Around Aggieland

Creating a culture of giving

When Chase Wolfe walked through Corbett Center Student Union one afternoon last November, he heard enough cheering and cowbells in the lounge area to pique his interest. What he found was a roomful of Aggie alumni, staff, faculty, friends and students raising money for student success during  the first ever New Mexico State University Giving Tuesday. When he joined the crowd he felt an immediate desire to give back the way those around him were, and he made his first gift to NMSU. By the time Chase walked out the doors of Corbett Center Student Union, he had become a different person—someone who not only knew he could make a difference, but did make a difference.

“I don’t think I ever realized how easy it was to give back,” says Wolfe, a senior studying Agriculture and Extension Education in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. “When I made my gift, even though it was small, I knew it would contribute to a much larger cause. That made me feel good about myself, and appreciate even more the help I am receiving as a student.” Wolfe is just one of the many students throughout the NMSU system who are ready and willing to give back, and with the establishment of the new Student Foundation, a newly chartered philanthropy group on campus through the NMSU Foundation, they will have even more opportunities to give and advocate for causes that matter to them.

“The purpose of the Student Philanthropy program is to enhance the culture of giving across all of our campuses by helping students create a memorable legacy, understand the crucial role they play in the future of the university, and contribute as proud Aggie alumni when they graduate,” says Adrian Bautista, assistant director for Annual Giving.

Many times students chose to give back because of the experiences they have had an NMSU campus or they want to make a difference by supporting the programs they are passionate about. “I believe it’s important to give back to the NMSU community because helping others is so important to me,” says Vanessa Delgado, class of 2018. The Communication Disorders major, who is a Crimson Scholar and a member of the Dean’s List in the College of Education, plans to be a speech language pathologist after she graduates.

makeastatement-photoStudent philanthropy is not just about giving money, it is also about giving time, treasure and talent to further a cause they support. One way the Student Foundation does that is by tabling across campus to promote their causes or to present examples of the way gifts to NMSU help the university system deliver a quality education to students.

And, as a Land Grant Institution, NMSU relies on gifts from individuals, grants and foundations to provide scholarships, improve current student programs and maintain the caliber of education NMSU prides itself on providing.

Tuition comprises about 60 percent of what it really costs to educate an NMSU student, so gifts from donors go beyond making an education more affordable for students; they also support the programs and research that enhance their learning.

When students give, our NMSU community sees an increase in donor and alumni participation, enabling the university system to achieve a higher national ranking, increase the value of each degree and attract more corporate and foundation gifts.

Helping other students in the NMSU community is important to me. Helping establish a giving community on campus is something I’m passionate about.” – Vanessa Delgado



About the Student Foundation

  • Has 25 members
  • Meets bi-weekly in Dove Hall
  • Want to join? Call Adrian Bautista at 575-646-2552

What’s the best way to bring students, alumni, faculty and staff together to make a difference and keep up with the times? 

Much like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, NMSU’s Make a STATEment is a new way for community members, alumni and friends of the university to give to areas that matter the most to them.

“This new platform for giving impacts so many areas on campus,” says Adrian Bautista, assistant director for Annual Giving. “We are telling stories about the amazing things that are happening on campus, we are offering an opportunity for others to give to areas that mean the most to them and we are empowering our students to raise money for the causes they care about right here on campus.”

Make a STATEment allows student organizations, departments and programs to generate support for their cause with interactive video messaging on an internal platform without having to pay fees. The messaging not only explains how they will use the money raised, but also tells the story of why it is needed. From feeding hungry students on campus to supporting a scholarship in honor of a child who passed away too young, Make a STATEment gifts are an investment in NMSU and an opportunity to make a difference.

For more information or to find a cause you want to make a gift to today, visit


Posted by webcomm_admin in Fall 2016

Avid supporter honored with presidential medallion

Karen Becklin is no stranger to New Mexico State University. After receiving her doctorate in Education from NMSU in 1974, she continued supporting the campus for 20 years, working on college and university policy and funding issues in New Mexico before retiring in 2001. It didn’t take her long to begin supporting
the university in another life changing way.

Because of her continued and integral support of NMSU, Becklin was awarded the NMSU Presidential Medallion during the university’s convocation ceremony in August. The Presidential Medallion recognizes the outstanding service individuals give to the university beyond their time as employees.

carruthers-medallion“Karen’s support of New Mexico State University has not gone unnoticed,” says NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers.

