April 11, 2014

Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science

  • Graeme Davis and Heather Bedale, gave a presentation to Conlee Elementary school kids during their career day events. They went to Conlee Elementary with a large number of insect specimens from the Arthropod Museum (located in Skeen Hall) and some live arthropods as well. They talked to the kids about what it means to be an entomologist, their connection to other fields of study such as Plant Pathology and Weed Science, the importance of the study of insects, what each of their jobs entail, and what they like about their work as entomologists. Graeme and Heather took quite a few live arthropods to share with the classrooms they visited in order to expose the kids to some of the diversity of arthropods out there in the world in an exciting way. They used the live arachnids and insects to talk about some differences in body plans among arthropods and how that relates to the different habitats that they occupy, and some of the roles they play in natural systems and in agriculture, and, of course they answered the ever popular question-does it bite? Graeme and Heather finished by showing some insect and arachnid specimens explained what they were and what they do, and tried to convey the importance of well curated and well organized specimens for the continued study of arthropods. The kids seemed to get especially excited about the live creatures, as is usually the case, and they also managed to interest a few of the adults that were present. At the end of the day the two entomologists were told they were one of the most popular visitors with the kids that day, along with an FBI agent carrying all sorts of interesting looking weapons and shields-if only there was an FBI entomologist, which would have been really popular!

Cooperative Extension

  • The Just Be It! Healthy & Fit (JBI) youth nutrition program is being taught to 800 elementary school-age children in Rio Rancho public schools. JBI was created by NMSU Extension home economists in Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Rio Arriba counties. The JBI curriculum teaches youth to make nutritious food choices, such as eating fruits and vegetables for snacks instead of junk food, and promotes regular physical activity. The program has been used in several of the district's elementary schools for the past two years, but this year it was expanded to all 10 elementary schools with the help of a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico's Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative. Cooperative Extension Service provides manuals to the schools that includes all of the lessons, activities and recipes for the nutritional snack. Please see the Just-Be-It article.

Media Productions:

  • The ACES Media Productions team has collaborated with the Business College to create a video presentation honoring NMSU alum and 2014 Hall of Fame recipient, Greg Maxwell. Maxwell is the executive vice president, finance and chief financial officer for Phillips 66. He earned a bachelor of accountancy from NMSU in 1978. The video featuring Maxwell will be shown at the Hall of Fame celebration Friday, April 25th.


  • Dr. Steve Loring, Associate Director of Agricultural Experiment Station, attended the Western Rural Development Center's annual Board of Directors meeting in Albuquerque. The Western Rural Development Center is a regional catalyst for capacity building in the West. The Center collaborates with its public and private sector partners to promote excellence in research, education and Extension for the prosperity of western rural communities by sharing scientific discovery and application of sustainable practices with rural citizens via conferences, trainings, Web 2.0, and publications. The Center aims to help rural communities prosper, thrive economically, and become self-sustaining. During the meeting Edmond Gomez, Director for Extension's Rural Agricultural Improvement & Public Affairs Project, talked about the history of New Mexico, and John Garlisch, Extension Ag Agent in Bernalillo County, conducted a tour of Albuquerque community gardens.
  • FFA. Whether it's studying plants in the field or completing a practicum indoors, FFA members have been hard at work showcasing their knowledge and skills. What better place to do so than the home of the Aggies at New Mexico State University! They flooded NMSU and the city of Las Cruces with their blue and gold, and have shown the pride and professionalism that is integral to the FFA organization. We are proud of the hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm that each member brings to this event. The 2014 New Mexico FFA State Career Development by the numbers:1,600 Kids competed, 417 teams, 63 chapters, 21 events. Having these kids come and compete on campus is a recruiting tool for all NMSU colleges.

Family and Consumer Sciences

  • Dr. Carol Turner, Extension Nutrition Specialist, was honored last week with the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year award from the New Mexico Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Marcel Montanez, associate professor in Family and Child Science, was selected to participate in the Family and Consumer Sciences Emerging and New Leaders Workshop in Tulsa, Oklahoma July 27-30. Dr. Kourtney Vaillancourt, college associate professor in Family and Child Science, was invited by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy to go to New York in June to help write items for the national licensure exam for marriage and family therapists. Maria Gomez, undergraduate student in Family and Consumer Sciences Education, was recently selected to attend the Family and Consumer Sciences Leadership Honors Boot Camp in Washington, DC May 18-23. Maria was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to help defray the cost of the boot camp.