WNMU To Celebrate Founders Day on Monday, February 11

Western New Mexico University will commemorate the 126th anniversary of its founding on Monday, February 11, 2019, by hosting the community for birthday cake. The WNMU Founders Day celebration kicks off at 3 p.m. in the WNMU Museum in Fleming Hall. The J. Cloyd Miller Library will also both be open to Founders Day guests and will exhibit historic objects representing the university’s past that day. At a later date, WNMU and the Town of Silver City will perform a ribbon cutting to recognize completion of the construction that made the entrance to WNMU safer and more...

WNMU Small Business Development Center Names Mitchel’s Auto Service and Repair, LLC, 2018 Star Client

The Small Business Development Center hosted by Western New Mexico University selected Mitchel’s Auto Service and Repair, LLC, in Deming as its 2018 Star Client. Since opening his business, owner Mitchel Boomgaarn has used the advising services the WNMU Small Business Development Center provides to entrepreneurs in Grant, Luna, Hidalgo and Catron counties. He persevered in his endeavor as a small business owner even after getting severely burned in an accident just weeks after opening his shop. “Mario LaFragola, my Small Business Development Center advisor, didn’t just sit me down and say ‘I will fix that for you.’ He walked me through everything so that I could understand it,” Boomgaarn said. “Now I have more insight into what’s going on, and I have a better chance for this business to succeed.” Continuing to work with the WNMU Small Business Development Center, Boomgaarn’s business has expanded to include towing services, and plans are underway to open...

WNMU Partners With HMS To Formally Train Community Health Workers

After hearing that Western New Mexico University would offer a community health worker program, Hidalgo Medical Services requested that the training also be offered in Silver City so that HMS employees could participate. In response, WNMU offered an additional section of its brand-new program in fall 2018. “Though HMS has employed community health workers for several years, we felt it was important to support their continued education. Education is one of HMS’ core values, and we know that the knowledge gained in this program will benefit our patients and the community,” said Dan Otero, CEO at Hidalgo Medical Services. WNMU is the only university in southwest New Mexico providing this training. “Hidalgo Medical Service’s request demonstrates the demand for community health workers in southwest New Mexico and underscores the need for formal training of people already doing this type of work,” said Benjamin Jenkins, Ph.D., director of the community health worker...

Western New Mexico University To Host Southwest Regional Science Olympiad Competition

About 400 middle school and high school students from two dozen schools in southwest New Mexico will compete during the Southwest Regional Science Olympiad Competition at Western New Mexico University on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. The Southwest Regional Science Olympiad Competition runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in the Fine Arts Center Theatre at 4 p.m. All of the events are held on campus in the Intramural Gym, Harlan Hall and the Phelps/Dodge-Martinez building. “The active events in the gym are likely to be the most interesting, and the public is invited to spectate at any of them,” Southwest Regional Science Olympiad Tournament Director Eric Casler said. The Science Olympiad teams compete in categories such as Earth and Space Science; Physical Science; chemist online; Technology and Engineering; and Inquiry and Nature of Science. The individual events — 25 percent of which are new or different this year — have names like...

Memorial Service Set for Alumnus, Former Regent and Honorary Degree Holder, David Darling

Western New Mexico University alumnus, former regent and honorary degree holder, David Darling, Ed.D., who passed away at age 89 on Monday, January 14, will be laid to rest next week. “Dr. Darling impacted the campus in so many ways through his various roles as Mustang athlete, Student Body President, Blue Key Honor Society member, alumnus, and regent,” WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard said. “He gave new meaning to the mantra ‘dream big’ when he brought a nationally popular big band group to campus; when he coordinated the original painting of the ‘W’ tradition; and when he returned to us as a member of our governing board.” Darling’s memorial service will be in the WNMU Besse-Forward Global Resource Center Auditorium at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, January 21. Mustang football players and cross-country athletes will be Darling’s pallbearers, representing offensive linemen and track runners from Darling’s days as a student athlete. Following the service, he will...

