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.”

Student & Program News

Model UN takes top awards

Adams State’s Model UN team had great success at the MEDMUN (Mediterranean Model United Nations) Conference, held at the Sciences Po campus in Menton, France, over Spring Break.


Dr. Mari Centeno, Model UN advisor, said, “All of our training sessions paid off. The team swept the conference awards, in competition against such colleges as Brown University and London School of Economics. Azarel Madrigal, Mark Mabry, and Laurel Heimstra won the Best Delegate award in each of the three committees in which they participated.”

The team was rounded out with Stevon Cornish, Will Custer and Justin Chase. Their discussion topics included Crisis in Libya, Rights for Migrant Workers, and the Peloponnesian War.

HPPE class presented Special Olympics Basketball Extravaganza

Students in the spring 2015 class of HPPE 305 Sport Facility & Event Management planned and conducted a Special Olympics Basketball Extravaganza. Held in Plachy Hall March 10, it was an exciting basketball game that showcased the skills of local Special Olympics basketball players in front of their friends and families. Athletes were divided into two basketball teams that put three Special Olympians and two ASU student partners on the court at a time, following the Special Olympics Unified basketball rules.special-olym

Donations raised enough funds to cover travel expenses for the program for one sport’s travel to Special Olympics regional competitions. This event was a huge success, judging by the smiles on the faces of both participants and fans alike. The closely contested game ended with the blue team sneaking past the red team by one basket, with a final score of 24-22 in overtime.

The San Luis Valley Special Olympics Dust Devils basketball team, coached by HPPE senior Jacob Flores, took first place in their division at the Southeast Regional Special Olympics basketball tournament, held February 14 in Colorado Springs. The athletes have been working with Coach Flores every Saturday morning since late November to hone their skills leading up to this event. The 12-person Dust Devils team advanced to the championship bracket after winning their first game by a large margin. Five additional San Luis Valley Special Olympians, led by volunteer Holly Navratil, competed in the individual skills contests of shooting, dribbling and passing at the regional basketball event, bringing home two first place ribbons, one third place ribbon, and two fourth place ribbons.

The team members and individual skills competitors proudly showed off their brand new uniforms at the regional basketball event, a purchase made possible by the successful fundraising efforts of the fall 2014 HPPE 305 Sport Facility & Event Management class. Students combined the fundraiser with the local Rolling for Change bowling event that they planned and conducted as part of their course requirements.

Special Olympics is an international organization which sponsors year round athletic training and competition for individuals ages 8 and above who have been diagnosed with developmental disabilities. For more information about the SLV Special Olympics program, contact Peggy Johnson at 587-7408, Gerri Cummings at 580-5959 or LaVerne Valdez at 589-6995.

Student Leaders recognized

Adams State’s seventh annual Student Leadership Banquet, March 30, honored student leaders with amazing food and live music. The keynote speaker was alumna Corrine Padilla ’05, who reflected on what she had learned throughout her years at Adams.

Read more.

Community Partnerships hosts media professional career workshop for students

Thursday, April 16
3-5 p.m.
Art Rm. 227

Faculty are encouraged to urge interested students to attend, at no charge, a Media Professionals Career Workshop provided by Colorado’s Office of Film, Television and Media. It will be hosted by Adams State University’s Community Partnerships and the Southern Colorado Film Commission

Colorado State Film Commissioner, Donald Zuckerman, will discuss the state’s initiative to expand the film industry in Colorado. The Office of Film, Television, & Media, formerly the Colorado Film Commission, is now a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Additional presenters include:

  • Duke Hartman, Chief Operating Officer, High Noon Entertainment
  • Alexandre O. Philippe, Creative Director of Denver-based Cinema Vertige and Exhibit A Pictures
  • Sheila Ivy Traister, director, writer and award-winning actress with 30+ years in film, television, theater and improv
  • Marc Snider, Exposure Productions, a small, mountain oriented production company
  • Julie Speer, Director/Executive Producer, Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting

Community Partnerships thanks the following faculty who aided in designing the workshiop: Dr. John Taylor, Dr. Beth Bonnstetter, Danny Ledonne, and Gustavo Plascencia.

Books donated to Reading Room

The Department of History, Anthropology, Philosophy, Political Science and Spanish extends its thanks to Cathie Aguilar Waugh, who contributed several boxes of history and Spanish books to the McDaniel Hall Reading Room. The books were owned by her late father, Lee Adonais Aguilar, who earned a B.A. in Secondary Education and M.A. in Spanish International Studies from Adams State. He also earned a master’s in 20th century Mexican literature from the University of Montana. Aguilar taught high school and at Northwest Community College in Powell, Wyo., for 37 years. Everyone may access the Reading Room’s collection.

