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Sanchez aims to cultivate new opportunities for Physical Science Lab

Teamwork and trust are two important components to leading an organization. Retired Army Brig. Gen. Eric L. Sanchez ’87 plans to apply that philosophy as the new director of NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory. Sanchez began his tenure at PSL as deputy director in October 2019 after three decades of military service. He was appointed director in June 2020 after Jim Chavez ’81 stepped down.

One of Sanchez’ goals is to empower and encourage PSL’s employees and students.

“In order to create new opportunities, which is what we are trying to do, you also have to invest in your organization,” he says.

Other goals include reviving student programs and enhancing faculty interaction. A student talent development program for junior and senior year students, the Classified Ready Employee Workforce program, allows students to gain national security experience and a security clearance, was launched in fall 2020.

“We’re looking for opportunities for research with faculty and also looking at potential joint appointments,” Sanchez says. “We’re trying to bring in different faculty researchers, so they are not afraid to walk across the street and have conversations with us.”

Founded by NMSU in 1946, PSL has supported various government and private sector scientific and technical activities throughout the United States and the world through contracts and research agreements—a tradition Sanchez plans to continue.