Semester opened with brainstorming on Strategic Plan 2020

The 2015 Fall All-Campus Meeting was devoted to bringing faculty and staff together for input on the ASU 2020 Plan, the strategic plan for the next five years. Approximately 250 employees spent about two hours considering the five goals that govern this plan. For each goal, participants outlined what the university currently does to foster it, what activities should be discontinued, and new ideas for achieving it. All the responses are being transcribed and collated, and will form the basis of a survey to all employees to aid prioritization.


Goal 1: Academic Excellence

Adams State University will provide challenging and responsive curricula that educate, serve, and inspire our diverse populations.

Goal 2: Student Success

Adams State University will address diverse student needs by offering varied learning opportunities and support services for all students to achieve educational, personal, and career successes.


Goal 3: Personal & Professional Development

Adams State University will provide educational and professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.

Goal 4: Access & Affordability

Adams State University will develop innovative pricing and aid strategies that will maximize opportunities for our diverse and historically underserved students for all levels and delivery models.

Goal 5: Community Relations

Adams State University will collaborate with the community to provide culturally responsive and sustainable development opportunities that mutually benefit the campus and the San Luis Valley community.

ASU receives over $1.7 million in grants

Student Support Services grant

Adams State University received a perfect score on its application for Student Support Services Program Grant, recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. The five-year grant will provide $247,583 each to support the Student Support Services and Upward Bound, which are federal TRIO programs. The grant was prepared by Morgan Dokson, Student Support Services director, and Angelica Valdez, Upward Bound Director and SSS ED, with support from Tawney Becker, grant specialist.

Grant funds robotics internships

Adams State University was awarded a grant of $501,159 from the Army Research Office (ARO) to support a Summer Research Internship Program in Artificial Intelligence and Social and Emotional Robotics, which will be directed by Dr. Matthew Ikle, professor of mathematics. He worked with grant specialist Tawney Becker to obtain the three-year grant, which is funded through the Department of Defense (DoD) Research and Education Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions (HBCU/MI).

Ikle explained the project will leverage recent infrastructure improvements in ASU’s undergraduate robotics lab funded by the DoD, US Army, and other external sources, to engage four STEM college students in hands-on, directed research opportunities each year. The internships will encompass research into numerous AI technologies and their integration with robotics, including robot vision, object classification, social and emotional robotics, reasoning under uncertainty, and attention and resource allocation.

New office locations

Counseling & Accessibility Services on third floor of Richardson Hall

ASU’s Counseling Center and Accessibility Services is in a new, permanent location on the third floor of Richardson Hall (3-100).

Student Business Services now at the One Stop

Student Business Services is now located next door to the One Stop Student Services center in the SUB.

Veterans Center now located In Petteys

The Veterans Center, as well as the Veterans At Adams State club, are now located on the first floor of Petteys Hall, directly across from the Adams State University Police Department. The Veterans Center is open to all students, faculty, and staff, regardless of military service. Stop by for a cup of coffee and a chance to meet the team.

Faculty & Staff Development offerings

Dr. Leslie Alvarez, Faculty Development Fellow, announced several upcoming sessions for faculty development

“Making work study work”
By Aaron Miltenberger, Dir. Student Live & Recreation
Tuesday, Sept. 1
12:30-1:30 p.m., McD 310

This session will help faculty and staff work study supervisors make the most of this important student development opportunity. This session will address writing a job description, effectively communicating workplace behavior and expectations, performance evaluation, and suggestions for assisting your work study in translating their experiences into marketable resume-building skills.



Reminder emails and full schedule to come.

  • Sept. 9
    Noon-1 p.m.
    Retention & Promotion Basics for P2-P4 by Margaret Doell, Asst. Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Sept. 14
    Noon-1 p.m.
    Suicide Prevention and Campus Health & Safety by Gregg Elliott, Dir of Counseling Center
  • Sept. 23
    Noon-1 p.m.
    Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Accountability Group by Dr. Leslie Alvarez

Common Reading Experience: “Aftershock”

This year’s book selection for the ASU Common Reading Experience (CRE) is Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future (2011) by Robert Reich. Learn more about the book and the CRE program.

