President’s Blog: August 2016

I often get asked what makes Western New Mexico University unique. Though we have excellent degree programs that can compete against any university, the answer is not our degree offerings. Western New Mexico University is known for our people and what we do for people. We are more like a private university, but at a public price. We are the university that is known for the first, second and third chances. The place where babies can begin their first developmental moments in our nationally accredited early childhood learning lab, and the place where senior citizens can continue enriching the mind through lifelong learning. We are known for educating people from birth through death. A place where you can get your High School Equivalency Diploma, your Associates of Arts degree, your Bachelor’s degree or your Master’s degree. We are a place where we are first educators before anything else. There are thousands of universities tucked away in small foothills and beautiful parts of...

New Leadership, Direction For WNMU School of Business

A new school year brings a new leadership team for the School of Business at Western New Mexico University and with that comes a change in direction. As the School of Business focuses on an upcoming reaccreditation in 2018, new faculty members and a new associate dean will be sharpening their focus on what programs are viable for incoming students. “I’m very excited and optimistic about the future for the School of Business given the organization and creation of programs that benefit our students and community,” said Dr. Miguel Vicéns, the school’s new Associate Dean. Vicéns is in his third year as an assistant professor of Management at WNMU. He has served as the director of the MBA program and the university representative for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). Vicens is planning ambitious goals including program improvements and greater involvement in the community. “I’m confident that as a team, we will be successful in...

Alumni To Raise Thousands In Scholarship Dollars At Annual Golf Tourney

Western New Mexico University alumni will be teeing up for the fifth consecutive golf tournament, hoping to raise thousands of dollars for student scholarships.  The fifth annual Alumni Scholarship Golf Tournament will take place on Friday, September 30 during Homecoming weekend. More than 120 golfers participated in 2015 and more than $77,000 has been raised in the previous four events. Monies raised benefit the Earn To Learn Scholarship, helping students find jobs on campus, and the general scholarship fund. Interested golfers can register for $125 individually or as a foursome at $400. Fees include greens, tee prize, golf car, range balls, refreshments, complimentary breakfast, and attendance to the awards luncheon hosted by Burger Time. Area businesses can support the event through a tee-sign sponsorship ranging from $75 to $125. In addition, raffle tickets for a seven-day cruise for two with Royal Caribbean, or a seven-day Cancun resort vacation for two are being sold at the...

Outdoor Program Opens Season Of Local, Regional Trips

The Outdoor Program at Western New Mexico University will initiate a season of outdoor adventures with an overnight trip to City of Rocks and Faywood Hot Springs on Saturday, August 20. The weekend camping trip is the first of several ventures for WNMU students, employees and members of the Western Institute for Lifelong Learning (WILL). “We’re excited to begin a new semester of adventures for our new and returning Mustangs and for community members that are part of the WILL program,” said Dr. Kathy Whiteman, Outdoor Program Director. Community members that are paid members of the Western Institute for Lifelong Learning are able to participate in Outdoor Program trips because they are covered under WNMU’s insurance policy. “These trips are usually short in length and very affordable,” said Whiteman. “For a minimal fee, participants can register for a trip that includes transportation, insurance, permit and park fees, all gear and food.” Upcoming trips include a...

Rescued Hawk To Be Released During Orientation

As parents drop off their students at Western New Mexico University during new student orientation, a rescued hawk will simultaneously be released back into the wilderness, symbolizing the new found freedom of the newest residents of the Silver City community. WNMU has partnered with Gila Wildfire Rescue for the releasing event, which will take place Tuesday, August 9 at 1:00 p.m. on Ridge Road, just outside the city limits. “This is an exciting initiative that showcases the importance of growth and development by our students, who have chosen WNMU as a place to spread their wings,” said Isaac Brundage, Vice President for Student Affairs. Several hundred incoming students make up the Class of 2020 which will begin fall classes on August 15, and who will be on campus throughout the preceding week for New Student Orientation. Dennis and Denise Miller with Gila Wildlife Rescue, directors of a local animal rescue and rehabilitation center, will be releasing a Swainson’s...

Annual Welcome Back Celebration Returns August 13

For the sixth consecutive year Western New Mexico University will team up with the Silver City MainStreet Project to host the Welcome Back Bash on Saturday, August 13. 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 Gifts, Gowns & More; located on Bullard Street next to the Morning Star parking lot. After updating the community with an account of current and future happenings, the downtown party will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Morning Star parking lot with live music by the Brandon Perrault Band. The event will include family games and information booths by local organizations. Community groups and small businesses can register to have free booth space by contacting 575.538.6336...

Through Art, Mustang Football Player Finds Career Path

It was November of 2015 and Xavier Ayers was at the end of a record-breaking season with the Western New Mexico University Mustang football team. His first two years playing as a wide receiver were accompanied with injuries including a torn left and right AC joint in his shoulder. His desire to continue majoring in business was fading and returning to the football field seemed unlikely. “I wanted to go in a new direction so I turned to photography,” said Ayers. “Deciding to focus on the arts was a domino effect and one thing led to another.” With a new focus for his junior year, Ayers returned to football and changed his area of study to fine arts. Success both on and off the field quickly followed the 22-year-old Santa Fe native. Ayers recently completed a mural at The Stache House, a popular downtown barbershop in downtown Albuquerque. “I’ve always like to draw but painting was something that seemed out of reach,” said Ayers. “Once I signed up for the class and...

International Business Focus Of Visiting Mexican Students

The summer focus on international students continues at Western New Mexico University with the latest group of campus visitors from the Mexican State of Sinaloa. A group of 16 students and visiting professors from the Universidad de Occidente (UdeO) in Los Mochis, Mexico, is enrolled in a two-week intensive English program that also includes a focus on International Business. The students are earning master degrees in their home university, which requires that they participate in an international exchange program like the one offered through WNMU’s Language Institute. “We know that your institution has a strong program in teaching English and saw this as an opportunity to partner with your school,” said Karla Moreno, UdeO professor. “Our students will now have now more of a global perspective.” UdeO signed a memorandum of understanding with WNMU in October 2015 creating a partnership between the two institutions for student and faculty exchanges. The visiting students...

International Students Complete Summer Program

Summer at Western New Mexico University has become a destination by students all across Mexico. Two-groups of Mexican students recently completed two and four week programs at the main campus in Silver City. Students form the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ) were on campus for three weeks, as part of an intensive English language program. Facilitated through the WNMU Language Institute, the curriculum for the visiting students included 180 hours of in-class work. Additionally, the students practiced immersion style learning with visits to local businesses. Earlier in July, a group of students from the Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (UNIVA), a private Catholic university in Mexico, attended the main campus for two weeks. UNIVA students took law courses, learning the American judicial system through coursework and visits to area courthouses. The course was taught by Dr. Francisco Cordova, a Mexico-based law professor. A group of students from the Mexican...

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...