrafiltration membranes.

VIC is a technology venture development firm creating innovative new companies with world-changing science and engineering-based technologies. VIC carefully selects and licenses technologies from universities and research institutions, then partners technology entrepreneurs with VIC’s team of business and technology experts and provides seed capital through the national VIC Investor Network.

Yun Li, the managing director of VIC’s New Mexico branch, will be serving as interim CEO of Filtravate.

“This technology results in membranes that solve critical issues in the production of biopharmaceuticals, and have the potential to significantly improve process efficiencies in industrial and laboratory settings as well,” said Li.

The Filtravate approach will allow membranes to be synthesized from scratch, using the smallest building blocks to create precisely controlled pore sizes, even pore distribution, and will allow for fine-tuning of the membrane surface properties to meet the exact needs of the end-user. While the first application evaluated for the membrane was wastewater treatment, the researchers have since explored many other high-value uses.

Reza Foudazi, associate professor of chemical and materials engineering at NMSU, is a co-inventor of the Filtravate technology.

NMSU’s exploration and involvement in technology development is a benefit for not only for those emerging technologies, but for the visibility of the university and its researchers, which can lead to new revenue for both the institution and its faculty and staff.

“NMSU supports the translation of laboratory research to business applications,” said Luis Cifuentes, vice president for research and dean of the NMSU Graduate School. “With Arrowhead Center’s help, Dr. Foudazi was able to develop an enhanced technology, through dedicated doctoral research, that will be of future use for the pharmaceutical industry.”

Kathryn Hansen, director of Arrowhead Center, said, “What Arrowhead has undertaken with VIC shines a light on NMSU’s research capacity and talent. We’re delighted to work with VIC to see NMSU research grow and get products to the private sector. Everybody wins if Filtravate succeeds, and Dr. Foudazi will remain involved in product development.”

Foudazi explained that the membrane was developed through the doctorate work of his student Sahar Qavi, a recent graduate. It was during their involvement with Arrowhead Center that they were challenged to grow their idea for additional potential market opportunities.

“We originally focused on purification and filtration at water and wastewater treatment plants, but in going through the Arrowhead Center’s Aggie I-Corps and LAUNCH programs, we were able to see that it has a defined pharmaceutical application and, also something that the dairy industry would be interested in for cheese production,” Foudazi said.

Aggie I-Corps training program at Arrowhead Center for NMSU allows students to test the commercial feasibility of technology, and LAUNCH is a 10-week licensing studio, built to springboard NMSU intellectual property into the private sector.

“Arrowhead Center gave us a better understanding of the market and allowed us to have interactions with investors that enhanced our ability to make this research viable for a product ready for the market,” Foudazi said, “and ultimately led to the investment by VIC in the newly created Filtravate.”

Author: Cassie McClure – NMSU

~For updates on all news from around Las Cruces, please visit our news partners at Las Cruces Today~

NMSU Aggie Cupboard works to meet demand during COVID-19 pandemic

In the days and weeks since COVID-19 became a worldwide pandemic, empty grocery store shelves have become an all-too-common sight.

But New Mexico State University’s on-campus food pantry, Aggie Cupboard, is working to ensure students, staff and faculty facing food insecurity have access to pantry staples during this time of crisis.

Aggie Cupboard, founded in 2012 on a mission to provide free supplementary food assistance to community members attending or working at NMSU and Doña Ana Community College, has experienced a two-fold increase in clientele since concerns over COVID-19 started escalating earlier this month, said Aggie Cupboard Director Meg Long.

During the week of March 15, Aggie Cupboard volunteers distributed approximately 2,483 pounds of nonperishable food items to 191 clients, said Long, who noted that she sees an average of 70 to 80 clients per week during a typical spring semester.

“So, we had more than double the amount of clients last week,” she said, “and every food box has roughly 13 pounds in it.”

The rapid rise in clients prompted Long to reduce pick-up hours starting March 23, a measure aimed to help maintain Aggie Cupboard’s food supplies in the weeks to come. She also changed distribution procedures to align with guidelines from the New Mexico Department of Health.

“I needed to restrict the hours to our summer hours,” she said, “just to make the food last a little bit longer as we’re having difficulty securing our food orders right now.”

For the time being, Aggie Cupboard clients may only pick up food boxes – containing a mix of items such as canned goods, pasta, peanut butter, dry beans and rice – between 3 and 6 p.m. Thursdays, Long said. They need only bring their NMSU Banner ID numbers and comply with newly implemented social-distancing practices.

