Campus Improvements

Ribbon cut on Richardson Ave.

The sun shone brightly Sept. 8 as campus and community members gathered to celebrate the reopening of Richardson Ave., which was recently reconstructed. The project was jointly funded by the Adams State and the City of Alamosa, with ASU contributing $37,000 toward the project from budget savings in Facilities Services. The city’s portion was $400,000.

Alamosa Mayor Josef Lucero and ASU President Beverlee J. McClure with the Adams State Drum Line.
Alamosa Mayor Josef Lucero and ASU President Beverlee J. McClure with the Adams State Drum Line.

Using 1,100 tons of asphalt, the project included 1,200 feet of new sidewalk and the addition of 13 parking spaces, bring the total to 63. The street is once again open to two-way traffic, as well.

Another special outcome of the project was creative painting on the crosswalks, the brainchild of Alamosa Public Works director Pat Steenberg. Piano keys lead visitors to Leon Memorial Concert Hall, and dollar signs adorn the walks near the School of Business.drumline-crosswalk


President Beverlee J. McClure noted the crosswalks aptly symbolize the partnership between ASU and the City. “They represent the two-way benefits to the university and the entire San Luis Valley community.” Associated Students & Faculty (AS&F) President Patrick Cleary echoed her emphasis on fostering community relationships as part of ASU’s 2020 Strategic Plan.

Departments move into East Campus this month

The remodeling of the East Campus is nearly completed. The HPPE department will share the first floor with Title V and Graduate Studies. The second floor will be home to the Nursing Department, three art studios, and three additional HPPE classrooms.

Learn a new language online with Mango Languages

The Nielsen Library, in conjunction with C.A.M.P. and Title V, is excited to announce the purchase of Mango Languages, an online language learning database. Mango Languages offers self-guided courses in over 60 languages, as well as multiple ESL courses. Mango also features thematic courses such as Medical Spanish and full-length international films for immersive learning. Instructors can view students’ progress by setting up an instructor account through the library.

You can access Mango through the Library’s Articles and Databases page or the Audio page. You can also download a free app. Nicole Trujillo can answer any questions about Mango.

This is HSI Week

Best and high impact practices that support Adams State’s role as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) are the focus this week.

Each day this week has a special theme:

  • Monday – HSI Awareness
  • Tuesday – Honoring
  • Wednesday – Immigration Policy & Impact
  • Thursday – STEM & Involvement
  • Friday – Wellness

Read event details here.

The Cultural Awareness and Student Achievement Center (CASA) is also presenting a variety of activities to celebrate Hispanic heritage. A complete list of events is here.

Seed Saving Workshop

Tuesday, September 13
5-7 p.m.
Boyd Community Garden – State Ave. & 11th St. in Alamosa

A collaboration of the Nielsen Seed Library, Boyd Community Garden, and and VEGI.

Title V presented Unidos Equity Leadership Institute

Nine Adams State faculty and staff participated in this summer’s 2016 Unidos Equity Leadership Institute, presented by  Title V. They joined participants from New Mexico Highlands University and University of New Mexico – Taos Branch in sessions geared to eliminate the barriers to higher education created by race, class, gender, and other forms of bias. The ASU participants included: Jeni Carter, Dr. James Doyle, Simona Guillen, Shannon Heersink, Dr. Robert Kirk, Maria Martinez, Maria McMath, Dr. Beth Robison, and Dr. Angela Winter.

New initiatives in the Music Department

The Music Department developed a new focus on select chamber ensembles to meet the department objectives and address student learning outcomes. Department head Dr. Beth Robison explained, “The music industry has changed. Students have changed, and so have the demands on their time. To meet these changes, we have pivoted away from the singular emphasis on large ensembles, and brought into focus the real world experience gained by empowering students to create, rehearse, market, schedule, manage, and lead their own small music ensembles.” Each ensemble is tasked with providing a minimum of five performances a semester.

Robison added this “lighter, faster, smarter” model provides a minimum of 60 performances that will benefit the entire University, the community, region, and music education in the public schools.

These ensembles are:

  • 68 West (a cappella vocal ensemble)
  • Alpine Backbeats (marching percussion and samba bateria)
  • Power of Five (brass quintet)
  • Desert Winds (woodwind quintet)
  • 7,543′ Panhandlers (steel pan band)
  • Summit Quartet (flute quartet)

Click here to book an Adams State University Service Chamber Ensemble or learn more about each group.

