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Home | Tag Archives: NMSU (page 20)

Tag Archives: NMSU

Leading Cancer Researcher, NMSU Alum to Give Public Lecture, Meet with Students Monday

A Las Cruces native and field-leading researcher in the areas of cancer genetics and neurosciences will give a talk at New Mexico State University about breakthrough discoveries that could impact future treatment of diseases such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Don W. Cleveland, a professor and chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California at San Diego as well as a member of the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research, will return to NMSU on Monday, May 1, to share insights about his research with students and the community.

Cleveland will spend the day meeting with different groups, touring the campus, talking with NMSU students in biology, chemistry and physics and giving a public lecture about his research titled “Gene silencing therapy for human neurodegenerative disease,” which will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Domenici Hall Yates Auditorium, Room 109.

“It’s a real pleasure to visit NMSU and Las Cruces again,” said Cleveland, who graduated from Las Cruces High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from NMSU in physics in 1972. “They gave me a great start in my scientific career and made me into a lifelong New Mexican (no matter where I live).”

After NMSU, Cleveland earned a doctorate at Princeton and moved to California to continue his groundbreaking research into neurodegenerative disorders. Cleveland has uncovered the mechanisms underlying the major genetic forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and developed gene silencing therapies using designer DNA drugs that have entered clinical trials for four neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS and Huntington’s diseases.

Cleveland initially identified tau, the protein that accumulates abnormally in Alzheimer’s disease. It is also the protein whose misfolding underlies chronic traumatic brain injury, which is now receiving nationwide attention from the National Football League.

“We are proud to welcome Dr. Cleveland back to NMSU,” said Enrico Pontelli, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “This is part of our Alumni Connections series, which seeks to connect our Arts and Sciences alumni with our students. One of the keys to students’ long-term success is the connections they build, not only with their professors and fellow students but also with alumni like Dr. Cleveland, who are leaders in their field of study.”

Cleveland has earned numerous awards for his work. Among them, three National Institutes of Health Merit Awards, the Wings Over Wall Street MDA Outstanding Scientist award and The Sheila Essey Prize from the ALS Association and American Academy of Neurology as well as the Judd award from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

NMSU biology professor Brad Shuster remembers Cleveland as a mentor when Shuster was a graduate student. He also invited Cleveland to NMSU for a seminar several years ago.

“Don has made enormous contributions to our understanding of the basic structure and function of cells, and has lent profound insights into pathologies such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases,” said Shuster. “His leadership has extended well beyond the bench, serving as president of the American Society for Cell Biology and an editor of our discipline’s top journal. Plus, he’s a great guy and one of the most successful scientists NMSU has ever produced.”

Pontelli believes Cleveland’s engagement with NMSU students one-on-one will be just as valuable for them as the knowledge of his cutting-edge research.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our faculty and students,” Pontelli said. “We are fortunate Dr. Cleveland is making the time to share his research and insights.”

Cleveland’s lecture is free and open to the public. Campus parking passes for visitors are available at

Author:  Minerva Baumann – NMSU

NMSU Working to Build a Culture of Student Philanthropy

When Alexandra Tovar, a New Mexico State University senior studying Spanish, walked into NMSU’s Corbett Center Student Union on Nov. 29 and made her first Giving Tuesday donation, she was already part of a growing number of NMSU students who are learning that they can make a difference in the lives of future Aggies before they have crossed the graduation stage themselves.

Two new initiatives at NMSU are focused on building a culture of philanthropy that starts in college, but will last beyond graduation. It’s a two-pronged approach: reaching out to students online through social media and crowdfunding, and creating a student philanthropy group that’s open to students across the NMSU system.

Sponsored by the NMSU Foundation, the Student Foundation was created as a home for students at all campuses who are looking to give back to their campus community. An all-volunteer group of students, the Student Foundation solicits gifts from other students through tabling, regular meetings and social media.

Tovar is the first secretary for the new Student Foundation.

“I am involved in the Student Foundation because I believe it shows that philanthropy is important to my life,” Tovar said. “Organizations like these are stepping stones to achieving a lifelong giving mindset and it’s that mindset that will help show that I want to be a part of my community as much as possible.”

This year alone, 123 students made a gift on Giving Tuesday, and as an incentive, the NMSU Foundation said “thank you” in person at an exclusive reception at Club 27 with Chancellor Garrey Carruthers.

“We want to empower our students to raise money for the causes they care about right here on campus,” said Adrian Bautista, adviser for the Student Foundation and annual giving officer at the NMSU Foundation. “By seeing what impact their donation could make within their program or in their college, they have a chance to get more involved and more invested in NMSU.”

Victor Meraz, a senior in mechanical engineering technology with a minor in renewable energy, and president of Aggies Without Limits, was one of the student donors who were invited to the Club 27 reception.

“I had the opportunity to meet and chat with like-minded students and was able to speak with Chancellor Carruthers about Aggies Without Limits,” said Meraz, whose organization focuses on creating sustainable infrastructure such as water systems, bridges and roads, both locally and for communities around the world.

