Getting a Move on in Richardson Hall

The first phase of the Richardson Hall renovation project is nearing completion, and many offices will be relocating over the next few weeks. This phase includes the center wing, south wing, and Richardson Auditorium.

Moving Schedule – prioritized, dates approximate

  • Bill Mansheim and Rodney Martinez will provide additional notice to units as their time approaches.
  • Human Resources will update the online staff directory with new office location information.
  • All phone extensions will remain the same.
  • Movement of phones and computers will coincide with office relocation.
  • Don Connell will work with staff to provide new keys.

Oct. 28

  • Main entrance on the east (also ADA entrance) open
  • South entrance open for exiting toward the west parking lot only
  • North entrance construction access only
  • Overhead scaffolding will remain in place over all entrances as a safety precaution until the roof is complete.

Oct. 29

  • Moving crew on site

Oct. 29-31

  • Student Affairs to 2nd floor Richardson Suite 2-800
  • Academic Affairs to 2nd floor Richardson Suite 2-200
  • Eric Carpio to 1st floor School of Business room 116
  • Alumni/Foundation to 2nd floor Richardson Suite 2-500
  • Nursing Faculty to Edgemont House
  • Enrollment Mgt. (Mumper) to 2nd floor Richardson Suite 2-700

Nov. 3-7

  • Upward Bound to 2nd floor Richardson Suite 2-400
  • Student Business Services to Porter Hall Rm 144
  • Finance/Budget/Purchasing/Accounting to 3rd floor Richardson Suite 3-300
  • President’s Office to 2nd floor Richardson Suite 2-300

Nov 10-14

  • Maxine Rodriguez to Richardson 1-702
  • Melissa Moeller to Richardson 1-701
  • Creative Relations to 1st fl. Richardson Suite 1-500
  • Financial Aid to RH 1st fl. suite 1-200.
  • Karie Velleses, Sally Kelly, Julia Chavez to Community Partnership Bldg.
  • Human Resources to Richardson Suite 1-400
  • Public Relations to 1-601 & 1-602
  • Records to Richardson Suite 1-300
  • Mailroom to new mailroom, west annex of Richardson Hall

Packing boxes are located on 1st floor Richardson by the business office. Tape is in the finance office (in the printer cabinet). A dumpster will be placed by the driveway on the northwest side of Richardson. Additional shredding bins will be available for confidential information.

Renovation Phase 2 is scheduled to be complete by the middle of April. Landscaping, the main exterior plaza on the east, and parking renovations will not begin until the end of spring semester.

Plan on the Health Fair Nov. 5

ASU Health Fair
Wednesday, Nov. 5
SUB 309

In an effort to keep ASU employees healthy, and with the flu season fast approaching, Human Resources is excited to once again offer FREE comprehensive health screening and flu shots at the upcoming health fair. Screenings can help identify any potential health risks and encourage healthier lifestyles.

The blood draws and health screens are FREE for Faculty, Classified and Exempt Staff and any dependents covered on insurance plans. Additional tests are available for minimal cost.

More information & sign-up

Please contact Shannon Heersink with any questions.

Faculty Development Events

Work on Purpose
Friday, Nov. 7
Noon- 1 p.m.
McD 281
Presented by Karen Lemke & Anicia Alvarez

An overview of the “Work on Purpose” program, with an example of a workshop on identifying an intersection between “head and heart” to foster all participant’s awareness of how they are progressing on their professional developmental/life goals. Participants are welcome to bring a brown-bag lunch.

Action Lab – Project based Classroom Software
Friday, Nov. 14
Noon – p.m.
Location  TBA
Presented by Karen Lemke & Mikela Tarlow

Introduction to an integrated web-based platform that blends student portfolios with innovative project-based curriculum and unique assessment tools for tracking a wide range of higher order skills. Participants are welcome to bring a brown-bag lunch.

Don’t Forget the Coffee:
Supporting Student Success with Appreciative Advising
Monday, Nov. 17
3:30-5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 18
8-10 a.m.
Workshop Presented by Joe Murray, Director of University Advising Services for Florida Atlantic University
Both workshops (same content, alternate times) will be held in SUB 309.