Stimulated by faculty participating in the Unidos Equity Retreat, the Music Department developed ETHOS, an overarching, multi-year program to address equity and diversity issues in music ensemble programming and curricula development. Ensemble concerts, faculty recitals, and guest artist appearances will be designated as part of the ETHOS program. For example, a faculty voice recital, titled “Out of the Closet and on to the Stage,” will feature composers from the LGBT+ community, a faculty flute recital celebrating the works of women composers, and a visiting brass quintet performing works by Hispanic composers.

This programming will explore music of different cultures and social groups, and address issues of diversity and equity. ETHOS will also encourage cross-discipline relationships and allow open discussion of issues in the classroom and throughout the university and local community.

This new initiative will be highlighted at the state level on January 26, 2017, when the Adams State Winds and Percussion will perform at the Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA) conference.

Update from Grizzly Athletics

Held each Wednesday, Grizzly Club luncheons allow fans to hear from Adams State University coaches, student-athletes, and administrators and get the inside scoop on each program and important upcoming events.

Click here to join the Grizzly Club.

Grizzly Club Luncheon Schedule

Tailgate parties allow football fans to rev up prior to each home game. The tailgate area is located between the Student Union Building and the Administration Housing office on the campus of Adams State. Tailgating will be made available three hours prior to game time and close 30 minutes before kickoff. Food and alcoholic beverages may be brought into the sectioned tailgate area but are prohibited from exiting the designated area. Only gas grills are allowed and must be accompanied with a mat underneath to catch grease. No open fires or charcoal grills are allowed. Tailgate spots are $10 each and may be reserved by clicking here.

Student, Faculty & Staff News

Recent sociology graduate Tori Martinez produced a series of videos on Adams State members of the Corn Mothers, which honors women from the Southwest who embody the spirit of community. They may be viewed on You Tube.

Computer science major Stephanie Sisneros is featured on the Colorado Space Grant Consortium website. Visit this site and click reload to see Stephanie in the Student Highlight section. Stephanie participates in the ASU Robotics Society and assists at STEM Saturdays.

Junior music education and percussion performance major Kevin Johnson was selected to attend the Music in the Mountains Conservatory of Music in Durango, CO, July 8-30.  He performed with university students from throughout the U.S. and studied and performed with an international faculty of music professionals.

holcomgVocal music major Brittany Holcomb sang the national anthem at Alamosa’s Fourth of July parade.

The School of Business held its third annual BFF (Business-First year-Focus) event, August 19, during New Student Orientation. Forty-two business students participated and received T-shirts, School of Business Survival Guides, a bag of goodies, and a chance to win the prize drawings that were held later that afternoon. The prizes and winners of the drawing are:

$100 Tuition and Fee Credit-declared major in Business

  • Nicholas Mourning
  • Kenzie Beckner
  • Caleb Cowart
  • Colton Lind
  • Stetson Stallworth

Igloo 3.2 Cu Ft Refrigerator

  • Eduardo Majalca
  • Matthew Contreras

Samsung Galaxy Tab A

  •  Stephanie Wolfe

Several faculty and staff were recently interviewed about university programs and events by local radio stations KRZA and KSLV. They include:


  • Pete Gomez, CAMP grant director
  • President McClure
  • Eric Carpio, asst. vice president for Student Services


  • Maria McMath, Caminos grant activity director

Both stations:

  • Liz Bosworth, coordinator of First Year Immersion, and New Student Orientation student leader
  • Brian Puccerella, coordinator of Adventure Leadership and Programs

Professional Activities

students_field_2016Dr. Jared Beeton, professor of earth sciences, and his students spent three weeks in the field this summer at the Scott Miller Mammoth Site near Monte Vista. The group recovered nine complete mammoth teeth. Beeton’s feature article “Teaching Geology to Biologists: An Essay on an Interdisciplinary Field Trip in Africa” was recently published in EARTH Magazine.

Dr. Rob Benson, professor of geology, edited a section on the state’s geologic history for The Colorado Encyclopedia website. 

Dr. Benita Brink, professor and chair of the Biology/Earth Sciences Department, and Dr. Kristy Duran, assistant professor of biology, attended a week-long bioinformatics workshop at Juanita College to learn the newest tools for studying gene expression.