“I believe in supporting and helping others, and do my best to adhere to altruistic values,” Meraz said. “Promoting positive accountability in our communities starts with us.”

Another student philanthropy initiative is NMSU’s new online crowdfunding platform, Make a STATEment. Crowdfunding is a way to raise money by reaching out to a community of supporters who give online to the specific projects that matter most to them. Some well-known examples of crowdfunding platforms are GoFundMe or Kickstarter.

What differentiates Make a STATEment from other crowdfunding platforms is that groups don’t pay a fee to participate, which helps more of the donor support to go directly to the cause. Student projects also get to keep the donations raised even if their fundraising goal is not completely met. Every donation to Make a STATEment is tax-deductible through the NMSU Foundation.

On the project page, the project champions share their story, and explain how a gift will support their cause, through an interactive video. The groups who participate will be able to post updates demonstrating the impact of each contribution.

To make a gift to the Student Foundation and view campus projects that are seeking funding through Make a STATEment, visit For more information, visit NMSU Student Foundation or contact Bautista at

Author:  Cassie McClure – NMSU

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center Receives $2.5 Million gift from Hunt Family Foundation

The New Mexico State University system launched the public phase of its $125 million comprehensive campaign, “Ignite Aggie Discovery,” by announcing a transformative gift from the Hunt Family Foundation to benefit Arrowhead Center, NMSU’s entrepreneurship and innovation hub.

The El Paso-based Hunt Family Foundation has committed $2.5 million over six years to support Arrowhead Center’s work in commercializing discoveries and innovations, encouraging entrepreneurship, launching and developing new businesses, and creating lasting partnerships in the Borderplex region, which includes New Mexico, west Texas and Ciudad Juarez. With the funds, Arrowhead Center has created new programming through the Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship, with the purpose of promoting economic development in the region.

“We’re pleased to help get the Ignite Aggie Discovery campaign off to a strong start,” said Josh Hunt, president of the Hunt Family Foundation. “We believe Arrowhead Center has the potential to do great work and accomplish much in the areas of entrepreneurship and student startup innovation. The goal of the Hunt Family Foundation is to assist in initiatives that can help build a better quality of life for all residents of the Borderplex, and New Mexico State and Arrowhead Center can play a significant role in those efforts.”

The Hunt Family Foundation has long been committed to supporting sustainable programs that can make a widespread and prolonged impact in the Borderplex region. Started in 1987 by Woody and Gayle Hunt, the foundation focuses support for non-profit initiatives in six categories, including education and regional economic development.

The Hunt Student Startup Sponsorship program is one new initiative already underway with the funding through Arrowhead Center’s Studio G, the first student business incubator in New Mexico. Designed to accelerate student ventures, the semester-long sponsorships fund a portion of a student entrepreneur’s time to significantly advance their enterprise. In addition to being paid to focus part-time on their businesses, students receive training and mentorship through Studio G, as well as access to follow-on funding.

Kathy Hansen, CEO and director of Arrowhead Center, said the Hunt Family Foundation gift will allow Arrowhead to greatly expand its collaboration with like-purposed organizations in the region. She said the funds will be significant to future building plans as the need for collaborative space grows at Arrowhead Center.

“The impact of this funding will be felt throughout the Borderplex, as Arrowhead Center works to build long-term relationships in the region and beyond,” Hansen said. “We’ll be able to provide greater opportunities for partnerships to support our researchers as they explore ways to apply their work and make an impact in the marketplace. We’ll also help drive improvements in the regional economy by continuing to foster a culture of entrepreneurship that addresses the need for business and job creation in innovative ways.

“It’s an exciting time, and we’re poised for tremendous growth,” she continued. “We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity that the Hunt Family Foundation has provided to build on the work we’re doing.”

The announcement came during a special kickoff event for the Ignite Aggie Discovery comprehensive campaign at the Associated Students of NMSU Center for the Arts on Friday, April 28. During the campaign’s silent phase, which began in May 2013, the NMSU Foundation raised more than half the campaign’s goal – over $72.5 million. While NMSU is a public university system, funding from private donors, alumni, corporations, foundations and other sources supports vital community programs, research and student scholarship opportunities.

One of the most important goals of the campaign, which extends through 2019, is the creation of $50 million in new scholarship endowments. This would provide $2 million each year in perpetuity for new, game-changing scholarships.

“Our Ignite Aggie Discovery comprehensive campaign is about focusing our energy, our innovation and our momentum on making the NMSU system stronger and better for the future of our students and the future of New Mexico and the region,” said Andrea Tawney, president of the NMSU Foundation. “This gift from the Hunt Family Foundation gets the public phase of our campaign off to an explosive start, and truly demonstrates that we are a Borderplex community that can advance our region if we collaborate and maximize our resources.”

