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Home | Tag Archives: NMSU (page 20)

Tag Archives: NMSU

NMSU’s Second GivingTuesday Brings in $2M for Programs Across State

Gifts were still rolling in all evening, but with hours left to go in its one-day GivingTuesday campaign Nov. 29, New Mexico State University had already brought in nearly $2 million in new gifts to support students and programs at NMSU campuses across the state – including two major gifts that got the day off to a running start.

At the 9 a.m. kickoff celebration for NMSU’s second system-wide GivingTuesday event, part of a global day of giving the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, leadership announced a $250,000 matching gift pledged by generous NMSU donors Ammu and Rama Devasthali.

The dollar-for-dollar matching gift will be used to encourage additional contributions to the building fund to replace D.W. Williams Hall.

The building, a 78-year-old former gymnasium, currently houses NMSU’s Department of Art and University Art Gallery. New Mexico voters recently passed General Obligation Bond C for higher education projects, which included $22.5 million for the Williams Hall project, but more funding is needed to ensure the building is fully furnished and filled with state-of-the art equipment.

Later in the day, representatives from New Mexico Gas Company, an Emera company, announced a $200,000 gift to Arrowhead Center, the economic development engine at NMSU, to support programs that create businesses, accelerate technology commercialization and deliver a student entrepreneurship curriculum to communities throughout the state.

11/29/2016: NMSU students, from left, Cordel Pyle, Kyle Clarsen and Brooklyn Burnett sign up their donations during the Giving Tuesday event at the Corbett Center. (Photo by Andres Leighton)
11/29/2016: NMSU students, from left, Cordel Pyle, Kyle Clarsen and Brooklyn Burnett sign up their donations during the Giving Tuesday event at the Corbett Center. (Photo by Andres Leighton)

In all, more than 1,000 donors contributed to programs and scholarships they loved across NMSU campuses. Dozens of opportunities for matching funds were offered up by donors to drive participation and boost specific funds.

During GivingTuesday, many donors use social media to promote their giving and encourage others to give, so an anonymous donor pledged a $3,500 gift that would be triggered if more than 125 people posted their #NMSUGivingTuesday #UnSelfies after making their gifts – a goal that was quickly surpassed.

“We’re so thrilled that the momentum of last year, when we brought in $2.9 million dollars in new gifts, has kept going through our second-annual event,” said Andrea Tawney, president of the NMSU Foundation and vice president for University Advancement. “This shows the continuing generosity of our alumni, faculty and staff, and businesses in the community and around the region, as well as our committed Aggie family around the globe.”

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

Chancellor Garrey Carruthers said the day was especially exciting because he got the opportunity to talk to donors about the reasons they wanted to give to NMSU.

“I spoke to one alum who told me about how, eight years ago when he was a student, he benefited from a scholarship that made it possible for him to finish his degree,” Carruthers said. “He was proud to repay the money he’d been given and make the same opportunity possible for another student. It’s just another example of how our caring community transforms lives and motivates our graduates to stay connected to us.”

While GivingTuesday has ended, gifts are welcome year-round, and can be made online at advancing.nmsu.edu. For more information about the NMSU Foundation, visit support.nmsu.edu.

Author:  Amanda Bradford – NMSU

NMSU Doctoral Student Receives NCAA Research Grant

Jessica Jackson, a doctoral student in New Mexico State University’s College of Education, has received a research grant from the NCAA Research Committee to study experiences of racism and responses to race-related events.

Jackson’s research proposal was one of seven selected by the NCAA to receive funding during the 2016 cycle of the NCAA Graduate Student Research Grant Program. The program is aimed at stimulating research on college sports by providing financial support to graduate students in social and behavioral science fields.

“I am both honored and grateful for this opportunity,” said Jackson, a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology. “I am excited to continue the work on my dissertation and hopefully make a meaningful contribution to the field of psychology.”

Jackson’s research will focus on utilizing scales measuring experiences of racism, stress responses to race-related events and psychological distress, and aims to understand a potential unique source of stress for NCAA black male student-athletes. The mixed-methods study will investigate the influence of race-related stress on psychological distress and chronicle participants’ experiences of race-related stress.

“It is intended that results of this study will provide preliminary evidence of the prevalence of race-related stress among collegiate athletes and effects of this form of stress on psychosocial well-being,” Jackson said. “Clinical implications based on the results will be useful for mental health professionals working with black male student-athletes.”

Anna Lopez, assistant professor in the NMSU Counseling and Educational Psychology department, has worked closely with Jackson over the past two years. Lopez said the grant will be instrumental in helping Jackson complete her dissertation, and is thankful the importance and quality of Jackson’s work is being recognized.

