Hall of Research

Dr. Courtney Allen will be switching out the poster presentations in the Hall of Research in McDaniel Hall. New presentations will be displayed in early May. Those with a poster presentation to showcase in the Hall of Research are asked to contact Dr. Allen.

Grant News

Dr. Kristy Duran, associate professor of biology, is a co-principal investigator on a new National Science Foundation grant, Digitization TCN: Collaborative Research: Using Herbarium Data To Document Plant Niches In The High Peaks And High Plains Of The Southern Rockies – Past, Present, And Future.” The project will allow digitization of ASU’s Herbarium, as well as of other herbaria in the region. The grant provide funding for an ASU student to work on this project.

Two more STEM Saturdays planned

STEM Saturdays had a great turnout for both the fall and spring semesters. Two sessions remain:

  • April 22, 2017 Dr. Chris Adams — “Rocket-Powered Derby Cars”
  • April 29, 2017 Drs. Frank Novotny & Marty Jones — “Whatta You Know About Water”
Dr. Matt Nehring’s session – “Learning to Run the World with Electronics”
Dr. Alexey Leontyev “Biodiesel and Soap from Palm Oil”

Please visit the website for further details. Sessions are open to students in grades 1-12 free of charge, but reservations are required, as space and equipment are limited. An updated schedule, registration, and liability forms are available online or by contacting Simona Guillen, STEM Activity Coordinator, 587-7586.



Student & Program News

Adams State’s Model UN team is competing in the Barcelona Model UN conference, April 19-24. They have been training hard for months in order to represent Adams State and bring back awards. With advisor Dr. Mari Centeno, the student team includes Sean Erice, Patrick Cleary, Gloria Quintana, and Jeremiah Medina.

AS&F Student Government Elections results:

  •      President – Alex Lopez
  •      Vice President for Internal Affairs – Brittany Wilson
  •      Vice President for External Affairs – John Owsley
  •      HPPE Senator – Chadwick Hovasse

Seniors Lauren Murphy and Vanessa Moore, secondary education/English majors, are passionate leaders creating awareness about domestic violence. On October 26, they organized the Red Flag Campaign, a day for ASU students, faculty, and staff to make a pledge against domestic violence. “Students were receptive and excited to break the silence about domestic violence. We gave them the chance to speak out and recognize a ‘red flag,’ and they took the opportunity,” explained Murphy. Over 150 people attended the event.

Preceding the Red Flag Campaign event on campus, Lauren and Vanessa visited ASU classes with an interactive presentation educating students about healthy relationships. This student service project was part of coursework in Methods of Teaching Secondary English. Their presentation placed third at Student Scholar Days.

Natalie Rogers, asst. professor of business, and nine students attended the PBL State Conference in Grand Junction, where seven ASU students qualified for nationals in Anaheim, CA, in June. The competitions included objective tests, live presentations, and hope site exams. ASU students placed in Accounting Analysis & Decision Making, Accounting for Professionals, Client Services, Computer Applications, Computer Concepts, Entrepreneurship Concepts and Justice.






The Adams State University Percussion Ensemble, directed by Dr. James Doyle, presented six all-school assemblies at elementary schools in Durango on April 6-7 for over 1000 students. The ensemble presented high energy programs on behalf of the Music in the Mountains Goes to School program by performing and teaching Ghanaian dancing, drumming, and singing.

The Department of Sociology hosted students and faculty from Fort Lewis College and Western State Colorado University for the 11th Annual Undergraduate Sociology Conference, on April 7 and 8. Read more.

Alternative Spring Break Experience – Guaymas, Mexico

Spring break is a time when ASU students work, play, catch up on sleep, or … participate in Campus Ministry’s Alternative Spring Break Experience. The 2017 ASB experience was a road trip of 2,000+ miles through the US desert southwest and Sonoran region of northern Mexico.

ASB 2017 participants: Simone Jackson, Hilda Martinez, Soledad Dominquez, Julio Rodriguez, Hannah Vigil, DeShea Wilkes, Dana Gonzales, Adrian Reyes (ASB Student Leader), Elsa Goosen (Community Partner – SLV Immigrant Resource Center),  Shirley Atencio, Adviser, United Campus Ministry.

The nine students, their community partner and adviser experienced the rich cultural landscape of the border region through strategic stops along the way, with a particular focus on migration and immigration. Stops included a homestay along the border with a Mexican family in Naco, AZ, lunch and conversation with staff at the Alitas migrant shelter in Tucson, which serves women and children ICE detainees, and several days at Casa Franciscana in Guaymas, Mexico. There, students had the privilege of serving in various outreach programs.

