Samuel Davenport Created Proposal for Healthy People 2020 Community Innovations Project

Samuel Davenport was encouraged to apply for the BUILDing Scholars summer program at UTEP by WNMU Undergraduate Research Coordinator Joe Doyle and assistant psychology professor Dr. Jennifer Johnston. The sophomore psychology student and WNMU Presidential Scholar says, “They felt like through this program, I could gain a true understanding of whether psychology was the route I wanted to go.” Samuel spent the summer months in El Paso, where he was partnered with a doctor of social work and took a course in which one of the assignments was to create a proposal for a Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020 Community Innovations Project. Volunteering on the nightshifts at the Opportunity Center for the Homeless, he got to know the city’s homeless population. “The Opportunity Center is the only place that takes in all individuals no matter their condition. The front desk is like the fishing net. It catches all the individuals falling through the...

Dr. Illya Medina Encourages Students To Be Proud of Their Heritage

Dr. Illya Medina came to the U.S. as a 30-year-old Ph.D. student. She now teaches in the WNMU Natural Science Department, advising exchange students from Mexico and Hispanic students from the U.S. on how to get the most out of their experiences at WNMU. As someone who migrated to the U.S. for education, she understands, “the cultural transition and the language barrier can be challenging.” Dr. Medina encourages students to be proud of being bilingual and Hispanic. “It’s an advantage. I always tell them work hard so you become better, but never be ashamed of who you are and your native language,” she says. Through the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation, Dr. Medina mentors student researchers. “I’ve encouraged one Hispanic student who wants to pursue a degree in medicine. I always tell her, ‘You need to be a doctor in both English and Spanish, because that’s going to be important for you.’ It’s more and more important to be bilingual,” she...

Michael T. Acosta Works To Make WNMU Students Feel Safe, Important

“Being a Hispanic Serving Institution means creating a hospitable environment for any student, specifically our Hispanic population, and also serving as a role model,” says WNMU Assistant Director of Mariachi Plata, Media Technology Services Manager, MEChA sponsor, piano instructor, and Staff Senate President Michael T. Acosta. “It’s about showing our students it’s OK to be successful and pursue whatever dreams they have.” To Michael, WNMU’s designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution is more than a label. He makes sure he’s always willing to get to know students and help them navigate campus life. “I like to learn students’ names as quickly as possible. I offer to help with things outside of my job duties. If they need a guide to financial aid or need somebody to walk them to the business office, I do it.” As a sponsor of MEChA, the student group that hosted last week’s Chicano Street Fest on campus, Michael helps “students to voice their opinions and...

Dr. Miguel Vicéns Contributes To Hispanic Serving Institution Designation

Western New Mexico University School of Business Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Finance Dr. Miguel Vicéns works to make WNMU’s designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution meaningful. “One of the reasons we reach out to these communities is we usually do not see college as their path,” he says. “It’s a blessing to be able to be part of that.” Dr. Vicéns takes students to Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities conference each fall. “They not only go out of town with all expenses paid; they are introduced to different organizations that specially deal with Hispanic students and interact with multinational companies one-on-one,” he says. Some of the participants Dr. Vicéns has taken to the conference have been foreign, others DACA recipients, and the remainder U.S. citizens. “I’ve had the chance to work with a variety of students in this HACU representative position. I just realized how diverse they are,” he says. Under Dr....

WNMU Cultural Affairs Announces Fall Season Lineup

The Western New Mexico University Cultural Affairs fall 2019 season is packed with events from live entertainment to exhibit openings and lectures. WNMU Cultural Affairs will be continuing the President’s Chamber Music Series and the Edwina & Charles Milner Women in the Arts Lecture Series, and it will offer an evening of caroling and activities called Christmas Under the Stars for the first time. “We continue to cast a wider and wider net to seek out unique cultural offerings to present to the university community and the community at large. We are excited about the breadth of this season with acts hailing from the Louisiana Bayou to the Hebie Province in China and all points all along the way,” WNMU Special Assistant to the President for Cultural Affairs Faye McCalmont said. Admission prices range from free to $20. A 2019-20 season pass allows entry to all ticketed shows for $170 — a $30 savings. The WNMU Cultural Affairs fall 2019 season schedule: —...