For more information on the Ignite Aggie Discovery campaign, visit

Author: Amanda Bradford – NMSU

New NMSU Scholarship helps Veterans Transition to Civilian Life

A basic military tenet is to leave no one behind. Now, a group of Raytheon employees has come together and established a new scholarship at New Mexico State University to make sure that the final educational mission for student veterans comes to fruition.

The RAYVETS Degree Completion Current Use Scholarship at NMSU helps student veterans who have exhausted their GI Bill benefits if their bachelor’s or graduate degree is at risk due to their inability to fund their remaining classes.

“What the RAYVETS scholarship means to our student veterans is the ability to complete their educational dreams,” said Hector Sanchez, director of Military and Veterans Programs at NMSU. “It bridges the financial gap to allow veterans that have no means to pay for their remaining education a way to complete their academic degrees and transition to civilian life.”

Leading the charge is Colby Richardson, a facilities manager who founded and organizes the RAYVETS group at the White Sands Raytheon Company location.

Richardson has spent 12 years in the Army, and during seven years of active duty, he deployed three times to Iraq. Currently an officer in the Army Reserve, Richardson founded RAYVETS/White Sands in 2015. His goal for the group was to support an initiative for local veterans that has an immediate and direct impact. He reached out to NMSU and found that there were student veterans transitioning into civilian life who were at risk of not achieving their degrees because their educational benefits were depleted.

“If we don’t help these student veterans in their final year or final semester, they may have to take out student loans, and many are already maxed out on those,” Richardson said. “Many of them are already working full-time and have families.

“This is a dire need for these veterans, and by donating to RAYVETS, you’re directly impacting someone you might see at the supermarket tomorrow,” he continued.

This new scholarship has already made a significant difference in the lives of recipients. April Montoya, an Air Force veteran and Air Force wife, explained that her RAYVETS scholarship will help ease her stress in her final year of nursing school.

“It brought tears to my eyes, because help with tuition means I have money to buy gas to get to clinicals, or to buy uniforms or medical scissors,” Montoya said. “It has a domino effect, so that I don’t have to take money from my family – and with two teens and an 8-year-old, life is already pricey.”

Montoya, a full-time student, had debated stepping out of school and working to raise the tuition for her last year. Thanks to the RAYVETS scholarship, she can push straight through to completion.

“Not one penny will go to waste and not one penny is unappreciated,” Montoya said.

Montoya aims to be a certified diabetes educator, working here in Las Cruces to prevent and combat the disease.

“This scholarship will let me focus on studying for all my tests, which will get me where I want to be to help the community,” Montoya said.

What makes the RAYVETS scholarship even more special to Montoya is knowing that veterans just like her are contributing to her success.

“It’s like someone is still looking over my shoulder and watching out for me,” she said.

Our nation’s military members risk their lives, sometimes paying the ultimate price. For many, a gift toward their education is a way to repay them for their service – and even help their families. For more information on how you can help NMSU student veterans who are close to finishing their degrees but have run out of educational benefits, please contact the NMSU Foundation and search search “RAYVETS” or call 575-646-1613.

To apply for the scholarship – and all NMSU scholarships – through the Scholar Dollar$ program, For more information about NMSU Military and Veterans Programs, click HERE.

Author: Cassie McClure – NMSU

NMSU Donors’ Gifts of Time, Caring have Tremendous Impact

When Jag and Linda Cheema needed a family in their new hometown, New Mexico State University answered the call. When NMSU students needed a home away from home, the Cheemas dialed in. Now, the Jag and Linda Cheema Endowed Scholarship will create a way for student athletes to be their best, not only on the playing fields and courts but in the classroom as well.

“When we first moved here, we didn’t know anyone,” Linda Cheema said about their arrival in Las Cruces in 1988. “Jag said to me – the very weekend we were moving in – everyone around here already has their friends. They don’t need us – we need them.”

Jag Cheema, a tennis player, picked up the phone and called NMSU to ask for a tennis partner.

“We met the coach and the rest was history,” Linda said. “We became more and more involved in the tennis program, and then women’s athletic programs. We realized that the women’s athletic programs don’t always get the same attention as the men’s programs.”

The stories of NMSU students affected Jag and Linda in different ways. Jag, originally from India, felt a desire to help foreign students, the way he was helped as a student. Jag’s family also had innate expectations of education and giving back. It was an example set by his grandfather, an Indian freedom fighter, who showed that it was their duty to take care of people who cannot take care of themselves.

Linda, a first-generation college student, wanted to pay tribute to a great uncle who helped her through school, even though he only had a third-grade education.

“He developed tools, got them patented and made money, but he could hardly read a paper,” Linda said. “He knew the value of an education and he helped me. Giving back is my way of honoring him.”

For years, the Cheemas’ gifts were in the form of something intangible, but invaluable – being the community that NMSU students needed. Jag remembers the first time they got involved with the women’s basketball team, spending time with the players after the game.

“They were so nice, so thankful that we came out for them,” Jag said and both he and Linda started to laugh before he continued: “We called up the coach later and said we want to have them over for dinner and he asked, ‘Which student?’ and I said, ‘The whole team!’”

