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

Student & Program News

  • Adams State University was awarded a Campus Election Engagement Project grant through the Campus Compact of the Mountain West. The grant funded the CEEP Intern, senior Ronnie Medina, in his a goal of assisting 100 new voters to register by October 15. His project also included campus voter education programming, “On the Issues,” presented Oct. 23.
  • Ten members of the Grizzly men’s basketball team volunteered at a recent fundraiser for the Alamosa Senior Center. The student-athletes pitched did most of the work: serving, preparing drinks, cleaning, and anything else that had to be done.

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

Common Reading Experience welcomes author Oct. 24

The Common Reading Experience book selection for this year is The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, by Wes Moore.

The Common Reading Experience Program engages the campus and community in a shared intellectual experience through year-long programming.

The author will speak on Campus Friday, Oct. 24. Details will be available soon.

2014-2015 Common Reading Experience Committee

  •     Bob Affeldt, English
  •    Masood Ahmad, Student Engagement and Success
  •    Kristy Duran, Biology
  •    Jess Gagliardi, AAA101
  •    Maddie Mansheim, student representative
  •    Kat McLaughlin, student representative
  •    Gustavo Plascencia, Art
  •    Nick Saenz, History
  •    Carol Smith, Committee Chair, Nielsen Library

Cyberbullying revisited

ASU’s Department of Counselor Education, in cooperation with the Megan Meier Foundation, will once more host a presentation by Tina Meier, who raises awareness of cyberbullying and the damage it can cause.

“Cyberbullying in Our Children’s Environment
Tuesday, October 7
5:30 p.m.
Alamosa High School auditorium

This is a free community presentation open to the public in which Meier will share her personal story and struggles of cyberbullying with students and parents. Meier’s daughter, Megan, took her own life at the age of 13, due to the actions of cyberbullies. Megan’s story will be shared along with the topics of bullying, bystanders, digital footprints, cyberbullying, and sexting. This presentation will provide up-to-date information about the dangers children face online as well as offline.

For more information contact Dr. Cheri Meder at 719-587-8368.

ASU’s ACT Academy helps prepare local students

More than 300 high school juniors from 13 regional schools participated in the ACT Academy on campus March 18. Students learned test-prep strategies and test-taking tips and tricks to tackle the high-stakes college achievement test. The ACT Academy aims to improve valley high school students’ ACT scores so that they are more likely to test into college level courses, rather than having to take developmental courses as first-year students.

ACT Academy 2014

ACT Academy 2014

Karen Lemke, director of the ASU College Readiness office, said, “This was our second year, and I think we improved on last year’s design. Last year we had 120 students, so we almost tripled capacity. The evaluation forms are very positive, and the students seemed to be very engaged and even thanked the faculty at the end of sessions. We will examine the students’ pre-test scores and compare them to their actual ACT scores to see if our work made a positive impact and to what degree.”

Her office worked with SLV BOCES (Board of Cooperative Education Services) to plan and offer the event, which drew on assistance from Admissions, Upward Bound, Enrollment Management, as well as from ASU faculty from Extended Studies, English, teacher education, math and chemistry and BOCES’ counselor corps grant participants. Guidance counselors and principals from the participating schools also participated to prepare students for the statewide ACT test date later this month.

Participating students represented the following school districts: Alamosa, Sanford, Monte Vista, Centennial, Antonito, Sargent, Sangre de Cristo, Sierra Grande, Centauri, GOAL Academy, Center, Crestone Charter, and Byron Syring Delta Center.

Title V STEM grant enhances equipment and facilities

Adams State continues to enhance the equipment and facilities available for science, technology, engineering and mathematics instruction and outreach, through the five-year $3.6 million Hispanic Serving Institutions STEM program grant, received in 2011.

Dr. Rob Benson, professor of geology and earth sciences, has devoted his sabbatical this semester to launching a museum-quality educational touch-screen system in the Edward M. Ryan Geological Museum.

The interdisciplinary STEM lab on Porter Hall’s third floor also recently acquired an X-ray Defractometer, which can be applied to chemistry, geology, art, and other fields.

“This is the  most exciting piece of equipment we’ve ever had,” Benson said, adding, “Our students are incredibly excited.”

