Update from the STEM Title V grant

The STEM Title V Project is entering its fifth and final year of funding. With plans in place to apply for a new grant, faculty and staff are excited for what the future may hold. Over the past four years, under the guidance of Project Director Marcella Garcia, the program’s main objectives have been outreach, academic support, and student engagement, with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of graduates in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) degree.

The $3.6 million dollar grant funding provided the following upgrades to campus:

  • STEM Center and the Undergraduate Research Lab
  • Planetarium renovation
  • New observatory constructed
  • New greenhouse constructed
  • New laboratory equipment and updated technology within Porter Hall

Studying in the STEM Center.

The latest technical acquisition is Crestron AirMedia, which permits users to connect a personal device (computer, tablet, phone) to the large monitor on the wall to share with everyone in the room. It allows up to 4 devices to be connected and running side by side at once, making it perfect for group study sessions, club meetings and more. It is located in the large study room, 319E.

New STEM Center staff

Simona Guillen is the new STEM Activity Coordinator. An SLV native, she holds an MBA from ASU. Kodi Sherman is the new Project Specialist. She moved to Alamosa after finishing her degree in Health and Exercise Science from Colorado State University.

Got glass to recycle?

EARTH, the campus sustainability group, announces its glass recycling trailer has been moved to the southwest corner of the ropes course, southeast of the soccer fields, in the northwest corner of the Lutheran Church parking lot. Anyone affiliated with ASU is welcome to recycle glass; please remember to sort by color (green, brown, clear).

Student & Program News

Sprint Interval Training draws crowd

More than 80 students, faculty, staff and community members attended the Oct. 14 presentation by Dr. Christopher Bell, Colorado State University, on “Sprint Interval Training: A Healthy Need for Speed.” Dr. Bell spoke about the many benefits of sprint interval training – for athletes and anyone else wanting fast fitness gains (including fat loss). The audience was captivated throughout the talk, and asked many informed questions afterwards. Dr. Bell also spoke to Dr. Tracey Robinson’s Exercise Evaluation class on “Exercise Prescription for Diabetes: Exercise Training & Medication Interactions.”

Dr. Christopher Bell

Dr. Christopher Bell

Dr. Bell’s visit was made possible by a grant from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) to its Rocky Mountain chapter, of which Dr. Tracey L. Robinson, professor of HPPE, is a Board member. This grant was aimed at bringing exercise science researchers to more “remote” areas of the chapter (which includes Colorado & Wyoming).

Dr. Robinson was aided in organizing the lecture by HPPE grad assistants Dustin Oranchuk and Alexandra Cooper, and senior HPPE major Alex Jordan, with support from the entire HPPE department. The HPPE department hopes to have more guest speakers in the health, fitness, nutrition & exercise science area in the future.

Student/faculty sociology video honored

Students in the spring 2015 Field Studies in Sociology course, taught by Dr. Benjamin J. Waddell, helped produce the short video, Voices of the Valley, won the Colorado Award at the recent Southern Colorado Film Festival, held on campus. Watch the video and learn more.

Business students learn from pros

Students in BUS 414 Commercial Banking, taught bybus-studs-at-slv-fed Yusri Zaro, asst. professor of business administration, recently visited SLV Federal Bank. President Bussey and his senior staff discussed the bank’s financials, managing investment portfolios and liquidity position, the tools for managing and hedging against risk, as well as the bank’s long term strategic plan.

Doctoral program students present at conferences

  • Several students in the Counselor Education & Supervision Ph.D. program attended and presented at ACES (Association of Counselor Education and Supervision), held Oct. 7-11. Some of these presentations were “Online Counselor Education Programs: Success No Matter the Age” and “Development of Self-Efficacy with Suicidal Clients.” The students had an overall successful turnout of participants and received a lot of positive feedback from both the participants and faculty.
  • Mark Vander Ley and Rebecca Caple, students in the Counselor Education & Supervision Ph.D. program, will present a poster at the Illinois Counseling Associations Conference, Nov. 14. The poster is titled “The Supervision Journey Toward Cultural and Developmental Competence: Narratives of the Supervisory experience across the Career Span.”
  • Coreen Haym will present Managing Monogamism: Clinical Practice with Consensually Open NonMonogamous Relationship and Family Systems at a pre-conference institute at The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) National Meeting in Albuquerque, NM.,

Grizzly Athletics Update

  • True freshman quarterback Johnny Feauto amassed 444 passing yards to lead Adams State University to a compelling 44-24 victory over Black Hills State University, Oct. 17. Read more.
  • The Adams State University Grizzlies women’s soccer team defeated the No. 14 ranked Fort Lewis College Skyhawks Oct. 18. The Grizzlies were able to pull off the upset in overtime with the lone goal to end the game at 1-0. Read more.

Cycling Team hosts Grizzly Grind bike race

Adams State University’s Cycling Team hosted the second annual Grizzly Grind, a competition among riders from 12 schools in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC), Oct. 10-11 at Angel Fire Resort, New Mex., The event included cross-country, dual-slalom, short track cross-country, and downhill races. Read more.

The team and coaches also participated in developing the trails and promoting the 12 Hours of Penitence Mountain Bike Race, held for the first time in Penitente Canyon, Oct. 18.

The event rallied local grass roots support from Salida and the SLV. Many volunteers from the ASU community assisted with various aspects of the event, from trail building to course marshals, and members of the ASU faculty participated in the 12 hour solo event.

Extended Studies’ Prison Program lauded

“Adams State University [is] the largest, most cost-efficient, and forward-thinking prison college program in the country,” wrote Christopher Zoukis in his Huffington Post blog.

