Start of Hispanic Heritage Month Signaled by Chalk Mural “Chasing the Fifth Sun”

To kick off a series of Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations and programming, Western New Mexico University invited Las Cruces’ Zepeda to create a temporary chalk art installation at the base of the staircase between Student Memorial Building and Graham Gym. The mural, still in the process of being completed in this photo, combines pre-Columbian Mesoamerican symbolism and Catholic symbolism, Zepeda said. “Our Lady of Guadalupe is considered the mother of the Americas,” he said, addressing a crowd of students on Wednesday. Our Lady of Guadalupe brought together two different pre-Columbian myths, Zepeda said, explaining that the typical depiction of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a glyph of the Aztec mother goddess. “It’s how the Catholics told indigenous people they’d been worshipping Mary all along,” he said. Zepeda used the pyramid structure of the staircase to create a Toltec temple motif with Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent. He’s in here,” the artist said,...

In Pursuit of a Dual Degree in Marketing, Ivanna Chavarría Found WNMU

Ivanna Chavarría has always been interested in business, and she honed in on marketing as a focus when she decided to participate in the dual degree program available through the University of Sonora in her hometown and WNMU together. “I always knew I would go into an economy career. Marketing is dynamic and involves a lot of creativity. When starting out, I think it’s a good career so then you can specialize and discover what you like while you’re studying,” she said. The opportunity to earn dual degrees is rare, Ivanna said. “And it’s as if you were just studying for one, because it’s only four years but you get double the knowledge.” Like her two peers currently in this program, Ivanna is enjoying meeting new people and having new experiences. “We’re all outgoing and love traveling. I think it’s cool you can walk wherever you want in Silver City. It’s been easy getting to places and knowing the city without having a...

31 Students To Commit to Compassionate Patient Care at White Coat Ceremony

On Friday, September 10, the Western New Mexico University School of Nursing is hosting its White Coat Ceremony, a rite of passage to emphasize the importance of compassionate patient care at the very start of training. The ritual will begin at 2 p.m. in Light Hall Auditorium. “Nurses are integral to patient survival, and we witnessed this to an even greater extent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite fears, risks and the unknown, nurses keep caring and keep working. By accepting the white coat, our nursing students demonstrate that they are entering our noble profession and will persevere too,” said WNMU School of Nursing & Kinesiology Associate Dean Dr. Kimberly Petrovic. With family and friends as witnesses, 31 nursing students will recite an oath to patient care. As the Level 1 professors, WNMU School of Nursing faculty members Krista Wood and Erin Wood will cloak each student in the iconic white coat that signifies their status as healthcare...

Graduate Certificate Student Published in “Education and Society”

Lindsay Bryner started a graduate certificate program at WNMU to become qualified to teach at the college level, and in Dr. Heather Steimann’s Advanced Composition course, she completed an article that was published in the fully refereed journal “Education and Society” this July. Lindsay lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and took advantage of the online program offerings at WNMU, which was recommended by teachers she worked with. “Along with taking us step-by-step through the process developing our essays, Dr. Steinmann did a great thing from the start: She said, ‘Choose a topic that’s personal to you,’” Lindsay said. “Through the use of research in academic journals and articles as well as personal anecdotes, I attempt to prove that if the right changes are made then the teacher retention rate can be improved. Since students are the best possible investment in our future, it would be great to be able to retain teachers who are passionate about teaching and have...

Dedication of Miller Library Mural and WNMU Permanent Collection Additions

On Friday, August 27, a few community members gathered to celebrate art on campus, dedicating the “A Community Reads” mural gracing Miller Library’s north entrance and also unveiling new works in the WNMU Permanent Collection. The Silver City Youth Mural Program’s Diana Ingalls Leyba discussed the ideas behind the book-based mural design, and one of her iconic paintings was also introduced as part of the WNMU Permanent Collection. Community members heard the story behind the 9- by 6-foot painting recently donated to WNMU by her relatives Bob and Nancy Phillips, heirs of Aunt Bonnie’s portrait by a one-armed artist of some regional renown. The Phillips said Bonnie Bledsoe Ramos had run away to Mexico to marry her handsome picador and lived with him on his substantial ranch in Mexico, where Ximénez painted her. When Mexican authorities deported Bonnie after her husband died, she moved to Roswell New Mexico, where lived until being killed by a driver who ran into the...

