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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU honors faculty at 2015 spring convocation

New Mexico State University honored its faculty at the 2015 spring convocation ceremony Jan. 13 at NMSU’s Atkinson Recital Hall. Every fall and spring, convocation is held to honor excellence on campus.

Group of people some with medals around neck, two holding plaques
NMSU provost Dan Howard, second from left, and NMSU president Garrey Carruthers, third from right, join NMSU 2015 spring convocation faculty award recipients (from left) Douglas Layer, Laura Boucheron, John Scarbrough, William Serban, Timothy Wright, Ian Ray, Larry Tunnel, Hsiu-Lan Cheng, Michele Nishiguchi and Prentice Baptiste. All of the awardees received the Donald C. Roush award except for Nishiguchi and Prentice, who both received the Regents Professorship award. Roush award recipients not pictured include Manal Hamzeh Al Smadi, Rita Eisele, and Michelle Hansen. (Photo by Darren Phillips)

At the beginning of the ceremony, Provost Dan Howard noted, “To be successful, everyone associated with a university – faculty, staff and students – must be committed to the mission of the university and no one appreciates the good work of the staff, or the dedication of the students of New Mexico State University more than the president and me. Yet, the heart of a land-grant university is its teaching, research and service mission and it is the faculty that leads this effort. The faculty is a special part of every university and it is a great honor for me as provost, and Garrey Carruthers as president, to work with them to advance the university.”

A Regents Professorship, the highest honor a faculty member can achieve at NMSU, was awarded to H. Prentice Baptiste, College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction; and to Michele K. Nishiguchi, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biology.

The NMSU Board of Regents established the Regents Professorship in 2001. It recognizes faculty who have made outstanding contributions to the university’s mission and honors contributions in areas of education, research, extension education and public service.

Baptiste, a Distinguished Achievement Professor, is nationally respected for his work in diversity in education. He is the current president-elect of the National Association of Multicultural Education, which he helped found in 1990.

As the former dean of the College of Education, beginning in 1997, to currently serving as tenured full professor of curriculum and instruction, Baptiste’s leadership has been instrumental in attracting, supporting and retaining diverse faculty and students.

Nishiguchi has spent her NMSU career since 1999 achieving excellence in teaching, advising and mentoring. She is a prolific scientist with national and international collaborations. Her research charts new directions in her field of biology and she has become an international leader in her discipline associated with studying evolution and marine symbiosis, and in efforts to increase diversity in science.

Since joining NMSU, Nishiguchi has received the Faculty Outstanding Achievement Award in Teaching, Scholarship and Services from the College of Arts and Sciences in 2009, and the Dennis W. Darnall Faculty Achievement Award from NMSU in 2012.

A panel of Regents Professors evaluates faculty-submitted nominations from throughout the university, and the committee meets to determine the awards. The recognition is accompanied by a $12,500 annual stipend.

Eleven faculty members were honored with the Donald C. Roush Excellence in Teaching Award. The accolade is named after Roush, a former NMSU executive vice president, in recognition of his 35 years of advocating for teaching improvement in New Mexico.

The Roush recipients are Ian Ray, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Timothy F. Wright, College of Arts and Sciences; Manal Hamzeh Al Smadi, College of Arts and Sciences; Larry Tunnell, College of Business; Hsiu-Lan Cheng, College of Education; Laura E. Boucheron, College of Engineering; John E. Scarbrough, College of Health and Social Services; Rita Eisele, NMSU Alamogordo; Michelle Hansen, NMSU Carlsbad; Douglas A. Layer, NMSU Dona Ana; and William Serban, NMSU Grants.