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[l] at 3/18/21 4:00pm
NMSU amplifies success with Google Tech Exchange program

Date: 03/18/2021
Writer: Minerva Baumann, 575-646-7566, mbauma46@nmsu.edu

New Mexico State University has participated in the Google Tech Exchange program for three of the four years that the program has been in existence. Five NMSU computer science students were selected to participate in 2019, 11 were invited to join the 2021 tech exchange cohort, which this year is completely virtual.

Head and shoulders of a woman
Breanna Widner is among 11 NMSU computer science students selected to participate in the 2021 Google Tech Exchange program. (Courtesy Photo) Head and shoulders of a man
Maximino Robles is among 11 NMSU computer science students chosen to participate in the 2021 Google Tech Exchange program. (Courtesy Photo) Head and shoulders of a woman
Avery Lee is among 11 NMSU computer science students chosen to participate in the 2021 Google Tech Exchange program. (Courtesy Photo)

“Last year, when Google decided to go online due to the pandemic, the students got their choice of going back to their home campus or staying on at Google to complete the program,” said Son Tran, computer science professor and department head. “Some returned home, others remained at Google headquarters near San Francisco to complete the semester.”
This year, the students are able to take up to three Google courses online along with the rest of their NMSU courses.

Previously they enrolled in five Google courses while in residence there.
The 11 NMSU computer science students selected for the 2021 program are: Ziad Arafat, Jesus Barba, Miranda Bishard, Luke Brandes, Isaac Apolonio Duran, Miguel Fernandez, Nicolas Grijalva, Avery Lee, Kevin Olivares, Maximino Robles and Breanna Widner.

Google’s program began with students from only Howard University, a Historically Black College, then added other HBCUs and Hispanic Serving Institutions like NMSU in its second year. So far, 10 HBCUs and HSIs have been invited by Google to participate.

“The Google Tech Exchange program is continuing to expand its efforts with HBCUs and HSIs,” said Enrico Pontelli, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The program not only helps our students to build their computer science skills but also to develop social capital to help them pursue internships and employment after graduation.”

Students are invited to participate in the spring of their sophomore year. With optional classes, they may continue studying with Google throughout the summer and fall semester. The students are assigned projects and have Google mentors and access to professional skills training.
Nicolas Grijalva is a New Mexico native who chose NMSU because of access to financial support and the close proximity of his family. He is set to graduate in Spring 2022 and plans to learn all he can from the tech exchange. “I’m excited to learn job/interview skills that I can utilize in my future career,” Grijalva said. “I am also excited to be learning in a Google environment.”

Under a dual degree program, Breanna Widner plans to graduate with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from NMSU by December 2022. She got interested through the Young Women in Computing program at NMSU, an outreach effort for middle and high school girls in the region. Widner says YWiC is the reason she chose NMSU. Through the Google Tech Exchange, she hopes to gain much more.

“First, the skills I will gain from this program are very valuable, such as technical interviewing skills and learning all about how programs are designed to interact with people,” Widner said. “These skills will allow me to be prepared for getting and excelling at internships and later jobs. Second, learning from people who are working in the industry gives me the opportunity to learn about applications of these skills and possible career paths for me. And third, it allows me to network and get to know people who are actually in the jobs I may want to pursue someday.”

Miguel Fernandez, who grew up in Las Cruces, hopes the experience will land him a job as a game designer or software engineer.

“Google Tech Exchange is valuable to me as a student because it will help teach me interview skills, how to act, and what to expect, as well as building connections I can use in the future when applying for a job,” Fernandez said. “I expect to gain the skills to be able to nail any interview I go to in the future, whether it be for Google or another company.”

Avery Lee grew up on a ranch in House, New Mexico. The networking with Googlers is what she believes is most valuable, considering the competitive nature of the job market she expects to find when she graduates in 2022.

“Overall, this program has helped me gain confidence and feel more comfortable in my role as a computer scientist,” Lee said. “It gives me much-needed exposure to the field and allows me to network with other computer scientists across the nation. It helps me see how the skills that I’m learning in college will apply to my future workplace, and how to hone those skills to fit requirements from big tech companies.”

Maximino Robles grew up in Sonora, Mexico on his parents’ conservation ranch. He plans to graduate from NMSU in May 2022 with a major in computer science and a minor in philosophy.

“I'm interested in the overlapping relationship between computers, brains and minds,” Robles said. “Along the same lines, it's clear that computers have forever shifted our landscape, and we still haven't fully assimilated all that they can offer and all that they can't offer.”

Ziad Arafat, a Lebanese American born in New Mexico, will graduate with a major in computer science and a minor in either neuroscience or geology. His main interest is artificial intelligence.

“Many of the professors here are highly passionate about teaching and always try to create a challenging learning environment for me,” Arafat said. “With Google, I hope to get more hands-on experience in programming and project management and develop strong communication skills. I also hope specifically to learn how to work more effectively in a fully remote learning and working environment.”

Pontelli has watched the program grow over the past few years and he expects it to continue.
“Our students love the program,” Pontelli said. “We would like to see it expand to include more of our computer science students in the future.”



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[l] at 3/12/21 4:00pm
NMSU Board of Regents to meet March 24

Date: 03/12/2021
Writer: Carlos Andres Lopez, 575-646-1955, carlopez@nmsu.edu

The Board of Regents of New Mexico State University will hold a regular meeting at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 24. Due to public health emergency mandates issued by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the meeting will be available via webcast. In compliance with the Open Meetings Act, copies of the agenda will be made available at least 72 hours prior to the meeting and accessible at https://regents.nmsu.edu/agenda/.

The meeting will be available by webcast at https://panopto.nmsu.edu/bor/.

Public comment will be available at this meeting. For additional information about the meeting or participating in public comment, contact the Office of the Board of Regents at 575-646-5997 or regents@nmsu.edu.

If you are an individual with a disability who needs a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter, or any other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the hearing or meeting, contact the Board of Regents Office at least three days prior to the meeting, or as soon as possible. Public documents, including the agenda and minutes, may also be provided in various accessible formats. Contact the Board of Regents Office if a summary or other type of accessible format is needed.



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[l] at 3/10/21 4:00pm
NMSU animation program ranked among top 25 in nation

Date: 03/10/2021
Writer: Minerva Baumann, 575-646-7566, mbauma46@nmsu.edu

New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute animation program is again ranked among the top programs in public colleges in the country. NMSU has placed among the top schools in Animation Career Review’s rankings over the past 10 years. The organization considered nearly 200 programs across the country this year. The 2021 rankings list NMSU’s animation program 22nd nationally, seventh regionally and number one in New Mexico.

Frog and Toad’s roaming Oak animation scenery
Examples of animation scenery created by Mazatl Aguilar. (Courtesy photo) Slofaryn Kingdom fishing and boat building
Examples of animation by T.J. Cousler. (Courtesy Photo) Examples of animation Fantasy Landscape
Examples of animation by Brandon Trevizo. (Courtesy photo)

“CMI offers a very high-quality education at a very affordable price,” said Eddie Bakshi, who specializes in teaching 2-D animation production at CMI. “We offer access to industry standard software, taught by highly skilled professors, many of whom have worked on popular movies or TV shows.”

“What we do at CMI is a really fun delivery system for a variety of skills that are useful in all areas, including entertainment,” said Amy Lanasa, professor and department head of NMSU’s Creative Media Institute. “One of the reasons the animation program is so popular right now is that there are a lot of students who understand that the future will be a place where we need the skills you can learn in this program.”

Animation Career Review considers animation programs in degree-granting institutions with the exception of two-year community colleges. The criteria evaluated include academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and breadth of program faculty, value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness, graduation rate, geographic location and employment data. Since 2020, the employment data is now given significantly more weight in the ranking formula than in previous years.