The XRD, valued at $90,000, uses x-rays to produce defraction patterns of various materials to aid in their analysis. Benson explained it can create a “fingerprint” of a mineral, help identify proteins, and reveal the molecular structure of crystal, for example.

Work has begun to construct a new observatory on the north end of campus between the baseball field, the softball field, and the river. At a cost of $120,000, the observatory will house three permanently mounted, state-of-the-art telescopes capable offascinating student research projects. It will also house most of the planetarium’s telescopes and will be the site of all public viewing sessions once it’s completed. Finally, it will be the home of the ASU astronomy club, which will resume activities this fall.

Student & Program News

Newman Club spends spring break in service

Several members of ASU’s Newman Club and Campus Ministry enjoyed a cultural immersion experience in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, over spring break.  Eight students were accompanied by two advisors (Liz Bosworth and Shirley Atencio), and one  La Puente community partner. Isabella Whitten was the student leader who coordinated with the host organization and facilitated group discussions.   Other student participant included:  Nathan Crites-Herren, Stuart Zwiacher, Judith Martinez, Isamar Loera, Chelsea Henderson, Scott Gesling, Ashley Setzer, and Gerri Cummings.

‘The group was very engaged. The best part was the interaction with the people we met, who were very welcoming, ” Atencio said. “We were under the guidance of Los Ninos, a grassroots, community directed nonprofit.  Highlights were:  soccer game with kids, youth and adults at one of the colonias; learning about various micro-enterprises like honey production, tile making, and cactus farming; visiting a migrant outreach center on the border; some powerful evening reflection sessions; practicing English with students at the university; and putting in a new sidewalk with students at a primaria.  Our community partner and guide, Alonzo, was a wise man whose love for the community was evident and who inspired and entertained the group by his example and sense if humor.”

ASU students learn about a family honey bee enterprise in Mexicali colonia.

ASU students learn about a family honey bee enterprise in Mexicali colonia.

Students learn traditional tortilla making.

Students learn traditional tortilla making.

Pan American Day welcomes HS students April 24

Continuing a long tradition at Adams State University, Pan American Day will be held on campus Thursday, April 24. The event brings San Luis Valley high school students to celebrate the Spanish language and culture in a series of competitions, including spelling, grammar, oral interpretation, speech, knowledge bowl, art, media, dance, song and skit. Read more. Last year's Pan American Day award winners.

Lost & Found finds its way to Second City

The Lost and Found, ASU’s comedy improv troupe, spent their Spring Break in a Long Form Improvisation Intensive at Second City. The group and their director, Dr. Jenna Nielsen, asst. professor of theatre, also attended 12 shows, and took in several of the tourist sites of Chicago. The troupe has brought back a whole new set of skills they will be incorporate into public rehearsals and performances.

Front Row L to R: Bethany Hernandez, Shawnie Abbott, John Hauser, Jenna Neilsen, Caty Herrick  Back Row L to R: Matt Wesley, David Boncyk, James Rodriquez, Jake Webb

Front Row L to R: Bethany Hernandez, Shawnie Abbott, John Hauser, Jenna Neilsen, Caty Herrick
Back Row L to R: Matt Wesley, David Boncyk, James Rodriquez, Jake Webb

 Alpha Sigma Chi inducts 86

Alpha Sigma Chi, the Adams State University chapter of Chi Sigma Iota: Professional Counseling and Academic Honor Society, International, inducted 86 master’s degree students during the month of March.

In addition, the Alpha Sigma Chi honor society executive council, under the chapter faculty advising of Dr. Brandon Wilde, presented at the annual American Counseling Association national conference in Honolulu, Hawaii over spring break. The presentation by Shauna Ianson, Alexia DeLeon, and Jennifer Cliff was titled  “Instilling Excellence in Counseling Students Living Abroad.”

Musicians perform with SW Region Honor Band

Four music students represented Adams State at the College Band Directors National Association Southwest Region Honor Band performance, held in Fayetteville, AR, March 19-22. The  band rehearsed for three days and performed a full 60-minute concert in the Walton Fine Arts Center at the University of Arkansas. The conductor for the ensemble was Michael Haithcock, Director of Bands at the University of Michigan. The students are: Danielle Rady, Clarinet; Matt Salazar, Euphonium; Hannah Liechty, Flute; Jonathan Colson, Trumpet.

