WNMU Mariachi Ensemble Wins Award, Readies For Performances

A recent competition win by Mariachi Plata, Western New Mexico University’s mariachi ensemble, has opened doors to upcoming workshops and competitions throughout the region. Mariachi Plata is in its fifth semester at WNMU. The fifteen-member group, made up of students from Silver City, Deming and El Paso, competed at Mariachi Spectacular in Albuquerque, earlier in July, earning a second place finish in the university category. “We were only together for two weeks this summer,” said Bryant Chaffino, the ensemble’s music instructor. “We practiced day and night and I’m really proud of this group’s dedication and talent.” Mariachi Ensemble is offered as a two-credit course each semester with classes meeting on Monday and Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. in Parotti Hall. “Having a vibrant, active mariachi ensemble on campus is important to our culture here and supports our university as a Hispanic Serving Institution,” said Chaffino. The group’s success in...

Swipe System Implemented For Community Access To Fitness Center

Public access to Campus Rec facilities at Western New Mexico University has been updated to accommodate for more flexibility to community members accessing the fitness center, pool and other facilities. Effective August 15, monthly memberships will be replaced by a swipe system at the same cost. For $50, a community member can purchase 25 swipes allowing for greater flexibility when choosing when to use the swipe throughout the semester. “Our current system limits our visitors to swipes within a 30 day period,” said Jessica Morales, Director of Student Life. “The new swipe system will give our community members the freedom to choose when to visit our facilities.” A semester pass is available for $175 per semester, with unlimited visits throughout the semester. Accessible facilities include the racquetball courts, Intramural Gym, fitness center and indoor pool. The age requirement of 16-years or older will remain the same. Passes are non-transferable, non-refundable and...

WNMU Hosting Book Signing For Local Author Jan Sherman

The small community of Mogollon, New Mexico, is in the spotlight with a new book titled Hypnotizing Chickens and Other Stories: My Memories of Mogollon, by Jan Sherman. Sherman will have a book-signing event on Tuesday, August 2 at 4:30 p.m. at the Alumni Garden on the Western New Mexico University campus. The book is the first for the 94-year-old, Silver City-based author. “I’ve been storytelling with all my friends about growing up in Mogollon,” said Sherman who attended WNMU in the early 1940s. “They all told me I should put together a book with these stories.” The self-published book was a nine-month project with friends and family. Most of the images in the book feature Jan as a young woman with her brother Bud, to whom the book is dedicated. Through 18 different stories, the adventures and Sherman and her brother Bud are illustrated with the author’s personal words and family photos. Mogollon is a small town located east of Glenwood in Catron County....

New Director To Lead International Studies Efforts

Dr. Imelda Olague has been named the new Director of International Studies at Western New Mexico University. International Studies is an area of focus for rapid growth at WNMU and Dr. Olague is planning for the growth through new initiatives and partnerships. “This is not a new trend, it is a global tendency,” said. Dr. Olague about the importance of international studies. “It is our responsibility as an institution to better prepare our students to be competitive, competent and successful.” Dr. Olague recently completed an internship with the Division of External Affairs where she became familiar with the partnerships and agreements WNMU has been developing with international partners. “The goal is to open the doors for students to explore and study abroad, as well as to bring international students to WNMU,” said Olague. “Developing individual plans to do so will help to strengthen our university in many aspects, and this will better prepare our students in...

Rep. Dianne Hamilton Honored By Pavilion Naming

New Mexico State Representative Dianne Hamilton was recognized by Western New Mexico University with the naming of a new pavilion on campus on Friday. The honor was initiated by WNMU President Joseph Shepard who recognized Rep. Hamilton for her lifelong service to Western New Mexico University, both through her legislative work in elected office, and through her tenure as a member of the Board of Regents.   The new pavilion is located in The Gardens at WNMU, next to Light Hall. Family and friends joined Rep. Hamilton during the unveiling of the plaque bearing her name and image. Rep. Hamilton has served in the New Mexico Legislature since 1999. Her district represents Grant, Hidalgo and Sierra counties. Prior to her time in elected office, Rep. Hamilton served as a member and as Chair of the WNMU Board of Regents for eight years. From 1976 through 1999, Rep. Hamilton hosted a local radio show. Her accolades include receiving the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Women in 1994...