The criterion of geographic location is considered because students who attend school in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Orlando, New York, Chicago, Boston, Austin, and a few others have a distinct advantage over students in other parts of the country in terms of employment opportunities.

Mazatl Aguilar will be graduating in May with a CMI degree in animation from NMSU. Aguilar was drawn to the animation program and the variety of skills that come together in 3-D animation. NMSU’s affordability was also an important factor in that decision.

“Honestly, I did not know what I was getting into when I chose to go to the animation program at NMSU,” Aguilar said. “I had no experience, no knowledge of the animation world. I could never have gotten where I am now without being surrounded by instructors who have put in the time and energy to learn their skills and had the passion to share it with me. I am very lucky to have gotten into CMI. My life would’ve been very different.”

Bakshi explained the animation students who graduate from the CMI program can apply the skills they have learned to a wide variety of fields. They are not limited to entertainment, but are useful in almost any profession dealing with visual media.

T.J. Cousler will graduate from NMSU’s animation program at the end of this semester and plans to pursue a career in the gaming industry. “I chose the animation program at NMSU because I wanted to tell stories. CMI delivered on that hope tenfold. I now have a solid footing in a craft I'm deeply passionate about and am also equipped with the technical and professional skills I need to push forward in my career.”

Lanasa is proud that NMSU’s animation and visual effects program has grown in popularity every semester. She said the demand for the animation program is so high she has to waitlist more students than they can accept during every application period. In addition, there are a number of students in other majors at NMSU who want to get a minor in animation.

Brandon Trevizo will graduate with a degree in animation in May 2022. He applied to schools across the country but chose NMSU to avoid what he called “crippling debt.”

Once he entered the program, Trevizo found it was the right place to learn animation.

“The NMSU animation program has so many resources, from the labs to your peers. The program also respects your emphasis but will ultimately make you a jack of all trades, preparing you for various careers and opening even more doors for you,” Trevizo said. “You always hear about these giant art schools that cost and arm and a leg to attend, but honestly, they can only do so much; it is really up to the individual. At NMSU, you as an individual feel like you are part of a great talented network.

“It really makes me glad to be a part of it all and I would recommend it to anyone who asks if it is worth it. I am grateful for my peers and professors and would choose the NMSU animation program again.”

Editor's Note Photos of two of the animation students quoted in this article are also available.

Photo is available at: https://photo.nmsu.edu/news/43016/Mazatl Aguilar.jpg

CUTLINE: Mazatl Aguilar is graduating in May with a degree in animation from New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute. The program was ranked in the top 25 in the country among public colleges and universities. (Courtesy photo)

Image Alt: Head and shoulders of a person

Photo is available at: https://photo.nmsu.edu/news/43017/TJCousler.png

CUTLINE: T.J. Cousler is a student in the animation program at NMSU, which was ranked in the top 25 in the country among public colleges and universities. (Courtesy photo)

Image Alt: Head and shoulders of a person

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[l] at 3/9/21 4:00pm
NMSU engineering professors rank among top 2% in their research fields worldwide

Date: 03/09/2021
Writer: Linda Fresques, 575-646-7416, lfresque@nmsu.edu

Engineering professors from New Mexico State University have earned the distinction of being among the top 2% of scientists worldwide as measured by the impact of their research publications. The engineering authors were identified in a worldwide database of top scientists created by Stanford University and recently published in the journal Public Library of Science Biology.

NMSU’s Foreman Engineering Complex building
The engineering authors were identified in a worldwide database of top scientists created by Stanford University and recently published in the journal Public Library of Science Biology. (NMSU Photo by Darren Phillips)

“Our faculty are at the forefront of several key research areas in engineering. They are among the best of our peers in terms of research productivity. The number of publications per faculty and number of citations, place our researchers very competitively among our peers,” said Lakshmi N. Reddi, dean of the College of Engineering.

John P.A. Ioannidis, professor at Stanford University, led the creation of the database which ranks the most cited authors across all scientific disciplines. The publicly available database classifies the publications in 22 scientific fields with 176 subfields.

The study lists the top 100,000 scientists in all fields. The data also include scientists who are not in the top 100,000 of all research disciplines, but are within the top 2% of scientists of their main subfield discipline, assessing career-long citation impact up until the end of 2019 and for citation impact during the single calendar year 2019.

Earning a place among the world’s top 2% scientists ranked in their specific research subfields over their entire career as well as for the year 2019 are the following NMSU engineering professors.

Associate Professor Abdessattar Abdelkefi, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering: aerospace and aeronautics

Abdelkefi was a top grant awardee in the mechanical engineering department for the past fiscal year, garnering $634,482 through 11 multidisciplinary projects. He leads the Nonlinear Dynamics and Energy Harvesting Laboratory conducting research on multidisciplinary projects such as environmental testing, nonlinear dynamics, uncertainty quantification, and characterization of dynamical systems including pipeline conveying fluids, energy harvesters, wind turbines, drones and nano-systems.

Professor Igor Sevostianov, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering: mechanical engineering and transports

Sevostianov’s research interests are in the quantitative characterization of microstructures of non-homogeneous materials, microstructure-properties relationships, and connections between different physical properties. His research has important implications in additive manufacturing, radiation damage control, development of new materials for bone implants, etc.

Sevostianov is currently director of NMSU Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) to the Post-doctorate Program funded by the National Institutes of Health for $3.3 million (2018-2022). He is also principal investigator on four grants funded by NASA, National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture with a total amount of more than $1.5 million of extramural funding and co-principal investigator in several other projects.

Professor Jaime Ramirez-Angulo, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: electrical and electronic engineering

Ramirez-Angulo works in the design and testing of analog and mixed-signal very large-scale integration (VLSI) microelectronic systems. He is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Life Fellow and Outstanding Achievement Professor. He was recipient of the Westhafer and University Research Council Awards at NMSU and has published 600 papers in his specialty area.

Professor Nagamany Nirmalakhandan, Department of Civil Engineering: biotechnology

Nirmalakhandan was co-principal investigator of a multi-disciplinary team leading the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Re-inventing America’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt). Beginning in 2011, NSF funded $36.7 million in the center over 10 years. Nirmalakhandan continues to receive funding under ReNUWIt and associated projects.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department Head Jay I. Frankel: mechanical engineering and transports

Frankel is the newly appointed department head and R. Myers Endowed Professor of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. Frankel is internationally recognized for his contributions in heat transfer analysis, inverse problems and design, advanced data reduction methods, uncertainty propagation, applied mathematics and experimental design. Presently, he is working to develop a new class of calorimeters for aerospace applications.

Other engineering professors who ranked among the top 2% for citations in their specific subfields during the year 2019 follow.

Professor Pei Xu, Department of Civil Engineering: environmental engineering

Xu’s research focuses on developing innovative technologies for sustainable water reuse and desalination funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, water utilities and industry. She was awarded $950,612 in funding for her water research during the past fiscal year. She is the research director of the New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium and leads NMSU’s efforts on the National Alliance for Water Innovation team that received a U.S. Department of Energy five-year, $100 million grant to create the Energy-Water Desalination Hub.

Associate Professor Tom Manz, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering: organic chemistry

Manz received a National Science Foundation Career Award in 2016. He leads a group focused on the creation of new computational methods to expand modeling capabilities of physical and chemical interactions that could be used in a variety of applications.

Professor Zohrab Samani, Department of Civil Engineering: environmental engineering

Samani has more than 40 years of experience in teaching and research on remote sensing, water management, irrigation systems design, groundwater hydrology and international technology transfer. He has worked in 18 different countries promoting water management technologies. Samani received the American Society of Civil Engineers best paper award in 2019. Samani has received two patents on renewable energy and liquid organic fertilizer. Samani is currently working on an organic anti-icer for transportation application, through a National Science Foundation-funded project.