“Jessica is an intelligent, motivated, driven and responsible student, always looking for ways of challenging and improving both her clinical and research skills,” Lopez said. “During these past two years, I have witnessed her commitment to the counseling psychology profession. In particular, I have seen the commitment she has to continuing to engage in social justice work. In the midst of juggling many other responsibilities, Jessica has prioritized her dissertation work and has identified and pursued a number of opportunities that have enhanced her dissertation work.”
Lopez said Jackson’s aspiration toward the research award is consistent with the initiative Jessica has shown in her doctoral program.

“She is always looking for ways to go above and beyond what is expected or required,” Lopez said.

NCAA officials said the work of Jackson and the six other graduate students selected to receive funding will help inform NCAA member schools and the public on key topics by introducing new studies to the field. Awards for these grants are set at a maximum of $7,500 for one-year projects. Recipients are expected to culminate their project in an article suitable for publication in a scholarly journal or in a completed thesis or dissertation. They will be invited to present their findings to the NCAA Research Committee in fall 2017.

For more information about the grant program, click HERE; For more information about NMSU’s Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology. 

Author:  Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center seeks Applications to Assist Growth-Oriented Entrepreneurs

Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University is now accepting applications for its U.S. Economic Development Administration University Center for Regional Commercialization, which provides a mix of business assistance services designed to help foster economic development within New Mexico’s commercialization ecosystem.

Venture research, impact studies and entrepreneurial training are available through University Center to startups, expanding businesses and governmental organizations in New Mexico. Zetdi Sloan, director of University Center, said the center offers targeted, market intelligence and financial intelligence services to aid entrepreneurs in making faster and more well-informed decisions.

“Starting or expanding a business is all about making informed strategies and taking calculated steps toward generating revenue and obtaining funding,” Sloan said. “To do this, you need to be informed about the facts and figures of the market and feel the pulse of your customers. However, without reliable data, you won’t be able to accomplish any of these goals.”

University Center addresses strategic development and growth challenges such as penetrating new markets, securing funding and refining business models.

For more information, and to apply, click HERE.

Author:  Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU

NMSU’s annual Giving Tuesday Event to Benefit Students, Programs Across the State

Joseph and Bridget Salopek, both alumni of New Mexico State University, believe strongly that everyone deserves an education, regardless of their economic situation. In order to make that a reality for students, the Salopeks made a $25,000 gift pledged over five years to establish a permanent endowed scholarship during last year’s Giving Tuesday event at NMSU.

Salopek 6U Farms is one of the largest family-owned pecan farms in the world, and the Salopek family has a long legacy of support for NMSU, but Joseph and Bridget wanted to make this gift on their own.

“Joseph and I are big advocates and supporters of NMSU, and we believe that a great education is important,” Bridget Salopek said. “We were inspired to establish our own scholarship endowment at NMSU outside of our family’s giving, because we want to give a student who may not be able to cross the finish line without a scholarship an opportunity to earn their college degree.”

12/01/2015: Left to right: Student volunteers Cynthia Nunez and Tannya Barba write thank you notes to donors during the Giving Tuesday fundraising event at the NMSU Corbett Center Student Union. (NMSU Photo)
12/01/2015: Left to right: Student volunteers Cynthia Nunez and Tannya Barba write thank you notes to donors during the Giving Tuesday fundraising event at the NMSU Corbett Center Student Union. (NMSU Photo)

Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving powered by social media and collaboration, can have a significant impact locally by providing for scholarships and programs across the entire New Mexico State University system, from the Las Cruces campus to its community college campuses, satellite learning center, and extension, research and science centers across the state.

NMSU will hold its second-annual Giving Tuesday event on Nov. 29. Last year’s Giving Tuesday event, part of the national giving day on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, brought in more than $2.9 million in gifts to scholarship funds at all NMSU campuses around the state. Adding in one-time matching dollars from the NMSU Alumni License Plate program and an estate gift from a generous Aggie donor, the total added to NMSU’s endowment came to $5.7 million.

More than 82 new scholarships were established last year, and the initiative drew more than 2,440 donors, including 655 who were making their first-ever gift to the NMSU system.

The entire community is invited to celebrate Giving Tuesday again this year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 29 at NMSU’s Giving Tuesdayheadquarters in Corbett Center Student Union’s Aggie Lounge on the Las Cruces campus.

A special kickoff celebration is planned at 9 a.m. with NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers and other guests, and a closing celebration will start at 5 p.m. Free parking will be available in designated areas between Corbett Center and Milton Hall.

Online gifts may also be made on Nov. 29 by visiting advancing.nmsu.edu/givingtuesday.

