WNMU Foundation Aims To Raise $400,000 for WNMU’s 125th Anniversary

Due to the increasing cost of education, the decreasing amount of state funding available and the predicted drops in enrollment, privately donated funds from the Western New Mexico University Foundation are critical to student support. The Foundation aims to raise at least $400,000 by June 30, 2018, for WNMU’s 125th anniversary. “The progress we are making at Western New Mexico University is thanks to the alumni and friends who give through the Foundation. They ensure that Western New Mexico University continues to be able to offer top educational experiences,” WNMU Foundation Director Jodi Edens-Crocker said. The Foundation’s Annual Giving Fund is a way anyone can get involved and help the Foundation provide students with scholarships, and university program assistance. “The Annual Giving Fund is a straight-forward way to assist Western New Mexico University in transforming the future. Any gift amount matters,” Edens-Crocker said. Just as the university has...

WNMU Alumna Melanie Maynes Alfaro Wins Milken Educator Award

Melanie Maynes Alfaro, who earned her master’s in education from Western New Mexico University, recently won New Mexico’s 2017-18 Milken Educator Award and a $25,000 cash prize. One of just 44 teachers in the nation to win the award for 2017-18, Alfaro was honored at an assembly at Deming Intermediate School in November. During New Mexico Secretary of Education Christopher Ruszkowski’s tour of schools around the state, he stopped at the school where Alfaro teaches sixth-grade math and introduced senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards, Dr. Jane Foley, who surprised Alfaro with the award. Milken Educators are selected in their early to midcareers for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish. Alfaro is now one of the 2,700 teachers, principals and specialists making up the National Milken Educator Network. She will attend a Milken Educator Forum in Washington, D.C., in March 2018 and learn how to maximize her leadership role and...

WNMU’s Twisted Vine Looking To Publish Poetry, Short Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Interviews and Art With Interdisciplinary Themes

Western New Mexico University’s student-run Twisted Vine Literary Arts Journal put out a call for submissions and asked artists to send original and unpublished works of poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, interviews and visual arts for possible publication. Twisted Vine publishes work by both emerging and established literary and visual artists. Students in a graduate-level course called Literary Journal run Twisted Vine. The staff consists of a managing editor, design specialists, communications specialists and screeners for all genres. All of these positions are held by graduate students, and the staff usually changes semester-to-semester. The course gives students real-life experience running a literary journal and provides practice in publishing that they can put on their résumés. The journal was started by WNMU professor John Gist and is currently run by Dr. Heather M. Steinmann, Assistant Professor of English at WNMU. Since its inception, Twisted Vine has...

One Hundred Ten Students From Six Mexican Institutions Attended Winter 2017 Language Institute

Western New Mexico University was host to 110 youth from Sinaloa and Sonora, Mexico, for the Winter 2017 Language Institute on Dec. 4-8, 2017. During the weeklong course, the group of high school students and college-aged youth stayed on campus, sampled some of WNMU’s offerings and the area’s cultural and natural assets. Their itinerary included experiences at local radio stations, museums and art galleries. The students were also introduced to welding and drone technology at WNMU and toured the greenhouse in WNMU’s natural sciences department. Participants came from Colegio Lux, Colegio Sor Juana, Colegio Progreso, Universidad del Fuerte, Universidad de Los Mochis and Universidad del Occidente—all private institutions. “Bringing students who can afford tuition is strategic. We invite them for short visits with the hope that they will come complete a full degree here,” said Manuel Rodriguez, who is the director of WNMU’s Language Institute. “A degree from an...

WNMU Psychology Professor Advocates for Don’t Name Them Campaign

The study on the relationship between news coverage and mass shootings by Western New Mexico University psychology professor Dr. Jennifer Johnston and former Interdisciplinary Studies graduate student Andrew Joy continues gaining attention and respect worldwide. In the wakes of the nation’s increasingly frequent mass shootings, Johnston gets called on to speak about the probable connection between mass shootings and the media coverage around them. She uses her platform as the expert on this subject to encourage more responsible media practices. This fall, for example, Johnston has given interviews with The World Today (ABC Australia) and the online global business news site, Quartz, appearing most recently on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio’s morning program. “I get a lot of response from other countries. I have been interviewed in Russia, Estonia, India and England, for example. I think they’re very concerned that the problem could spread to them. They want...