Professor David Voelz, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: optoelectronics and photonics

Voelz performs research on optical imaging, spectral and polarimetric sensing, laser beam propagation, atmospheric turbulence and free space communications. He has published extensively on numerical physical (wave) optics methods for modeling the propagation of light and image formation through turbulence. Other contributions include experimental work on optical sensing technologies and astronomical instrumentation.

The Stanford University study published in the journal Public Library of Science Biology (PLoS) can be found at https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000918. all tables and information can be accessed at https://data.mendeley.com/datasets/btchxktzyw/2.



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[l] at 3/8/21 4:00pm
NMSU researcher studies benefits of motor skills, physical activity across the lifespan

Date: 03/08/2021
Writer: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957, adchavez@nmsu.edu

An associate professor in New Mexico State University’s Department of Kinesiology is examining how and why children move in hopes of promoting physical activity well into adulthood.

Head and shoulders of a woman
Larissa True, an associate professor in New Mexico State University’s Department of Kinesiology and Dance, researchers how and why children move the way they do, and how to better promote physical activity well into adulthood. (NMSU photo by Josh Bachman)

Larissa True joined the NMSU faculty last fall from the State University of New York – Cortland. True’s areas of expertise are motor development, statistics and research methods.

“We are very excited to have Dr. True join the Department of Kinesiology,” said Joseph M. Berning, head of the kinesiology department. “Her experience and background bring a rare combination that will benefit both undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of motor development and statistics. In her short time here, she has already made great strides in the contribution to the advancement of our department, and we look forward to a great future with her on the team.”

True earned her Ph.D. in kinesiology with a concentration in motor development from Michigan State University, where she studied with Karin Pfeiffer, a renowned physical activity researcher.

“While I was at Michigan State, I wanted to look deeper into how kids move and why they move the way they do,” True said. “Think back to when you were a little kid in P.E. class. You had the superstars over here, but the kids who are struggling are over here. Why is that?”

True said while researching the topic, she learned about a link between genetics and movement. She became interested in a protein called the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, that is encoded by the BDNF gene.

“All humans secrete BDNF, and this is important because its secretion leads to synaptic plasticity, which lends itself to learning new skills and then remembering how to do those skills,” True said.

True said the BDNF gene can be expressed in different ways. For example, someone with the polymorphism, a genetic variation, would not secrete as much BDNF as someone without the polymorphism.

“With my dissertation, I wanted to see if physical activity would somehow override the effects of having the polymorphism,” True said. “Turns out, it does.”

True said she found children with the polymorphism who became more physically active showed motor skills at the same level as children without the polymorphism.

“It gives us a good way to promote physical activity, because the more active you are, the more you’re secreting BDNF and the quicker you should be able to learn and relearn motor skills,” True said.

True’s research primarily involves assessing the polymorphism and its effects among schoolchildren. That assessment involves the use of spit kits to find out which gene expression a child has. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, True hasn’t been able to conduct those assessments, and has shifted her focus on college students, including student-athletes.

“I’ve published a paper that was written with a former master’s student of mine,” True said. “We looked at physical fitness, motor competence and perceived competence, which is a person’s individual perception of how good they think they are at certain skills.”

True said they have found college student-athletes perceive themselves as better movers, and are better movers compared to average college students.

“So much of that has to do with what happened when they were kids,” True said. “Physical activity tends to decrease over the course of a lifespan, but if we can encourage kids to be active as youth, the idea is if you learn how to move and you learn how to move properly, you’re going to want to do it more as you get older. That’s human nature. We tend to not do things we aren’t good at.”

What is concerning, True said, is because of COVID-19 and the move to online learning, physical education classes are being cut.

“Kids need those, especially as kids get into middle school,” True said. “There’s a ton of research in all different areas, especially in scholastic achievement, that state kids do better in school when they have a chance to move.”

To read more about this research, visit https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4663/8/12/158.



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[l] at 3/4/21 4:00pm
Arrowhead Innovation Fund announces investment in hybrid event management company Circa

Date: 03/04/2021
Writer: Cassie McClure, 575-312-3242, cassie@mcclurepublications.com

Arrowhead Innovation Fund, housed at New Mexico State University, has announced an investment into Circa, an event management platform built to help marketing teams succeed in the new world of virtual and hybrid events.

Circa company logo
Arrowhead Innovation Fund, housed at New Mexico State University, has announced an investment into Circa, an event management platform built to help marketing teams succeed in the new world of virtual and hybrid events. (Courtesy)

“The event industry is experiencing a rapid metamorphosis. Circa has a solution for enterprise companies with a hybrid in-person and virtual event strategy, whether they’re hosting or sponsoring the events,” Beto Pallares, AIF fund manager, said. “Their management team is experienced and has already raised funds from angels in New Mexico and Silicon Valley. We want to support a business that is already generating revenue and diversifies AIF’s portfolio.”

Circa, formerly branded as EventGeek, a Y Combinator-backed startup, pivoted during the COVID-19 changes and integrated virtual events into its in-person event management system. While it used similar technology, 80 percent of the platform was redone to offer more flexibility and capture different audiences.

“Companies are starting to think beyond 2020. If they’re going to get back to in-person events that have the competitive advantage of in-person sales and partnership meeting, but also capture the cost efficiencies and exponential reach from virtual events, the answer is hybrid,” said Alex Patriquin, founder and CEO of Circa.

Since March 2020, Circa has helped enterprise marketing teams transition from 40,000 in-person events to events held virtually and a hybrid of in-person and virtual.

Circa’s cloud-based solution helps enterprises with dozens to thousands of events reset their strategy with event templates and data-driven insights, powered by integrations with Zoom, GoTo, Webex, On24, and leading videoconference, marketing, and CRM solutions. Circa customers include world-class enterprises such as Salesforce, Okta, Honda, Farmers Insurance and Elsevier.

AIF has commitments for a total investment of $800,000 from New Mexico’s Catalyst Fund, a $20 million “fund of funds” to support New Mexico companies, and $500,000 from the NMSU Foundation, as well as a $300,000 grant through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies program and other private investors.

AIF stands at $2 million in commitments and is looking for companies with entrepreneurs fully committed to growing and scaling their company and who are seeking between $25,000 and $200,000 in investment toward their total seed round fundraising target.

For more information about AIF, visit www.aifvc.com, or contact Carlos Murguia at carlos@aifvc.com or 575-405-1042. For more information about Circa, visit http://circa.co/.



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[l] at 3/4/21 4:00pm
Unidos. United. website launches to enhance NMSU climate, culture

Date: 03/04/2021
Writer: Tiffany Acosta, 575-646-3929, tfrank@nmsu.edu

As a result of a climate study conducted at New Mexico State University in 2019, a new website, Unidos. United., was established to improve internal communications and to motivate, celebrate and educate the campus community.

Screenshot of website with state of New Mexico outlined in Crimson with text Unidos. United. NMSU in white.
New Mexico State University has launched a new website, Unidos. United., to improve internal communications and to motivate, celebrate and educate the campus community. (NMSU photo)

The Climate Study Action Team designed the new site, https://united.nmsu.edu, which launched in February.

“The website celebrates the NMSU employment community and gives faculty and staff a voice that is intended to identify opportunities for positive change,” said Gena Jones, assistant vice president for Human Resource Services.

Jones said a goal of the website is to create an environment of unity and community by illustrating and celebrating NMSU faculty and staff along with acknowledging university accomplishments. The Aggie-centered website is intended as a tool to improve and sustain a climate of collaboration, support and respect.

