Student & Program News

El Parnaso celebrated Day of the Dead

ASU’s Spanish club, El Parnaso, advised by Dr. Eva Rayas Solís, assoc. professor of Spanish, hosted a very successful The Day of the Dead celebration, Nov. 1, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Formed in 1928, El Parnaso has organized a type of celebration to commemorate the Day of the Dead for the last fifteen years. Read more.

CASA hosted Navajo Walkers

The Adams State University Cultural Awareness and Student Achievement (CASA) Center hosted a presentation of the Navajo Walkers in the Nielsen Library, Oct. 27. According to CASA Director Oneyda Maestas, Navajo elder Tom Johnston, requested shelter for the walkers who had recently traveled from Dulce to Chama, NM, and were making their way to the San Luis Valley. Read more.

ACS commends Adams State chapter

ASU’s student chapter of American Chemical Society (ACS) received a Commendable award for activities conducted during the 2014-15 school year. Of more than 400 chapter activity reports submitted the ACS Committee on Education presented 55 outstanding, 99 commendable, and 160 honorable mention awards. The group’s advisors, Dr. Renee Beeton, asst. professor of chemistry, and former faculty member Aaron Moehling “deserve special commendation,” Diane Grob Schmidt, Ph.D., ACS Fellow, presicent of ACS said. “Their efforts certainly represent the best in undergraduate science education and mentoring around the country.

SACNAS members attend national conference

Dr. Kristy Duran, assoc. professor of biology, and with 16 Adams State student members of SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans) attended the SANCAS National Conference in Washington, DC. In addition to attending professional development sessions and scientific talks, students met personally with scientists and recruiters for graduate and medical schools. Two ASU students, Daniel Chavez and Desire Comstock, received travel scholarships from the SACNAS National Office. Students Julie Madden and Cody Duran presented their research they conducted with Dr. Duran. Madden presented “Investigation into the association between mistletoe infection and monoterpene production in ponderosa pine using GC-FID. Duran presented “Effects of nitrogen and Rhizobium interactions on water uptake in legumes.”

Back: Cody Duran, Alex Mullins, Ryan Raguindin, Casey Miller, Taelor Mullins Middle: Desire Comstock, Sasha Vigil, Julie Madden, Karina Cerino-Castillo, Edith Arias, Tori Martinez, Anjelica Quintana Front: Erika Ibarra, Ashlee Romero, Karen Ortiz

Back: Cody Duran, Alex Mullins, Ryan Raguindin, Casey Miller, Taelor Mullins
Middle: Desire Comstock, Sasha Vigil, Julie Madden, Karina Cerino-Castillo, Edith Arias, Tori Martinez, Anjelica Quintana
Front: Erika Ibarra, Ashlee Romero, Karen Ortiz

Campus & community join to combat food insecurity

ASU United Campus Ministry participated in two events to benefit the Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley, held during Wellness Week in November. “These were multi-faith collaborations of community and campus-based spiritual groups,” according to Campus Minister Shirley Atencio.

Several local church leaders initiated and planned a Circle of Gratitude, Nov. 8, and student Esperanza Garduno, of Newman Grizz Catholic, coordinated a “Fill the Truck” food drive. She said, “So many families will be served through these generous donations of food and money.” ASU Christian Challenge students brought the food inside each night for safekeeping and also conducted a door-to-door food drive.

The Circle of Gratitude brought together humanists, atheists, and non-Christian practitioners, along with representatives from the Methodist, Unitarian, Presbyterian, Christian Reformed, Catholic, Mennonite, and Episcopalian denominations. Atencio said, “The event provided a space for campus and community members to express gratitude for Earth’s bounty and celebrated the spirit of sharing demonstrated in filling the truck for the food bank. It was a reminder that there can be unity when people of differing perspectives come together in a spirit of goodwill.”

Several students and community members presented readings. Food Bank Director John Reesor shared thoughts about hunger and their mission. A “Sharing of Breads” ritual honored traditional breads brought forth by students from various countries. Some of these included paratha from Pakistan, pan dulce from Mexico, Chapati from India, Jewish Challah, Injera from Ehiopia, rice banana bread from Liberia, and Navajo fry bread. Music was provided by local Mennonite Volunteers and by Skye Choice and Leeanne Roath, who performed an original composition.