His comments concerned the U.S. Department of Education and the Obama administration’s recent announcement of the Second Chance Pell Pilot Program, which will enable need-based Pell grant funding to be used for incarcerated students. Zoukis advocates that “funding the already-successful college program for prisoners offered through the regionally accredited Adams State University” would be the most straightforward method of helping the largest number of incarcerated students.

Zoukis wrote College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons and is the founder of PrisonEducation.com

Adams State awarded $5.7 million in Title V grants

Adams State University was recently awarded more than $5.7 million through two federal Title V grants for Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). These awards will bring the total Title V funding Adams State has received since 2000 to more than $23.4 million.

“We are very proud to receive these grants that recognize and further our work to educate and serve rural, minority, and low income students,” said Adams State President Beverlee J. McClure. “Expanding educational access and improving student success will enhance the sustainability of our communities.”

Adams State is the lead partner in the Title V cooperative grant, Caminos: Increasing Access to Education and Opportunity in the Upper Rio Grande Region. The award will total $3,178,389 over the next five years, with $649,359 awarded the first year. Adams State’s partner on the project is University of New Mexico-Taos, a two-year HSI. The institutional grant, Conexiones, will receive a total of $2,584,038 over five years, with a first-year allocation of $518,304. Read more.

Standing Strong: CIELO and Adams State Equality Project

By Dr. Carol Guerrero-Murphy  

Dr. Carol Guerrero Murphy, Diversity Liaison, Emeritus Professor of English

Dr. Carol Guerrero Murphy, Diversity Liaison, Emeritus Professor of English

Standing Strong: The ASU Equality Project is anchored in the theatre performances of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, which run through October 3 (call 719-587-8499 for tickets). A quick review of the activities generated through this project is a great indicator of the breadth and depth of the commitment by ASU people to become a university that embeds diversity throughout and leads the nation as a Hispanic Serving Institution. During the Standing Strong Project weeks, opportunities to learn and to engage in the courageous, and sometimes difficult, conversations that lead to equal, fair, and less biased treatment of others abound and are open to all. Comedy Improv, community forums, lectures, and more, invite us all to reflect on how to remove barriers to equality and inclusive excellence. Read more.

Theatre Professor Taylor, who conceived of the project and directs the plays, reached out to the campus community that is involved in so many ways supporting inclusive excellence, specifically, our diverse students, faculty, and staff. “Inclusive Excellence” is not an easy phrase-it takes some defining but it is still a big term in national discussion. It’s the conviction that excellence itself is inclusive; that we can’t be excellent without inclusion, that our achieving excellence in our university or our community depends on people being welcomed to the conversations, the work, and the rewards, whatever the arena, without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, or disability.

Dr. Taylor reached out to me because of my work as ASU’s Diversity Liaison and leader of CIELO, the Community for Inclusive Excellence, Leadership and Opportunity. In visiting together in my old faculty office last spring, we wondered, when we say that Adams State University is committed to equality and equity, what do we mean? When we talk about our being a Hispanic Serving Institution, (HSI) what do we mean? And what’s this thing, CIELO, which I lead? What would the larger SLV community like to know about us?

CIELO is a grass roots group open to everyone on our campus. It has gained wide-spread support for its dedication to acknowledging our – everyone’s – very human limits to whole-heartedly embracing diversity and equality, and to dismantling barriers to them. We came into existence as a result of grants funded by the federal government because we are a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Using research (for example, on ways we are conditioned to be biased), self-discovery (for example, through sharing our stories and building empathy), and study (for example, through attending Hilos Culturales summer institutes), participants strive to become better allies and advocates for equality and diversity.

ASU is a federally designated HSI, which means we enroll at least 25% Hispanic students. We enroll about 35%. This means we are eligible for, and do receive, millions of dollars to help us find ways better serving historically underserved students, and to build the capacity of ASU to provide outstanding educational opportunities. Read more.

The success of diverse students who self-identify as Latino/a, Chicano/a, Mexican American, Spanish American, Mexican, and Hispanic is central to the mission, vision, and aspirations of university members from students to staff to our president. We believe that to be an HSI is a call to serve, celebrate, and support these students. ASU is proud to offer all of our students the many benefits accrued to ASU because of our designation as a HSI.

Dr. Taylor’s “Equality Project” asks us to back the truck up a bit and think about fundamentals of being a citizen. Equality under the law is the foundation for all of our efforts to ensure fairness and Inclusive Excellence. Equality under the law ensures that everyone has access to education, for example, or access to the voting booth if you’re a woman, or access to the benefits and distinctions provided those who are married.

At ASU, and in K-12 schools throughout the SLV, we struggle against state funding inequalities to ensure that everyone has access to quality, affordable education. Some states, sometimes the federal government, some institutions find ways to create barriers to equality, to deny equal access to goods such as health care, clean water, food, quality education, and even civil rights. When individuals are denied their civil rights, they are excluded from helping our community achieve excellence, inclusive excellence. Without that equality under the law, we are all deprived of the chance for excellence as a community.

We could get dizzy with these terms circling around, but as is often the case at universities, some of us spend a lot of time thinking about these ideas and how they help inform our decisions and the actions we need to take so we can become more excellent, more fair, more equitable, and ultimately better at supporting all of our students.

In my position, I know that we have a ways to go; I hear from students whose feelings were hurt by a thoughtless comment, from faculty members who feel uncomfortable or under-valued or who are uncertain about how to best support their students, from staff who feel that their views go unheard. Like the rest of the nation, we have miles to go before equal access and success, before equity and fairness and inclusive excellence are even recognized by all as essential goods.