WNMU Cultural Affairs Announces Spring Season Lineup

The Western New Mexico University Cultural Affairs spring 2019 season is packed with a dozen events from concerts to art exhibit openings and lectures, concluding with the three-day Fiesta Latina! in June. WNMU Cultural Affairs will be continuing its President’s Chamber Music Series and the Edwina Milner Women in the Arts Lecture Series this spring. “It’s going to be an exciting spring semester, kicking off with the incredible women’s mariachi group from New York City, Flor de Toloache, in Light Hall. Music from Ireland, a Hamilton Revue, chamber music and a symphony round out the offerings,” said Faye McCalmont, WNMU’s Special Assistant to the President for Cultural Affairs. Admission prices range from free to $15. The WNMU Cultural Affairs spring 2019 season schedule: — January 17, 4:30 p.m.: Chad Colby Solo Painting Exhibition Opening — January 23, 7 p.m.: 2017 Latin Music Grammy Winner Flor de Toloache Live at WNMU — January 29, 7 p.m.: President’s...

JJ Amaworo Wilson Remembers Dr. Felipe de Ortego y Gasca

By JJ Amaworo Wilson, WNMU Writer-in-Residence Felipe de Ortego y Gasca was a man apart. His life was a picaresque tale – part Charles Dickens, part Great Gatsby. He was orphaned as a child, never graduated from high school but became a university professor, served his country in three conflicts, met James Baldwin and Richard Wright in Paris, published prolifically, acted in films and served in the government. Above all this, though, Felipe fought the good fight for la raza. It’s one of the stories he loved to tell. He was writing his Ph.D. dissertation at UNM. His subject was Chaucer. Halfway through, he was asked to put together a course on Mexican American Literature. He began researching Chicano writers. Chaucer versus Chicanos? No contest. He abandoned Chaucer and began creating a Chicano canon. The results were: his seminal study Backgrounds in Mexican American Literature; the coining of the term The Chicano Renaissance; and the making of a Chicano. The original...

WNMU Wraps Up First Semester of Formal Collaboration With Freeport-McMoRan

This fall semester, Western New Mexico University and global mining company Freeport-McMoRan New Mexico Operations have been collaborating with the mission of preparing welders for employment in Grant County’s Chino and Tyrone mines. Freeport-McMoRan New Mexico Operations donated $10,000 to WNMU’s Department of Community and Workforce Development, which runs the applied technology programs, designating the funding specifically for the purchase of training equipment and supplies in the welding program. So, with Freeport’s needs in mind, WNMU has begun introducing new processes into the existing welding program and may in the future be able to offer continuing education courses for those already welding in the mining industry. “Universities need to be more responsive to corporate needs,” WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard said. “The partnership with Freeport-McMoRan not only illustrates this but also enhances the local economy by providing meaningful opportunities for...

WNMU’s Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Program Receives $42,000 Grant

Western New Mexico University’s early childhood teacher preparation program received a $42,000 grant in order to develop a master’s degree and a salary structure to incentivize staff members to continue their educations. From the Brindle Foundation, this grant award will help WNMU fill the gap in the state’s early childhood workforce. “There is a demand for high-quality early childhood educators in New Mexico, especially with the additions of home-visiting programs and various state-funded initiatives like pre-kindergarten. Research says educators with higher levels of degrees are better prepared to support improved outcomes for children,” said Executive Director or WNMU’s Early Childhood Programs Shannon Rivera. Over the next couple years, WNMU will use this award to create an Early Childhood Master of Arts program and to set up a salary structure similar for recruiting and retaining staff at WNMU’s Child Development Center and Growing Tree Infant/Toddler...

Regents Grant Coach Emeritus Status, Exchange Ideas for Growth and Improvement

The Western New Mexico University board of regents granted longtime Mustang volleyball coach Jim Callender emeritus status at their meeting on Thursday, December 13. The regents also recognized two retiring faculty members for their service, agreed to allow Math and Computer Science Department Chair Dr. Tom Gruzska one semester of sabbatical leave in 2019-2020, and discussed possibilities for future innovation and growth at WNMU. During the meeting, the regents approved the mid-year budget adjustment request for fiscal year 2019, fiscal year 2019 first quarter financial certification, revised capital projects transmittals for Ritch Hall and for Regents Row, asset disposal, and changes to WNMU’s American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Collective Bargaining Agreement. When presenting Callender with his staff emeritus designation, WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard said, “He’s been a life changer. He’s taken many players and helped them understand how...