“Our Unidos. United. website is important because it impacts everyone at NMSU and it correlates with LEADS 2025 – together we support each other to increase student success and social mobility; together we learn from each other and elevate research and creativity; together we amplify Extension and outreach; and with Unidos. United. we need to be transparent in our communication which increases respect, develops trust and leads to building a robust university system – Aggie Nation,” said Rosa De La Torre-Burmeister, TRIO Upward Bound Program director and Climate Study Action Team member.

As a faculty member, Becky Corran, Humanities and Social Sciences department chair at Doña Ana Community College, said she understands the need for an outlet for faculty and staff to share opportunities for engagement while building community.

“A website that helps communicate important information broadly and gives faculty and staff ways to provide feedback promotes transparency and trust,” said Corran, who also is a Climate Study Action Team member.

Unidos. United. features sections such as Crimson Values, Crimson Community, Aggie Heroes, Aggie Forever and Aggie Voice. Enterprise Instructional Technology Administrator Sonia White said Unidos. United. allows NMSU to improve communications with current and future employees.

“The Aggie Voice section is where employees have the opportunity to provide feedback and provide NMSU with recommendations on how to create change,” said White, a Climate Study Action Team member. “I believe that it is important to remember that together, we can build a more robust university.”

Marketing and Communications, the Climate Study Action Team and Human Resource Services are charged with maintaining the website.

To learn more, visit the Unidos. United. website at https://united.nmsu.edu.



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[l] at 3/3/21 4:00pm
Arrowhead Center at NMSU welcomes new director of innovation commercialization

Date: 03/03/2021
Writer: Cassie McClure, 575-312-3242, cassie@mcclurepublications.com

Patricia Marquez Knighten has been named director of Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University’s Innovation Commercialization, and will work to expand and enhance the work of taking research from NMSU’s faculty, staff and students to a global market.

Woman standing with arms crossed
Patricia Marquez Knighten has been named director of Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University’s Innovation Commercialization, and will work to expand and enhance the work of taking research from NMSU’s faculty, staff and students to a global market. (Courtesy photo)

“Assembling a diverse team during the early stages of development yields the best opportunities to tailor innovations to serve both scholarly and commercial interest,” said Kathryn Hansen, Arrowhead Center director.

Part of Arrowhead Center’s mission is to provide graduate students with focused, directed learning experiences in technology commercialization. The programs also work to enable the wider NMSU community to use the resources available.

"We aim to have development and commercialization work hand-in-hand when we can identify promising inventions and innovations," Hansen said.

Having worked in small business, high-tech start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, federal research laboratories, and government agencies, Knighten brings diverse business and program development experience. Her experience in technology commercialization has involved developing and implementing advancement strategies for government and business. She has been the key business liaison for technical teams in the aerospace, environmental, nuclear and information technology industry sectors.

Knighten, enthusiastic in supporting New Mexico’s tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem, led the reinstatement of New Mexico’s Office of Science and Technology, where she conceptualized and published “Innovate NM – NM Science and Technology Plan,” and enabled the creation of the Catalyst Fund of Funds for New Mexico startup companies. Knighten designed and executed a Technology Accelerator Pilot Program, demonstrating the Lean Startup Methodology for hardware-based technology projects.

“Our efforts at Arrowhead Center align with the strategic plan for NMSU across the board,” Knighten said. “It’s incentivizing an entrepreneurial culture and creating more partnerships with industry of all kinds, small and large, to leverage the university research. We want to promote the conversion of research into products with commercial potential that can be used for the greater good.”

“With industry relationships in place, more robust activity can occur. In other words, it's easier to commercialize research if there is a pipeline to the market,” she said.

Knighten said in moving from research to product, obtaining investment funding can be the most challenging. With help from the Arrowhead Center team, researchers will have a better footing during the initial development phases.

“A long-standing rule of thumb is that for every dollar spent on research, $10 are spent on development and $100 to commercialize,” she said. “Commercialization risks and costs can be reduced with forward leaning market and product development approaches. Arrowhead already offers a strong suite of commercialization activities and is in a strong position for impactful expansion to support building the next economy.”

Knighten is focused on leveraging the New Mexico’s strengths and expanding NMSU’s entrepreneurial footprint.

“When you think about national and global security concerns, the food, water, and energy nexus is at the forefront,” Knighten said. “The agricultural efforts at NMSU are going to be a crucial part of our state’s future and it’s up to the collaboration between NMSU researchers, Arrowhead Center and business partners to align innovations that bringing solutions to that problem space. These should be exciting times.”

“We have tremendous resources, human and natural, in the state. I believe it’s time for an alignment of creativity and implementation of new sustainable economic models and NMSU is well positioned to be on the forefront of that,” Knighten said.



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[l] at 3/3/21 4:00pm
NMSU STEM Outreach Center to apply for federal funds to support programs

Date: 03/03/2021
Writer: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957, adchavez@nmsu.edu

The STEM Outreach Center at New Mexico State University intends to apply for a five-year grant to continue and extend support for school districts in Doña Ana County, Grant County and Hidalgo County beginning in the fall.

The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center grant would support the development of after-school programs in Las Cruces, Hatch, Gadsden, Silver City, Cobre and Lordsburg school districts. These programs provide academic support and enrichment opportunities to support literacy and science, technology, engineering and math learning designed to reinforce topics introduced during the students’ traditional learning day.

The grant is offered to high need schools through the New Mexico Public Education Department through the national 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. The STEM Outreach Center will partner with the school districts listed above and other organizations such as Ngage New Mexico, Cruces Creatives, STEAMing Ahead for Success and La Semilla Food Center to provide a wide range of community resources.

For more information regarding the proposal submission, contact Sara Morales at smorales@nmsu.edu or the STEM Outreach Center at 575-646-2755.



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[l] at 3/3/21 4:00pm
NMSU contributes to reforestation study urging US to ramp up tree production

Date: 03/03/2021
Writer: Jon Schwedler, 916-769-4728, jschwedler@tnc.org

In order to realize the full potential of reforestation in the United States, the nation’s tree nurseries need to increase seedling production by an additional 1.7 billion each year, a 2.4-fold increase over current nursery production.

Man smiles
Owen Burney, superintendent of the NMSU John T. Harrington Forestry Research Center at Mora, contributed to a new study published by the science journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

These numbers, taken from a new study co-authored by a New Mexico State University researcher and 17 other scientists from across the U.S., show the promise of increased nursery output as a way to fight climate change, create jobs, and recover from uncharacteristically severe wildfires.

With more than 200,000 square miles in the U.S. suitable for reforestation, ramping up nursery production could offer big benefits for the climate. Restoring forests is an important nature-based solution to climate change and a compliment to the critical work of reducing fossil fuel emissions.

“To meet the need for reforestation, we’ll need to invest in more trees, more nurseries, more seed collection, and a bigger workforce,” said the study’s lead author, Joe Fargione of The Nature Conservancy. “In return we’ll get carbon storage, clean water, clean air and habitat for wildlife.”

NMSU plays a critical role in reforestation efforts through research currently underway at the John T. Harrington Forestry Research Center at Mora. Owen Burney, associate professor and superintendent of the forestry research center, contributed to the new study, published by the science journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change.

“We are at a pivotal moment in time where we can make a huge impact on the battle against climate change. Sadly, the greatest tool we have to fight this battle is incomplete,” Burney said. “Therefore, it is critical that we invest in the entire reforestation pipeline to address the urgency and scale of the climate problem while simultaneously supporting water resources, forest products, wildlife habitat, recreation, and many other valuable resources forests provide.”

