NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center


Search News Center Articles


Related Articles




Local fifth graders get to live ‘A Day as a NMSU Student’ in second annual event

Following the success of the program last year, the fifth-grade students of Sonoma Elementary School are once again being given the chance to experience day-to-day life as a New Mexico State University student on Friday, April 5.


Sonoma students at NMSU
Students from Sonoma Elementary School participating in a science experiment during last year’s “Day as an NMSU Student” event. This year’s program will take place on Friday, April 5 on the New Mexico State University campus.
Image Alt: Students experiencing college life at NMSU
The "Day as an NMSU Student" program offers students the chance to experience the day-to-day life of a college student at New Mexico State University. This year's event will take place on April 5. (NMSU Photo)
Students studying science at NMSU
Getting students invested in scientific studies at New Mexico State University is one of the main goals of the "Day as an NMSU Student" program, which will take place on Friday, April 5 at the NMSU Campus. (NMSU photo)

The “Day as an NMSU Student” event was launched in 2018 as a way to get young students to start thinking about advanced education at an earlier age. The initiative, a joint venture between NMSU and Sonoma Elementary School, was the brainchild of Monica Estrada, an NMSU alumna. Estrada was working at Sonoma Elementary as a substitute teacher when she realized just how many students at the school had never stepped foot on the NMSU campus.

“We have this amazing university at our back door that a high percentage of students had never been to,” said Estrada, who now works at Sonoma Elementary as a teacher’s assistant. “I decided I wanted to put a field trip together so the students could not just tour the campus, but get a true feel for what it is like to be student at NMSU. I wanted to recreate the excitement that I remember feeling when I was a student at NMSU.”

“Monica saw that a lot of these kids don’t realize they could go to college,” said Anne Hubbell, communication studies professor at NMSU and the event’s coordinator. “They don’t even think of that as their trajectory. So many of these kids, even in fifth grade, think they have no future for themselves in college. We want to change that line of thinking.”

This year’s event will operate similar to last year, with the students arriving on campus at 9:15 a.m. for a brief welcome and introduction inside Domenici Hall, Room 109. This will be followed by a presentation and series of video screenings by NMSU’s Creative Media Institute Department Head Amy Lanasa. Afterwards, the students will be divided into five groups and sent out to different programs around campus, from a tour of the dorms at Garcia Hall to interactive projects with the Department of Geology, the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, and the Young Women in Computing program.

“We want them to open their minds about their options,” said Hubbell, “and we want to show them there are more than two types of majors. Each of these kids comes in with this predisposed idea what college is. We try to change that idea and get them to think about it for themselves.”

The students also will have lunch on campus at Taos Restaurant, thanks to the generosity of NMSU President John Floros. President Floros will stop by during lunch for a quick visit with the students.

The program has expanded, up 19 percent from last year. Though transporting 125 fifth graders posed a slight logistical challenge, Hubbell and the rest of the organizers were insistent that the entire grade should have the opportunity to come to the event.

“We’re not taking a select group of kids. We’re talking all of them,” said Hubbell. “We don’t want any student to feel left out. We want every student coming out of the day thinking ‘I can do this.’”