Freshman Places in Creative Writing Contest With “Southwest Granny”

With graduation ahead, it's important to reflect on the hard work and dedication that got each student to their goal by hearing from a student whose educational journey has only just begun. Freshman Ashlei R. Garcia was a winner of the WNMU Creative Writing Contest prose category. She began her degree program once her children were in school themselves. “My youngest is six. My oldest is nine,” she said. So far, Garcia has surprised herself by getting on the Dean’s List at WNMU. “In high school, I was a terrible student,” she said. “My whole mindset changed. I’m doing this for my children so they can have a good future.” Considering a career in education, Garcia said she has never considered herself a writer. “Writing has always been a challenge, but I like to just put my imagination to work.” Garcia’s inspiration for the piece she submitted to the contest, which she entered for extra credit, was her grandma. “She was my second mom or a father...

Four Female Psychology Majors Accepted to BUILDing SCHOLARS

All four of the Western New Mexico University students who were accepted to this summer’s BUILDing SCHOLARS program are women and psychology majors. The research-intensive training program is funded by the National Institutes of Health and reserved for undergraduates motivated to become biomedical, social, behavioral or health science researchers. In addition to coursework and mentoring activities, students will conduct research at one of the program’s 10 partner institutions, which reserve positions for BUILDing SCHOLARS graduates to later pursue their Ph.D. degrees. “BUILDing SCHOLARS is meant to catch students right at the beginning of their college careers and help them focus their interests as juniors and seniors in order to be more prepared for grad school,” said Dr. Jennifer Johnston, a WNMU psychology professor. Saramaria Ortega, BUILDing Scholars participant The WNMU students who received the scholarship, which includes tuition for 30 credit hours and a...

Professor Heads to Poetry Residency

WNMU Assistant Professor of English Composition Heather Frankland was selected to attend an intensive poetry workshop in Outer Cape Cod this summer. Led by the well-known poet Marge Piercy, the program is limited to just 12 poets....

Board of Regents Sets Operating Budget, Identifies Priority Capital Projects, Awards Several Emeritus Status

The Western New Mexico University Board of Regents approved a $66.9 million budget for the 2023 fiscal year and discussed upcoming capital project priorities during their meeting Thursday. Before approving next fiscal year’s operating budget, the board approved an adjustment to the current fiscal year’s budget, in light of a $571,696 difference in the ending unrestricted instruction and general funds balance and of a difference of $83,914 in restricted instruction and general funds. Last April, the board approved a $50.9 million budget, and the final fiscal year 2022 budget was $72,768,878. “There are a couple pieces to this budget,” said Dr. Joseph Shepard, who is President of WNMU. “We used $5 million in one-time money to increase enrollment, and while 4,000 students didn’t materialize, I’m proud of the progress we’ve made. This budget moves us downward in terms of our reserves because we’re moving into a second year of the 4K initiative. This budget will...

Evangeline Dominguez Returns to WNMU After Two Decades

Evangeline Dominguez began her education at Western New Mexico University 20 years ago, left when she started a family, and returned after spending the past two decades raising five children. Now pursuing an associate degree in early childhood education with the aim work toward a bachelor’s, she said. “I came back to finish what I started.” Dominguez works as a Pre-K educational assistant at Bayard Elementary School and is taking six credit hours at WNMU this spring. She said she would not be enrolled if it weren’t for the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship. “I did not withdraw correctly 20 years ago. It affected my financial aid,” she said. “I was a kid, but withdrawing incorrectly came back to haunt me. Without the Opportunity Scholarship, it’d be easy to say, ‘I’m done.’” The financial support, combined with the ability to participate in classes online, makes college feasible for her. “I’m able to work a full-time job and take care of my kids at...

Opportunity Scholarship a Relief for Jaedyn Arellano

Jaedyn Arellano has a younger brother with special needs. “I have seen the services he has been provided, and I want to become a physical therapist and offer similar help to others,” she said. Arellano is a senior in both the kinesiology and rehabilitation services programs at Western New Mexico University. “I chose to attend WNMU because it’s affordable and close by my family,” said the Bayard native. Receiving the Opportunity Scholarship is a relief for Arellano, who said she didn’t know about it until being awarded the support, which she uses to supplement what she earns at her on-campus student-worker job and to buy extra course materials. “I’m taking labs so my lab fees were high, and the books I needed were expensive. I probably wouldn’t have bought my books. I have gone without books. It’s terrible. It’s like being lost in the class,” she said. “This scholarship has given me the opportunity to pursue my dreams, because it covers costs I might...

National Poetry Month Student Event

A student-centered event celebrating National Poetry Month included readings by professor Heather Frankland’s English 99 class, Aldo Leopold Charter School students and the WNMU Undergraduate Writing Contest Winners. WNMU Provost and author Dr. Jack Crocker and New Mexico Book Association Vice President Miguel De La Cruz (both pictured), along with Silver City Poet Laureate and WNMU student Allison Waterman, were also featured. Organized by WNMU J. Cloyd Miller Library, WNMU Humanities Department, Mimbres Press of WNMU, and WNMU – Deming, the event was held in J. Cloyd Miller Library on the main...

Student Research in Nano-enabled Agriculture Continues

Pull off fruit and leaves. Cut plant off at ground level and wash all soil from its roots. Take the plant top and roots to the lab. Weigh and measure the parts then wash, alternating three times between acid and water. Let dry. Divide the collection in half. Dry one half. Freeze the other half. That’s not a jam or cookie recipe. Those are directions for harvesting and processing the tomato vines in preparation for analysis with recently acquired spectroscopy instrumentation — all as part of an experiment being carried out by student researchers at Western New Mexico University. Elizabeth Sorells and Michael Shaw are among the group of students exploring applications of nanomaterials in agriculture, thanks to a $142,000 grant WNMU received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Technology in 2020 for the purpose of establishing a research program in nano-enabled agriculture at the rural institution not typically considered a research...