Dr. James Doyle, assistant professor of music, had his article “Embracing the Popular: A Percussion Studio Project” published in the Percussive Arts Society’s Rhythm! Scene. He also performed with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra in Durango, CO, from July 8-31 with members of major American symphony orchestras, including the Dallas Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and Phoenix Symphony. In addition, Doyle recorded drums and percussion on the recent Howlin’ Dog Records release by Ry Taylor, titled “Take Out Your Tongue.”

At the recent annual meeting of the Botanical Society of America annual meeting, Dr. Kristy Duran and recent graduate Julie Madden presented their research poster, “Correlation between dwarf mistletoe infection and monoterpene concentrations in Pinus Ponderosa.” She also presented “The effects of nitrate on root hydraulic conductivity in legumes with and without Rhizobium symbiosis.” Recent biology graduates Stefan Ortega ’15, Kevin Shanks ’16, and Cody Duran ’16 also contributed to the research project.

Dr. Jeff Elison, asst. professor of psychology, had two articles published this summer: “Humiliation,” in Encyclopedia of Adolescence, R. J. Levesque (Ed.), and “Measuring shame coping: The validation of the Compass of Shame Scale,” co-authored with  F. Schalkwijk,  J. Dekker, J. Peen, & Stams, G. J. in Social Behavior and Personality (in press). In addition, his shame-coping scale, the Compass of Shame Scale (CoSS) was translated to Polish, its 13th translation.

Dr. Melissa L. Freeman, Title V PPOHA Grant Activity Director, and Andrea Benton-Maestas, Title V Conexiones Project Director, presented “Revamping Graduate Education for Greater Student Success: An Institutional Culture Shift” at the annual Title V Directors’ meeting in Washington, DC.

Dr. Joel Givens, Counselor Education, presented “Inside out: Merleau-Ponty and humanism” at the American for Humanistic Counseling (AHC) Conference in Portland Oregon. He also presented, along with Dr. Penny Sanders and Jill Nardin, doctoral student in Counselor Education, on “You can’t always get what you want: The relevance of desire for mental health counselors.” Doctoral students who also presented include: Coreen Haym on “Queer labels: Speaking of sex and gender,” and Madeleine Stevens on “Using dialectical thinking in theories courses.” vasti-and-liz-pictureAlso, doctoral students Elizabeth Wiggins and Vasti Holstun presented “Supervising school counselor interns” at the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) National Conference in New Orleans, LA. Also, doctoral student Deanna McCulloch presented “Touching the brain: Emotional regulation through somatosensory and tactile interventions” at the Great Beginnings, Great Families Conference, held in Helena, MT.

Dr. Adam Kleinschmit, assistant professor of biology, participated in the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (NCCSTS) Flipped Case Workshop held in Buffalo, NY. The NCCSTS specifically made a call for experienced faculty who had previously written and published case studies to apply to the NCCSTS NSF-funded workshop to be trained on how to produce engaging videos and implement flipped video cases. Learn more about the NCCSTS. In addition, Kleinschmit attended the 2016 RNA-Seq for the Next Generation Virtual Workshop, hosted in early June at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s (CSHL) DNA Learning Center (DNALC). His Molecular Biology II (BIOL 477) course thoroughly explores the utility of RNA-Seq and how it can be used to further our understanding of biology at the genomic level. He plans to implement wet lab experiments as well as the bioinformatics analysis of “big data” into the classroom using a CURE approach.  Learn more about the RNA-Seq for the Next Generation.   He presented an educational research poster at the 2016 American Society of Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE), held in Bethesda, MD, in July. The poster detailed a classroom activity he designed, implemented, and assessed in his Cellular Biology (BIOL 323) course. The activity teaches students how to find, read, and interpret scientific literature in a cellular biology course using targeted articles that have an evolutionary focus, but use cell biology tools to answer macro-evolutionary questions. He also attended a week-long Developmental Biology Laboratory Teaching Workshop in Walpole, ME.

Lori L. Laske, Executive Director of Alumni and Donor Relations, was recertified as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) by CFRE International. Over 5,500 professionals around the world hold the designation, having met the organization’s standards that include a rigorous written examination.

Dr. Michael Martin, professor of sociology, coauthored with University of Wyoming’s Richard Machalek the chapter in the Handbook of Contemporary Sociological Theory (2016) entitled “Social Evolution.” The Evolution, Biology and Society section of the American Sociological Association has selected the edited volume, Handbook on Evolution and Society: Toward an Evolutionary Social Science, for the 2016 faculty book award.  Martin and Machalek coauthored the first chapter in the volume, “Neo-Darwinian Evolutionary Theory and Sociology: Throwing a New Light on an Old Path.”

