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New Mexico State University student Valerie Lujan was crowned Miss Native American NMSU 2013-2014 during the university’s celebration of American Indian Week in April.
“Valerie was present throughout the week and expressed her interest in being Miss Native American NMSU,” said Justin McHorse, American Indian Program director. “She has been actively involved with the American Indian Program and really has a great network among the student body.”
McHorse said the Miss Native American NMSU pageant is different from traditional pageants; it is more cultural and academic. A student must also demonstrate knowledge of their culture.
“Being selected is an amazing opportunity. I was overjoyed,” Lujan said. “It has been a wonderful experience so far. There is so much support. Being able to inspire fellow students and my community is awesome.”
Lujan is double majoring in pre-nursing and hotel, restaurant and tourism management. She is a tribal member of Taos Pueblo and has been active in the American Indian Program, along with other NMSU organizations since her freshman year.
Now that Lujan has been selected she plans to take her involvement with NMSU even further.
“I have gone out and encouraged students to pursue a higher education,” she said. “In my community only 15 people graduated from my class, two are still in college three years later. I want to use my accomplishments here at NMSU to inspire other students to stay in school.”
American Indian Week was organized by the NMSU American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the United Native American Organization and the Native American Business Student Association with support from the American Indian Program. American Indian Week was also sponsored by ASNMSU.
McHorse is not involved in the selection process, but was happy to see both he and Lujan are members of Taos Pueblo.
“I am very proud of Valerie,” McHorse said. “She will have a significant impact on the youth to consider college. It is great to see the younger generation taking advantage of higher education.”
Inceptia, a provider of support and resources for higher education in the areas of federal compliance, financial aid management, repayment solutions and financial education, formed the Commission on Student Success to provide advice and assistance related to student success and retention with a focus on secondary and post-secondary students and administrators. Members provide counsel and insight for Inceptia to develop industry-leading solutions to help students persist and schools improve retention and graduation rates. Members also participate in thoughtful discussions around best-practices and trends and share ideas for new opportunities and partnerships.
Membership is comprised of areas representing research, student services, academics, financial aid, special interest, and corporate. Members are appointed and reappointed by Inceptia. Dr. Marin is an alumnus of NMSU and currently serves as the Director of Student Affairs with oversight of the Student Success Center-Hardman, TRIO Student Support Services and Career Services. The twelve-person Commission will convene their first meeting in June 2013 at the Inceptia headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Check-In/Check-Up Mid-Semester Review Expo was held in the old bookstore in Corbett Center on Tuesday, March 5. Sponsored by Aggie Welcome & Orientation, the event was geared toward providing information and support to all NMSU students. Questions pertaining to a student’s awareness of resources and engagement in those resources were to be answered with a yes or a no by the student on the prepared Check-In/Check-Up card. Participating students engaged with the student support organizations to complete their Check Up card and be eligible to win a mini iPad, $50 or $25 B&N gift card.
In order to encourage engaging activities by the representative organizations, a contest was held to determine the most engaging. Three anonymous judges circled the tables engaging with representatives. After tallying all votes, the Campus Tutoring Service was awarded the highest honor. “Pablo Toro” (appropriately named by Student Success Center Hardman’s Trio Program) is the mascot and traveling trophy for each Expo. He will remain on display with the Campus Tutoring Service until fall semester’s Mid-Semester Review Expo. At that time, Pablo Toro will be awarded to the most engaging activity table organization and remain for another six months until the following spring Expo.
Last summer, we started talking about values at the Open Forums, then through a discussion post that we were all asked to comment on. From that, a wordle was created. Since then, our SAEM Advisory Team has done some work around this. This fall, they grouped similar ideas and worked on definitions for our values. What you see to your left is the result of our work, and what our SAEM values look like in our daily practices of serving the NMSU community.
Thanks to all members of SAEM who contributed to this. We heard from many of you at last year’s Open Forums and in the discussion post that this type of document is important in defining who we are and what we believe. You also told us that the process is important in giving staff a voice in our direction as a unit.