Before COVID-19 prompted new guidelines urging people to maintain a distance of at least six feet between one another, Long would allow clients to come inside the facility to pick food items for their boxes, she said.

Now, she and volunteers distribute food outside, assisting only one client at a time while others wait their turn at a safe distance. They’ve also put together prepackaged food boxes with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, so clients will not have to enter the facility.

New Mexico State University’s on-campus food pantry, Aggie Cupboard, was founded in 2012 mission to provide free supplementary food assistance to community members attending or working at NMSU and Doña Ana Community College. | NMSU photo by Minerva Baumann

“They just pick whichever box they want,” said Long, who added that she records clients’ Banner ID numbers verbally. “When someone grabs their box, it’s just their box that they’re touching – they’re not touching anyone else’s things.”

Long depends on donations from community members and area businesses to keep Aggie Cupboard’s shelves stocked with food.


During this time, she wants donations to remain steady so volunteers can keep up with the increasing number of clients. Given the current demand, Long expects to serve more clients this year than previous years.

“We need staples like everyone else does. We’re extremely low on evaporated milk or dry milk,” she said. “I’m trying to provide food that follows the MyPlate guidelines, in terms of nutrition, so that people have protein, they have carbs, they have dairy, they have vegetables, and they have fruit.”

In addition to dairy items, Aggie Cupboard also needs donations of canned fruit, tuna, canned chicken, beans, rice, lentils, peanut butter, pasta, canned vegetables, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, soup, macaroni and cheese, and instant noodles.

Donors may drop off items between 9:30 and 11 a.m. Tuesdays and 1 and 3 p.m. Thursdays at Aggie Cupboard, 906 Gregg St.

Aggie Cupboard also accepts monetary donations through a “Make a Statement” crowdfunding campaign via this website.

For more information about Aggie Cupboard, click here or call 575-646-7636.

Author: Carlos Andres Lopez – NMSU

~~To keep up to date with all news from Las Cruces & Southern New Mexico visit our partners at Las Cruces Today

NMSU’s Innoventure program hosting two free Facebook Live events for students, parents

Parents, have a budding entrepreneur at home? Are you looking for activities while your elementary school student is at home? Join New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center with two Facebook Live events hosted by the Innoventure program that will introduce them to the concepts of solving a problem, creating a business and using things around the house to build their first prototype.

The events will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 31, and Thursday, April 2. The events will also be available for viewing anytime on the Innoventure Facebook page. Like the page and select to be reminded of the page going live, or, join the event pages to get reminders on your page.

Those who tune in live can work with Lydia Hammond, director of Innoventure, and get feedback on their ideas directly.

For the first event, participants will need a worksheet that can be downloaded for free, via this link.

For the second event, participants will need things that can be found around the house such as cardboard, milk cartons, string and straws – anything that will help students turn their dreams into reality.

Links to the events:
Tuesday, March 31   |   Thursday, April 2

Email Lydia Hammond with any questions before the events at

Author: Cassie McClure – NMSU


For updates on all news from around Las Cruces, please visit our news partners at Las Cruces Today

NMSU programs featured on U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools 2021 list

Several New Mexico State University graduate programs have been recognized on the newly released U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools 2021 rankings.

Graduate programs in the College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Business, College of Health and Social Services and College of Arts and Sciences were ranked this year.

U.S. News & World Report ranks professional school programs in business, education, engineering, law, medicine and nursing along with area specialties annually. The methodology states the rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students.

NMSU graduate departments with programs ranked in the top 200 include:

– Education: Tied-99
– Fine arts: Tied-135
– Nursing (Master’s): Tied-141 and (Doctor of Nursing Practice): 133-171
– Public affairs: Tied-166
– Speech language pathology: Tied-170
– Part-time MBA: Tied-178
– Engineering: 152-200
– Aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering: Tied-56
– Environmental/environmental health engineering: Tied-72
– Industrial/manufacturing/systems engineering: Tied-78
– Civil engineering: Tied-93
– Computer engineering: Tied-97
– Chemical engineering: Tied-98
– Electrical/electronic/communications engineering: T-129
– Mechanical engineering: T-136

For a complete list of rankings, visit US News website.

Author: Tiffany Acosta – NMSU

NMSU researcher continues efforts to make NM’s Interstate 10 safer for drivers

The windy season wreaks havoc in southern New Mexico each spring, often bringing dust storms that create public safety hazards, especially for drivers traveling on roadways.