To illustrate the requirements for increasing reforestation capacity in the U.S., the researchers identified 64 million acres of natural and agricultural lands, approximately 50 percent of the total reforestation opportunity. Accounting for different planting densities by region, it would require 30 billion trees to reforest these lands. This equates to 1.7 billion more tree seedlings produced each year for this land to be reforested by 2040.

To achieve this large increase, investment is required across the entire reforestation “pipeline.” Additional investment would be needed to expand capacity for seed collection and storage, tree nursery expansion, workforce development, and improvements in pre- and post-planting practices. The investments will create jobs in rural communities, not only in nurseries but across the whole spectrum of reforestation activities.

There are several existing reforestation programs in the U.S. that could be scaled up to put the new study’s information to work. On public lands this includes the Reforestation Trust Fund, which can be enhanced via the soon-to-be-introduced federal REPLANT Act to fully fund reforestation of America’s national forests. On private lands, they include the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Reserve Program, as well as state conservation agency cost-share programs.

In New Mexico, Senate Bill 180 is currently making its way through the New Mexico Legislature. The bill is designed to create a joint agreement between the Forestry Division of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department and will include the Agricultural Experiment Station at New Mexico State University, the UNM Department of Biology and the Department of Forestry at New Mexico Highlands University to create the "New Mexico Reforestation Center.”

The goal of the New Mexico Reforestation Center is to address the impacts of climate change on the state's forests and meet the state's current and future reforestation needs through the establishment of a seed bank program, a nursery program and a planting program. The bill will help position New Mexico as a regional leader in meeting the private and public land reforestation needs of the southwestern U.S.

“Wildfires and insect outbreaks are being exacerbated by climate change and natural tree regeneration is being limited by the size of these disturbances,” said Matthew Hurteau, associate professor in the Department of Biology at UNM. “Planting is the only way we will reestablish forest cover in many of these areas and our lack of national nursery capacity is going to create a real bottleneck in seedling supply.”

Jon Schwedler is a writer for The Nature Conservancy.



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[l] at 3/3/21 4:00pm
NMSU Arrowhead Center helps Just Health Care secure competitive NSF grant

Date: 03/03/2021
Writer: Stephanie Garcia, 575-646-4965, stephgar@nmsu.edu

A New Mexico health care company has received a competitive quarter-million-dollar grant to develop its product, thanks to support from the New Mexico Federal and State Technology partnership program at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center.


PainScan is a highly technical medical device that uses computer vision and a sophisticated clinician glove to fully map a patient’s pain intensity. (Courtesy photo)
The PainScan device helps clinicians visualize the full pain picture to improve diagnostic accuracy and identify best therapies. (Courtesy photo)

Just Health Care LLC has been awarded a National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research grant for $256,000 to conduct research and development work on a new biomedical device that measures and maps pain intensity onto a 3-D image of the human body.

Just Health Care has been providing medical services to uninsured and low-income New Mexicans since 2003. Clinicians developed integrative health approaches to chronic pain for patients, often helping patients get off opioid medications. Through these experiences, Dr. Andru Zeller envisioned PainScan, a highly technical medical device that uses computer vision and a sophisticated clinician glove to fully map a patient’s pain intensity.

“We are so proud that our New Mexico business has been selected by NSF and that we can continue our ground-breaking research into improving health outcomes for people suffering with chronic pain,” Zeller said. “This ‘Hi-tech, hi-touch’ approach personalizes the physical exam, improves patient care and can help direct patients to non-opioid solutions. This new technology helps clinicians visualize the full pain picture to improve diagnostic accuracy and identify best therapies.”

Zeller said the global chronic pain treatment market is currently worth about $83 billion and expected to reach $152 billion by 2030. “PainScan is positioned at the confluence of rising senior populations, escalating chronic diseases, and favorable policies around pain research and treatment,” he said.

Just Health Care CEO John Mierzwa said the PainScan device and resultant data provide practitioners and their patients with unprecedented tools to personalize and improve patient care.

“We look forward to integrating modern technologies to advance an age-old quest – alleviating chronic pain,” Mierzwa said.

The NM FAST partnership program at Arrowhead Center provides proposal development assistance to small businesses throughout New Mexico for the SBIR program, which awarded funding to Just Health Care, and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. The SBIR/STTR programs are often referred to as “America’s Seed Fund,” and are highly competitive source of undiluted funding for businesses. NM FAST provides the resources, support, and expertise necessary to submit a competitive proposal.

“Being able to help businesses like Just Health Care find funding for their innovative idea with commercial potential is one of the hallmarks of the NM FAST program, whether it is guiding them through the SBIR/STTR programs, helping them structure their proposal package, or even reviewing it before it is submitted,” said Del Mackey, a member of the NM FAST team at Arrowhead Center. “It’s always delightful to know that the support we provide is helping to build the innovation ecosystem across New Mexico, and impacts the economic outlook for our state.”

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant, it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant of up to one million dollars. Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, division director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

Startups or entrepreneurs who submit a three-page project pitch will know within three weeks if they meet the program’s objectives to support innovative technologies that show promise of commercial or societal impact and involve a level of technical risk. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process. To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit https://seedfund.nsf.gov.

For more information about Pain Scan, visit www.PainScanSystem.com.



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[l] at 3/2/21 4:00pm
NMSU Career Services to host 17th annual Employment Extravaganza

Date: 03/02/2021
Writer: Trish Leyba, 575-646-1631, employer@nmsu.edu

New Mexico State University’s Office of Experiential Learning will host the 17th annual Employment Extravaganza Career Fair March 10. This virtual career event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. via Handshake. Employers looking to recruit talented candidates can register in Handshake as well as set up schedules to meet with candidates individually or in group sessions.

This year’s Employment Extravaganza event provides candidates and numerous public and private employers a platform for recruitment through virtual, face-to-face interaction. In addition, it provides NMSU students the opportunity to connect with potential employers recruiting for internships and co-ops or possible volunteer and community service. Employers in need of these alternative experiential opportunities are invited to attend. Some of the employers schedule to attend this year’s Employment Extravaganza include Los Alamos National Laboratory, Nusenda Credit Union, New Mexico Workforce Connections, City of Las Cruces, Air Force Civilian Service and Genesis HealthCare.

Students, alumni and guests must create a Handshake account in order to access the virtual career fair. Handshake is accessible on the OEL website at oel.nmsu.edu. The website also offers employers and students additional resources to assist with recruitment and job search. It is recommended that students research potential employers in advance and dress professionally the day of the fair. Resumes should be up to date and ready for upload during the fair. The Center for Academic Advising and Student Support offers assistance with resume review and interview preparation. For more information on career preparation, contact Roseanne Bensley at 575-646-5374 or schedule an appointment via Handshake.

For more information, contact NMSU Office of Experiential Learning at 575-646-1631 or email employer@nmsu.edu.



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[l] at 3/1/21 4:00pm
NMSU to launch Center for Border Economic Development

Date: 03/01/2021
Writer: Carlos Andres Lopez, 575-646-1955, carlopez@nmsu.edu

New Mexico State University’s College of Business will house a new resource hub dedicated to promoting business expansion and economic development along New Mexico’s southern border region.

Man standing behind whiteboard.
New Mexico State University economics professor Christopher Erickson will launch the Center for Border Economic Development, a new resource hub dedicated to promoting business expansion and economic development along New Mexico’s southern border region. (NMSU photo by Josh Bachman) Headshot of woman.
Lucinda Vargas, a former Federal Reserve economist and postdoc researcher, is helping to launch the Center for Border Economic Development in the New Mexico State University College of Business. (Courtesy)

Planning is well underway for the Center for Border Economic Development, or C-BED, a new project spearheaded by longtime NMSU economics professor Christopher Erickson.