Maria McMath, Activity Director of the Title V Caminos grant, participated in the 2016 Emerging Leaders Program, presented by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The program conveyed effective strategies and techniques for building trust with new and perhaps unsure potential institutional partners.

Dr. Blaine Reilly, Counselor Education, published the results of his dissertation on “Mindfulness infusion through CACREP standards” in the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health.

Kevin Ruybal and Lisa Brown, of Facilities Services, and Dodie Day, administrative assistant in the School of Business, participated in a clean-up of the area surrounding the “Adams State” water tower coordinated in August by the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council. Volunteers filled three roll-off trash containers with 7.5 tons of all types of discarded material.

Dr. Matthew C. Schildt, professor of music, released a CD titled This Little Light, which has been broadcast on radio stations in the U.S, U.K, Spain, South Korea, and the Netherlands. The CD includes ten of his original compositions in a contemporary instrumental/new age/jazz style. Schildt plays piano, with Don Richmond on guitars and mandolin, Stephen Brannen (former ASU grad student) on electric guitar, Kyrstyn Pixton on wordless vocals, Dr. James Doyle on percussion, and John Michel and Michael Jude on drums and bass. ASU graphic artist Amy Kucera created the CD artwork. Learn more.

Dr. Matthew Steffenson, assistant professor of biology, attended the 2016 International Congress of Arachnology with two undergraduates, Alex Mullins and John Whitinger ’16. Held every five years, the event was hosted by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in Golden, Colorado. Steffenson’s talk was titled, “The effects of leg autotomy on the outcome of predator-prey interactions in Pardosa valens.” The students presented research they conducted with Steffenson, “Anti-predator submersion behavior: a coevolutionary arms race between two species of wolf spiders?”

Brian Zuleger, assistant professor of HPPE, recently completed professional development at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The military is the largest employer of sport psychology professionals in the world. He spent five days shadowing and learning from Dr. Nate Zinsser, director of the performance enhancement program within the Center for Enhanced Performance and one of the leaders in the field. The program integrates five mental skills around a unifying conceptual understanding of the psychology of improvement and success. This educational model provides a systematic approach to empowering individuals and organizations. Zuleger expanded his knowledge of and insight into the military’s history and educational methods used, so as to better train graduate students to be prepared for potential careers working with military personnel in performance enhancement.

Program & Staff Changes

Erika Derouin-Greene is serving as interim chief of the Adams State University Police Department.

The San Luis Valley Migrant Education Program is now under the umbrella of Adams State. Read more.

New Employees

  • Jennifer Banks – Housing Resident Director
  • Matthew Brown – Athletics Equipment Manager
  • Sonya Brockman – English Faculty
  • Alice Burch – Nursing Faculty
  • Jessica Chacon – Health & Wellness Coordinator
  • Maria DeLara – Migrant Education Program Parent Advocate/Liaison
  • Kayla Dixon – Resident Director
  • Matias Francisco – Migrant Education Program Recruiter
  • Dr. Christopher Gilmer – VP Academic Affairs – Read more.
  • Angelica Gero – Women’s Lacrosse Coach
  • David Gerke – Speech/Theatre Faculty
  • Nancy Gonzales – Sociology Faculty
  • Joseph Mendoza-Green – Asst. Director of Career & Counseling Services
  • Timothy Lawrence – Materials Handler I Mailroom
  • Michelle LeBlanc – English Faculty
  • Wiliam Lemus – Migrant Education Program
  • Keith Lindgren – Men’s Lacrosse Coach
  • Leanne Lounsbury – Controller
  • Leslie Macklin – Art Faculty
  • Esmeralda Martinez – Migrant Education Program Director
  • Ashley Meek– Math Faculty
  • Melissa Moeller – Counselor Education Academic Advisor
  • Ellen Novotny – English Faculty
  • Blaine Reilly – Counselor Education Faculty
  • Sarah Rhett – IR Data Analyst
  • Dariana Roybal – Upward Bound Advisor
  • Samantha Sargent – Admissions Counselor
  • Matthew Scaveezee – Resident Director
  • Megan Serbenou – Biology Faculty
  • Eric Stewart – Art Faculty
  • Christina Vargas – Migrant Education Program Admin. Asst.
  • Edward Valerde– Music Faculty
  • Jordan Witt – Migrant Education Program Asst.