Local graduates recognized by NMSU

May 9, 2012 by Melisa P. Danho,, NMSU News Center

An international author, a soils analyst and “Novembrew” participant are among the Doña Ana County residents and New Mexico State University graduates that have been selected as outstanding seniors and outstanding graduates. The graduates are honored for their academic achievements, leadership qualities and community involvement.

Janae Golden is the outstanding senior for the College of Business. Golden is a marketing major from Las Cruces who has served as president of Zeta Tau Alpha Women’s Fraternity, director for community outreach for the Associated Students of NMSU and has helped organize fund raising activities for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since 2009. Golden has a 4.0 grade point average and was the vice president of the finance club in 2010. She has worked as a camp counselor and is currently a marketing affiliate for STAT, LLC in Las Cruces.

Amauri Gutierrez is the outstanding master’s degree student who will graduate with a Master of Arts in Spanish with a grade point average of 4.0. Gutierrez is from Cuba and was recruited to NMSU from the University of Havana where he was teaching classes in Hispanic literature. Gutierrez published eight books and 15 journal articles and his research has appeared in book or article format in Cuba, Mexico, Spain and the U.S. Gutierrez is involved in the Spanish Department’s mentoring program at NMSU and has helped faculty supervise graduate assistants in teaching intermediate level Spanish. He is currently working under a grant from the Southwest and Border Cultures Institute to review and research approximately 2,700 books recently acquired by the NMSU Library.

Luer Jin is the outstanding senior from International and Border Programs. Jin is a hotel, restaurant and tourism management major with a 3.93 grade point average who lives in Las Cruces but hails from the Sichuan province in China. Jin is a member of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, studied abroad in Japan and also worked with “Novembrew,” the Las Cruces beer festival. She has done volunteer work for the China Badminton Masters, World Men’s League of Volleyball and with Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Elena Sevostianova is the outstanding doctoral student from Russia who is a Ph.D. candidate in Plant and Environmental Sciences with a grade point average of 3.8. Sevostianova’s research focuses on the adaptation of grasses to salinity and stress. She currently lives in Las Cruces and has worked with NMSU faculty to monitor soil moisture and salinity using special sensors. She has written seven peer-reviewed journal articles and presented papers at more than 12 conferences. Sevostianova won an award from the American Society of Agronomy Industry for best poster presentation in 2008.

Adam Trejo is the outstanding graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences. Trejo is a government major from Anthony, N.M., with a grade point average of 4.0. He served as an international student ambassador in 2008 traveling to England, Italy and France. In 2010, Trejo worked as an intern for Sen. Tom Udall where he interacted with constituents, wrote speeches with state representatives and helped arrange a conference for the senator. He served as co-president for the photojournalism club in 2012 and helped produce a magazine and website called “Cultura Firme” that addresses issues of racial discrimination and cultural diversity. He continues to do freelance photography work.

Alex Turnello is the outstanding senior for the College of Extended Learning who is earning a bachelor degree in individualized studies. Turnello is from Santa Teresa and has a grade point average of 3.8. He is a founding member of the first annual “Novembrew Festival” in Las Cruces and served as a member of the Student Technology Advisory Committee and the Online Course Improvement Program at NMSU. He also served as an intern for Texas Congressman Silvestre Reyes where he attended committee briefings on Reyes’ behalf and addressed constituents through written and oral communications. Turnello was involved in student government and community service and attended special events like the Border Health Conference in Washington, D.C., and the Conference of Student Government Associations in College Station, Texas.

Charles Wemple is the outstanding graduate for the College of Health and Social Services. Wemple is a nursing major from Las Cruces with a grade point average of 4.0. Wemple is interested in psychiatric/mental health nursing and developed a research proposal for a study in Karjat India. While in India, Wemple assisted nursing and social work staff at the Shraddha Rehabilitation Center which helps support homeless people with schizophrenia. He has also done volunteer work with R&R House in Las Cruces, San Cristobal Ranch Academy in San Cristobal, N.M., and SOMOS Youth Writers’ Mentorship program in Taos, N.M.

The NMSU Alumni Association will hold a luncheon for Outstanding Seniors and Graduate students May 11 at Corbett Student Union. For more information regarding the Alumni Association or outstanding seniors and graduates contact Eva Hernandez at 575-646-7551 or evah@nmsu.edu.


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