Psychology faculty and students present research

This year four psychology students presented at Student Scholar Days. Emily Wright discussed her personality assessment of Anakin Skywalker in her presentation titled “Anakin Skywalker’s Path to the Dark Side: Freudian Style.” Tylar Martinez, Kellylynn Zuni, and Megan Tapia shared the results of their Honor Seminar study titled “Detecting the Snake in the Grass: A Replication Study.”

At the end of April, 13 students will represent Adams State at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association’s (RMPA) annual conference: Megan Tapia, Emily Wright, Kellylynn Zuni, Brandon Gallegos, Jennell Higgs, Patrick Vigil, Tylar Martinez, Danielle Walters, Lindsey Schwindt, Erica Ulibarri, Ryan Guyton, Nick Spencer, and Justine Brydges. Four of these students, Schwindt, Martinez, Zuni, and  Tapia, were awarded $300 travel award grants from Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.

Five of the students will present research at the conference. Tylar Martinez, Kellylynn Zuni, and Megan Tapia, along with research mentors, Dr. R. Nathan Pipitone and Dr. Leslie Cramblet Alvarez, will again present “Children and Adults’ Detection of Fear-relevant Stimuli: A Replication Study. ” Brandon Gallegos and Jennell Higgs will present their research, “Deception Facilitation Across Communication Media” (faculty mentor: Leslie Cramblet Alvarez).

Psychology faculty will also present at the conference. Dr. Robert Demski will present his sabbatical work, “Audiovisual Scholarship: The Philosophical Roots of Psychology, and Dr. Jeff Elison will give three presentations: “Predictors of Success in Developmental Math,” “Evolutionary Perspectives on the Shame-Aggression Link,” and “Rejection Sensitivity and Social Anxiety Predict Shame-Coping,” co-authored with psychology student, Sarah Oden. Finally, Dr. Leslie Cramblet Alvarez, who is President-elect with RMPA’s executive board, will be recognized as incoming President for the 2014-2015 academic year.

HPPE students & faculty attend sports medicine conference

Several faculty and students from the HPPE department attended the annual Rocky Mountain American College of Sports Medicine (RMACSM) conference in Denver, March 28-29.

Dr. Tracey Robinson is an RMACSM Board member, and was involved in planning the conference, as well as judging student poster presentations and research grants. Dr. Beez Schell, HPPE department chair, and Megan Nelson, visiting assistant professor in HPPE, also attended.

Three M.S. in Exercise Science graduate students, Maria Martinez, Clayton Foster, and Lukus Klawitter, and two B.S. in Exercise Science undergraduate students, Olivia Melgares and Kelli Williams, attended their first professional RMACSM conference, and were able to meet other students and professionals in the field, network for their future, and learn some interesting and often new research about exercise science.

The RMACSM conference usually covers a variety of topics and subject areas related to exercise science, athletic training, sport and exercise nutrition, fitness, injury prevention….and more. It it is a useful conference for anyone in or interested in health and physical activity.

ASU Grizzlies ranked 4th in Learfield Cup

The Adams State University Athletic Department ranks fourth in the final winter standings of the Division II Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. Adams State is one of two Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference athletic departments ranked in the top 10 in the Learfield Cup standings.

The Grizzlies increased their fall total of 190 to end the winter standings with 425 points. The additional 235 points were earned through 100 points from the Women’s Indoor Track and Field team winning the Indoor National Championship, 90 points from the Men’s Indoor Track and Field team earning a second place finish at the Indoor National Championship, and 45 points from the Wrestling team’s performance at the National Championships.

ASU celebrates Women’s Week


Sociology major Tori Vigil has organized a week of events in celebration of Women’s Week. She said the idea began with wanting “to simply show the film Miss Representation to the community. It quickly grew from there, because of the shared passion regarding the betterment, equality, and growth of women by the staff, professors, and students at ASU.”

The week includes showings of two films, a variety of presentations by faculty, a poetry slam, the Tunnel of Oppression, and International Women’s Day presentations.

Schedule & details.

