Campus prepares for HLC – Reafirmation of Accreditation

Faculty and staff attended an April 6 information meeting about Adams State’s preparation for HLC Reaffirmation of Accreditation. The HLC Steering Committee described the expectations and format for completing the university’s Self-study and Quality Initiative for the Higher Learning Commission, North Central. Steering Committee Chair, Dr. Frank Novotny, explained all employees will have a role in contributing the Self-Study. Committee members will be contacting others on campus as they compile evidence for the report.

In preparation for the Self-Study, the following attended HLC’s annual conference in Chicago over spring break:

  • Tracy Bishop
  • Kevin Daniels
  • Dr. Margaret Doell
  • Bill Mansheim
  • Ken Marquez
  • Larry Mortensen
  • Dr. Michael Mumper
  • Dr. Frank Novotny
  • Walter Roybal
  • Dr. Beez Schell

The HLC website, which was developed by Jen Stoughton, contains a wealth of detail, including the individual criteria, committee members and time frames.

Celebrate with ASU retirees

Faculty & Staff invited to dinner honoring President Svaldi

The ASU Board of Trustees is hosting a dinner to honor Dr. David Svaldi on his retirement after 29 years at the university as President, Provost, and Professor. All faculty and staff are invited to attend, free of charge.

Friday, May 15
5-7:30 p.m.
SUB First Floor Banquet Rooms
7:30 p.m.

Dinner seats are limited, so RSVP is necessary. Call or email Kristine Johnson, ext. 7609.

FREE Community Concert
Don Richmond & the Rifters
7:30 p.m.
Rex Stadium

All Employees Retirement Dinner

Tuesday, April 14
5:30 p.m.
Student Union Building Banquet Rooms
Cost: $13
RSVP at ext. 8110 by April 7.

Retirees to be honored include:

  • David Bauer, Grounds and Nursery I
  • Dr. Linda Christian, Professor of Teacher Education
  • Lynn Crowder, Teacher Ed Professional Program Coordinator
  • Dr. Rex Filer, Professor of Counselor Education
  • Shirley Gibson, Payroll Manager
  • Donna Griego, Online Plus Coordinator
  • Dr. Carol Guerrero-Murphy, Professor of English
  • Marty Heaton, Head Football Coach
  • Liz Martinez, Extended Studies Program Director, Professional Development
  • Dr. David Svaldi, President
  • Dr. Susan Varhely, Professor and chair of Counselor Education


Campus Conferences & Events

Counseling Center promotes Mental Health Awareness

The ASU Counseling Center has planned a series of activities to promote mental health and wellness on our campus. All events are free, but some require advance registration. Call the ASU Counseling Center, ext. 7746, to register for individual events or receive more information.

  • Tuesday, April 7
    safeTALK Suicide Prevention Training
    9 a.m. – Noon
    SUB Banquet Rooms
    Please email Gregg Elliott to pre-register.
  • OR
  • Wednesday, April 8
    safeTALK Suicide Prevention Training
    1-4 p.m.
    SUB Banquet Rooms
    Please email Gregg Elliott to pre-register.
  • Friday, April 10
    Safe Zone Training: Creating an Inclusive Environment at ASU
    Presenter: Vanessa Delgado, UCCS LGBT Program Director
    Participants will develop an understanding of LGBTQ terminology and symbols, history, concepts of privilege and identity development, and build skills for identifying and interrupting language and behavior that may be discriminatory. (Presented in conjunction with ACE Conference: Advocating, Celebrating, Educating on LGBTQ inclusion in athletics. See below for details.)
    1-4 p.m.
    ART 227
  • Tuesday, April 14
    Depression & Alcohol Screenings
    10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    SUB Atrium
  • Wednesday, April 15
    Depression & Alcohol Screenings
    Noon – 3 p.m
    SUB Atrium
  • Thursday, April 16
    The Hunting Ground: movie screening and talk-back
    7 p.m.
    Carson Auditorium.

 ACE Conference explores LGBTQ inclusion in athletics

The LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Coalition, whose members are campus leaders from across disciplines and departments, urges everyone to attend Adam State’s inaugural Advocating, Celebrating, Educating Conference, which will explore “Equity in Sports and Other Arenas.” The featured speaker is Dr. Pat Griffin.

All sessions are free open to the public, but pre-registration is requested. Click here.

Questions may be directed to Dr. Penny Sanders or Dr.Beez Schell.  Details are also available on Facebook and the ACE Conference Blog.