The high-speed winds have been particularly devastating on a stretch of Interstate 10 in Lordsburg, where 1,328 crashes occurred between mileposts 1 and 20 from 1980 to 2017, according to the New Mexico Department of Transportation. Of those crashes, 117 were caused by wind or dust, resulting in 41 deaths and 23 road closures.

Many of these crashes, NMDOT concluded, were attributable to poor visibility caused by dust storms originating on the playa and surrounding areas.

“We’ve had a bunch of accidents and several fatalities in this area caused by dust events,” New Mexico State Climatologist Dave DuBois said. “It’ll look perfectly clear, and then all of a sudden, you look one way, and you look back, and there’s a dust storm coming off the playa, and it’s zero visibility.”

DuBois, an associate professor in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University, is part of a team of state and federal researchers and agencies working to address safety concerns along this stretch of I-10.

DuBois’ efforts involve overseeing research projects aimed at improving decision-support systems impacted by extreme environmental hazards. His research projects date back to 2010.

“In our current project with the New Mexico Department of Transportation, we have been collecting imagery from multiple time-lapse cameras to quantify hazards of wind erosion events on Interstate 10. These events were the primary cause of 11 fatalities on this road in 2017,” he said. “One of the research outcomes is to classify these images according to dust storms, weather types and driver behavior in response to weather hazards.”

DuBois uses nine cameras set up along I-10 to capture footage of dust storms. As of 2018, he had nearly 100 million images in his archive, he said. In 2019, one of his graduate students used the footage to develop an artificial intelligence algorithm to classify certain types of dust storms on the Lordsburg playa.

“The computer can tell if it’s a dust storm or not, and I’m having my students train the computer to do that for us. The ultimate goal would be to have something that’s automated and can send out an alert once the computer thinks there’s a dust storm,” he said.

“This work will lead to providing an early warning to Department of Public Safety officers and NMDOT staff on impending dust storms,” he added.

In a 2018 environmental assessment, NMDOT reported that DuBois’ cameras captured several convective storm outflow events, which formed during afternoon thunderstorms and covered large areas with dust. The cameras also recorded unpredictable high-wind events that created dust plumes with concentrations of loose sediment, resulting in zero visibility, according to the report.

The dust originates from soil particles on the surface of the nearby playa and surrounding areas, and it is generated by a regular surface disturbance by livestock and vehicle traffic; alteration of surface hydrology; depleted vegetation; and the presence of exposed saline-sodic soils.

Additionally, DuBois and NMDOT are evaluating the effectiveness of certain dust mitigation strategies, including water-flow rebatement and revegetation. However, revegetation can be difficult due to the alkaline nature of the soil, DuBois said.

“The pH is really high, so almost nothing grows on that. But some native grasses, such as alkali sacaton, which grows on the outskirts of the playa, are very adaptable to salty soils. The problem is they grow up really slow, and it may take several years for it to germinate,” he said, adding that the dust mitigation research is ongoing.

“There’s is still a lot more work to be done out there to make it safer,” he added.

Author: Carlos Andres Lopez – NMSU

NMSU names first vice provost for digital learning initiatives

New Mexico State University has named Sherry Kollmann as its first vice provost for digital learning initiatives, a new role created by NMSU Provost Carol Parker to develop and drive an online and digital education strategy for the university.

Kollmann will be responsible for the leadership, administrative oversight and coordination of all aspects of online and digital education initiatives occurring throughout the NMSU system. She begins her new role July 1.

“I am extremely pleased that Dr. Kollmann will soon be joining NMSU,” Parker said. “Expanding NMSU’s online courses and degree programs is an important strategy for reaching the student success goals outlined in NMSU’s strategic plan, LEADS 2025. Dr. Kollmann will play a key leadership role in our efforts to grow our online presence.”

With more than 20 years of combined experience in business and higher education, Kollmann is an accomplished entrepreneurial academic leader with an understanding of all strategic, developmental and operational aspects of online administration. She has served in multiple educational leadership roles, including as senior associate dean of business programs at Southern New Hampshire University and vice president of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at New England College. Prior to her transition to higher education, she served as a business leader, where she collaborated and consulted with Fortune 500 organizations on workforce solutions.

In her newly created role as vice provost for digital initiatives, Kollmann will drive the development of new digital learning initiatives, guide a growing portfolio of online programs, oversee the infrastructure and processes to support their success, and assist with the development of the business models upon which these initiatives operate.