School of Nursing Memorial Honors the Fallen

Motivated by nursing compassion, the WNMU School of Nursing is honoring the 13 soldiers lost in last week’s Kabul airport bombings with a memorial dedicated to them and in recognition of the care and support Gold Star families and friends need. “The ability to understand and share the feelings of another is fundamental because that is how we can provide better care for our patients,” Assistant Professor Leah Tolley said, “but compassion, which literally means ‘to suffer together,’ is even more important, because when confronted with another's suffering, compassion prompts action to...

Mariachi Plata de WNMU To Perform at Isotopes Mariachis de Nuevo México Game

The award-winning Mariachi Plata de Western New Mexico University was invited to perform in Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park during the Mariachis de Nuevo México promotional game against the El Paso Chihuahuas on Tuesday, September 14. Plus, the honor of throwing the first pitch will be given to WNMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jack Crocker, who is best known as a poet and songwriter but also has a storied baseball background having once pitched at the semi-pro level and been scouted by the Detroit Tigers. As the only competitive university mariachi in the state, Mariachi Plata de WNMU regularly delivers award-winning performances at showcases like Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque and at events throughout southwest New Mexico. The chance to play for a new audience in an 11,000-seat outdoor venue excites the student members, who have had few occasions to don their traje and share their talents since March 2020. “Our students...

Rebeca Portillo Improves on her Natural Abilities Through Dual Degree Program

“I’ve always been good at convincing people to do something,” said Rebeca Portillo. “When I was little, I didn’t know that you can make a career out of that.” With marketing as her focus, she is enrolled in dual degree program offered jointly through WNMU School of Business and the University of Sonora, where Rebeca is from. As a student, she’s discovered how to infuse creativity into her work. “It’s not only selling. It’s getting to know the products and what people want then making people want the things you’re selling,” she said. It’s a topic Rebeca will be delving into more over the next year and a half while she’s on campus in Silver City. “I think we’re prepared. We were good students back home, but this will be tough,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity.” Normally, Rebeca likes escaping to the beach in her free time, but for now, she’s looking forward to getting into the Gila National Forest....

Van Bateman’s Southwest Incident Management Team Member and WNMU Alumnus J.R. Calkins Speaking at 9/11 Memorial

The Western New Mexico University Office of Veteran Affairs will observe the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with a memorial event on campus Saturday, September 11, 2021. “The university invites the community to join us in solemnly remembering the 2,977 lives lost that day in 2001, and also in honoring the 5,448 service members and civilians killed in action during the resulting Global War on Terror,” said USAF Sep. Staff Sergeant Jason Quimby, who manages the WNMU Office of Veteran Affairs. The event begins at 8 a.m. with a presentation of the colors and the national anthem sung by Mariachi Plata de WNMU and continues through noon with periodical observed silences in remembrance of the attack’s most devastating moments. Giving the keynote address will be 1984 WNMU alumnus J.R. Calkins, who worked on a Type 1 Incident Management Team that mobilized to New York City on September 12, 2001, to assist with search and rescue efforts at ground zero. The...

Mexican Student Learning About U.S. Marketing, Working Toward Dual Degree

Rita Escalante is in her second week of a three-semester program at WNMU that will enable her to earn double degrees—one from her home institution, University of Sonora, and one from the WNMU School of Business. It’s a prospect made possible through a memorandum of understanding that enables Mexican students to finish off their studies at a U.S-accredited university for the in-state tuition rate and with support from scholarships available through their government. From Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, the marketing student jumped on the chance to study at an American university, as she hopes to spend her career in the United States. “Marketing here and in Mexico is very different. Learning from you guys is a great opportunity for me to work and get a better job in the future,” she said. Along with two of her peers from University of Sonora, Rita is getting adjusted to life on campus and settling in for the experience, which will last a year and a half. She said that the...