“When we couldn’t afford to create scholarships, that’s what we were doing instead – we were their biggest cheerleaders and doted on them,” Linda said about how they welcomed the students into their home.

“And they need it,” Jag agreed.

“I tell the parents who don’t live in the area, I can get to your kid a lot quicker than you can,” said Jag who remembered helping a student who needed knee surgery.

“Her parents couldn’t come, so I said we’ll sit with her,” Jag said. “I called the father after surgery and it barely rang once. He was waiting for my call.”

“A few years later,” he continued, “we went to her wedding in Salt Lake City. I asked her dad where can we stay and he said, ‘No, you’ve done more for my family than any of my own kinfolk has,’ and we ended up staying with them at their home.”

On a recent trip to Croatia, they met up with a former Aggie basketball player – one of the many former students whom they consider a daughter.

“Her husband said that when we met her that it couldn’t have come at a better time in her life,” Jag said. “Now, their 4-year-old daughter’s name is Linda. I don’t think there is a bigger honor than that.”

“We have two sons and four grandsons, but we have hundreds of daughters,” Linda said. Their gift of time and devotion extended not only to their new daughters, but to the students’ families as well.

When Jag and Linda sat down to consider giving a financial gift to NMSU, they decided to go with their core values.

“We are concerned about the first-generation students – the ones with financial need. We want to increase the quality of lifestyle for the whole community,” Jag said. “Plus, most people who receive a scholarship are very receptive to help others, when they are able. It starts a process of change, and that’s our goal.”

The Cheemas took advantage of NMSU’s Giving Tuesday initiative focused on raising dollars and participation. Some donations were even matched dollar-for-dollar, thanks to revenue from the NMSU license plate program and an estate gift from a generous donor.

“We’re not going to solve all the problems,” Jag said. “But how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

Linda continued, “For us, it’s helping one student at a time. You help your family, and for us, New Mexico State University has become part of our family.”

Author:  Cassie McClure – NMSU

NMSU Art Department Hosts Three Community Events on One Night

New Mexico State University student artists will display their talents at three receptions for the Juried Student Show, Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibition titled “Portmanteau” and Yolanda Cooper’s Master of Fine Arts exhibition titled “Life As It Is.”

Opening receptions for the Department of Art in the College of Arts and Sciences’ annual B.F.A., M.F.A. and Juried Student Show will be on Friday, April 28.

The M.F.A. and Juried Student Shows receptions will be from 5-7 p.m. at the University Art Gallery in D.W. Williams Hall, in tandem with the “Almost Famous” student art sale from 4-7 p.m. The B.F.A. exhibition will be hosting a reception later that evening, from 7-9 p.m. at Wells Hall.

The Juried Student Show features a wide range of artworks created by both undergraduate and graduate students working in diverse areas of art at the NMSU main campus.

“The Juried Student Show presents a wonderful opportunity for students to demonstrate their talent and skills while engaging with the local borderland community,” said Jasmine Woodul, manager of the University Art Gallery.

Yolanda Cooper, a New Mexico State University graduate student, will show her work at the upcoming MFA Thesis Exhibition from April 28 at NMSU's Wells Hall. The solo exhibition of "Life As It Is" is comprised of a series of complex and deeply personal self-portraits of the artist. These scintillating works are visual materializations and embodiments of the artist’s fight for her place in the present moment. APR17
Yolanda Cooper, a New Mexico State University graduate student, will show her work at the upcoming MFA Thesis Exhibition from April 28 at NMSU’s Wells Hall.

Coinciding with the Juried Student show, the University Art Gallery is presenting the 2017 M.F.A. exhibition, “Yolanda Cooper: Life As It Is.”

Cooper is a Master of Fine Arts student in the Department of Art. “The ‘Life As It Is’ series is comprised of painting-drawing hybrids that function as visual materializations and embodiments of the artist’s fight for her place in the present moment,” said Michelle Lanteri, interim director of the gallery. “The majority of the self-portraits are created on wood panels, which also serve as the artworks’ support.”

These panels, several of which are large scale, portray the artist’s varying conceptions of her identity during a critical stage of her life. The “Life As It Is” series documents a particular period of time when Cooper’s persistence made a large impact on her survival.

Cooper’s exhibition also inspired a new community program being presented by the gallery, “Q&A with the artist.” This new series will start with a discussion with Cooper and Lanteri from 5:30-6:15 p.m. Thursday, May 4 at the University Art Gallery.

Cooper plans to provide insight to the themes, processes and intentions for “Life As It Is.”

The April 28 reception for “Portmanteau” will give audiences a chance to view a wide array of artworks

Dylan Shultz's sculpture will be shown in the annual BFA show “Portmanteau" from April 28 at the University Art Gallery in D.W. Williams Hall.
Dylan Shultz’s sculpture will be shown in the annual BFA show “Portmanteau” from April 28 at the University Art Gallery in D.W. Williams Hall.

by 11 graduating students from the Department of Art. The event will feature live music and refreshments. In addition, the “Portmanteau” exhibition will also be open for viewing by the public from 6-8 p.m. Friday, May 5.

