New Funding Targeted at Nursing Program Expansion

The Western New Mexico University School of Nursing will put a nearly $1.1-million-award from the New Mexico Higher Education Department toward the expansion of its programs. “Teamwork was essential to this success,” said Dr. Kimberly Petrovic, who is Associate Dean for the WNMU School of Nursing and Kinesiology. Key to the process of requesting and ultimately securing this grant funding, she said, were a host of nursing faculty members, university leaders, and supporters from across the entire WNMU academic spectrum. A portion of the funding is designated for technology in the simulation labs at the main campus and WNMU | Deming, a percentage earmarked for faculty and staff compensation and professional development, and more concentrated on developing holistic coaching, mentoring, instructional and tutoring systems to recruit, retain and prepare pre-nursing students for successful completion of their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and entry to the...

WNMU Faculty Member and SRPD Research Assistant Present at American Sociological Association Meeting

Zoë Chatterton studies sociology and Spanish, hopes to work with LGBTQ youth in a nonprofit setting, captains the Mustang volleyball team, and is part of the university's Millennium III honors program. The junior from Portland, Oregon, transferred to Western New Mexico University last fall and spent this past summer as a research assistant to WNMU Assistant Professor of Sociology Dr. Andreea Nica. “I like being as involved as possible,” she said. Chatterton helped Dr. Nica with preliminary research into family exiting and emotional intimacy. The two presented their framework at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Los Angeles earlier this month. “We presented as part of a roundtable focus on family topics. Because this is preliminary research, the feedback from other scholars was huge,” she said. Chatterton had completed a research methods class with Dr. Dara Naphan-Kingery, also of the WNMU Social Sciences and Cultural Studies Department. But...

WNMU Breaks Ground on New Softball Field

Western New Mexico University announced the groundbreaking of a new softball field on Friday, promising players a state-of-the-art facility that rivals other DII softball complexes and also ensuring fans an improved experience. WNMU leadership, including President Dr. Joseph Shepard and Mustang Athletics Director Scott Noble, gave an overview of the project, which is focused on the installation of an artificial turf field but includes construction of new dugouts and a press box, installation of new bleachers and field lighting, addition of a 12,000-square-foot parking lot, and infrastructure updates. Mustang softball coach Ashley Hickman spoke of the anticipated impact on the program overall as well as on the individual student-athletes who will benefit from practice and play on a new field. The ceremony had been planned for the existing softball field but was moved indoors in response to rainy weather. In addition to the 24 student-strong Mustang softball team, WNMU leaders...

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...