And the only choice is to walk on. Having these courageous conversations are part of how we continue to move forward toward equality. Celebrating each step toward achieving “justice for all,” makes the journey possible. The Supreme Court decision upholding marriage equality and recognizing everyone’s right to form a legal union with the person they love is indeed a cause for celebration. As you’ll see during the play, it means that LGBTQ+ couples join with others who have enjoyed being legally married as if it were a basic right. As it is.

Federal HSI (Hispanic Serving Institution) designation affirms that a university enrolls over 25% Hispanic students; at Adams, our percentage in 2015 is 35%. Beyond the distinction of federal designation, Adams faculty and staff know that to be an HSI is a call to serve, celebrate, and support the advancement of the diverse students who identify as Latino/a, Chicano/a, Mexican-American, and Hispanic. We honor the resilience and determination of the students who have enrolled at ASU. Our students expect high quality education and the opportunity to express and build on the richness of cultural heritages they bring to Adams. ASU is proud to offer all of our students the many benefits accrued to ASU because of our designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution including our Title V grants.

Student & Program news

Colorado Challenge recognizes ASU student

Education major Juan Francisco Cristobal was recognized by Lieutenant Governor Garcia during a luncheon sponsored by Colorado Challenge in Denver this summer.

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia congratulates student Juan Francisco Cristobal.

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia congratulates student Juan Francisco Cristobal.

He was recognized for his perseverance and accomplishments while attending Adams State University. He will begin his student teaching this spring and graduate in May. His desire is to continue his education with the hopes of receiving a doctorate in Ethno Musicology. Colorado Challenge serves low-income, first generation students at select public institutions of higher education. College counselors are placed at each of these institutions and work directly with students, providing wraparound services and supplemental advising to ensure students are on the path to success. Adams State University is one of those universities.

Student from Sierra Leone earns citizenship

The September 22 issue of the Valley Courier profiled ASU student Abdul Kamara, who, along with 18 other immigrants, traveled to Four Corners National Monument to take the Oath of Allegiance to become American citizens on September 15.

Abdul Kamara, center, with fellow new citizens.

Abdul Kamara, center, with fellow new citizens.

Four days before Abdul Kamara was born in 1991, his country fell into civil war. The war for control of the West African country of Sierra Leone lasted nearly 11 years, killed nearly 50,000 people, and shaped the childhood of the 23-year-old Adams State student.

Students serve Alamosa Fire Dept.

Students Kevin Gutierrez and Tyler Cerny recently joined the Alamosa Fire Department. Kevin’s father, Randy Gutierrez, custodial II supervisor, is also a volunteer fire fighter for Alamosa. He said, “I think that is wonderful to see that they are serving their community, along with studying to achieve so much more. I am very proud of these guys. They are great assets to Adams State University and to the community.”

Psych Dept. participates in international collaborative study

Students and faculty in Adams State University’s Psychology Department, along with 261 co-authors, had their findings on the reproducibility of psychological science published in the journal Science. Launched nearly four years ago, the Reproducibility Project: Psychology has produced the most comprehensive investigation ever done about the rate and predictors of reproducibility in a field of science.

The international study has a total of 270 authors including the following from Adams State: Dr. Leslie Alvarez, assoc. professor of psychology; Dr Kim Kelso, professor and chair of the Psychology Department; Dr. R. Nate Pipitone, asst. professor of psychology; current student Nicholas Spencer; and recent psychology graduates Tylar Martinez, Megan Tapia, Kellylynn Zuni, Ashlee (Bogle-DeHerrera) Welsh, and Emily Wright. In addition George Sellman, asst. professor of mathematics/computer science, and student Lauren Karlskin created a web-based program for data collection using the picture stimuli provided by the original author. The psychology students presented on this project at Adams State’s Student Scholar Days and the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (RMPA). Read more.

Tri-Beta journal publishes ASU student work

Research by Dr. Kristy Duran, asst. professor of biology, and 2013 graduates Vance Barskdale and Marcus Newell was published in the May issue of Tri Beta’s journal, BIOS. The paper is titled, “Nuclear intergenic DNA sequence divergence in a Texas dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium divaricatum) population.” Barskdale is attending medical school at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical School in Denver; Newell is working in a research laboratory in California and is applying to graduate schools.

 ASU students pitch in for KABOOM

Ten groups of Adams State University students were among the 260 community volunteers who gathered to assemble the City of Alamosa’s new playground at Zapata Park, September 12.

Four senior Nursing Students at the new Zapata Park: (from left) Justin Chavez, Steve Lezama, Santana Quintana, Mackenzie Soldavini along with Alamosa Mayor Josef Lucero and Instructor Karen Adamson.

Four senior Nursing Students at the new Zapata Park: (from left) Justin Chavez, Steve Lezama, Santana Quintana, Mackenzie Soldavini along with Alamosa Mayor Josef Lucero and Instructor Karen Adamson.

Participants included students from Adams State’s Nursing Dept., Women’s & Men’s Lacrosse teams, Women’s & Men’s Basketball teams, Swim Team, Sci Fi Club, Model U.N., Circle K, and AS&F.

The park is located on the corner of Eighth and Ross in Alamosa. The day started with a blank site, and by the end of the afternoon, a brand new, beautiful play area complete with stage, shade structure, planter benches, picnic table, tree benches, as well as an adult fitness area and newly painted basketball court and bathroom facility were in place.

Doctoral students to present at national conference

Several students the 2014/15 cohort of ASU’s Ph.D program in counselor education and supervision will present at October’s Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) conference.