“The varied media on display encompasses painting, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, photography, video and performance,” said Maggie Day, a senior B.F.A. candidate.

All events are free and open to the public. The University Art Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Highlighted programs that are part of the exhibit as well as admission to the gallery are free and open to the public. For more information about these events, visit

Voters approved General Obligation Bond C for $22.5 million dollars for renovation of D.W. Williams Hall, which currently houses the Department of Art and the University Art Gallery.

However, an additional $1 million is needed to purchase furnishings and equipment to complete this state-of-the-art facility.

Ammu and Rama Devasthali have pledged a $250,000 matching gift to encourage donations.

To contribute to the Williams Hall renovation and have your gift matched, visit the NMSU Foundation website at or contact Andrea Tawney at 575-646-4917.

Author: Taylor Vancel – NMSU

NMSU’s ‘Tough Enough to Wear Pink’ Partnership Successful, Will Not Return in 2017

After 10 years of fundraising for cancer research, dozens of awareness activities and a decade of pink Aggie football games, NMSU Aggies Are Tough Enough to Wear Pink organizers have announced their volunteer efforts will not continue in 2017.

“We’ve always known the life cycle of a volunteer effort such as ours is limited and we believe the completion of 10 years is a tremendous achievement,” said TETWP Co-Chair Pat Sisbarro. “Since 2007 the efforts of countless volunteers and the generosity of this community have contributed almost $5 million in cash and in-kind contributions to benefit breast cancer research and awareness efforts here in New Mexico.”

In 2011, Cowboys for Cancer Research and NMSU Aggies are Tough Enough to Wear Pink announced a partnership to create a $1.5 million endowment with the NMSU Foundation to support cancer research at NMSU.

That pledge was met a few years later and those funds will continue to support cancer research efforts.

“We owe so much to Pat Sisbarro, Laura Conniff and the other Tough Enough to Wear Pink Co-Chairs, including Magellia Boston, Mary Henson, Lynda Garcia and June Mumme,” said NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. “For the past 10 years, they’ve not just raised money for cancer research, they’ve also raised awareness for proper screenings and care. Our community is better off because of their tireless commitment.”

“Since 2007, Cowboys for Cancer Research have provided us with organizational support for the work we’ve done and they’ve been the beneficiary of our fundraising efforts,” said Conniff. “Going forward, we encourage the community to continue the impact and contribute directly to the TETWP/C4CR Cancer Research Endowment at the NMSU Foundation.”

08/27/2010: Chemistry professor Jeff Arterburn, right, works with undergraduate Brandi Gutierrez in one of his laboratories in the chem building (photo by Darren Phillips)
08/27/2010: Chemistry professor Jeff Arterburn, right, works with undergraduate Brandi Gutierrez in one of his laboratories in the chem building (photo by Darren Phillips)

In recent years, a series of seed grants were awarded to cancer researchers at NMSU to jump-start various projects. These benefited projects in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, chemical engineering and animal and range sciences.

Jeffrey Arterburn, a Regent’s Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has led research efforts into drug therapies and in developing diagnostics that would be able to tell patients more about the type of tumor they have and to monitor the status of a tumor in response to therapy.

“Tough Enough to Wear Pink and Cowboys for Cancer Research have both helped support our initial efforts to explore these leads to develop new and improved drugs and diagnostics that could be used to enhance the treatment of breast cancer,” Arterburn said. “It’s been the most exciting science I have experienced and could imagine, and we hope this research will ultimately lead to new breakthroughs in cancer treatment.”

Author: Justin Bannister – NMSU

NMSU Hosts Educators’ Job Fair; Non-Education Majors Welcome

New Mexico State University Career Services will hold its 43rd annual Educators’ Job Fair from 1 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 24, at the Corbett Center Student Union on the third floor.

The event will provide the following candidates with an opportunity to visit with multiple school districts located throughout the United States:

– Student teachers
– Experienced educators
– Experienced administrators
– Principals
– Nurses
– School counselors
– Social workers

A new feature of this year’s job fair is that non-education majors are invited to attend. Non-education majors interested in licensure programs are welcome to discuss career options and employment opportunities with school district representatives.

Another change is that the job fair will not end until 7 p.m. to accommodate individuals who may work or have classes during the day. Last year’s job fair ended at 5 p.m.

Elizabeth Ortega, with NMSU Career Services and coordinator of the event, said the job fair has been one of the most effective recruiting forums in the Southwest.

“This year’s event format will allow for candidates to meet with district representatives in person,” Ortega said. “Also, interviews may be conducted at the discretion of the district representatives.”

Over 50 diverse school districts from over 12 states will be represented, and there is potential for additional districts to participate.

“During last year’s event, about 118 participants registered and participated in the job fair,” Ortega said. “Given the current job market for educators, interested candidates are invited to take advantage of the face-to-face contact with school district personnel.”

