Message from the President

Dear Colleagues:

The commencement ceremony that concludes each academic semester is a huge milestone for our students, signifying the fruits of perhaps several years of labor. It also represents the commitment each of you brings to your work of supporting student success. Our students often face challenges beyond those presented by a particular exam or project, and we know your concern for individuals and the relationships you foster can make an important difference. It is not uncommon for ASU graduates to credit a member of faculty or staff who was there for them.

One-hundred forty-seven undergraduates will become ASU alumni on December 17. This commencement ceremony will once again demonstrate that we “walk the talk” articulated in Adams State University’s Mission:
“. . . to educate, serve, and inspire our diverse populations in the pursuit of their lifelong dreams and ambitions.” The composition of this graduating class clearly shows we are faithful to that mission. Just over 29 percent of these new graduates identify as Hispanic; an additional 9.5 percent are from other ethnic or racial minority groups. That’s a total of nearly 39 percent.

There are other dimensions to this diversity, as well. A total of 42 percent of the graduating class have low-income backgrounds, and 41 percent will be the first in their families to complete college. Twenty-three percent fall into both these categories. For them, graduation is a particularly sweet achievement.

In addition, 40 graduates earned their degrees through our Extended Studies program. That includes 2 international students and 19 who are incarcerated. Sixty-seven percent of our fall graduates are Colorado residents, including 29 percent who are from the San Luis Valley. Fully one-third have participated in Grizzly Athletics.

For all of our students, earning a degree will have a positive impact not only on their own lives, but also on their families and communities, and, indeed, on our nation as a whole. As our semester comes to a close and ASU sends more successful graduates into the world, I congratulate you all on a job very well done.

President McClure

Fall Commencement Dec. 17

Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony
10 a.m.
Saturday, December 17
Plachy Hall
Followed by reception with graduates and their families in the Plachy Hall Field House.

Faculty, administrators, and coaches are expected to participate in the undergraduate commencement exercises. Please be attired in appropriate academic dress for the processional to form in the Field House at 9:15 a.m.

The commencement address will be given by Stan Hilkey, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety. In recognition for his outstanding work in law enforcement, Adams State will award Hilkey an Honorary Doctorate in State and Local Government during the ceremony. Read more.

The message on behalf of the graduating class will be given by Eric J. Learn, who will receive a BS in Business Administration, accounting emphasis, with minors in taxation and adventure leadership & programming. Read more.

Winter Holiday Schedule

The university will be closed and holiday leave granted as followed:

  • Monday, December 26, 2016 – Christmas Day (25th falls on Sunday)
  • Tuesday, December 27, 2016 – President’s Day (Saved from February 15, 2016)
  • Wednesday, December 28, 2016 – Columbus Day (Saved from October 10, 2016)
  • Thursday, December 29, 2016 – Veteran’s Day (Saved from November 11, 2016)
  • Friday, December 30, 2016 – Governor’s Holiday (previously annual leave or LWOP)
  • Monday, January 2, 2017 -New Year’s Day (1st falls on Sunday)

New date set for HLC site visit

The comprehensive site visit by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) originally scheduled for April 2017 will now take place in October 2017. The request for extension was recommended by the Colorado Department of Higher Education. This extension will enable full implementation of any changes in Extended Studies and will maximize ASU’s ability to provide evidence that the university meets all of the Criteria for Accreditation. The HLC Board’s review of the site visit team’s recommendations remains scheduled for February 2018. ASU remains accredited during this entire process.

Migrant Education Program accepting gifts for families

The Migrant Education Program is seeking gift donations for its Adopt a Family for Christmas program. It will hold its winter Wonderland/Pais de las Maravillas for program participants Dec. 17-18 at its office at 1424 Second Street. To find out how to support Adopt a Family, contact Shanda Taylor, 589-3544, or Esmeralda Martinez, 589-3190.

Laughter is the perfect gift

Adams State University Theatre presents
You Can’t Take it with You
Directed by Dr. John H. Taylor
7:30 p.m.: Dec. 2, 9, and 10
2 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11

Dec. 3: Share the Magic benefit performance for La Puente Home
Dec. 4, 2 p.m: ASU Alumni performance. Call Gaylene Goodwin Horning 587-8110 to order your tickets.