Kollmann holds a bachelor’s degree from Bethel College, a Master of Arts degree from Concordia University, and Master of Education and Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Her research specialties include digital learning, motivation in education, instructional design and integrated learning.

“I am extremely excited to work collaboratively across the NMSU system to develop a sustainable digital ecosystem that fosters inclusivity and accessibility across New Mexico and beyond,” Kollmann said. “We have an incredible opportunity to shape the future of online education by humanizing the learning experience.”

Parker praised the search process that brought Kollmann to NMSU. “I would like to thank our search committee chair, Dr. Luis Cifuentes, Ms. Cortney Castle-Chavez and all of the other dedicated search committee members,” she said. “They did an exceptional job advising me throughout the search.”

More information about the search and the position is available online.

Author: Amanda Bradford – NMSU

Three NMSU nursing programs receive 10-year reaccreditation

For more than two decades, New Mexico State University’s School of Nursing has continuously met or surpassed national standards to earn accreditation.

Recently, three of the school’s degree programs received the maximum 10-year reaccreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The reaccredited programs include the Bachelor of Science in nursing, the Master of Science in nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice, including two related postgraduate certificates.

“Our programs have met the highest standards in nursing education set by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education,” said Alexa Doig, director of NMSU’s School of Nursing, housed in the College of Health and Social Services. “This reaccreditation not only shows that our faculty are highly qualified, but also that our program and student outcomes meet national benchmarks.”

The BSN program, which admits 160 students per year at NMSU campuses in Las Cruces, Alamogordo and Grants, prepares graduates to become licensed registered nurses, while the MSN program prepares nurses to serve as health care leaders and administrators.

The three-year DPN program prepares nurses to become family nurse practitioners or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners.

As part of the reaccreditation process, the School of Nursing prepared a 100-page report outlining how the three programs meet CCNE’s standards, Doig said. The areas of review included the programs’ curriculum, graduation rates, licensing and certification exam pass rates, student satisfaction, employment rates, research, scholarship productivity and other areas.

Five CCNE accreditors also conducted a site visit over multiple days last year to verify information in the self-study report, Doig said. The accreditors met and interviewed faculty, students, university administrators and community partners during their visit, she added.

After the review, CCNE determined the three programs met the standards for accreditation without any deficits. They are now fully accredited through 2029.

“For students aspiring to become registered nurses, it is essential they graduate from an accredited program, like one of our programs in the School of Nursing,” Doig said, noting that NMSU’s BSN and MSN programs have been continuously accredited by CCNE since 2011, after having been accredited by the National League of Nursing since 1996.

The DNP program received initial accreditation by CCNE in 2014, she added.

CHSS Interim Dean Sonya Cooper views the reaccreditation not just as a boon for the college, but also for the university and New Mexico, she said.

“With this reaccreditation, the School of Nursing will continue to foster and prepare qualified individuals to become health care professionals who can have a positive impact in communities throughout New Mexico,” she said. “This also helps NMSU achieve its long-term strategic goal of enhancing student success and social mobility.”

For more information about NMSU’s School of Nursing, click here.

Author: Carlos Andres Lopez – NMSU

NMSU to host activist stars of “Bitter Brown Femmes” Podcast at public event this week

March is ‘Women’s History Month,’ a time to honor the many contributions women have made in history and society. As a way to celebrate the month and raise awareness of the current climate across the nation facing women, New Mexico State University will host a talk/live recording by the stars of the podcast, “Bitter Brown Femmes,” Ruben and Cassandra.

The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 10 at O’Donnell Hall, Room 111. The event is free and open to the public.

The podcast, which started in 2018, tackles social, political, emotional and community issues. With more than 30 episodes available online and 175,000 followers on Instagram combined, Ruben and Cassandra use their platforms to speak up against systems of oppression.

Ana Lopez, a doctoral candidate in the Special Education Department and an avid listener of the podcast suggested they visit NMSU.

“I personally have learned so much from them, from dissecting the impact of Latinidad and its many complexities, privileges, and more,” Lopez said, “I am so excited for them to come to campus and share a little about their important work.”

For Judith Flores Carmona, an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education and the Honors College, planned the event along with Lopez.

“I knew that the targeted audience, borderlands peoples and millennials were all right here,” said Carmona. “They will talk about the issues – transphobia, xenophobia, what does it mean to exist in the borderlands region. Students need to hear.

