Message from the President

Dear Colleagues:

We have good news as the spring semester gains momentum. First, the Governor’s budget proposal of $898.1 million for higher education: this is great news for Adams State University, as it would hold our funding flat. We will keep you updated as the budget moves through the legislative process.

We will certainly advocate for the budget’s adoption at our upcoming ASU Day at the Capitol, February 16-17. Faculty, staff, and alumni are also welcome to join us at the Thursday evening reception. Click here for event details. This marks the second year Adams State will visit with legislators and Governor’s staff to share our Great Stories. For example, we were recently named in the Top 50 Hispanic Serving Institutions by Best  The site notes that Hispanic enrollment in colleges and universities increased 240 percent between 1996 and 2012. We know that trend continues and that Adams State is ideal for helping these students succeed.

Speaking of Great Stories, last weekend I met with our newly formed Denver Alumni Chapter, a group of alumni whose accomplishments demonstrate ASU is succeeding in our mission. They are eager to reach out to fellow alumni in the Denver area, as well as to help raise scholarship funds and recruit new students. They recognize the impact their Adams State degree has made on their lives and want to extend that advantage to future students.

President McClure

Spring Lunchtime Talks schedule

The popular series, Lunchtime Talks in Science & Mathematics, continues this semester. The one-hour lectures for a general audience are open to everyone and provide pizza. For more information, contact Dr. Tim Armstrong, Professor of Biology.

Lunchtime Talks in Science & Mathematics
Porter Hall room 130

  • Wednesday, February 8
    “3-D Geological Tour of the San Luis Valley”
    Alumnus Andrew Valdez
  • Wednesday, March 8
    “Picture Perfect Peru”
    Students Clifton Simmons and Cassidie Fisher
  • Wednesday, March 29
    “Fungi in Biotechnology”
    Dr. Kristy Duran
  • Wednesday, April 5
    “Colony Collapse Disorder and the Future of Honeybees”
    Dr. Matt Steffenson
  • Thursday, April 13
    “Fun with Numbers”
    Dr. Tony Weathers 

Departments can support Safe Spring Break Fair

Thursday, March 16
1-4 p.m.
SUB banquet rooms

Hosted by the Counseling Center and Campus Recreation in conjunction with Wellness Week, the Safe Spring Break Fair will encourage students to engage in safer activities and habits over spring break, as well as reduce harm that could potentially occur with the use of drugs and alcohol.

Organizers invite campus departments to donate gifts or baskets that promote a safe spring break or promote departments, such as a hat or t-shirt. Questions may be directed Lis Tomlin  or Jessica Chacon.

STEM Saturdays sets spring schedule

STEM Saturdays, a series of activities for San Luis Valley students, support student success in STEM. These interactive sessions stimulate the imagination and curiosity of students, with topics including  biology, robotics, earth science, chemistry, computer science and mathematics. All sessions are designed with specific grade-level, developmentally appropriate lessons in mind. They are provided free of charge, but reservations are required, as space and equipment are limited. Schedule, registration, and liability forms are available on-line or by contacting STEM Coordinator Simona Guillen.


What on EARTH?

First meeting of the spring semester:
Tuesday, Feb 7
Student Life center of the SUB

Adams State’s sustainability group, EARTH, seeks participation and input on the following:

  • Ideas for potential environmental projects that may be funded through a donation.
  • Planning Earth Week events in April
  • Expanding recycling in the dorms and in the cafeteria

EARTH now has Twitter and Instagram accounts:

  • Twitter @AdamsStateEARTH
  • Instagram @asuearth

On America Recycles Day in November, the group raised about $250 on a vinyl record and record bowl fundraiser

EARTH leadership includes:

  • EARTH Coordinator for spring: Adam Kleinshmit
  • Work Study Coordinator: Chris Adams
  • Head of the EARTH Week committee: Trina DeHerrera
  • Recycling and Education Work Study: Oona King
  • Fundraising Work Study/Chair: Trina DeHerrera
  • Awareness Chair: Samuel Lane

The student-run EARTH club is led by:

  • President: Clifton Simmons
  • Treasurer: Trina DeHerrera
  • Vice President: Cory Ott
  • Officer: Oona King
  • Adviser: Jared Beeton



Where does all that snow go?