The production is sponsored in part through the generosity of Dale and Bev Hettinger, Dan and Debbie Bowers, and Mike and Dianna Goodart. Read more.

Finals Week hours for Grizzly Testing and Learning Center

The Grizzly Testing and Learning Center will administer only accommodation exams during finals week. Due to limited space, it will not be able to assist with make-up exams or early release exams, nor any distance, extended studies, or placement exams during this week. These exams will be administered the week after finals from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Student, Faculty & Program News

Faculty and staff are invited to participate in the AAA Review Team to identify the salient course outcomes. The team will consider feedback for course improvement, explore best practices for AAA type courses, and critique the current AAA outcomes, curriculum, format, and delivery strategies. For more information, contact Curt Howell, associate director of Campus Recreation and Wellness, ext. 7018.

A recent lecture by  Dave Ellis, R.D., C.S.C.S., entitled “Nutritional Myths and Practices of Successful Athletes: Implications for Active, Non-Elite Performance,” drew an audience of 115 students, ASU faculty, staff and community members. The presentation was made possible by a grant from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) facilitated by Dr. Tracey L. Robinson, Professor of HPPE, who is a Board Member of the Rocky Mountain chapter of ACSM. ASU was chosen as one of three sites for the Fall 2016 Lecture Series for the second year in a row, The grant was aimed at bringing well-known exercise science (and related) researchers to the more “remote” areas of the RMACSM chapter.

Ellis’ campus visit was organized by Robinson with assistant from HPPE Administrative Assistant Caryn Chavez and graduate assistants Alex Jordan and David Sheppard.

Ellis is the president of Sports Alliance, Inc., creator of the Fueling Tactics System, and was the first president of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dieticians Association. He spoke about how his Fueling Tactics System can be used by all levels of athletes and others to ensure sufficient energy availability to train and compete, have a faster recovery from training and competition, and have less down time due to illness.

Ellis used scientific data and anecdotal information from real life examples of athletes he has worked with (e.g., LeBron James of the NBA, University of Nebraska football team, NFL and NHL teams, etc.), to provide information on diets, foods, and supplements that are known to enhance physical performance, as well as about nutritional practices of questionable effectiveness. For example, a gluten-free diet (one of the latest “fads”) is unnecessary in the absence of celiac disease or a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity.

ASU’s Spanish Club again collaborated with Sacred Heart Church to present a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration for the community. day-of-the-dead-fall-2016

Natalie S. Rogers, asst. professor of business administration, accompanied three students to Dallas, Texas, for the Phi Beta Lambda National Fall Leadership Conference. They attended various leadership development seminars and students had an opportunity to network with young people from across the country. Student participants included Snowy Coleman, Jessica Crowther, and Vanessa Tafoya.


The Art Department’s sculpture program received a $2,400 grant from the Colorado Space Grant Consortium, funded by NASA. The grant will pay for student labor and materials in the design and fabrication of a theoretical Mars human habitat. It will be a temporary, above ground-style structure with spaces for both leisure and work activities, plus an airlock for entry and exit. It will also feature integrated lighting in the form of electroluminescence. This project will commence with the spring semester. Collaboration from the greater ASU community is welcome. For more information, contact Dana Provence.

The HPPE department’s Sport Management class again hosted the local Special Olympics bowling event in October at ABC Pro Bowl. The group dedicated many volunteer hours to allow the bowlers to practice and qualify for Special Olympics Southeast Area regionals in Pueblo. At that competition, Alamosa bowlers in the women’s divisions took 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place awards; in the men’s division, local bowlers placed 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th. The organizers are grateful for the assistance of Liz Peña from the SLV Dust Devils Special Olympics organization.bowling-1

The mission of Special Olympics Colorado is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. For more information please contact Peggy Johnson, ext. 7408.

Six agri business students, accompanied by Dr. Zena Buser, profesor of business, attended the Colorado Farm Bureau statewide collegiate discussion meet in Denver, November 18 – 20. Four of the six placed in the top ten .  Read more.

