Western New Mexico University To Host Southwest Regional Science Olympiad Competition

About 400 middle school and high school students from two dozen schools in southwest New Mexico will compete during the Southwest Regional Science Olympiad Competition at Western New Mexico University on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. The Southwest Regional Science Olympiad Competition runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in the Fine Arts Center Theatre at 4 p.m. All of the events are held on campus in the Intramural Gym, Harlan Hall and the Phelps/Dodge-Martinez building. “The active events in the gym are likely to be the most interesting, and the public is invited to spectate at any of them,” Southwest Regional Science Olympiad Tournament Director Eric Casler said. The Science Olympiad teams compete in categories such as Earth and Space Science; Physical Science and Chemistry; Technology and Engineering; and Inquiry and Nature of Science. The individual events — 25 percent of which are new or different this year — have names like...

Memorial Service Set for Alumnus, Former Regent and Honorary Degree Holder, David Darling

Western New Mexico University alumnus, former regent and honorary degree holder, David Darling, Ed.D., who passed away at age 89 on Monday, January 14, will be laid to rest next week. “Dr. Darling impacted the campus in so many ways through his various roles as Mustang athlete, Student Body President, Blue Key Honor Society member, alumnus, and regent,” WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard said. “He gave new meaning to the mantra ‘dream big’ when he brought a nationally popular big band group to campus; when he coordinated the original painting of the ‘W’ tradition; and when he returned to us as a member of our governing board.” Darling’s memorial service will be in the WNMU Besse-Forward Global Resource Center Auditorium at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, January 21. Mustang football players and cross-country athletes will be Darling’s pallbearers, representing offensive linemen and track runners from Darling’s days as a student athlete. Following the service, he will...

WNMU Cultural Affairs Announces Spring Season Lineup

The Western New Mexico University Cultural Affairs spring 2019 season is packed with a dozen events from concerts to art exhibit openings and lectures, concluding with the three-day Fiesta Latina! in June. WNMU Cultural Affairs will be continuing its President’s Chamber Music Series and the Edwina Milner Women in the Arts Lecture Series this spring. “It’s going to be an exciting spring semester, kicking off with the incredible women’s mariachi group from New York City, Flor de Toloache, in Light Hall. Music from Ireland, a Hamilton Revue, chamber music and a symphony round out the offerings,” said Faye McCalmont, WNMU’s Special Assistant to the President for Cultural Affairs. Admission prices range from free to $15. The WNMU Cultural Affairs spring 2019 season schedule: — January 17, 4:30 p.m.: Chad Colby Solo Painting Exhibition Opening — January 23, 7 p.m.: 2017 Latin Music Grammy Winner Flor de Toloache Live at WNMU — January 29, 7 p.m.: President’s...

JJ Amaworo Wilson Remembers Dr. Felipe de Ortego y Gasca

By JJ Amaworo Wilson, WNMU Writer-in-Residence Felipe de Ortego y Gasca was a man apart. His life was a picaresque tale – part Charles Dickens, part Great Gatsby. He was orphaned as a child, never graduated from high school but became a university professor, served his country in three conflicts, met James Baldwin and Richard Wright in Paris, published prolifically, acted in films and served in the government. Above all this, though, Felipe fought the good fight for la raza. It’s one of the stories he loved to tell. He was writing his Ph.D. dissertation at UNM. His subject was Chaucer. Halfway through, he was asked to put together a course on Mexican American Literature. He began researching Chicano writers. Chaucer versus Chicanos? No contest. He abandoned Chaucer and began creating a Chicano canon. The results were: his seminal study Backgrounds in Mexican American Literature; the coining of the term The Chicano Renaissance; and the making of a Chicano. The original...

WNMU Wraps Up First Semester of Formal Collaboration With Freeport-McMoRan

This fall semester, Western New Mexico University and global mining company Freeport-McMoRan New Mexico Operations have been collaborating with the mission of preparing welders for employment in Grant County’s Chino and Tyrone mines. Freeport-McMoRan New Mexico Operations donated $10,000 to WNMU’s Department of Community and Workforce Development, which runs the applied technology programs, designating the funding specifically for the purchase of training equipment and supplies in the welding program. So, with Freeport’s needs in mind, WNMU has begun introducing new processes into the existing welding program and may in the future be able to offer continuing education courses for those already welding in the mining industry. “Universities need to be more responsive to corporate needs,” WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard said. “The partnership with Freeport-McMoRan not only illustrates this but also enhances the local economy by providing meaningful opportunities for...