Rich Audsley, Gregg Elliott (director of ASU Counseling Center), Lisa Runck, Ashley Pechek, Adriana de Raet, Angelica Valdez, and Brandon Wilde will present “Development of the perception of competence to work with suicidal clients,” based qualitative research they are conducting as part of the Ph.D. program.

Gregg Elliott, Chaya Abrams, Adriana de Raet, Deanna McCulloch and Assistant Professor Cheri Meder will present “The Evolution of Learning: Online Programs, Counselor Education, and the Therapeutic Relationship,” based on quantitative research they are conducting as part of the Ph.D. program.

Gregg Elliott & Brandon Wilde will present “Do I Really Have to Ask That? Advocating for Suicide Risk Assessment and Intervention Competency in Counselor Training,” which explores lack of training for MA-level counselors to assess suicide risk and to provide intervention with suicidal clients.

Kim Desmond, Heather Trepal, Gregg Elliott, and Anita Neuer-Colburn will present on the Supervision Presidential Initiative, an ACES taskforce on which Elliott has served since 2014 to assess how ACES can better meet the need of clinical and internship site supervisors across the nation.

Richard Audsley, Ashley Pechek, Mark Vander Ley & Lisa Runck will present “Online Counselor Education Programs: Success No Matter the Age.”

CPAS host student night

Adams State accounting students were hosted at “Student Night,” Sept., 22, by the San Luis Valley Chapter of the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants (SLV COCPA). The event gave students a glimpse of what the accounting profession is outside of the classroom. Read more.


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

Innovations in Student Life & Recreation

Introducing the Adams Common Experience (ACE)

Adams State Student Life and Recreation is pleased to announce a new program in alignment with the practices of top institutions.

“The Adams’ Common Experience (ACE) is an intentional, systematic, and integrated high school to college transition experience,” explained Aaron Miltenberger, Director of Student Life and Recreation. He added, through this high impact program, new students will receive support from the moment they apply to Adams State, through New Student Orientation, and as they transition into their second year. This new program will include a First Year Immersion (FYI) comprised predominately of a learning community and the opportunity to live closely with other first year students. The program will be run with the direction of a committee of faculty and staff, many of whom are currently responsible for implementing quality learning communities in academic majors.

According to the AACU (American Association of Colleges & Universities), “The effective implementation of high-impact pedagogies often represents a significant cultural shift for a campus, which can be challenging and requires time, as well as human and fiscal resources. However, institutional assessments and higher education research show that high-impact pedagogies yield substantial gains when they are implemented individually and even greater positive results when they are offered early in the undergraduate experience and administered as an integrated web of support structures for first-year students. Students who experienced high-impact practices and pedagogies tend to record higher persistence to the second year, higher graduation rates overall, and better grades (Brownell & Swaner, 2010; Koch et al., 2007; Troxel & Cutright, 2008). Research has also shown that student-centered practices and pedagogies foster a sense of community on campus and greater satisfaction with college (Brownell & Swaner, 2010). These practices had a substantial positive effect for historically underrepresented minorities, low-income students, and first-generation college students (Brownell & Swaner, 2010; Cruce, Wolniak, Seifert, & Pascarella, 2006; Santiago, 2008). Accordingly, high-impact pedagogies can help advance an equity agenda on campus as well as increase the performance of all students.” (Greenfield, Keup, Gardener, 2013).

Campus Recreation Improvements

By Sierra Mora, Manager, Campus Recreation and Wellness

“To enrich the human spirit and quality of life at Adams State University by fostering fitness, wellness, and play.” – Campus Recreation Mission. circa 1995

Perhaps you have noticed a few changes in and around the Rex Activity Center and are wondering what’s happening. In the beginning of April, Student Life and Recreation initiated a process of restructuring staff and considering plans for improving the quality of the Rex Activity Center and its services. Curt Howell was promoted to the Associate Director of Campus Recreation and Wellness. This strategic move brought to the Rex a fresh perspective on student development, facility management, and programming, due to Curt’s ten years of private and Division I collegiate recreational sports experience. With this new management and Curt’s team of dedicated student employees, numerous projects have been accomplished or are nearing completion as the fall term begins. Each of the improvements and changes were scrutinized though a critical process, all with the ultimate goals of providing better services for our Grizzly students.

rex-weightsThe mission for Campus Recreation and Wellness was adopted in 1995 with the grand opening of Rex Activity Center after its vacancy of nearly 40 years. While this mission is still relevant, at this juncture, a greater emphasis will be placed on fitness and wellness programs and services. A student survey was sent out two years ago to capture student perspectives on a variety of Student Life and Recreation services and programs when a new fee was proposed. This data, along with a more recent survey in April of this year and many discussions with facility users, provided the necessary input to help guide the decision making process.

Many of the improvements in the facility derive from three simple goals: 1) improve quality of customer service 2) increase safety and 3) reach a wider array of individuals through diverse programs and services. Though operating a small facility with limited resources presents unique challenges in meeting the requests and desires of a campus population, these goals were diligently pursued. During the summer, Adventure Programs and Adventure Sports both moved into the facility. In addition, all of the weight lifting areas were rearranged to provide appropriate spacing and increase safety. A classroom and lounge space was created for students to study, hold meetings, and for classes on fitness and nutrition. Finally, one of the racquetball courts was converted into the “Grizzly X” studio to provide an intentional space for group exercise classes. Jessica Chacon was recently hired as ASU’s first professional staff dedicated to Fitness and Wellness programming. Jessica is already in collaboration with the HPPE department to provide new student development opportunities, such as internships and employment, for our students interested in careers in the fitness industry.