This year’s event features select fund-matching opportunities, given by donors to boost some of the scholarships and causes they support. For example, if 250 of last year’s first-time Giving Tuesday donors make a contribution during Giving Tuesday 2016, then a $10,000 gift will be made to the general fund by Carruthers and his wife, Kathy, along with the Alumni Association.

Additionally, alumni who make their first contribution during Giving Tuesday 2016 will be matched by a generous Aggie donor, up to $250 per household.

Andrea Tawney, president of the NMSU Foundation, said seeing more alums like the Salopeks stay involved with their university and invest in its students is an important part of what Giving Tuesday is all about.

“Scholarships really do create amazing opportunities for our students, many of whom are working multiple jobs to make ends meet, so every gift we receive for them has a huge impact,” Tawney said. “If every one of our alumni gave even $5, we could help thousands more students achieve their educational goals and enter the workforce.”

The Salopeks’ endowed scholarship is available to a student like them, returning to school after spending some time away from college. That may be a student who has left New Mexico to go to a college or university out of state, but did not complete their undergraduate degree, and wants to finish at NMSU.

“This could also be a student who may have taken some time off of school, and decided they wanted to return and finish their degree,” Bridget Salopek said. “They would have to be in good standing with their previous school, and would have to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0. There are so many students who fit this bill, who may not have eligibility for certain scholarships because of the gap in their studies.”

The Salopeks said they hope their gift will inspire alumni and others to do the same in order to make a difference in the life of a student.

“Being able to help and make it a little less stressful for them in their academic journey is a really wonderful feeling,” Bridget Salopek said. “Funding college expenses can be very hard for students and their families, and being able to help make someone’s life a little better by providing them an opportunity to lessen their financial burden is amazing.”

To spread support for #GivingTuesday, join the social media conversations on Twitter @NMSUAlumFriends, Facebook/NMSUAlumFriends, Instagram @nmsualumfriends and NMSU Alumni and Friends on YouTube.

Watch for and share the following hashtags to spread the word about the day of giving: #GivingTuesday, #NMSUGiving, #NMSUPhilanthropy and #SupportNMSU.

For more information on additional matching gift opportunities for your #GivingTuesday contribution, including other faculty, staff and student matching pledges, visit advancing.nmsu.edu/givingtuesday

Author: Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU

NMSU Receives W.K. Kellogg Foundation Support to Improve New Mexico’s Education

New Mexico State University has received two grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation that will help improve educational outcomes for children in New Mexico.

NMSU’s College of Education will receive a $252,000 planning grant to begin the process of transforming the college. Currently, the college consists of five academic departments. The funds will be used, in part, to gather experts from around the region and the country to make recommendations.

College of Education Dean Don Pope-Davis is exploring the possibility of transforming the college into three schools, including a school focused on science, technology, engineering and math education. The Kellogg Foundation grant will fund a detailed and comprehensive study of the College of Education to determine how it needs to change and restructure in order to become a 21st century organization, re-conceive how teachers are trained, and improve educational outcomes for school children, especially in southern New Mexico. Both internal and external evaluation panels or committees will also look at the college, and all of this will culminate in a summit.

“This is an important decision for us and a historical moment in the life of our college,” Pope-Davis said. “We are going forward with the mindset of, ‘How can we become more distinctive in what we do?’”

Pope-Davis said he and others on the transformation team plan to make the college’s restructuring a “transparent, collaborative process.”

The Kellogg Foundation has also committed another $302,000 over two years to create a Data Analysis Unit to provide data collection and analysis for improving educational outcomes in southern New Mexico. Initially, the Data Analysis Unit will focus on Doña Ana County and will work closely with Doña Ana County’s Success! Partnership, which includes NMSU’s College of Education and Ngage New Mexico. The unit will be housed in the Office of Institutional Analysis, under NMSU Assistant Vice President Judith Bosland, and will operate in conjunction with the Success! Partnership.

“The Kellogg investment in the Data Analysis Unit further strengthens the Success! Partnership and the ability for our community to have a greater impact on our children’s lives,” said Frank R. Lopez, executive director of Ngage New Mexico.

Lopez said Ngage New Mexico serves as a backbone organization for the Success! Partnership, with is a “prenatal to career” education initiative in Doña Ana County.

“The development of a Data Analysis Unit has the potential of enhancing NMSU’s research capacity and simultaneously provide excellent research for the community-based Success! Partnership,” Lopez said.

The Data Analysis Unit will engage in data collection and analysis, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Educational programs, public schools, the College of Education, other areas on campus and Doña Ana County will benefit.

“This is an exciting opportunity for NMSU’s evaluation and analysis professionals, in collaboration with the Success! Partnership, to provide data to guide the creation and improvement of educational programs throughout Doña Ana County,” Bosland said. “While the immediate goal is to improve the educational opportunities and achievement of children in southern New Mexico, this will ultimately ensure that more residents are college-ready upon high school graduation.”