These workshops were made possible through the efforts of Dr. Benita Brink and the generous support of Title V. For more information about this student-centered approach to the advising process, click here.

The Faculty Development Committee requests RSVPs for its Winter Retreat:

Winter Retreat: Campus Culture on the Move
Jan. 15 – 16
Sagebrush Inn, Taos, New Mexico.

This event is appropriate for both faculty and staff. Thanks to generous support from Title V, Hotel and group meals will be provided. To RSVP, contact Dr. Leslie Alvarez, chair, Faculty Development Committee. Leslie Alvarez

Title V Grant Staffing

Staff changes have resulted from Adams State’s recent award of a new Title V grant. The five-year grant of $2,838,865 was awarded by the Department of Education’s Promoting Post-baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (PPOHA), a Title V program for Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI’s). Read more.

  • Lillian Gomez, who has directed multiple Title V grants at ASU, will serve as the half-time project director for the ASU PPOHA project. Mike Nicholson assumes her duties as Project Director of the Title V Institutional Grant until its conclusion next September. Andrea Benton-Maestas, Institutional Reporting director, will move to half-time in that position and serve as half-time Activity Director for the Institutional Grant.
  • Dr. Melissa Freeman, founding director of the online master’s program in Higher Education Administration & Leadership (HEAL), will serve as the full-time activity director and director of the Graduate Support Center, to be developed through the PPOHA grant.
  • Anna Torello will continue half-time with the Institutional Grant, and assume half-time duties as PPOHA grant project specialist, moving into that position full time once the institutional grant concludes.
  • The PPOHA grant will also fund two half-time graduate assistant positions for the Graduate Support Center

Expanded services for Title IX compliance

Erica Romero was recently named Deputy Title IX Coordinator. She is available to meet with staff and students with questions or who wish to file a complaint about sexual harassment/violence. She can be reached at 719-587-7508.

Additional resources include:

  • Joel Korngut – Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity
  • Ken Marquez – Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Adams State University Counseling Service
  • Tu Casa Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Advocacy Organization 719-589-2465
  • Adams State University Police Department
    719-587-7901 or 719-589-5807
  • Alamosa Police Department
    719-589-5807 or 911
  • Alamosa County Sheriff

ACE Fellowship program seeking applicants

The American Council on Education (ACE) is accepting applications for its 2015-16 Fellows Class. The deadline to apply is Nov. 3, 2014. Click here for more info.

The ACE Fellows Program is the nation’s premier higher education leadership development program preparing senior leaders to serve American colleges and universities. Since 1965, more than 300 ACE Fellows have gone on to serve as chief executive officers at more than 350 institutions.

Successful candidates come from all sectors of higher education and demonstrate a record of leadership in an institution-wide context. That includes vice presidents, deans, department chairs, or program directors; unit leaders in student affairs, advancement or admission; and senior faculty who have successfully chaired a major committee or faculty senate.

The ACE Fellows Program condenses years of on-the-job experience and skills development into twelve months. Over the course of the program, Fellows meet in person for three multiday seminars, correspond periodically on different issues and, based on the Fellow’s availability, have a custom-made opportunity for placement with another institution’s senior team.

Staff & Students attended HACU conference

Eleven Adams State University staff members and 15 students recently attended the 28th Annual Hispanic Association of Colleges and University (HACU) conference, held Oct. 4-6 in Denver.

Eric Carpio, Asst. VP for Enrollment Management, presented a session with a two colleagues from CSU and Front Range Community College titled “CoCEAL: Expanding opportunities for the educational attainment of Colorado Latinos.”

Additional participants included:

Faculty and staff

  • Dr. Anicia Alvarez
  • Andrea Benton-Maestas
  • Lia Carpio
  • Bennie Chacon
  • Dr. Melissa Freeman
  • Pricilla Gardea
  • Oneyda Maestas
  • Dr. Michael Mumper
  • Linda Pacheco-Demski
  • Dr. Nick Saenz


  • Stefan Armenta
  • Olivia DeHerrera
  • Ryan Dufresne
  • Scott Gesling
  • Kaylee Gomez
  • Natalie Gonzales
  • Gaspar Lucas
  • Mianna Maestas
  • Paulina Martinez
  • Judith Martinez
  • Alfred Petross
  • Christopher Quintana
  • Vicente Rios
  • Alejandro Torres
  • Eric Velasquez

Professional Activities

Dr. Leslie Cramblet Alvarez, professor of psychology, in her role of President of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, represented the region at the American Psychological Association’s 2014 Education Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference theme, “Learning in a Digital World,” featured plenary sessions and discussion groups including the use of games in learning, online teaching pedagogy, technology and today’s learner, and learning analytics, among others.