“C-BED will identify impediments to border business expansion and economic development and bring to bear the resources of NMSU to help overcome those impediments,” said Erickson, head of NMSU’s Department of Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business.

“In our conversations with private businesses and organizations, we identified a need for economic analysis and data along this region,” he added. “We, of course, plan on being a source for data as we move forward with setting up the center.”

Erickson said the center remains in its early stages, but his overarching goal is to further economic development in Doña Ana, Luna and Hidalgo counties.

Recent expansion of international trade has not resulted in a commensurate increase in employment and growth along the New Mexico southern border region, Erickson said. For example, he said, overall trade at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry totaled more than $30 billion in 2019, an increase of 17.4 percent over 2018. But gross domestic product lags in other key border areas across southern New Mexico, he added.

“Our center will work closely with businesses, governments, NGOs and other border stakeholders to identify impediments to economic development and propose solutions to help overcome those impediments,” he said.

Erickson will fund the center’s first year with funding associated with the Garrey E. and Katherine T. Carruthers Chair in Economic Development. Additional funding will come from the NMSU Community Outreach work-study program. He recently hired one full-time employee, Lucinda Vargas, a former Federal Reserve economist and postdoc researcher, to help launch the center, as well as an undergraduate work-study student.

“A key aim of C-BED is to address a void that exists right now when it comes to data and resources on border economic development,” Vargas said. “NMSU’s strategic location along the U.S.-Mexico border needs to be more fully exploited in terms of opportunities for applied research and cross-border collaborations that capitalize on its border context. C-BED can step in to help bring a lot of these opportunities to fruition.”

For the center’s first project, Erickson and Vargas are creating a database of resources for border businesses facing economic uncertainty due to the pandemic. Once complete, the database will be accessible for free on a public website. Erickson and Vargas will likely collaborate with the New Mexico Border Authority to develop and launch the site.

“Right now, we’re developing data pages on how to recover from the impact of the pandemic,” he said. “We’re also looking at the effects of the pandemic on border traffic and activities along the border. With this information, we hope to develop insights that will allow us to help people, businesses and governments recover from the pandemic.”

C-BED also plans to partner with NMSU personnel from the colleges of Business, Engineering and Arts and Sciences on projects to promote business expansion in the border region.

Jim Hoffman, dean of the College of Business, praised Erickson for his efforts to further economic development in New Mexico.

“C-BED will be an invaluable resource to the business community in the border region. It will shed light and understanding on one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy,” Hoffman said. “It will also help NMSU reach its long-term strategic goals of becoming a leader in economic and community development and using research-based approaches to solve global challenges.”



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[l] at 3/1/21 4:00pm
NMSU Provost announces visiting senior fellow for Global Affairs

Date: 03/01/2021
Writer: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957, adchavez@nmsu.edu

New Mexico State University is welcoming former U.S. Ambassador Delano E. Lewis as visiting senior fellow for Global Affairs, NMSU Provost Carol Parker announced today.

Head and shoulders of a man
New Mexico State University Provost Carol Parker has named former U.S. Ambassador Delano E. Lewis as visiting senior fellow for Global Affairs. (Courtesy photo)

“In this role, Ambassador Lewis will share his knowledge and experience in global affairs through guest lectures, hosting of conferences, seminars and workshops on relevant international issues impacting our community, the state and the nation, all aimed at helping to bring a global perspective across all academic levels, and advance the mission of expanding and enhancing the knowledge and skills of all students in preparation for success in a competitive global society,” Parker said.

Parker said Lewis gained his unique perspective and knowledge through a long and distinguished career as a diplomat, businessman and entrepreneur. In June 1999, President Bill Clinton nominated Lewis as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa. He assumed his ambassadorship in Pretoria, South Africa, Dec. 22, 1999 and served until July 13, 2001.

In September 2006, he was named senior fellow at NMSU where he established the Institute for International Relations. He served as the director of the institute. He now serves on the board of the American Institutes for Research.

“Ambassador Lewis’ work will bring distinction to NMSU’s strategies, initiatives and projects, and will include outreach to the Las Cruces community, consistent with the university’s mission as a land grant institution, and in recognition of our Hispanic Serving and Minority Serving designations.”

For more information, visit https://provost.nmsu.edu/delano-lewis.html.



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[l] at 3/1/21 4:00pm
Karen Trujillo Scholarship fund at New Mexico State University

Date: 03/01/2021
Writer: Minerva Baumann, 575-646-7566, mbauma46@nmsu.edu

A memorial fund has been established to honor Karen Trujillo, the Las Cruces Public Schools superintendent who died last Thursday. Trujillo's family has created a scholarship for aspiring teachers at New Mexico State University.

During her tenure at the NMSU, Trujillo served as the Director of the Alliance for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning where she established Educators Rising. The organization gives students an opportunity to engage in teaching while in high school. Educators Rising began with six schools and today there are more than 40 schools and nearly 1,000 students in the program.

Trujillo was a proud Aggie, receiving her bachelor's and master’s degrees in mathematics education from New Mexico State University. In 1997, she received her Ph.D. in secondary education, mathematics, curriculum and instruction, also at NMSU.

In lieu of flowers, Trujillo’s husband encourages the community to contribute to the fund through secure online donations at: http://support.nmsu.edu/give/memorial/trujillo-memorial/

For help navigating this donation site, or additional questions, please contact 575-646-1613. As an alternative to online donations, checks made payable to “In Memory of Dr. Karen Trujillo” can be mailed or dropped off at Dove Hall, Room 212, 1305 N. Horseshoe Drive, Las Cruces, NM 88003.



Editor's Note please use this url instead of any previous links.

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[l] at 2/26/21 4:00pm
NMSU Board of Regents to host special meeting March 2

Date: 02/26/2021
Writer: Carlos Andres Lopez, 575-646-1955, carlopez@nmsu.edu

The New Mexico State University Board of Regents will hold a special meeting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 2. Due to the public health emergency issued by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the meeting will take place online via Zoom at http://panopto.nmsu.edu/bor/. In compliance with the Open Meetings Act, copies of the agenda will be made available at least 72 hours prior to the meeting and accessible on the public university website at https://regents.nmsu.edu/agenda/.

If you are an individual with a disability who needs a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter, or any other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the hearing or meeting, please contact the Board of Regents Office at 575-646-5997 at least three days prior to the meeting, or as soon as possible. Public documents, including the agenda and minutes, may also be provided in various accessible formats. Please contact the Board of Regents Office at 575-646-5997 if a summary or other type of accessible format is needed.

Please contact the Board of Regents Office at 575-646-5997 if you need additional information.



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[l] at 2/26/21 4:00pm
Trujillo leaves legacy of dedication to research, education in New Mexico

Date: 02/26/2021
Writer: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957, adchavez@nmsu.edu

Karen Trujillo was known as a brilliant researcher and passionate advocate for New Mexico students and educators.

Portrait of smiling woman
Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Karen Trujillo was a proud Aggie alumna, having earned degrees from New Mexico State University in secondary education, mathematics, and curriculum and instruction. She was remembered by colleagues Friday as a brilliant researcher and passionate advocate for New Mexico students and educators. (NMSU photo by Josh Bachman)

A proud Aggie, she earned all three degrees – bachelor’s, graduate and Ph.D. – from New Mexico State University in secondary education, mathematics, and curriculum and instruction. She was also a huge Aggie sports fan, cheering proudly at men’s and women’s basketball games, among other sporting events.

But outside of her family, what was closest to her heart was education. Trujillo became superintendent of Las Cruces Public Schools in 2019, but maintained her deep connection to NMSU.

Trujillo was struck and killed by a vehicle Thursday evening in Las Cruces while walking her dogs, prompting an outpouring of grief from the community that was echoed by her former colleagues at NMSU.