The Kellogg Foundation, founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, the Kellogg Foundation works with communities to create better conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. The Kellogg Foundation priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.

For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

Author:  Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU

NMSU College of Arts and Sciences Seeks Nominations for ‘A Starry Night’ Honors

For the last three years, New Mexico State University’s College of Arts and Sciences has hosted a gala event to honor business and community leaders for their contributions to the college and the university.

This year, the college is asking the community to submit nominations for these awards, which will be presented at “A Starry Night” fundraiser next spring on Friday, Feb. 3.

“In the past this was a decision made internally,” said Enrico Pontelli, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We want to open it up to the greater community and we encourage anyone in the region to submit a nomination. Once received, the nominations will be reviewed by a committee within the dean’s council, who will select the recipients.”

“A Starry Night” was started in 2013 and presents honors in four categories: The Town and Gown award, the Star of the Arts award, the Star of the Sciences award and the Star of the College of Arts and Sciences award. The awards recognize individuals who have achieved state, national, or international distinction through their accomplishments and leadership while supporting their community and NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Funds raised go to the Dean’s Fund for Excellence, which allows the college to fund opportunities to enhance the quality of education for students, expand the research abilities for faculty and support larger community efforts to improve higher education.

During the event, the college will also honor a star faculty member, student or alumnus from each of its 26 departments. The spring fundraiser begins with a reception showcasing these department stars, followed by the awards ceremony in the Medoff Theatre at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts.

Nomination forms are available online through http://artsci.nmsu.edu/en/starry-night. Submissions must be completed and submitted by 5 p.m.on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

For more information, contact Ashley Jurado at ajurado@nmsu.edu

Author:  Taylor Vancel – NMSU

NMSU Engineering Students Learn Skills Through Volunteer Projects

The dust settles in the wake of remote-controlled robots harvesting crops and the winners of the Boosting Engineering and Science Technology Robotics competition, hosted by New Mexico State University’s College of Engineering, are announced.

The middle- and high-school-student participants leave the playing field, which, like the students’ robots, took much time and ingenuity to build.

The 2016 competition’s playing field, a farm, was built by the Associated General Contractors of NMSU, a chartered student organization.

“AGC has been building the BEST field for about eight years,” said John Ross Tapia, assistant professor in the Engineering Technology Department and AGC’s faculty adviser.

There are about 15 students from different engineering majors in the organization. Together, Tapia said, he estimates they put in more than 400 cumulative hours in building the BEST field.

“We receive the blueprints from BEST Robotics in the summer, then we send them out to the students in AGC to review,” Tapia said. “When we get back in the fall, the materials will already have been ordered and it usually takes about eight weeks for us to build the field.”

The organization primarily works in five-hour shifts on Saturdays, along with some weekdays, Tapia said.

AGC is also present during kickoff, mall/practice day and the competition, a nine-hour commitment on average, to set up, maintain and repair the playing field if anything should break or need to be reset, Tapia said.

Before competition day, middle- and high-school students build robots to complete tasks on the field. This year’s tasks on the farm included planting seeds, harvesting tomatoes, corn and lettuce, and herding pigs into a pen and feeding them.

“They’re little toy pigs,” said Tapia. “And the corn are paint rollers, the tomatoes are whiffle balls connected to the vine by Velcro, the lettuce is loofahs tied up and they have a bolt that is grounded by a magnet, so the robots have to pick them up off the magnets, and the cornstalks are wood dowels that hold a hose where the corn-paint roller is placed.”

Tapia said the AGC students each year are excited to build the BEST field because of how much they want to engage younger students in the STEM fields.

In addition to building the BEST field, AGC in the past has also done work for El Caldito Soup Kitchen and Habitat for Humanity. They have plans in place to work with these two organizations in the coming months.

For El Caldito, AGC usually performs kitchen and serving duties, Tapia said.

“For Habitat for Humanity, last year, they were working on rafters for one of the houses,” Tapia said. “This year they’re helping to build a blind for birders in the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park on request from the director.”

AGC is currently designing blueprints for the blind, Tapia said.

Doing such work helps the group raise money each year for the Associated Schools of Construction Region 6 and 7 competition, which will be held in Sparks, Nevada, Feb. 8-11, 2017. The students will receive blueprints, put together a bid and schedule for the project, and prepare a presentation.

“The ASC competition is a great real-word application project for our students to be involved in,” Tapia said.

Author – Billy Huntsman, NMSU

NMSU to Host Variety of Events during International Education Week

New Mexico State University’s Office of International and Border Programs is celebrating International Education Week next week with several events that explore the benefits of a global experience.