Ortega suggests that attendees research and prepare as much as possible prior to the job fair.

“Candidates seeking employment should learn as much as they can about potential employers,” Ortega said.

Author:  Kristie Garcia – NMSU

Legacy Gift to NMSU Honors a Nephew’s Work in Ag Education

Anne and Kent McIntosh wanted their legacy after a lifelong farming career to help sustain agricultural education in New Mexico through an endowed scholarship in honor of their nephew.

When the McIntoshes decided to retire after 45 years of farming in Kentucky, they found a new home in Las Cruces. Anne, who grew up in the nearby community of Tularosa, suggested Las Cruces because Holloman Air Force Base had been home to Kent in the 1960s. They loved the climate, with the chance to play golf almost every day of the year.

They also felt attracted to the work being done in New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, because its focus on research into techniques and technologies that improve agricultural outcomes resonated with them and their own experiences in farming.

“In our last 10 to 15 years of farming, we realized that running a farm involved more than financial resources and back-breaking work. We were working diligently to keep up with evolving science and technology that was critical to our operation,” Anne said. “We both loved the farm and often talked about the importance of attracting young people to agriculture. Be it producing crops; equipment technology; or plant, herbicide, insecticide and fertilizer science; we saw a growing demand for agricultural related careers.”

The McIntoshes decided to make a gift to the NMSU Foundation to honor someone who had been leading the charge to educate future agriculturists: their nephew Michael Gaines. Gaines and his wife Melody, both graduates of NMSU and recently retired, taught vocational agriculture at the high school level in Mescalero, Ruidoso, Carrizozo and Socorro, New Mexico.

“Both are dedicated educators who have gone the extra mile in helping students in the classroom, as well as numerous extracurricular and community activities,” Anne said. “They have been very instrumental in preparing students to meet the challenges of agricultural-related careers or other life situations. They have contributed so much to young people in New Mexico.”

Their gift is a combination of a multi-year pledged gift and a portion of their estate, enabling them to continue supporting students and making them eligible for membership in the 1888 Society. NMSU’s 1888 Society recognizes individuals who have notified NMSU that that the university is included in their estate plans as the beneficiary of a will, trust, life income gift, life insurance policy, retirement plan, or other planned gift.

“I was just floored,” Michael said, of learning about the scholarship from his aunt and uncle. “I really appreciate that they are willing to put money into the educational future of a lot of students. When they see our family name, I want the students to recognize that we were teachers, and that we loved what we did.”

The scholarship is already supporting students, including Dakota Tharp, who was a recipient this year of the Michael G. Gaines Family Endowed Scholarship. A National FFA Organization chapter president from Las Cruces, Tharp said the help made a huge difference to kick off her freshman year.

“It’s a fresh start,” said Tharp, who is currently studying animal science. “It’s so humbling to know that people you haven’t even met are counting on you to succeed. It has made me more driven and motivated.”

“Kent and Anne McIntosh have made current and estate gifts for our university that are deeply personal, and honor their family’s agricultural legacy,” said Robert D. Peterson, gift planning director at the NMSU Foundation.

“Michael and Melody Gaines’ Aggie story shows how an NMSU education supports stellar careers of service that empower young people,” Peterson said. “The gifts made in their honor not only bring NMSU to the next level of excellence, but they are celebrations of the lives of those who made them.”

For more information on estate planning, contact Robert D. Peterson at 575-646-4358 or

Author: Cassie McClure – NMSU

NMSU to Celebrate Mother Earth at the Community Earth Day Fair

Every year on April 22, the whole world celebrates Earth Day. Started as a day to show support for environmental protection efforts, Earth Day is now celebrated in 192 countries. New Mexico State university’s Office of Sustainability and Organization of Aggie Students Inspiring Sustainability, in conjunction with the City of Las Cruces, continues to put on their Earth Day fair.

“This event is important to Oasis and the Office of Sustainability to educate the public about living a greener, more conscious life” said joni newcomer, manager of the Office of Sustainability.

This year’s Earth Day fair will take place on Saturday, April 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Plaza de Las Cruces. The event is a celebration of eco-arts, green businesses, and environmental education and will feature live music and dance, presentations and discussion groups led by local scientists and environmentalists, kids’ activities and vendor booths. It is free to the public.

This year’s fair will be a zero waste event and organizers encourage people to bring their own reusable water bottles, utensils and personal towels to eliminate waste. There will be compost/recycling centers for food, recycling and glass.

The Office of Sustainability has been involved with the Earth Day fair for two years and the OASIS student club has been planning the event for eight years.

For those looking to take part in the Earth Day fair as volunteers, opportunities can be found HERE.  A full schedule of events and presentations can be found HERE and vendor, educator and sponsorship registration can be found HERE.

Author:  Peter Foreman – NMSU

earth day fair

NMSU Rodeo Team Running on All Cylinders

With two final events on the schedule this month, the New Mexico State University rodeo team has found themselves in good standing before the College National Finals Rodeo in June.