Finally, Campus Recreation and Wellness has adopted four core values: personal health, balance, trust, and quality. With these values providing a bearing Campus Recreation and Wellness will enrich the human spirit and quality of life at Adams State University.

ASAP Update

A number of changes have occurred in the Adams State Adventure Program (ASAP). Brian Puccerella is the new coordinator for all things ASAP. Email him with any questions. This summer, ASAP moved from the Student Union Building into the Rex Activity Center. “All of our inventory is quite cozy in its new place, come and check us out,” Puccerella said.

Please help ASAP share that first year students, both transfer and incoming freshman, get a FREE priority membership which includes a rental shop membership, a climbing wall membership, and access to day trips. Students can sign up at the ASAP Office.

Student & Program news

SLV Federal Bank supports suicide prevention

The Counseling Center’s Suicide Intervention & Prevention Program received a $250 grant from San Luis Valley Federal Bank. In order to give its employees a better understanding of community organizations, the bank allows them to select one non-profit group each to receive funds from the bank’s community support budget. Kristal Pacheco selected the ASU program.

Undergraduate trained for research

Dr. Kristy Duran, asst. professor of biology, trained undergraduate student Danielle Karlin in molecular techniques so she can begin an undergraduate research project with Duran this fall.

La Puente grateful for Nursing Dept. volunteer week

By John Reesor, La Puente

In early March, a group of eleven senior nursing students from Adams State University volunteered for a week at La Puente Home, Alamosa’s homeless shelter.

As with most work groups, these students came to La Puente with many positive virtues: the willingness to learn, hearts of service, the spirit of generosity, and a hard work ethic. However, they brought more to the table than just a handful of virtues. The students brought a specific knowledge and skill set they have acquired from their time studying nursing at ASU.

The group worked on some typical but important projects around the organization, such as cooking meals at the shelter, being “big buddies” for the PALS children, and splitting firewood.

It was the students’ nursing skills, though, that helped the group to make a unique impact. They offered their services at the homeless shelter for several hours during the week. They sat down with shelter guests and took blood pressure readings, answered questions about medication, and talked about general health concerns. The highlight of the week for the group was when they collaborated with the Adelante program to teach a “Life Skills” class. The students prepared a nutritious dinner for the parents in the Adelante program. After the meal, the students sat down one-on-one with the parents and talked in detail about health related topics. Their knowledge about health, nutrition, and how to navigate the health care system was truly pertinent information for the clients. This project was special, because the nursing students all had specific and relevant knowledge that not any work group could provide.

On the surface, this may appear to be a story where a selfless group of people serves at La Puente and makes a difference in the lives of some less fortunate people. While this is true, at La Puente we acknowledge that people who serve with us often receive much more in return for their efforts. People who serve experience gratitude and learn invaluable lessons. People who chose to serve are in turn served themselves. One of the ASU nursing students said her week of service “was the most meaningful experience [she has] had since moving to the valley.”

It is evident that this week transformed the minds of the group serving and those that they served. This week was more about an equal exchange between people. The La Puente clients received knowledge of nutrition and health which will better their lives, while the ASU students heard stories of resiliency and hardships that will inspire and encourage them in their future nursing careers.

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.

Update from LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Coalition

First ACE Conference a success

A total of 69 people participated in one or more sessions of the inaugural Advocating, Celebrating, Educating Conference, “Equity in Sports and Other Arenas,” held at ASU April 10-11. It was presented by the ASU LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Coalition, in conjunction with coordination and funding from Counseling Education Department, Human Performance & Physical Education Department, Ken Marquez, David Svaldi, and CIELO hosted the.

The conference included:

  • a 3-hour Safe Zone training
  • a keynote address on the topic of LGBTQ+ Inclusion
  • 60-minute panel presentation including Q & Aa workshop with coaches, athletic directors, and administrators on the topic of LGBTQ+ inclusion in athletics,
  • a panel discussion with LGBTQ+ and ally students, coaches, and faculty focused on LGBTQ+ inclusion in athletics and other arenas.

The featured speaker was Dr. Pat Griffin, Professor Emeritus in the Social Justice Education Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of: Strong Women, Deep Closets: Lesbian and Homophobia in Sports, published by Human Kinetics, 1998. She is also co-editor of Teaching For Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook for Teachers and Trainers, Routledge, 2007. In addition, she is the author of Pat Griffin’s LGBT Sports Blog. Her research and writing interests focus on heterosexism/homophobia in education, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teachers and students, and heterosexism/homophobia in athletics.

Introducing: Lavender Graduation

The ASU LGBTQ+ faculty and staff coalition is pleased to honor students in Adams State University’s first ever Lavender Graduation, which they hope will become a tradition here. This ceremony is conducted on numerous university campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and ally students and to acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and involvement with their university. Several students have been nominated to receive lavender cords in recognition of their contributions to the university community.

The students nominated by the ASU LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Coalition were:

  • Gretchen Rachlis
  • Jordan Barker
  • Alfred Petross
  • Jazmin Evans
  • Brandee Horne
  • Jiovani Colman
  • Anna Comar Atencio

For more information on both the conference and lavender graduation (and pictures), visit the ASU LGBTQ+ blog.