EARTH Action

Next Meeting: Tuesday, March 4, noon, Student Life Center

Earth Week: Week of April 14 – events to be announced

  • Recycling: EARTH volunteers will continue to collect recyclables at the remaining home basketball games
  • EARTH hosted an info table and bake sale at the recent Healthy Living Expo, held at the East Campus and co-sponsored by the Department of Human Physiology and Exercise Physiology (HPPE) and Empower U.
  • EARTH is trying to form a student-run group (EARTHlings?). Interested students are asked to contact Dr. Jared Beeton.
  • EARTH is exploring designation as a Tree Campus USA and is seeking volunteers for an advisory committee. Interested students or faculty/staff are asked to contact Dr. Jared Beeton.

Student & Program News

Childhood Trauma lecture March 7

PSI CHI (international honor society in psychology) and SWAG (suicide watch awareness gang) are co-sponsoring a lecture by Dr. Christy Olezeski, a clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University.


“Childhood Trauma: Behavioral and Biological Correlates and What We Can Do to Help”
Friday, March 7
3 p.m. in MCD 101

 Read more.

Psych/Soc major presents at Harvard

ashlee-deherreraJunior psychology and sociology major Ashlee DeHerrera will present a paper at the Ivy Plus Symposium, to be held at Harvard University in March. She was one of 150 students selected for the symposium from universities and colleges across the nation. Read more.

SSS Leadership

Eight Student Support Services students have been accepted to SSS Leadership Training, in which they will read, reflect, and discuss Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Participants will apply each habit personally by completing a series of assignments including written reflections, a mission statement, a time management schedule, classroom discussions, and exercises which help them apply new paradigms.

Nursing welcomes new cohort

The Nursing Department began a new cohort of 33 students this semester. Students are admitted to the program each January. Director Shawn Elliott notes this group has the highest number of male students to date: eight.

How is small business like wrestling an alligator?

Tayler-Else-gatorStudents in Dr. Pat Robbins’ Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship class recently learned how alligator wrestling is like business. Guest speaker, Jay Young, manager of Colorado Gators and Reptile Park, presented to the class Feb. 18. As a successful entrepreneur and business man, Jay advised up and coming entrepreneurs to know their limits, assess the situation, don’t hesitate, and don’t let go. This is how you start and run a business, as well as how you wrestle an alligator. Business success is also fueled by remembering that communication is crucial; your best advertising is good customer service; and don’t think outside the box — destroy the box and use your imagination. Jay Young walks the talk, as Colorado Gators has grown from a local attraction to an international one. A San Luis Valley  “celebrity,” Jay has been featured on “Animal Planet” and “What’s My Line,” and is an entrepreneur and entertainer in every sense of the word.

Jay’s presentation wrapped up with an alligator wrestling demonstration. Business students JR Watters, Tayler Else, Jamison Bobo, Luke Lowery, Brian Bertrand, and Ben Williams took advantage of the 80-pound alligator in the match, and found that you assess the situation, don’t hesitate, and don’t let go! Several students and Dr. Robbins, chose to hold the alligator (a much safer alternative to wrestling). It’s always a challenge to make business less theoretical and more real to students, but this presentation did just that.

Archaeology acquires LIDAR
Tilo Voitel presents the LIDAR unit to Tim Goddard, Co-Director of Three Bears Consulting, an archaeological consulting program of ASU.

Tilo Voitel presents the LIDAR unit to Tim Goddard, Co-Director of Three Bears Consulting, an archaeological consulting program of ASU.

The archaeology program now possesses a Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) scanner, donated by Tilo Voitel of Denver.  This equipment will allow researchers to perform high density scans and detailed 3-dimensional models of archeological sites, historic buildings, and just about anything else that needs a highly accurate, detailed 3D model.

Common Reading Experience

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates was selected for the fall 2014 Common Reading Experience. The author is Wes Moore, Spiegel & Grau (2011), ISBN: 978-0385528207. The biographical stowes-moore-bookry follows two kids named Wes Moore who both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods.  How, then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence? In alternating narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world.

Players touch hearts

b-ball-plyrsAdams State basketball players Mariah Gonzales and Justin Kauffman recently received the Touching Hearts Through Athletics Award, presented by Touching Hearts Through Athletics. The award is earned in recognition of athletes who are team playesr, accept academic responsibility, and demonstrate sportsmanship, on and off the court. The goal is to encourage and honor athletes of outstanding character, athleticism, and sportsmanship. Read more.