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NMSU convocation introduces Presidential Medallion, community engagement honors

New Mexico State University awarded its inaugural Presidential Medallions and Community Engagement Awards during the 2016 spring convocation ceremony Tuesday, Jan. 19, at NMSU’s Atkinson Recital Hall. Every fall and spring, convocation is held to honor excellence on campus.

Large group of award winners
NMSU faculty, administrative and community engagement award winners are joined by NMSU president Garrey Carruthers, eighth from left, and NMSU professor emeritus Sanford Schemnitz, sixth from right, for a group photo following the 2016 spring convocation ceremony at the Atkinson Recital Hall. Awardees include, left to right, Sukumar Brahma, Geno Picchioni, Samantha Rich, Carlos Santos, David Boje, John Sandstrom, Martha Desmond, Tom Dormody, Henrietta Pichon, Kathleen O’Connor, Tom Smith, Maria Gurrola, James Gallagher, Denise Rodriguez-Strawn, Gerald Burke, Lois Stanford, James Bullock, William Corbett, Susan Pinkerton, Courtney Gavin, Yaxi Zhao and Michele Shuster. (Photo by Darren Phillips)

In addition, four Regent Professorships were announced and 11 faculty members were honored for their excellence in teaching.

Former NMSU professors Jim Bullock and Gerald Burke are the inaugural awardees of NMSU’s Presidential Medallion, which recognizes the outstanding service each has given to the university beyond their time as employees.

Bullock is a professor and department head emeritus in NMSU’s Department of Accounting and Information Systems, where he taught and held various administrative posts for 24 years before retiring in 1996. He presently serves on the College of Business Accounting Advisory Council and has chaired the NMSU Regents Audit Committee. He is a past member and treasurer of the board of directors of the NMSU Foundation and continues to help the university through various efforts, including fundraising.

Burke’s career of more than three decades at NMSU began as an assistant professor in the College of Agriculture and Home Economics. He also served as assistant dean of the Graduate School and as vice president for administration and legislative liaison. After retiring, he served as chair of the statewide general obligation bond campaign and on the state’s Commission of Higher Education, providing leadership, experience and insight. He continues to work with the New Mexico Legislature, where he has served as the educational representative for NMSU.

There’s an opportunity to honor the service of both Bullock and Burke to NMSU. Visit http://giving.nmsu.edu to give to the Gerald M. Burke President’s Associates Endowed Scholarship, the Wanda H. Bullock Nursing Scholarship or the Dr. James H. Bullock Accounting Endowment.

Two faculty member and two students received the first-ever Community Engagement Awards for their demonstrated efforts to better New Mexico communities through partnerships and volunteer work. The recipients are selected by NMSU’s Community Engagement Council.

The Community Engagement Award recipients are Denise Rodriguez-Strawn, for her work as programs director for Service Learning for Educational Distinction, or SLED , in the College of Education, and Lois Stanford, an associate professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences; along with students Courtney Gavin, a business and biology major; and Kristen Sprouse, an elementary education major.

Regents Professorships were awarded to David M. Boje, College of Business; Martha Desmond, and Thomas J. Dormody, both College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; and Tom Smith, College of Arts and Sciences.

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.

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 teaching improvement in New Mexico.

The Roush recipients are Geno Picchioni, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; William J. Corbett, College of Arts and Sciences; Michele Shuster, College of Arts and Sciences; Carlos A. Santos, College of Business; Henrietta Williams Pichon, College of Education; Sukumar Brahma, College of Engineering; Maria A. Gurrola, College of Health and Social Services; James Gallagher, NMSU Alamogordo; Yaxi Zhao, NMSU Carlsbad; Kathleen O’Connor, NMSU Grants; Susan Pinkerton, NMSU Dona Ana.

NMSU’s Library was recognized for its outstanding assessment process with the Outstanding Assessment Committee for Co-Curriculum, Administration and Operations Excellence in Assessment Award.