  • Friday, April 10
    Safe Zone Training: Creating an Inclusive Environment at ASU
    Presenter: Vanessa Delgado, UCCS LGBT Program Director
    Participants will develop an understanding of LGBTQ terminology and symbols, history, concepts of privilege and identity development, and build skills for identifying and interrupting language and behavior that may be discriminatory. (Presented in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Week.)
    1-4 p.m.
    ART 227
  • Saturday, April 11
    9-10 a.m.
    McD 101
    Keynote Address: Dr. Pat Griffen, “LGBTQ Inclusion in Athletics: Successes and On-Going Challenges.”
    A discussion of the dramatic changes in the visibility and acceptance of LGBTQ athletes and coaches at all levels of sports over the last five years. The on-going challenges and obstacles to full inclusion will also be discussed, including sexism, racism, and cisgenderism in athletics.10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
    McD 101
    “Its About Teamwork: Creating LGBTQ Inclusive Climates on Sports Teams”
    A panel composed of LGBTQ and Ally student-athletes and coaches will respond to questions from Pat Griffin about their experiences in athletics and suggestions for how athletes and coaches can make their teams more welcoming and inclusive for people of all sexual orientations or gender identities. The session will close with specific ideas and projects that student-athletes (SAAC) can undertake to create LGBT inclusivity.Noon to 1:30 p.m.
    Student Union Building -La Mesa Dining Hall
    Kindred Spirits/CIELO Luncheon
    “Tell Your Coming Out Story”2 – 3:30 p.m.
    McD 214
    “What’s Your Game Plan? Strategies for LGBTQ Inclusion in Athletics”
    Dr. Pat Griffin will lead a workshop on best practices and policies for the inclusion of student-athletes and coaches of all sexual orientations and gender identities on sports teams. Coaches and Athletic Administrators are encouraged to attend.2-3:30 p.m.
    McD 101
    “Suicide – let’s talk about it!”
    Presenter: Alumna Kristina Daniel, MA, MBA, Chief Operating Officer, SLV Behavioral Health
    A presentation of local and statewide data, college student trends and LGBTQ-specific concerns. Learn a little bit about what to look for and have a community safety conversation. Learn how to help break down some barriers to discussing suicide concerns and learn about local data to help support you in those conversations.

EARTH sponsors Earth Week April 14-17

  • Tues., April 14
    Sustainability Fair
    SUB Foodcourt/Lobby
    Many environmental groups from the San Luis Valley will have booths with information and prizes. Booths include: EARTH, EARTHlings, VEGI, Ecosystem Council, Local Foods, Farmers Market, Healthy Living Park, and others.
  • Thurs., April 16
    Bike to Work Day & Bicycle Repair Station unveiling
    Bicycle to work and win a prize.
  • Sat., April 18
    Healthy Living Park Volunteer Day
    This is a work day to help out at the gardens of the Healthy Living Park, located just across the river from Cole Park.

Law enforcement invites everyone to Special Olympics Torch Run

ASU Chief of Police Paul Grohowski and the ASU PD are teaming up with the Alamosa Police Department, Alamosa Sheriff’s Department, and the Colorado State Patrol to present a 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run, which will benefit Special Olympics Colorado. Grohowski challenges the campus to join in for fitness and a great cause.  Registration info.

Saturday, May 2
10 a.m.
Rex Activity Center 2.5 miles to Alamosa City Hall Complex

Participants sought for Hilos Summer Institute

Application deadline: April 18

Wrapping up its institutional grant, ASU Title V invites applications for its fourth and final Hilos Summer Institute. Twenty faculty and staff members will be selected to attend the conference on the Adam State campus, July 19-22.

The application form and other information is online and must be submitted by April 18. Applicants will be notified by April 25.

Full-time Hilos faculty participants will receive a daily stipend of up to $200/day for their participation; full-time staff participants will receive a $25/hour stipend for time spent beyond their normal 8-hour workday.

Questions may be directed to Andrea Benton-Maestas, ext. 8333, or Mike Nicholson,  ext. 6792.

C.A.M.P. Professional Development

Friday, April 24
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
McD 281
(includes breakfast & lunch)

RSVP by April 23 to Javier Gonzalez.

A continuation of the collaborative process in developing the C.A.M.P. (College Access Migrant Program) student retention and recruitment plan. Includes a panel of current C.A.M.P. students.

Neilsen Library tends “Seed to Seed” library

All campus and community members are welcome to make use of the Nielsen Library’s new community seed library, “Seed to Seed.” It offers for “check-out” seeds from 417 seed packets for approximately 115 varieties of vegetables, grains, herbs and flowers. All are organic and/or heirloom, open-pollinated (non-hybrid). About 1/4th of the collection are local seed donations that are proven SLV hardy.

Nielsen LIbrary Director Carol Smith, joined by Mary Walsh and Karen Lemke, cut the ribbon on the "Seed to Seed" library

Nielsen Library Director Carol Smith (left), joined by Mary Walsh and Karen Lemke, cut the ribbon on the “Seed to Seed” library

Cataloguing & Acquisitions Librarian Mary Walsh, said, “Our goal in the coming years is to have 100% of the seeds be SLV grown varieties. To date, more than half of seeds in the collection have been “checked out”. Who can say no to free seeds? Then, we hope people will bring in seeds they harvested from plants they grew from our check-out.”

