Board Of Regents meet, hear program updates

The Western New Mexico University Board of Regents met for the annual May meeting to vote on several items one day prior to the spring commencement ceremonies. University President Dr. Joseph Shepard delivered an update on the state’s budget forecast and how it is affecting university business. President Shepard reported that the university has been proactive in creating a budget that is projecting future cuts by the state legislature. President Shepard reported on the collaborations with Mexican universities as well as a recent agreement with the Mexican State of Sinaloa for future student and faculty exchanges. Board members were also briefed on a new collaboration with Aldo Leopold Charter School, which will be using Regents Row on campus, a formerly used housing facility that will be remodeled for classroom space by the Silver City-based charter school. Board members voted to promote several faculty members including Leslie Cook, Katherine Oubre, Tanya Rivers, and...

Independent Book Award given to JJ Wilson’s Damnificados

The accolades continue for author JJ Amaro Wilson and his most recent title Damnificados, an acclaimed fiction novel published in 2016. Damnificados was awarded a Gold Medal by The Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Multicultural Fiction Category, selected from more than 5,000 entries from 18 countries. Wilson is the Writer-in-Residence at Western New Mexico University and a prize-winning author of more than 20 books about language and language learning. Wilson’s first novel is loosely based on the real-life occupation of a half-completed skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela, the Tower of David. Wilson’s idea to write the book originated during a visit to Venezuela in 2013. The Tower of David was erected in 1990 and abandoned in 1994 when the Venezuelan government ran short of funds to complete the project due to the country’s banking crisis. More than 2,500 people moved into the structure until they were eventually relocated in phases through July 2015. In...

Saving animal lives is new career path for recent WNMU graduate

Rancho Cucamonga, California is a fast growing metropolitan area of more than 100,000 residents. A stark contrast to the rural lifestyle of southwestern New Mexico where Cherokee Marquez chose to begin her career in animal care. “People come in and they bring animals that are part of their livelihood,” said Marquez, a 24-year graduate with a degree in zoology from Western New Mexico University. “These are life and death situations.” Marquez is describing her daily routine at Advanced Veterinary Care in Silver City where she recently was hired as a Vet Technician. It is her first foray into what she hopes is a long career in animal care. After earning her bachelor degree in December, the California native returned home to the big city, only to quickly make her way back to Silver City after she was suggested for the job opening by Vanessa Stroman, WNMU Coordinator of Career Services. “Cherokee quickly came to mind as a successful and thoughtful student,” said...

Alumna earns Juris Doctorate, will specialize in immigration law

The child of Mexican immigrants, Edna Reyes has already made history with her family by being the first to graduate when she earned her undergraduate degree from Western New Mexico University. Soon, Reyes, 27, will be practicing immigration law for a leading law firm in Kansas. “My parents always knew that this could be a possibility,” said Reyes, “and because of them and their sacrifices I will soon be representing the people that are on that same journey, trying to accomplish similar dreams.” Reyes earned a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University School of Law earlier this month. It is the culmination of a higher education career filled with accolades and recognition. Reyes received a bachelor degree in criminal justice and a master degree in interdisciplinary studies from WNMU in 2014. A Deming High School graduate, during her time at WNMU, Reyes served in several student leadership positions including Student Body President. At Washburn University, Reyes was...

New chapter of student leadership society introduced with induction of students

A new chapter of the nation’s largest leadership honor society was initiated at Western New Mexico University with an induction ceremony of more than 70 students on Saturday, May 6. The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) ceremony was the culmination of preparation of several months for students and staff that were looking to create new student leadership opportunities at WNMU. “The goal for us is to get students to analyze their life goals, helping them decide their majors, and improve their leadership skills to benefit our campus and community,” said Dayana Baez, 21, president of the WNMU Chapter. Baez, a junior majoring in chemistry and math, along with several other newly inducted chapter officers were the main proponents of bringing NSLS to WNMU. Nicki Vasquez, 20, a sophomore majoring in kinesiology, is the chapter vice-president. Vasquez is hoping that future programming is created targeting the Hispanic campus population. “I know for a fact...