In his first full season as head coach, Logan Corbett has produced teams both high in the standings. The women’s team is currently No. 2 in the nation after recently holding the No. 1 ranking and is No. 1 in the Grand Canyon region. The men’s team is currently No. 24 in the nation and No. 3 in the Grand Canyon region.

“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs. It hasn’t been like this all year, and we’ve had to work through our fair share of disappointments and frustrations this season but it’s nice to see all the kids’ hard work pay off,” Corbett said.

Corbett attributes their team success to a further implementation of the culture he wants to see in his team: “Main thing we’re trying to incorporate is a family atmosphere and a championship culture,” Corbett said.

That culture has led to numerous Aggies leading events in their region. Nicole Sweazea is No. 2 in the Grand Canyon region in women’s all-around and No. 5 nationally. Josh Davison leads the Grand Canyon region in saddle bronc riding, NaLynn Cline leads the region in barrel racing and is No. 4 nationally, and Chase Valdez leads the region in tie down roping.

The rodeo team is preparing for their final two events at the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds April 28-30.

Author: Peter Foreman – NMSU


Video+Story: NMSU Arrowhead Center now Accepting Registrations for Camp Innoventure

Registration is now open for Camp Innoventure, a unique day camp run by New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center, which offers a week-long experience in innovative thinking and entrepreneurial development for middle school students.

Now in its seventh year, the camp offers students a chance to learn creative-critical thinking skills that are applicable inside and outside of the classroom. Students are encouraged in areas of creative problem solving and collective brainstorming. In addition, students gain practice asking questions and learning the basic tenets of entrepreneurism.

Camp leaders include local educators, entrepreneurs and businesspeople.

This summer, there are three Las Cruces camps that run from 9 a.m. to noon each day. The camps will be offered from June 5-10, July 17-22 (co-hosted by the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce), and July 31-August 5. The cost is $40 per participant, and includes materials for students’ projects and a curriculum workbook.

There are a limited number of need-based scholarships available. Online Registration is available;  camps are limited to 12 students each, so early registration is encouraged.

Camp Innoventure allows students to learn about elements of starting a business while gaining hands-on experience in developing a product. Campers will spend the first half of the morning engaging with curriculum and the second half creating a marketable product. Past campers have also created jingles, packaging and marketing campaigns.

At the end of the week, students partner with the Las Cruces Farmers’ and Crafts Market for public, hands-on customer discovery and interaction within a community-specific demographic. This year, Camp Innoventure will also hold day camps in nine other locations across the state. Like the Las Cruces camps, students in these cities will partner with local markets to display and sell their products.

“On the leadership side, it’s shown us how creative our youth are and how much potential they have. It’s inspiring to us,” says Cassie Arias, economic development director for the City of Deming and Deming Luna County Economic Development (DLCED).

Program coordinator Lydia Hammond said last year’s expansion of Camp Innoventure has allowed organizers to provide the camp’s offerings and opportunities to many new students.

“The popularity of the camp in Las Cruces, specifically, has encouraged us to add a third session. It’s enriching for campers to learn new skills while having fun and interacting with the public. We’re excited to see what innovations they produce this year,” Hammond said.

For more information, please contact Hammond at 575-646-5230.

Author:  Lauren Goldstein – NMSU

NM State Edges UTEP 4-3 On Senior Day

Though they were full of fight, the UTEP Miners were edged by Interstate-10 rival NM State 4-3 on Senior Day Friday to close out the tennis regular season.

The Miners, who had six players for the first time since March 4, were able to field a full lineup. That helped the team get an early lead in the match, claiming the doubles point with wins on courts one and three. First, at the No. 1 position, Milou Pietersz and Lois Wagenvoort powered past NM State’s Vanessa Valdez and Rebecca Keijzerwaard 6-0, their first shutout as a pair.

Maria Paula Medina and senior Duda Santos, returning from injury, helped the effort with a 7-6 (7-5) victory over Lindsay Harlas and Gabrielle Joyce on court three. Senior Daphne Visscher and Raven Bennett fell 7-6 (9-7) to the Aggies’ Rimpledeep Kaur and Marie-Pier Thiffault.

For the first time since their Feb. 19 victory over Pac-12’s Colorado, the Miners entered singles play with a 1-0 lead. The Aggies did not go down easily, however, getting wins on courts one and five due to Santos’ and Bennett’s retirement from injury, and a 6-3, 6-2 Keijzerwaard victory on court three from Visscher.

The Aggies clinched the match with a win on court six, as Harlas upended Medina 6-4, 6-1.

Though they trailed 4-1, the Miners battled to secure a couple more points. The relentless junior Pietersz dropped her first set against Valdez 6-0 but dominated set two with a 6-1 victory and followed with a 7-5 triumph in set three. Wagenvoort took set one in a 6-3 fashion, but Thiffault evened up play with a 6-4 victory of her own. In the deciding set, Wagenvoort was able to work her way to a 6-4 victory.

