Department News | Fall 2013

Bataan Battalion has a new leader


The U.S. Department of the Army  selected Lt. Col. David P. McCoy to head up New Mexico State University’s Army ROTC program. The new commander is serving a three-year tour and overseeing more than 75 cadets, faculty and staff.

“It’s an awesome responsibility, I can think of nothing more important than taking a student who maybe knows nothing about the military, and guiding them through this process, and at the end of it, we pin bars on their shoulders,” said Lt. Col. McCoy, professor of military science in the College of Arts and Sciences.

As the top mentor, McCoy’s duty will be to train and prepare cadets for commissioning as second lieutenants in the United States Army. He also will use his experience to guide senior class cadets in a weekly leadership course that he’ll teach.

“I want to teach them, this is how you want to be as a lieutenant,” McCoy said. “This is how your mind set needs to change. I want to mold them during that year, getting them out of cadet mode and moving them into Army officer mode.”

Additionally, McCoy will oversee the area Jr. ROTC programs and mentor New Mexico Military Institute completion students who are completing their undergraduate degrees at NMSU.     Read more

NMSU’s Creative Media Institute goes beyond entertainment to engagement

By Tonya Suther 

Mark Medoff and his team of filmmakers won the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s 2013 Visionary Voice Award in May. (Photo courtesy Mike Jones)

A tiny pill is silently dropped into a red plastic cup at a nondescript party. The liquid transitions red, and the drugged drink is passed to a faceless young woman who cries out before a dark room.

In this opening scene of the award winning public service announcement, created for the Las Cruces La Pinon Sexual Recovery Center by New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute, color is used to stimulate audience interest.

“We gave it a black and white look, so that when it’s on TV, it captures your attention,” said Kyle Karges, CMI student and the film’s co-producer. “And then, when you see that element of red in the video, all of a sudden you kind of really, quickly just know something is wrong.”     Read more

NMSU geographer attends conference to target high-risk flood areas

By Tonya Suther 

Roberta Lujan, a graduate assistant at New Mexico State University who studies flood-risk mapping, recently attended a four-day symposium to learn more on the latest technologies used in modeling potential flood areas.

As floods continue to swamp a number of states on the East Coast, a New Mexico State University researcher has returned from an international conference with the latest technologies in flood-risk mapping.

Roberta Lujan, a graduate assistant in the College of Arts and Sciences, recently attended the Esri International Users Conference in San Diego, Calif., to learn more on modeling potential flood areas.

A geographic information systems (GIS) technician in the university’s Spatial Applications and Research Center (SpARC), Lujan was among 12,000 attendees from 130 countries around the world at the conference in July.     Read more

NMSU journalism department launches all-in-one digital media center

By Tonya Suther

New Mexico State University students are now able to record, edit and publish a podcast from a single room thanks to a new digital media center. The multi-media facility, which is located in Room 157 of Milton Hall, contains broadcasting capabilities, an interactive computer lab and a soundproof booth. The center is open to journalism students from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“We tried to incorporate every aspect of media, from traditional to new media,” said Hwiman Chung, journalism and mass communications department head in the College of Arts and Sciences. “And because podcasting is so popular these days, we wanted to give students the opportunity to create their own individual podcasting.”

The center’s broadcast studio is a smaller version of NMSU’s News22, the student news station. There, students can record various news and information broadcasts before uploading as individual podcasts in the adjoining computer lab.     Read more

NMSU’s ‘Project Postcard’ offers miniature artwork, silent auction

By Tonya Suther 

The College of Arts and Sciences' second biennial fundraiser, ‘Project: Postcard, showcased works like this rose depicted with oil on paper. (Photo by Craig Cully)

More than 300 pieces of postcard-sized artwork will be showcased in a weeklong fundraiser to help support New Mexico State University’s Visiting Artist and Scholar Program. The biennial event, “Project: Postcard,” ran from Oct. 4-11, at the University Art Gallery.

“The work was all be installed on slender rails, so each piece sits on the rail and leans up against the wall,” said Julia Barello, art department head in the College of Arts and Sciences. “It makes for a very clean and elegant presentation, which allows viewers to focus on the work.”

The 5-inch by 7-inch works will include oil on canvas, graphic design work and porcelain pieces, made by notable artists and crafters from across the globe. NMSU faculty, students and alumni also contributed one-of-a-kind works.

“One of our goals though with this project was to reconnect with our alumni, and we have had a significant response from those people, which is very heartening,” Barello said. “Whether or not people continue on with a profession in the arts, many continue to be makers and are creative in their lives, and it is just great to be able to reconnect with them through this project.”     Read more

NMSU astronomers, collaborators see through cosmic dust to unlock Milky Way’s mysteries

By Minerva Baumann

Data Release 10 includes the first data released by the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment. This image is an infrared view of the Milky Way as seen from Earth. Green circles show areas where Data Release 10 includes infrared spectroscopy data from the first year of APOGEE observations. The white boxes show the infrared spectra of two stars as seen by APOGEE; red lines show where these stars live in the Galaxy. The spectra demonstrate the clear differences that can be seen when stars have different chemical compositions. Credit: Peter Frinchaboy (Texas Christian University), Ricardo Schiavon (Liverpool John Moores University), and the SDSS-III Collaboration. Infrared sky image from 2MASS, IPAC/Caltech, and University of Massachusettes.

After more than two years of study, astronomers from New Mexico State University, along with collaborators from around the world, released the first data gathered by the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE).

NMSU astronomers and partner groups have been studying the stars in the Milky Way with the 2.5-meter telescope at Apache Point Observatory in the Sacramento Mountains as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III project, with the hope of someday making a three-dimensional chemical map of the galaxy.

“This experiment aims to try to learn more about the formation of our galaxy (the Milky Way) by studying the compositions of a large number of individual stars from different regions of the Galaxy,” said Jon Holtzman, astronomy professor and department head in NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, who led the effort to prepare the APOGEE data for Data Release 10.     Read more

NMSU’s ROTC units host events honoring veterans

New Mexico State University’s Air Force ROTC  hosted a candlelight vigil to honor prisoners of war and service members missing in action Friday, Nov. 15 at Hadley Field on the NMSU Horseshow. Arnold Air Society, an honor society associated with NMSU’s Air Force ROTC program, organized the vigil.

The solemn ceremony included the lighting of luminarias, followed by a brief speech by Lt. Col. Ira Cline, NMSU Air Force ROTC commander and professor of aerospace studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“The significance of this event is to recognize those who have served our country and paid the ultimate price,” Cline said. “We have lofty principles and values as a nation that set us apart from the rest of the world, and we want POWs and MIAs to know that they are not forgotten. We’re very appreciative of their service.”

“It’s a good reminder of the cliché ‘Freedom isn’t free,’ added Maj. Jason Adams, assistant professor of aerospace space studies. “It reminds folks that we’re still out here working, defending our nation and the Constitution.”

The vigil followeda host of events held in honor of the U.S. military, including NMSU’s Military Appreciation Day on Nov. 9. NMSU Army ROTC cadets performed a flag raising ceremony with the university’s new garrison flag, which flew until 5 p.m. Monday, Nov 11.