Student & Program News

Nursing Dept. welcomes new cohort

Dr. Shawn Elliott, director of the Nursing Department, announced 36 students entered the program this semester.nursing-studs








Students perform with Altitude Percussion

ASU percussion students Logan Hjelmstad, Andrew Naughton, Jon Colson, Tai Smith, and Kevin Johnson were selected to perform with “Altitude Percussion,” a Colorado Springs-based competitive Winter Guard International marching percussion ensemble. ASU percussion student, Nico Owen is a member of the instructional staff, and the students will be performing with “Altitude” throughout the Front Range this spring.

Counseling Center plans Safe Spring Break Fair

Tuesday, March 17
1 – 4 p.m.
Student Union Building banquet rooms

Faculty and staff are asked to encourage students to participate in the Safe Spring Break Fair, which will provide fun and information on topics such as:

  • Service learning
  • Marijuana safety
  • Harm reduction around drinking
  • Safe sex
  • No texting & driving
  • Consent
  • Domestic violence/healthy relationships
  • and many others

The Counseling Center is partnering with a number of campus organizations to produce this event. Any organization/department that would like to participate is asked to contact Lis Tomlin, ext.7746.

To date, partners include:

  • Newman Club
  • Chi Sigma Iota
  • Career Services
  • Student Life/Grizzly Activity Board
  • Title IX
  • Tu Casa
  • The Student Nursing Association
  • The Prevention Awareness Crew
  • The Suicide Watch Awareness Gang
  • Residence Life
  • The ASU Police Department
  • The Veterans Club
  • HPPE
  • Psi Chi
  • The Casa House
  • Crossroads/Turning Points

Music Department announces spring events

  • Sun., March 1
    Wind Ensemble Concert
    Richardson Hall Aud.
    3 p.m.
  • Tues., March 10
    Colorado Opera, performing Romeo & Juliette
    Richardson Hall Aud.
    7 p.m.
    This is a wonderful, rare opportunity to experience opera at its best right here in Alamosa! This event will be free to all students, including middle school and high school students. A $5 fee will be charged at the door for everyone else.
  • Thurs., March 12
    Alex Wier – Guest Percussionist
    Leon Memorial
    7 p.m.
  • Wed., April 1
    Faculty lecture by James Doyle
    Richardson Hall Aud.
    7 p.m.
  • Thurs., April 2
    Nico Owen – senior percussion recital
    Leon Memorial
    7 p.m.
  • Sat., April 4
    Dani Rady – senior clarinet recital
    Leon Memorial
    2 p.m.
  • Sat., April 4
    Kacia Schmidt – graduate voice recital
    Leon Memorial
    5 p.m.

Exercise Science student help at health fair

Exercise Science students from the HPPE department offered their services at the 2015 SLVAHEC Health Fair, held at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church gym, January 31. Graduate students Lukus Klawitter and Alexandra Cooper, along with senior undergraduate students Sami Marcolina & Brie’el Wiles, determined body composition for a large number of fair attendees, as well as offering fitness & health advice, & handing out brochures for fitness testing offered in the Human Performance Lab on Thursdays from 5-7 p.m.

Anyone interested in body composition testing, fitness age testing, VO2max testing, among others, can set up an appointment by Alexandra Cooper or Dr. Tracey Robinson, ext. 7663.

Theatre continues the magic


The opening night of Adams State University Theatre’s It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play raised a record $78,300 for La Puente Home. For the last seven years, the Theatre program has partnered with Valley-Wide Health Systems and La Puente to use the opening night performance of the annual holiday season production as a fundraiser for the homeless shelter. Since 2008, the Share the Magic event has raised nearly $400,000.  Read more.

Common Reading Experience announces 2015-16 book

The ASU Common Reading Experience Committee is pleased to announce the Common Reading book selection for the 2015-2016 academic year:

Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future (2011)
by Robert B. Reich. Vintage Books: ISBN-13: 978-0307476333
Learn more.

Help build a great Common Reading Program

A successful Common Reading program requires broad participation across campus. Here’s how you can contribute:

Aftershock Common Reader

The CRE Committee would like to create a Common Reader to accompany the book and requests suggestions for related reading selections that will enhance student consideration of the subject matter from a broad variety of positions, perspectives, and disciplines. Selections can include poetry, book chapters, articles, and short stories across multiple disciplines. These reading selections can be used inside and outside the classroom to enhance discussion of the book.

Event Proposals

In the past, faculty and staff at Adams State have successfully hosted many Common Reading Experience events, including book discussions, lectures, field trips, special topics courses, art projects, and service learning initiatives. The committee welcomes all proposals for events and activities related to the selected common reading experience book. Proposals should include elements that reflect the themes and issues of the book. Events can be scheduled for either Fall 2015 or Spring 2016.

Proposals should ideally be received by May 1, 2015, to be considered for the Fall semester, and by October 31, 2016, for the Spring semester. Please send them to Committee Chair Carol Smith.

Student & Program News

Field School Honored

During the Jan. 9 Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington, the Adams State University Fort Massachusetts Archaeological Field School received second place in a competition based on gender and minority inclusion in archaeological field schools.