International Education week was created as part of a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. According to the Bureau of Educational Affairs, the week aims to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.

“We’re happy to be able to join the rest of the nation in observing International Education Week,” said Cornell Menking, associate provost of the Office of International and Border Programs. “The types of activities in this year’s schedule are a good reflection of some of our top strategic priorities – creating career-enhancing opportunities for our students, raising global awareness and celebrating diversity. It should be a very interesting week, so I encourage everyone – students, staff and community members – to come and enjoy the program.”

NMSU’s Office of International and Border Programs is hosting the following events:

– The Office of Education Abroad will offer information about international opportunities from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, on the main floor of Corbett Center.

– NMSU professors Eric Morgan and Dan Dugas will present “Journey through the Emerald Isle” from 3-4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in Milton Hall, Room 169.

– Students Belkis Jaquez and Taylor Uselman will talk about “How Study Abroad Changed Our Lives & How We Now Engage in the Community” from 4-5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in Milton Hall, Room 169.

– Ilana Lapid, an assistant professor in NMSU’s Creative Media Institute, and students in the CMI Faculty Led International Program (FLiP) class will screen their films from 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the College of Health and Social Services auditorium, Room 101.

– Daniel Blake will speak about the Syrian refugee crisis and careers in an international field from 3-4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in Milton Hall, Room 169.

– Ken Chavez and Jennifer Archibeque will speak about exploring careers involving traveling and living abroad from 4-5 p.m. in Milton Hall, Room 169.

– Confucius Institute instructor Xue Jun will lead a Tai Chi demonstration from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, in front of Breland Hall.

– A screening of the German film “The Princess and the Warrior” will be from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Breland Hall, Room 173A.

– On Tuesday, Nov. 15, and Wednesday, Nov. 16, Taos Restaurant inside Corbett Center will feature special lunch menus. On Tuesday, the restaurant will feature an International Day for lunch, and on Wednesday, the restaurant will offer a Taste of Korea for lunch. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. each day.

For more information on International Education Week at NMSU, visit http://ibp.nmsu.edu

Author: Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU

NMSU Student Engineering Organization Helping to Build Homes for Homeless Veterans

A student organization at New Mexico State University is currently involved in helping a nonprofit real-estate developer construct a sustainable housing community for homeless veterans in Alamogordo.

The students and faculty advisers in Aggies Without Limits, formerly Engineering Without Boundaries, spent their summer helping the nonprofit Fox Hole Homes build the prototype the rest of the community will be modeled after.

“Sustainable housing means tiny homes,” said Kenny Stevens, AWL faculty adviser and professor in the Engineering Technology and Surveying Engineering Department, “in the 120-to-150-square-foot range and made out of as many recycled materials as possible, and if not recycled materials, then materials that are available locally.”

The sustainable-housing model being used in Alamogordo is based off the earth ships in Taos County, Stevens said.

“Earth ships are built using recycled materials, the walls are made out of tires filled with rammed earth,” Stevens said.

Fox Hole Homes has purchased a 160-acre parcel of land in Alamogordo, Stevens said. The sustainable-housing community will be built on this land, and each homeless vet, a goal of 120 total, will receive his or her own house.

The community aspect is as important as the houses themselves, Stevens said.

“You can’t address homelessness just by providing more homes,” Stevens said. “That doesn’t work. You need to create a community.”

AWL got involved with Fox Hole Homes in spring 2016 through the rotary club in Alamogordo, Stevens said.

“Word got to Fox Hole Homes that there was a student group on campus that did construction, design, moving activities – that we provide workers and money through fundraising activities,” Stevens said.

At the same time, AWL had two other projects to decide from to spend the summer working on building a bridge in Nicaragua or building a school in Mexico, Stevens said.

“The students decided, ‘let’s stay local,’” Stevens said.

Victor Meraz is president of AWL.

“The reason we’re all involved with AWL is to give back and help our local communities,” he said.

Among the contributions AWL has made to the project so far include helping to design blueprints, compacting earth and making adobe, and constructing walls to test the feasibility of using nontraditional building materials.

Stevens said three to four senior students in AWL will perform their senior projects while on-site.

“They’re going to come up with ideas to improve heating and cooling and water supply and distribution for Fox Hole Homes,” Stevens said.

Fox Hole Homes and AWL are currently awaiting approval from the state regarding the construction of the prototype. Stevens said approval is expected to come by spring 2017, when construction on the full community will begin.

Author:  Billy Huntsman – NMSU

NMSU to host ‘Languages and Cultures Day’

All area middle and high school students are invited to attend New Mexico State University’s fourth annual “Languages and Cultures Day,” from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, on the first floor of Breland Hall at New Mexico State University.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Languages and Linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences, and features 16 interactive sessions and presentations relating to a variety of languages and cultures including Japanese, Chinese, French, Portuguese, German and Spanish.