Students made home visits to people who were elderly or disabled, served at a meson that fed Central American and Mexican migrants riding north atop a “Death Train” en route to Nogales, and helped install a roof for a local family. A highlight was the impromptu birthday party and soccer game students arranged for a local child. Another was meeting inspirational community leader Brother Ivo Toneck, founder of Bellas Artes Guaymas, a music conservatory for poor and marginalized children. Br. Ivo is behind the $3.5 million Conservatory of Music and new Guaymas City Auditorium currently being constructed, which are changing the face of Guaymas.

No ASB is complete without some fun. A final stop at the fishing town of Bahia de Kino on the Sea of Cortez provided opportunities for pier diving and selfies on the beach. The most significant take-away from ASB was summed up by one student who said, “I will take (from ASB) everything I learned from the people I have met” and by another who “wants to become more informed and educated about situations in other countries.” The group saw only one region of a large and multi-faceted country, and received much more than they gave.


ASU’s Phi Eta chapter of the Beta Beta Beta Biological National Honor Society (Tri-Beta) participated in the 2017 Western Region District 1 Convention on April 7-8 at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, CO. The following students presented original research and placed in the undergraduate oral presentation competition:

  • Alex Mullins – Oral Presentation – 1st Place (Research Advisor: Matt Steffenson)
  • Ryan Miller – Oral Presentation – 2nd Place (Research Advisor: Adam Kleinschmit)
  • Russell Geminden & Garrett Visser – Oral Presentation – 3rd Place (Research Advisor: Matt Steffenson)

The following Tri-Beta students and faculty also participated in this year’s conference:

  • Erika Ibarra-Garibay
  • Sam Ogden
  • Julie Starkey
  • Dr. Adam Kleinschmit – Tri-Beta Faculty Advisor
  • Dr. Tim Armstrong
  • Dr. Matt Steffenson
  • Dr. Megan Sherbenou – Keynote Speaker
Counselor Education

The Counselor Education Department, in partnership with SLV Behavioral Health Group, the SLV Joint Interagency Oversight Group, and Tu Casa presented the TEAMS symposium on March 15, 2017. This community event educated counselors, teachers, and community members on emergency preparedness, crisis response, and the aftermath of trauma. Frank DeAngeles, a retired principal from Columbine High School, was a keynote speaker.

Dr. Joel Givens, asst. professor of counselor education, was also a keynote speaker at the symposium. He discussed his experience with crisis response after the Aurora theater shooting. Other Counselor Education faculty members shared their expertise. Dr. Neil Rigsbee, asst. professor, discussed “Suicide risk: Assessment and interventions,” and Dr. Courtney Allen, asst. professor, facilitated a panel discussion on “Community crisis response.” Finally, Dr. Laura Bruneau, professor, presented on “Animal assisted therapy and crisis response.”

Doctoral students in Counselor Education also presented at state, regional, and national conferences:

  • Deanna McCulloch, a third year doctoral student, coordinated a break-out group at the Great Falls Children’s Bereavement conference in Great Falls, MT, on “Death and dying: Mitigating trauma after a loss.”
  • Gregg Elliot, a third year doctoral student, presented at the American Counseling Association conference in San Francisco, CA, on “Holding the tension: Congruence and ethics in supervising values conflicts.”
  • Christina Jurekovic and Becky Meidinger (second year doctoral students) also presented at ACA on “Promoting professional school counselor identity through educational leadership and advocacy.”
  • Megan Numbers, a second year doctoral student, presented twice at the North Carolina Counseling Association conference in Durham, NC, on “Healing the wounds of secondary traumatic stress in counselors from minority groups,” and “Supporting military spouses through group counseling: considerations and implications.” She also presented at the Southern Regional Area Health Education Center in Fayetteville, NC, on “Using Inside Out to facilitate a group that helps children identify feelings and create a toolbox of coping skills.” She was named President-Elect of the Military and Government Counseling Association, a division of the North Carolina Counseling Association.
  • Coreen Haym, a second year doctoral student, was a guest on Women in Depth Podcast with Dr. Lourdes Viado on the topic “Beyond the myths: Understanding BDS-M.”

Doctoral students will also present at the upcoming Colorado Mental Health Professionals Conference in Denver, CO. Christina Jurekovic, a second year student, along with Bill Spies and Christina Harrell (first year doctoral students) will present “Counselor identity variation across license types as measured by the PISC.” Vasti Holstun, a third year doctoral student, will present on “Spirituality in counseling: The good, the bad, and the helpful.” Vasti was also awarded a $1,000 research grant from the Graduate Research Fund Committee at ASU to pursue her dissertation research on “Student counselor perceptions of feedback and the impact on self-efficacy.”