A few notes:

SUPPLEMENTAL COMMON READER: All faculty are encouraged to incorporate the themes of the book into curricular activities. This year, the committee solicited faculty contributions for a common reader to complement classroom discussions about the book. This common reader includes essays, poetry, news articles, web articles, academic journal articles, videos, op-ed articles, charts, statistics, and more addressing the multifaceted issue of rising inequality in America. Faculty may include this link in their Blackboard courses. Access the common reader.

PROGRAMMING: The Common Reading Experience includes a variety of campus programming, and proposals for co-curricular events are still welcome.

ASSESSMENT: Please inform the CRE committee if you incorporate Aftershock into either curricular or cocurricular activities anytime this year. Email chair Carol Smith anytime with info on your activity.

The Common Reading Experience Committee

  • Bob Affeldt
  • Jess Gagliardi
  • Geoff Johnson
  • Kat McLaughlin
  • Gustavo Plascencia
  • Dr. Nick Saenz
  • Carol Smith, Chair

News from CIELO

CIELO Office now located in Porter Hall

The office for CIELO (the Community for Inclusive, Equity, Leadership and Opportunity is now located on the south end of Porter Hall, SMT 3060 Suite 144A. The Porter Hall/SMT faculty have given a warm welcome to Dr. Carol Guerrero-Murphy, Professor Emeritus of English, who will be part time supporting the work of CIELO as the President’s Liaison for Diversity and Inclusion. The office will generally be open Monday through Wednesday mornings and by appointment. She invites faculty and staff to drop by to use the resources there about teaching and serving traditionally underserved students, or to discuss, discover, and create collaborative efforts to increase the service Adams State provides as an H.S.I. Guerrero-Murphy can be reached at ext. 8614.

Courageous Conversations on Short Readings

Volunteer faculty and staff in CIELO will each take one month of the academic year to share a short reading and host a discussion about contemporary, troubling issues around diversity and inclusion. Each volunteer will disseminate the reading to all faculty, staff, and students and set the time and place for the discussion. The first presentation is:

“I thought it was just me, but it isn’t” by Brene Brown
By Andrea Benton-Maestas
Friday, August 28, 3 p.m.
School of Business Room 142

CIELO Summer Retreat

Volunteers on the President’s Steering Committee for CIELO (The Community for Inclusion and Equity) spent three days on retreat with the support of the Title V HSI Institutional Grant. “Affirmations and Solidarity” focused on deepening our understanding of barriers to student success, what privilege is, and institutional innovation. “On the last day we created two scenarios and put our heads together to plan how we would address each scenario,” explained Dr. Carol Guerrero-Murphy, President’s Liaison for Diversity and Inclusion. “The first was that the ASU trustees appointed a president who was committed to diversity and to removing the barriers in policies and practices that maintain institutionalized hegemonies; and the second one was that the State of Colorado cut all financial support for ASU.”

The team of diversity leaders who participated in retreat in June.

The team of diversity leaders who participated in retreat in June.


Vistas announces schedule and delivery services

Vistas Restaurant in Rex Stadium reopened Monday, Aug. 24, with new menu items, including BBQ pulled pork sandwiches and grilled and crispy chicken wraps.

Fall Semester Hours
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. -1:30 pm, Tuesday through Friday
Hot Dog Cart: at the Japanese- American Memorial Garden 11:30 a.m. -1 p.m.
Dinner: 5 -10 p.m. Monday and Wednesday

New for this semester will be deliveries on campus, available as follows:
Tuesday through Friday during lunch 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Monday – Friday during dinner 5 – 9:30 p.m.