The Education Leadership Conference is the APA’s major education advocacy event. In addition to conference programming, attendees participated in educational advocacy through Capitol Hill visits. Attendees met with their Senators and Representatives to encourage them to support $8.9 million of funding for the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Graduate Psychology Education Program (GPE). This funding provides grants to APA-accredited doctoral psychology programs and internships. The ultimate goals of these grants are to provide interprofessional education and expand access to mental health services among underserved and vulnerable populations.

Dr. Jared Beeton, assoc. professor of earth science, and undergraduate Dan Carver had a paper published in Quaternary Research, a major, peer-reviewed, international-level journal.

Their paper is titled “Holocene Landscape Evolution and Geoarchaeology of Low-Order Streams in the Rio Grande Basin, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, USA.”

Beth Bonnstetter, assoc. professor of mass communication, was recently selected as a 2014 Faculty Fellow by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Read more.

Gregg Elliott, director of Counseling and Career Services, recently received his certification for Assessing & Managing Suicide Risk Trainer (AMSR). He is the only AMSR trainer in the State of Colorado. Read more.

Dr. Eden Wales Freedman, asst. professor of English, was the keynote speaker at the international women’s conference, “Exploring Women’s Testimony,” sponsored by the University of Maine at Augusta, Colby College, and the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, held Oct. 8-10. Her address, “Exploring Women’s Testimony through American Literature: The Reader as Witness,” considered how readers may engage trauma literature by and about women in order to combat–verses exacerbate–depicted catastrophes and theorizes a readerly engagement of women’s traumatic testimony, exploring how authors, characters, and readers can witness trauma together.

Mary Hoffman, executive director of Adams State University Community Partnerships, recently attended the 2014 Presidential Summit on Climate Leadership in Boston. She is a member of the university’s Sustainability Team, which works to achieve carbon neutrality. Read more.

Dr. Ed Lyell, professor of business administration, was one of 40 economic professors, from around the nation invited to a two-day conference, Oct. 10 -11, on how to better teach economics using new digital tools. Read more.

Welcome New Employees

  • Jason Levesque – Head Lacrosse Coach
  • Timothy Rowley –  Asst. Coach Lacrosse
  • Eduardo Rodriguez –  Police Officer I
  • Jennifer Carter –  Assistant Director of Student Life
  • Kristi Yates –  Assistant to Director of Student Support Services
  • Geoff Johnson – Librarian
  • Shanae Mundee – Extended Studies Recruiter/Advisor
  • Dr. Melissa Freeman – PPOHA Grant Activity Director
  • Jannet Bobbadilla – Title V Grant Program Assistant

Faculty Development news

If you would like to plan an event or have a suggestion for faculty/staff development, please contact Dr. Leslie Alvarez.

The Faculty Development Committee, chaired by Dr. Leslie Alvarez, includes the following members:

  • Dr. Anicia Alvarez – Teacher Education
  • Bob Affeldt – English, Theater, Communication
  • Tyler Eagan/Stacy Davis, Academic Instructional Technology
  • Karen Lemke – College Readiness Programs
  • Dr. Penny Sanders – Counselor Education
  • Dr. Beez Schell – HPPE – Mentoring Program Coordinator
  • Anna Torello – Title V


