NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center


Search News Center Articles


Related Articles




NMSU honors 11 faculty during convocation ceremony

New Mexico State University honored its faculty and staff at the 2017 fall convocation ceremony Aug. 15 at NMSU’s Atkinson Recital Hall. Every fall and spring, convocation is held to celebrate the start of a new semester.


A group of people holding awards.
New Mexico State University Chancellor Garrey Carruthers, fifth from right, Provost Dan Howard, second from left, Presidential Medallion recipient Don Kidd and his wife Sarrah, both at center, join faculty members for a group photo following the 2017 Fall Convocation ceremony at the Atkinson Recital Hall. Awardees include, left to right, Kenneth Carroll, Catherine Brewer, Zachary Toups, Tim Wright, Andreas Gross, Esther Steiner, Salim Bawazir, Emma Orta and Pei Xu. (NMSU photo by Andrés Leighton)

“Convocation provides an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the wonderful work of our faculty and staff in helping students achieve their educational goals,” said Provost Dan Howard. “The quality of a New Mexico State University education is second to none, and it is a singular honor to recognize some of the individuals who make this institution such a special place.”

Eleven faculty members were recognized during the ceremony for their excellence in teaching and research, and service to the university.

Kenny Stevens, Department of Engineering Technology and Surveying Engineering, received the Westhafer Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The Westhafer is presented in memory of Robert L. Westhafer, professor in the Department of Mathematics from 1946 to 1957. It is given in alternating years for excellence in teaching and for excellence in research and creative activity.

Andreas Gross, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Zachary Toups, Department of Computer Science, received the Patricia Christmore Faculty Teaching Award.

Named for Patricia Christmore, former accounting department head, this annual award recognizes and rewards superb junior tenure-track faculty members for excellence in teaching.

The University Research Council presented its Award for Excellence to faculty and staff in recognition of exceptional research and/or other creative scholarly efforts at NMSU.

This year’s recipients are Salim Bawazir, Nirmala Khandan and Pei Xu, National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for reinventing the nation’s urban water infrastructure; Catherine E. Brewer, Department of Chemical and Material Engineering; Kenneth C. Carroll, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences; and Tim Wright, Department of Biology.

Emma Orta, College of Health and Social Services; and Esther Steiner, College of Arts and Sciences, received the Excellence in Academic Advising Award.

This award recognizes faculty and professional academic advisers for their outstanding achievements and service to NMSU students. The candidates are nominated by students.

In addition, Chancellor Garrey Carruthers presented the Presidential Medallion to Don Kidd, Western Community Bank chairman and chief executive officer.

Established in 2015, the Presidential Medallion recognizes retired faculty, staff, state officials or community members who have persistently, selflessly and superiorly served NMSU over a long period of time.