Alamosa set a new record of more than 20″ snowfall for the month of January. This has necessitated 120 additional person hours on weekends to clear the snow from campus. The first priority for Facilities staff is to clear pathways to and from as many buildings as possible, then pathways on all high traffic areas. Parking lots and A.D.A. parking spaces are next, followed by widening sidewalk passages.

Fun snow facts:
  1. Custodial staff does entry ways to all buildings at 6 am.
  2. Structural Trades does Faculty Drive apartments at 8 am.
  3. The campus’ 11 miles of sidewalks are cleared and widened in three passes for a total of 33 miles.
  4. During January, Facilities’ plows logged 291 miles to clear parking lots.
Be careful out there

Employees are reminded to use caution when walking around campus and to report any injuries to Human Resources within 48 hours, regardless of the incident’s severity.

Workers Compensation policy and procedures

Facilities notices

  • Staff are asked to place a work order in advance for assembly when ordering items such as desks, shelving units, chairs, etc. The request should include the approximate ship/delivery date of the items.
  • ASU partners with the City of Alamosa on recycling efforts. Campus members are asked remember recycling etiquette: Empty bags into the bins – do not throw the bags in. Do not throw trash into the recycling bins.


Student & Program News

  • The Higher Education Administration and Leadership (HEAL) program is one of the Teacher Education Department’s graduate programs. HEAL prepares students to manage and lead in institutions of higher education, especially Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and to enhance the success of the students they serve while providing networking and mentoring opportunities. The Master of Arts and post-graduate Executive Leadership Institute offer cohort-based, experiential learning in an online environment. The M.A. program is a two-year program, while the Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) is a one-year, post-graduate program.
  • Graduates of the SLV Boettcher Teacher Residency recently presented capstone research projects to an audience of faculty, family and friends at the annual San Luis Valley Academic Symposium, hosted by ASU. The evening opened with a keynote address from Teacher Education Department Chair, Dr. Ed Crowther, and included presentations on such issues as parental involvement, flexible seating, and social media in the classroom. Also, a group of BTR inductees recently met to reflect on their semester as part of a round-table discussion.

Dr. Nate Pipitone, assoc. professor of psychology, and recent ASU graduates Brandon Gallegos and Danielle Walters conducted a study to replicate and expand on research originally published in Psychological Science. Their findings were accepted for publication in Personality and Individual Differences. The original 2013 study investigated the fear of holes, or trypophobia. A minor proportion of the human population reacts very negatively when seeing trypophobic images, which usually embody clustered objects, often small holes. Past work shows that trypophobic images reflect spectral profiles similar to that of dangerous animals; researchers postulated there is a primitive threat detection system being triggered when humans view trypophobic images. The ASU group replicated that on average, trypophobic images are more uncomfortable to view compared to control images. They then documented that trypophobic images elicit a heightened physiological response among viewers, as measured by galvanic skin response. The heightened response was even found among individuals who did not meet the diagnostic criteria of trypophobia and was unrelated to participants’ general level of anxiety.

Dr. Cheri Meder and doctoral students in counselor education and supervision Christina Jurekovic, Rebeccca Meidinger, and Johnsa Phares received a $300 grant from Chi Sigma Iota to complete a quantitative research study titled “An Investigation of School Counselor Professional Identity and Leadership Practices.”

Johnsa Phares, a second-year doctoral student, will have a short piece published in the International School Counselors Association newsletter, tentatively titled, “Social Justice Advocacy in Schools.”

Paige Rutkowski, second-year master’s student in school counseling, was awarded the Carla Mulkey Memorial Scholarship through the Colorado School Counseling Association.

Vasti Holstun, a third-year doctoral student in counselor education and supervision, presented a proposal to the Colorado School Counseling Association’s executive board to begin a state-wide mentoring program for novice school counselors. The board approved the proposal, and the program will tentatively start this fall.

