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. July 27, 2020 From the desk of Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Dr. Isaac Brundage. Attention Residents: As we move closer to the fall opening, I would like to provide you with updated information. Please review the below information, as some of it has changed. Room Assignments (Updated information): Room assignments can be viewed by logging into Room Choice...

WNMU Board of Regents Maintains Momentum as Campus Prepares To Reopen

The Western New Mexico University Board of Regents reviewed the fall 2020 campus reopening plan, approved the university president’s retention initiative, and voted on a number of business items pertinent to the turn of the fiscal year during their workshop and meeting on Monday. Introducing the reopening plan, WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard stressed that the university’s strategy is continually changing based on health guidelines and also procedures put in place by governing bodies like the NCAA. “It’s a moving target at best,” Dr. Shepard said. The plan states that WNMU classes will resume in three phases this fall. To accommodate students arriving from out of state and needing to quarantine in compliance with state health orders, the first portion of the semester will be conducted entirely online. There will be no face-to-face instruction between August 17 and September 7. Following Labor Day, some classes may commence in a hybrid format by adding in select...

“Philosopher” Author To Continue Degree Program on Campus

“God is found in the white flash of my sister’s teeth, and in the pattern of the wiggling squares at the bottom of the pool she splashes into— not an ounce of hesitation resides in that taught, slim body. And God is found in the stretching of my brother’s mouth when the streetlamps flicker on, and in the ever-violent adieu of the sun from our skies.” —Emma Jefferson, the incoming sophomore who earned first place in the WNMU Creative Writing Contest for this poem, “Philosopher” From Carlsbad, Emma completed her freshman year at WNMU online, staying at home until after she turned 18. “I’m going to start classes this fall in Silver City. I want to go to campus, make friends and just enjoy campus life and all of that, get involved with the community,” she said. The psychology major is considering a pre-law minor. “Those two can go really well hand-in-hand,” she said. Emma wrote this piece for a creative writing class. The assignment was to...

WNMU Regents Made Budget Adjustments, Approved Green Energy Project

Members of the Western New Mexico University board of regents approved an amended fiscal year 2020-21 budget and voted to continue advancing the university toward its energy efficiency goals during a meeting on Thursday morning. They also heard from WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard, who reported on the university’s plans to reopen using a hybrid model this fall. “We will not create a zero probability of COVID, but we can be prudent,” he said. “All of this could change on a dime, based on the governor’s orders.” The board approved a fiscal year 2020-21 budget adjustment request to reduce the state appropriation based on House Bill 1 passed in the 2020 Special Legislative Session. Decreases were made to the Instruction and General fund, athletics and public service for a total decrease of $2,344,900. The amended budget removes 4% compensation increases provided in House Bill 2 during 2020 Legislative Session, and reduces other expenses to offset loss in revenue....

Two-Time WNMU Writing Contest Winner Returns for Grad Degree

Kaitlyn Rutherford earned her bachelor’s in psychology and early childhood education from Western New Mexico University this May and is returning for her master’s degree. “I’m actually moving back this week,” says the Colorado native who originally came to WNMU on a volleyball scholarship. “I have a good friends group and like the academics and the atmosphere of the school.” Kaitlyn cites the one-on-one time she was able to get with professors at WNMU as a reason for returning. She worked on a research project with associate professor of psychology Dr. Po Sen “Mark” Chu and recently placed in the campus-wide WNMU Academic Writing Contest for a literature review piece she wrote on childhood development for her senior seminar class with assistant professor of psychology Dr. Jennifer Johnston. “In 2016, I got first place in the WNMU Creative Writing Contest, and it came full circle my senior year,” she says. The internships Kaitlyn did over the course of her...

MAIS Meets Kevin Allemand’s Madison Foundation Fellowship Requirements

This summer, Kevin Allemand is starting toward his Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in history and political science at WNMU. For the past 15 years, he has taught social studies at Hancock High School in Kiln, Mississippi. “History is an explanation of the present. If you want to understand the world around you, you have to understand the past,” he says. And now Kevin is working toward an advanced degree so his students also have expanded higher education opportunities. “I’m interested in teaching dual credit to better prepare my students for college and walk into college ready to take classes applicable to their major,” he says. “The goal is to prepare for a possible Ph.D. afterward but also to become the best teacher of the constitution that I could become.” A James Madison Memorial Foundation Fellow, Kevin received $24,000 to attend graduate school and meet the latter goal. Based on recommendations from Madison Fellows who...

Live Virtual Graduation Allowed for Personalized Commencement Experiences

One hundred Western New Mexico University graduates received diplomas during the university’s virtual commencement ceremony, which was held live on Friday, May 29. The event allowed each participant to have 15 seconds in the spotlight. Graduates used this time to celebrate and receive their diplomas from loved ones, children, pets and even fellow graduates. Members of the class of 2020 designed their own cap and gown ensembles, improvised hoods, created their own diplomas, and selected the venues of their choice. Some attended from locales such as Hawaii and Belize while others attended from their living rooms. Some received homemade diplomas from their husbands — others from their dogs. Children were included in ways not possible during in-person ceremonies. In real time, graduates first heard remarks from WNMU student body president Brenda Hernandez, who also received a degree, and from members of the WNMU board of regents. After the conferrals of degrees, WNMU...

Meet James Madison Senior Fellow Elly Loman

“One more course, and I’ll be finished,” says Elly Loman, a James Madison Senior Fellow who teaches high school in southern Idaho. Through the Madison Foundation, Elly is working toward a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies at WNMU. “My bachelor’s is in history. I also have an endorsement to teach English language arts, but they’re not the classes I want to teach. As a teacher, I find social science exciting no matter how many times I teach it,” she says. “I thought if I could get a master’s in history or political science, I’d make myself more employable in social sciences.” The Madison Foundation requires fellows be enrolled in a program that emphasizes constitutional studies, which the versatile Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree allows. “It’s nice to take courses that are interesting instead of ones that are just part of a pre-packaged deal,” Elly says. “The course I just finished up is a course on the drug wars, which I...

New Location Planned for Mimbres Valley Learning Center

Western New Mexico University Leading Project, Invested in Land for New Site The Mimbres Valley Learning Center is slated to get a new location on the west side of Deming to be more accessible to the Deming high school and the local hospital. The new site will allow better access to advance higher education opportunities for the region’s population. At the beginning of 2020, Western New Mexico University purchased 40 acres on West Florida Avenue for the purpose of building a new learning center focused on health care and sustainability to provide Deming students of all ages broader opportunities. The campus will set a new standard in the southwest for how sustainability and education can work together to create unique indoor and outdoor learning experiences for students, faculty and the surrounding community. Western New Mexico University, which has an extended university in the existing Mimbres Valley Learning Center, is leading the project design and implementation. “The...

WNMU Board of Regents Passes Budget, Approves Two New Master’s Programs

During a virtual meeting Wednesday morning, the Western New Mexico University Board of Regents approved a fiscal year 2020-2021 budget to present to the New Mexico Higher Education Department by the Friday deadline but expects it will be necessary to change the budget once the legislature meets in special session to determine the overall state finances. WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard announced that WNMU will move commencement to a virtual live ceremony on Friday, May 29. “We’re going to Zoom all 300 plus participants,” President Shepard said. President Shepard also reported that the university is making plans for the return of employees and students this fall or when the state’s stay at home recommendations are lifted. “I suspect we’ll have to manage our class sizes. I expect the faculty might continue a hybrid method. We’re sensitive to maximizing the health and minimizing the risk of our faculty, staff, students and community as well,” he said. Regent Dr....