Richardson Hall Breakfast Cart

The Vistas Breakfast Cart will visit Richardson Hall every weekday morning at 9 a.m., and be available in the Richardson Hall foyer, across from the Welcome Center. The menu includes a variety of delicious breakfast wraps and breakfast sandwiches, in addition to breakfast bars, coffee, and bottled fruit juices. Also, small caterings of breakfast items can also be arranged for office meetings/gatherings. Questions may be directed to John Pearson.

Faculty & Staff news

Professional Activities


Dr. Shawn Elliott and Karen Adamson

Karen Adamson, asst. professor of nursing, and asst. professor and director of nursing, did a poster presentation at the Nuts & Bolts for Nurse Educators: Evidence-Based Teaching and Learning Conference at the beginning of August. Their poster was titled “Benefits of Peer Mentoring in the Simulation Lab.”

James Doyle, asst. professor of music, performed with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra (Durango, CO), comprised of major symphony orchestra members and university faculty from July 12- August 2. He also served on the Music in the Mountains Conservatory faculty, teaching and performing with faculty/artists from throughout the US and high school and university students from throughout Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah.
James Doyle and Dr, Tracy Doyle, professor of music, served in-residence at Gunma University, Maebashi-City, Japan, in July. They taught master classes, courses in music education, and performed a guest recital for undergraduate and graduate music education, English education students, faculty, staff, and the community. As part of their residency, they presented on Adams State University and the San Luis Valley to students, faculty, and community, met formally with faculty, staff, and university administrators, and collaborated with other arts faculty. In addition to studying traditional Japanese instruments and pedagogy, they performed a chamber recital at Suginami Kokaido Hall in Tokyo, home to the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra.

Dr. Kristy Duran, asst. professor of biology, and Dr. Benita Brink, professor and chair of Biology/Earth Sciences Dept., participated in the National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology, a one-week institute held in Boulder, Colo. The institute addressed themes and challenges in biology teaching and education and focused on three core themes: learning, assessment, and inclusivity. At the conclusion of the institute, the two were named “National Academies Education Fellows in the Life Sciences.”

Duran also attended the 100th annual Ecological Society of America meeting.

Duran and Dr. Adam Kleinschmit, asst. professor of biology, participated in the 2015 Genomics Consortium for Active Teaching NextGen Sequencing (GCAT-SEEK) Workshop, held at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Penna., in June. One of the main goals of the GCAT-SEEK is to bring functional genomic methods into the undergraduate curriculum, primarily through independent and classroom-based student research using centralized cores to make next generation sequence data accessible to undergraduates. During the workshop, they worked on a pedagogical framework involving peer teaching that could be implemented in both a molecular biology and a plant ecology course in back-to-back semesters. “We anticipate using knowledge and tools gained from the workshop in the undergraduate classroom and for undergraduate independent research,” Kleinschmit said. Their attendance at the workshop was supported by the GCAT-SEEK grant, with financial support from the national Science Foundation (NSF) and the Howard Huges Medical Institute (HHMI). Learn more about GCAT-SEEK.

Kleinschmit was also accepted into the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) sponsored Biology Scholars Assessment Residency. This is a highly competitive program that accepts biologists who are working to utilize varied teaching strategies in their classrooms and laboratories and are motivated to design courses and assessments to maximize student learning. The Assessment Residency is a continuous 14-month commitment comprised of several key training components, including two face-to-face meetings, online “homework” assignments, and specialized peer mentoring. This included a four-day training session entitled “Measuring Student Learning Institute” in June at ASM headquarters in Washington, DC. His attendance at the institute was supported the institutional Title V STEM grant. Learn more about the Biology Scholars.

Pete Gomez, Director of ASU CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Progam), was elected to the National HEP/CAMP Association Board of Directors as the Western Stream Representative.

Paul Grohowski, ASU Chief of Police, was recently named Champion of the Month by Special Olympics Colorado. He has been involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics since 1996, beginning in Connecticut, and continuing in Florida. In the Sunshine State, he served as assistant regional director of LETR, then agency director. He brought the Torch Run to Alamosa in May, which attracted more than 100 runners. Grohowski added “LETR gives us a chance to instill a sense of community and charity in the young adults on campus.” Read more.