ASU Community Partnerships presented Media Professionals Workshop

Capitalizing on their work with the Southern Colorado Film Commission project, Adams State University Community Partnerships arranged with the Colorado Office of Film, Television, and Media to present a Media Professionals Career Workshop aimed at improving the future success of Adams State students in the media production industry. Working with professors from several different departments at ASU, the April 16 workshop brought together students with a variety of interests in media production, and connected them with existing professionals in the industry. The workshop featured an executive from a Denver-based production company, a pop culture documentarian, the president of the Denver chapter of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, an owner of an independent production company, and a manager from Rocky Mountain PBS. Each of these presenters told how they established their careers in the media production industry, and gave advice to students on how they could do the same. This workshop highlighted opportunities and potential career paths for students, and aimed at preparing them for as great a success as possible in their chosen industries.

Student & Program News

AS&F election results

  • President – Patrick Cleary
  • Vice President of External Affairs – Azarel Madrigal
  • Vice President of Internal Affairs – Heather Shoats
  • Senator at Large – Elizabeth Streeter
  • Non-Traditional Senator – Gloria Quintana
  • Music Senator – Leanne Roath
  • Nursing Senator – Darling Najar
  • Business Senator – Joseph Hovey

Nursing students go above and beyond

Ashley Setzer & Sam Cordero

Ashley Setzer & Sam Cordero

Samantha Cordero, who will graduate with her BSN at top of the nursing class, and fellow student Ashley Setzer, brightened the day recently for patients at Children’s Hospital Colorado, when they dressed as the heroines from the movie Frozen. The Circle K members first portrayed Anna and Elsa during the Alamosa Ice Fest as part of their work with the Kiwanis Club.

Yvette Lujan, Nursing Department Clinical Placement Coordinator, said, “Samantha is a great example of a nursing student that is very dedicated to being involved in the community.”

As part of the Professional Practice class, this year’s senior nursing students created the first Annual Nursing Symbol. They took discussion topics such as ethical and moral ideals to a new level, resulting in a vision statement to accompany their symbol, which is a tree laser cut in metal. It will be inscribed with the attributes they value.

The students will present the framed symbol to President Svaldi and Program Director Shawn Elliott at a 2:30 p.m. presentation on Wednesday, May 13, in the Richardson Hall auditorium.

“These students went above and beyond the call of duty to create something of lasting value,” said their course instructor, Elizabeth McCurdy.nurse-art-news

 As the nursing class of 2015, we aspire to create a lasting impression of the guiding professional ethics and standards we deem most important to our class. We have defined and articulated, in an artistic format, a class symbol to honor our entry into the profession of nursing. Our goal with this project is to inspire future nurses to achieve excellence, compassion, and integrity, and to begin a new way of holding the historical memory of the ASU Nursing Program. We hope this symbol will serve to inspire those that follow in our footsteps.

The symbol will be presented to each graduating nurse, and a larger, framed symbol will be displayed in the Nursing Dept.

Tri-Beta wins awards at regional conference

The ASU chapter of Tri-Beta (biology honor society) recently attended the Tri-Beta Western 1 Regional Conference at the University of Northern Colorado. Adams State had the largest student contingent – 10 – of any institution.

Two Adams State students won awards for their independent research projects, conducted in cooperation with Dr. Kristy Duran, asst. professor of biology.

  •  1st Place – Ecology/Organismal Biology Oral Presentation – Sasha Vigil, “Phylogeography of Dwarf Mistletoe in the Southwest United States”
  • 1st Place – Ecology/Organismal Biology Poster Presentation – Ryan Schilling, Effects of Dwarf Mistletoe Infections on Soil Biodiversity, Nutrient Cycling, and Nutrient Availability”
Ryan Schilling, Dr. Duran, and Sasha Vigil

Ryan Schilling, Dr. Duran, and Sasha Vigil

Both students are invited to present their research at the 2015 Biennial National Convention in St. Paul, MN.

Also Drake Sisneros, Darin Sisneros, and Kelli Williams presented a poster in the Cell/Molecular category.

The following students and faculty attended the conference:

  •    Sean Monaghan                          
  •    Erika Ibarra-Garibay                  
  •    Alexander Mullins      
  •    Sasha Vigil                        
  •    Kyra Garrison                    
  •    Russell Geminden                
  •    Drake Sisneros                
  •    Darin Sisneros                  
  •    Kelli Williams      
  •    Ryan Schilling  
  •    Dr. Adam Kleinschmit, Asst. Professor
  •    Dr. Kristy Duran, Assoc. Professor
  •    Dr. Matt Steffenson, Asst. Professor

Model UN victorious at international conference

When Adams State University’s Model U.N. Team attends international conferences, they find people have seldom heard of ASU or Alamosa, Colorado. But their most recent achievements at the Mediterranean Model U.N (MEDMUN 2015) are making them memorable. Three of the team’s six members were recognized as “Best Delegate” in their respective committees at the conference, held March 27-29 in Menton, France, on the campus of SciencesPo University.

“We beat out schools like Brown University, Princeton, and the London School of Economics. I asked the group for a lot of preparatory work, and it paid off. They conducted themselves incredibly well and really deserve this win,” said Model U.N. adviser Dr. Mari Centeno, professor of political science. She has coached ASU Model U.N. at a total of twelve conferences.

Model U.N. on the French Riviera.

Model U.N. on the French Riviera.

MEDMUN 2015 “Best Delegate” awards went to Laurel Heimstra for Special Historical committee, Azarel Madrigal for Security Council, and Mark Mabry for ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council). The traveling team also included William Custer, Justin Chase, and Stevon Cornish. Read more.