“This is an enormous loss to her family, LCPS, the learning community of New Mexico and beyond,” said Henrietta Pichon, interim dean of the NMSU College of Education. “Although she was no longer walking the halls of O’Donnell Hall, we remained connected to her through educational and socially just initiatives.”

Trujillo was instrumental in establishing Educators Rising New Mexico in the NMSU College of Education in 2015. Educators Rising, formerly known as Future Teachers of America, focuses on increasing the number of education majors across the state and supporting retention in the field. In 2017, NMSU hosted an Educators Rising New Mexico conference that attracted 140 students and teachers from high schools across the state. Trujillo was proud of that accomplishment.

In 2016, Trujillo established the STEM Outreach Alliance Research, or SOAR, Lab, which has since grown into the Southwest Outreach Academic Research Evaluation & Policy Center. One of the biggest research projects the lab has undertaken is the annual teacher shortage report, which Trujillo began compiling with the help of her lab students.

Rachel Boren, director of effectiveness and evaluation in NMSU’s College Education, now oversees the SOAR Evaluation & Policy Center.

“Dr. Trujillo’s passion for education was clear in everything that she did,” Boren said. “Her enthusiasm for K-12 and higher education in the state was so genuine, and she was always excited to collaborate on new and innovative ideas that would benefit students, schools, and communities across the state.”

Trujillo was part of the team that started Math Snacks, created by NMSU game designers and faculty in the Learning Games Lab. Math Snacks was designed to supplement classroom instruction to help make math more accessible to students.

“Our Math Snacks project is a microcosm of how many ways Karen influenced education,” said Barbara Chamberlin, interim department head of Innovative Media Research and Extension in the NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and director of the Learning Games Lab. “For our project, which she first joined as a project manager, she worked with teachers in professional development of how to teach math, she created written curricular tools for use in classes, and she advised on games and how they should work.

“She also contributed to and led many aspects of the research, identifying when and in what circumstances they work,” Chamberlin continued. “And she did administrative work, writing reports and new grant proposals. Along the way, she influenced people in significant ways, guiding life choices and career paths. It is the perfect example of how very competent she was in so many areas.”

Trujillo went on to become interim associate dean of research in the College of Education before being selected to lead the New Mexico Public Education Department in 2019.

“Dr. Trujillo served our university for many years as a teacher, administrator and researcher before going on to serve as LCPS superintendent,” said NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu. “She did what we hope each of our graduates is able to do: to take the knowledge and experience they gain from their time at NMSU and use those tools to make our community and our world a better place.

“Her death is an enormous loss for everyone who knew her,” he added, “and especially for the countless number of students whose lives are better today because of her efforts.”

Following the news of Trujillo’s passing, Chamberlin said she spoke to Milos Savic, who worked with her on Math Snacks when he was a grad student at NMSU.

“He recalled how they drove throughout the state together doing professional development on Math Snacks,” Chamberlin said, “and he said he could pinpoint exact conversations where she changed the trajectory of his life – what he was interested in, what he chose, what he wanted to learn more about.

“I love that she was that to him, and even more, that she was that to so many of us.”



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[l] at 2/25/21 4:00pm
Still time to join 48-hour film challenge, NMSU students show how it’s done

Date: 02/25/2021
Writer: Minerva Baumann, 575-646-7566, mbauma46@nmsu.edu

Think you can make a movie in 48 hours? So far, 47 teams with 68 filmmakers from Texas, New Mexico and Mexico have registered to try to make a short film as part of the “Reimagining Borders” 48-Hour Film Challenge between Feb. 26 and Feb. 28.

Head and shoulders of a woman
Ilana Lapid, NMSU Creative Media Institute professor who organizes the 48-hour film challenge with help from her students and Kyle Ivy, CMI student who served as public relations director for the project. (Courtesy Photo) Head and shoulders of three men
From left: New Mexico State University CMI students Mario Valencia, Roman Sanchez III and Christian Sermeño wrote, directed, shot and edited the film “Get Through This” in just 48 hours. (Courtesy photo) Movie Poster of Man and woman in split screen on Zoom
Poster for the film “Get Through This,” which stars student actors Esther Rose Roge and Riley Samuel Merritt. The film was produced by three CMI students in 48-hours. (Courtesy photo)

The film challenge is part of the 2021 Las Cruces International Film Festival. The sixth annual LCIFF, presented by New Mexico State University and Visit Las Cruces, will run from March 3-7. NMSU’s Southwest and Border Cultures Institute and NMSU’s Creative Media Institute are partnering with the film festival to sponsor the contest.

“Just as the global pandemic has been forcing us to adapt and find new and creative ways of doing things, this challenge is asking participants to tap into their creativity, resilience and resourcefulness, and make films in new ways,” said Ilana Lapid, CMI professor who organizes the event to support local filmmakers. “Sometimes it is the limitations and challenges we face that bring out our most creative selves. This is true in life, as much as in art.”

There is still time to sign up before the clock starts at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26. Register at https://cutt.ly/mkpbbXw and receive an invitation and Zoom link to the kickoff event by email. All entries must be uploaded by 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28. The first-place film will be awarded $400, second place, $250, and third place, $100. There will also be an audience award of $100.

Three NMSU film students pulled together a short film in 48 hours to demonstrate the process. Roman Sanchez III, Christian Sermeño and Mario Valencia will screen their six-minute movie titled “Get Through This” at the kickoff event for the contest. See their film at https://youtu.be/3hdbrVypZXM.

“The hardest part was figuring out how we can tell a story when we can’t meet each other in person,” said Sanchez, an NMSU junior who wrote and directed the film. “I think making a film during the pandemic is even more challenging because we had to get creative on how we could collaborate from different locations and cities. Making a film in 48 hours more than anything taught me how to adapt to our restrictions and embrace them. I ultimately wanted to spread a message of positivity and emphasize that we will get through this.”

“I believe that the 48 hours allowed us to not overthink any ideas since we were under a time constraint,” said Sermeño who will graduate from NMSU in December. “We wanted to portray a positive and uplifting message while also allowing people to relate to the struggle we have all gone through this year.”

“By nature, filmmakers are creative problem solvers,” said Amy Lanasa, CMI professor and department head. “When you’re on set, you see a group of people coming together to solve a problem, which is the act of making a film. So, the compressed time of having to write, shoot and edit a film in 48 hours brings out the best creative problem solving, in my experience.”

Valencia, who will graduate from NMSU in December, agreed with Lanasa. “I believe that when a time constraint is placed on the set, people have to be on the top of their game, and improvising all the time with fresh and creative ideas.”

NMSU students also learned the business-side of film promotion. Kyle Ivy, a CMI student majoring in Digital Filmmaking and graduating in spring 2021, said serving as public relations director for the 48-hour challenge was an eye-opener. “Transitioning the once in-person event to an online event allows us to reach a larger audience and to attract teams that may not have been able to travel from the borderland area in previous years.”

Successfully completed films will be screened online for 48 hours during the festival beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, March 5. Winners will be announced at the film festival awards ceremony on March 6. All completed films will be eligible for a jury or audience award. Audience voting will be open for the first 24 hours of the LCIFF screening block (5 p.m. March 5 to 5 p.m. March 6).

"The 48-hour film contest is an important part of the Las Cruces International Film Festival,” said Ross Marks, CMI professor and executive director of the festival. “This year's contest is particularly rewarding as now more than ever we need to find ways to express ourselves. Our solution to feeling alone and isolated during this pandemic is simple ... make a movie safely and creatively."

