Chemical Dependency Professor Recognized As ‘Champion’ Of Community

Professor Jim Helgert was recently recognized by Molina Health Care of Albuquerque as one of six recipients of the Community Champion Award. Helgert is in his second year as professor of Chemical Dependency for the College of Professional Studies. He was nominated for the award for his 20 years of work with chemical dependent people and the programs he has facilitated to prevent addiction in the local community. Throughout his career Helgert has held licenses in drug and alcohol abuse counseling and was certified as a suicide prevention and crisis intervention trainer. For the last two decades, Helgert has been instrumental in developing and facilitating successful programs such as the Grant County Drug Court. In Hidalgo County, he assisted with the Bootheel Youth Association, focusing on drug intervention among youth. Helgert earned a baccalaureate degree in psychology and master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from WNMU. He is currently working on a doctorate degree...

Community Invited To Free Movie Screenings At Light Hall

Community members are invited to enjoy the newly renovated Light Hall Auditorium beginning Saturday, October 4. Movie screenings are scheduled at no cost to community members on Saturday, October 4 at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; and Sunday, October 5 at 2:00 p.m. A newly created website, http://movies.wnmu.edu, is available for moviegoers to see film titles, show times and prices. Beginning Friday, October 10, movie showings will be offered to the community each weekend at a minimal cost. WNMU students will be admitted for free to each showing, community students will be admitted at $1 per showing and adults will be admitted for $2 per showing. Concession sales will be available. "This is an exciting step forward in improving campus life for our students," said Jessica Morales, Director of Student Life. "This new auditorium will not only provide entertainment but also enhanced education opportunities for our students and the community." Renovations to Light Hall include a...

Entries Sought For Homecoming Parade On October 4

Registration is open for the upcoming Homecoming Parade at Western New Mexico University on Saturday, October 4 at 10:30 a.m. Community organizations, non-profits, small businesses, and candidates for office are encourages to submit an entry into the parade. Entries can be submitted online at www.wnmu.edu/homecoming-reserve. There is no registration fee. Parade lineup will be at 9:00 a.m. on October 4 at the Grant County Courthouse on Cooper Street. Facilitated by the Office of Alumni Affairs, the entries will be judged in various categories. The parade route begins at the Grant County Courthouse at 10:30 a.m. and entries are paraded through historic downtown with finale being the Student Memorial Center on campus. Following the parade are tailgate festivities culminating with the Mustang football game at 1:30 p.m. in Ben Altamirano Field. The Office of Alumni Affairs will honor alumni during halftime activities. Recognized as Distinguished Alumni are Nicolas Otero...

WNMU Formalizes Partnership With Village Of Columbus

Columbus, NM – A memorandum of understanding was signed by President Joseph Shepard and Village of Columbus Mayor Phillip Skinner on Saturday, September 13 increasing the opportunities of education offered at the local level for residents in the Columbus, New Mexico area. The signing took place at the old elementary school gym and was accompanied by other local festivities. It marks the latest in a series of agreements that Western New Mexico University is formalizing with schools, universities and communities. “This is a great opportunity not just for WNMU but for the students of Columbus that usually have to stay out late to take these classes,” said James Ortiz, Interim Chair for the College of Community and Workforce Development. High school aged students travel to Deming each day to attend classes and are also enrolled in the dual enrollment program, attending applied technology courses in welding and other subjects. The classes are often held after school...

Alumni Events Planned For Homecoming Weekend

Several events are planned for alumni returning to their alma mater for homecoming, the first weekend of October. The weekend of events will kick off with the third annual Alumni Scholarship Golf Tournament on Friday, October 3 at 8:00 a.m. Individuals can register a four member team for $400, or $125 per person. Proceeds benefit student scholarships. The Office of Alumni Affairs is hosting a weekend check-in at Hunter Hall from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday. Following the check-in, the annual Alumni Association General Membership meeting will take place at 4:00 p.m. in the same location. Friday’s activities will conclude with a dinner recognizing Distinguished and Outstanding Alumni at the home of President Shepard at 6pm. Nicolas Otero ’99, Charles “Skeeta” Jenkins ’98 and Juanita Escobedo ’83 are this year’s alumni honorees. Saturday, October 4 is Homecoming Day. The Mustang football team will compete against Fort Lewis on Saturday, October 4 at 1:30...

