Tour Of Gila Funds To Benefit Lanny Olson Scholarship

For a moment in time, it seemed like the 2015 Tour of the Gila would not happen due to lack of funding. The generosity of an anonymous donor and a successful crowd funding campaign brought the race to life and excess dollars for charity. Jack Brennan, owner of Gila Hike and Bike in Silver City and lead facilitator for the race, chose two charities to donate any excess funds, not used to operate the race. The Lanny Olson Scholarship Fund, offered to WNMU students through the University Foundation, received $1,700. The Amy D. Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting women bikers, also received $1,700. “To me it was important to do something locally and Lanny Olson has been an important figure for the Tour of the Gila for years,” said Brennan. “He was involved in raising money so I reached out to his family.” Brennan credits Olson for introducing him to WNMU and the relationship between the university and the annual race continues. Olson earned his bachelor’s...

Art and Culture Brought To Focus With New Position

For more than 20 years, Faye McCalmont has been a mover and shaker for the arts and culture scene in New Mexico, and now she plans to bring her successful track record to Western New Mexico University. McCalmont is the new Assistant to the President for Cultural Affairs, a position dedicated to raising the education and awareness among the university community for art and entertainment. WNMU President Joseph Shepard created the position in an effort to bring culture to the forefront at a time that many institutions are downgrading or eliminating such programs. “We want to create a cultural series for students, bringing in art, culture and music that students normally do not have access to,” said McCalmont. “Events such as artist workshops and expanding the Women In The Arts Lecture series are in the works.” McCalmont recently retired from the Mimbres Region Arts Council, serving as its executive director for 20 years. “The broad vision here is to connect the...

Against The Odds, Graphic Design Student Finds Home At WNMU

While posing for a picture at her new university home, Grecia Rivas realizes that enrolling at Western New Mexico University marked the next step in her journey to bring awareness for her people. Rivas graduated from Palo Verde Magnet High School in Tucson, Arizona; attended Pima Community College and transferred to WNMU this fall. She is a 23-year old undocumented immigrant with a mission. “I have been involved in the immigrant rights movement for the past three years working to make higher education accessible to all students,” said Rivas. Rivas was born in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico; and immigrated to the United States at the age of three. She plans to be the first member of her family to graduate from college. “Undocumented immigrants are facing important issues including lack of support from counselors and administrators when transitioning out from high school and into college,” Rivas explained. “Educators are not well informed or prepared to help these students.” A...

Free ‘Live On The Lawn’ Concert To Feature Renowned Flamenco Artist

  Western New Mexico University and the Mimbres Region Arts Council are partnering to bring another Live On The Lawn concert at Old James Stadium on Friday, August 21. The free event will feature three music groups including renowned flamenco guitar master Robert Michaels. He will be joined by his trio and a flamenco dancer. Opening the event at 5:00 p.m. are local favorites Geli and The Hearbreakers, followed by Azucar, an El Paso based nine-member Latino band. Robert Michaels is a multi-gold and platinum recording artist. He is the winner of a Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) for Best Instrumental Album. Throughout his career, Michaels has worked with noteworthy musicians including Grammy winner Jennifer Warnes and Tony Award nominated Louis Pitre. Michaels is described as an intuitive musician with an electric energy and a captivating blend of styles. Azucar is described as a Latin salsa style band with Puerto Rican rhythm. Their repertoire includes upbeat salsa and...

Bash On Broadway Returns To Welcome WNMU Students

For the fifth consecutive year Western New Mexico University will team up with the Silver City MainStreet Project to host the Bash on Broadway on Saturday, August 15. Offering socialization for both new and returning students, the event signifies the exciting arrival of the fall semester with music, games and dancing in historic downtown Silver City. WNMU President Joseph Shepard will deliver a State of the University Address at 5:30 p.m. inside Little Toad Creek, located on the corner of Broadway and Bullard Streets. After updating the community with an account of current and future happenings, Bullard Street will be closed between Broadway Street and Yankie Street from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Radio La Chusma, a Latin-Reggae band out of El Paso, will provide live music. Little Toad Creek will offer outdoor drink sales. Community groups and small businesses can register to have free booth space by contacting 575.538.6336 or news@wnmu.edu.   The event is free to...