WNMU’s Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Program Receives $42,000 Grant

Western New Mexico University’s early childhood teacher preparation program received a $42,000 grant in order to develop a master’s degree and a salary structure to incentivize staff members to continue their educations. From the Brindle Foundation, this grant award will help WNMU fill the gap in the state’s early childhood workforce. “There is a demand for high-quality early childhood educators in New Mexico, especially with the additions of home-visiting programs and various state-funded initiatives like pre-kindergarten. Research says educators with higher levels of degrees are better prepared to support improved outcomes for children,” said Executive Director or WNMU’s Early Childhood Programs Shannon Rivera. Over the next couple years, WNMU will use this award to create an Early Childhood Master of Arts program and to set up a salary structure similar for recruiting and retaining staff at WNMU’s Child Development Center and Growing Tree Infant/Toddler...

Regents Grant Coach Emeritus Status, Exchange Ideas for Growth and Improvement

The Western New Mexico University board of regents granted longtime Mustang volleyball coach Jim Callender emeritus status at their meeting on Thursday, December 13. The regents also recognized two retiring faculty members for their service, agreed to allow Math and Computer Science Department Chair Dr. Tom Gruzska one semester of sabbatical leave in 2019-2020, and discussed possibilities for future innovation and growth at WNMU. During the meeting, the regents approved the mid-year budget adjustment request for fiscal year 2019, fiscal year 2019 first quarter financial certification, revised capital projects transmittals for Ritch Hall and for Regents Row, asset disposal, and changes to WNMU’s American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Collective Bargaining Agreement. When presenting Callender with his staff emeritus designation, WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard said, “He’s been a life changer. He’s taken many players and helped them understand how...

Natural Sciences Collection Grows by 18 Jars of Rare Deep-Sea Fish Species Specimens

The Western New Mexico University Department of Natural Sciences received a gift of preserved fish specimens from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, facilitated by the Scripps curator of fishes, Dr. Philip Hastings. The 18 jars of rare specimens include those of deep-sea fish species, many of which have long teeth and bioluminescent (or glowing) organs, said Dr. Manda Jost, who teaches ichthyology (fishes) at WNMU. Hastings has taught ichthyology for decades at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which houses about two million specimens of over 5,600 species in 120,000 jars. He owns a home in Silver City and reached out to Dr. Jost, who is teaching ichthyology for the first time this semester. “He offered to donate some specimens from the Scripps fish collection, and the specimens he brought this week include some amazing deep-sea oddities — bizarre species that human eyes rarely get to see,” Dr. Jost said. Hastings has also committed to help WNMU further...

Lieutenant Governor-Elect Howie Morales To Address Fall 2018 Graduates

Western New Mexico University will graduate nearly 300 of its students this fall. Of those, 200 graduates will walk across the Fine Arts Center Theatre stage during the fall commencement ceremony on Friday, December 14, 2018, at 2 p.m. They will receive their diplomas then shake hands with WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard and with newly elected Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico Howie Morales, who is an alum and WNMU’s fall commencement speaker. Overflow seating will be provided in the Global Resource Center auditorium, where the program will be streamed live in the event that all the families and friends of WNMU’s fall 2018 graduates do not fit into the Fine Arts Center Theatre. Diplomas being granted at WNMU’s fall 2018 commencement ceremony include those for 48 associate degrees, 124 bachelor’s degrees, 109 master’s degrees, eight certificates, seven fast-track certificates and 26 graduate certificates. Leading up to the graduation, WNMU will hold pinning...

On Giving Tuesday, WNMU Foundation Invites Supporters To Build Momentum for Today and Tomorrow

For the first time, the Western New Mexico University Foundation is participating in Giving Tuesday, an international day of spreading the wealth and sharing the love. From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27, people are invited to donate to the WNMU Foundation in support of university programs and student scholarships. The WNMU Foundation’s Giving Tuesday event is themed Momentum for Today and Tomorrow in honor of the students who are attending the university today and leading the world into tomorrow. This year alone, 330 different donors have made gifts to the WNMU Foundation, and the donation amounts range from $5 to $104,000. “Every contribution benefits WNMU students and increases the momentum for today and tomorrow for our university community,” WNMU Foundation Executive Director Jodi Edens-Crocker said. “Giving Tuesday is a way to participate and show support. Every single dollar makes an impact on WNMU students.” Giving Tuesday contributions...