Regents Approve New Degree Programs, Funds for Multi-Use Facilities

The Western New Mexico Board of Regents unanimously approved the Five-Year Plan for New Degree Programs, Sabbatical Leave Recommendation 2018-19, Capital Transmittal for Ritch Hall and Regents Row, and Mid-Year Budget Adjustment Request Fiscal Year 18 and Approval of Asset Disposal during their meeting on Dec. 7 on the WNMU campus in Silver City. Chair Jerry A. Walz, Vice Chair Janice Baca-Argabright, Student Regent and Secretary/Treasurer Arlean Murillo and regents Drs. Carl Foster and Dan Salzwedel were all in attendance. The board approved Drs. Alexandra Neves and Andrew Hernandez to take sabbaticals and continue research and academic work during the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters, respectively. “These are two outstanding faculty members that are doing exceedingly good work that will bring renown to the university,” Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost Dr. Jack Crocker said. Commenting on WNMU’s Five-Year Plan for New Degree Programs, Crocker said,...

Nominations Open for WNMU’s 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Service Award

Western New Mexico University will again honor community members during its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day event hosted by Student Affairs. Nominations for the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Service Award are open now, and this year’s event will be held on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. “This is an opportunity to remember the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by honoring an outstanding member of the community who has given of himself or herself selflessly and has made a positive impact on others,” said committee chair Abe Villarreal. Past Martin Luther King Jr. Service Award winners include retired judge Ron Hall, former Gospel Mission Director Randy Salars and Grant County Detention Center Director Mike Carrillo. Nominations for the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Service Award can be made at life.wnmu.edu/mlk-award. The 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Day event will include a service project in historic downtown Silver City and a live performance by Hakim Bellamy, Albuquerque’s...

WNMU To Graduate First Cohort of BSN Students

The first group of students to graduate from WNMU with a traditional pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) will participate in a pinning ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, at 2 p.m. in Light Hall Auditorium. Graduates include Vince Torres, Sarah Chaires, Jasmine Romero, Sean Kishbaugh, Amanda Pryor, Starr Ann Moon, Angelica Aguirre, Jerrika Lewis, Jacob Lenhardt and Dolores Escudero. All were inducted into the Southwest New Mexico Honor Society of Nursing in November. “They are leaders in their chosen profession,” Assistant Professor of Nursing Alexis Harsh said. These graduates are leading their field simply by enrolling in the BSN program. The Institute of Medicine wants to increase the number of nurses with BSN degrees to 80 percent by 2020. “It’s a smarter decision to go into the bachelor’s program — from the academic and financial aid standpoints,” Chaires said. WNMU uses the New Mexico Education Consortium (NMNEC) curriculum...

Mustang Story of the Week: WNMU Student Announces Intention To Run for Seat in Congress

Every Friday, we feature a Story of the Week from The Mustang student newspaper. This week highlights the news that Western New Mexico University student and soon-to-be graduate Thomas A. Durham II intends to run for office. Durham aims to take Steve Pearce’s place in the second Congressional District of New Mexico and will begin the process of filing and campaigning immediately after graduation. The Louisiana native grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He attended Texas A&M Corpus Christi for several semesters then worked for San Antonio Water Systems. Thomas served two years in the Air Force before eventually moving back to San Antonio and working for USAA. In 2012, Durham moved to Silver City to live closer to his father and stepmother. He briefly worked on a hurricane relief project then returned to Silver City and enrolled at WNMU. Involved in many community organizations, he served as President of the Young Democrats of Grant County on campus and is currently Vice President...

Western New Mexico University Degree Program Named 2018 Best Online Bachelor of Social Work

Western New Mexico University’s Bachelor of Social Work degree program topped the Students Before Profits Awards list of 2018 Best Online Bachelor of Social Work. The Students Before Profits Awards recognize colleges and universities that put students before profits and education before the bottom line. The Nonprofit Colleges Online awards committee chose online social work degree programs from accredited colleges and universities with lower-than-average tuition costs. WNMU’s Bachelor of Social Work degree is available entirely online and is nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. In the program, students learn about social justice, dignity and the worth of a person. They study how to foster human relationships and create a nurturing environment. Students are not required to visit the WNMU campus to complete this 120-credit course of study, so most students live in rural areas and work full time jobs and support families. “We’re an option for...