WNMU Cultural Affairs Virtual Fall Season Includes Open Mic Nights, Live Streamed Concerts, Drive-In Show

The Western New Mexico University Cultural Affairs fall season is being offered virtually and completely free. “WNMU Cultural Affairs is continuing to serve our community and students with exciting and educational virtual events that we believe attendees will really enjoy. We continue to brainstorm about new creative programming, so check our website and social media channels for updates,” said Faye McCalmont, Special Assistant to the President for Cultural Affairs at WNMU. The WNMU Cultural Affairs virtual fall 2020 season schedule: — Thursday, September 17, 7 – 8 p.m.: WNMU Zoom Open Mic featuring local musicians — Saturday, October 3, 8 – 10 p.m.: Drive In or Live Stream Voter Registration Concert with Baracutanga (Tailgate and on-site voter registration begins in the Fine Arts Center Theatre parking lot at 6:30 p.m.) — Thursday, October 15, 7 – 8 p.m.: WNMU Zoom Open Mic featuring local musicians — Tuesday, October 27, 7 p.m.: “Live from Light...

WNMU Board of Regents Advances Deming Learning Center Project, Receives Enrollment Report, Hears Program Review Updates

The Western New Mexico University Board of Regents unanimously approved the university’s annual endowment report, capital transmittal for phase one of the Deming Learning Center project, and revised five-year capital outlay plan, also electing a new secretary/treasurer, during a virtual meeting on Thursday morning. WNMU Vice President for Business Affairs Kelley Riddle said the Higher Education Department require the university submit an annual report of endowments. “The Foundation is working with Academic Affairs to promote the use of these funds, including for student scholarships,” she said. Discussing the Deming Learning Center project, Riddle said this transmittal is just for the first phase. “If this is approved through the state board of finance, we will start work in December,” she said. Presenting the Revised 5-Year Capital Outlay Projects and Institutional Capital and Infrastructure Projects, Riddle said, “We continue to revise the plan based on...

Fall Reopening Plan

As the start of a new academic year approaches, we face collective challenges in unprecedented times, but as always, the Western New Mexico University mission of providing meaningful education, training and lifelong learning experiences remain as true today as it did more than a century ago. In all likelihood, we are many months away from developing a vaccine for COVID-19. This is not unusual given the complexities of developing vaccines for viruses and adequately testing them. I share this with you because our way of providing education has been severely disrupted by the pandemic before us and arguably will be so for the fall semester and...

Transcending Borders Film Series Kicks Off Thursday

While the 2020 edition of ¡Fiesta Latina! at Western New Mexico University was canceled, the Artisan Mercado was held online, and the Transcending Borders Film and Discussion Series is also set to occur virtually. A lineup of documentaries on traditional Mexican crafts and techniques, Transcending Borders includes live Zoom discussions with the featured artisans. Hosted by WNMU Cultural Affairs and made possible by New Mexico Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the series will follow as outlined: Thursday, September 10, 2020 Film: Oaxaca Rug Weaving Live Zoom Discussion: 10 a.m. Topic: Oaxaca Dyeing and Rug Weaving in Teotitlan del Valle, presented by master weaver Demetrio Bautista Lazo? Wednesday, October 7, 2020 Film: Rebozos con Pluma of Ahuirán, featuring artisan Albertina Bautista Live Zoom Discussion: 10 a.m. Topic: The Mexican Rebozo – History and artisans of Mexico presented by Latin American tour guide, artisan advocate and...

WNMU Online Social Work Degree Tops List of 533 Accredited Programs

The Western New Mexico University School of Social Work online bachelor of social work program is now ranked No. 1 by TheBestOnlineDegree.com. WNMU tops the 2020 list of the 533 baccalaureate social work programs accredited by Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The methodology was developed with the goal of evaluating programs based on what they advertise, how they serve adult learners, and how they are academically structured to serve students studying at a distance. TheBestOnlineDegree.com currently ranks bachelor of social work programs based on seven categories with weighted percentages in accreditation of the university and the degree program, graduation growth as measured by the number of conferrals over the past five years, fully online completion status, availability to any student in the U.S., no on-campus requirements, and published per-credit hour rate of the academic program. Colleges and universities cannot pay to be ranked by BestOnlineSocialWork.com, which...

WNMU Reopens With Robust Testing Procedures, Isolation Policies

Western New Mexico University reopened this week, welcoming 277 residents to campus over the weekend and beginning the fall semester fully online Monday. In anticipation of students’ return, the university developed stringent policies and procedures to ensure the community’s health during the coronavirus pandemic. “Over the spring and summer months, WNMU put much thought into our reopen plan, which includes robust campus wide procedures aimed at ensuring a safe return to campus for our students, staff and faculty,” said Dr. Isaac Brundage, Vice President for Student Affairs at WNMU. “Maintaining the health and wellbeing of our entire community is being made possible through our close partnership with Hidalgo Medical Services and the continued diligence of our campus and community leaders.” WNMU campus residents were instructed to follow all current public and university-issued health orders as well as present a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result upon arrival to campus....

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...