“She’s devoted her talents to an important and stimulating field that has a true impact on the university and the state. We are proud to call her an alumna, a former employee and a friend.”

During her impressive career, Becklin also held positions at the Commission on Higher Education and the Legislative Finance Committee. She currently serves on NMSU’s Labor Relations Board.

Becklin’s support has not only been her aptitude for public policy, but financial gifts that will impact how students learn about policy development. In 2013, Becklin made a gift to establish the Becklin Public Policy Endowed Professorship in NMSU’s College of Business and Domenici Institute. The Domenici Institute’s goal is to engage the general public and encourage them to discuss and take part in issues of public interest, specifically when it comes to important policy matters.

“Karen gave in such a way that generations of students at NMSU will have an opportunity to learn about important issues that impact our nation,” says Andrea Tawney, Ph.D., president of the NMSU Foundation. “That kind of impact leaves a legacy that will not be forgotten.”

The faculty member who holds the professorship will continue the work of those like Becklin and engage the public and students in the precision of policy development.

“NMSU and our alumni contribute strongly to the state. I want this professorship to encourage merit and to inspire the next generation to see public policy development as a rigorous and challenging career path, and one needed at all levels of society,” says Becklin.

Posted by webcomm_admin in Fall 2016

Giving Tuesday returns to NMSU!

In 2015, more than 2,440 donors gave in a way that will have a lifetime impact across the NMSU system, creating 82 new scholarships. This year, we hope to continue supporting student success during this one-day giving event.


for more information, or join us Nov. 29 in the Aggie Lounge at Corbett Center Student Union.





Posted by webcomm_admin in Fall 2016

Aggie Bragging Rights

icon-top-tierWe’re Top Tier again

For the fourth time in the last five years, New Mexico State University has been recognized as a top tier university. NMSU was listed on the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges for 2017 National Universities rankings. The ranking is based on many factors, including assessment of excellence and graduation and retention rates. U.S. News & World Report also ranked NMSU among its Best Graduate Schools for 2017.

icon-edleaderOur Ed Leadership program is in the top 10

The Educational Leadership doctoral program in NMSU’s College of Education has been ranked one of the top in the country by Educational Leadership Degree Programs, a national rankings website. NMSU ranked seventh among the 10 universities on the list. According to the list, NMSU offers not only one of the most affordable online Ed.D. degrees in the country, but also one of the best values for a hybrid in-person/distance learning format.

We’re getting global attention

On a list ranking the top universities across the globe, NMSU has been recognized on the 2016 Center for World University Rankings list. With more than 25,000 degree-granting institutions of higher education worldwide, this ranking would place NMSU in the top 2.3 percent. The Center for World University Rankings distributes the only global university performance tables that gauge both the quality of education and training of students along with prestige of faculty members and the quality of their research without the use of surveys and university data submissions.

Our alumni love to volunteer

Peace Corps has ranked New Mexico State University as one of the top volunteer-producing Hispanic-serving institutions in the country. NMSU made the list for the first time in 2016 and was tied for 13th with seven alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps. Since its creation in 1961, 270 NMSU alumni have traveled abroad to serve as Peace Corps volunteers.


Posted by webcomm_admin in Fall 2016

New Academic Leaders

Rolando Flores

Dean, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

Most recent previous position: Professor and head  of the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also served as director of the Food Processing Center, a 32-year-old unique outreach program in support of the value-added food and agricultural programs in Nebraska and the nation.

Additional background: Flores worked first as a research food technologist and later as a research agricultural engineer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service’s Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania. He has served as an associate professor in the Department of Grain Science and Industry at Kansas State University, where he also held the G.M. Ross Professorship. Previously, he was also an associate professor and bioprocess engineer in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University.

Degrees earned: Flores earned a Ph.D. from Kansas State University in grain science in 1989. He has a master’s degree in agricultural engineering from Iowa State University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Universidad de Costa Rica.


Little-known fact: Flores was the first person in his family to attend college and is a strong supporter of the tremendous advantage of higher education.

Lakshmi Reddi

Dean, College of Engineering

Most recent previous position: Dean of the University Graduate School and professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Florida International University.