Bulls & Bears hit Wall Street

Article by Justin Bralish

Recently ASU’s newest club, the “ASU Bulls and Bears Finance Club” visited New York City. On the first day in NYC ,they visited the New York Yacht Club for Hallador Energy Companies’ shareholders meeting, where the students got the opportunity to learn about the company and how shareholder meetings are run. On the second day, they visited the NASDAQ stock exchange and were invited on the main floor for the closing bell. This also happened to be a record setting day for the NASDAQ. Throughout the rest of the trip, the students visited various financial institutions and learned about the rich financial history of the U.S. This trip was not only monumental for the ASU Bulls and Bears, but it helps push the boundaries of what Adams State is capable of doing. The ASU Bulls and Bears are committed to expanding their knowledge in the fields offinance and business while giving back to the community that has so graciously given to them.

From left:  Secretary Nick Diercks, Tyler Zito, Professor Yusri Zaro, President Justin Bralish, Vice President Justin Kauffman, Jeff Jackson, Nick Palumbo

From left: Secretary Nick Diercks, Tyler Zito, Professor Yusri Zaro, President Justin Bralish, Vice President Justin Kauffman, Jeff Jackson, Nick Palumbo

Students serve and learn during alternative spring break

Article by Darin Sisneros

This year’s Alternative Spring Break, sponsored by ASU’s United Campus Ministry and the Newman Club, gave participants cultural immersion and service within a context of social justice. Students journeyed to one of two destinations, Hatch, New Mex., and Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.

The Hatch trip connected ASU students with students from Western, CSU Pueblo and Fort Lewis College, as they worked as one to perform home repair and maintenance for residents. “One of the hardest challenges of these projects was getting the right supplies for each house, given our limited amount of time and resources” said senior Drake Sisneros. “But once we started working on the homes, everything seemed to fall into place.”


Home building in Hatch.

A local contractor volunteered his time to direct and work alongside the volunteers. The students served for three full days patching and replacing roofs, cleaning yards, landscaping, and painting. At the end of the third day, the students had served eight homes. “The people of Hatch were super grateful. Throughout our time there, they gave us generous offerings of food, resources, and support,” said Krystal Nuccitelli.

Highlighting the trip were an early morning Mass with fieldworkers in an onion field and a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso. Students observed two very different lifestyles, as well as the commonalities between people within the U.S. and those just across the border fence. “We learned about how hard life is economically for so many in Mexico and why people often have no other choice but to cross the border undocumented,” noted student Bella Whitten.

Alternative Spring Break Mexcali was a renewed partnership with Los Ninos and VIA International, based in San Diego, CA. Los Ninos is a non-profit with a 35-year history working in the Tijuana and Mexicali border regions of Mexico. Student groups from the U.S. who participate with VIA learn about the border region and work with the communities they serve rather than for them. This is done in a spirit of friendship and good will.

Cactus farm in Mexicali.

Cactus farm in Mexicali.

The ASU contingent of 11 experienced a full week learning about grassroots community development and educational programs focused on health and nutrition, as well as financial programs that promote self-reliance. Participants were immersed in the unique Mexicali culture, with its surprising Chinese influence. They tried their hands at making tortillas, clay roof tiles, beekeeping, and cactus farming. They also heard about recent economic developments between the U.S. and Mexico that have negatively impacted the ability of families to self-sustain. Students visited outreach centers which provide services to deported individuals and heard first-hand accounts from two recent deportees.

A high point of the trip was a visit to the local university, where the ASU group was warmly received by the Language Department and feted with food, music, and dance. The students had the opportunity to visit several classrooms and practice English with their Mexican counterparts.

“Borders are just walls that society thought to put up to separate countries. We are all part of one human race and we should embrace our similarities, rather than focus on our differences. The border fence is obstructive even to patterns of wildlife,” said ASU freshman Chelsea Henderson. “I strongly encourage people to go on these trips. ASB opened my eyes to injustices being done to our brothers and sisters. Experience new cultures, and you will be more sensitive and empathetic to the people around you.”

Adrian Reyes participated in ASB El Salvador, a home-stay program that included a visit to the sites where Archbishop Oscar Romero and five Jesuit priests, their cook ,and her daughter were assassinated during the civil war in the 1970’s.

“I can’t find words to describe how powerful this experience was…there are few who can understand how this trip changed my life…I strongly believe that the best things in the universe cannot be seen or even touched; we must feel them in our hearts,” Reyes said.

SACNAS members attend state meeting

Dr. Kristy Duran, asst. professor of biology, recently accompanied seven student members of the ASU SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) chapter to a Colorado SACNAS meeting at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Students were treated to a tour of the medical campus and showed around research laboratories. They presented on the ASU chapter and discussed collaborative fundraising for state SACNAS chapters. Students heard from students in the dental, graduate, medicine, and MD/PhD programs.

Daniel Chavez, Edith Arias, Julie Madden, Dr. Duran, Ashlee Romero, Anjelica Quintana, Ryan Raguindin, and Kevin Shanks

Daniel Chavez, Edith Arias, Julie Madden, Dr. Duran, Ashlee Romero, Anjelica Quintana, Ryan Raguindin, and Kevin Shanks

Psych students present at regional conference

Thirteen psychology students and four faculty members recently attended the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (RMPA) conference, held in Boise, Idaho. Nine of the students participated in five presentations.

Student papers and posters included:

  • Jonathan Gears, Savanna Smith, and Robert Demski: Poster, “The Effects of Sports Participation and Personality on Loneliness.”
  • Elizabeth Marino, Tara Brebert, and Robert Demski: Poster, “The Effect of Student Status and Self-Efficacy on Academic Mastery Goal Orientation.”
  • Jeff Elison, Stephanie Hilwig, Benjamin Waddell, and Justine Brydges: Paper, “Gender Socialization Predicts Sex Differences in Socially Desirable Responding and Shame-Coping.”
  • Emily Wright, Nicholas Spencer, Ashlee Welsh, and Kim Kelso: Paper, “Stereotype Threat and Distance in Interracial Contexts: A Replication Study.”
  • Darianna Roybal, Jennifer Maez, and Robert Demski: Poster “The Effects of Gender and Ethnicity on Attitudes towards Women’s Social Roles.”