Campus Construction Update

Richardson Hall wrapping up

The Richardson Hall remodeling project is essentially complete, and remaining staff will begin to relocate back the building later this month. Work on landscaping will begin shortly and continue through the summer. A Grand Opening event will be held early in the fall semester, with details to be announced.

Title V STEM supported green-house underway

Ground was recently broken to construct a new campus greenhouse, that will be under direction of the Biology/Earth Science Dept. The new, stand-alone structure will provide opportunities for improving student engagement and undergraduate research. It is funded through the Title V STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) Grant and should be completed by July 1.

Read more.

Student & Program News

Model UN takes top awards

Adams State’s Model UN team had great success at the MEDMUN (Mediterranean Model United Nations) Conference, held at the Sciences Po campus in Menton, France, over Spring Break.


Dr. Mari Centeno, Model UN advisor, said, “All of our training sessions paid off. The team swept the conference awards, in competition against such colleges as Brown University and London School of Economics. Azarel Madrigal, Mark Mabry, and Laurel Heimstra won the Best Delegate award in each of the three committees in which they participated.”

The team was rounded out with Stevon Cornish, Will Custer and Justin Chase. Their discussion topics included Crisis in Libya, Rights for Migrant Workers, and the Peloponnesian War.

HPPE class presented Special Olympics Basketball Extravaganza

Students in the spring 2015 class of HPPE 305 Sport Facility & Event Management planned and conducted a Special Olympics Basketball Extravaganza. Held in Plachy Hall March 10, it was an exciting basketball game that showcased the skills of local Special Olympics basketball players in front of their friends and families. Athletes were divided into two basketball teams that put three Special Olympians and two ASU student partners on the court at a time, following the Special Olympics Unified basketball rules.special-olym

Donations raised enough funds to cover travel expenses for the program for one sport’s travel to Special Olympics regional competitions. This event was a huge success, judging by the smiles on the faces of both participants and fans alike. The closely contested game ended with the blue team sneaking past the red team by one basket, with a final score of 24-22 in overtime.

The San Luis Valley Special Olympics Dust Devils basketball team, coached by HPPE senior Jacob Flores, took first place in their division at the Southeast Regional Special Olympics basketball tournament, held February 14 in Colorado Springs. The athletes have been working with Coach Flores every Saturday morning since late November to hone their skills leading up to this event. The 12-person Dust Devils team advanced to the championship bracket after winning their first game by a large margin. Five additional San Luis Valley Special Olympians, led by volunteer Holly Navratil, competed in the individual skills contests of shooting, dribbling and passing at the regional basketball event, bringing home two first place ribbons, one third place ribbon, and two fourth place ribbons.

The team members and individual skills competitors proudly showed off their brand new uniforms at the regional basketball event, a purchase made possible by the successful fundraising efforts of the fall 2014 HPPE 305 Sport Facility & Event Management class. Students combined the fundraiser with the local Rolling for Change bowling event that they planned and conducted as part of their course requirements.

Special Olympics is an international organization which sponsors year round athletic training and competition for individuals ages 8 and above who have been diagnosed with developmental disabilities. For more information about the SLV Special Olympics program, contact Peggy Johnson at 587-7408, Gerri Cummings at 580-5959 or LaVerne Valdez at 589-6995.

Student Leaders recognized

Adams State’s seventh annual Student Leadership Banquet, March 30, honored student leaders with amazing food and live music. The keynote speaker was alumna Corrine Padilla ’05, who reflected on what she had learned throughout her years at Adams.

Read more.

Community Partnerships hosts media professional career workshop for students

Thursday, April 16
3-5 p.m.
Art Rm. 227

Faculty are encouraged to urge interested students to attend, at no charge, a Media Professionals Career Workshop provided by Colorado’s Office of Film, Television and Media. It will be hosted by Adams State University’s Community Partnerships and the Southern Colorado Film Commission

Colorado State Film Commissioner, Donald Zuckerman, will discuss the state’s initiative to expand the film industry in Colorado. The Office of Film, Television, & Media, formerly the Colorado Film Commission, is now a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Additional presenters include:

  • Duke Hartman, Chief Operating Officer, High Noon Entertainment
  • Alexandre O. Philippe, Creative Director of Denver-based Cinema Vertige and Exhibit A Pictures
  • Sheila Ivy Traister, director, writer and award-winning actress with 30+ years in film, television, theater and improv
  • Marc Snider, Exposure Productions, a small, mountain oriented production company
  • Julie Speer, Director/Executive Producer, Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting

Community Partnerships thanks the following faculty who aided in designing the workshiop: Dr. John Taylor, Dr. Beth Bonnstetter, Danny Ledonne, and Gustavo Plascencia.