“Critical awareness is necessary for these spaces, for the populations we serve. We are a Hispanic Serving Institution. They need to see themselves reflected. What does it look like to be resilient, to speak up, to speak out, to talk back to systems of oppression and to have the courage to do that? They will get to see themselves reflected in Ruben and Cassandra.”

Carmona and Lopez hope this event is the first of many and that soon more courses will be offered covering topics like transphobia, xenophobia, toxic masculinity and more, so raising awareness isn’t just left to International Women’s Day.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Honors College, the Borderlands and Ethnic Studies Dialogue Series, Chicano Programs at NMSU, the College of Arts and Sciences Stan Fulton Endowed Chair, and the College of Education Stan Fulton Endowed Chair.

Author: Amanda Adame – NMSU

NMSU Extension Youth Ranch Management Camp application deadline April 10

A once in a lifetime experience is available to 30 youth, ages 15-19, at the New Mexico Youth Ranch Management Camp, in Cimarron, New Mexico.

“This year, we have reserved three openings for out-of-state youth,” said Sid Gordon, NMSU Extension agricultural agent in Otero County. “Last year we had youth from Illinois and Maryland attend the camp, which as a great experience for them and our New Mexico youth.”

The camp will from June 7 through the 12 at the CS Ranch in Cimarron. The application deadline is April 10.

Teens will have an opportunity to learn the agricultural science and technical know-how behind ranching at the camp conducted by New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Going to camp has been a life-changing experience for the 200-plus youth who have participated in the annual event since the inaugural camp in 2011.

“They don’t participate in recreational activities and crafts, but receive college-level instruction in managing a ranch,” said Jack Blandford, NMSU Extension agricultural agent in Luna County. “They have gained a greater appreciation of the science and opportunities in agriculture. It is a win-win for our aging agricultural industry with more young people having interest in going into this type of work.”

Gordon and Blandford are co-chairs for the ranch camp committee.

Steve Lucero, NMSU Extension Sandoval County director, shows campers the reproductive organs of a cow during New Mexico Youth Ranch Management Camp “All things beef day.” The campers have hands-on learning during much of the four-day curriculum that includes all things beef, marketing and economics, natural resources and range land management.
| NMSU Photo by Jane Moorman

Collaboration between NMSU Extension specialists, county Extension agents and members of the ranching industry provides an opportunity for youth to learn about the many aspects of ranching.

They are introduced to what it takes to run a ranch, from financial statements and marketing strategies, to producing quality beef, and managing natural resources and wildlife. College-level, hands-on curriculum provides participants with information to develop a ranch management plan for a scenario similar to the host ranch.

CS Cattle Company’s 130,000-acre ranch at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range near Cimarron has hosted the camp for the past three years.

“This location allows our campers to see a real-life working ranch,” Gordon said. “The CS, a cattle and hunting operation, has been family owned and operated since 1873.”

Online application deadline is April 10. Click here for more information and to apply.

Completed applications will be reviewed by the The acronym isn’t needed committee and applicants will be notified by April 17.

The registration fee of $300, or payment arrangements, is due on or before May 1.

Scholarship opportunities are available to those invited to the camp. Additional information is available once camper has been accepted.

Author: Jane Moorman – NMSU

NMSU engineering alumnus honors father with scholarship

The Mr. Ben Trujillo Memorial Endowed Scholarship in the Department of Industrial Engineering will benefit young engineering students.

Roy Trujillo’s father Benjamin was born and raised in Chimayo, New Mexico. He was affectionately known as “Mr. Ben,” and taught high school math for 35 years at Pojoaque High School in Santa Fe. He also taught evening, weekend and summer classes at the University of New Mexico, Northern New Mexico College, College of Santa Fe and New Mexico State Penitentiary before his death in 2008.

“My dad was gifted with a brilliant mind for math, physics and statistics,” Trujillo said. “He was a lifelong teacher and inspiration to many people in northern New Mexico.”

Roy Trujillo, a 1988 industrial engineering graduate from NMSU, said his father’s dedication to education inspired countless students to study math, engineering and the sciences.

Roy Trujillo is the chief operating officer for TransPerfect Global. Philip Shawe, TransPerfect Global founder, president and CEO, provided half of the endowment funds.

“Students will benefit from the generosity of alumni like Roy and his generous employer for generations to come,” said Leslie Cervantes, interim president of the NMSU Foundation. “That impact is appreciated.”

