Best Counseling Program in the Southwest

The WNMU Master of Arts in counseling program was rated “Best in the Southwest” by Intelligent.com, which released a list of the nation’s Top 50 Counseling Degree Programs for 2021. Intelligent.com’s ranking methodology first looks accreditation and flexibility then weighs program strength, student readiness and engagement as well as ROI to narrow down the list of programs. As more than 40 million American sought counseling in the last year and the demand for counselors is expected to increase by 25% over the next decade, now is an opportune time to enter this field. Details about the WNMU counseling program are available here. Intelligent.com is a trusted resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning. The comprehensive research guide is based on an assessment of 191 accredited U.S. colleges and universities. Each program is evaluated based on curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation, and post-graduate...

MSW Student Connects Community With Resources

Master in Social Work student Lizania Hurtado is the new Emergency Assistance Program Manager for Leavenworth, Washington’s Upper Valley MEND (Meeting Each Need with Dignity), an independent human service organization dedicated to meeting the basic health, housing and hunger needs of residents and transients in the Upper Wenatchee Valley. A native of Washington state, Lizania has always been interested in the helping fields. She previously worked in mental health but “decided to switch over” in order to assist her community by helping its members with rent, mortgage and utility bills, and access to needed services. “With a social work degree, you can explore many fields and at the same time give back to the community and people around you,” she said. Being bilingual, Lizania is able to promote the organization’s goal of respecting the integrity and dignity of each person by addressing some in their native tongue. “I want to focus on reaching more of the Hispanic...

WNMU Listed Among Top Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling Programs

Western New Mexico University has one of the “Top 25 Online Addiction Counseling Bachelor’s for 2021,” according to Value Colleges, an independent online guide to the best values in undergraduate and graduate education. “This is a good option for students who don’t do well on standardized tests and require financial assistance with their education,” the editors wrote of WNMU. Focused on fully accredited colleges and universities with an established reputation for quality, the rankings are determined according to data related to cost, potential salary and student satisfaction. “In an era marked by an epidemic of opioid abuse, as well as alcohol and other drugs, addiction and substance abuse counseling is critical,” the announcement stated. “An online substance abuse counseling degree program prepares graduates to work in individual/group settings using tools and techniques to help those with alcohol and drug abuse issues break free from the addictive behavior...

MSW Program Ranked No. 1 by Best College Reviews

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that social work jobs will increase by 13% by 2029, Western New Mexico University is preparing social workers of all levels to promote social justice on behalf of all people and to enhance the functioning of individuals, families, groups and communities. Continually top-ranked, the WNMU School of Social Work prepares students for careers centered anywhere between direct individual practice and community planning and organization, a more macro-level approach aimed at societal change that can improve the lives of individuals. Most recently, our master’s program has been ranked No. 1 by Best College Reviews. "We are committed to providing a high quality and affordable social work education to students from all walks of life. Like the rest of the WNMU community, we strive for excellence, create a caring culture for our students, and pride ourselves in being able to equip our students with the knowledge and skills they need to get...

17 WNMU Students Earn American Welding Society Certifications

Recently, 17 WNMU students earned certifications in basic welding positions through the American Welding Society, which is recognized nationally and internationally as the premier welding certification body. “In the 11 years that I have been at WNMU, this is a record number of students to pass American Welding Society certifications in a single semester,” said James Ortiz, who is Director of Applied Technology in the WNMU Community and Workforce Development Department. Those earning certifications included high school students who are dual enrolled, traditional students, and also Freeport-McMoRan employees who returned for training during a furlough period. “They are upgrading their skills in welding and electrical to be more valuable employees,” James said. A complete list of the newly certified welders ranked according to the level of skill they demonstrated follows: Tommie Perez, 1G Obed Hernández, 1G (Freeport-McMoRan) Ethan Sanchez, 1G Federico Jiménez, 1G...