Books donated to Reading Room

The Department of History, Anthropology, Philosophy, Political Science and Spanish extends its thanks to Cathie Aguilar Waugh, who contributed several boxes of history and Spanish books to the McDaniel Hall Reading Room. The books were owned by her late father, Lee Adonais Aguilar, who earned a B.A. in Secondary Education and M.A. in Spanish International Studies from Adams State. He also earned a master’s in 20th century Mexican literature from the University of Montana. Aguilar taught high school and at Northwest Community College in Powell, Wyo., for 37 years. Everyone may access the Reading Room’s collection.

Faculty & Staff News

Trustees approve faculty tenure and promotions

At its April 2 meeting, the Board of Trustees for Adams State University approved the following tenure awards and promotions in faculty rank:

Tenure was awarded to:

  • Dr. Claire van der Plas, also promoted to Associate Professor of Art
  • Dr. Benjamin Waddell, also promoted to Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Dr. Brandon Wilde, also promoted to Associate Professor of Counselor Education
  • Yusri Zaro, Assistant Professor of Business

 Also promoted in faculty rank were:

  • Dr. Robert Astalos, to Full Professor of Mathematics
  • Dr. Zena Buser, to Full Professor of Business
  • Dr. Jared Beeton, to Full Professor of Earth Sciences
  • Dr. Stephanie Hilwig, to Full Professor of Sociology
  • Dr. Beth Robison, to Full Professor of Music

Emeritus Professor status was conferred on the following, who will retire this academic year:

  • Dr. Rex Filer, Emeritus Professor of Counselor Education
  • Dr. Carol Guerrero, Murphy, Emeritus Professor of English
  • Dr. David Svaldi, President Emeritus, Emeritus Professor of English, Theatre, and Communications
  • Dr. Susan Varhely, Emeritus Professor of Counselor Education

New leadership in academic departments

Dr. Mark Manzanares, professor of  Counselor Education, is taking over the duties of chair of the Department of Counselor Education, following Dr. Susan Varhely’s retirement.

Dr. Claire van de Plas, associate professor of art, will become the chair of the Art Department, with Margaret Doell moving full time to Asst. VP for Academic Affairs.

Professional Activities

Dr. Nate Pipitone, asst. professor of psychology, is gaining international attention for his research into how women’s voices signal cures regarding their fertility. He was recently interviewed by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). The interview can be heard on the University of Cambridge website, “The Naked Scientists.”

Dr. Tracey L. Robinson, professor of HPPE; Megan Nelson, visiting professor of HPPE, and three students in HPPE exercise science attended the Rocky Mountain American College of Sports Medicine (RMACSM) annual conference in Denver, March 27-28. Also participating were graduate students Lukus Klawitter and Alexandra Cooper, and undergraduate Carmille Garcia. The meeting’s theme was “Exercise and Physical Activity for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.”

All members of the ASU contingent agreed it was a very good conference; there were many interesting speakers from all over the country with expertise in research and clinical experience. The meeting also provided excellent networking opportunities for the students.

As a current and newly re-elected board member of the RMACSM, Dr. Robinson was heavily involved in planning, organizing and running the meeting, as well as judging the many student research posters.

Dr. Carol Guerrero-Murphy, professor of English and liaison for Inclusion and Equity, attended the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADHOE) pre-conference workshops and conference, “Getting it Done: Rising to Opportunities and Challenges in Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education”. The conference was held in Washington, D.C., March 15-18. Her expenses were supported by Title V.

The conference was held in conjunction with the annual ACE (Advocating, Celebrating, Educating) Conference, which had special sessions on using Campus Climate Assessments to identify priorities for focused change. Guerrero-Murphy said, “The keynotes on ‘Race Matters in in College,’ presented by author Shaun Harper, Ph.D., and Damon Williams, Senior Vice President of Boys and Girls Clubs of America, were both inspiring and discouraging, when considering the data that demonstrates the increasing gaps in college success for students of color. I came home with a long list of ‘To Do’ items to share with ASU stakeholders. It’s clear that if we are not working for the success of our historically underserved students specifically, then we are working against their success; yet, if we work to achieve inclusive excellence, all students benefit.”

Lori Laske, executive director of Donor & Alumni Relations; and Tammy Lopez, executive director of the ASU Foundation, attended the International Conference for Associated Fundraising Professionals, held in early April in Baltimore.

Julie Waechter, assistant to the president for communications and editor of the A-Stater (ASU’s alumni magazine), recently attended the CASE (Council for Advancement & Support of Education) Editor’s Forum, held in Philadelphia.

New Employees

  • Shannon Pyle – Senior Admissions Counselor