Professional & Scholarly Activities

  • The Counselor Education Department faculty recently had several presentations accepted for the semi-annual Rocky Mountain Association Counselor Education Supervision regional conference. Dr. Cheri Meder will conduct an educational session covering her research comparing online and on-campus learners titled, “Where do Online Learners Stack Up?”
    She and Dr. Brandon Wilde will present, “Promoting a Unified Approach to Programmatic Assessment Utilizing the 2009 CACREP Standards,” discussing the Counselor Education comprehensive assessment plan currently being utilized to assess student learning.
    Dr. Laura Bruneau will present “Growing one page at a time: Using reading in counselor education.”
    Bruneau will join Dr. Penny Sanders, Dr. Theresa O’Halloran, and Dr. Lori Notestine in the panel discussion” “Women of a certain age.” Sanders will also attend the AGLBTIC Conference, where she will present “From Stonewall to Marriage Equality: Stories of Personal, Professional, and Societal Development.”
  • Aaron A. Abeyta, professor of English, recently had his latest book, Letters from the Headwaters, published by University Press of Colorado. Through epistolary essays and poems, the volume captures the soul of the cultural and geographical crossroads of the driest quadrant in the nation, the Colorado Headwaters, source to all the rivers in the southwestern and mid-western United States. Originating from and expanding on the themes of twenty-five years of “Headwaters” conferences at Western State Colorado University, these essays and poems embrace the region’s past while also exploring the struggles of a present that seeks a sustainable future for the borderlands that define the very cross-cultural essence of the American experience. The book is available from University Press of Colorado.
  • Dr. Rob Benson, professor of geology and earth science, was invited to contribute in a technical presentation at the Geological Society of America at their national meeting in Vancouver, Canada, as a result of his engagement as a geologist in education and outreach at Adams State University, and as an advocate of the STEM through his efforts through the Ryan Geological Museum.
  • Gregg Elliott, director of Counseling & Career Services, and Jackie Bennett, co-director for RN-BSN and adjunct nursing instructor, received Colorado Health Foundation Health Professions Scholarships through the San Luis Valley Area Health Education Center (SLVAHEC). Bennett has been accepted to the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Family Nurse Practitioner Program, with graduation anticipated in fall 2016. Elliott is enrolled in ASU’s new Ph.D. program in Counselor Education and Supervision. He anticipates graduating in May 2018.
  • Scholarships recipients agree to practice in a rural and/or underserved community position upon completion of training for a minimum of two years.
  • Dr. Jeff Elison, associate professor of psychology, introduced his new book Vertical Mind: Psychology of Optimal Rock Climbing (and life) at a reception held Sept. 17 at the Nielsen Library. Details.
  • Dianne Lee was recently promoted to Associate Athletic Director for Internal Affairs. She retains her Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) title, which she has held for nearly five years.
  • Dr. David MacWilliams, professor of English, is now chair of the Department of English, Theatre & Communications.
  • Aaron Miltenberger was recently promoted to Director of Student Life.
  • Gustavo Plascencia, asst. professor of art, was part of the Print Exchange Exhibition in NYC, held in Williamsburg, NY. His artwork (Senza Lui, 2014) recently became part of the Brooklyn Art Library Permanent Collection. He will be a speaker at the 2014 Society for Photographic Education Southwest “A Collective Vision” in Salt Lake City, UT, as well as at the 2014 Society for Photographic Education South Central “Engaging Possibilities” in Murfreesboro, TN
  • Dr. Penny Sanders, asst. professor of counselor education, and Dr. Beez Schell, chair of the HPPE Dept., are attending and presenting at the Inaugural Conference for the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Issues in Counseling, held in New Orleans. On Sept. 19, they will present ” No drinking, No drugs, No Gays: Addressing Homophobic Bullying in Sports and Physical Education.” The negative ramifications of homophobia and related verbal abuse contributes to lower academic achievement and self-esteem, higher dropout rates, depression, and suicide. A recent study of 600 students aged 14-23 found more than 32 percent reported regular verbal abuse in PE classes.
  • Eugene Schilling, professor of art, was one of 16 Colorado artists invited to participate in the show, “From Here and There: Drawings from Colorado and Wales.” This exhibition is part of an international exchange of contemporary drawings between artists in Colorado and Wales. The show was first exhibited at the Elysium Gallery in Swansea Wales early this summer. It opens September 26 in Colorado State University’s Clara Hatton Gallery, with a reception at 6 p.m. in the Visual Arts Building room F101. The show continues through October 31. Details.
  • Dr. Benjamin Waddell, asst. professor of sociology, recently had a piece published in the Journal of Community Positive Practices. His article is “Remitting Democracy? The Role of Migrant Remittances in Promoting Social and Political Change in Guanajuato, Mexico.” His article “Old Habits Die Hard: Political Patronage and Remittance-led Development in Guanajuato, Mexico,” will appear in the January issue of the Latin American Research Review. His article “An Invitation to Improve the World” was accepted for publication in an edited book project titled Sociology for the Curious. He will also be spearheading the SLV Lifeways Research Project on campus. The project is designed to promote student-led research in the San Luis Valley, and is generously supported by an initial grant from the BLM of $30,000. Tori Martinez will be the program’s student project coordinator for the 2014-2015 academic year.
  • Kathy Park Woolbert, instructor of English, has returned to the San Luis Valley. In addition to teaching through Extended Studies, she is a Writing Studio tutor and will again teach on campus this spring.