  • The Sport Management class hosted the local Special Olympics basketball event, December 4. Students dedicated many hours outside of class to help the event participants as they prepared for the regional tournament in February, in Pueblo. Twenty-two athletes participated in the local competition. The class appreciated support from ASU andthe SLV Dust Devils Special Olympics organization, as well as lacrosse, baseball, and soccer players who were partner players in this event. Alexia Gerdes sang the National Anthem, and men’s assistant basketball coach Jalen Love helped out with the main event.For more information about the SLV Special Olympics program, contact Peggy Johnson at 719-587-7408.


  • Athletics highlights great victories:

Dorsey’s Buzzer-Beater Sends Adams State to Thrilling Win over Regis

Grizzlies Stun No. 18 Fort Hays At Home With A 28-14 Upset


Alumni Anecdotes

Art Department alumnus Jessie Crock, who earned a BFA, will give an artist’s lecture and exhibit his work in the Hatfield Gallery. Entitled “Painting the Colorado Experience,” his exhibit runs from February 27-April 6.

Thursday, March 2
Lecture: 4-5 p.m.
Opening reception: 5-7 p.m.

Diego Martinez, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in business administration-finance, is now a bank examiner with the FDIC. He recently wrote the following in gratitude to his professors:

“My relevant and practical classes left me well prepared for the vigorous interview process. Professor Zaro, with his experience in banking, gave me valuable knowledge about the financial industry that I will be able to use throughout my career. This knowledge and experience that he passed on to me put me in an excellent position to excel with the FDIC as bank examiner. I feel that I have more pertinent knowledge about banking than some of my peers from larger universities. Thank you for the great education. I couldn’t be more pleased!”



Faculty & Staff News

Dr. Rick Baker, professor of English, had his article “Outsiders Wanting Back In–Rick Blaine’s conversion to Sartre’s Orestes: Casablanca and Existentialism” was published in the fall 2016 issue of the journal Cinematic Codes Review. The article explains the allegorical implications between Casablanca (1942) and Jean-Paul Sartre’s resistance play The Flies (1943), which Baker considers superb existential companion pieces.

Dr. Adam Kleinschmit, asst. professor of biology, attended and co-led an interactive educational pedagogy workshop at the American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting in San Francisco, December 3-7. Entitled “Using Cancer Resources to Actively Engage Introductory and Cell Biology Students,” the workshop focused on cancer as a storyline to teach students about enzymes, cell communication, and genetics. It modeled how to implement highlighted resources in a way that fosters a collaborative learning community in order to increase students’ understanding of both scientific content and the process and practice of science.

Andrea Rydgren, director and coordinator for Teacher Education’s STEM and Education Excellence for Diverse Students (SEEDS) grant, recently attended a national conference hosted by the federal Office for English Language Acquisition, a subsidiary of the US Department of Education, as part of that agency’s National Professional Development (NPD) Grant Program. Project directors from across the United States discussed the importance of teacher training in meeting the needs of linguistically diverse students.

Dr. Matthew C. Schildt, professor of music, will have his composition “Mysterious Valley” for flute and marimba performed at the Society of Composers conference in Arlington, TX, February 3. His album “This Little Light” has been streamed in 23 countries, was listed as the #2 album on Gaia Prime Radio, and was listed as one of the “Best of 2016” on the Audiosyncracy radio program.

Randall Smith, senior systems administrator, wrote a book, Docker Orchestration, that is expected to be published by Packt Publishing in February. Read more.

Dr. Matthew Steffenson, asst. professor of biology, attended the 2017 national meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in New Orleans, LA. He presented a talk on his research titled, “Leg autotomy and its effects on predator-prey interactions in the wolf spider Pardosa valens.”

New Employees
  • Gina Mitchell – instructor of psychology
  • Katherine Lewis – assistant director of Civic Engagement and Career Services
  • Ashley Swanson – housing resident director
  • Laura Tucker – admin. assistant, SUB Mailroom
  • Jessika Vandivier – admissions counselor
  • Dr. Penny Sanders moved from the counselor education faculty to the new position of Assistant Vice President for Graduate Studies, Research, and Sponsored Programs. Read more.