Phil Ray Jack, instructor of English, will release his second book and read from his work Wednesday, Sept. 2, at the Roast, 420 San Juan Ave., beginning at 6:30 p.m. He will speak about on “Being True to Ourselves.” His first book, The Spirit of the Horse & Other Works, is a collection of his poetry and essays. In the second book, Soar High, he writes about the birth of the ‘Voice of Can’t.’phil-ray-jack-horse

“As children, most of us have a pretty clear idea of who we are and what life is all about, and then we begin losing our clarity. It’s that voice that tells us our dreams are not practical, or we are not worthy. It says we don’t have the skills or the ability to do the things we want to do, so we bury our hopes and dreams deep within us and start living the life that others have chosen for us,” Jack explained. The poems and essays in the book deal with the challenges we face, including grief and despair, as well as the joy of finding hope and re-awakening dreams. “I try to write about truth,” Jack explains, “and the truth is not always pleasant, but it is what makes life wonderful.”

Damon Martin, head coach/director of Cross Country and Track and Field, coached distance runners for Team USA at the NACAC (North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletics) Senior Championships, held Aug 7-9 in San Jose, Costa Rica. A total of 31 countries were represented. Read more.

Jenna Neilsen, asst. professor of theatre, spent a week this summer studying at Second City in Chicago. She took courses in both advanced improvisation (Improvisation Level III) and beginning sketch writing. “I will bring the skills that I learned back to our students, which will in turn use them in the creation of their own comedy,” said Neilsen, who directs ASU’s comedy improve troupe, The Lost & Found.

Matthew Steffenson, asst. professor of biology, spent a week doing research at the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, AZ. His project explroed wolf spider anti-predator behavior, specifically water submersion. “The wolf spiders will dive under the water and use the hairs on their legs and abdomen to trap an air bubble for breathing,” he explained. “I looked at differences in submersion ability between two different species of wolf spiders, as well as males and female within each species.” He is overseeing work by biology students John Whitinger and Alex Mullins on digital microscopy of the preserved specimens to identify differences in hair angle, hair density, etc.

Gustavo Plascencia, asst. professor of art, is part of the group exhibition “Bordering” showing at Ironton Gallery in Denver until September 5. The exhibition features multiple studio practices that explore the sometimes arbitrary, nature of domestic and public space, cultural and geographic region, virtual and real experience, as well as biological and constructed identity. Read more.

Dr. Pat Robbins, assoc. professor of business, received the Mountain-Plains Business Education Association (MPBEA) Collegiate Teacher of the Year Award. She accepted the award at the conference in Albuquerque earlier this summer. Read more.

Carissa Watts, director of Advisement & Recruitment for Extended Studies, was selected as one of three judges for Cranium Cafe’s essay contest. The judges were selected based on their outstanding commitment to students and leadership in their fields. The contest asks higher education professionals what impact they have on student success. Cranium Café offers Real-Time Student Services software.