Broadcast Advisory Watch the film “Get Through This” on YouTube at https://youtu.be/3hdbrVypZXM. For questions, contact Minerva Baumann 575-646-7566

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[l] at 2/24/21 4:00pm
Santa Fe student explores future of education, community with help from NMSU’s Studio G

Date: 02/24/2021
Writer: Cassie McClure, 575-312-3242, cassie@mcclurepublications.com

The education model at all levels changed with the pandemic, especially when many people shifted to working at home while children attended virtual schools. A client of Arrowhead Center’s Studio G in Santa Fe is looking at how changing education and community could become a sustainable business model.

Man sitting on a patio next to a turquoise wooden table
Liam Phillips, a student at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, is the founder of Outopos Project, a research facility and a lifestyle community examining a change in what education and community could look like in the future. Phillips relaxes in the patio where clients can socially distance and get advice on their business. (Courtesy photo)

Studio G is Arrowhead Center’s world-ranked student business accelerator. Originally housed at New Mexico State University, Studio G recently expanded its services to sites around New Mexico and at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Liam Phillips, a student at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, is the founder of Outopos Project, a research facility and a lifestyle community examining a change in what education and community could look like in the future. He grew up in rural Australia and started early with a drive for entrepreneurship and ownership of his own time.

“My father never believed in an allowance, so that instilled the value of making my own money from a young age,” Phillips said. “When I was 12, I vowed never to accept a check from anyone else, to be my own boss. That same year, I started my first actual business, an auto detailing company, and tried to save up for my first car.”

Phillips sold that first car to start an online e-commerce website.

“I’ve been able to, fortunately, keep that promise and from them decided that I’d be giving everything to a lifetime of service,” Phillips said.

Phillips’s next entrepreneurial endeavor, Outopos Project, focuses on helping others think outside the box.

“We strive to attract a college-age audience of students who would perhaps want to look at alternative ways that their educational experience could be fulfilled,” Phillips said. “Education is a lifelong pursuit, and there’s a lot to be learned from others.”

Phillips envisions acres of land to build and construct self-sufficient housing – from electricity and water collection to food production and sewage treatment – and creating zero-waste systems.

“Our initiative is to develop open-source systems of living, like do-it-yourself agriculture so that people can become more self-sufficient with their own food, as well as just to have access to clean and organic food at a much lower cost,” Phillips said.

Philips works with Studio G’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Victor Hughes, to take his concepts and make them a reality.

“I realized working with Studio G and Victor how big my idea was, but that we could still start applying for grants,” Phillips said. “We can start talking to people in certain positions for funding and start looking for other revenue streams to make this a reality.”

Studio G in Santa Fe is located at 501 Franklin Ave., and is open by appointment only. It includes an outdoor patio where entrepreneurs and Hughes can socially distance but still brainstorm their business ventures.

“I really appreciate Studio G being a backboard, someone to talk to about the ideas that you have,” Phillips said. “I’m self-sufficient at getting something done, but I’m often full of a lot of really different ideas. And while I’m more interested in the humanitarian effort, Victor has been helpful in terms of grounding me to find ways to set it in motion.”

Studio G is currently open to students and recent alumni at 18 colleges and universities in New Mexico and Texas. If you or someone you know is interested in collaborating with Studio G in Santa Fe, contact Hughes at sfcc.studiog@gmail.com to chat more about what opportunities are available. To learn more about Studio G, visit https://www.sfcc.edu/studiog/



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[l] at 2/24/21 4:00pm
Native Australian in Santa Fe explores future of education, community with help from NMSU’s Studio G

Date: 02/24/2021
Writer: Cassie McClure, 575-312-3242, cassie@mcclurepublications.com

The education model at all levels changed with the pandemic, especially when many people shifted to working at home while children attended virtual schools. A client of Arrowhead Center’s Studio G in Santa Fe is looking at how changing education and community could become a sustainable business model.

Man sitting on a patio next to a turquoise wooden table
Liam Phillips, a student at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, is the founder of Outopos Project, a research facility and a lifestyle community examining a change in what education and community could look like in the future. Phillips relaxes in the patio where clients can socially distance and get advice on their business. (Courtesy photo)

Studio G is Arrowhead Center’s world-ranked student business accelerator. Originally housed at New Mexico State University, Studio G recently expanded its services to sites around New Mexico and at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Liam Phillips, a student at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, is the founder of Outopos Project, a research facility and a lifestyle community examining a change in what education and community could look like in the future. He grew up in rural Australia and started early with a drive for entrepreneurship and ownership of his own time.

“My father never believed in an allowance, so that instilled the value of making my own money from a young age,” Phillips said. “When I was 12, I vowed never to accept a check from anyone else, to be my own boss. That same year, I started my first actual business, an auto detailing company, and tried to save up for my first car.”

Phillips sold that first car to start an online e-commerce website.

“I’ve been able to, fortunately, keep that promise and from them decided that I’d be giving everything to a lifetime of service,” Phillips said.

Phillips’s next entrepreneurial endeavor, Outopos Project, focuses on helping others think outside the box.

“We strive to attract a college-age audience of students who would perhaps want to look at alternative ways that their educational experience could be fulfilled,” Phillips said. “Education is a lifelong pursuit, and there’s a lot to be learned from others.”

Phillips envisions acres of land to build and construct self-sufficient housing – from electricity and water collection to food production and sewage treatment – and creating zero-waste systems.

“Our initiative is to develop open-source systems of living, like do-it-yourself agriculture so that people can become more self-sufficient with their own food, as well as just to have access to clean and organic food at a much lower cost,” Phillips said.

Philips works with Studio G’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Victor Hughes, to take his concepts and make them a reality.

“I realized working with Studio G and Victor how big my idea was, but that we could still start applying for grants,” Phillips said. “We can start talking to people in certain positions for funding and start looking for other revenue streams to make this a reality.”

Studio G in Santa Fe is located at 501 Franklin Ave., and is open by appointment only. It includes an outdoor patio where entrepreneurs and Hughes can socially distance but still brainstorm their business ventures.

“I really appreciate Studio G being a backboard, someone to talk to about the ideas that you have,” Phillips said. “I’m self-sufficient at getting something done, but I’m often full of a lot of really different ideas. And while I’m more interested in the humanitarian effort, Victor has been helpful in terms of grounding me to find ways to set it in motion.”

Studio G is currently open to students and recent alumni at 18 colleges and universities in New Mexico and Texas. If you or someone you know is interested in collaborating with Studio G in Santa Fe, contact Hughes at sfcc.studiog@gmail.com to chat more about what opportunities are available. To learn more about Studio G, visit https://www.sfcc.edu/studiog/



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[l] at 2/23/21 4:00pm
NMSU Labor Management Relations Board to meet March 1

Date: 02/23/2021
Writer: Carlos Andres Lopez, 575-646-1955, carlopez@nmsu.edu

The New Mexico State University Labor Management Relations Board will meet at 9 a.m. Monday, March 1. Due to public health emergency mandates issued by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the meeting will be available via webcast. In compliance with the Open Meetings Act, copies of the agenda will be made available at least 72 hours prior to the meeting and accessible on the public university website at https://hr.nmsu.edu/labor/.

The meeting will be available by webcast through the link at https://nmsu.zoom.us/j/92121383574.

Public comment will be available at this meeting. Please contact the Employee & Labor Relations Office at elr@nmsu.edu for additional information about how to participate in public comment, or if you need any other additional information regarding this meeting.

If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter, or any other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the hearing or meeting, please contact the Employee & Labor Relations Office at elr@nmsu.edu at least three days prior to the meeting, or as soon as possible.

Public documents, including the agenda and minutes, may also be provided in various accessible formats. Please contact the Employee & Labor Relations Office at elr@nmsu.edu if a summary or other type of accessible format is needed.



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