“This is a great opportunity for high school and middle school students to practice a language they already know,” said Glenn Fetzer, head of the languages and linguistics department. “This can also expose them to languages they might not yet know.”

For each half-hour time frame, the students will be able to choose which class they would like to attend. There will also be many different types of games, all reflecting culture in each country.

The day’s classes will include Japanese storytelling, a taste testing of French pastries, a session about the Argentinian drink, Mate, French folk dancing and Kung Fu.

Register at the door. Admission is $1 per student. Parents or guardians are welcome to attend the classes with their child.

For the event, enter through the north-facing doors of Breland Hall, 1525 Stewart Street, on the NMSU campus.

For more information, contact Glenn Fetzer at 575-646-4595 or gwfetzer@nmsu.edu

Author: Taylor Vancel – NMSU

NMSU study on Cancer Education for Hispanic Mothers needs Participants

Researchers in the Department of Public Health Sciences in New Mexico State University’s College of Health and Social Services have launched a study to examine the impact of cancer on Hispanic family dynamics and help the development of cancer education programs that serve Hispanic women diagnosed with cancer.

In the first phase of their study, Rebecca Palacios, associate professor, and Karoline Sondgeroth, health education specialist, are looking for participants.

Participants must be a Hispanic mother, diagnosed with cancer in the past two years and have at least one child who was between the ages of 5 to 12 at the time of the cancer diagnosis. Participants can live in the Dona Ana County, New Mexico, or El Paso, Texas, region.

The study will include focus groups and individual interviews. The focus groups will be conducted in participants’ preferred language, English or Spanish, and will last 1.5 hours. Participants will receive a free lunch and a $25 gift card. Individual interviews, by telephone or in-person, also can be conducted for women unable to attend the focus groups.

According to Palacios, an estimated 1.2 million mothers of school age children will be newly diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. but her cancer is an illness that affects the entire household, including her dependent children. Most of the research on how women and their families cope with cancer is focused on non-Hispanic white participants of middle to upper-middle socio-economic status and the few studies involving racial ethnic minorities typically focus on middle class African Americans.

“Studies on Hispanics and individuals of lower socio-economic status are lacking, which some researchers attribute to recruitment difficulties and language/cultural differences that impede the effective transmission of health information,” Palacios said. “This leaves Hispanics underserved and underrepresented, particularly those in the border region between the U.S. and Mexico. This is unfortunate given that Hispanics on the border exhibit the fastest-growing population rates in the U.S. and experience significant cancer health disparities.”

As NMSU’s lead on the cancer outreach core for the NMSU and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center partnership, Palacios said the team selected this study topic after finding a lack of education programs for cancer patients in the local border region.

She added that professional literature about cancer education programs for Hispanics with cancer also was limited and didn’t focus on Hispanics of Mexican origin.

To participate in the study, contact Sondgeroth at 575-646-5065 or ksondg@nmsu.edu or Palacios at 575-646-4309 or rpalacio@nmsu.edu

Author: Tiffany Acosta – NMSU

NMSU’s ICT Promotes Cyber Security Awareness

October coincides with National Cyber Security Awareness Month and New Mexico State University’s Information & Communication Technologies Department is doing its part to spread awareness of safe internet practices.

“What we’re trying to do is every October have some presentations for staff and faculty so we can inform them of new security threats and what they can do, safe practices that don’t require a lot of technical expertise,” said Araceli Hernandez, ICT manager of student technology and planning.

With threats such as spam or phishing e-mails attempting to steal information, the presentations are intended to promote practices that will help protect NMSU data as well as student information and personal information.

“10 percent of the safeguards we take can be done by technical help, but the other 90 percent is done by users,” Hernandez said of what will be discussed in the presentations.

“Additionally, practicing safe computing practices is just the right thing to do, especially when a lot of student and employee personally identifiable information has been entrusted to NMSU. Practicing safe computing practices helps us to ensure compliance with various data privacy regulations that apply to NMSU’s IT activities,” said Carlos Lobato, CPA, CISA, CISSP, IT Compliance Officer.

The ICT Department set up four presentations to support these practices. The first two took place Oct. 1 and Oct. 21. The next presentations will be Oct. 25 and 27 in the Senate Gallery, Room 304, in Corbett Center.

Both presentations will last from 8:30-10 a.m. These presentations are open to NMSU faculty, staff and students.

Registration for the presentations can be found HERE; Other information and security tips can be found HERE.