New Employees

  • Dr. Courtney Allen – Asst. Professor of Counselor Education
  • Dr. Meredith Anderson – Asst. Professor of Mathematics
  • Sean Bolton – Assoc. Athletic Dir/Compliance
  • Ross Brunelle – Asst. Football Coach
  • Jeremiah Burkhart – General Labor I
  • Ken Carter – Asst. Men’s Basketball Coach
  • Russ Caton – Head Men’s Basketball Coach
  • Stuart Church – Asst. Professor, Developmental Math
  • Kristina Cook – Admin. Asst. III, Nursing
  • Erika Derouin – Police Officer Intern
  • Paul Echeverria – Asst. Professor of Communications
  • Jeff Gallegos – Admin. Asst. II (switchboard) Enrollment Management
  • Curtis Garcia – Asst. Professor of Teacher Education
  • George Garrett, Custodian I
  • Gary Glindmeyer – Extended Studies
  • Amanda Graham – Admissions Counselor
  • Ana Guevara – Title IX and EOE Director
  • Simona Guillen – Project Coordinator, Title V
  • Blanca Guerra, MFA – Asst. Professor of Art
  • Marshall Hartley – Adventure Program Coordinator
  • Christina Harrell – Academic Advisor/Counseling Extern, Counselor Education
  • Kelsey Horton – Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach
  • Cathy Heaton – AAA Coordinator
  • Philip Ray Jack – Instructor of English
  • Dr. Lynnea King – Asst. Professor of English
  • Dr. Robert Kirk – Asst. Professor of Psychology
  • Lukus Klawiter – Asst. Professor of HPPE
  • Dr. Alexey Leontyev – Asst. Professor of Chemistry
  • Meagan Long – Admissions Counselor
  • Michael Martinez – Police Officer Intern
  • Dr. Leah McCormack – Asst. Professor of English
  • Dr. Abraham Meles – Asst. Professor of Physics & Math
  • Dr. Lisa Nealy – Asst. Professor of HAPPSS
  • Michelle Nelson – Admissions Counselor
  • Andrea Orin – Resident Director, Housing
  • Dr. Janessa Parra, Asst. Professor of Counselor Education
  • Alicia Palmer – Asst. Volleyball Coach
  • Danielle Persinger – Financial Aid Counselor
  • Brian Puccerella – Coordinator of Adventure Leadership
  • Max Ruybal – Athletic Director – Academics
  • Dr. Neil Rigsbee – Visiting Assistant Professor, Counselor Education
  • Ken Schell, Custodian I
  • Katherine Smith-Mortensen – Asst. Professor of Teacher Education
  • Uriah Valdez – Admissions Counselor
  • Dr. Angela Winter, Director of Bands and Professor of Horn
  • David Wreford – Instructor of English
  • Matlyn Zimmerman – Asst. Athletic Trainer
  • Stuart Church

    Stuart Church

    Dr. Meredith Anderson

    Dr. Meredith Anderson


    Dr. Alexey Leontyev

    Dr. Alexey Leontyev

    Dr. Abraham Meles

    Dr. Abraham Meles


    Jeff Gallegos, Switchboard Operator

Dr. Beverlee McClure becomes ASU President July 1

The Board of Trustees for Adams State University announced it has named Dr. Beverlee J. McClure the university’s next president, according to Board Chair Arnold Salazar. The board approved her selection by unanimous vote at a special meeting April 9. As Adams State’s tenth president, she will be the first woman to lead the university, with her appointment beginning July 1, 2015. She succeeds Dr. David Svaldi, who retires June 30 after a decade in the post.

“Dr. McClure possesses a unique combination of professional experience that will be valuable in leading Adams State University to even greater success,” Salazar said. “She has demonstrated leadership in higher education, government service, and the private sector. These skills prepare her well to guide Adams State in addressing the many challenges facing higher education today. Dr. McClure’s background, combined with her commitment to improving lives through higher education, makes her the ideal choice for next President of Adams State University.” Read more.

Participants sought for Gen Ed Revitalization Task Force

Dr. Beez Schell, in her role as Assessment Coordinator, will chair the Gen Ed Revitalization Task Force. Individuals from across campus (Academics, Student Life, Enrollment Management, etc.) are invited to apply for membership on the task force. Its purpose is to facilitate campus-wide conversations in order to define ASU’s General Education outcomes, determine curricular and co-curricular “experiences,” and measure the success of the program as it relates to student learning. Task Force membership is a two-year commitment that begins with a mandatory 2-3 day retreat in September 2015 (dates TBD).

Those interested in serving on the Task Force are asked to complete the online application by May 8, 2015.

Questions may be directed to Dr. Beez Schell, ext. 7271.