Mexican Professor Concludes Two Week Campus Visit

Western New Mexico University continues to participate in professor and student exchanges with Latin American partners, most recently with a two-week faculty visit by a Mexican professor. Manuel Perez Villegas, from the Universidad Tecnologica de Tecamachalco in Mexico, recently concluded a two-week stay at the WNMU main campus in Silver City through the Proyecta 100,000 program for an intensive summer session in the Department of Community and Workforce Development on campus. Professor Villegas’ studies focused on Applied Technology programs including the study of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s) as well as examining approaches to sustainability with wind, solar and water energies. “My degree is in industrial maintenance and what I have done here has allowed me to improve my own education as well as my ability to offer courses to industry and faculty in my general area,” said Professor Villegas. During the month of July, WNMU will be receiving two groups of...

Grant County Alumni Chapter To Host Summer BBQ

The Grant County Alumni Chapter is hosting a summer BBQ on Wednesday, July 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the WNMU Alumni Gardens. The event is open to area alumni and a special call to graduates of the 1970’s has been made by the Office of Alumni Affairs who plans to recognize graduates from this era at Homecoming 2016 in October. Also invited are members of the School of Education Hall of Fame who will also be recognized during Homecoming festivities. The WNMU Alumni Gardens is located off of 10th Street behind Hunter Hall. To RSVP for the event contact 575-538-6675 or...

Social Work Student Earns Hairston Scholarship

The Institute for Rural Social Work Research awarded a $3,000 scholarship to Western New Mexico University student Okwuchi Lilian Ezeala. The inaugural Dr. Creasie Finney Hairston Scholarship was awarded to Ezeala for her outstanding work as a social work student. Ezeala was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. She earned a bachelor degree in social work with honors at River State University of Science and Technology in 2009. Dr. Finney Hairston is Dean and Professor at Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois. She is the Director of Jane Addams Center for Social Policy and Research. Dr. Robert Rickle, Founder and Director of the Institute for Rural Social Work Research is a previous graduate student of Dr. Finney Hairston. “As an MSW research student of Dr. Finney Hairston at the University of Tennessee Knoxville; I was set upon two paths that I have continued to follow to this day, that of conducting social work research and thinking about and...

Nominations Open For Annual Alumni Awards

The Office of Alumni Affairs is seeking nominations for the annual Outstanding Alumni Ambassador and Distinguished Alumni awards which will be presented during Homecoming weekend in October. Selection for the Outstanding Alumni Ambassador Award is limited to alumni of WNMU who have demonstrated significant contributions to WNMU and have donated of their time and talents to WNMU or other groups or organizations. The award is intended to recognize volunteer and unpaid efforts of a significant nature. The award is not intended to recognize officials or those who receive compensation for their efforts. The Distinguished Alumni Award is limited to alumni of WNMU who have demonstrated excellence in their chosen profession or who have demonstrated excellence in their contribution to society. The 2015 award recipients include Alfred Ogas as the Outstanding Alumni Ambassador and Dr. Lorraine Morales and State Senator Howie Morales as the Distinguished Alumni Ambassadors. To submit...

WNMU Continues Internationalization Efforts With Two New Agreements

Western New Mexico University continues its rapid pace of internationalization, reaching out to university partners in Mexico and forming agreements of understanding with two institutions during the month of June. WNMU officials visited the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL) earlier in the month to create a letter of intent between the two universities. The letter of intent details the intention of collaboration and the possibilities of faculty and student exchanges. “UANL is a perfect school to collaborate with because of WNMU’s goal to expand learning opportunities across the border,” said Dr. Miguel Narvaez, WNMU professor of kinesiology. “Our specific collaboration with the UANL sports organization will open possibilities for exchanges from both our institutions.” The agreement details several goals including curriculum mobility, dual degree programs and sports collaborations to include hosting coaching clinics. UANL is a public university with...