NM-INBRE Summer Experience Deepened Brenda Prieto’s Love for Science

“I’m trying to double major in cell/molecular biology and chemistry and might possibly triple major in math. For now, it’s just a minor,” said sophomore Brenda Prieto. “What I want to be is a dentist.” The Mustang cross country runner who hails from Las Cruces is attending WNMU “because it’s really pretty” in Silver City and she wanted the opportunity to keep running. This summer, Brenda participated in a NM-INBRE Summer Experience. While the program would normally have had Brenda looking into a microscope, the 2020 version took place over Zoom. “Usually it would have been hands-on in the lab. Because of the pandemic, they had to make it online,” she said. “We began with taking classes. They taught us about DNA sequencing and phylogeny. Once we went over the basics, we started talking about BLAST alignment which helps with the building of phylogenic trees.” Supplied with laptops equipped with an app that enabled them to code, Brenda and the other...

Banned Books Week 2020

By JJ Amaworo Wilson, WNMU Writer-in-Residence Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses came out in 1988. He spent the next ten years in hiding. Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, didn't approve of Rushdie's portrayal of Mohamed, and pronounced a fatwah, a death sentence, on the author. The fatwah was eventually lifted after Khomeini's death (although officially fatwahs can only be rescinded by the person who made them, so in theory Rushdie is still under it). Mario Vargas Llosa hated his Peruvian military school - Leoncio Prado Military Academy - so much that he wrote his first novel about it (La Ciudad y los Perros, translated as The Time of the Hero). The academy took offense and organized a mass public burning of one thousand copies of the book. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o's co-written political play "I Will Marry When I Want" was shut down after six weeks by the Kenyan government, and wa Thiong'o jailed. He famously wrote his novel Devil on the Cross on...

Mine Workers Turn Out for WNMU/Freeport McMoRan Drive Thru Expo

To explore the expanded training and higher education options available to them, impacted mine employees and contractors flocked to the community’s first drive-thru training expo hosted by Western New Mexico University and Freeport-McMoRan on Wednesday afternoon. The WNMU Fine Arts Center Theatre parking lot was packed, as dozens visited campus to receive personal consultations about WNMU programs and get help applying for Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act tuition assistance and Trade Adjustment Assistance funding. Initial numbers indicate that Drive Thru Training Expo attendees were most interested in welding and electrical technology as well as law enforcement programs. Some workers expressed interest in WNMU graduate degrees, and others had already enrolled in courses on campus. The Drive Thru Training Expo is a culmination of months of collaboration with partners all focused on providing resources for employees who have been impacted during the past months, said...

WNMU Alumni To Host Mostly Virtual Homecoming Celebration

In conjunction with campus and community partners, Western New Mexico University Alumni Affairs has scheduled Mustangs At HOMEcoming — a series of mostly virtual gatherings plus a concert accessible in a variety of ways — for the first three days of October. The lineup includes a social hour for alums to share memories of The Cooler and hear about its new namesake on campus, a special broadcast to honor the 50th anniversary of the Mustang football team’s championship win and learn about the future direction of Mustang Athletics, and a concert meant to be either live streamed or enjoyed while physical distancing at a drive in/dance on campus. “Mustangs At HOMEcoming is well suited for our alums who completed their degrees from afar as well as for those who’ve built many memories with their friends and families here in Silver City,” said Amanda Moffett Lane, who is the WNMU Alumni Affairs Director. Thursday, October 1, 3:30 p.m. — Mustangs At HOMEcoming Kickoff: The...

WNMU/Freeport Drive Thru Training Expo Provides Mine Employees and Contractors With Info About Educational Opportunities

Western New Mexico University and Freeport-McMoRan are co-hosting the community’s first drive-thru training expo on Wednesday, September 30, from 3 to 5 p.m. Mine employees and contractors are invited to the WNMU Silver City campus, where advisors will provide services and give personal consultations. The expo is intended to guide community members through the process of applying for Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act assistance and Trade Adjustment Assistance tuition funding while exploring their expanded training and higher education options. “The drive-thru expo is a great example of how innovation can help meet current needs. We appreciate all the many groups coming together with this unique solution to help impacted Freeport-McMoRan employees learn about opportunities available to them in these challenging times,” said Chad Fretz, General Manager Freeport-McMoRan Chino Operations. “Western New Mexico University is proud to be a community partner in this event...