You still have that voice. Share with us what you think by providing your comment below.
SAEM Values (pdf)
Employee Service Award and Staff Recognition Ice Cream Social
April 12, 2013
2:30 pm to 4:30 pm, Educational Services Building Lobby
Drop by anytime between 2:30 and 4:30 to recognize the service and educational milestones of your SAEM colleagues.
April 22-May 3, 2013
Times and places will be announced
Candidates for the NMSU President will hold forums open to all staff.
SAEM Open Forum
May 16, 2013
10:30 am and 1:30 pm, Doña Ana Room, Corbett Center Student Union 3rd floor
Vice President Montoya will update staff on NMSU and SAEM news. Employees can attend one of the two sessions.
Come out and support your Aggie men’s basketball team by winning some free tickets! The SAEM Vice President’s Office is giving away a total of 100 free tickets! 50 tickets will be available to the basketball game on March 7 against Louisiana Tech and 50 tickets to the game on March 9 against UT Arlington.
To win free tickets, leave a comment stating how many you want (limit 4 free tickets) and which game you want to attend. Tickets will be given out on a first-come-first served basis. If you want more than 4, you can get extra tickets at the group rate of $5 per ticket at the Ticket Office. Just ask for the SAEM group rate. (You must be an employee of SAEM to recieve the group rate or win tickets.)
Seats will be located in the upper bowl (Section 222), and SAEM will be recognized on the scoreboard, and a shout-out to SAEM from the announcer at each game.
Come out and enjoy a great game and cheer on the Aggies!
Congratulations to Monica Dunivan of Military and Veterans Programs on her election to Chair-Elect of NMSU’s Employee Council. The Chair-Elect position starts a 3-year leadership cycle which includes being the next Chair and then Past Chair. As Chair-Elect, Monica will fill in for the Chair when necessary at Employee Council, Admin Council and Board of Regents meetings.
The purpose of the Employee Council is to:
- Investigate matters involving the policies and procedures of the administration of the university.
- Make recommendations based on such investigations to the president of the university.
- Establish and maintain an organization of the university staff
a. To provide communication between the staff and the administration of the university.
b. To provide communication among the several parts of the university staff.
Please take a moment to congratulate Monica!
Congratulations to NMSU Career Services staff members Elizabeth Ortega, Coordinator for Employer Relations, Roseanne Bensley, Associate Director and Yvonne Franco, Career Resource Coordinator! They were recently certified as Global Career Development Facilitators (GCDF) through the GCDF Training Program. The curriculum addresses major career development areas and provides up-to-date resources providing relevant skills and knowledge to assist others in planning careers and advising clients on the procedures to obtain meaningful work.
The GCDF credential was developed to provide standardized competencies, training specifications and credentialing for career providers.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I want to thank all of you for the wonderful work you do each day. It is truly appreciated. Today you wil receive a bag of caramel corn from Crazy Maizy’s as a small token of my appreciation.
I hope you notice that on the back of each bag is a quote. My personal favorite quote is by Helen Keller, “The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, by also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker.” Please take a moment to share your quote with a fellow colleague today and take some time to celebrate your service and this day.
As we move further into the spring semester we are enjoying several celebrations, milestones and events, some of which include Black History Month, several Aggie men’s basketball team wins, good enrollment, and hopes for the early arrival of spring as predicted by the famous groundhog! We are also experiencing many changes within our University system, and I appreciate all of you who so eagerly help to support the many change efforts. Regardless of all that is happening around us, one thing remains constant: Students are at the heart of or work. Let’s all strive to keep that in mind as we serve in our own unique roles on this University campus. Let us be mindful that our decisions, actions and behavior all affect student success. Each of us holds a unique responsibility to support students in several important aspects throughout their academic journey.
I will leave you with a quote from Ella Fitzgerald, and great vocalist who’s song and performance I deeply admire: “It isn’t where you come from, it’s where you’re going that matters.” Let’s keep student’s at the heart of our work, and help them focus on where they are going.