WNMU Adult Education Services To Offer Digital Literacy Courses, Sponsor High School Equivalency Exams

Western New Mexico University Adult Education Services received $25,000 in the form of a PNMR Foundation Power Up Grant supporting Economic Vitality. The funding allows WNMU Adult Education Services to offer digital literacy classes and cover the cost of high school equivalency exams for more than three dozen WNMU students. PNM received over $2.5 million in requests from 80 organizations and awarded $500,000 to 17 nonprofits, according to PNMR Foundation Executive Director Laurie Roach. Open to adults and seniors, the new digital literacy courses will run for five weeks each in both Silver City and Deming. “We need to get everybody where they’re comfortable learning using technology and working in the digital age. With this grant, we are able to offer computer skills courses relating to education, employment and, more generally, life,” Adult Educational Services Program Manager Debbie Maldonado said. The courses will be based on Google’s literacy curriculum and...

WNMU Mourns Loss of Mustang Student Athlete

Western New Mexico University students, faculty and staff are grieving the loss of a Mustang student athlete. Freshman Eddie Cruz died in a drowning incident at Bill Evans Lake on Monday. “We are devastated by the loss of this student. Eddie was a phenomenal kid with a bright future,” WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard said. Cruz was 18 years old and studied kinesiology at WNMU. The freshman was a wide receiver on the Mustang football team and wore number 82. “Eddie will always be a part of our Mustang family. We are thinking of and praying for his loved ones during this extremely difficult time,” said WNMU Director of Athletics Scott Noble. From El Paso, Texas, Cruz graduated from Eastwood High School this past spring. WNMU is providing counseling for students affected by Cruz’...

WNMU Advances Renewable Energy Goals

Western New Mexico University President Dr. Joseph Shepard, along with PNM Resources CEO Patricia Vincent-Collawn, revealed plans to transition WNMU to more sustainable energy sources during a news conference on Thursday, August 15. WNMU aims to source more than half of the university’s power though solar-generated energy, which will be made possible through the proposed PNM Community Solar Direct project upon its review and approval from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. “Through Community Solar Direct, WNMU will be better able to achieve its sustainability goals in a cost-effective manner that is consistent with our transition to clean energy resources,” President Shepard said. A voluntary renewable energy program that allows eligible PNM customers to match a portion of their consumption with energy produced from solar facilities dedicated solely to the project, Community Solar Direct will provide 50 megawatts of electric into the state’s power grid....

Reservations Available for WNMU Museum Black-on-White Gala

The Western New Mexico University Museum 45th Anniversary Black-on-White Gala will be Saturday, July 13, at 6 p.m. “With the gala, we at the WNMU Museum celebrate 45 years of advancing the understanding of the diverse cultural and artistic heritages of southwest New Mexico. The gala also marks the completion of Fleming Hall’s stunning transformation into an open, light, secure, and climate-controlled environment that highlights the historic fabric of the building while enhancing the visitor experience,” WNMU Museum Director Dr. Cynthia Bettison said. As a way of recognizing the Mimbres people and the pottery collection she was instrumental in acquiring for the WNMU Museum, Dr. Bettison invites attendees to don Silver City-style Black Tie attire or dress up in Black-on-White attire. “That means almost anything goes — from jeans and a bolo tie or boots and a cocktail dress to tuxedos or evening gowns in black-on-white variations,” she said. Stations serving upscale...

WNMU To Offer Face-to-Face General Education Courses in Truth or Consequences

Western New Mexico University will offer general education classes in Truth or Consequences beginning Fall 2019. Classes will be held at the WNMU Adult Learning Center on Wednesday and Thursday evenings to accommodate working students. The courses being presented are Introduction to Philosophy and Introduction to Creative Writing. Both are open for enrollment now and will be taught by Professor John Gist, WNMU Humanities Department Chair and Interdisciplinary Studies Director. “Whether you are a high school student seeking college credit, a senior citizen who believes in lifelong learning, or an adult who is looking for college credit to advance in your career, these courses will help Sierra County build community through educated discourse among a variety of citizens,” Gist said. Dual-enrolled students are invited to attend. The classes are listed in the state’s new General Ed Core Course Transfer Curriculum so will transfer to any public college or university in...