More than 400 to graduate at spring commencement

More than 400 students will be earning certificate, associate, baccalaureate and master degrees at the spring commencement ceremony taking place Friday, May 12 in Old James Stadium. The event begins at 3:00 p.m. and can be viewed live online here. Silver City, NM High School Equivalency – Garret Buxton, Jaylene Lawrence, Adam Medina, Ruth Moyer, Samantha Overcahier, Jerome Ortiz, Levi Owen, Clarissa Porras, Estrella Ramirez, Michelle Tafoya, Anthony Verovich Certificate – Ian Hille Associate Degree – Cynthia S. Adolf, Brandon Allensworth, Manuel Altamirano, Leslie Amber Carwile, Cristian Casillas, Daniel “Skyler” Ellis, Christina Marie Estrada, Teressa Olyvia Gallegos, Jean Marie Gardner, Annabella Gomez, Crystal Renee Jimenez, Jesse C. Jimenez Jr., Madison Jones, Mitchell Joy, Larry Martinez, Cameron Maurer, Tamara Lynn McGrath, Alexander Montes, Roman Montes, Ronita Rodgers, Allison Louisa Sedillos, Julie Ann Simmons, Stuart Tow, Jazmina E. Villegas,...

Five WNMU students earn Hall of Fame recognition

Five Western New Mexico University students were recognized for their contributions inside and outside the classroom, with an induction into the annual Student Hall of Fame. The 2017 inductee class included David Cota, Casey Dickens, Claudia Osuna, Ryan Ruiz, and Timothy Stillman. David Cota is a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Studies program. He transferred from Cochise College before earning a bachelor degree in criminal justice at WNMU. As an undergraduate, Cota was involved in student leadership positions including serving as a resident assistant and judicial hearing officer. Cota contributed to several non-profit organizations as a regular volunteer with the Silver City Gospel Mission and the Silver Care Center. Cota is originally from Douglas, Arizona. Casey Dickens will be graduating this month as an honor student with a degree in English. During her time at WNMU, she served as President of Sigma Tau Delta and a member of the ALAS Committee. Dickens is an...

Three career educators to be inducted into School of Education Hall of Fame

Western New Mexico University will induct three career educators into the School of Education Hall of Fame during the 2017 spring commencement ceremony activities. With nearly a century of combined educator experience in southwest New Mexico, Peggy Sue Larisch, Roberto A. Martinez, and Richard H. Moore will be recognized for their distinguished contributions to the classroom as alumni from WNMU. Peggy Sue Larisch earned two degrees from WNMU in 1983 and 1985. She is being recognized for 29 years of service as a computer science and math teacher at Silver High School and WNMU. Larisch implemented her passion for life-long learning by taking her students on annual trips to the Los Alamos National Laboratory Super Computing Challenge. Larisch was a sponsor for several classes, and supported many student activities including bake sales, car washes, and dances. She was a sponsor for cheerleading and the dance team. Roberto A. Martinez retired after more than 35 years as a...

Five Mustangs to be inducted into Student Hall of Fame

Please join us in congratulating this year’s inductees into the Student Hall of Fame!  The Hall of Fame is reserved for those students who have demonstrated integrity and achievement through leadership activities, community involvement, participation in campus life, and scholarship while attending Western New Mexico University.  As a result of their exceptional impact on the campus community, these student leaders distinguish themselves from many other outstanding students. The 2017 inductees are David Cota, Casey Dickens, Claudia Osuna, Ryan Ruiz, and Timothy Stillman. Join us Wednesday, May 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Memorial Center 3rd floor meeting...

Cody Willard, CEO and TV news analyst, to keynote commencement

Former cable news commentator and current investment analyst and writer Cody Willard will deliver the keynote commencement speech on Friday, May 12 during the spring commencement ceremonies. Willard is familiar to television viewers as the former anchor of the highly-rated Fox Business Happy Hour, on the Fox Business Network. His other TV experience includes serving as the Wall Street correspondent on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. A writer and blogger, Willard currently serves as editor of TradingWithCody.com, and the Wall Street Journal’s Revolution Investing Newsletter. He is an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University where he teaches a class called “Revolutionomics” focused on technology and business. Residing in New York City, Willard is the CEO of an app company called The IAm App that develops apps for hundreds of celebrities including Neil Patrick Harris and Carly Simon. Willard’s diverse career includes being a Starbucks barista and a backup guitar...