WNMU COVID-19 Updates

WNMU Information Regarding the Virus That Causes COVID-19 Western New Mexico University works to ensure the health and safety of its community and is monitoring the global public health concern related to the new coronavirus (COVID-19). This page contains updates regarding the WNMU plan to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), protect the Mustang community, and ensure those pursuing degrees may continue working toward their goals safely. To reach the New Mexico Department of Health, call 1-855-600-3453. Thursday, April 2, 2020 WNMU Early Childhood Programs we will remain closed at least until April 30, in accordance with the state's orders. The Child Development Center staff is working with the WNMU Business Office to sort out fees owed and next payments, and they have together already processed the first adjustments through April 14. Any further adjustments will be made at the end of April, and Budget Manager will email parents about changes to...

Senior Program Manager of Advising in Deming for WNMU Extended University Elizabeth Davila

Elizabeth Davila is who WNMU students in Deming lean on for support through their degree programs — and through life. “Having positive caring people in our lives helps carry us to the next opportunity,” she said. Having worked for WNMU Extended University and other offices around campus in the past, Elizabeth started out in Deming as an advisor then began helping students complete financial aid paperwork. “I basically see the students through their general ed requirements until they declare their majors,” she said. For the past two years, she has worked in partnership with Deming public schools to process and advise dual-credit students, many of whom complete associate degrees during their high school years. Elizabeth also spearheaded a college fair at Bataan Elementary, bringing in WNMU academic departments, alumni, and current students to showcase opportunities the university offers. Her social work background lends itself well to the role she plays at WNMU...

Director of the WNMU Center for a Sustainable Future Dr. Kathy Whiteman

Dr. Kathy Whiteman was hired in 2012 to create a university outdoor program and share her GIS expertise as a professor. Since, she has grown the outdoor program from recreational club status to an academic program that includes an on-campus gear rental shop and a field-certified Mustang Search and Rescue Team and also offers regular Wilderness First Aid certification classes plus a minor in outdoor leadership studies. As of fall 2019, Dr. Whiteman is heading up the university’s Center for a Sustainable Future, serves on the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division advisory board, and was chairing the committee hosting the Association for Experiential Education 2020 Rocky Mountain Regional Conference, which was to be held at WNMU in April but is now canceled. “The outdoors is a huge part of our regional identity. I’m actively working to foster relationships and collaborations with entities that play roles in the outdoor economy,” she said. Western New Mexico...

Adele M. Springer’s Passion for Data Led Her to a Top Position at WNMU

Adele M. Springer has held six job titles at Western New Mexico University over the past two dozen years. From Oklahoma, Springer arrived in Silver City with an associate degree in data and began her career at WNMU while working toward a bachelor’s. Most recently, she worked as the administrative and executive secretary for Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jack Crocker. As of fall 2019, she makes up the Office of WNMU Institutional Research and Outcomes Assessment. “The only person who wasn’t happy about the switch was my husband, who complained that I was already staying up until eleven o’clock at night playing with data anyway,” she says. Adele is fixing past errors and staying on top of what’s being input now so the university has accurate, reliable, and, ultimately, useful data. She hopes her work helps WNMU operate more efficiently and cohesively. “I want a data warehouse that everyone contributes to and pulls from when reporting. I want be...

Art Student Receives SRPD Support

“I really wanted to just get out there,” says WNMU transfer student Yen Chu, who was born in Taiwan and raised in America, where she graduated from Silver High School at age 16. “I applied to UNM. I didn’t know what I was going to do yet so I spent a couple of semesters taking classes left and right — until I took a ceramics class.” Yen had a blast in the studio and decided to major in art, returning to her hometown to finish her degree. “WNMU costs less, the art department is great, and I can chill out and take all the classes I want,” she says. With a multitude of interests, there’s no subject Yen hates. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always really loved science, and I actually love math too. Art lets me explore all of that because you have to worry about chemistry in ceramics too. It’s like acrobatics in my mind,” she says. At WNMU, she’s experimenting with styles and honing her technique. “It takes a while to let your hands catch up with what...

