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New NMSU professorships, chairs and N.M. Professor of the Year honored

Twelve new professorships and chairs and the New Mexico Professor of the Year designation were celebrated at New Mexico State University's Spring Convocation Wednesday, Jan. 18.



New Mexico State University professorship and chair recipients celebrated at the Spring Convocation Jan. 18 are pictured here with President Michael Martin, far left, and Executive Vice President and Provost William Flores, far right. The honorees were, left to right, Yosef Lapid, Luis Vazquez, Eric Lopez, Dan Howard, Kevin Boberg, Kenneth Martin, Shuguang Deng, Stephen Pate, Rita Gonzalez, Vicente Lombrana, Mary O'Connell, and Tom Gale. New Mexico Professor of the Year Elise "Pookie" Sautter is not pictured. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)


The Regents Professorship, established in 2001 by the NMSU Board of Regents, recognizes faculty who have made outstanding contributions to the university's mission and to honor contributions in the areas of education, research, extension education and public service. This year's Regents Professors join 24 current holders of the professorship.

The 2006 Regents Professors are Daniel J. Howard, biology; Mary O'Connell, plant and environmental sciences; Yosef Lapid, government; Kenneth J. Martin, finance; and Luis A. Vazquez, counseling and educational psychology. The 2006 Regents Professor Master Teachers are Vicente Lombrana, NMSU-Alamogordo, and Rita V. Gonzalez, NMSU-Dona Ana.

Howard is an international expert in evolutionary biology. His research stems from Charles Darwin's first work on evolutionary theory. Howard led the effort to obtain seed money and then major support from the National Science Foundation to establish the Laboratory of Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics.

O'Connell has been hailed as a dedicated teacher and researcher and undeniable leader among the faculty. Throughout her career at NMSU, O'Connell has opened the world of science and research to hundreds of students. Her work as an accomplished researcher has garnered more than $4 million in research grants.

Lapid is a pioneer in the field of international relations. His research interests include the philosophy of social science; theories of international relations; identity, borders and security studies; the Middle East and more. He has written several books and many articles that are required reading at dozens of universities around the world.

Martin is known to students as an exceptional and innovative educator and to his colleagues as a tireless supporter of the professional and academic mission of NMSU's College of Business. A nationally respected expert in financial markets and corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, he has published numerous articles in highly respected academic journals.
Vazquez is nationally recognized for his contributions to multicultural curriculum development. He serves on the American Psychological Association's Committee on Rural Health, which advises on national rural health policies. He served on the governor's committee examining the issue of granting prescription privileges to psychologists in New Mexico.

Lombrana is an academic leader in the field of biology. His teaching recognitions include two Donald C. Roush Awards for Teaching Excellence in 1995 and 2001, two NMSU-A Teaching Excellence Awards in 1997 and 1999 and two National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Teaching and Leadership Excellence Awards in 1995 and 1998.

Gonzalez has taught at the Dona Ana campus since 1987. She has served on the Cultural Diversity Committee and currently serves as secretary to the newly formed Diversity Caucus. Gonzalez also co-founded the New Mexico Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, a professional organization committed to the needs of two-year college mathematics educators.

Other chairs and professorships honored at convocation include the Garrey E. and Katherine T. Carruthers Chair in Economic Development established in 2004 with a $500,000 gift from Dean Garrey E. Carruthers and Mrs. Katherine T. Carruthers. The state matched the gift with $1 million. The chair will contribute to the university's focus on economic and community development, and help recruit and retain first-rate faculty.

Kevin Boberg, the first holder of the chair, has a long history of involvement in business and economic development in New Mexico. In addition to serving as associate dean of business, Boberg is director of the Arrowhead Center, the College of Business' Bureau of Business Research and Services, the International Business Facilitation Center and the Center for Economic Development Research Assistance.

The Stan Fulton Chair for the Improvement of Border and Rural Schools was established in 2005 to enhance communication among NMSU faculty, staff and students and pre-kindergarten through 12th grade constituents to improve border and rural schools.

The first to hold the Stan Fulton Chair is Eric Lopez of the special education and communication disorders department. He directs the educational diagnostician program, chairs the U.S. Border and Latino Studies Committee and teaches in the bilingual special education and school psychology programs. He is a nationally certified school psychologist and licensed educational diagnostician.

The Robert Davis Professorship is a $250,000 professorship established in 2005 by Bob Davis, a NMSU alumnus and the former president and chief executive officer of Chevron Chemical Co.

The Davis Professor is Shuguang Deng, assistant professor of chemical engineering. Since joining NMSU two years ago, he has worked to create research programs in hydrogen fuel cell and water treatment, has obtained research grants totaling about $500,000 and formed two new electives.

The George W. Gardiner Professorship is awarded every two years to a physics faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in scholarship, leadership, research and training. This endowed professorship was made possible by the estate of Anna H. Gardiner, whose husband, George W. Gardiner, was the first head of the physics department and founder of NMSU's Physical Science Laboratory.

The Gardiner Professor is Stephen Pate, who joined the faculty of New Mexico State in 1995. Pate has been a leader in the undergraduate program in the physics department and has also served on numerous departmental, college and university committees. Pate's research explores the internal structure of protons and neutrons.

This year, the NMSU Board of Regents and President Michael V. Martin awarded a Regents Emeritus Professorship to Thomas M. Gale for his many years of dedication and service to the university. Gale was dean and professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences from 1971 to 1991. Under his leadership the College of Arts and Sciences became the largest of the university's six colleges. Gale served as the first chair of the New Mexico Humanities Council (now Foundation), established the Center for Latin American and Border Studies and worked to improve teacher education in New Mexico.

The U.S. Professors of the Year program salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country - those who excel as teachers and influence the lives and careers of their students. This year's New Mexico Professor of the Year is Elise "Pookie" Sautter, a faculty member in the College of Business since 1989. During her tenure, Sautter has touched the lives of many students and faculty members with her innovative teaching style and friendly personality.