PTSD Survey Aims To Connect Veterans With Treatment Services

Veterans living in rural communities have challenges connecting with medical and psychological treatment services. A survey for veterans suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is hoping to better understand this underserved population. The Institute for Rural Social Work Research (IRSR), a 501c3 affiliated with the School of Social Work, has dispatched 15 individuals across the state with a 34-question survey for PTSD suffering veterans. The team of survey collectors has covered at least 10 New Mexico communities since June and will continue to do so until mid-August. “We are trying to find out how aware veterans are of treatments, if they know that they exist, and how far they are willing to travel and receive the treatment,” said Dr. Bob Rickle, professor of Social Work and Director of IRSR. Funded through legislative appropriations, the project was created to learn more about veterans living in rural communities and their access to care. Survey collectors...

New Scholarships Bring High Achievers To WNMU

New scholarships for New Mexico high school students who are leaders academically and in their communities have been awarded for the upcoming fall semester. At least one valedictorian and three salutatorians from around the state have been awarded the scholarship, covering their tuition and fees for one academic year. “We are really proud that these students have chosen WNMU as their home for the next four years,” said Matthew Lara, Director of Admissions. “Because of their high academic achievements, they were awarded scholarships from many institutions, but they chose us.” The new Admissions Scholarships were rolled out in May and since then students from New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and other states have applied. For Carolyn Rose Castillo, receiving the salutatorian scholarship helped her to finalize her decision to attend WNMU. Castillo graduated from Silver High School in May. “I didn’t want to go to a junior college,” said Castillo. “I did want to go...

New Freshmen Scholarships Application Open

Applications for the new freshman scholarships are now open. Scholarships awarding high school student achievements in community service and leadership in the classroom will be awarded. Students that have been named National Merit Scholars and National Hispanic Scholars also qualify for the new awards. New Mexico high school seniors receiving valedictorian or salutatorian honors will also qualify for a scholarships. Many of the scholarships cover tuition and fees for the entire first year at Western New Mexico University. To see a complete list of scholarships and apply today, visit...

Governor Names WNMU Early Childhood Leader To State Council

Shannon Rivera, Executive Director of Early Childhood Programs at Western New Mexico University, was recently appointed by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez to the State Early Learning Advisory Council. Rivera overseas the nationally recognized Early Childhood program which consists of five programs including the Child Development Center, a lab site on the main campus. Other programs include the Family Council Center, providing comprehensive family support; and La Familia Resource Center, a training and technical assistance program serving eight counties. “This appointment means a lot for our program as we continue to be leaders of early childhood education in our state,” said Rivera. “This guarantees that WNMU and the southern part of the state will have a voice.” Rivera’s previous experience includes serving as the Director of the PreK Program at WNMU, a faculty member for the Early Childhood Programs and a curriculum coach for teachers at the Child Development Center...

Light Hall Building Updates Lead Campus Beautification Efforts

Summer has been a busy time for construction workers at the Western New Mexico University main campus in Silver City. Orange cones are scattered throughout the 83-acre campus as beautification efforts are ongoing around historic buildings and walkways. Light Hall, a registered historic building located on College Avenue, and the landscape area around the building are among the most visible areas of construction. Erected in 1927, Light Hall is now home to the School of Business. Remodeling of the building is in its third phase with updates to classroom space, restrooms and office space. The renovations also include interior finishes, insulation upgrades and installation of energy efficient HVAC system and controls. The exterior updates will include upgrades to stairs, rails and window repair to the two-story building. Phase II renovations to Light Hall took place during summer of 2014 and fall of 2015 with upgrades to Light Hall Auditorium that now serves as a movie theater for...