Thirteen undergraduate and graduate Human Performance & Physical Education students attended the 2017 Rocky Mountain American College of Sports Medicine (RMACSM) conference in Greely, CO. The meeting theme was Health is Wealth: The Role of Exercise and Nutrition Across the Lifespan, and featured speakers from the region and across the country. The keynote speaker was J. Larry Durstine, Ph.D., a Distinguished Professor from the Normal J. Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. He reviewed the use of high intensity interval training in conditions of health and disease in both older and younger populations. The students really found inspiration during the student poster presentations and grant proposals. There is a lot of motivation moving forward for future research from this young group.  The students were joined by Visiting Assistant Professor, Lukus Klawitter.

Dr. Brian Zuleger and graduate students in the M.S. Applied Sport Psychology program — Melanie Shawcroft, Nico Jauregui, Martin Wolffe, Riley Robbins and Zachary Holloway — attended the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) southwest regional conference at University of Denver, April 7-8. The conference brought together universities and students for presentations on research done by current graduate students in Applied Sport Psychology. Presentations focused on past and current research done in the applied setting and consulting within the field of Applied Sport Psychology. Conference directors discussed the future of the field and gave examples of paths graduate students could take. The University of Denver facilities offered a great environment to listen and learn about new ideas in applied sport psychology for athletes, coaches, and consultants. Zachary Holloway and Riley Robbins presented on their research, “Utilization of self-talk with collegiate cross country runners.” They had a positive response to their research, and many people were interested in the future applications the study will have.

Dustin Oranchuk had his Master’s thesis accepted for publication in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, one of the most esteemed journals in the field of exercise science. He is the first author on “Comparison of the Hang High-Pull and Loaded Jump Squat for the Development of Vertical Jump and Isometric Force-Time Characteristics.”

The Sport Management class hosted the 2017 Special Olympics Basketball Showcase April 7 at Plachy Hall. Students dedicated much of their own time to plan and prepare for this event so each Special Olympics athlete could show off their skills in front of all their friends and family. The event was a fundraiser for the local Special Olympics program, the SLV Dust Devils. Enough money was raised to cover the costs for the athletes to attend regional track competition in May and support next fall’s entire bowling program, including regional competition. A total of 20 athletes were split into the red or blue team, each team playing with 3 Special Olympians and 2 partner-players from ASU football on the court at a time. After a hard-fought game between the two teams that went into overtime, the blue team was victorious with a final score of 38-34.


Psychology major Issac Serrano was selected for a paid internship at Duke University’s Wilbourn Infant Lab with Dr. Makeba Wilbourn. The lab’s summer research program is for underrepresented students in psychology. He was one of three students selected from a pool of 110 international students. Interns will gain hands-on experience conducting developmental psychology research with infants, children, and adults. Dr. Kristy Duran made the Psychology Department aware of the opportunity, and Kay Lewis, assistant director of Civic Engagement & Career Services, was integral in helping Isaac with the application process.

The following psychology students received Psi Chi (international honor society) travel grants for travel to the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Convention in early April:

  • AnnMarie Bennett– $250
  • Cole Maze – $250
  • Keren Bakke– $200
  • Shannon Rhodes – $250

The following students also attended the conference:

  • Mikayla Weiser
  • Nick Blazon
  • Seth Slover
  • Brittany Wilson
  • Jerome Rodriguez
  • Melissa Acosta
  • Chelsea Walljasper
  • Savannah Smith

Recent grads attended also:

  • Jocelyne Cabrera
  • Danielle Walters

Adams State students participated in the following presentations:

“Teaching Replication in Psychology: A Guide for Teachers and Students, Symposium” with Leslie D. Cramblet Alvarez along with Doug Colman (psych graduate and current doctoral student at Idaho State University)


  • “Perceptions of Famousness and Attractiveness: Preliminary Analysis” – R. Nathan Pipitone, Ian Wingstrom, and Chelsea Walljasper
  • “Student Attitudes Toward Concealed Gun Carry on Campus” – Nicholas Blazon, Seth Slover, and Robert Demski
  • “Cannabis Use Across the Adult Lifespan: Perceptions, Patterns, Purposes, and Outcomes” –Robert M. Kirk, Rob Demski, Courtney Allen, Chelsea Walljasper, Melissa Romero, Marisa Juarez, Savannah Smith, and Jerome Rodriguez
  • “The American Dream: Politics and Possibilities” – Leslie D. Cramblet Alvarez, Jocelyne Cabrera, Shannon Rhodes, Jerome Rodriguez
  • “Physiological Response to the Manipulation of Trypophobic Imagery” – Danielle I. Walters, R. Nathan Pipitone, and Brandon Gallegos

Faculty & Staff News

Employee Recognition

The 2017 Employee Recognition Luncheon is a new campus tradition that will be held April 25 for honored faculty and staff. A list of those recognized for years of service is available here.

This year’s Exemplary Faculty Award will recognize Dr. Tracey Robinson, professor of HPPE.