A happy ending for a special event

Students in “Sport Facility and Event Management,” taught by Peggy Johnson, hosted a Special Olympics bowling event at ABC Pro Bowl in Alamosa, Oct. 13. Local Special Olympics athletes competed against each other with a chance to move on to the Southeast Regional Championship, held in Pueblo, Oct. 24. Thirteen Special Olympians qualified for the championship. The local event was full of excitement, and everyone enjoyed themselves.

The students thank ABC Pro Bowl for use of their facility and ASU Print Shop for supporting the event by printing the flyers.bowl-2

The SLV Special Olympics contingent made a good showing and brought home a number of awards from the regional competition. In their respective divisions, Chuck Silva won 6th place; Andrew Griego & Michele Schaak won 5th place; Robert Allaart, Sandra Allaart & Sharon Bailey won 3rd place; John Bailey won 2nd place; and Steven Guymon, Leroy Millsap, Stewart Page & Karie Valdez all brought home 1st place ribbons.

bowl-1Special Olympics provides a year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults who have an intellectual disability. These athletes 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.

Demski and Baggs presented on PTSD at national conference

What were the effects of the 9/11 attacks on American academia? This question was posed to academics around the country by conference organizers at Emory and Henry College in Emory Virginia.

Kelsi Baggs & Dr.  Rob Demski

Kelsi Baggs & Dr. Rob Demski

Dr. Rob Demski, assoc. professor of psychology, presented a paper on how the field of psychology responded to the attacks. His presentation included a discussion of how sacred value theory, terror management theory, and intergroup emotion theory were used to explain America’s response. Also reviewed were research efforts conducted by psychologists to understand the motives of the perpetuators. Finally, he discussed the controversy surrounding the role of psychologists in the “enhanced interrogations” at Guantanamo.

Psychology major Kelsi Baggs assisted Dr. Demski in developing his presentation and presented a paper of her own on the topic of post-traumatic stress disorder. She cited research that found that PTSD symptoms were exhibited by people who had indirect exposure to the collapse of the twin towers. A relatively new phenomena, indirect exposure was predominantly through the media.

Other conference presenters included Alice Greenwald, director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, located underneath the new World Trade Center, as well as Christine Muller of Yale College, Marilyn Chipman of Metro State University in Denver, Matthew Unangst of Temple University, Chiara Ferrari of California State University Chico, and Matthew Biberman of the University of Louisville. Emory and Henry College is a four-year private institution five hours from Washington D.C.

Update: Ph.D. program in Counselor Education & Supervision

  • First-year doctoral students in the Counselor Education & Supervision program worked with faculty this semester to modify institutional syllabi to meet 2016 CACREP standards. Revisions will be reviewed by faculty in preparation for renewal of the department’s CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) standing for the upcoming school year.
  • Also, many doctoral students have served as co-instructors for Online Plus Counselor Education program. This gave them a great opportunity to get hands on experience teaching in an online format, as well as to receive close mentoring and supervision from the co-instructor/faculty members.
  • Two doctoral students presented at Colorado School Counselor’s Conference (CSCA), held in Albuquerque, NM., Nov. 12. Elizabeth Wiggins presented “Passing on the Power: How supervising interns can renew your strength.” It included qualitative research on the supervisory alliance conducted by several members of the doctoral program: Mark VanderLey, Chaya Abrams, Rebecca Caple, Vasti Holstun, Deanna McCulloch, and Liz Wiggins. Vasti Holston presented “Practical Counseling Approaches for School Counselors.”
  • Coreen Haym presented “Managing Monogamism: Clinical Practice with Consensually Open Non-Monogamous Relationship and Family Systems” at a pre-conference institute at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) National Meeting,
  • Lisyuri Gallardo, Erica Aguilar, and Valentino Dressler gave a presentation, “What’s App with Cyberbullying” to students at Ortega Middle School, Nov. 19.

Flute Studio participated in Colorado Flute Association Conference

Seven music majors in Dr. Tracy Doyle’s applied flute studio attended the Colorado Flute Association’s annual conference, held Nov. 7 on the campus of Metropolitan State College in Denver. Junior Deanna Smith performed in the collegiate competition, and Shelby Glammeyer, Deanna Smith, Kayleen Peretto-Ortega, Miranda Johnson, and Emily Johnson performed in the community flute ensemble on the final members’ recital.flutes-2

campus officers. From

Business students visited Alamosa State Bank

Students in the Commercial Banking Class taught by Yusri Zaro, asst. professor of business, visited Alamosa State Bank Nov. 15, where Assistant Vice President Joe Martinez talked about the uniform bank performance report (UBPR) and Basel

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

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.