The ASU Bulls & Bears Finance Club and Yusri Zaro, asst. professor of business, recently visited SLV Federal Bank. Students discussed the bank’s performance and learned about the different hedging models/mechanisms used to measure/mitigate interest, credit, operational, market and liquidity risks. They were received by President Duane Bussey, CFO Kellie Veneman, COO Shon Davis, and CLO Mark Bechaver.

bulls-and-bears-slv-fedRecent graduates of the graduate program in exercise science Lukus Klawitter and Dustin Oranchuck presented on their research at the sport performance conference held in Calgary, Alberta, at the Canadian Sports Institute and the University of Calgary. Klawitter’s research project investigated “The Effect of the Advanced Biostructural Correction Chiropractic Technique on Aerobic Measures in Trained Endurance Cyclists.” Oranchuck’s research investigated “Six Sessions of Sprint Interval Training in the Field Improves Running Performance in Trained Athletes.” Currently adjunct instructor in HPPE, Oranchuk received a full academic scholarship for the Ph.D. program at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand.sportsDoctoral students in Counselor Education presented at a variety of regional and state conferences. Third-year student Elizabeth Wiggins presented “Creating a Zen Generation: Holistic School Counseling” at the Colorado School Counseling Association’s (CSCA) conference. Rebecca Meidinger (second-year doctoral student) and Christina Jurekovic (first-year doctoral student) presented “The Toolbox Approach to Teaching Theories to Future School Counselors” at the North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (NCACES) in Bloomington, MN. Second-year doctoral students Megan Numbers, Lori Kucharski, Jill Nardin, and Rebecca Meidinger presented “Relationships in Distance Learning Counseling Programs: Is it Worth the Convenience?” at the Western Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (WACES) in Vancouver, BC. Also at WACES, second-year doctoral students Coreen Haym, Madeleine Stevens, and Johnsa Phares presented “Culture Shock and Adaptation for International School Counselors: Adventure or Ordeal?” Coreen Haym also presented “Supervision and Queer Language: Developing Counselor Skills and Awareness”at WACES and on the topic “Thinkin’ kinkin’: A Modern Look at Current Kink Research in Psychotherapy” at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality National Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Second-year Counselor Education & supervision doctoral student Johnsa Phares was selected a task force member for the International School Counselors Association. Serving a two year appointment, Phares will represent the region of Central America, Colombia, Caribbean, and Mexico.

The Adams State Shooting Club finished seventh at the Scholastic Action Shooting Program Virtual Match Series. The Virtual Match Series is for clubs that don’t have the financial funding to physically travel to compete head-to-head with other colleges. Rob Bond is the club’s advisor and head coach.

Faculty Notes

Aaron Abeyta, professor of English, had Wilderness in Four Parts or Why We Cannot Mention My Great Grandfather’s Name published in the High Country News Books & Authors issue.

Dr. Jeff Elison, asst. professor of psychology, and three Dutch co-authors will have “Measuring shame coping: The Validation of the Compass of Shame Scale” published in Social Behavior and Personality. They assessed the validity of the Dutch translation of a psychological self-report Elison wrote was translated to 13 languages.

Dr. Adam Kleinschmit, asst. professor of biology, presented an educational research poster at the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Annual Conference held in Denver, CO last month. Entitled “Assessing the Prevalence of Antibiotic-Resistance in the Environment (PARE): Implementation of a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience in a Microbiology Course,” the poster focused on ASU undergraduate learning gains from participating in a collaborative, authentic research partnership with a local high school biology class. It also disseminated aggregate data from both undergraduate and high school students across institutions. Aggregate PARE survey results reported student self-perceived gains in classroom engagement, confidence, and collaboration skills. Additionally, high school participants indicated an increased intent to pursue a career in STEM.

New Employees:

  • Camila Alire – Interim Library Director
  • Elaine Taylor – Migrant Education Program Administrative Specialist
  • Reyna Martinez – Migrant Education Program Early Learning and K-8
  • Minga Francisco-Miguel – Migrant Education Program Recruiter
  • Edgar Martinez – Migrant Education Program Recruiter
  • Marietta Clark – CAMP Recruiter
  • Pauline Martinez – Title V Conexiones Grant

The following employees have assumed new positions on campus:

  • Jen Stoughton – Creative Relations content strategist
  • Linda Jones – Accounting tech III/travel officer