“We thank you profoundly on behalf of not just industrial engineering, which this will benefit, but also on behalf of all the faculty, staff and students,” said Lakshmi N. Reddi, dean of the College of Engineering.

As a student, Ben Trujillo studied mathematics and statistics at UNM, Boston College, Penn State and Central Michigan University. He earned a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees, and completed the coursework and wrote a thesis for a Ph.D., but didn’t formally defend it because he didn’t need it to teach high school, his son recalled.

Trujillo remembers his father often saying “if you are going to judge me, judge me by the accomplishments of those I teach, for that is all that matters to me, and that is all that should concern you.”

The scholarship will be awarded to an engineering major who is a freshman or sophomore and a resident of New Mexico, with preference for an industrial engineering major with minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 who is a resident of Rio Arriba, Taos, Santa Fe, Mora San Juan, McKinley or San Miguel counties.

“It was a special opportunity to be able to come here and honor my father, and to set the foundation for a long-term relationship between New Mexico State and TransPerfect,” Trujillo said.

Author: Tiffany Acosta – NMSU

NMSU to host fifth annual Feminist Border Arts Film Festival

Films used as a creative tool to grapple with urgent social issues and questions of identity and representation are what you can expect to see at the New Mexico State University Feminist Border Arts Film Festival.

For the fifth year, in honor of International Women’s Day NMSU gender and sexuality studies professors M. Catherine Jonet and Laura Anh Williams will host a series of short films for the two-day festival on March 5-6 inside Devasthali Hall’s Sandy Zane and Ned Bennett Collection Study Room.

“We received 2073 submissions this year, from 112 countries and in the 5 years we’ve been doing this, we’ve received nearly 10,000 submissions,” Williams said.

Williams and Jonet organized the film festival, which is free and open to the public, in collaboration with the University Art Museum’s exhibition, “Labor: Motherhood and Art in 2020,” co-curated by Marisa Sage, director of the University Art Museum and Laurel Nakadate, a New York-based photographer and filmmaker.

On March 5, the “Mothers/Others” program features 27 films that explore concepts of family, parenthood and the effects of larger social forces.

A film still from “Little L.A.” directed by Fernanda Besné, which follows deported “Dreamers” and their lives in Mexico City. The film will be screened at NMSU’s Feminist Border Arts Film Festival on March 5.

The program will include the U.S. premiere of Mexican director Fernanda Besné’s documentary “Little L.A.,” which follows deported “Dreamers,” DACA recipients who immigrated to the U.S. as children. The film processes the impact of repatriation on their lives as they attempt to form a community in Mexico City.

Day two of the festival, “Resurfacing: Five Years of FBAFF,” features a program composed of the festival’s most compelling film shorts selected by Jonet and Williams from the past five years.

15 films will be shown, including the U.S. premiere of Joel Cartaxo Anjos’s documentary short “So Far from Kabul,” about exiled Afghan actress Marina Gulbahari, who initially rose to international fame as the child star and now faces an uncertain future with her daughter in France.

The film festival shorts will be shown between films by artists from the “Labor” exhibition. “Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman: A Portrait of My Mother,” by Mickalene Thomas will be shown at 10 a.m. and “The Mother Project,” by Tierney Gearon will be shown at 5 p.m. March 5. KCET’s Emmy-nominated documentary “Artist and Mother” will be shown at 10 a.m. and “A Girl Like Her,” by Ann Fessler will be shown at 5 p.m. March 6.

“We’re most proud of the top-notch film programming that we’ve been able to bring to the university and Las Cruces community. We’ve always prioritized accessibility and inclusivity– we’ve never charged filmmakers an entry fee to submit their films, and we’ve never charged admission for our attendees,” said Jonet.

“We’ve always chosen films from different entry points– from beginners to professional filmmakers to people with a camera with a specific story to tell. It’s been illuminating to champion exceptional storytelling from all around the world, with varying access to budgets and resources.”

Looking back at how the festival has grown over the years, Jonet and Williams are eager to take the festival to the next level.

“We’re looking to transform the Feminist Border Arts Film Festival into a Feminist Border Arts Institute in order to support the work of filmmakers and artists who are situated at the intersection of art-making and social justice,” Williams said.

For the festival schedule and more information, the festival’s website.

Author: Amanda Adame – NMSU

NMSU honored for family-friendly policies

For the third time since 2018, New Mexico State University has earned a gold-level New Mexico Family Friendly Business Award in recognition for its workplace policies.