The Miners will now look to prepare for the Conference USA Championships beginning April 20 in Denton, Texas.

FINAL: New Mexico State 4, UTEP 3
Singles competition
1. Kaur, Rimpledeep (NMSU) def. Duda Santos (UTEP) 6-7, 1-2, retired
2. Milou Pietersz (UTEP) def. Valdez, Vanessa (NMSU) 0-6, 6-1, 7-5
3. Keijzerwaard,Rebecca (NMSU) def. Daphne Visscher (UTEP) 6-3, 6-2
4. Lois Wagenvoort (UTEP) def. Thiffault,Marie-Pier (NMSU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
5. Arnaudova, Eli (NMSU) def. Raven Bennett (UTEP) 6-3, 3-2, retired
6. Harlas, Lindsay (NMSU) def. Maria Paula Medina (UTEP) 6-4, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. Milou Pietersz/Lois Wagenvoort (UTEP) def. Valdez, Vanessa/Keijzerwaard,Rebecca (NMSU) 6-0
2. Kaur, Rimpledeep/Thiffault,Marie-Pier (NMSU) def. Daphne Visscher/Raven Bennett (UTEP) 7-6 (9-7)
3. Maria Paula Medina/Duda Santos (UTEP) def. Harlas, Lindsay/Joyce, Gabrielle (NMSU) 7-6 (7-5)

NMSU’s AgSprint Accelerator Selects First Participants

Six promising startup companies that are developing technology in all areas of agriculture have been selected for a new accelerator program at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center.

The AgSprint accelerator, part of the Arrowhead Technology Incubator, is a five-month venture-builder program designed to support innovation in agriculture by connecting agricultural entrepreneurs to financing, demonstration and validation partners, academic faculty, corporate partners and more.

The cohort of participants includes:

— Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, which is bringing microlivestock to the range as Colorado’s first and only edible insect farm. They sell edible insects to restaurants, food manufacturers and anyone daring enough to choose delicious, nutritious and sustainable food.

— Wildlife Protection Management, which offers a platform to manage and protect wildlife using non-invasive humane means, making it easier, more comprehensive and affordable to set goals for species populations and habitat health.

— Ag Coalition, which offers a digital marketplace where all parties, from suppliers to producers to retailers, may review, evaluate, purchase, and otherwise conduct business in the agricultural supply chain.

— Revolution Agriculture, which creates closed-system, organic farms that produce eight times the yield per square foot, run 100% on renewable energy, use 90% less water, and empower communities to solve food insecurity locally and in any environment.

— Gonzo Farms, which created the Eddy 2.0 Vortex Brewer, which increases beneficial microbes and fungi for optimum reproduction in your soil.

— Enchanted Seeds and Sustainable Management, which offers a management decision platform and certification program that helps agricultural producers properly identify potential products to reach sustainability while considering economics and future agricultural production.

The program’s first five weeks will follow the I-Corps model that tests the feasibility of the venture. I-Corps is a National Science Foundation initiative to leverage university research to create new innovative businesses and increase the economic impact of inventions created at research institutions around the country.

NMSU is one of only 51 academic institutions nationwide to be selected as an I-Corps Site.

Graduates of the AgSprint accelerator will receive $2,000 and the necessary National Science Foundation lineage to apply for the $50,000 national I-Corps program.

Additionally, applicants will be able to receive up to three micro-grants, valued at $650, to cover the expenses of professional services such as technical writing, website development, counsel on patents and technology licensing, and regulatory consulting. Those who show promise will also be invited to continue the program for the next four months, and will be eligible to apply for investment from the Arrowhead Innovation Fund, a venture capital fund focused on seed and early-stage funding for NMSU- and Arrowhead Center-affiliated projects.

Funding for AgSprint is provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration University Center program and New Mexico Gas Co.

For more information about Arrowhead Center, the Arrowhead Technology Incubator or the Arrowhead Innovation Fund, click HERE.

Author:  Amanda Bradford – NMSU

NMSU PreK Program Enrolling Students for 2017-18 School Year

The New Mexico State University Roadrunner PreK program is accepting enrollment for the 2017-18 school year.

The program is open to children who turn 4 years old by Sept. 1 and will attend a qualifying school for kindergarten.

Program officials said priority will be given to children who will be attending Title 1 schools for their kindergarten year and who have never been in a school setting before.

Each class will have two teachers and 20 children, and run through May 2018. Located in NMSU’s Myrna’s Children’s Village, the program has highly educated teachers who have a large pool of resources.

Qualifying schools include Alameda, Booker T. Washington, Central, César Chavez, Columbia, Conlee, Doña Ana, East Picacho, Hermosa Heights, Loma Heights, MacArthur, Mesilla Park, Monte Vista, Sunrise, Tombaugh, University Hills and Valley View elementary schools in the Las Cruces Public Schools system.

Attendance at other schools may qualify, but need prior approval. Classes will be provided in the morning and afternoon.

For more information please contact Christina Ruybal at 575-646-7183,

Author: Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU

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