Letters from leadership

A year ago, NMSU faced unprecedented challenges following the first case of COVID-19 in our state. Fortunately, we now see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re in the midst of planning for a conventional and safe fall 2021 semester.

Just as our staff, students and faculty rose to these challenges in the face of a pandemic, our alumni have provided much valued support. They have given their time to mentor our students, often via Zoom, and speak to classes about how their time at NMSU prepared them to achieve professional success. They’ve also left behind gifts to celebrate their legacies for generations to come. We are proud of our alumni who have made an impact locally and globally, and always welcome them in supporting our students to help them achieve their own goals.

Our NMSU alumni and friends continue to be some of our university’s biggest assets. You help us help our students and community. It’s all part of being an Aggie. We look out for each other, lend a hand when needed and support each other through the tough times. While the future looks bright here at NMSU, there is still much to be done in terms of research and partnerships that will create a brighter future worldwide.

Dan Arvizu, Ph.D. ’73

NMSU Chancellor

As I reflect on the first anniversary of my return to NMSU, I am both humbled and pleased with the progress that has been made by our outstanding NMSU Foundation and Alumni teams in such a short span of time. With the help of Chancellor Dan Arvizu, President John Floros, the NMSU Regents and our Foundation and Alumni Boards, we have set a course for advancement at NMSU that will yield a positive outcome for many years to come.

In the coming days, you can expect to see our development efforts closely align with the top priorities of the university and the colleges. We will place a significant emphasis on not only communicating these priorities to our alumni and donors, but also on pursuing and achieving ambitious goals to substantially grow NMSU’s endowment and support for the university’s most impactful strategic initiatives. We will also prioritize personal outreach focused on creating lifelong relationships with many more alumni and donors, and create platforms to nurture and connect more of our 143,000 living alumni into a vibrant “Always an Aggie” community.

Over the past year, our Advancement and Alumni Relations teams have been hard at work laying the foundation to enable ever greater progress. Our efforts have been principally centered around investments in our staff, who are core to our success, and the critical infrastructure that will enable our team to reach their fullest potential. I can gladly announce these changes are already yielding positive results.

As Nikki and I returned to Las Cruces in spring 2020, we experienced a renewed sense of being home. Like so many of you, we were reminded of those special memories that captured our hearts and minds as students and helped shape us into the adults and professionals we are today. I am optimistic about the future of NMSU and believe our greatest days are ahead of us.

Derek Dictson ’98

President, NMSU Foundation

Vice President, University Advancement

This issue of Panorama is produced by the office of Marketing and Communications, New Mexico State University, 575-646-3221.

Correspondences may be sent to Marketing and Communications, MSC 3K, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30001,

Las Cruces, NM 88003-3590 or panorama@nmsu.edu. 

Panorama is published two times annually.

ISSN 2470-0649

New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and educator.

The magazine can be found online at panorama.nmsu.edu.


Tiffany Acosta

Assistant Editor

Adriana M. Chávez ’19

Art Director

Gerald Rel


Amanda Adame ’19, Josh Bachman ’07, Minerva Baumann ’13, J. Victor Espinoza, Charlie Hurley, Denise LaFrance-Ojinaga ’03, Carlos Andres López ’10, Cassie McClure ’06 ’08, Jane Moorman, Lucia A. Torres, Joél Valdez


Dan Arvizu ’73



John Floros


President, NMSU Foundation

Derek Dictson ’98


Senior Associate Vice President External Relations

Lynn Schlemeyer


Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Justin Bannister ’03 ’13


Executive Director of Marketing, Web and Brand Management

Melissa Chavira ’03 ’05 ’11


Director of Communications and Media Relations

Amanda Bradford ’03 ’21


Director, Alumni Relations

Rebecca Galves ’01

NMSU Alumni Association International Board of Directors Executive Council


Carol Smallwood ’83


Michael Law ’05


Adam Thompson ’08

Past President

Scott Sponseller ’96 ’98

Executive Council Members

Kristin Graham Chavez ’93 ’94, Krista Madril ’01, Tony Martinez ’96 ’98, Erika Swan ’95

NMSU Alumni Association International Board of Directors Executive Council


Bobby Lutz ’73

Vice Chair

Kyle Louvar ’98


Eric Powell ’81


Frank Seidel ’82

Past Chair

Philip Cook ’84

Executive Council Members

Raquel Bone ’91, Christopher Dulany ’05 ’12, Judy Johnson ’12, Joseph Salopek ’05, Aaron De Los Santos ’04

2021© New Mexico State University
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