Author:  Peter Foreman – NMSU

NMSU Ranks in top 50 Best Value Online Colleges for 2017

New Mexico State University has been ranked 35th on the Top 50 Best Value Online Colleges for 2017 by Value Colleges, an independent online guide to the best values in undergraduate and graduate education.

“We’ve long known about both the quality education and the affordability we offer our students,” NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers said. “This ranking is just the latest to recognize the work we are doing at our great university.”

The Value Colleges rankings are based on three factors: cost, reputability and return on investment.

In addition, for the fourth time in the last five years, NMSU has been recognized as a top tier university and listed on the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges for 2017 National Universities rankings. U.S. News & World Report also ranked NMSU among its Best Graduate Schools 2017.

For the ninth year, Forbes has recognized NMSU as one of America’s Top Colleges. NMSU was named to the 2016 Center for World University Rankings list and was named one of the 50 most underrated colleges in America by Business Insider. For the eighth consecutive year, NMSU was named a top military-friendly school by Victory Media.

For a complete list of the rankings, visit http://www.valuecolleges.com/rankings/best-value-online-colleges-2017/

Author:  Tiffany Acosta – NMSU

NMSU Alums Raise Thousands for Aggie Cupboard Food Pantry during Homecoming

A food pantry that provides needed support to students and employees at New Mexico State University and Dona Ana Community College received an infusion of cash at a crucial time, thanks to a Homecoming week partnership between the university’s Alumni Association and several Las Cruces restaurants.

During the inaugural week-long “Eat for Pete” fundraiser, Aggie alumni and friends brought in an easy-to-print voucher to Buffalo Wild Wings, Jason’s Deli, Chili’s and La Posta restaurants on designated days, and the restaurants donated a portion of the proceeds of those meals to Aggie Cupboard food pantry. In all, the community partnership brought in $2,200 to the pantry, allowing organizers to purchase necessities like peanut butter, rice and canned veggies. The pantry can stretch each dollar into one full meal, so the gift will buy about 2,200 meals.

Lori Martinez, an NMSU social worker and founder of Aggie Cupboard, said food insecurity is a problem that is being faced by more and more universities, and NMSU was among the first campuses in New Mexico to address the issue through a community supported food pantry, which relies primarily on donations and volunteers.

According to the first comprehensive national study on hunger and university students, which took place earlier this year, food insecurity is not a fringe issue affecting a few students, but in many ways is the norm. The study found that for a large majority of students, working through college and receiving financial aid while still struggling to make ends meet is very common.

“As a university community, we have to think about how this affects our students’ abilities to attend to their studies,” Martinez said. “When you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, it can be really difficult to focus on the class project you need to finish, or buy the books you need for class. We have the resources and the generosity to help students and employees get food on a regular basis, and it’s empowering to see our community come together and continue to help this program grow.”

NMSU Regent Jerean Hutchinson, who owns La Posta restaurant with her husband, Tom, said she was happy to see the Alumni Association and the University Advancement team take an innovative approach to raising needed funds and connecting the university to the broader Las Cruces community.

“We loved the idea of ‘Eat for Pete,’” Hutchinson said. “What a great way for our alums to come together during a time of celebration and do something to help the people in our campus community who need a little boost.”

Leslie Cervantes, associate vice president for alumni engagement and stewardship, credited the Alumni Association staff with the success of the fundraiser, which will return in the spring.

“This team was thinking outside the box and worked with our restaurant partners to create a wonderful opportunity for our alumni to connect with a cause they really care about,” Cervantes said.

Martinez said the approaching holiday season is always a time when the need for Aggie Cupboard is great. Many students don’t have the means to go home for the holidays, or may need to work during the break to make ends meet for the spring semester. A number of campus departments and organizations are already collecting food to donate to the pantry.

Non-perishable food items can be dropped off Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon at Regents Row, Room B114, located at 3055 Williams Ave., near Zuhl Library in the center of campus. Tax-deductible monetary gifts can be made any time at giving.nmsu.edu – just specify Aggie Cupboard as the fund for the gift.

Food is distributed from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays in Regents Row, Room B114, and anyone with a current NMSU identification card may pick up items.

For more information about Aggie Cupboard, including volunteer opportunities, contact Martinez at mlori@nmsu.edu or 575-646-2731. To read the full Hunger on Campus report, visit http://bit.ly/hungeroncampus

Author: Amanda Bradford – NMSU

NMSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic Receives National Accreditation

The next time a plant in your yard is infested or infected, it may end up at one of just four laboratories in the nation with accreditation status.

The New Mexico State University Plant Diagnostic Clinic has been accredited by the National Plant Diagnostic Network. The only other labs with this designation are at Cornell University, the University of Florida and the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

NMSU’s five-year accreditation term began Sept. 1, 2016, and ends Aug. 31, 2021.