University President Teaches And Learns In The Classroom

It is not every day that a student receives a syllabus for the semester from the University President. At least 25 students are experiencing just that this semester with President Joseph Shepard as the professor of a developmental math class. “It’s not something that I expected when I enrolled so I think it’s a good surprise that the President is teaching our class,” said freshman Alex Sarkissian. “We know he’s the President, but when we are in class he feels just like any other professor.” President Shepard decided to return to the classroom, his first time teaching a course for Western New Mexico University, since he arrived in 2011 to serve as WNMU’s 15th president.  For Shepard, teaching a course, especially a math course, is familiar territory. He has taught at both graduate and undergraduate levels in quantitative methods, public finance and business leadership at other universities. He has also taught internationally in Mexico. “I went into the world...

Distance, Landscape Explored in McCray Gallery Exhibit

The Francis McCray Gallery of Contemporary Art is pleased to present a solo survey exhibition of paintings by Michael Cook titled “Michael Cook: The Notion of Landscape” featuring his work from 1981-2009. An opening reception featuring the artist and his work will take place Friday, September 12 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at McCray Gallery. Cook’s art making practice broadly explores the understanding of landscape and visual perception in a variety of media and from diverse perspectives.Throughout his work, Cook has conflated painting pictorial conventions and practice to question their distance from authentic experience. This work and other projects have explored the definition of landscape. Expanding the understanding of " landscape" beyond the literal image of geography has been at the core of his concerns by employing a method of visual semiotics. As Kathleen Stewart Howe wrote in her essay on the exhibition Veneer, “What are the conditions under which objects...

School of Nursing Students Perform Checks On Children Of Early Childhood Programs

School of Nursing students facilitated the annual Well Child Check on September 2at Western New Mexico University’s Early Childhood Programs Child Development Center. Each year, students in the nursing program provide a series of screenings to the children at the Child Development Center to insure a healthy start to the year. The second year nursing students practice their skills at the center and throughout the community providing screenings at the public schools and El Grito Headstart. The check up included measurements and heart beat...

International Studies Office Opens, University Expands Outreach To Global Partners

A recent push by foreign countries to send students to study abroad has helped galvanize efforts at Western New Mexico University to expand services to international students. The new Office of International Studies opened this fall semester with a purpose to facilitate registration to WNMU by international students and provide support services for these students. Currently at least 19 countries are represented by WNMU’s student population and Dr. Alexandra Neves, professor and director for the new office, hopes to see that number increase. “We want to internationalize the university,” Neves said. “If you look at all other universities in New Mexico, they have such an office and so we were falling behind in that sense.” Neves is pushing one of the university’s priorities to continue to grow partnerships with foreign institutions of higher education. Recent agreements with universities in Brazil, Mexico and Spain mark the beginning of such...

Adult Education Services Director Elected To Statewide Board

Debbie Maldonado, Director of Adult Education Services for Western New Mexico University, has been elected as the president-elect for the New Mexico Adult Education Association (NMAEA). The NMAEA board supports adult education communities throughout New Mexico. Maldonado leads the Silver City-based center, one of 26 in the state. WNMU’s Adult Education Services provides free adult learning programs to residents of Grant, Hidalgo, Luna and Sierra counties. “This is a great opportunity to connect with other adult education leaders in the state as we continue to expand services and programs that are needed in our communities,” said Maldonado. Nearly 400 community members enrolled in WNMU’s adult education programs in the 2013-2014 academic year. Those programs included technology courses and prep courses for the high school equivalency exam, formerly known as the G.E.D. As president-elect, Maldonado will work with members of NMAEA, assist in coordinating conferences,...