From Manual Laborer to Fine Arts Major

Alejandro Romero was on his lunch break when he applied to WNMU. “Almost all my life I’ve had manual labor jobs. I went to culinary school. I have a CDL. I had a steady job and a pretty good income, but it was wearing me down all around,” he said. “I thought, ‘If I’m going to be worn down like this at something I don’t really like doing, I’d rather be worn down putting my energy and effort into something I do like.’” Now a junior, Alejandro is well on his way to earning a bachelor’s in expressive arts. “I got to a point where I was able to study something that means more to me than just a paycheck,” he said. Alejandro considers himself a lifelong artist. “I started with graffiti when I was about 18. One day my mom gave me a 35 mm camera and said, ‘Try this.’ That was 12-15 years ago now,” said the passionate photographer. “I’ve been doing art for a while but not on such a technical level. It was more exploring for myself.” Alejandro...

WNMU Board of Regents Virtually Sits Down With Legislators, Governor

As per tradition during the first meeting of the calendar year, the Western New Mexico University Board of Regents spent time communicating with state legislators, including Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, during their Thursday assembly over Zoom. They also agreed on the university president’s performance goals, voted to extend regent Janice Baca Argabright’s term as the board Secretary/Treasurer until a new board is constituted, and approved the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Audit Report and the Fiscal Year 2021 Quarter 2 Financial Certification. “When you are at the legislative session, it’s really a place for someone like me to listen—not talk—and understand what your priorities are,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “New Mexico was successful in quashing the virus, largely thanks to higher education. You led in terms of figuring out ways to serve your students and faculty.” The governor praised WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard for compelling the state’s colleges and...

Standout Poet Hopes to Tutor, Compile Series of Short Stories

Albuquerque resident Heidi Michaels won first place in the WNMU Undergraduate Creative Writing Contest poetry category for a piece titled “In Indiana Enjambment” and another she calls “New Mexican Sonnet,” which speaks to the beauty of our state during sunset and which is included below. Heidi is majoring in English so she can tutor people once she has a bachelor’s degree. “I come from an uneducated background. I know how hard it is to struggle, and I want to help others,” she said. Plus, writing is a natural fit for her. “I think poetry allows me and others to express themselves in a way you can’t when you speak normally. I have a little stutter and am awkward, but I can be more graceful and real with the written word. I know a lot of people feel that way about poetry,” Heidi said. Before pursuing a degree, she worked retail and in restaurants and was “sometimes a manager.” But then Heidi became handicapped and was homeless for a time. “I had a...

Participatory Artist Workshops and Concerts Key to WNMU Cultural Affairs 2021 Virtual Events

Over the next few weeks, Western New Mexico University Cultural Affairs will host a series of artist workshops centered around storytelling and a set of concerts called Women in Music and featuring global voices. Themed Journey of the Storyteller: Notion of Place, the workshops will be led by New Mexico artists, who draw connections between the intellectual, imaginative and cultural elements involved in creating art. The initial artist lectures will be open to the public. Artist and writer Edie Tsong kicks off the series with “Love Letters to the World” on Thursday, January 28, while multimedia artist Alia Ali continues it with “An Indexical Archive” beginning on Thursday, February 25. “In collaboration with WNMU Expressive Arts instructor Jennifer Douglas, WNMU Cultural Affairs is reaching out to regional artists in recognition of how the arts can inspire a new discussion, which synthesize imagery, dialogue and our critical thought processes. This collaboration...

“Linear and Metaphoric” Added to WNMU Art Collection

The Western New Mexico University art collection continues expanding, largely thanks to the New Mexico Art in Public Places Purchase Initiative, with a recent addition being “Linear and Metaphoric.” This ceramic sculpture about transforming the walls that separate us into a symbol of diversity and connection is by longtime Silver City artist Zoe Wolfe, who created the piece in reaction to the momentum in building the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. “The grouping of 18 mid-fired and glazed ceramic bricks create a shrine to New Mexico. The keystone is a lush white – the soul,” Zoe says. Images reference Mimbreno and Hopi symbolism while abstract patterns are contemporary, and the bricks’ surfaces mimic the textured earth. “I worked toward a visual balance of symmetry and asymmetry, representing the strengths and diversity of our population, ultimately in harmony,” Zoe says. "Linear and Metaphoric," which earned a recent mention in Desert Exposure,...