NMSU received the award from Family Friendly New Mexico, a statewide initiative developed to recognize businesses that have adopted family-friendly policies and practices.

“The New Mexico State University system is honored to be recognized by Family Friendly New Mexico as a family-friendly business,” said Gena Jones, assistant vice president for NMSU Human Resources Services. “Providing our employees with policies and programs that support balancing their work and their life outside of work is in perfect alignment with the university’s LEADS 2025 strategic goal of building a robust university system.”

Jones pointed to NMSU’s annual leave benefits as an example of a policy that helps employees strike a better balance in their professional and personal lives.

“We are proud of the fact that our eligible employees can accrue 21 days of annual leave beginning on their first day of work,” she said.

NMSU also has a policy that establishes a sick leave bank for eligible participating employees who have been affected by a personal medical emergency but have insufficient paid sick or annual leave to cover required work absences, Jones said.

NMSU also encourages employees to engage in life-long learning to enhance their careers. One of the most valuable benefits offered by NMSU is the Educational Assistance Program, a tuition waiver program available for eligible employees, their spouses or domestic partners, and their dependent children, Jones said.

To learn more about the Family Friendly New Mexico initiative, visit their website.

Author: Carlos Andres Lopez -NMSU

NMSU climate change lecture series to explore carbon sequestration

Carbon sequestration, also known as carbon capture and storage, has long been known as a promising, even necessary, tool to manage the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases pumped into Earth’s atmosphere.

In the next installment of the New Mexico State University Climate Change Education Seminar Series, Brian McPherson, a professor at the University of Utah, will present a talk titled “On the Competing Risks and Benefits of Geologic CO2 Sequestration,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 4 at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.

McPherson, also the science director of the Southwest Regional Partnership on Carbon Sequestration, will explore the pros and cons of geological carbon sequestration in the effort to confront this global crisis.

Carbon sequestration refers to processes that concentrate carbon dioxide, the most prevalent heat-trapping gas, and store it where it will not contribute to global warming. Carbon sequestration has potential to limit the atmospheric impacts of power and industrial plants that produce large volumes of CO2 waste. If paired with technology that can directly capture CO2 from the air, geologic carbon sequestration could also reduce the existing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

McPherson will present a broad overview of the human-caused greenhouse gas problem and the methods that scientists and engineers are exploring to store carbon in subsurface rock layers. He plans to draw on the examples of four major projects, including one conducted in New Mexico, that are aimed at assessing the potential of this technology to slow climate change.

“We are not reducing carbon emissions quickly enough to avoid highly disruptive future effects of climate change, both nationally and globally,” said Reed Burgette, an assistant professor in geological sciences at NMSU.

“Engineering solutions such as geologic carbon sequestration has promise as part of a range of solutions to avoid catastrophic impacts. McPherson is a national leader in investigating the potential of geologic carbon sequestration, and he will bring a regional perspective about the prospect of applying it here in the Southwest U.S.”

McPherson’s talk is the seventh in this academic year’s NMSUCCESS series. The series’ goal is to shine a light on research and issues related to climate change for this region and the world.

The last talk in the series will be hosted by Leah Gerber, a professor at Arizona State University, at 7 p.m.Wednesday, April 22 at the Rio Grande Theatre. Gerber will speak on a specific measure to help maintain biodiversity and stave off species mass extinction.

The talk will take place on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Author: Amanda Adame – NMSU

NMSU Arrowhead Center’s business success spotlight: Backyard Farms

It’s plot of land next to the First Christian Church that appears unassuming, especially in contrast with Las Cruces High School’s modern architecture, but if you look closely, you can see a simply built Johnson-Su bioreactor composter creating rich soil for the garden and an outline sections of land ready to grow plants.

For Rachael Ryan, owner of Backyard Farms, the land is a piece of a larger network to cultivate and actively improve lives and farming in Las Cruces, New Mexico. To get from blooming ideas to a full-fledged business, Ryan went through the programs at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center.

“First, I had to learn about business to grow Backyard Farms to where it is now,” said Ryan, who is a Ph.D. candidate at NMSU with a background in working as a population geneticist.

In 2017, Ryan joined Studio G, a business accelerator providing free services like workshops on marketing and accounting. That same year, Backyard Farms became a winner of Arrowhead Center’s Aggie Shark Tank competition. After that, Ryan went through the AgSprint, a six-week incubator for agriculturally focused businesses to get on the fast track of success.