Twelve individuals affiliated with the Field School as students or staff attended the conference, including three current ASU students, Kaycee Prevedel, Candace Fleck, and Megan Benfield. Adams State alumni who also attended the conference include Katlyn Keith ’14, Jeremy Brunette ’13, Cory Rich ’12, and Jamie Devine ’10. Five Adams State representatives presented professional papers in the conference symposia. Read more.

Student Honors

Geology senior Katherine Schultz appears in a photo in the Geological Society of America’s Annual Report for the GeoCorps American program. She is depicted at work as a physical scientist at the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve.

Freshman physics/pre-engineering student Alexandre Basagoitia was recently nominated to both the U.S. Air Force Academy and West Point.

Title III SEEDS grant participants present at conference

Dr. Joel Judd, professor of teacher education, was joined by and three Colorado teachers to present “EL Perceptions of K-12 STEM Classrooms” at the 38th Annual Colorado Conference for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (CoTESOL), held Nov. 14. The teachers are all participants in ASU’s Title III SEEDS grant: Kelly von Stroh, Animas Valley Elementary in Durango; Machin Norris, Highland Middle, Ault; and Katrina Hanger, Bricker Elementary in Colorado Springs.

Dr. Joel Judd and students at 38th Annual Colorado Conference for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Dr. Joel Judd and students at 38th Annual Colorado Conference for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Each teacher reported on a classroom climate survey given to their English language learners at the beginning and end of each year. The surveys provide feedback on students’ perceptions of how classroom time is spent, the extent to which different activities help them learn, and their attitudes about the usefulness of STEM subject matter.

In addition, the conference recognized Leticia Ingram as ESL Teacher of the Year. A teacher at Basalt High School in Basalt, she is a graduate of a previous ASU Title III grant .

HPPE students organize Special Olympics fundraiser

In October , students enrolled in the Human Performance & Physical Education Department’s Sport Facility & Event Management presented a special event, “Rolling for Change,” as their major class project. The event’s purpose was a two-prong: to raise money for the local Special Olympics program, the San Luis Valley Dust Devils, and to provide an enjoyable bowling event for local Special Olympians as they prepared to travel to their regional competition. Students in the class developed the event mission and goals, planned, organized and conducted the event itself, and completed the post-event wrap-up.

Between the athletes involved and other donors at the event, the fundraiser exceeded $1,000. These profits will be used towards travel costs for the Dust Devils and any equipment they may need during the remaining sport seasons this year. Athlete Andrew Griego raised over $500; others who raised over $100 were Steven Guymon, Sandra and Robert Allaart, Martin Guymon, and Marc Alfaro.

During the Rolling for Change event, held at ABC Pro Bowl in Alamosa, students worked to assure all bowlers had a safe and enjoyable experience. A running commentary recognized every bowler and brought smiles to the faces of everyone involved.

Special Olympics is an international, non-profit organization. It provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Anyone interested in joining the San Luis Valley Special Olympics family may contact Peggy Johnson, ext. 7408.

Student video projects

Danny Ledonne, visiting assistant professor of English/communications, invites others to view student video projects completed during the fall semester. Links below:

Video Practicum (independent study projects)

 Documentary Film Production (personal and issue-based non-fiction films)

Digital Filmmaking (short narrative, documentary, and experimental films)


140 degrees to be awarded at Fall Commencement

Saturday, Dec. 20
10 a.m.
Plachy Hall

Outstanding Alumnus Duane Bussey, class of ’82, will give the Adams State commencement at the fall ceremony. Adams State will award 140 degrees, including 117 bachelor’s degrees and 23 associate degrees.

In Bussey’s address, “The Secrets to Success are not Secret,” he will share his personal thoughts on both personal and professional success.

“I believe the things that bring lasting success and effectiveness to any person or organization are not secrets at all, but rather things we have all heard from a young age, things our families, churches, mentors, and teachers from kindergarten on up have all shared with us.” Throughout his speech, Bussey will elaborate on key points he believes important to making the most out of life.

Read more.

La Puente honors generosity of Dave & Virginia Svaldi

Adams State University President, Dr. David Svaldi, and his wife, Virginia, were honored by La Puente and Valley-Wide Health Systems for their ongoing commitment to the homeless shelter, particularly their support of the annual Share the Magic holiday gala, presented in conjunction with the ASU Theatre Program. Each year, the couple funds and hosts the opening night reception and purchases “the house,” so that ticket sales benefit the charity. In past years, Helen Lester has teamed with the Svaldis in purchasing “the house.”

svaldis-share-the-magicThe Svaldis were presented a commemorative plaque at this year’s gala, held Dec. 5, prior to the theatre’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, directed by Dr. John Taylor. The event raised a record $76,000 in support of the homeless shelter’s programs. Over the last seven years, the opening night benefit performances have raised more than $350,000 for La Puente.

Of this year’s total, La Puente is committing $21,000 in honor of the Svaldis to the “It’s a Wonderful Legacy” endowment.

The play continues through Dec. 14; tickets are available by calling the Theatre Box Office, 587-TIXX (8499).

Read more.