Student loan forgiveness program topic of professional development session

Student Loan Forgiveness-Program Overview and Eligibility
Presenters: Tracy Rogers, Jeremy Yeats, Brian Zuleger
Monday, May 11
4 p.m.
McD 206

This informal session will review a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program that Adams State employees are eligible for. This session will provide the HR “nuts and bolts,” along with some personal experiences of ASU employees regarding program participation. RSVP.

Mural celebrates Chicano history

mural-lrgDr. Nick Saenz, asst. professor of history, dedicated his Hilos Culturales Student Engagement Grant to inistall a mural celebrating Chicano history. ASU alumnus Carlos Martinez of San Luis recently created on the third floor of McDaniel Hall.

Alumnus Carlos Martinez and his mural.

Alumnus Carlos Martinez and his mural.


Student Life & Recreation announces new focus on recreation & wellness

The department of Student Life and Recreation at Adams State announces an innovative new approach to recreation and wellness, according to Aaron Miltenberger, Director of Student Life and Recreation. In order to provide engaging programs for a diverse ASU community, the department has realigned its resources to better meet the future needs of the institution. The adventure program, Adams State’s oldest social group, is joining with the Rex Activity Center. By combining resources, these two outstanding programs hope to be more effective. Additionally, with the input of several campus partners, campus recreation will begin offering wellness initiatives for students, faculty, and staff.

Members of Empower U, HPPE, Counseling and Career Services, Athletics, and students widely support broadening the reach of campus recreation beyond sports and fitness. “Wellness is not just about eating healthy and exercising,” Miltenberger added. “It is about small changes that make a big difference in our campus community.”

The new initiatives will be overseen by Curt Howell, the Associate Director of Campus Recreation. While the content of the changes will certainly be innovative, the concept is far from new. When the Rex was remodeled in 1995, the mission was to provide opportunities for health and wellness for all members of the campus community. Twenty years later, those are two core concepts that continue to guide the work of the department of Student Life and Recreation.

Stand Up Paddleboarding Comes to ASU

Article & Photo by Adventure Leadership Program Apprentice Jake Moberly

After a long, not so cold, Alamosa winter, spring has finally sprung! The green grass, warmer weather, and a beautiful river flowing right through town all entice the ASU community to get outdoors. Hiking and camping are surely on everyone’s to do list for the summer, but the Adventure Program has added a new, unique way to get out and enjoy the summer: Stand-up Paddleboarding.

The Adventure Program now offers inflatable standup paddleboards to students, faculty and staff, and community members. What better way to spend a summer afternoon than on the Rio Grande River right here in Alamosa? These inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards, or iSUP’s for short, create a unique way to get out and experience the freedom and relaxation only a river can provide. iSUPs provide a new and accessible means of enjoying one of Alamosa’s greatest, yet perhaps underutilized recreational resources. iSUP’s have a variety of uses, including, but not limited to: lake and river paddling, fishing, yoga, touring, lounging, and many other great ways to see a side of the valley not many get to enjoy.

The paddleboards and accompanying equipment were purchased through a combination of student fee funds set aside for improving the quality of campus life. The Campus Impact Fund (CIF) provided half of the cost of the boards and equipment. The CIF is awarded by a committee of AS&F and ratified by the entire body of senators and representatives to support initiatives with broad campus wide impact. AS&F recognized the benefit of the Adventure Program’s efforts to create a river culture that would be attractive to current and potential students. The other half of the expense was paid for from funds set aside by ASU administration to address student concerns about low engagement and lack of opportunities for involvement. The Adventure Program is excited to be part of new innovations for improving the quality of life at Adams and is grateful for the support of the administration and the students.

paddle-board-newsAdventure Programs invites you to take advantage of this new recreation opportunity. For Rental Shop Members, iSUPs can be rented for just $10 for two hours, by the day for $25, or for the weekend for $50. Rental Shop Memberships are only $25 per year for current students and AS&F dues paying faculty and staff. If you’re looking for instruction, Adventure Programs can work with you to design an instructional session or even a custom iSUP river trip. For more info, call ext 7813 or email.