“I had no business experience. For example, I didn’t know what a balance sheet was. AgSprint was like going back to grad school,” she said.

Ryan delved into learning as much as she could from the business aspect – the customer discovery, marketing, budgets – to create a sustainable model that could support nonprofit efforts, like working with Las Cruces High School students to get their hands dirty. The students were able to build a working composter and chicken tractor for the garden.

Kristin Gustine, an environmental science teacher at Las Cruces High School, said that many students had never thought about growing their own food, or had a conceptual idea of that cycle in their lives.

“Even for high schoolers, they are more likely to eat a new food if they’ve grown it. It inspires them to learn the story behind their food,” she said.

You might have seen more of the Backyard Farms story if you’ve walked into a Las Cruces local foods market and had a clear carton of

Backyard Farms quail eggs are gaining national and global attention. (Courtesy of Rachael Ryan)

speckled mini eggs catch your eye. Those quail eggs are another component of the business, one that’s even garnered it global attention.

In October 2019, the eggs were served at a charitable dinner event in a collaboration with El Paso’s own Taft-Díaz and Mexico City’s world-famous restaurant Pujol.

But Backyard Farms is not just focusing on the global marketplace, it’s also sharing a bounty with those in need. Some of the produce harvested has been donated to local school programs and food banks at First Christian Church, El Calvario United Methodist Church, and El Caldito Soup Kitchen.

For Ryan, Backyard Farm is also about adapting what comes out of the garden to where it’s planted, like cultivating lettuce that can thrive in July.

“It’s about breeding hardiness because our environment is harsh, not just in the lack of water but low humidity, windstorms and salty alkaline soil,” said Ryan. “Working with Arrowhead Center has opened many doors, like access to marketing, accounting, funding and legal help that small businesses need but often can’t afford in the early stages. Backyard Farms shows that an agriculture business can sustain conservation.”

Along with AgSprint, Arrowhead Center offers programs for businesses in other industries, such as healthcare and clear energy, along with initiatives that focus on ventures from a variety of sectors.

“Arrowhead Center can help businesses get started, no matter where they are in the journey or what their goals are,” said Kathryn Hansen, director of Arrowhead Center. “Our programs can kick off a whole network of opportunities.”

For more information for growing a business or even a business idea, check out the business accelerator programs at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center at Sprints Webpage and Studio-G.

Author: Cassie McClure – NMSU

NMSU provost announces new Beyond Borders community initiative

New Mexico State University Provost Carol Parker has announced the creation of Beyond Borders, a community of practice that focuses on international, hemispheric and border regions in alignment with the NMSU LEADS 2025 Global Challenge.

“I look forward to working to reinvigorate and strengthen our initiatives to globalize our curriculum, research and outreach missions under the banner of NMSU LEADS 2025,” Parker said. “Innovation in this area will enhance NMSU’s reputation, visibility and reach, while potentially growing new resources to further strengthen the NMSU system.”

Last fall, Parker took steps to restructure NMSU’s International and Border Programs office, leaving oversight of the academic aspects of the office with Academic Affairs and realigning student support and co-curricular programs with Student Success to better serve international students and centralize recruitment, admissions, advising and co-curricular support for these students.

Parker said she has since continued to consult with academic stakeholders regarding current and future leadership needs and support for international programs.

Beyond Borders will support faculty and staff interested in creating a self-supporting community around interdisciplinary internationalization of curriculum, research and creative works, and community engagement and extension.

The Beyond Borders community will receive programming and logistical support from Parker’s office and Vice President for Research Luis Cifuentes. The community will be based at Nason House on the NMSU campus.

Parker will also launch a search for a faculty fellow to serve as the founding leader, convener and faculty administrator for Beyond Borders. The quarter-time faculty administrator will work closely with faculty and academic leaders from across NMSU and with members of the external community.

A second, quarter-time faculty fellow will also be hired to serve as the leader, convener and faculty administrator for a newly reinvigorated Center for Latin American and Border Studies, which will focus on promoting excellence in scholarship, research and creative works on topics and issues concerning Latin America, the U.S.-Mexico border and general border studies.

“I encourage anyone working on matters related to international, hemispheric and border regions to join the Beyond Borders community of practice,” Parker said. “If this approach is successful, NMSU will develop additional supported communities of practice to focus on other LEADS 2025 Global Challenges.”

For more information about NMSU LEADS 2025, visit the website.

Author: Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU

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