Letters from leadership

As we near the end of our fall 2020 semester, our students, staff and faculty continue to do a tremendous job during this COVID-19 era. By working together, we continue to manage some of the biggest challenges the pandemic has brought upon our university, and remain committed to making decisions in the best interest of our students.

Among our biggest campus heroes are our Facilities and Services personnel, many of whom remained on campus throughout the spring and summer preparing for our fall semester. They spent countless hours disinfecting buildings, setting up outdoor classroom tents and installing vending machines that dispensed disinfecting supplies. Our staff at the Aggie Health and Wellness Center also worked tirelessly to make sure we are all well informed about the risks of COVID-19, and helped coordinate testing sites on campus. We appreciate these individuals, and the countless others at NMSU, for all of their hard work.

This semester, we also have been able to expand our research and outreach efforts to include monitoring the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in our community, providing solutions to COVID-19 health care responses and expanding testing capabilities for southern New Mexico through our TriCore Reference Laboratories branch lab. And our NMSU alumni and friends have been amazing in their efforts to continue helping our students and communities despite this ordeal. Thank you for your support, especially during the most challenging of times.

Dan Arvizu, Ph.D. ’73

NMSU Chancellor

Aggie faithful, 2020 has been a year for the record books. Despite the myriad challenges COVID-19 has posed, the NMSU community has worked hard to stay safe and diligent during this difficult time.

While we couldn’t gather together in Las Cruces for one of my favorite times of the year, I hope you enjoyed our virtual Homecoming celebrations. From special recognitions for the Classes of ’70, ’95 and ’10 to a virtual NMSU campus walk-tour to Distinguished Alumni Awards recognitions, the Alumni Association staff worked hard to create memorable experiences for you for 2020. I want to thank them for their ability to shift from what we have always known to what we know now. Their dedication to engage alumni in different ways is appreciated.

While staying connected may be harder than ever, we have another issue of Panorama to share with you focused on inspiring stories about our alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends. We show how COVID-19 has affected many aspects of the campus experience, and we remember one of my favorite Aggies, coach Lou Henson, whom we lost in July 2020.

Through a year of staying and working from home, Aggies, you have continued to impress me with your strength and generosity.

Stay well Aggies.

Leslie Cervantes ’86

Associate Vice President of Alumni and Donor Relations

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, Vladimir Avina ’18, Josh Bachman ’07, Minerva Baumann ’13, Linda Fresques, Megan Hansen ’06 ’09, Andrés Leighton, Carlos Andres López ’10, Brenden Martinez Jane Moorman, Darren Phillips, Melissa Rutter ’17, Carlos Trujillo


Dan Arvizu ’73



John Floros


President, NMSU Foundation

Derek Dictson ’98


Associate Vice President of Alumni and Donor Relations

Leslie Cervantes ’86


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


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

2020© New Mexico State University
POSTMASTER: Send address change notifications to
Panorama, MSC 3590, New Mexico State University,
P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM, 88003-88001