WNMU Cultural Affairs Virtual Fall Season Includes Open Mic Nights, Live Streamed Concerts, Drive-In Show

The Western New Mexico University Cultural Affairs fall season is being offered virtually and completely free. “WNMU Cultural Affairs is continuing to serve our community and students with exciting and educational virtual events that we believe attendees will really enjoy. We continue to brainstorm about new creative programming, so check our website and social media channels for updates,” said Faye McCalmont, Special Assistant to the President for Cultural Affairs at WNMU. The WNMU Cultural Affairs virtual fall 2020 season schedule: — Thursday, September 17, 7 – 8 p.m.: WNMU Zoom Open Mic featuring local musicians — Saturday, October 3, 8 – 10 p.m.: Drive In or Live Stream Voter Registration Concert with Baracutanga (Tailgate and on-site voter registration begins in the Fine Arts Center Theatre parking lot at 6:30 p.m.) — Thursday, October 15, 7 – 8 p.m.: WNMU Zoom Open Mic featuring local musicians — Tuesday, October 27, 7 p.m.: “Live from Light...

WNMU Board of Regents Advances Deming Learning Center Project, Receives Enrollment Report, Hears Program Review Updates

The Western New Mexico University Board of Regents unanimously approved the university’s annual endowment report, capital transmittal for phase one of the Deming Learning Center project, and revised five-year capital outlay plan, also electing a new secretary/treasurer, during a virtual meeting on Thursday morning. WNMU Vice President for Business Affairs Kelley Riddle said the Higher Education Department require the university submit an annual report of endowments. “The Foundation is working with Academic Affairs to promote the use of these funds, including for student scholarships,” she said. Discussing the Deming Learning Center project, Riddle said this transmittal is just for the first phase. “If this is approved through the state board of finance, we will start work in December,” she said. Presenting the Revised 5-Year Capital Outlay Projects and Institutional Capital and Infrastructure Projects, Riddle said, “We continue to revise the plan based on...

Transcending Borders Film Series Kicks Off Thursday

While the 2020 edition of ¡Fiesta Latina! at Western New Mexico University was canceled, the Artisan Mercado was held online, and the Transcending Borders Film and Discussion Series is also set to occur virtually. A lineup of documentaries on traditional Mexican crafts and techniques, Transcending Borders includes live Zoom discussions with the featured artisans. Hosted by WNMU Cultural Affairs and made possible by New Mexico Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the series will follow as outlined: Thursday, September 10, 2020 Film: Oaxaca Rug Weaving Live Zoom Discussion: 10 a.m. Topic: Oaxaca Dyeing and Rug Weaving in Teotitlan del Valle, presented by master weaver Demetrio Bautista Lazo? Wednesday, October 7, 2020 Film: Rebozos con Pluma of Ahuirán, featuring artisan Albertina Bautista Live Zoom Discussion: 10 a.m. Topic: The Mexican Rebozo – History and artisans of Mexico presented by Latin American tour guide, artisan advocate and...

WNMU Online Social Work Degree Tops List of 533 Accredited Programs

The Western New Mexico University School of Social Work online bachelor of social work program is now ranked No. 1 by TheBestOnlineDegree.com. WNMU tops the 2020 list of the 533 baccalaureate social work programs accredited by Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The methodology was developed with the goal of evaluating programs based on what they advertise, how they serve adult learners, and how they are academically structured to serve students studying at a distance. TheBestOnlineDegree.com currently ranks bachelor of social work programs based on seven categories with weighted percentages in accreditation of the university and the degree program, graduation growth as measured by the number of conferrals over the past five years, fully online completion status, availability to any student in the U.S., no on-campus requirements, and published per-credit hour rate of the academic program. Colleges and universities cannot pay to be ranked by BestOnlineSocialWork.com, which...

WNMU Reopens With Robust Testing Procedures, Isolation Policies

Western New Mexico University reopened this week, welcoming 277 residents to campus over the weekend and beginning the fall semester fully online Monday. In anticipation of students’ return, the university developed stringent policies and procedures to ensure the community’s health during the coronavirus pandemic. “Over the spring and summer months, WNMU put much thought into our reopen plan, which includes robust campus wide procedures aimed at ensuring a safe return to campus for our students, staff and faculty,” said Dr. Isaac Brundage, Vice President for Student Affairs at WNMU. “Maintaining the health and wellbeing of our entire community is being made possible through our close partnership with Hidalgo Medical Services and the continued diligence of our campus and community leaders.” WNMU campus residents were instructed to follow all current public and university-issued health orders as well as present a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result upon arrival to campus....