Writing Center Tutor Heads for Master’s Program

Karol Bernal completed her bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy at WNMU this spring, and she’ll enroll in the WNMU Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with the aim of concentrating in writing. “I like reading and wanted to study words and books. Philosophy is always relevant,” she said. During her undergraduate program, Karol worked as a tutor in the WNMU Writing Center. “It let me see what I want out of writing and gave me an idea of these kinds of jobs: editing or writing-related jobs,” she said. “It let me know how I like to interact with people and how to be more specific in my suggestions while putting myself in their shoes.” Born in Colombia, Karol moved to the U.S. at age nine and today lives in Carlsbad, where she attends classes online. She said that while reading and writing is second nature to her, a formal education was helpful. As was the whole college experience, which taught her discipline and accountability. “I’m part of the...

Articulation Agreement Opened Possibilities for Budding Mathematician

Western New Mexico University alumnus Caleb Adams received his bachelor’s in computational mathematics from WNMU, landed an internship at Los Alamos National Labs, and now is entering a fellowship for a Ph.D. in geosciences. “I’ll be working on developing and using computational and mathematical tools in earth systems sciences,” he said. Five years ago, the South Dakota native was working as a janitor at Taos Ski Valley. “I saw a flyer for the natural resources program through UNM-Taos. My original plan was to get a degree in wildlife biology and natural resource management. But when I was going to school, I just really enjoyed my math classes,” he said. Since UNM-Taos only offers as far as an associate degree in math, Caleb’s department chair brought up the articulation agreement with WNMU. “The fact that I’d be able to finish that degree online was a big deciding factor. I wouldn’t have to worry about moving my wife with me to another town or...

Board of Regents: President Shepard Exceeds Expectations

On Tuesday, members the Western New Mexico University Board of Regents discussed their evaluation of the university president Dr. Joseph Shepard and rated his performance as exceptional, noting that as a result, a bonus would automatically be awarded. “Starting three years ago, we began to use the strategic plan as the basis for the evaluation of the president. This report is really culling information from the entire university team. This is basically our evaluation of the university as a whole,” Regent Chair Dr. Mary Hotvedt said. “Each of the regents found that Dr. Shepard exceeded our expectations on every level. There was an emphasis on student learning and supporting students during the pandemic. It’s a reflection of his leadership in the state that we see the university’s programs expanding. We were extremely pleased with the year and looking forward to working with him on next year’s plan,” board member Dr. Lyndon Haviland said. Looking at Dr. Shepard,...

Education Student Suggests Leveraging Memes in the Classroom

Taylor Benavidez is studying secondary education at WNMU, where she said she is learning about how to be the best teacher she can be in order to educate the future leaders of our world. “I have not only been educated on what students need to learn, but also how they learn. Recently, there has been a movement to stray away from teacher-centered learning and place more emphasis on the student having the ability to learn this information on their own,” she said in an address at this spring’s academic symposium. “But I beg to oppose this movement and say that maybe teacher-centered learning is not such a bad thing. Maybe we just don’t know how to keep the students' attention anymore.” The senior, who will be student teaching this fall, developed a proposed method for capturing students' attention and engaging them with the teacher-presented content. She calls the technique “Meme-ingful Connections.” Benavidez’ research project was aimed at determining if the...

Mariachi Plata de WNMU Takes Second Overall

Mariachi Plata de Western New Mexico University has long been the state's only competitive collegiate mariachi, but now the group is also officially the region’s sole award-winning collegiate mariachi. The group was the only New Mexico collegiate mariachi participating in the 30th Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque — a conference offering arts education through lectures and workshops and promoting New Mexico’s vibrant artistic, cultural and ethnic heart. The conference concluded with a showcase that, according to the event’s website, “provides an opportunity for musicians from around the country who have attended the three-day Mariachi Spectacular Conference to perform for the people of Albuquerque and to compete for the opening slot in the Mariachi Spectacular Concert scheduled for the following evening at Sandia Casino Amphitheater.” Groups were limited to seven-minute performances. The categories were to include Elementary School, Middle School, High School,...

Mariachi Plata de WNMU Aims To Improve, Showcase Musical Skill

Mariachi Plata de Western New Mexico University, the state’s only competitive university mariachi, is participating in Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque this week. This group of students will be attending musical workshops, competing in the collegiate category of the showcase competition, and finally performing for the public on Friday night. The 17 WNMU student musicians on their way to the regional conference for mariachi and folklorico performers are majoring in other fields while minoring in music and carrying on our region’s cultural identity with traditional tunes. “These students grew up in the Hispanic tradition and learned to play mariachi in their hometowns. The Western New Mexico University mariachi program allows them to continue expressing themselves artistically,” said Mariachi Plata Director Bryant Chaffino. Mariachi Plata de WNMU is a past winner of the collegiate category at Mariachi Spectacular, and the group is aiming for another top-notch...

Post-Bac Ceramics Student Concludes First Year With Solo Show

Making pottery was just a fun, creative outlet for Susie Meskill until she found a friend and mentor who was making a living working with clay. After years of working full-time while hawking wares crafted with a borrowed wheel and kiln and also teaching elementary clay classes on the side, Meskill decided it was high time to figure out how her hobby could become her career. Having studied psychology in undergraduate school, Meskill didn’t have the formal art training that other aspiring professional potters might and needed not only the skills but the guidance down her chosen path. Applying for a post-baccalaureate experience seemed the most logical step, and through a ceramics website, Meskill learned that Western New Mexico University offered one that suited her tastes and needs. She applied and was accepted to study with WNMU Assistant Professor of Ceramics Courtney Michaud. She is the first artist to do a post-baccalaureate in ceramics at WNMU. Since beginning at WNMU...