Associate Professor of Education Dr. Margarita P. Wulftange

“I love languages — learning languages, listening to, reading, and speaking them — so I majored in Spanish and minored in French. My goal for my undergraduate degree was to study in as many countries as possible. This paved the way for my studies in cross-cultural education and learning and second language development,” says Associate Professor of Education Dr. Margarita P. Wulftange, who teaches people who want to be elementary and bilingual teachers. She studied in Mexico, Spain, Canada, France, Ireland, Ecuador, and Costa Rica and has since traveled around the globe to research more ways about how children learn. Dr. Wulftange says offering bilingual education fully enforces the New Mexico constitution. “All the decisions you make as a teacher impact your students’ futures and their families, so valuing the languages students come to school with is important.” Also the assessment coordinator for the WNMU School of Education, Dr. Wulftange is dedicated to...

Meet Mary Hotvedt, Ph.D., the Newest Member of the WNMU Board of Regents

“Being regent is a very good job for me. It brings together my academic experience and my experience at Western with my political knowledge of the state and my in-depth knowledge of the community,” says Mary Hotvedt, Ph.D., the newest member of the WNMU Board of Regents. As an anthropologist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Dr. Hotvedt was in private practice as a counselor, researcher and consultant for 24 years. Plus, she’s been a teacher in various forms all throughout her life, having worked in academia for institutions worldwide. She became an adjunct professor at WNMU in 2010 and stepped down when New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham appointed her to serve as a member of the WNMU Board of Regents last March. Dr. Hotvedt prioritizes education above all else at WNMU. “The most important thing to me about the university’s success is that it has to be academically of the best standard — demanding the best of the faculty and of the students. I’m...

Associate Dean for the WNMU School of Nursing and Kinesiology Dr. Kimberly Petrovic

New Associate Dean for the WNMU School of Nursing and Kinesiology Dr. Kimberly Petrovic brings an extensive background and level head to some of the university’s most innovative and impactful programs. With a Ph.D., MSN, MA, and RN, Dr. Petrovic is leading WNMU in offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, training working nurses with master’s degrees, and — soon — educating master’s-prepared nurses to be primary care providers as Family Nurse Practitioners in rural settings. “My leadership style is more of a circle rather than a pyramid,” she said. “We are all seasoned nurses and to not make use of everyone’s expertise and experiences is foolish.” Dr. Petrovic’s professional focus on geriatrics and gerontology is applicable particularly to New Mexico’s rural areas, which have aging populations. “As we go through the life course, we gain a lot of things, but we lose a lot of things as well,” she said, noting her interest is in helping patients keep their...

Women Create a Thriving Culture of Research at WNMU

With women leading the way, students and professors are engaging in a variety of independent research projects at WNMU. From the two professors measuring the impact of a whole-family approach to math education to the social work faculty member who studied a population that crosses the border for schooling, faculty are investigating what interests them. Others, like Drs. Jennifer Johnston and Corrie Neighbors, mentor student researchers while also making their own queries. Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Jennifer Johnston’s study of the relationship between news coverage and mass shootings led to a national campaign requesting the media adopt a policy discouraging the use of any mass shooter’s name or likeness due to the evidence that perpetrators are motivated by a desire for fame. Dr. Johnston has presented her findings across the nation, making frequent media appearances herself, and even sharing her expertise with the Federal Commission on School Safety in 2018. With...

Humanities Faculty Present “Fusion Courses” at NMHEAR

The WNMU humanities department presented an innovative instructional model dubbed “Fusion Courses” to other higher education leaders in the state last week at a conference (link to https://nmhear.nmsu.edu/) focused on assessment and retention. Four faculty members discussed how the university’s English, composition, communication, and philosophy programs have all integrated this pedagogical approach within their curriculum, bringing together online and face-to-face classes through the use of technology. “Fusion courses facilitate interaction between students in both media with each other,” says Associate Professor of Speech and Communication Dr. Benjamin Cline, who shared how he used a fusion course to teach Small Group Communication, promoting collaboration through zoom and lecture capture. This model combines the best practices from both online and face-to-face teaching. WNMU Humanities Chair Kate Oubre and past chair John Gist together birthed the model, which...