The following members of ASU’s Psi Chi Chapter (international honor society in psychology) received Psi Chi Travel Grants ranging from $150-$400 to attend the conference.

  • Nick Spencer
  • Raul Madril
  • Ian Wingstrom
  • Emily Wright
  • Ashlee Bogle-Deherrera
  • Danielle Walters

Dr. Nate Pipitone, asst. professor of psychology, and student Brandon Gallegos presented their paper, “Physiological Changes when Viewing Trypophobic Images: Irrational or Adaptive,” at the North Eastern Evolutionary Psychology Society in Boston.

Nine psychology students presented at ASU Student Scholar Days:

  • Brandon Gallegos – Paper: “Trypophobia: The Fear of Holes.”
  • Emily Wright, Nick Spender, Ashlee Welsh – Paper: “Stereotype Threat and Distance in Interracial Contexts: A Replication Study.”
  • Jerrica Cherry – Poster: “Success of the PALS After-School Program”
  • Tara Grebert, Elizabeth Marino – Poster: “The Effects of Student Status and Self-Efficacy on Academic Mastery Goals.”
  • Dariana Roybal, Jennifer Maez – Poster: “The Effects of Gender and Ethnicity on Attitudes towards Women’s Social Roles”

Robotics Team takes first at Robot Challenge

Competing against 17 teams from 13 colleges and universities, the Adams State Robotics Team, advised by George Sellman, took first place in the under 1.5 kg. category at the 9th Annual Colorado Robot Challenge, held in early April at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

View last year’s competition on You Tube.

Stephanie Sisneros, Alex Basagoitia, JC Henderson

Stephanie Sisneros, Alex Basagoitia, JC Henderson

ASU student named Miss Colorado America Co-ed

Sophomore Keara Collester received the title of Miss Colorado American Coed 2015 Queen in March. As the Miss Colorado Coed, Collester will attend the National Pageant for her age group in Florida at Walt Disney World during the week of Thanksgiving 2015. She will compete for the National Pageant title of Miss American Coed and thousands of dollars in cash awards, prizes and scholarships. Read more.

Students present at Rocky Mountain Communication Assoc. conference

Mass Communication program faculty Danny Ledonne, MFA, and Dr. Beth Bonnstetter took a group of students to the 2015 Rocky Mountain Communication Association’s annual conference in Loveland, CO. Faculty mentors assisted students with their presentations. Students Alan Jackman, Josh Gilbertson, Tyler Klemp, Elena Burr, and Erica Norton organized the panel, “Communicating Video Culture: Innovations in Student Media at a Rural University.” Jake Garegnani presented a paper entitled, “They’re Not Just Toys: Fracturing Ideology in Toy Story.” The students also had the opportunity to meet other Communications students around the region and attend their presentations.

L to R: Erica Norton, Elena Burr, Alan Jackman, Danny Ledonne, Beth Bonnstetter, Josh Gilbertson, Tyler Klemp, Jake Garegnani

L to R: Erica Norton, Elena Burr, Alan Jackman, Danny Ledonne, Beth Bonnstetter, Josh Gilbertson, Tyler Klemp, Jake Garegnani

CAMP students attend leadership conferences

The Adams State University College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) sent students to Chicago and Santa Fe for student leadership conferences. Miguel Chaparro, CAMP recruitment and retention, said: “Our students have a broader view now, and many are now seeing that they can attend other conferences and pursue graduate degrees at some of the institutions that were presented in the conference.”

CAMP students who traveled to the National Conference for the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute Conference, in Chicago, included Maya Martinez, Maria Guzman, Miranda Sandoval, Jessica Crowther, Abigail Moreno, Jayme Malouff, Chance Padilla, Gustavo Nungaray, Carlo Martinez, and Jesus Carrillo. Read more.

Adventure Sports Accomplishments

Six climbers of the Adams State University Climbing Team qualified and traveled to the 2015 Collegiate Climbing Series National Championship, held in San Diego April 17-18. The results were impressive: every athlete finished in the top half of their respected specialization. Considering that the team had a new coach, two of the six were true freshman, and brand new rules govern the series, the result could not have been better. The team is looking forward to an even stronger 2016, as they work on recruitment and perfecting their eight-month training. For more info on the team please contact the Adventure Sports Coordinator, Marshal Hartley, or the head climbing coach, Matt Moore. Below are the official results.

For Bouldering:

  • Eric Learn – 43rd
  • Connor Hile – 59th

For Lead:

  • Wyatt Moran – 28th
  • Noel Prandoni – 43rd

For Speed:

  • Seth Clock – 20th
  • Laura Milligan – 46th

185 total Men competitors; 118 total Women competitors

The Cycling Team competed in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC) Championships in Grand Junction, Colo., April 25-26. Although it was a cold, rain-soaked weekend, all team members had their best performances of the season, with four top ten finishes:

  • Mark Johnson – 4th in the Road Race
  • Harrison Webb – 7th in the Road Race
  • Kenan Bussen– 10th in the Road Race and 6th in the Criterium

Mark Johnson and freshman Ryan Munko will compete in the Road Race and Criterium at the Collegiate Road Cycling National Championships, May 6-10 in Asheville, NC.

Neilsen Library tends “Seed to Seed” library

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

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

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

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