The following faculty were promoted in rank:
  • Dr. James Doyle TO Associate Professor of Music
  • Dr. Elizabeth Hensley TO Associate Professor of Business
  • Dr. Stephanie Hensley TO Associate Professor of Teacher Education
  • Dr. Adam Kleinschmit TO Associate Professor of Biology
  • Dr. Renee Beeton TO Full Professor of Chemistry
  • Dr. Jeff Elison TO Full Professor of Psychology
  • Dr. Patricia Robbins TO Full Professor of Business
New retirees include:
  • Julia Chavez – Advisor, Online Programs, Extended Studies
  • Cecil Fell – Equipment Manager, Athletics
  • Barbara Griego-Jones – Admin. Assistant III, HPPE
  • Cathy Heaton – Instructor of English/AAA Coordinator
  • William Herrmann – Assistant Professor of Accounting
  • Ed Lyell – Professor of Business
  • Bea Martinez – Director, Student Business Services
  • Tresa Rupright – Police Officer I

Awards of emeritus status, tenure, and sabbaticals will be considered by the Board of Trustees at its May 12 meeting on campus.

Professional Activities

Dr. Courtney Allen, asst. professor of counselor education, presented with psychology professors (Drs. Kirk, Demski, and Cramblet-Alvarez) and students at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association conference in Salt Lake City, UT, on “Cannabis use across the adult lifespan: Perceptions, patterns, purposes, and outcomes,” and “From anticipation to application to acceptance: Navigating the three stages of grad school grief.”

Dr. Leslie Alvarez, professor of psychology, recently received the Rocky Mountain Psychology Association (RMPA) Distinguished Service Award. She served three years on the group’s executive committee, including a stint as president of RMPA. The award recognized Alvarez’s research, as well as her work as a presenter on teaching, as moderator of numerous sessions, as sponsor of invited speakers, and as mentor of student involvement. She is also the incoming vice president for the Psi Chi Regional Chapter and has served on its steering committee. She founded Adams State’s Psi Chi Chapter, which has won the Model Chapter award.

Dr. James Doyle, associate professor of music, was an artist-in-residence at Northwest Missouri State University on March 1 and the University of Central Missouri on March 2. He performed, served as an adjudicator, and presented a masterclass for the Mid-Missouri Percussive Arts Trophy Competition on March 4.

Andrea Benton-Maestas, Title V activity director and director of the Graduate Center, led/facilitated an invited, day-long Equity Institute with more than 100 participants at the annual Alliance for Hispanic Serving Institution Educators (AHSIE) conference, held in Las Vegas, NV, in early April. The Equity Institute’s panel on “Latino/a Students Success: From Scholarship to Practice” included Dr. Melissa L. Freeman, Title V project director. Also at the conference, Freeman and Benton-Maestas presented “Revamping Graduate Education for Greater Student Success: An Institutional Culture Shift.”

Dr. Melissa L. Freeman, Title V project director, was appointed to the Alliance for Hispanic Serving Institution Educators (AHSIE) Council for a three-year term (2017-2020). AHSIE is a non-profit organization that supports the work of the nation’s Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) as they seek to provide quality, relevant educational opportunities to the large and growing numbers of underserved populations, particularly Hispanic students. All of the Alliance’s activities directly benefit practitioners and educators at HSIs.

Gaylene Horning, asst. director of Alumni Relations and Linda Relyea, asst. director of Communications, recently attended the CASE Editor’s Forum in Chicago.

Dr. David MacWilliams, professor and chair of English, Theatre, Communications, published a  textbook, The Basics of English Grammar: An Introduction, last August (Linus, 2016). His flash fiction story “Bouquet” appeared in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine in December. His personal essay on teaching in Saudi Arabia, “Khalid,” will be published this month in Creative Nonfiction, Issue 63. Read more.

Michael C. Rael, IT professional in Computing Services, is exhibiting photos from his book Sentinel in Sight – Photographs of San Antonio Mountain. The exhibit will be on display on the Nielsen Library’s second floor through the month of May. Read more.

Dr. Blaine Reilly, asst. professor of counselor education, published an article in the Journal of Humanistic Counseling titled “The Phenomenological Experience of Student-Advocates Trained as Defenders to Stop School Bullying.”

New Employees
  • Tanya Portillo – Accounting Tech III, Student Business Services
  • Daren Rodriguez – Custodian I, Facilities Services
  • Gary Foss – Custodian I, Facilities Services
  • Aaron Chavez – Custodian I, Facilities Services
  • Melinda Viecsas – Student Advisor, Student Support Services
  • Michaela Romero – Advisor/Recruiter, Extended Studies
  • Katelyn Smith – Advisor/Recruiter, Extended Studies