ASU welcomes new faculty & staff

New Employees

  • Timothy Mobley, instructor of developmental math
  • Krista Andereck, asst. athletic trainer
  • Ryan Anderson, Career Services coordinator – Read more
  • Raquel Barata, visiting asst. professor of mathematics
  • LeRee Bearss, visiting asst. professor of ed
  • Jerusalem Benavides, residence director, Housing
  • Jennifer Carter, asst. director of Student Life
  • Marietta Clark, admission counselor
  • Tiffany Darling, asst. women’s basketball coach
  • Joshua Dreher, head athletic trainer
  • Valentino Dressler, custodian I
  • Clayton Foster, asst. track & field coach
  • Eden Wales Freedman, asst. professor of English
  • Henry Garvin, visiting asst. professor of management & health care administration
  • Joel Givens, asst. professor of counselor education
  • Pedro Gomez, director, CAMP Grant
  • Jason Levesque, head men’s lacrosse coach
  • Kimberly Medema, librarian
  • John Pearson, manager, Vistas Restaurant
  • Danielle Persinger, admin. asst. I, Enrollment Management
  • Steve Neal, asst. football coach
  • Terry Rodriguez, head cook, Vistas
  • Michael Skinner, sports information director
  • Eduardo Rodriguez, police officer I
  • Elizabeth L. Robinson, visiting asst. professor of chemistry
  • Jared Romero, asst. professor of biology and Earth science: animal physiology
  • Placido Erwin Romero, visiting asst. professor of math
  • Timothy Rowley, asst. men’s lacrosse coach
  • Matthew Steffenson, asst. professor of biology
  • Samantha Thomas-Trabert, MBA program manager
  • Elisabeth Tomlin, Counseling & Career Center
  • Collin Walker, athletics compliance officer
  • Kristi Yates, asst. to director of Student Support Services
  • Brian Zuleger, asst. professor of HPPE

More details on new faculty members



The More You Pay, the More it’s Worth

Opinion by Dr. David Svaldi, President, Adams State University

Some respected print and online publications have recently given a lot of attention to a report from PayScale, a salary comparison website, that purports to calculate the ROI – return on investment – of a degree from more than 1,300 U.S. colleges and universities. The resulting lists of the “Best” and “Worst” colleges for one’s money appeal to readers’ quest for quick, information – the print version of a soundbyte. . .

What is lacking in Payscale’s report, however, is sense. If its assessment of my university is any indicator, Payscale’s flawed methodology proves the old adage, Garbage In, Garbage Out

Read more.

This column appeared in the April 11 Valley Courier, and will shortly be published in Dr. Svaldi’s blog on the Huffington Post.


Apply for Hilos Summer Institute by April 18

Faculty and staff are invited to apply for the 2014 Hilos Summer Institute, to be held July 20-24 in San Luis, Colorado. The application deadline is April 18. Hilos Summer Institute application form and information.

Now in its third year, Hilos is funded by Adams State’s Title V Institutional Grant. Twenty faculty and staff members will be selected to attend the institute. Attendees will receive an $800 stipend (less payroll taxes) and will be eligible to apply for a $1,000 Student Engagement Grant upon successfully completing the program. Hotel and meal accommodations will be

Questions may be addressed by contacting Lillian Gomez or Anna Torello. at 719-589-7691. or