New Mexico State University faculty and staff recognized during convocation

Aug. 22, 2006 by Jeany Llorente-Ontiveros NMSU News Center

From left to right: Kirk McDaniel, Christopher Brown, Michael R. Zimmerman, Igor Sevostianov, Lawrence A. Salazar, Gloria Jean Valencia, Jeffrey B. Arterburn, Merlinda Cordero, Russell Calk, Ramon Dominguez, Nina Compton and Executive Vice President and Provost William Flores. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

From left to right: Kirk McDaniel, Christopher Brown, Michael R. Zimmerman, Igor Sevostianov, Lawrence A. Salazar, Gloria Jean Valencia, Jeffrey B. Arterburn, Merlinda Cordero, Russell Calk, Ramon Dominguez, Nina Compton and Executive Vice President and Provost William Flores. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

New Mexico State University honored 11 of its faculty and staff members at the fall opening convocation today, Aug. 22, at the Corbett Center Ballrooms.

Patricia Christmore Faculty Teaching Awards were awarded to Russell “Rusty” Calk, accounting and information systems, and Ramon Dominguez, educational management and development.

Calk, who joined the NMSU faculty in 2001, has been the faculty advisor for the Delta Lambda chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, a national accounting fraternity, since 2003. The chapter has earned “superior status” every year under his stewardship. His student evaluations have consistently been positive and in fall 2005, Calk had the second highest overall evaluation on teaching among tenure-track accounting faculty members.

Dominguez, a former president of El Paso Community College, also joined the NMSU faculty in 2001. His dedication to his students is evident by his consistent and positive student evaluations, the large number of dissertations he has supervised and the overall success of his students. An NMSU alumnus, Dominguez received his specialist in education degree in 1980 and his doctorate in educational administration in 1986.

The Dennis W. Darnall Faculty Achievement Award was presented to Nina Compton, finance and business law.

Compton has been teaching at NMSU for more than 26 years. She teaches business law courses covering commercial litigation, health care and consumer interests among many other topics. Her research centers on contemporary legal environments and she has authored and coauthored numerous articles on the subject.

University Research Council Awards for Exceptional Achievement in Scholarly Activity were presented to Jeffrey B. Arterburn, chemistry and biochemistry; Christopher Brown, geography; Kirk McDaniel, animal and range sciences; and Igor Sevostianov, mechanical engineering.

Arterburn’s research program involves the design and synthesis of antiviral drugs and compounds targeted at receptors that play a role in some types of cancer. A member of the NMSU faculty since 1992, Arterburn heads the New Mexico IDeA Network for Biomedical Research, a statewide network that focuses on investigations of biomolecule structure and activity, cell signaling pathways and pathogens.

Brown has been studying binational water resource issues on the U.S.-Mexico border for the past 13 years. In addition to policy issues, his areas of interest include the use of applied computer mapping tools to examine water quality and supply in twin city regions along the border. To advance this work, he was named director of the Spatial Applications Research Center, an applied projects laboratory at NMSU that supports the use of computer mapping and remote-sensing tools in a range of research efforts.

McDaniel is recognized internationally as a leader in the development of vegetation management practices in natural ecosystems. He has pioneered innovative approaches for managing important shrub and weed species on New Mexico’s rangelands and reviving plant communities along the state’s major riverways.

Sevostianov’s research has important implications for the development of improved materials for surgical bone implants, as well as new metals for the aerospace and automotive industries and other fields. His research and teaching interests are in the area of theoretical solid mechanics, especially the micromechanics of inhomogeneous materials and material design.

FirstLight Federal Credit Union Staff Achievement Awards were presented to Merlinda Cordero, placement and career services; Gloria Jean Valencia, biology; Lawrence A. Salazar, criminal justice; and Michael R. Zimmerman, registrar’s office.

Cordero, a placement technician, has been a staff member at NMSU for 26 years. She is acknowledged as a key player in the design, implementation and ongoing development of the SES Ventana automated student employment software. The Ventana software – given its name by Cordero – is an online employment system that exemplifies NMSU’s service to students and the community.

Valencia is a department secretary for the Department of Biology. In a department with more than 20 faculty members, 80 master’s and doctoral students and 400 undergraduate students, Valencia manages hiring, graduate admissions and an office staff of four people, while also keeping track of the department head’s schedule and the departmental meeting schedule.

Salazar is a recruitment coordinator for NMSU’s College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) within the Department of Criminal Justice. In addition to his duties as recruitment coordinator, Salazar also assists the program coordinator and helps with academic advisement.

Zimmerman has been the NMSU Registrar since 1994. An NMSU alumnus who has worked for the university since 1984, Zimmerman’s primary concern as registrar is to serve students, which includes keeping accurate records of the thousands of students attending the university each semester. Zimmerman and his staff also are responsible each semester for developing the university’s course schedules, for keeping track of new and changed courses, and for appraising and registering transfer courses. He also guides each semester’s commencement ceremonies, helping to make them successful and enjoyable events.

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