January 14, 2014 by Tiffany Acosta, NMSU News Center
New Mexico State University honored faculty and staff at the 2014 spring convocation ceremony on Jan. 14, at NMSU’s Center for the Arts. Every fall and spring, convocation is held to honor excellence on campus.
“Convocation is an important time of the year when we set the course for the start of the semester,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard. “As our academic enterprise gets underway for 2014, it is an appropriate time to recognize the efforts of some of our top faculty members. This semester, I am especially proud to focus our attention on three exemplary professors who are being named Regents Professors in recognition of their dedication, achievements and leadership as members of the faculty.”
Three Regents Professorships were awarded to Cynthia Bejarano, criminal justice; Enrico Pontelli, computer science; and John “Jack” Wright, geography.
The NMSU Board of Regents established the Regents Professorship in 2001, which recognizes faculty who have made outstanding contributions to the university’s mission and to honor contributions in areas of education, research, extension education and public service.
Bejarano joined NMSU as a College of Arts and Sciences faculty member in 2001. She is a Stan Fulton Endowed Chair. Bejarano has received the Donald C. Roush Excellence in Teaching Award during her NMSU tenure. As a native New Mexican, she has dedicated her career to justice for women, minorities and the economically disadvantaged.
In his 15-year career as a faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences, Pontelli has received many honors. He won the National Science Foundation Career Award in 1999, only two years after earning his Ph.D. Pontelli was a recipient of the Donald C. Roush Excellence in Teaching Award. He was named the S.P. and Margaret Manasse Scholar in 2012 and a year later was named distinguished achievement professor.
A faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences since 1990, Wright has earned numerous accolades. At the fall 2013 convocation, he was named the Westhafer Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient, which is NMSU’s highest faculty honor. Wright is a two-time Donald C. Roush Excellence in Teaching Award winner. In 2001, he was named a Manasse Chair. A Maine native, Wright is an expert on cultural, historical and environmental geography of New Mexico and the American West.
A panel of Regents Professors evaluates faculty-submitted nominations throughout the university, and the committee meets to determine the awards. The recognition receives a $12,500 annual stipend.
Eleven faculty members were honored with the Donald C. Roush Excellence in Teaching Award. The accolade is named after Roush, a former NMSU executive vice president, in recognition of his 35 years of teaching improvement in New Mexico.
The Roush recipients are Andres F. Cibils, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; John “Jack” Wright, College of Arts and Sciences; Amy Lanasa, College of Arts and Sciences; Robert Steiner, College of Business; Frank A. Gilpin, College of Education; David A. Rockstraw, College of Engineering; Charles T. Kozel, College of Health and Social Services; Frank Webb, NMSU-Alamogordo; Felecia Cantwell, NMSU-Carlsbad; Tim Chappell, NMSU-Dona Ana; and Richard Gutierrez, NMSU-Grants.