Additional background: Reddi has been director of the Academy of Graduates for Integrative Learning Experiences (AGILE) at Florida International University and has held numerous other administrative appointments throughout his career. He served as department chair and the Gerry and Ruth Hartman Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering at the University of Central Florida, and before that, was head of the Department of Civil Engineering at Kansas State University, also serving as a professor in the department. He also served as an associate professor in civil engineering at Kansas State University.

Degrees earned: Reddi earned a bachelor of technology in civil engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India, a master of science in civil engineering from The Ohio State University, and a doctor of philosophy in civil engineering from The Ohio State University.

Plans for the college: Emphasize entrepreneurial and resourceful approaches and diversify revenue streams at the college. Reddi’s top goal is to increase research productivity.

Posted by webcomm_admin in Fall 2016

Right at Home: NMSU-A president thrilled to return to his roots

Ask New Mexico State University Alamogordo President Ken Van Winkle how his job is going, and he can’t hide his enthusiasm.

“Bottom line is that I love my work,” Van Winkle says with a smile. “I truly believe in the community college and its mission. In my new role, I’ve had the opportunity to meet outstanding NMSU-A faculty and staff who work tirelessly for the students in our region.”

Van Winkle grew up in Alamogordo, where his father was the high school band director. He began his career at NMSU’s Las Cruces campus as the trumpet instructor and Jazz Ensemble director in 1985. He directed the NMSU Pride marching band in the late 1980s and again from 2000 to 2005. He became director of bands in 1994 and conducted Symphonic Winds, the university’s premier concert band, from 1992 to 2010.

Before being appointed president of NMSU-A, first as an interim in May 2015 and later as its permanent leader in December that year, Van Winkle held several administrative positions at the Las Cruces campus. As associate dean for strategic initiatives and assessment, he was responsible for annual performance evaluations, assessment and academic program review at the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences. He has also served as the academic department head for the Department of Music and acted as interim department head for Journalism and Mass Communications.

“In some ways, I’ve come full circle,” Van Winkle says of his return to his home town. “I have even run across some of my former teachers.

“I think they’re surprised I made it this far!” he quips.

Van Winkle says his greatest success so far has been in leading the campus through an academic reorganization last year that will provide NMSU-A students a clearer path to NMSU’s main campus, if they are seeking a bachelor’s degree, or a better understanding of how to complete a certificate or associate degree.

“We have wonderful faculty, staff and students at NMSU Alamogordo,” Van Winkle says. “It’s my privilege to continue to work with the community to strengthen our campus and increase our enrollment.”


  • Located at the base of the Sacramento Mountains
  • Established in 1958
  • Initial enrollment: 278 students
  • First classes held at Alamogordo High School campus
  • Current enrollment: More than 3,600


Posted by webcomm_admin in Fall 2016

NFL star Charley Johnson: Always an Aggie

The quarterback position may be known for attracting some of the brainiest players in football, but most of the men who line up under center in the NFL aren’t addressed as “doctor.”

Then again, Aggie legend Charley Johnson has never put much stock in doing one thing at a time.

The NMSU graduate not only became an NFL star and an NMSU professor, he also served his country in the Army. Johnson received an honorary degree from the university in May in recognition of these and other achievements throughout his life.

His college football career at NMSU included two consecutive Sun Bowl victories and an undefeated 11-0 record in 1960, the only NMSU football team in history to go undefeated.

aggieland-nflAfter graduating from NMSU in 1961, he signed a contract with the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals. During his years in St. Louis, he also attended Washington University, earn ing master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering.

After two years of active duty, he returned to the NFL, where he played with the Cardinals, the Houston Oilers and the Denver Broncos, which he led to their first winning season. Johnson is among one of the most efficient quarterbacks in Broncos history and is in the Broncos Ring of Fame. He retired from professional football in 1975.

In 2000, he returned to NMSU as the Chemical Engineering department head, where he continued his teaching responsibilities until 2010. He’s helped coach the Aggies’ quarterbacks for a number of years and continues to support and inspire the team. He and some of his teammates established the Warren B. Woodson Endowed Fund in the Athletics Department to support the program and honor the coach who had made such an impact on their lives.

When asked what NMSU means to him, Johnson says, “It means a chance. A chance to improve academically, athletically and socially. I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today without NMSU. No way.”

Posted by webcomm_admin in Fall 2016