The rigorous process required the development of a quality management system and several external audits. The designation was granted according to the NPDN STAR-D (System for Timely, Accurate and Reliable Diagnostics) Laboratory Accreditation Program.

To receive the accreditation, the NMSU clinic met essential requirements and standards. The clinic’s personnel demonstrated technical competence in regards to testing and using reliable methods and equipment. It also means the clinic has appropriate facilities.

Part of the NMSU Extension Plant Sciences Department in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, the clinic provides plant diagnostic services for the entire state of New Mexico.

The following services are provided:
– Analysis of plant material for plant pathogens and environmental stresses
– Suggestions for appropriate control measures when available
– Facilitating insect and weed identification through referrals to other specialists

Clients include extension personnel, homeowners, crop consultants, growers, retailers, landscape professionals, golf courses, researchers and government agencies.

The first step in submitting a sample for diagnosis is contacting your local extension office. County extension offices may be found atextension.nmsu.edu.

Jason French is the plant diagnostic clinician and pesticide program manager in the NMSU Extension Plant Sciences Department. He said the accreditation gives NMSU recognition on a national level.

“It puts us on par with some of our peers,” French said. “The diagnosis for a sample submitted to any of the three accredited labs or to the New Mexico State lab should be the same. The quality management system put in place monitors and documents all lab processes ensuring that the final diagnosis for each sample submitted is made in a timely and reliable manner.”

Not only did he play a big role in the NMSU accreditation process, French is also a national auditor.

Natalie Goldberg, department head for NMSU Extension Plant Sciences, said it’s important to the state of New Mexico and to NMSU that French was selected to be an accreditation auditor.

“That was a significant acknowledgement that Jason had the skills, the temperament and all the other things needed to be able to do that really well,” Goldberg said. “He served as the lead auditor for Cornell, and he’ll audit other labs in the future. And by being an auditor, it really helped him to understand what needed to go into our accreditation process.

“Most people take a year to two years to get ready for the audit. We had four months. By understanding the requirements for accreditation and the accreditation process, Jason was able to prepare our lab in a short amount of time. It is hugely his accomplishment.”

Goldberg, who is also a professor and the NMSU Extension Plant Pathologist, said the accreditation gives a whole new meaning to those in the plant diagnostics industry.

“It means that an external body has determined that you are functioning in a manner that will produce a reliable result,” she said. “When you use NMSU’s plant diagnostic lab, you can be assured that your sample is getting the best opportunity to be diagnosed accurately.”

New Mexico State University Plant Diagnostic Specialist Jason French and NMSU Extension Plant Pathologist Natalie Goldberg sit at a microscope in the plant diagnostic clinic in Skeen Hall. The NMSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic was recently accredited by the National Plant Diagnostic Network. It is just the fourth laboratory in the nation to receive the designation. (NMSU photo by Kristie Garcia) OCT16
New Mexico State University Plant Diagnostic Specialist Jason French and NMSU Extension Plant Pathologist Natalie Goldberg sit at a microscope in the plant diagnostic clinic in Skeen Hall. The NMSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic was recently accredited by the National Plant Diagnostic Network. It is just the fourth laboratory in the nation to receive the designation. (NMSU photo by Kristie Garcia) OCT16

By having the required quality manual and standard operating procedures in place, any trained diagnostician should be able to come in and effectively run the lab in the absence of French and Goldberg.

The lab has come a long way since Goldberg’s first set-up in 1993. She started at a small desk in a tiny office with petri dishes “borrowed” from another lab and a microscope that was salvaged from a trash pile.

But after years of funding from various sources, the clinic has increased its diagnostic capacity and is currently processing approximately 1,400 samples per year, up from 350 samples processed in 1994.

“Accurate pest identification is the foundation to any kind of a management strategy,” Goldberg said. “If you just guess and throw treatments at it that have no ability to actually do any good for that plant because you misdiagnosed it, it’s a waste of time and money. If you add a pesticide to that equation, it’s a waste of that pesticide. And that’s poor stewardship of our environment.”

Goldberg said accurate diagnoses are relevant not only to the NMSU, Las Cruces or New Mexico communities.

“Being able to provide that accurate pest diagnosis, to where we at least know that the management strategies we’re employing should have an ability to be effective, is a tremendous advantage – not just to the people who own the plant or who are attempting to manage that plant – but also to our environment in general,” she said. “I look at it more globally than just that individual plant.”

Diagnostic services for submissions that come through an NMSU County Extension Office are free. For fees from outside submissions or for more information about the clinic, visit plantclinic.nmsu.edu

Author:  Kristie Garcia – NMSU

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