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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU’s AXED Department honors top students

The Agricultural and Extension Education Department in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University hosted the second annual spring banquet honoring students, the department, faculty and staff.


Robert Booky speaks to AXED Banquent audience on fullfillment in ag career.
Cloudcroft High School teacher Robert Booky addresses the AXED Banquet audience as the chosen Outstanding Alumni keynote speaker. (NMSU photo provided by Frank Hodnett)

“The banquet to me is a celebration of the year, of our students and those that are graduating,” Frank Hodnett, Department Head for Agricultural and Extension Education said. “It serves as a time for the students to sit back, relax and enjoy time with their classmates and peers.”

Put on entirely by students, the ACES AXED banquet is a way to gain hands-on experience in event planning. As a requirement for the AXED 445 class, Developing Excellent Programs in Career and Technical Education, students plan every aspect from table decorations, to guest speaker and food selection.

The students chose the department’s outstanding alumni, Robert Booky, as their speaker.

Booky, an agriculture teacher from Cloudcroft High School, spoke on some of the highlights during his 32 years of experience in education and the importance of finding one’s passion in the workplace.

“His speech reminded me, personally, that this great profession is the place to be. We make a difference in these people’s lives,” Hodnett said. “Because of the impact we make, the students take that and incorporate it to when they teach.”

The banquet included an awards ceremony, where Taysha Ham was awarded with the NMSU Alumni Association Outstanding Senior for the College of ACES award. Ham and Kyra Grant received the AXED Outstanding Student Award for the fall and spring semesters.

The Deans Award of Excellence was presented to fall semester undergraduate Wes Ely and graduate Joshua O’Halloran. Spring recipients were graduate student Hank Hargis and undergraduate Haley Montes.

The Outstanding Academic Achievement Awards went to the students with the highest grade point average in each academic class. Recipients of this award were Matthew Welty, Lauren Schlothauer, Kacey Schurr and Kyra Grant.

Lane Hand and Caleb Gustin were recognized for the Lil’ Aggie Showmanship awards.

Outstanding FFA senior and junior members went to Emily Rush and Kwame Ponschock.

Also recognized were the upcoming student teachers for the 2014/2015 academic year, Dalli Chavez, Samantha Fisher, Cassie Goff, Madison Landreth, Suzie Taylor and Kassi Simpson.

ACES Ambassadors include Augusta Ahlm, Aubrie Brown, Caleb Gustin, Lane Hand, Cassie Jacquez, Morgan Pinnell, Emily Rush, Lance Widner and Cameron Wolfe.

Collegiate FFA Officers were installed at the banquet. President is Cameron Wolfe, vice president is Kwame Ponschock, secretary is Amanda Ball, Brandon Brabson is treasurer and Kelsey Garner will hold the reporter position.

Concluding the ceremony was a special presentation of an award to Kristin Stair, assistant professor in AXED. Stair is leaving NMSU to continue her career at Louisiana State University.